a) One of the major organisational problems experienced at Duplox Copiers is the dissatisfaction and increased complaints from customers about quality of service and machine breakdowns. This is because of the poor customer service provided by the Technical Service Specialists (TSSs). However, this cannot be blamed on the TSSs because they are not required to ‘go by the book’. All the new equipment installations have to meet the company’s standards in terms of ventilation, space and wiring. Equally, sales representative’s gets 50% of their income based on the sales and service contracts, therefore, they are reluctant to inform customers to make expensive alterations to their facilities to install the machine since they might lose the sale. Besides, the sales representatives are not trained or monitored on their sales techniques.
b) An underlying structural factor that contributes to these underlying problems at Duplox Copiers is leadership and decision making. This is because when TSSs require technical advice from head office where there are several technical experts who specialise in different types of machines, they are supposed to call the field service managers (FSMs) who will first try to solve the problem before contacting the Technical Support Department. This is a slow decision making process which interferes with the timely completion of work by TSSs. Hence, this bureaucracy should be abolished and TSSs allowed to communicate directly with technical experts from head office. Besides, TSSs should be allowed to make their own decision and given discretion over maintenance schedules and services.
On the other hand, a contextual factor that contributes to these underlying problems is the Duplox workforce. This is because they are not motivated and they lack workforce morale as a result of poor compensation. Besides, the company’s technical service specialists experience a decline in their attitude towards work and the organisation as indicated in the annual attitude survey as well as the increased employee turnover. These contribute to Duplox problems to a greater extent.
c) One underlying factor that relates to Duplox strategy causing these problems relates to the fact that TSSs are put under tighter control. For instance, approval from FSM is required for many actions of TSSs even if they are within budget limits. Moreover, TSSs cannot order tools or parts required for maintenance since these have to be ordered by FSM. This slows down TSSs work since they have to wait for parts for a longer time to be ordered by FSM. Equally, since there are delays in receiving parts, TSSs who starts the job are not the ones who necessarily finish the job. This brings a lot of inconsistencies in the maintenance process. This results to inferior work hence increased complaints from customers.
Section B: Strategic and Structural Recommendations
a) Firstly, for the contextual variable, Duplox should design an effective reward structure and compensate employees favourably in order to motivate them and improve their morale. Besides, the company can also reward employees through offering incentives to them. According to Long ; Singh (2018), incentives such as extra paid day off, shopping vouchers or gift cards are motivation boosters and will keep employees engaged at work. The organisation should also conduct professional training and development for its workforce. In terms of structural variable, Duplox should remove bureaucracy and ensure faster decision making process through allowing TSSs to make direct calls to technical experts from head office. This will ensure timely completion of tasks.
b) One of the actions to be completed in the professional development and training for knowledge and skills of the current position is to train sales people to ensure that they recommend to customers the right machine for the right space. They should also be trained to ensure that the right machine is delivered to customers as per specifications.
Secondly, Duplox should set up a peer mentoring program. This is because inexperienced sales representatives struggle with many questions from customers which might discourage some. Hence, the company should assign experienced sales person in a team to mentor new hires. The experienced employees are asked to keep an open dialogue to enable the inexperienced sales representatives to get along well with answering customers concerns or questions.
2) The individuals who are expected to complete these actions are the sales people who should ensure that customers get the right equipment for the space provided. Additionally, these actions would be completed by Director of technical service support as well as Director of human resources. The Director of technical service support will ensure that technical service specialists receive relevant and adequate training while Director of human resources will oversee the overall training of both sales representatives and the TSSs in each geographical location.
3) The professional training and development should be conducted for a period of between 4-6 weeks in each geographical location. This indicates that the training should start on 1st November 2018 and end on 15th December 2018
4) These recommendations should be implemented because the morale of sales representatives is down and they are reluctant to tell customers to make expensive alterations to their facilities since they fear that they might lose the sale. Furthermore, the TSSs lack team spirit hence they should be trained to become team players and align with the organisational value.
5) One way that Duplox Copiers could evaluate the success or effectiveness of the solution is through conducting a survey to determine the satisfaction of both customers and staff. Essentially, the satisfaction of customers and staff indicates that the training solution has been successful.
a) The various components of compensation mix consist of the base salary as well as the incentives payable to employees in form of bonuses. Arguably, at Duplox Copiers, TSSs are paid on a flat salary and a bonus system. The bonuses paid to TSSs depend on whether their productivity met or exceeded past year’ standards and whether services and repair expenses were below standard. If they achieve these bonuses, they can double their earnings. Additionally, Regional Sales Managers, Director of Technical Services, Field Sales Managers as well as Branch service managers are all paid on a salary a bonus system
Furthermore, the compensation of Inventory Management Director as well as her two managers depends partly on minimising inventory carrying charges. Moreover, Director of Technical Training and Support’s compensation is designed based on the cost recovery level that she can obtain from Technical Service Department and partly on keeping down the overall cost on her department.
In allocating compensation among these components, Duplox seeks to provide competitive and reasonable fixed compensation while emphasizing more on the performance based compensation such as commissions paid to sales representatives.
b) One of the most common compensation level strategies is salaries and wages. Accordingly, when determining what a company’s pay for salaries and wages, it is important to consider the prevailing economic conditions in that particular region, the volume of potential employees as well as the legislative requirement put in place (Long, 2014). When an organisation determines what to pay, the first consideration should be the role placement which can be determined through job classification or evaluation (Long & Singh, 2018). Secondly, the organisation should consider the relevant experiences and skills required which might impacts on applicant’s placement in the range of salary upon hire.
Another level of compensation strategies is pay increase. Arguably, base pay is a regular payment which is fixed given to an employee in exchange of performance of their roles and responsibilities (Martocchio, 2014). A pay increase therefore is considered as an increase in pay that employees receive as a result of an increase in their base pay. Another level of compensation strategies is bonus payments. These are compensation over and above the specified amount such as salary or wages (Long ; Singh, 2018). This form of compensation is only distributed as outlined in the employment contract. Essentially, bonuses are used by organisations to improve employee productivity, morale and motivation or as thank you message to workers who achieve significant goal (Long, 2014).
Additionally, the other level of compensation strategy is the incentive plans. Offering incentive plans, more so to senior staff can allow a company to compete for talents that they would not have been able to pursue (Long ; Singh, 2018). Lastly, another level of compensation strategy is the skilled based pay. In this system, salary levels are based on the skills of employees and not the job title (Martocchio, 2014). Notably, a set of skills are assigned particular pay grade.