For this assignment, I decided to use a company which I will call CBC, and in which I did an internship for 7 months. This Swiss Group provides chocolate-based products, is present in several countries, and generates a sales turnover of nearly 3 billion . However, this company faced strong difficulties in managing the necessary change in its structure in order to stay competitive. Consequently, I think it would be interesting to analyze the process used and the difficulties faced in applying the theoretical issues of the course.
We will first describe the company in detail, and then analyze the difficulties that CBC faced. To conclude, we will present suggestions on how the company may improve its necessary change management.
CBC belongs to the Chocolate Industry. On a global scale, the company generated a sales turnover of CHF 4.1 billion for the fiscal year 2006/07 (or $ 3.9 billion). CBC's headquarters are based in Switzerland, and the company is established in 23 countries. The company uses more than 30 production facilities and has 8,000 employees worldwide. CBC has been producing cocoa for more than 150 years, and has been listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange since 1998.
The company has continued its growth and geographic expansion with acquisitions (groups from Switzerland in 1999, from Germany in 2002, from the USA in 2003, etc.), important contracts (major outsourcing contracts with Nestlé, Hershey's and Cadbury in 2007) and with the opening of sales offices (Japan, India) and chocolate factories (USA, Russia, Mexico, China, etc.).
Its activity can be divided by 3 sectors in the chocolate industry. The first activity, is the sourcing or research of good quality cocoa beans worldwide; the second one is the production and sale of semi-finished products such as cocoa butter and chocolate powder; and the third sector is the production and the sale of high-quality finished chocolate, which corresponds to three divisions: Chocolate for Artisans and Chef, Chocolate for Food Manufacturers, and, Chocolate for Consumers.
I decided to use this company to apply the theoretical concepts of the course, because I was employed as a Brand Manager Assistant for the brand B. Indeed, the division in which I worked is the Chocolate for Artisans and Chefs division, which we call Gourmet Service. This department includes three brands: A, B and C, from three different countries. A is French, B is Swiss and C is Belgian, but all these brands were gradually bought by CBC, and are now managed by the manager of the Gourmet Service.
[...] To conclude on this part, because of the Audit, I think that CBC is well aware that it has to manage change in order to be successful. I found that their management and their organization were not structured. Consequently, the company has to rethink its way to doing business and I have some suggestions to bring for a good change management that I developed in the next part of this assignment. III Suggestions on how to integrate efficient change management / Eight steps of John Kotter John Kotter is a famous professor who improved the idea that managers need to follow 8 steps to attain successful change management. [...]
[...] In my opinion, the managers of CBC must use this tool to perform better / Combination of “Economic value” & “organizational capabilities” As we discussed earlier, CBC has a strategy of economic value, given that the company is focused on economic incentives and reduction of costs such as layoffs, restructuring and money saving. This strategy has resulted in a lack of motivation among the employees of the company, damaging the creativity of the organization and the morale of the partners. [...]
[...] This step is important for CBC because the status quo is more dangerous than trying to motivate people to get information, and anticipate this kind of crisis. The company needs good leaders, motivated people and good feedback from the market to succeed in this step / Forming a powerful Guiding coalition CBC needs to improve its employees' involvement, to assemble a group with shared commitment. Moreover, this group needs to get enough power and motivation to lead the change management. [...]
[...] In factories, norms are implemented and well respected because of the issue of safety of perishable products. However, in the offices, responsibilities and positions are not clearly defined. When I began my work placement, there were no processes in place. Thus, I had to ask the Brand Manager for guidance for almost every task, though she was really busy. The organization is based on the experience that the employees have of the company. This means that new employees must disturb others in order to better understand the organization of the department in which they work, and to know the process which must be followed. [...]
[...] Indeed, the company is too focused on being profitable without taking the employees into consideration / Consolidating improvements and producing more change Another solution for CBC would be to hire young workers in order to make departments more dynamic, and to develop employees who can implement the vision. Employees well illustrate the traditional way of working of the company, because they have been working for the CBC for many years. Indeed, there is low turnover of the workforce. Young people are necessary to reinvigorate the company with new projects. [...]
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