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Organization Description Delmonte Ltd.
My organization is Delmonte Ltd. This Company is concerned with the production of all types of fruit juices. Having been founded in the late 1950’s, the organization has had a retardation in growth in the last few years since the year 2008. After an expert audit and outsourced company analysis by professionals, my organization has established a core factor in its operations that deserve to be changed so as to boost production and attract new markets for fruit juices. During this analysis, the following key factors were eliminated from the list of probable causes of organizational failure; Poor management, lack of employee motivation, poor product branding, poor marketing strategies, and government policies. In essence, one or a combination of these factors has been known to be the root causes of business failure in many organizations.
However, in Delmonte Ltd., the case is different. All these basic factors are coordinating smoothly but the business is failing and lacking the corporate vibrancy. “What could be the main issue affecting this organization?”. This pertinent question had been subjected to every board meeting, every stakeholder gathering, and in all inner corporate circles of the concerned groups for the last four years till the year 2015 due to the fact that Delmonte has been a trusted brand for the last half a century. Finally, the puzzle was solved and the factor in need of urgent change was identified and quantitatively substantiated. The change was complicated but inevitable in this case. The change was necessary for our production process specifically the production technology. It was established that new technology would speed up the production process, reduce wastage, and keep up integrate new production methods to match the market competition. It may not be just a change but an eventual complete overhaul of the production process. The change began one year ago, the process is still ongoing and all factors concerned are in harmony to make the change process smooth.
The Degree of Disruption Caused by the change
The disruptive impact of this change has been felt by each member of the management, workforce, stakeholders, and the consumers. This is because; the change disrupted virtually the whole production process. This meant that the company had to adopt some alternative production methods to match the consumer demands. The first disruption occurred in the company farms. The process of planting the fruit crops was greatly disrupted from normal since the use of machines was introduced in the plough, planting, spraying, harvesting, and loading processes. Many casual employees working on the farm were laid off and the remaining few were trained on the operation of farm machinery. This disrupted the operations totally for a few weeks before resumption of a vibrant, fast, and efficient farm processes. The farm employees eventually responded to this change after intensive training and significantly increased the farm output.
With increased farm output, there was another disruption in the storage and the juice manufacturing process. Increased fruits in the stores meant installation of more refrigeration and drying equipment to handle the surplus. Moreover, the workers in the manufacturing units were subject to a lot of work that requires them to operate for more than 18 hours a day. More of the employees on the storage, drying and the manufacturing process was hired thus disrupting the general employee management of the farm. A major disruption happened with the replacement of old machinery in the actual production plant. New pulping, blending, and packing equipment with increased production capacity was installed in the production process to handle the incoming fruit surplus from the driers. This process has taken the whole year due to the complexities of aligning the new systems to work with some of the old equipment as the change process takes place. Another disruption was in the packing process since the technologically advanced packing systems have not been installed yet. More employees have been hired in this section and some of the farm workers laid off have been transferred to this section. Generally, a disruption in management has been a major issue but the change agents and lead teams have been quite effective. The general organizational response to this change has been satisfactory since the client demands have been effectively handled, the stakeholders were structurally engaged, and the new products are of a better quality at the same prices. A consumer satisfaction assessment shows positive response by ninety percent of the consumers.
The change strategies adopted by Delmonte Ltd. were effectively researched since they were solely responsible for the success of the application of advanced technology in production. The major strategies revolved around; research into the most appropriate and cost-effective production machinery depending on the company’s financial strength was of vital importance. This research was mainly focused on determination of the sustainability of his change and all possible outcomes (Anderson, 2016). Basically, proper research was the key strategy that formed the foundation of this change process. Once the research on all market factors and everything necessary was concluded and substantiated, another strategy was aimed at communication during the change process. Proper communication channels were installed to facilitate a seamless flow of information in the process of creating change awareness and the implementation of the actual change. The communication channels were integrated into the process and provided with backup strategies for a smooth process. Another strategy applied was on how to introduce the new products in the market. A vibrant marketing strategy was employed to create awareness on the change of products as well as the introduction of the new products in the market. This strategy was very effective since the sales have significantly increased ever since. As a result of the seriousness and degree of professionalism in which the whole change process was approached, it has been exceedingly successful since no major issues were encountered though there was once a shortage of finances it was resolved early enough. The level of success of these strategies can be confidently estimated to be an average of 80%.
Disruptive Effect of the change
In the beginning of this change process, most of the stakeholders resisted the change due to the fact of likely negative impact on their personal interests. For instance, most of the employees resisted this change in the fear of losing their jobs especially those who had no professional expertise, the stakeholders involved with the company finance also resisted the change with the fear of a financial demand exceeding the ability of the company as well as the losses likely to result in the event of a failed change process. External stakeholders such as consumers had mixed reactions with some supporting the change and others resisting it. All these issues with stakeholders were independently handled depending on the position of each one of them in the organization. The dissenting workers were promised jobs in the other production processes and recommendation to other organizations. The financiers were convinced by a well-researched strategic change plan. All the resistance was effectively advanced through proper communication of the need for change and the accruing benefits on all of them.
Implications of the Change on interdepartmental organization
The interdepartmental collaboration was greatly affected by the changes since new departments were created and new functions and responsibilities allocated to them. Therefore, the altered departmental structure necessitated abolishment of the old collaboration system and adopted a new system aligned to their responsibilities that came with the change (Hayes, 2014).
Response and preparedness for the change
In my opinion, the organization leaders were well prepared for the change since they were greatly involved in the research process and formulation of the strategic change plan. The Company leadership was able to source for all necessary physical and expertise resources required to implement this change. Most of the strategies in the plan worked successfully. However, problems were experienced in the time allocation for each phase of the change process. The estimated time was not enough in all the phases so the plan needs time adjustments due to technical issues. Similarly, the financial allocations were not sufficient in some cases due to unexpected expenses but the issues were resolved in the shortest time possible.
In the development of the change plan, I would recommend the involved stakeholders to include a supplementary budget to cater for unexpected expense that may arise in the process of implementation. This is because in the cases where financial assistance may not be readily available; the change process would be greatly affected and even halted. Moreover, the change master plan should also have flexible time allocations for each phase of the change process to reduce technical issues resulting from time shortage. Additional strategies I would recommend for an organization implementing such a change is to conduct a research on all available alternatives before implementing the actual change (Benn et al., 2014). For instance, I feel that Delmonte Ltd. did no research well into these alternatives because they are still using some of the old equipment in the packaging process. This means that, had they conducted a thorough research, they would have found an alternative such as upgrading their old equipment with the new technology without having to overhaul the whole system since they would function in the same way. Such a move would save a lot of time, resources, and managerial diseconomies.
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- Benn, S., Dunphy, D., & Griffiths, A. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.
- Anderson, D. L. (2016). Organization development: The process of leading organizational change. Sage Publications.
- Hayes, J. (2014). The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.