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Organizational Design, Competencies, and Technology Essay

Ramrod is having most problems with the sales division of the company. Rob Bronson who is the vice president of sales is considered to extremely capable, likable, bright, and up coming manager. His division performed excellently, and the brilliance of Rob made the division successful. In this division, the workers were highly motivated, and the company had noted its superior performance. Nevertheless, the personnel in sales were unable to access reliable information from the production division on delivery dates and product stage in the process of production.

In the past, the sales division was able to get special orders incorporated into the work flow whenever they arose. However, they sales personnel often could not establish how such orders affected normal orders or what disruption specific orders caused. This is because Ramrod could not allow production personnel to disclose any information except routine information. In reality, due to the high level of centralization of information and authority in production, production people did not even know each other well.

Ramrod refused to disclose information to any sales except the vice president of sales himself; Ramrod only gave Rob information on production matters. Nevertheless, Rob could not waste his time asking for basic information such

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as status reports. During weekly top management meetings, that involved vice presidents and other senior personnel, Rob would ask ramrod whether he could offer any help to improve the performance of the production division. However, Ramrod declined this help, and he could not be pressed to disclose any better estimations.

Even questions from the president could not force Ramrod to release better forecasts. As a result, this lack of disclosure led to failures and difficulties in sales planning, it also affected other divisions that depend on its information. According to annual reports, sales division is credited for the good performance of Benson metals, while poor and crowded production facilities and equipment facilities and other failures in the production division are blamed for the poor performance of the company. 2. What problems is Benson Metals encountering as it changes products and technologies?

What is causing these problems? As the company steadily changes to more difficult and sophisticated steels, particularly aerospace products, it is encountering numerous problems. The aerospace products are more difficult to produce as compared to other products. The other problem is that these products require expertise and skills in their production. Moreover, these products require a lot of research and metallurgical analysis. In addition, aerospace products are more delicate when handling them in the stages of production, although they require the same equipment in production stages as other steel products.

Furthermore, these products are marketed in a different way from the rest of the products. For instance, a firm can be able to make a given kind of steel that other firms are not able to produce even if they have tried. Such steels are significantly more expensive as compared to specialty steels, and failure to meet the required specifications results in considerable loss for the company producing such steels. In as much as the technology for producing specialty steels is well established in the firm, the company is experiencing problems because of lack of proper skills, a lot of guesswork, and the secrets on production of specialty steels.

In the production of specialty steel, small changes are usually integrated in the melting process so as to produce a range of specialty metals. Competitors can easily analyze the products of other companies and produce similar products, even though there are secrets. In addition, there are alterations that should be made on the equipments used in the production of steel. Reference: Jones, G. R. (2007). Organizational theory, design, and change. 5th Ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

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