Case Study Assignment: Part Two University of Phoenix Gen/480 November 2011 Babette Saenz Case Study Assignment AcuScan, Inc makers of the Iscanner have been losing up to 40% market share in current and emerging markets. The company has not developed any new products in over 10 years. To remedy this situation the Chief Executive Officer Cliff O’ Connor has hired Pat Lambert as the new Director of Marketing to work with Chris Martinas to head of product development to come up with a new product. The product needs to be released by 1 August to beat the competition to market.
There is resistance to the development of the new product primarily by Kelly Thomas the Senior Engineer. He is stating various reason why the product cannot be made and why the 1 August date is unrealistic (University of Phoenix, 2003). Summary of the situation As a result of AcuScan not releasing any new product in the last 10 years the company is losing market share. The previous year the company had to let go of 500 employees and revamped its supply chain management to reduce costs. But based on this year’s numbers the company will have to reduce cost by a further 15%.
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To help the company Cliff O’ Connor has hired Pat Lambert to work with Product development to create a new product that will expand into new markets. The product that Pat Lambert and Chris Martinas have come up with “Operation Optimize” that will use iScanner technology and equipment in a retail setting. Some of the upper management believes that this new product could mean the survival of the company, but the Senior Engineer is uncooperative and combative, he is holding up the development of the product, in the meantime precious time is being lost (University of Phoenix, 2003).
Key Points Relating to the Situation Cliff O’ Connor has asked the top management to reduce budgets by 15% in the upcoming quarter but has left leaving the decisions of how the budget cuts are made to the mangers. Though in his memo to the department heads he does state that he does not believe that further employees need to be let go. Initial meeting with Chris Martinas and Pat Lambert did not garner new product ideas, but Pat Lambert came up with the idea in a dream and then presented to Chris Marinas and upper management.
Pat Lambert hired Wilson Marketing for initial prototype tests and from their results Pat, and Chris concluded that a strong potential exists to use iScanner technology and equipment in a retail setting. It does not seem from reviewing all the material presented that much consultation with Kelly Thomas the senior engineer took place. As a result Kelly Thomas who is a key player in the development of the new product is not cooperating. He has stated that he does not have the manpower to develop new software, that most of his programmers are to busy doing service work (University of Phoenix, 2003).
He has also stated in emails to Pat Lambert and Chris Martinas that he cannot come up with the features as Pat has stated in the “Operation Optimize”: Product concept. Stating that he can only do one feature on the list. Going far as to be facetious asking if Pat is kidding about reporting in real time. There is another concern with the budget, it budget asked for by Pat and Chris is not doable and they will only have $400K to get the first version out by 1 August.
Which is another critical and problematic point, if AcusScan does not get the 1st version of their product out by 1 August, then their competition will be able release their product before AcuScan and their by gain name recognition and market share (University of Phoenix, 2003). Recommendations and Actions To save time and to ensure that at least the 1st version of the new product makes it to market by the 1 August. Cliff O’ Connor should have a small intimate meeting of Chris Martinas, Pat Lambert, and Kelly Thomas.
Explaining the gravity of the situation, and the need for all three departments to work together to make the new product a reality. To soothe Kelly Thomas ego at being left out of the initial planning and development stage, Chris O’ Connor should make a big show of his support for Kelly Thomas and express his belief in Kelly’s ideas and the contribution he and his staff can make to the new product. But also be very clear that no one is irreplaceable and that if the three department heads cannot begin to work together to achieve what is needed to save the company.
Then he will begin to take drastic measure to ensure the survival of the company. He should work with all three of them and the finance department to ensure that Kelly’s team has all the resources it needs to at least version one of the product a reality (University of Phoenix, 2003). As Chief Executive Officer Cliff O’ Connor can be the only one to make the tough decision of closing a department or letting someone go so that funding can move to another department. He cannot leave the budget up the department heads.
Separately I think that Cliff should work with Pat and Chris to ensure that they take whatever relationship building steps are needed to repair the relationship with Kelly Thomas. Making it clear that the company cannot and will not use an outside source to do the programming for the new product. In a separate meeting with Kelly, Cliff will have to see what he can do ensure that Kelly will act in the best interest of the company. Conclusion Acuscan can save itself because they have some time, resources, some of the best programmers and also background experience and know how that other companies do not have.
The rocky relationship between some of the key players can mended or at least the key players will understand that if they do not play “nice” they will no longer have jobs. What would help the team is to create a new strategy that includes some of the far reaching ideas of the marketing and product development team with some of the realistic ideas from the senior engineer. Then something in the middle should be aimed for with the full dedication of all the parties involved and all their staff members.
The Chief Executive Officer will need to become more involved in saving the company. He will have to speak directly to the key players and well as make the difficult budget decisions. Most importantly AcuScan needs to be the 1st to Market with the new retail iScanner Technology to reclaim its position as the market leader once again (University of Phoenix, 2003). References University of Phoenix. (2003). Critical Thinking Gen 480: Assessment Case [Computer Software]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, Simulation, Gen480 website.