Blinds to Go: Staffing a Retail Expansion

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Blinds to Go: Staffing a Retail Expansion

In 1954, from Montreal, Canada, Blinds to Go (BTG) business began as a retail fabricator of window dressings. Mr.Shiller was the sole operator of the company and until his son joined in 1970s, He persuaded his father to focus on selling blinds. The new business plan generated positive customer responses and by year 2000, the business has expanded widely across North America. The business continues to grow. Even though they were growing fast, they faced few problems which include staffing and decrease in sales. Staffing has become a major issue in the company, since there were locations that have buildings but no employees. This problem in hiring the right employees that meets criteria of the company’s standard made harder for company to make decisions as well as increasing the difficulty of meeting the applicants. (Applicants who meets the standard of the BTC.) Not only this, the BTC also has a high turnover rate caused by changes in compensation, which led to sales decline. Staffing the stores, as mentioned by Nkere Udofia, the vice-chairman of Montreal location, is one of the most challenging issue for BTC. Not to mention that there are already stores that are currently unstaffed, they are worrying about how they will be able to hire enough additional staff for the expanding business.

1. Summarize the key strengths and weaknesses of BTG’s staffing system, and explain why the factors you identify are strengths or weaknesses.
One of the key strengths of their staffing system was the motivation system within in work place. Paying someone a set salary might influence them to make near minimum possible effort from, as they will be less motivated. This may result in unsatisfied customer base as well. One of the key weaknesses was the obvious, difficulty of measuring the growth of the employee base. Each building is difficult to replicate into multiples because their key to success relies on largely on the universal sales skills of their employee base which is not something that is in limitless supply. Another weakness was the ability of management. Even the idea of switching from a commission base to a salary should never even have left the closed door meeting. This is their key strength which helped them to generate so many sales. Due to this, it seems like their decision making capabilities seem to be lacking as well as their problem solving abilities. It seems that their biggest weakness is the management. Not the owner because the owner was the one who understood their greatest strength.

2.How can BTG improve on the weaknesses you identified in question 1, and what can it do to maintain the strengths? In which ways is BTG not prepared to meet its plans to increase staff? Explain. BTG needs to look at the upper management to improve the company as a whole and its ability to achieve their goals. However, if upper management is unable to lead effectively and implement effective plans to business then no matter how well the sales personnel are trained and motivated, the company will not be able to move to where it needs to go. To maintain its strength, it needs to mainly keep its commission based compensation system. Another way to improve on this could be creating new incentive/reward system. Organize company –wide contests based on success rates and etc.

3. What is your view of the career path at the store level (sales associate to selling supervisor to Assistant manager to store manager)? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this career path process in terms of: a) the business, and b) the impact on staffing. This type of motivation system seems to be good and available to all of the serious minded individuals. The close contact between in-store management and the sales representatives helps to develop a more team-like feel within each store which would suggest that a store to store competition would be very...
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