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Joining Lenox

Few of the company’s agents have been trained in using the new system owing to the difficulty in understanding it. A number of them are complaining that rival firms have systems that are more user-friendly and easier to navigate. It appears that the CIO did not involve the sales teams in the development of the system, yet they were the ones who would be using it. Input from these people would have ensured greater compatibility as they are well versed in what the system needs to incorporate to be a success.

The company began the project there years ago hoping that it will be the first in the industry to apply IT based solutions to sales pitches. Unfortunately despite delivering the project on schedule, Lifexpress was overtaken by rival firms whose systems are in use by a higher number of agents. The poor culture of computer use at Lenox has contributed to longer training periods for agents and staff. Further, the lack of urgency on the part of the CIO has meant that other companies have developed similar systems in shorter periods and caught up with Lenox.

Lifexpress is not as competitive as the competitors’ systems as it includes only 40% of

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the company’s product portfolio. Agents in the field are unable to offer the clients the full range of Lenox’s services and end up selling competitors products instead. One of the reasons for this is the delay by certain departments in submitting important data to the CIO for inputting into the system. The system needs to be simplified so that it becomes more user-friendly to the agents and enables them to understand it more easily thus and reducing the time spent searching for vital information.

This will ensure that they can minimize the time spent per client and in the process visit more customers. Secondly, the company needs to be more conscious about the time element. Long delays translate to lost business and as the IT industry is very dynamic, the company must be able to respond to challenges in the shortest time possible. Future projects must be completed much faster to ensure that the company‘s efforts are not obsolete by the time the projects are being launched.

The company needs to urgently promote an IT culture throughout the workforce so that it can catch up with other industries that are heavily reliant on IT applications. For Lifexpress to succeed, all staff must appreciate the benefits of IT in promoting business opportunities and work towards incorporating computer use at all levels. Remedial action that should be undertaken includes creating a sense of urgency in all operations, and reducing the response time between identifying challenges and taking action.

If the company continues to lag behind the industry leaders, it will end up being driven out of business. The CEO needs to ensure that all staff share his vision and work actively towards achieving the company’s goals. Decision-Making Responsibility The CEO is the person charged with providing leadership to an organization. This includes formulating and articulating the company’s vision at all times. He is the one who should direct the CIO on what the company requires and make frequent follow-ups to ensure his vision is being implemented.

As a policy maker, he should be able to forecast changes in the market and develop appropriate responses in a bid to maintain the competitive edge over rival firms. The role of the CEO includes team building and ensuring a harmonious working environment exists at the firm. This will prevent unnecessary bickering which is responsible for low worker morale. The CFO should be primarily concerned with the impact that new projects will have on the balance sheet of the company. He should liaise with the projects head to ensure that they develop systems that will increase the overall profitability of the firm.

His input is vey crucial in guiding the project heads as he is better placed to estimate the return on investment. In this case, he should have worked closely with the CIO in developing a system that will increase sales and reduce overheads. A CIO’s mandate comes from the appointing authority and she should liaise closely with the CEO to ensure that she is fulfilling his vision. She should involve all stakeholders in her projects; especially the business managers and those who will end up utilizing the system on a daily basis.

This ensures widespread acceptance by all employees and greater chances of success. The organizational structure at Lenox is responsible for the current bickering between the CIO and the CFO. Whereas, the CIO should have been reporting directly to the CEO for direction, Sullivan was reporting to Clay as her immediate boss. The CFO was not competent enough to articulate the CEO’s vision; this is something only Jim can do. Further, by delegating the responsibility of developing the company’s vision to Sullivan, the CEO abdicated his duty as a leader.

He should have been in the forefront of expounding his plans to all employees and played an active role in ensuring that the project met all its objectives. A poor IT culture that pervaded all levels at Lenox contributed to the slow uptake of IT based solutions and practices. The delay in posting all the company’s products onto this system was because the staff in disability department was taking too long in providing information to the CIO. Had the staff at Lenox been more IT oriented, the project would have been a greater success.

Sullivan did little to involve key stakeholders at Lenox in the project planning and development. As a consequence, it was not sold to the staff that would be using it. Opposition to the system would inevitably come from those who were expected to implement the system as they will argue that their input was ignored. By failing to work as a team with other people, Sullivan committed a major mistake which will reflect badly her overall performance. IT Plans The initial project plan assumed that the IT department could develop a successful system without the input of relevant business managers responsible for generating sales.

Secondly, the CEO assumed that the wide experience of the CIO was sufficient for her to articulate his vision without his input or collaboration. By failing to establish urgent time frames, the company operated like a traditional organization; not realizing that time is very important in the IT industry and long delays can lead to heavy losses. Sullivan must recover lost ground by bringing on board all stakeholders in a bid to create a system that works well for all involved.

The business managers should advise her on what needs to be done to make the system more effective in terms of providing relevant information for sales agents. As a result, the sales agents will be able to give potential clients comparative analysis of all products on offer. The agents should also contribute ideas on how the system can be made more user-friendly while Jim should promote an IT culture throughout the company. This will ensure that employees are more receptive to IT based applications, thus reducing the time taken to implement new projects.

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