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business

business

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Published by ehteshamgujjar

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Published by: ehteshamgujjar on Oct 04, 2010
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07/20/2013

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The problem with incomplete information is created because of the lack of
standardized routines. Ekmans needs to develop these to make sure the correct
information is given the first time to stop this time-wasting. There is also the issue that
the field representatives are not bothered with gathering all the necessary information.
This is solved by creating an un-derstanding between the employees. They should
arrange meetings where the different employees (especially the field representatives)
are shown what the other co-workers need to know before going on with a project.
Moreover, they must learn about the trouble the other employees need to go through
when they do not receive all the information. The use of cross-functional teams will be
a key part to make sure this actually happens. By having people responsible for the
preparation of an item working more closely with the sales rep-resentatives they will
have an easier time communicating what they need to know and when.

An important aspect to increase the usefulness of cross-functional teams are empowerment and
this a subject which Ekmans really needs to improve in. There were a lot of complaints about
the order receiving process being slow and inefficient because the indoor sales repre-sentatives
could not make some of the more trivial decisions. Instead they had to go back to the field
sales representatives for consultation. The waste of time was obvious for exam-ple Grund at
the Sales department for plastic bags could see a clear difference when she does her own sales
and pushes them through the system compared to when she has to take an order from a field
sales representative and double check with him about for example prizes. When she takes full
responsibility of the sale herself she means that no information is lost and no double checking
is needed which otherwise consume some of the orders pre-cious lead time. The same goes for
Johansson in the Sales department for carton. She also has the authority to negotiate the prices
at some occasions. Bergqvist, the manager of the

43

Sales department for plastic bags, also recognizes the problem with the indoor sales repre-
sentative not having enough decision-making power and believes that Ekmans could bene-
fit a lot by implementing more decision-making power to the indoor sales representatives.
The issue is tackled in two ways:
First, the border between field and indoor sales representative is to be removed.
Camilla Grund is a perfect prototype how this will lead to improvements; she is a sales
representa-tive who is able to take care of a sale from beginning to end. She has the
necessary knowl-edge about Movex and the empowerment to make decisions.
But not all indoor sales representatives want this role. In their case it is more about
giving them more information and light empowerment. Field sales representative
should, when delivering information about a customer, also give the indoor sales
representative a price-range of what is acceptable. So when the customer contacts the
indoor sales representative about a change of price she can be able to give an answer
directly, but if the change is too drastic the field sales representative should be
contacted. The basic idea is to empower the indoor sales representatives. Let them
make general decisions when it comes to smaller projects and give them the sufficient
information from the beginning through standardized routines.

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