Lodi Logistics Inc. CEO Consultation

Posted: April 26, 2017

Executive summary

Lodi Logistics Incorporated issued a Request for Proposal for any firm to undertake a comprehensive review and evidenced-based analysis of the effects of employing young managers. The data from Lodi Logistics was examined and then bench marked against standard operations available in the database of the consulting firm.

This consulting report includes the findings compilations together with recommendations. The audit took into considerations the unique operating environment under which Lodi Logistics Incorporated delivers its services while understanding the needed equilibrium of aging and young generation employees’ impact on the organization performances. The major areas assessed included production systems, logistics department, service delivery and overall program performance indicators. Lodi Logistics Incorporated achieves its goals through the application of advanced technology, an outstanding team of professionalism, flexibility in consumer need adjustments alongside sound resources.

Even with all the best goals and strategies, availability of technology and expertise, the consult identified some problems that are crippling organization progress. The problems identified include; poorly trained and inexperienced employees with poor pay and weak organization structure. This report includes recommendations of which the following are of highest priority. Lodi Logistic Incorporated should;

  1. Offer training to the young generation managers
  2. Merge the age variation for sharing of skills to enhance experience
  3. Better wages or a reward system to curb turnover rates.

Application of audit based methodology was utilized to evaluate the key organization components and the environment it operates in. Data gathering process, on the other hand, combined both quantitative and qualitative in examining the company’s records, documented information, reports alongside interviews, group discussions conducted in Lodi Logistics Incorporated.

Lodi Logistics Inc. CEO Consultation

Through a history of quality consults, Lodi Logistics Inc., an esteemed client, contracted my firm to offer consultation services to the effect of employing young managers on the organization’s overall performance.

The study was carried out using the data provided in response to the information of the consultants and data request coupled with telephone interviews, on-site meetings with the principal persons who receive services or are involved in the day-to-day management of the organization (Gerber, Heragu & DePuy, 2013).

Audit based methodology was utilized to evaluate the key organization components and the environment it operates in. Data gathering process, on the other hand, combined both quantitative and qualitative in examining the company’s records, documented information, reports alongside interviews, group discussions was also conducted in Lodi Logistics Incorporated. Internal database of the consultant was utilized to apply appropriate industry practices and standards.

The primary objectives for the consultation were to:

  1. Complete an intensive assessment of Lodi Logistics Inc.
  2. Determine if the employment of young managers is effective, efficient and economical; and
  3. If need be, compare Lodi Logistics Inc. performance against standard or benchmarks of the industry.

This comprehensive report is a snapshot of the consultant’s findings together with useful recommendations.

Client identification

The Lodi Logistics Incorporated is an international organization that is involved in a wide variety of products and services. They provide project management in logistics, products, and consulting services. Their primary clients encompass those organizations that operate in remote and developing environments. Its ultimate objective is to provide effective and efficient fleet management services, automotive support through the application of state of the art technologies; higher quality products are known worldwide and offer advice to consequently highly qualified experts.  The organization is departmentalized into supply and procurement, consultancy and fleet management, project management and workshop maintenance (Wilkinson, Johnstone & Edward, 2016).

The goal of Lodi Logistics Incorporated is functioning at the highest optimized levels through the application of top professionalism alongside massive resource investment and exercise a lot of flexibility in meeting and addressing its client needs. The organization in addition, has advanced technological implementation strategy and a pool of experienced labor force. However, challenges abound despite all the mentioned strengths. Assessment of the organization led to the findings that employees are inadequately trained and paid lower wages and salaries as compared to the companies of the same cadre. The managers had a perception that the primary cause of organization’s slow growth was as a result of the highlighted reasons (Wilkinson et al., 2016)

Needs Assessment

The organization has an obligation first to itself, to the shareholders and finally to the clients. The image, profit and the position the organization occupies in the market speak volume of its market strength. The customers are in continuous need of a quality product at a relatively lower price and are always on the watch out for a new product which could offer the same satisfaction as the initial product but is of high quality, or the price is lower. In addition, the customer needs are changing with each coming day. They, therefore, expect the company to adjust their production to meet the current taste and preferences (Gerber, Heragu & DePuy, 2013).

The organization itself is affected by both externalities and factors within the confines of the organization. A breakdown in production as a result of machine failure, outdated technology coupled by the incapacity of the personnel to operate a new technology will have a substantial toll on the production cost (Gerber et al., 2013). Change in government policy is another externality that could frustrate progress of the organization. The organization must realign its services to match the new regulations and in the process incur costs. Change in policy for waste management and disposal; for example, will make the company adjust its disposal technique in line with the new policy which may not augur well with business operations

Shareholders demand returns to their initial investment that could only be achieved through making of profit. Profits could only be reached through proper human and capital resources of the organization. The pressure to realize returns will pile on the management to convince the board of directors and shareholders, in general, their capacity to add value or be deemed irrelevant and lose their job (Certo, 2015).

In a snapshot, the needs of Lodi Logistics Incorporated ranges from customer, management and the owners thus there is a concerted effort to balance all the needs to realize the optimum goals of the company which require visionary management.

Problems identified

Lodi Logistics Incorporated is undergoing inefficiency problems as a result of young, inexperienced managers. Though reviewing of the academic qualifications at the Human Resource Department shows highest level academic achievements it does not nonetheless translate to managerial achievements. The company is struggling to meet all the needs of the customer; the inexperience of its young managers is a real setback pulling back the progress (Certo, 2015). A real let down to the organization’s objectives of providing quality services at the correct time and in quantities that buyers need.

 The Lodi Logistics Inc. in part is also demoralizing the spirit of the employees.  It lacks sufficient reviews on the best ways to appreciate the efforts of the employees regarding pay and training needs. The weak spirit is reflected in increasing employee turnover and walk away labor in search for better remunerations. The wages and salaries as a reward for work done are at the bare minimum, and the employees are complaining of a backlog of pay especially among the casual workers employed on a temporary basis in vain. The organization is paying a bare minimum wage which is much less than the revenue realized through the efforts of the same employees. Further, the higher academic qualifications prove that the young managers are trainable, but the employer is reluctant to improve the capacity of its working force.

Consultation audit also identified weaker communication structure. Reckless decisions are being made without aforethought on the possible consequences. Point to note is the continued shift of younger workers from one department to the next without proper coordination between departments that culminates in conflicts (Gerber et al., 2013).

The interviewed working staff at lower ranks attests to the fact that the organization is outsourcing new youthful management and very reluctant to source from within among those who have dedicated their time and effort in working for the company and have a wealth of experience in the company operations. The young new employee, they continue to note, are unfamiliar with the routines of the organization thus are weak in management since there is a continued shift in work protocols confusing the junior staff more  (Griffin & Moorhead, 2012)

Solutions to the identified problems

Even though Lodi Logistics is not composed entirely of young managers, their composition in the staff is overwhelming. Their individual and collective efforts are widely felt since they are involved directly or indirectly in the day to day functions of the organization. In the case of perceived need for the organization to hire new employees, Lodi Logistics should exercise caution in undertaking such activity of new hire. Proper and comprehensive consultations should be conducted to identify the most experienced individual who will be of great benefit to the company preferably sourced from within (Abbott, 2010).

The Society for Human Resource Management (2015) proposes that teamwork is essential in an organization set up, but individual performance is a determinant on whose best suited for a particular job. On the same note, the company should undertake job evaluations on the fulfillment of each employee and should peg promotion on performance basis that will go greater mile in motivating the morale and overall productivity of the employees as each one of them will be competing to get recognition and be on the list of promotion (Griffin & Moorhead, 2012). 

The training of staff should be a number one priority since it will improve their knowledge base, sharpen their skills and be adaptive to the modern advances in technology. The company in a bid to enhance efficiency should purpose to ensure that their workforce is equipped with the current technical know-how, updated, and are able to replicate their training in the production and service delivery to the customers. Training of company staff alone is not enough; Lodi Logistics should always ensure that their esteemed customers are motivated at all times and should limit consumer feelings of exploitations. The organization should drive their clients through provision of higher quality products in the form that the customers need them on time (Griffin & Moorhead, 2012).

Employee motivation is also another solution to the increased turnover rates. Even if the wage is at the minimum, a reward system should be established that work to give a surplus earning especially when a company achieves a greater return. Bonuses and reward system will reduce the high turnover currently witnessed by the organization as the company is still working on different approaches to ensure fair pay for the employees.

A complete change in the way the new managers are selected, evaluated, mentored and how much responsibility should be accorded to them in the interim period until such a time they are well vast with the company values and standards. Familiarizing with a new working environment will pose as uneconomical in the short run as the new employee will still be offered the agreed terms of service but has not yet assumed actual role but in the long run effective management and decisions will be the benefit incurred as a result of the grace period.

Risks of employing young managers

The young are known for their uncertainty in decision making. Wrong or uninformed decisions are prone to such an individual tasked with management decision making. Youthful management lacks skills and a complete understanding of the goals and objectives of the organization (Fang et al., 2011). When vital decisions are of necessity then the company will suffer the consequence of wrong decision. For example in a case for quality improvement to meet the changing customer demands, young managers may lack awareness on the vital portions of a product that needs improvement, and instead of enhancing the quality of the product act to compromise the quality. As a consequence, customers may be derailed from further transaction or link with the organization and in turn influence their colleagues in terminating contacts with the company. The walk away end users of an enterprise product can have a heavy toll on the company earnings. Sales will dwindle, and most of the entire firm’s brand name will hit low in market ratings, a threat to the existence of a company (Abbott, 2010).

Young individuals are enthusiastic as they are still balancing work and leisure since they are still adventurers thus their demand for money is relatively higher. A money driven manager will jeopardize the standards and quality of a company product. Their principal aim is to achieve the business objectives at whatever cost without putting into considerations the short and long run cost implications of such actions (Certo, 2015). The goals could be achieved in the short term, but the continuity of production is what matters in an organization. A company like Lodi Logistics Inc. in the long run can suffer adversely in client withdrawal because of low standard services. Identify at the earliest time possible money driven managers, make an effort to retrain them on the importance of maintaining product quality after which reassign them or in other cases make a replacement as deemed fit for the prosperity of the organization (Certo, 2015). 

Another risk that should be pointed out to the organization on employment of young managers is the lack of experience. Young managers are unaware of how effectively to carry out certain tasks prompting the need to continuously being shown how things are done. In this case, the organization will deviate from the principal objective of production thus lose focus. Because of inadequate knowledge on effective operations management, mitigating the effects of unforeseen challenges such as economic recess will be inevitable (Herzberg, 2008).

Risk number four is the walk away labor even after training at the expense of the organization. Insecure employees will always seek for alternative employment elsewhere that has a relatively good pay package, motivation, and good reputation. Training employees who are money driven will never pay back the effort rather they will view the new training as an opportunity to demand to pay raise or quit. Training alongside adequate wage will increase the loyalty of an employee to the organization even if a new opportunity that is well paying has arisen elsewhere (Certo, 2015).

Working with a management team composed of young individuals typically portrays a culture that promotes dignity and respect which will increase tension among the employees since the young managers will be skeptical to distinguish integrity in a work environment (Herzberg, 2008). A case in point is the delegation of duty by a young, recently hired individual, to another who has spent his or her lifetime working in the organization. It might be perceived as a lack of respect and dignity to give instructions in such a circumstance. The interview of young managers at Lodi Logistics incorporated reveals the internal conflict that young managers undergo in assigning duties and are thus reluctant to assign roles especially a new technique in work performance. A stalled relationship thus exists between the employees and the management that has a crippling effect on the overall progress of the business (Certo, 2015).

Inadequate training will incapacitate the potential of the employees since they will feel challenged by an informed customer on a product or service he is selling. The employees who value job growth will find the next available exit when a more satisfying job which provides staff appraisal. The frequent exit of employees from Lodi and logistics incorporated pose a significant risk since whenever they leave, they carry with them all the information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the company to the advantage of the competitors (Ijioui, 2010).  

Impact of employment of young managers

Young generation managers can meet the expectations of the customers since most populations of the world are composed of youth as compared to the elderly. Therefore young generation has a lot of influence in most activities. They are the potential buyers, society change agents, and thus consideration should be taken when dealing with them (Abbott, 2010). The availability of managers who are young in an office set up is a plus to most of the youthful customers since they feel their plight will be adequately addressed as opposed to the old managers who are reluctant to effect change but maintain the status quo. The young customers, on the other hand, are free to relate since most are in the same age bracket and face similar challenges and have almost same tastes and preferences (Fang et al., 2011).

In addition to the above mentioned, young managers are flexible and able to adapt to new technologies at a much faster rate than the older managers. They are technologically savvy and able to try out new skills which may enable them to identify new knowledge or skill that would aid in minimization of cost during producing while maximizing profit. A cheaper higher quality product will be as a result of such ventures. A more affordable higher quality product will attract more customers boosting sales and revenue of the organization (Ijioui, 2010). 

Training of employees will enhance their skills and sharpen their technical know-how that will improve efficiency and effectiveness in production. It is vital to note that young managers have the physical energy and the mental capacity plus good will to move from one place to another as compared to the elderly. The mobility nature creates direct contact with the client getting first-hand information on which quality the customers need from the product. Training will also boost the confidence of employees making them be able to handle clients and reduce a feeling of inadequacy (Mellat-Parast & Digman, 2007).

Stakeholders, on the other hand, will also drive benefits from the employment of young managers. This is because of their ability to express their feelings about the product freely directly to the management and willing and able to introduce new inventions to the organization voluntarily. They are also free to consult higher management directly without fear of consequences that may arise as a result of protocol breach as realized in the audit (Gerber, Heragu & DePuy, 2013)

A stalled relationship exists between the employees and the management that has a crippling effect on the overall progress of the business. The conflict is as a result of a culture of dignity and respect between the young managers and the older generation managers as was identified in the audit (Mellat-Parast & Digman, 2007).

Consultation Reassessment

Awareness by the employers on such matters of employee retention and engagement has been in existence over the years. Most if not all organizations and companies have adopted an obligation that eliminates policy making and management by employees age differentiation. For the purpose of consultations, experience, and age of managers has to be assessed for Lodi Logistics Incorporated (Gerber et al., 2013). As the youth generation continuous in growth especially in the management and the baby boomers retiring, it is vital for the human resource and managers to establish new engagement models and ideas that will incorporate the generation transitions between young generation and the aging workforce that will be accommodative to both the age quotas while at the same time doesn’t compromise the firm’s credibility. In this consultation, my significant scope will be to reassess the provisional findings on the advantages and the disadvantages of hiring young people (Millennia employees) and come up with recommendations useful for Lodi Logistics Incorporated (Friedrichsen, 2012).

To start with, one major advantage of young employees employed by Lodi Logistics Incorporated management is that they have a lot of ambitions and are optimistic in attaining positive results. Most if not all have young families or none at all thus they can work longer hours to ensure that the team is on the right path to achieving set goals. On the same note, they have set higher standards and expectations for themselves and the teams they are responsible for, to the advantage of the organization. Whereas the optimism and dedication portrayed are of much benefit to the organization, however, it carries with it a risk of tainted relations with other groups (Friedrichsen, 2012). They might view longer working hours as a show off since most of the employees could work extra or longer hours to achieve the set goals. The older employees will feel they have other responsibility to take care of apart from the job like family obligations. In such a case the former employees will perceive younger employees as workaholics and lack a sense of humanity which will create a great rift. The conflict will result in disintegration in the workforce with brilliant ideas but no enthusiasm and morale to achieve the set goals. The older generation will be stigmatized and be job insecure as they will feel inadequate as compared to the younger generation of a workforce who they fear will take their position and render them jobless (Abbott, 2010).

I strongly advise the Board to mix higher experienced managers with employees with less experienced or younger employees. The two age divides could borrow ideas and in turn develop better working relationships. I sincerely extend my advice to the organization to initiate plans to merge the two ages and sit back and analyze the feedback and even ask the employees themselves on their view of such a strategy. Make necessary adjustment based on the employee feedback and changing trends in the organization (Abbott, 2010). 

In addition to the ambition and a positive mindset, the young managers and employees, in general, tend to be tech-savvy and more creative for Lodi Logistics incorporated. Through their flexible minds, that can quickly adopt new technology and improve the existing one via knowledge acquisition. The firm is rest assured of innovations in the production that will consequently result in lower cost higher quality goods at a decreased time. Other pessimists argue that new technology will necessitate renewed training in its adoption which will be at the expense of the organization (Fang et al., 2011). I argue that the net benefit will outdo the initial cost as time will be saved a great deal and efficiency in production enhanced. To say the least, exposing an employee to a new technology through training will ensure a pool of a competent workforce which is sustainable both in the short run and long run. I consult that the long term benefit is much greater than the initial amount of capital used in the training. It’s thus important for any business to employee and finally offer training to the young and tech-savvy team that can drive company agenda in the right direction (Fang et al., 2011).

Deducing from the above discussion, young generation of employees is more beneficial to the employees as compared to their shortfalls. They are important especially to those companies which foresee a future progress. The discussed character of ambitiousness could be measured and evaluated both in the interim period and in the long run. Since the perceived trait of old age employees on rigidity is real, it is better to set a standard to the proportions of younger workers to be employed (Wilkinson et al., 2016). 

The older generations despite their sluggard nature poses some qualities that are more beneficial to the life of the organization. They are more experienced and tolerant to an adverse situation requiring critical decision to be made, a recipe for business success. With all these vital and paramount qualities of the two age generations, it is my recommendation that the firm should strike a balance between the number of old and young managers reserving those positions that require quicker decisions. For example, since the younger generations are tech savvy, it's more advisable to assign them in fields such as the department of communication taking advantage of the older employee’s long time experience in decision-making to efficiently run the backbone of the firm like the production unit (Fang, Chiu & Wang, 2011).

The ultimate goal of undertaking such an informed opinion of my consult is in a bid to balance through taking into account the advantages of both the older and the younger generation to interplay in an organization set up to maximize revenue and output. As your consultant, you are free to ask any question of me and will always be at your service at my contact sources. 

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