Elektra Products, Inc.
Elektra Products, Inc. is an 80 year old publicly held company that had once been a leading manufacturer and retailer of electrical products and supplies. In recent years, the company experienced a host of problems: market share was declining in the face of increased foreign and domestic competition; new product ideas were few and far between; departments such as manufacturing and sales barely spoke to one another; morale was at all time low; and many employees were actively seeking other jobs. Martin Griffin, the company’s new and dynamic CEO who has been hired to revive the falling company launch a new era of employee involvement and empowerment at Elektra Products campaign. During the monthly company wide meeting, Martin explain that under the new empowerment campaign, employees would be getting more information about the company was run and would be able to work with their fellow employees in new and creative ways. Barbara Russell, a manufacturing vice president felt the excitement stirring within her and a hopefulness she hadn’t feel for a long time. But as Barbara look around, she saw many other employees, including her friend Simon who doesn’t agree and not confident with the empowerment campaign. The morale of many other employees were low caused by failed previous attempts to revive the company such as downsizing, reengineering and restructuring. Employees believe that empowerment could not replaced their hard work and faith in the people who had been with the company for years, they just need minimal intervention. Simon had been a manufacturing engineer for with Elektra products for more than 20 years and Barbara knew he was extremely loyal to the company, but Barbara knew he and others like him were going to be an obstacle to the empowerment efforts. Top management assigned selected managers to form teams to come-up with ideas for implementing empowerment campaign, and Barbara was assigned as team leader of the manufacturing team. The team thrived and trust blossomed among the members as they even spent nights and weekends working to complete their report. Martin was enthusiastic when the team presented its report to department heads. But when Martin had to excuse himself to attend another matter shortly into the meeting, the department heads rapidly formed wall of resistance.
II. Statement of the Problem
The main problem of this case study is the declining market share of Elektra Products Inc, a once leading manufacturer and retailer of electrical products and supplies. Since the factors that causing Elektra to lose market competition is not discussed in detail, it would be assumed that the main cause of this problem is the lack of meeting customer expectation and satisfaction as it mentioned that new products ideas were few and far between. Poor communication between sales and manufacturing department might be causing inaccurate or delay response to customer needs. Since sales department are often the ones who are facing the customer, they are the ones who receive directly the feedback or comments about their products and services, if sales department is having a problem communicating with other departments, it would be difficult for the organization to create more value for the customers. Low morale of the employees which many of them are seeking other job opportunities might be mostly caused by poor performance of the company. The company who was once on top of electrical products industry is losing the battle from foreign and local competitors. There had been disagreement from other employees including Barbara friend Simon with the empowerment campaign. The reason maybe is there is a lack of confidence of employees to the management as there are a lot of failed attempts to revive the company like downsizing, reengineering and restructuring. Those previous failed attempts are normally inconvenient changes for the employees, and yet it...