1. What problems existed at Traveler Import Cars? What are the symptoms?
Randy and Beryl, a married couple, created Traveler Import Cars, a car dealership that begin its operation by selling a brand of Japanese cars. Randy worked for many years in the car dealerships as a partner of Capital Imports, a car dealership that sells expensive European automobiles. Beryl was an MBA graduate with professional experience on car dealership as a consultant. Together they created Traveler Import and they incorporated some employees from Capital imports, including mechanics, salesman and Stuart Graham, who became general manager of the company. Founders viewed their dealership as a family. They believed that creating a democratic environment will allow all employees to be involved in decision making and to feel important in the dealership. For this reason they decided to create a quality circle, where 5 non-supervisory employees could bring insights and opinions during monthly meetings with the managers. This managerial strategy was successful while the dealership remained small. The company’s growth started with the acquisition of a car leasing company, and later with the acquisition of another car leadership that sold another make of Japanese cars and an expensive European make. While Randy elected to spend most of his time in the car leasing company, Beryl became chief operating officer for the new car dealership.
Problems began for Beryl as these new dealership had a lot of previous problems so it demanded a lot of time from her. Her work load was excessive. At the same time Beryl felt that managers and supervisors at Traveler Imports, with five years of experience at Traveler Import Cars, were not performing as what it should be expected. Decisions taken by managers were not being implemented by lower level employees such as mechanics and salesman. Further employees were coming to work late and taking excessive lunch