The paper "Problems at Mowdem Industries Limited " is a great example of a business case study. Employing about 200 people, Mowdem Industries Limited is a medium-sized U. K. based company which manufactures components in zinc-based alloys and die-cast aluminium, and also machined components in steel and non-ferrous alloys for which it acts as a sub-contractor. It also manufactures complete equipment and machines as a distinct separate company. Mowdem's service to the industry spans four decades but undercurrents of threats to its long-standing have recently been felt on account of stiff competition from high quality and competitively priced machines and components that are manufactured in India, China, and some East European companies.
Recently, the company has been feeling the heat from Pritchards, one of its customers, on account of their die castings which have cracked within a few days of operation, which they had procured from Mowdem. Infuriated Pritchards have triggered a panic reaction within Mowdem and this report is based on the corrective actions that are being deliberated upon by three key people at Mowdem – Mr. Tom Williams, who is the managing director of the company and happens to be the grandson of its founder, Ted Collins, Factory Manager, and Arthur Sanders, Chief Inspector.
The report looks into what ails Mowdem and towards the end, it recommends what the company is supposed to do in order to stay afloat in the market. 1.0 Introduction Organisation of Mowdem industries Mowdem is a limited concern, which means it must have a correct organisational hierarchy. But as is apparent from the case given, it seems the company lacks that as the discussions revolve around only three people – the managing director, the factory manager, and chief inspector.
Ideally, the hierarchy must flow from the board of directors to chief executive officer (CEO) and president forming its secretariat, further divided into several heads like vice president finance, human resource, vice president operations and production, vice president marketing and sales, vice president research and development (R& D) and engineering, vice president product management, information technology, quality manager, environment and safety. Background and development Technically, vice president operations and production must look into the division where the problem has arisen; and must be aided by the quality manager.
The former will have under its control foundry under which shift supervisors would come, then production planning, machining, finishing, maintenance, tooling under which die designing would fall. On the other hand, the quality manager would be controlling the head of quality control, head of laboratories, and head of non-comformative quality. But what is happening at Mowdem is that only two people in the line, factory manager and chief inspector seem to be answerable for anything going wrong, while rest of the processes and controls seem to be absent. Mowdem seems to be a family-owned business as is evident from the minor details of the case and the fact that one of the grandchildren of its founder occupies the seat of the managing director.
Even though Mowdem is a limited company it is apparent that some traces of a family-owned business run through its functioning. Family-owned businesses, apart from exhibiting risks of ownership, are fraught with a number of drawbacks in as far as their management is concerned. One of such drawbacks manifests in Mowdem since it lacks effective control.
That is probably why despite a 40-year old existence, Tom Williams seems to be relying on only the factory manager and chief inspector for quality of the products that come out of the assembly to the market, and in this case to Pritchards particularly.
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