Case Analysis Questions
What problems are facing Erik Peterson?
1. Unclear reporting structure
2. Inventory control
3. Personnel issues:
a. Chief Engineer
c. employee salary issues
d. conflicts / poor relationships between various positions 4. Lack of clear direction / consistent decisions / communication from corporate 5. Lower level of actual experience from those in higher management 6. Zoning issues
7. Lack of support from corporate regarding local relationships 8. Lack of training for many key positions
GMCT had originally been targeted to begin service to subscribers on February 1, but it was now a month behind target because of several major problems. (Page 1) ∙
Instead of reporting to Jenkins, like originally assumed, he was assigned to Jeff Hardy, CelluComm’s director of budgets and plans. Hardy had never had any system operating experience, so was unable to offer him any initial advice or guidance that was specific or helpful. Their relationship was somewhat awkward in the beginning because Peterson has never been formally told by either Jenkins or Hardy of the reporting relationship; it just seemed to have occurred. (Page 3 and 4)
The initial construction of cellular towers, performed by a subcontractor, was already several weeks behind schedule and that would never meet the turnon target. Efforts to get the subcontractor to improve his construction rate failed, and GMCT was receiving an increasing number of complaints from local citizens about the way the subcontractor was cutting through privately owned trees and property. (Page 4) ∙
Peterson had difficulties with getting his chief engineer, Curt Andrews, to do the planning and organizing necessary to ensure that equipment and supplies arrived when they were needed. (Page 4) Peterson discussed this problem with Hardy several times and raised it again in Los Angeles, but to no avail. Curt Andrews had worked his way up and he had gained a reputation within CelluComm for being technically firstrate. After three of four months in Hanover, Peterson came to realize that Curt did not have either the administrative ability or the prior knowledge needed to start up a brand new operation. (Page 5) Peterson raised the possibility that Curt be reassigned and replaced by a person who had more preoperating and startup experience; the people he talked with in Los Angeles insisted that
Curt had the potential to handle a startup; all he needed was more coaching and help from Peterson. Furthermore, CelluComm had just relocated Curt and his family from Tampa to Hanover and Peterson suspected that the company did not wish to put him through another move. (Page 5)
Peterson took steps to help Curt improve the planning and coordination. One step he took was to have Curt call weekly construction meetings to which everyone in the organization was invited. However, Peterson felt that Curt did not become involved enough in them; he found himself getting most of his reposts directly from Curt’s two subordinates Todd Jones, supervisor of the radio engineering department, and Mike Delavo, supervisor of GMCT’s construction department despite his attempts to get Curt more actively involved. (Page 6) Another step was establishing an inventory control reporting system; but again Peterson found that Curt resisted the effort. Peterson continued to have difficulty getting these reports from Curt completed on time. Peterson suspected that Curt was somehow resentful that Peterson did not trust him implicitly. The inventory control problem became so great that on two occasions GMCT ran short of the radios that were required to equip cell site; if the radio installation team ran out of radios during the installation process the entire process had to be ...
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