The Fitzburg Tire Company's construction manager, Max Bierman, has been working on a plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. This plant is Bierman's first assignment outside the U.S. and it is not going according to his expectations. After merely three months, the project is running behind schedule and overriding its forecasted budget. The occurring problems are mostly to blame on the cross-cultural differences between the United States and Mexico. The Mexican workforce do not share the fear of deadlines nor time scedules and accordingly fail to work with the upmost efficiency. The operative hours start from 8am until 6pm. In between they take a 90 minutes siesta break and it takes them an additional two hours extra to be fully charged. More importantly the work, which they do complete, does not meet specifications and consequently has to be redone. Not to mention the language is a big barrier in the communication. It seems that Bierman is losing his grasp over this project and thus needs our consultancy to analyze the problems and recommend possible solutions.
In order to solve this problem we could suggest the hiring of a professional from the U.S., however with a Mexican background. Someone who is familiar with both the U.S. time scedules and budgeting but can also communicate with the Mexican workers. It requires an individual with experience and strong character, who commands respect and admiration from the Mexican workers.
This option, although appealing, is a risk for the project. To hire an individual who seems to have these qualities, does not guarantee success. It may end up costing more without any significant result.
Another option is to start adjusting the workhours. Instead of 8am and 6pm, we would extend the workperiod with two hours. Accordingly it would be from 6am till 6pm, thus overtaking the two hours the workers spend on siesta. Furthermore to get the workers activated more quickly, the company could stop paying...
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