Ornamental Doors Inc. Essay, Research Paper
Ornamental Doors Inc.
Summary of Important Facts
Ornamental Doors Inc. (ODI) has shown great innovation in the decorative door and window market. Through superior customer relations and an excellent R & D department, ODI has achieved exceptional sales and customer satisfaction. The marketing and research department has helped ODI stay ahead of the competition and foresee future customer needs and trends. Their competitive advantage has been lower production and manufacturing costs due to their timely acquisition of assets. A recent internal study has shown that the needs of information services have changed, but ODI has yet to update the department.
The problem is that executive management under estimates the importance of involving Information Services (IS) in their strategic planning. The lack of a formal strategic plan for IS has resulted in poor management of resources. ODI has resisted the beneficial use of micros, which in turn could hamper the creativity of the marketing department. The company has also failed to implement and enforce an updated and structured set of controls and procedures.
The current Vice President of IS, Melinda Morris, has failed to efficiently manage and plan the use of current resources. Melinda has taken a micro-management style to the IS department instead of evaluating the ?big picture.?
Although executive management has been lackluster with regards to IS planning, this situation can be changed once they have a clear understanding of the impact that IS can have on the overall business functions.
Executive management has taken a relevant first step in recognizing Morris as a top-level executive. She is part of the executive committee and she is included in business strategy discussions. Upper management also respects her management style and technical expertise.
However, executive management now needs to recognize IS as an integral part of ODI. A formal IS strategic plan is needed and should be incorporated into the overall business strategy. This would create stronger Information Service resources that management could then use to maximize their competitive advantage.
The executive management team lacks the direction required to involve IS in long term strategic planning. Although, the executive committee has included the VP of Information Services they have failed to incorporate any formal IS long-term planning.
Since information analysis and transfer is so valuable in today?s economy, ODI must allocate sufficient resources in the planning process for IS. In order to ensure success, below are three alternatives that ODI could successfully utilize.
The first option allows Melinda Morris, along with a research assistant, to develop a formalized IS strategic plan by researching the IS departments of other companies in similar industries and reviewing their respective procedures/policies.
There are several advantages to this option.
1. Melinda could gain insight into what has already been proven effective. Since Melinda has some knowledge of the company and has worked with the other vice president?s, she is also the ideal candidate to develop a plan for incorporation of required technology.
2. Through in-depth analysis, Melinda can gain from the experience of competitors in avoiding costly mistakes. At present, though ODI is financially stable, management would not have to waste time and funds on trial and error testing of various hardware and software components.
3. A resistant executive team would be more easily convinced, if presented with a successful working system.
4. Ms. Morris?s management skills have been acknowledged by her team mates ? if she displays the same expertise in her field of IS, the executive committee would be receptive to her ideas.
5. This analysis should also help Ms. Morris in understanding the IS needs and functions of the other ODI departments.
There are also a couple of disadvantages to this option.
1. Methodologies that have been successfully implemented for other companies are not sure-fire solutions for all companies and may not work for ODI.
2. The systems that have been implemented by other companies may not be compatible with ODI?s policies and procedures and may not be applicable to their situation.
A second alternative would be to hire an outside consultant and have them review the current practices and make suggestions for improving the management of information resources.
The advantages of this option are:
1. The outside consultant can bring in experience and would be able quickly assess and provide solutions ODI.
2. Because they would be considered professionals in this area, the executive management would be very likely to listen to them.
3. The long term planning of the IS department will be more stable and not have to be reinvented every few months. This would be possible because the consultant would include with their services the long term planning for the department.
The disadvantages of this option are:
1. Outside consultants are very costly.
2. May not present solutions that really are sync with the company polices and procedures.
3. The consulting firm would not have the in depth knowledge of the company like the current executives would have.
The final alternative that ODI could utilize is to rehire Lake as the CIO and dismiss Morris. Lake could then implement a formalized strategic IS plan.
The advantages of this option would be:
1. Lake is already familiar with the company and its information flows.
2. Lake has already proven his abilities and shown foresight.
3. Lake understands the importance of long-range planning.
4. Lake can train management in the use of new systems of I.S.
The disadvantages of this option are:
1. Enticing Lake to return.
2. Management time needed to understand the importance of I.S.
3. Top management did not accept Lake the first time. Trying to get them to accept him at this point would be very difficult.
Because Morris is a very accepted member of ODI and deeply rooted in the company, the first option would be the best recommendation. Morris has the skills needed to deliver the change; therefore, hiring an outside consultant would be more costly than necessary.
ODI is a stable company that has failed to realize or acknowledge that Information Services can be very advantageous to its continued growth. Funds should be allotted for long-range strategic design and allocation of IS resources.
This solution can be implemented by taking the following steps:
1. Hiring a research assistant responsible for gathering information on other companies in similar industries.
2. Focusing on one company, which has a secure, manageable network that will not be outdated quickly, and use it as a reference model.
3. Morris should meet with the other VP?s to help determine their use and needs for IS resources/information.
4. Morris will review existing ODI IS procedures/policies and allocation of IS resources/information.
5. Implement the changes necessary to benefit ODI.
The executive management of ODI has yet to realize the problem within the information services department. However, with the correct direction and research performed by Melinda Morris, the department can make the essential changes needed to overcome this bump in the road.