N& F ManufacturingTask 1DIFFERENCES EXPECTED BY A DECISION ANALYSTN& F is a company founded at the end of 1981 based at a single site in Sheffield, manufacturing and distribution. From this modest start in 1981, the number and geographical spread of the customers have increased rapidly in part as a result of the company starting to sell directly to customers over the internet in 2003.The characteristic changes that take place at different stages can be seen from the following illustrations. I notice here the metamorphoses taking place in an organisation at every stage. It is in this background that I look at the critical problems faced at each stage by an entrepreneur and the broad strategies required.
For the purpose of our discussion here, I club start up and survival strategies together as stabilisation strategies and growth and expansion strategies as growth strategies. Strategies for Stabilisation: Stages of an organisation are different from the stage where an entrepreneur identifies an opportunity and set up an enterprise. Now an entrepreneur graduates to become a manager. He has to undertake the functions of a manager such as planning, organising, coordinating and control.
Several enterprises fall sick partly because they do not get adjusted to the new responsibility of a manager. This essentially a stage when the new enterprise gets settled down. Then it stabilises its activities. This is where I find entrepreneurs start getting orders regularly and supply stabilizes. The firms-sales cross the break even point for the first time at this phase. Also in the light of increased capacity utilisation the firm gets more inflow of cash than outflow. The stabilization phase can be treated as one of the most critical periods in the life of any enterprises.
This is especially so in the case of N& F mainly because the entrepreneur has to run a one-man show taking care of most of the operations. He will have to spend enormous amount of time on the new enterprise. It is like taking care of a new born baby until it can manage its affairs on its own. The entrepreneur has not only to have a long term vision and strategy for the organisation, but also have adequate knowledge to solve problems arising in areas such as finance, marketing, production and personnel. In short, the major challenge will be in terms of manufacturing a product or providing a service which will be a commercially acceptable in terms of price and quality and establishing a place for it in the market place.
This is the process of creating and identify for the firm in the commercial society. In most cases, entrepreneurs start with a single product or service. In the following paragraphs we shall see some of the critical areas of concern at this phase and the possible strategies to overcome them.
Despite their limitations, many entrepreneurs tackle their stabilization problems. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and the criticality of each function. They handle functions where they are confident of their strengths, but try to acquire additional strengths wherever and whenever required. Some entrepreneurs possessing expertise in production ask other organisations to carry out the marketing tasks for them. They may either continue this arrangement or start marketing on their own after some time once they have acquired enough expertise.