Categories
Management

Request for Proposal Response

Abstract

Reviewing the opportunities on the Federal Business Opportunities website my small business is in search for a particular opportunity to support Microsoft applications.  This support would encompass both technical support and project management opportunities.  Solicitation Number: HC1028=13-D-0023 encapsulates the core business model my company offers.  The synopsis is “Microsoft Enterprise Technical Support Services (METSS) necessary to obtain highly- trained “Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder-support”. These services require access rights to Microsoft’s proprietary (closed-source) code, which is licensed under exclusive legal right of Microsoft. The core requirements are for the contractor to provide Microsoft Consulting Services that include software developers and product teams to leverage a variety of proprietary resources and source code, and Microsoft Premier Support services such as tools and knowledge bases, problem resolution assistance from product developers, and access to Microsoft source code when applicable to support Department of Defense’s mission. The period of performance is a one-year base period and four one-year option periods for a total period of five years. Performance will predominantly be within the continental United States; however, support services may also be required at multiple overseas locations.”

The level of support and sustainment activities will extend beyond the normal customer support functions and will require hands on management of the core Microsoft technical support.  This level of support will rely heavily on project management best practices to implement the appropriate support services as well as develop and launch the sustainment model that will lead to first in class support.  The key members of the team will range from functional and technical subject matter experts, project managers, programmers and business analysts.  This mixture of IT and business experts will ensure that the requirements from the business are properly translated and implemented into the technical solution required by the business.

Cover Sheet

Administrative Business Lead:

Tamaste Jones

1313 Mockingbird Lane

Marengo Falls, Idaho

Phone: 812-898-5555

[email protected]

Technical Lead:

Cathy Jenkinson

7474 Julius Orange Lane

Sacramento, California

Phone: 812-798-5555

[email protected]

Solicitation Number

HC1028=13-D-0023

Name of Project

 “Microsoft Enterprise Technical Support Services (METSS) Program”

Subcontractors

N/A

Estimated Cost

$410,200,000

Duration

5 years (1 plus optional year by year extension for 4 years)

Key Staff Members

Resumes

Tamaste Jones

EDUCATION                     

University of Arkansas March 2004

Master of Science, Operations Management

University of Louisville May 2001

College of Business and Public Administration, Finance Major

Project Management Professional (PMP) certified through PMI

ITIL Foundation Certified

EXPERIENCE

Digitization Program Manager

May 2011-Present

  • Program Manager for Financial Management and Sourcing programs
    • Sourcing Financial Reporting
      • Improved 7 day financial review to instantaneous through continual process improvement and lean management techniques
      • Increased accuracy and precision of financial reporting by eliminating non-value add inputs and review
    • Reduced amount of unclassified financial data from $500M to $20M allowing enterprise wide cost allocation to specific operating units
    • Train, implemented and sustain quoting and bidding tool reducing overall costs for goods and services by 17% in first six months
  • Sourcing functional leader for Enterprise Resource Planning project for total revitalization and improvement of Procure to Pay business practices and function

Continual Service Improvement Program Manager

2007- 2011

  • Continuous Service Improvement Project for family delivery business
    • Reduced downtime of delivery downtime by 50%
    • Diminished worker overtime hours spent outside of delivery duties by 12.5% resulting in increased productivity for dollar spent
  • Financial Statement Review/Reconciliation and Budget Preparation
    • Review of Income Statement, Budget Sheet and Cash Flow Documentation
    • Streamlined process of financial management review by setting up a continuity folder and scheduled conferences with stakeholders to review budget and projections
  • Computer Repair/Upgrade/Utilization for small home businesses and individuals
    • Software/Hardware installation and maximization
    • Training on how basic computer skills
    • Training on Microsoft Office applications and internet use
    • Website Design/Enhancement


Cathy Jenkinson

EDUCATION                     

University of Kentucky March 2005

Master of Science, Information Technology

University of Idaho May 2001

College of Business and Public Administration, Basket Geneology

Microsoft Certification

ITIL Foundation Certified

ITIL Service Management Certified

IT Project Manager

2001-2007

The project manager is responsible for the ability to initiate, formulate, and deliver on a project which is fundamental to business achievement.  The Technology Project Manager supports business position by designing, planning, and executing innovative technology solutions in a dynamic environment.  The PM role understands IT strategy, development lifecycle and application/infrastructure maintenance.  Understanding of IT service and support processes promote a strategic advantage, create efficiencies and add value to business. 

  • Responsible for managing and leading enterprise wide IT projects which have a direct impact on  the IT Operations environment that support Humana’s business units
  • IT Service Management Program Manager for all current CSIP/ITIL initiatives
  • Established new processes to allow the free flow of communication alleviating silos of information and allowing updates to senior leadership with real time information
  • Performed Gap Analysis, product roll out schedule, project plan and integration schedule
  • Project Leader for IT Perfect Service
    • Formed a team of director and higher leaders from all three VP’s
    • Planned and executed the initial IT Perfect Service Summit
  • 85% (186/212) of all the Voice of the Customer concerns were resolved with ITIL initiatives, Communication efforts in which I lead as Project Manager
  • Served as the Project Manager for the enterprise wide adoption of three ITIL initiatives
    • The original roll out date was June 2009 with the criteria of all three scoring a three on an ITIL based Maturity assessment. All three scored above a three and all three were at least five months ahead of schedule
  • Service Catalog-Security Access Front End
    • Project Manager for the entire lifecycle of the product from initiation to software implementation utilizing Agile Project Management methodology
    • In charge of 12-15 programmers during 1.5 year project resulting in enterprise wide adoption of forward facing web portal to address Role Based Access Control and Segregation of Duties to comply with SOX and industry requirements
  • In charge of vendor relations, requirements gathering, system integration, risk management, scope, schedule and cost management of multiple projects ranging in complexity, cost and schedule


Cyril Leroy

DoD Financial Manager

February 1998-Present 

  • Financial manager for multiple acquisition programs with budgets exceeding $50M while leading and managing five team members
  • Duties include planning, programming, budgeting and execution funds
  • Directs and formulates funding strategies/execution for squadron programs
  • Provides scheduling support for project planning and forecasting for 60-70 projects annually
  • Initiates and maintains communication with Major Commands, HQ Air Combat Command, Secretary of the Air Force and Air Logistic Centers
  • Ensures resources are effectively managed to meet war-fighter’s requirements-delivering on time and on cost
  • Identifies requirements and works with program managers to submit on time and on target budgets supported by estimates to funding Major Commands
  • Prepares funding program reviews for all levels of management up to Air Force level
  • Implements Earned Value Management (EVM) for projects to ensure project performance is on track in relation to technical, schedule, and cost performance
  • Identifies requirements and works with program managers to submit on time
    and on target budgets supported by estimates to funding Major Commands

Executive Summary/Approach (Technical/Business)

A project is by definition a temporary endeavor to produce a unique deliverable at the conclusion of the endeavor (PMI 2008).  Just as the foundation of a house supports the entire home to stand the test of time the definition of the scope of a project establishes the entire trajectory of the project and determines what resources and schedule will be needed to accomplish all of the requirements that constitute the scope.  Understanding what is needed within the project helps define the scope of the project and what will be needed to complete all of the requirements outlined by the customer.  My company’s focus on the principles of project management and ensuring the deliverables meet the quality expectations of the customer allows for a superior level of support and sustainment services.  The planning phase of project management includes developing the project management plan, collecting the requirements, defining the scope, assigning resources in a work breakdown structure and defining the activities.  Planning in a project establishes the ground work for the entire project’s lifecycle and will inherently become the foundation for success or failure when the project comes to a close.  In order to understand what is to be delivered at the end of a project there must be boundaries and guidelines established to set the parameters or scope of the project.  Defining scope is the process of determining a common understanding of what the project will include in or exclude out of the final deliverable (Magal and Word 2011).  Before the work is initiated a thorough review of the requirements are conducted and if possible the end user or customer is contacted to discuss in detail the specific details of the project. 

Scope management is a key success factor in completing any project.  Prior to submitting the proposal for this project a preliminary request for information (RFI) was sent to the Defense Information Systems Agency to ensure the requirements were interpreted correctly by my organization and the level of support and project management was understood by both parties.  With any project my company undertakes the process becomes a partnership at which both parties benefit from the relationship. This type of symbiotic engagement creates an environment for success and encourages open communication and understood expectations.

The business approach will ensure that project management best practices outlined by the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) are utilized during the project management phases of the obligation but there is also a technical support aspect of the project.  As part of the project team there are multiple highly skilled and certified technical resources that provide the insight and intellectual horse power to service and support the closed-source Microsoft code.  The Microsoft Consulting Services will also be provided by the certified Microsoft representatives that are employed by my company and will be assigned to the project to address any necessary development, support and resolution assistance that is required around the key Microsoft applications.  The ultimate objective is to provide project and technical resources to leverage the proprietary resources of Microsoft to benefit the Department of Defense’s mission.

            Through the utilization of the key functional leaders the sustainment and support levels required by the Defense Information Systems Agency will achieve their outlined key performance metrics which are outlined in the request for information.  Each one of these key metrics such as project inputs and outputs, service level agreements, functional and technical ability as well as accessibility to closed-source Microsoft application code is not only achievable but also can be met or exceeded by the current talent pool my company already employs.  The current business model utilized by my organization meets or exceeds all the required delivery and sustainment metrics outlined by the DoD and DISA.

Goals and Impact

            In order to meet the requirements of the project there must be a clear understanding of the key performance metrics, requirements and the desired end state expected by the Department of Systems Agency.  There also should be a clear and distinct factor or factors that provide that level of separation between this organization and that of its competitors.  The competitive advantage offered by this organization is the purpose driven tactics and the strategic intent for fulfilling the contract effectively and efficiently not only for the guaranteed one year opportunity but for the entire five year term of the proposal. 

The requirements of the project include:

  • Provide Project Management Oversight to METSS projects
  • Provide trained/certified Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder-Support
  • Access/Service to Microsoft Closed-Source Proprietary Code
  • Licensed under legal right of Microsoft
  • Consult on Software Development
  • Program Software implementation/ Code Reviews
  • Provide Knowledge Base/Knowledge Transfer
  • Access to Source Code for DoD use

Each one of these requirements includes a breadth and depth of knowledge not only in the Microsoft applications and access but also key skills in programming and technical prowess.  The goals of the project are to meet the desired quality standards set forth by the customer and to meet the expectations of those quality standards.  To ensure that expectations are established and set prior to the project award, my organization took the additional forethought and requested a detailed listing of each requirement and walked through the details with the program manager listed on the solicitation.  This level of detail and purpose driven actions can be expected throughout the life cycle of the project.

After understanding the requirements my organization created a detailed response to each requirement with an outline of the organization’s ability to meet the defined requirements.

  • Provide Project Management Oversight to METSS projects

My organization applies the best practices outlined in the PMBOK.  These project management best practices transcend the nature of the project and can be applied to each project management initiative.  As a supplement to the best practices framework there are multiple subject matter experts on the team that cover project management, information technology systems, Microsoft applications, code/quality review, implementation and sustainment activities.

  • Provide trained/certified Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder-Support

Once the project is awarded there will be four (4) Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder leads assigned specifically to the METSS project.  These will be assigned 100% to the project and there will be four (4) additional certifications obtained within 6 months contract award.  While the certifications take longer than 6 months to obtain my organization’s focus is on Microsoft programming and our core business model includes maintaining the leading edge in education, access and ability.  The proactive approach to education and preparedness allows my organization to provide the leading edge experience while also maintaining the agility and flexibility to meet customer demands.

  • Access/Service to Microsoft Closed-Source Proprietary Code

            As part of the agreement between my organization and Microsoft there is a review process for access, modification and support of the proprietary code they provide.  The process is a documented and effective utilization of the change management process outlined in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s framework.  This framework is another best practice tool my organization utilizes to provide superior service and deliverables.  The access to the proprietary code is only awarded to those that utilize the best practices and adhere to the change management process.  All of which my organization utilizes and fully understands.  This facilitation will provide the seamless integration between requirements, project implementation and technology development that is unparalleled in the industry.

  • Licensed under legal right of Microsoft

As outlined in the legal agreement between Microsoft and my organization, only those certified will conduct code review, change, modification or other changes outlined in the change management charter.  This charter outlines all technical and operations changes that are allowed and the process for making those changes. 

  • Consult on Software Development

As part of the sustainment activities there is a level of consultation between my organization and the Defense Information Systems Agency.  This consultation is inherently limited to the METSS project.  While the limitation is specific to the METSS project all consultation regarding development is included in the contract.

  • Program Software implementation/ Code Reviews

The software development lifecycle will be managed from beginning to end by my organization as outlined in the project charter.  The project, from inception to closure, requires management of the scope, cost and schedule to be effective and promote the best environment for success.  This is included in the contract as the project management ability is a key and distinct aspect of my organization’s ability.

  • Provide Knowledge Base/Knowledge Transfer

My organization specializes in Microsoft based applications and programming.  This alignment with project management execution creates a unique competitive advantage for my organization.  This knowledge base is unparalleled in the industry when integrating DoD projects.  During the project my organization will generate and sustain until project completion and knowledge management database that can be referenced during the course of the project.

  • Access to Source Code for DoD use

The access to the source code for DoD use is available through the appropriate requests, processes and procedures through a tri-lateral agreement between my organization, the Department of Defense and Microsoft.  This is an agreement that has been accomplished by my organization in the past and the established process to obtain such access is within the realm of the project team’s ability.

Technical Plan

The technical plan outlines the approach my organization will take in regard to the project’s outlined in the requirements.  There are two major frameworks utilized by my organization with regard to project management and information technology projects.  That includes the use of the PMBOK for project management and ITIL for IT support and services.  These technical and business tools allow for best practices to forge the path to successful project implementations.  The technical framework provides the clear guidance on change, incident, problem and service management.  All of which will be required for this project.  The technical plan will outline the key milestones of the project that will focus on support, sustainment, enhancements and development of functionality for the DoD.  These key focus areas will be limited to the Microsoft applications outlined in the requirements documentation.

Management Plan

The team will consist of the following:

1-Program Manager

3-Project Managers

3-Technical Leaders

3-Business Analysts

4-Certified Programmers

4-Certification in Process Programmers (transitioned after 6 months to certified)

2-Hardware/Configuration Leaders

1-Logistic Coordinator

1-Service Support Team Leader

10-Service Support Representatives

Each member of the team will play a critical role in implementation, sustainment or support.  There are multiple aspects of the project lifecycle that will take place over the course of the initial contract award as well as the following option four year period.  My organization focuses on low turnover of personal which allows for organizational continuity and sustainment of the integrity of the knowledge base.

The Program manager is the overall responsible and accountable individual for the entire program.  This includes three distinct areas of the program.  The first is the enhancements, next is knowledge base creation and lastly is the sustainment and support of the applications.  Each area will have a veteran project manager leading these functions.  To support the project manager there will be a technical leader that works in conjunction with the programmers and developers to facilitate the project’s development efforts.  Each one of these members provides key inputs and efforts to provide the necessary deliverables per the customer’s requests.

The business analysts are trained professional leads that help develop the requirements and user stories required for the sub-projects of the contract.  The business analysts take the burden of project requirement development off of the primary organization so that they can focus on their primary objectives.  The objective of the project managers, business analysts, developers and other project members is to create the necessary changes or enhancements to the applications so that the Defense Information Systems Agency can perform to the DoD’s expectations.

Cost Management

Within the project there will be costs associated with meeting the goals and objectives of the project.  In order to provide the highest quality for the most reasonable cost there are certain tools and techniques required to monitor and control costs. Project cost controls are vital in managing and establishing a framework for success of any project.  Depending on the complexity and intricacies of the project there are multiple ways to manage and control the costs.  The important aspects of managing and controlling costs include establishing a baseline, determining the tools necessary to manage and control the variations and taking corrective actions to keep the project on track regarding schedule and cost variance.  This project is utilizing a bottom-up cost estimation analysis which provides a cost and duration for specific work packages.  With this information we can use Earned Value Management to help monitor the cost and schedule variances.  Using the baseline project cost and implementing the EVM tool my organization can provide a superior level of monitoring and controlling ability.  To do this my organization will use key performance indicators and best practices to manage the project.

Throughout the project execution there will be multiple tollgates the project must proceed through in order to not only level set the stakeholders on the process of the project but to also ensure the project track the team is on is still on track for delivery of the expect results.  Through the project management life, the business will go through operating cycles, budget cycles and project evaluation.  Through the use of project cost management and the tools of monitoring and controlling the project by documenting and utilizing EVM, the stakeholders will have a fair and accurate depiction of the project’s scope, schedule and cost as well as areas that have meet, exceeded or missed meeting their intended objectives.  Each functional area will report up their costs associated to each work package and it will individually be measured against the scope, schedule and costs associated to that work package.  The overall project will then include all of the individual tasks brought together into an overall project budget, including overhead and other associated costs that are necessary for the project as a whole but not necessarily attached to a specific task.  If each of the functional areas are moving along according to the project plan, meeting their specified deliverables while also meeting their intended schedule requirements there are no necessary changes.  If there are areas that need adjustment the project manager must take action and make the appropriate changes to scope, schedule or costs.  It is ultimately the responsibility of the project manager to identify and flag risks to the project (Cooper, Grey, Raymond, & Walker. 2005).

Summary

The project requirements will be met by my organization by providing key leadership ability; functional expertise and the access to the key develop resources required by the Defense Information Systems Agency.  The management of cost, schedule and scope will be managed by project management professionals and will be held accountable not only up my organization’s chain of command but will be held to the highest standards to ensure the entire contact is fulfilled to the specifications outlined in the requirements document.  The balance and integration between technical expertise and adherence to project management best practices establish a unique and absolute distinction for my organization.  This ability to meet the goals and objectives of the contract as well as provide the key metrics and measurable achievements provide solid quantifiable results as well as a transparency into the management of the program.

References

Budd, C. I., & Budd, C. S. (2009). Earned value project management. (2nd ed.). Vienna, VA: ManagementConcepts.

Cooper, D. F., Grey, S., Raymond, G., & Walker, P. (2005). Project risk management guidelines, managing risk in large projects and complex procurements. John Wiley & Sons

Dobson, M. (2004). The triple constraints in project management. Vienna, VA: ManagementConcepts.

Fleming, Q. W., & Koffleman, J. M. (2010). Earned value project management. Project Management Institute.

Magal, S. R., & Word, J. (2011). Integrated business processes with erp systems. RRD/Jefferson

            City: Wiley.

Project Management Institute, P. M. (2008). A guide to the project management body of

            knowledge. (4th ed.). Newtown Square: Project Management Inst.

Categories
Management

Making a Case for Corporate Social Responsibility – Carpeteria

Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility has become an important facet in business activities during the last few decades. However, not all companies have embraced what is known as the ‘triple bottom line’ – Carpeteria included. Therefore, as part of a new initiative, the company will undergo some major changes in the designing and implementation of corporate social responsibility throughout each and every area of the company; from the supply chain to customer relations. The importance of such an initiative, and what it means for company in terms of corporate culture and overall management implementation, is discussed herein.   

Corporate Social Responsibility Explained

The main purpose of corporate social responsibility is to serve society in a positive way in addition to the pursuits of profitability and legislative requirements undertaken by the company. Usually embraced by larger companies, smaller companies have come to understand the importance and benefits of implementing corporate social responsibility initiatives in all parts of business. The main benefits are a result of what is known as the triple bottom line.    

The three points in the triple bottom line are people, planet and profit. Though the traditional type of companies usually were driven by the bottom line, that is profit, the turn to people and the planet as equally important is a realisation that is necessary for every business. People are the company; without any employees, a company cannot function well.

Therefore, employee practices and human resource management should be efficiently and effectively handled in relation to fair labour, recruitment and retention improvements, and similar initiatives. Planet refers to environmental practices and how the company disposes of waste, engages in recycling, and makes the location in which the company operates and even beyond, a better place for future generations and the future of the company as well.

It is important to note that when companies invest in corporate social responsibility; the investment is recovered many times over. This is because the organisation undergoes a change for the better, and driven by this change, the company becomes more profitable and more receptive to customers, employees, stakeholders and stockholders alike.

Therefore, it is necessary for a business to embrace corporate social responsibility, so long as there is a lasting change and the effects of implementation are noticed by all those involved.

Furthermore, corporate social responsibility is not a new concept, although it is a recent move for the company regarding a step in the right direction. Many companies have incorporated corporate social responsibility previously, as seen by our main competitor, Interface.

The main difference between our competitor’s implementation of corporate social responsibility and our own, is that we are undertaking an initiative that will be efficient, effective, and long-term. It will be visible in all parts of the business, and its benefits will assist in making Carpeteria expand and become a pioneer in carpet manufacturing.

Strategy Outline

When outlining the need for corporate social responsibility, the strategy behind this new initiative is five-fold. It requires creating balance, effective management, opportunity identification, development of business practices and organisational capacity.

Contrary to popular belief amongst business managers, corporate social responsibility is not simply an add-on to company objectives. It requires a holistic investment on the part of the company, and only then will it have holistic rewards. Therefore, the first step in using a strategic approach to corporate social responsibility is creating balance; in terms of economic value and societal value.

These are not mutually-exclusive alternatives, and both can be achieved. However, both of these objectives need to be maintained by operating the business with economic value as an underlying purpose, and societal value as a powerful driving force.

The second step is effective management, in regards to business relationships that are of high importance to the company. Usually, there are a few that are not worth retaining if incorporating corporate social responsibility. 

Therefore, it is necessary that those business relationships that do not embrace our new company initiative or refuse to comply with the company’s focus on positive societal impact should be severed from further business dealings. Any individual or business that does not partner with the company on this front is not worth having.

The third step is identification of opportunities, as well as responding to any threats the business may have. In terms of opportunities, there are several avenues that the company can consider when implementing corporate social responsibility initiatives; whether it is investing into community projects, using environmentally-friendly products and services, or spearheading increased corporate quality testing and certification in the manufacturing stages of operation.

The possibilities are endless, and will be covered in context later on. However, there are always some threats to the business, in terms of competition. To prevent our corporate social responsibility initiative being labelled a copycat scheme in opposition of Interface and other related competitors, our company should be able to find ways of differentiating in order to create a lasting competitive advantage, as will be discussed in the corporate culture section.

The fourth step is the development of sustainable business practices. Sustainable refers to long-term changes that can be readily measured and identified by all those involved. These practices should be in the best interests of the company itself and society at large. It is unnecessary to implement changes that are not foreseeable as beneficial for the future. Therefore, all changes should be in line with the direction of the company, the customers we interact with, and the surrounding environment in which we operate.

Lastly, the capacity of the organisation, in regards to engaging in charitable causes, should be considered. Philanthropy is a good part of re-investment into the community, especially for those who need it most.

There are major clients and individual customers who should be rewarded for their loyalty and also their need, and this will be a major driving factor for our philanthropic cause. This will be in addition to any charitable activity that we may be involved with currently, with a focus to expand on this area for the long-term.

Business Implementation

The implementation of corporate social responsibility in regards to the way the business is operated spans a numbers of key stages. Highlighted here are four stages of the corporate social responsibility design and implementation process, including: engagement, conduct, creation and establishment (Maon, Lindgreen and Swaen, 2009).

Stage one requires the engagement of employees to whom corporate social responsibility applies. Since the company is taking a holistic approach to this initiative, all staff will be initiated into the new policies and procedures.

These will also be written into company manuals and documentation. It is also our duty to inform all those who have business relationships with the organisation of any and all changes to our company outlook for the present and the future.

For the conduction of corporate social responsibility training in stage two, both management and employees will be briefed on how the company plans to carry out changes in the workplace, and also the operating environment. This will consist of various informative corporate meetings over the span of a few months, in order to roll out changes efficiently and effectively.

Stage three is the creation of internal and external communication plans. This will consist of improving the consistency between employees who operate out of the office and those who interact directly with customers. In addition, any communication channels that have any inherent issues are to be fixed within a relatively short period of time within the timeframe of the changes being implemented.

For the establishment of mechanisms which allow the business to operate smoothly, there will be improvements to all business divisions, in terms of streamlining processes and introducing the corporate social responsibility initiatives. This will ensure that there are no problems later on when the business is experiencing increased productivity and growth.

In regards to some of the new programmes to be implemented as part of the corporate social responsibility initiative, the manufacturing stage of operation will be improved, in terms of higher safety protocols and quality materials used for customer preferences. This will allow for the company to be at the cutting edge of production and ensures that the amount of hazardous waste is significantly reduced.

The type of carpets and other products used in customer residences or professional locations will be used with respect to any physical allergies or customer preferences. In addition, only environmentally-friendly products and services will be used, to reduce our carbon footprint and improve company image in a professional manner.

Finally, the investment into community endeavours and charitable organisations will ensure that we give back to our clients, employees and societal interests at heart. This will also increase customer loyalty and bring in new clients for the business. Furthermore, it will increase the philanthropic activities that we already have in place, making our reinvestment into the community that much more valuable for the long-term.

 Importance of Stakeholder and Stockholder Perspectives

There is a difference between stakeholder and stockholder perspectives, although both are important to the company. Firstly, the stakeholder sees suppliers, employees, customers, and other societal groups are crucial to the operation and management of the company; whereas the stockholder perspective sees shareholders as the owners of the company, and the chief duty is to look out for their interests and therefore increase their value.

Usually, the company cannot serve competing interests, therefore it is in the best interests of this business to take a stakeholder perspective, for three main reasons. The first reason is that many of the stakeholders have a major influence in the operation of the company, in terms of sustainable growth, profitability and environmental impact. Without stakeholders, there would be no foundation for the business at all, and the owners of the company would be rendered almost useless.

The second reason is that stakeholders support the company physically and financially, in regards to employees and support groups. Therefore, if there was no support base for the company, it would be next to impossible for the business to function efficiently and effectively. These stakeholders are needed for both the short-term and long-term.

The third reason is that the stakeholders are heavily involved in the company’s goals and future. Although owners of the company may change, stakeholders often outlast individuals, and are quite loyal to the business in many respects. It is important to maintain stakeholder ties and give them priority and input in company decisions, since the corporate social responsibility initiative is ultimately for their benefit.

Inadvertently, when stakeholders are valued, the owners of the company will also feel valued, because the company will continue to grow and become more profitable. This will become part of the benefits of corporate social responsibility, as stakeholders will be involved in both the giving and receiving end of the new initiative.

Not only is value maximised, but also employees and support groups will be more motivated to invest their time and effort into the company, not just for the sake of the company, but for their benefit as well. This will add to future benefits, as they will be able to reap the rewards, all in due time.

Most importantly, the company reputation and image will also improve as a result of this stakeholder perspective, due to the implementation of the corporate social responsibility initiative. As there have been some issues with customers in regards to our lack of initiative in this area in the past, our new initiative will be able to meet and possibly exceed their expectations.

All major stakeholders will come to embrace this new change, as it will be beneficial to many, and will spark a positive reciprocity, in terms of improved business relationships. As a result, it will be easier to handle customer relations, and employee satisfaction will be set to increase due to the new initiative.

Corporate Culture Change and Competitive Advantage

When incorporating corporate social responsibility into not only the core functions of the business, but every department, there are major changes that will occur as a result, in terms of the corporate culture of the company.

To ensure that the changes that are made are smooth, and the transition if effective, there are six main guidelines that should be followed as a rule of thumb, which also lead to the company’s competitive advantage.

Firstly, there needs to be a clear vision for the company, in regards to how corporate social responsibility will change our outlook for the future. If there is no vision, there can be no visible changes in the company and the way it runs; therefore, this should be clarified as a sustainable move for the sustainability and improvement of the company for the long-run.

Secondly, senior management should display commitment to the goals of the company, especially the new initiative that requires commitment to societal stakeholders. By ensuring that management hold to and believe that corporate social responsibility being the next step forward for the company, it will provide leadership and direction for the rest of the business as well.

Thirdly, modelling the culture change at all levels of the company is important for the building of trust in the new initiative and rapport among those who are involved in the business process. For this to function efficiently and effectively, the new business practices and policies should be reflected by all those who are part of the company.

Fourthly, the company structure should be modified to reflect the new changes. This also includes the company culture as a whole, which is part of the organisational structure. As this takes time, it also requires the cooperation and effort of employees, management and even the owners of the company. This will be discussed further in the organisational restructuring section.

Fifthly, employee engagement is critical to the company, in order for the corporate changes to be successful. There are many ways to engage employees in transition between corporate cultures and when the change takes place; incentivising employees who encourage others to be involved in the corporate social responsibility initiative, making the workplace more suited towards corporate social responsibility by modifying ergonomic design, and also introducing a reward scheme for customers who refer environmentally-friendly products and services related to the company to new clients.

Finally, corporate social responsibility measures should be launched to make sure that all those involved with the business are aware of the changes, understand them, and take up the responsibility of making the changes last. This will ensure that the corporate culture of corporate social responsibility spreads throughout the whole organisation.

If the corporate culture is valued by those who espouse it, it will be a source of sustained competitive advantage for the business. This will become our driving force for spearheading the new initiative, and will ensure that corporate social responsibility is here to stay. In order to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, the new corporate culture should be rooted and sustained by stakeholders and stockholders alike.

Customer Expectations and Global Market Perceptions

As aforementioned, corporate social responsibility is not a new concept in the business world, as many companies have been engaging and using this facet in different areas of business. However, it has only been widely embraced by most companies in the past few decades, and is certainly the newest initiative in regards to our company moving forward in the direction of sustainable, efficient and effective change in the area of social improvement.

Many of our customers have raised concerns about the lack of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices in our company, as well as the embracing of the concept of corporate social responsibility by many of our competitors, particularly Interface, which has been experiencing rapid growth in recent times.

However, our company takes corporate social responsibility more seriously than just a concept; it is the new face of our company, it will stand for everything that this company represents, and it is a new initiative for the improvement and sustainable direction of our business.

In particular, customers have questioned our company’s environmental impact, fair wages, community involvement and supply chain activities. As outlined above, the business is moving forward in the right direction regarding all voiced concerns by customers, as we have taken these into account and are implementing new changes.

Therefore, our environmental impact will become positive due to the use of environmentally-friendly products and services; the introduction of incentives for workers who embrace the new corporate social responsibility will be implemented; reinvestment back into community projects will move to the forefront of our initiative; and all suppliers and others involved in the company’s supply chain will be reviewed and monitored for the highest level of quality and the embracing of our new corporate social responsibility’ policies and practices.    

Dynamic interaction between and amongst multiple stakeholders allows for the successful development and dissemination of environmentally sustainable practices (Rusinko, 2010). Therefore, by valuing the stakeholders mentioned earlier, it will be easier to maintain and sustain the changes necessary for corporate social responsibility to take effect in our company for both now and the future. Furthermore, as the carpet industry has taken into consideration such initiatives, it is an important and necessary step for our company to use this new initiative to pave the way for continuous improvement.

On a global scale, corporate social responsibility is having positive effects on all companies involved, especially for those who have realised its value and importance, taking this into account by allowing corporate social responsibility to be the driving force in all areas of the business.

As the push towards globalisation increases, it becomes more and more important for corporate social responsibility to take a central role in the function of a business, especially ours. It has become crucial for companies to endeavour to reduce their carbon footprint, use renewable energy sources, and maintain the competitive edge of green programmes inherent in the business.

            Most companies have embraced corporate social responsibility for three reasons: (1) to increase market potential; (2) creating future opportunities for improvement; and (3) provide products and services that enhance customer service and stakeholder investment. Firstly, tapping into a viable source of sustainability such as corporate social responsibility allows the company to diversify and expand business operations into different avenues, the most obvious being new market niches. With the support of customers and clients, it is possible to increase development into these areas as well as increase profitability simultaneously.

            Secondly, by improving the business processes that are currently in place, it is easier to improve business practices in the future, for the simple reason that change is continuous. By implementing such change, it becomes a socially and culturally viable investment that reaps rewards if correctly implemented. Therefore, the company becomes more sustainable for the long-term.

            Lastly, introducing new and improved products and services to customers and investors allows the company to experiment in more ways than one. By using such test cases and environmentally-friendly initiatives, the general public has come to know the positives and negatives of such a move; and benefits from the former, and limiting the latter.   

As it is expected by the customers and perception is determined by the global marketplace, it becomes that much more important that we as a company are seen to and implement such changes in order to establish our presence in the business environment and increase our social change initiative to become socially and financially stronger.

By doing so, the company will be able to move forward with vision, instead of moving backwards without momentum. It is crucial that we are seen to be doing the right things by stakeholders, and are implementing the correct changes in the company. This will ensure that our company is stepping forward in the right direction. 

Research shows that influence, perception and performance of the organisation rely heavily on the focus of corporate social responsibility (Johnston, Swaen and Lindgreen, 2009). Therefore, it is an important initiative that this company is proud to be making, and one that will not be taken lightly, as it becomes the focus of our business’ function in the marketplace.

Although expectations of the company may change over time, the perception of the company is set to become more positively acquainted with corporate social responsibility on a holistic level. For this to remain a positive change, it will require the support and effort of those both inside and outside the company, which is what the new initiative strives to serve.

Organisational Restructuring

For effective design and implementation of corporate social responsibility throughout the company, it is imperative that the organisation undergoes some critical restructuring for the purposes of efficient and effective functioning in the business environment.

Although the company has been successful in the past, there have been many issues and customer complaints have been increasing to a point where the business is at an impasse: it must change in order to become more sustainable. Therefore, the change from a traditional structure to a flat structure is to be proposed.

Also known as more of a horizontal structure as opposed to a vertical structure, there are many differences to the future model of the organisation in regards to the former. For the most part, the shift from many levels of management to fewer levels of management will allow more autonomy for employees to implement corporate social responsibility at every part of the organisation.

Furthermore, there will be a new division of change management for the purposes of spearheading the new initiatives, with change agents to be mobilised and dispersed throughout the organisation with the responsibility of ensuring that business practices and policies will be smoothly, efficiently and effectively introduced into the business.

The senior management of the company will also be responsible for holding corporate change meetings, as aforementioned, with the highlights of progress for the months and years ahead, with a focus on corporate social responsibility and how it is being embraced throughout the organisation. This will ensure that there is still top direction, but a more bottom-up focus.

This new structure will allow for managers and salespeople to work together on the same level, communicate more effectively, and become more geared toward corporate social responsibility. Understanding that corporate social responsibility challenges the long-established, traditional idea of maximising financial gain alone, and rather turning to positive societal impact, is one that should not be ignored (Carroll and Shabana, 2010).

By streamlining the business process, productivity is set to increase due to the introduction of the new initiative, a more organic corporate culture, and a flat organisational structure. This also removes the threat of a centralised chain of command, as the company wishes to make sure that all those involved in the business are confident that this new direction and vision is in the best interests of the business.

For the company to realise that corporate social responsibility is to be implemented as a core driving force, and not simply as an add-on facet to the business, this organisational restructuring is needed. More importantly, it is completely relevant regarding the current position of the business, and the state of the company is set to rapidly grow and improve once major changes take place.

It should be noted that this organisational restructuring is not to be taken as change for change’s sake. It is an important move that will have an impact throughout the company, in every area we operate, and with all stakeholders involved. Therefore, this move should be taken with all sincerity, focus and effort for those involved in making this initiative work for the improvement of the company. 

As can be seen, an organic culture and a flat organisational model is part of the new initiative to be more flexible in the functioning of our company and more receptive to our stakeholders. To be effective in the business world, we must be efficient as a company. In this way, we will make a positive impact in our environment and on our society. 

Corporate social responsibility benefits the social stakeholders, employees, customers, and the government on the whole (Turker, 2009). Therefore, it is important that this new initiative begins internally and works externally, so that there is an efficient and effective move towards the sustainable future.

Conclusion

 In summary, Carpeteria has faced some challenges in the face of competition and customer feedback. Therefore, it has begun a new initiative to embrace and implement corporate social responsibility in every area of the organisation. As a result, the corporate culture will change to a more organic form, in compliance with the restructuring of the organisation from a traditional model to a flat organisation. This will ensure that all stakeholders will support and sustain the new policies and procedures of the organisation, that environmentally-friendly products and services will be introduced, that philanthropic reinvestment into social causes will increase, and that the staff and customers of our company will be valued in light of our new direction and vision for corporate social responsibility both now and in and the foreseeable future. 

References

Carroll, A. and Shabana, K. (2010). The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), 85-105.

Johnston, W., Swaen, V. and Lindgreen, A. (2009). Corporate Social Responsibility: An Empirical Investigation of U.S. Organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(2), 303-323.

Maon, F., Lindgreen, A., and Swaen, V. (2009). Designing and Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility: An Integrative Framework grounded in Theory and Practice. Journal of Business Ethics, 87(1), 71-89.

Rusinko, C. (2010). Evolution of Environmentally Sustainable Practices: The Case of the US Carpet Industry and CARE. International Journal of Sustainable Economy, 2(3), 258-276.

Turker, D. (2009). Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility: A Scale Development Study. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(4), 411-427. 

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