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Problem Solving and Decision Making

19 Pages 4815 Words 4403 Downloads

Introduction

Problem solving and decision making both are the processes of operating and running a business successfully. In every organisation various problems regarding conflict among employees, poor customer service, lack of resources etc. may take place and affect the productivity and profitability. It is the main responsibility of the managers and other concerned persons of the business entities to formulate appropriate strategies and make effective decisions in order to find impressive solutions. Proper actions against the issues may result in easy resolutions of the problems (Custers, 2013).

Main aim of this report is to find easy ways for the critical problems of organisation. In this assignment customer service problem of Morrison is going to be elaborated. This organisation is based in UK and founded in year 1899. It is one of the largest supermarket chain of UK. Various topics are discussed under this report such as identification of a complex problem, analysis of information of the problem, range of solutions to deal with problems and application of decision making technique to evaluate all the options. A detailed plan for implementing solutions, communication of plan to the stakeholders and appropriate monitoring and review techniques are also covered under this assignment.

Main Body

1. Explanation of complex problem in the workplace including its scope and impact

Morrison is a supermarket chain which is based in UK and currently operating its business successfully there. The organisation was founded in year 1899. The person who have founded Morrison is William Morrison. The business of the entity is operated by more than 132000 employees with around 500 stores all around the world. Products that are offered by the enterprise are food and drink items, clothes, books, CD, DVD and magazines. Recently, the managers of Morrison figured out that their revenues are decreasing due to reduction in number of customers. The main problem which has resulted in different types of issues is poor customer services (Davis, 2014).

The problem has taken place due to lack of customer assistants in the supermarkets. The customers who are coming to buy products in the organisation have no person to ask about the products and the details. There is insufficient number of employees in the organisation who can resolve all the queries and issues of the consumers. It has resulted in poor customer services and decreased profits and revenues of Morrison.

Scope of problem: 

The scope of this problem is wide because it will affect the whole organisation. Overall profitability, productivity, market share, number of customers etc. are affected due to poor service quality of Morrison. Due lack of customer assistant, it will result in higher customer’s issues and decreased satisfaction level with the service quality (Hickson and Khemka, 2013).

Impact of the problem: 

Insufficient number of customer assistant will affect the organisation negatively. All the impacts of the problems are described below:

  • Reduction in the number of customers as they are not satisfied with the service delivery system of Morrison.
  • A bad market image because the unsatisfied customers will leave their feedback on poor service quality.
  • Decreased market share as customer will switch to other organisations as the service delivery system is not good.
  • Poor service quality of Morrison also affects the profits and revenues as the organisation will not be able to achieve the targeted profits if the customers are unsatisfied.

The main objective of the company after assessing the problem is to make effective decisions in order to find appropriate solutions for the problem. The managers and directors needs to gather appropriate resources to overcome the issue of insufficient customer assistants.

2. Analysis of information on the identified problem

In Morrison the managers are concerned about the decreasing revenues which has resulted due to lack of customer assistants. It is very important to make decisions that can help to find impressive solutions for the problem. The management of the organisation is requiring to analyse all the relevant information to identify case of the problem. This will guide to make appropriate decision regarding the issues (Higgs and et.al., 2018). The information can be gathered by using different types of techniques all of them are as follows:

Brainstorming:

 It can be defined as a group activity in which causes and solutions for a specific business problem are analysed. This technique can be used by the managers of Morrison in order to gather information of the problem of insufficient customer assistants at workplace. In this technique different employees of Morrison will try to figure out the causes of the issue and then try to find solution for the same.

Problem solving: 

This technique is used to analyse the problem and than find appropriate solution. As Morrison is dealing with the problem of poor customer service quality the mangers can use this method to analyse the actual issue and then find appropriate solution for those problems (Hwang and Lin, 2012).

Creative thinking:

This method is mainly used to find easy solutions for critical problems of organisations. Management of Morrison can use this technique to analyse appropriate solution for the issue which is currently affecting profitability, productivity and performance of business entity.

All the above described techniques can be used to gather information of the problem and find appropriate solutions. These methods may guide managers to figure out following information:

  • The conditions that have resulted in critical problems.
  • The wrong steps that are taken by the organisation and the result of each decision.
  • Causes of the issue which has resulted in insufficient number of customer assistants.
  • Possible actions to be taken in future in order to respond the problem in an effective manner.

The methods are going to be used to analyse different types of information which has resulted in the problem of insufficient number of customer assistants. It will help to determine the actual causes of the problem such as unstable staff turnover, decreased employee retention rate, lack of monetary benefits to the employees according to their performance. It will also direct to assess the wrong actions that are taken by the mangers in past which has resulted in the problem of insufficient number of employees.

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All the information can be used to make impressive decisions by the management. These decisions may help to overcome the critical situation which is faced by Morrison. The information collected from these techniques is very important as it can help to find effective solution for the problem. If the collected content is not relevant and accurate then it can misguide the managers and wrong decision can be formulated by them (Jonassen, 2012). Information is the combination of data which can be gathered by analysing performance and position of the business entity. Difference between information and data is as follows:

Data

Information

Data is the facts and figure that are gathered by analysing reports of organisations.

When data is processed, combined, organised and structured it is called information.

It can be defined as the raw material of information that includes text and numbers.

It is refined data which has a meaning and can be understood by individuals.

It is not dependent upon information.

It is depends upon data as it is not possible to process information without relevant data.

Data may or may not be useful some times.

Information is always useful for the individuals.

3. Range of alternative solutions for the problem

Morrison is currently facing the problem of insufficient number of customer assistants which has resulted increased profits, number of customers, market image area. It is very important to find appropriate solutions for the problem so that organisation may achieve all its objectives and overcome the issue. If the managers fail to find the ways to deal the problems than it will result in more difficulties for the organisation. These troubles are enhancement in losses, reduction in the brand loyal customers etc. When effective solutions are analysed than managers need to determine their results and then choose one from them. Possible ways that can be used by Morrison in order to overcome the difficulty of insufficient employees at workplace (Kacprzyk and Fedrizzi, 2012). Various solutions which can be adapted by this organisation are mentioned below:

Hiring new customer assistants: 

As Morrison is currently dealing with the issue of insufficient number of customer assistants which has resulted in decreased revenues and profits. The problem can be resolved by hiring new skilled employees. This step may help to overcome all the issues that are taking place due to lack of customer assistants. The visitors who are coming to Morrison have a problem that there is no one who can help them to find the products that they are looking for. This solution may help to resolve all the queries of the consumers and their issues that are faced by them when appropriate product is not founded by them.

Providing training to the existing staff:

 This the another solution that can be adopted by the managers of Morrison. It is a cost saving method in which the training to existing staff members is provided so that they can handle all the queries of customers effectively. This method is very beneficial for the organisation as it will not cost high and the cost of training will be low because existing workers already have knowledge about their job.

Analysing customer's feedback:

 In this option the managers may analyse the feedback of customers and then make modification in the service delivery system. This solution is also very beneficial for Morrison because the organisation will not have to invest money. It will help to determine the actual issues that are faced by the customers when they visit the supermarket and also guide to find the ways in which all of them can be resolved. The issue of insufficient number of customer assistants can be resolved with the help of this solution because the mangers will try to figure out the cause of the problem and then take appropriate action (Kim and Jyung, 2012).

All the above described solutions can be used by Morrison in order to deal with the problem of insufficient number of customer assistants. The managers just have to implement a solution by formulating an appropriate plan that can help to successfully respond to the critical issue. In Morrison the problem has affect all the areas including financial and operational and a solution is the main requirement to that can help to overcome the issue.

4. Decision making technique to evaluate a range of solutions to identify most appropriate option

There are three different solutions which are identified by the managers of Morrison in order to appropriately respond to the issue of insufficient number of customer assistants. All these solutions are hiring new employees, providing training to existing workforce and analysing customer's feedback. The best solution from all of them can be identified with the help of Pro Con technique which is described below in detail:

Pro Con Technique: 

In this method of pros and cons, all the alternatives are analysed in order to select best of them. In this decision making technique all the solutions identified by the mangers of Morrison are going to be analysed in order to respond appropriately to the business issue. Pro's and cons' of all the three options are described below:

Hiring new customer assistants:

Pro's

Con's

· This option is very beneficial as it can help to remove the issue permanently.

· It will guide help to overcome the issue quickly.

· If new employees are hired by the organisation then there is a high possibility to resolve all the issues of customers as they will put their efforts to perform well.

· Hiring new employees will cost high to the organisation and the training cost will also be high for the new employees.

· It is a time taking process because it is not easy to recruit new employees as a long procedure of selection and recruitment is followed to hire new workers.

Provide training to the existing staff:

Pro's

Con's

· This solution will help to save cost for the organisation as cost of hiring new employees will never take place.

· Existing employees have broad knowledge of job responsibility, if proper training is provided to them than they can work productively.

· This solution does not guarantee that problem will be fully resolved because if the existing staff work appropriately than it is possible that problem may not have taken place.

 

Analyse customer's feedback:

Pro's

Con's

This solution can help to analyse actual problem which is faced by the customers and guide the managers to find appropriate ways to resolve all of them.

Sometimes managers may not find appropriate ways to resolve all the problems of the customers (Knill and Liefferink, 2013).

From all the above mentioned solutions, the best identified solution is considered to be hiring new employees as it can help to surely resolve the problem. This option may help to overcome the problem appropriately. If new employees are hired by Morrison, then this may help to respond the issue effectively because they will be properly trained in order to perform all the jobs impressively.

5. Plan for implementing the solution

The selected solution for the issue of Morrison company is hiring new customer assistance because the organisation is not having sufficient number of employees who can resolve queries of customers. This solution can be implemented with the help of a plan. Following steps are going to be followed in the plan:

Objective: 

Main objective of this plan is to resolve the issue of insufficient number of customer assistants in Morrison.

Process:

Advertisement for the job in the newspapers and job portals:

First of all, the managers needs to advertise the jobs in newspapers and other media. This will help to reach large number of applicants who are looking for job. This will help to attract and invite interested candidates who are able to work according to the requirement of Morrison. The individuals may leave their resume on the web portal of the organisation and apply for the jobs. If they have gather information of the job from newspaper than they can make a call and confirm the job interview (Pettigrew, 2014).

Reviewing applications:

In this step all the applications are reviewed and eligible applicants are selected by the employer. They analyse all the individuals and make sure that they are capable to work for the organisation. Managers in Morrison also have to assure that the candidates who have applied for the job are able to work appropriately or not.

Interviewing individuals: 

Some of the selected individuals will be called for the personal interview in which managers interact with them personally. In this stage employers of Morrison can make sure that who is highly eligible for the job and who is not (Romiszowski, 2016).

Review best applicants: 

When the interview process ends the next phase enters in which the interviewer review all the applicants. In this stage they can make their mind that who is going to be selected for the job.

Select from the reviewed applicants: 

When all the interviewed candidates are reviewed by the interviewers then the next step which is taken by them is to select the best from them. All the selected applicants are chosen according to their performance and skills.

Provide them information about the job responsibilities:

In this step all the candidates are briefed about their hob responsibility and appropriate training is also provided to them so that they can work effectively. If the hired employees are well trained than they can help Morrison to overcome the problem of poor service quality.

Time frame:

All the above described steps needs to be followed by the managers of the organisation in order to implement the plan of hiring new candidates. A Gantt chart for all the above mentioned activities is generated. The chart is as follows:

From the above Gantt chart it has been analysed that all the activities to hire new customer assistant for the organisation are going to be performed appropriately by the employers. The chart also reflects that they have decided a fixed time limit for all the activities.

Assign responsibility: 

In this stage the manager needs to make sure that all the employees of the organisation have been assigned responsibilities or not. It guides them to involve all the workers in the organisational activities by distributing duties to all of them.

Review and evaluate: 

This is the last stage of the plan in which the top executives analyse that the plan is implemented appropriately of not. They assess that it will result positively for Morrison or not.

6. Communicating the plan with stakeholders

The plan which is described above to resolve the problem of insufficient customer assistants should be communicated with the stakeholders. It is their right to get all the information of the business as they have invested their money in the business. If managers of Morrison do not provide information of the plan to the stakeholders than it may result in various problems such decrease in investment of their funds.

A feasibility and viability testing is also required for the plan so that it can be analysed that this plan will help to resolve the problem which is faced by Morrison. In this testing research and development department of the organisation analyse that hiring of new customer assistants is beneficial for the business or not. When they analyse all the relevant factors regarding the plan they present a report in front of stakeholders so that they can mark their approval and the plan can be implemented. If stakeholders find any error in the feasibility and viability report than a changes in the plan are asked by them.

Benefits of the new plan: 

The plan for the solution of a problem which is formulated by the managers of the organisation in order to resolve the issue is very beneficial. All the benefits of the plan are as follows:

  • Hiring of new customer assistants will result in decreased issues of the customers regarding service quality of Morrison.
  • The solution will help Morrison to increase its sales and profits by resolving all the queries of consumers.
  • As Morrison does not have sufficient number of customer assistants as their hiring will be beneficial for the organisation because it will help to respond appropriately on their complaints (Taylor, 2013).
  • New plan which is formulated by the managers is beneficial for the Morrison because it will help to retain customers by resolving all their queries and problems appropriately.

PESTLE analysis of Morrison:

This analysis helps to analyse al the external factors that may affect the performance of an organisation (SWOT and PESTLE of Morrison, 2018). For Morrison all of them are as follows:

  • Political:These factors depend upon the rules and regulations that are imposed by political parties of countries. If any change in the rules of UK take place than it will affect the business of Morrison as it is operating business in UK.
  • Economical:Inflation and deflations rates are considered as the part of economic factors. As Morrison is executing its business in UK, hence changes in the inflation or deflation rates can affect business of the organisation because these rates directly affect purchasing power of customers.
  • Social: All the factors that are related to the customers including their paying capacity, education level, gender, age and other are the part of social factors. If preference and taste of the customers of Morrison changes with time than it will directly affect the sales and profits of the organisation (Zsambok and Klein, 2014).
  • Technological:All such type of factors depends upon the technology advancement. As local public of UK is very much technology friendly hence if Morrison is using any new technology than it will help to attract large number of customers.
  • Legal:All the organisations who are operating business in a country are required to follow the laws that are imposed by government. It will help to execute the business smoothly. If an organisation is involved in illegal activities or not following laws than legal authorities may take strict action against them.
  • Environmental:These factors are related to the environment protection acts. It is very important for Morrison to make sure that its operations are not harmful for environment so that business can be operated appropriately (Zimmermann, 2012).

All the above described factors are required to be considered by Morrison so that its business can be operated appropriately and successfully without any issue.

SWOT analysis of Morrison: 

It guides an organisation to analyse all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that business can be operated smoothly. For Morrison a SWOT analysis is as follows:

Strengths

Weaknesses

· Overall liquidity of the organisation is very high that helps to operate business effectively.

· Morris is having good market image that helps to attract large number of customers.

· In sufficient number of employees result decreased productivity.

· The organisation is not delivering services to different geographic locations that limit its area.

Opportunities

Threats

· Hiring appropriate number of employees can help to resolve all the issues.

· Business can be expanded in to different locations so that large market area can be captured.

· As organisation is not having sufficient number of customer’s assistants hence they may switch to another organisation who are delivering good customer services.

· Increasing competition in retail sector may result in decreased market share.

7. Appropriate monitoring and review techniques to ensure successful implementation of the solution

In the context of Morrison hiring new customer assistant is a key solution in order to retain customers, however this step will be successful only by a systematic monitoring and review procedure. To establish an efficient monitoring and review procedure organisation should choose a framework to control activities involved in such procedure. This framework includes training programs, personalisation activities and other related activities that are necessary to increase awareness about how to get interacted with customers. Each and every customer assistant should be trained in systematic way to provide customer satisfaction. For proper monitoring of controls over framework and training activities, feedback from customers should be taken regularly.

Time to time interaction of senior level management with new customer assistant in order to motivate and monitor them is necessary. Direction of senior level management plays a major role in monitoring and review activities. Periodic checking of progress of works against the targets given to customer assistants in order to ensure they are able to retain the customers. New assistants should be guided in proper way and in the intended directions and also ensure the targeted performance from them. Track their performance through analysis and comparison of indicators over time. Evaluate achievements or outcomes by comparing their past performances and validate what results were achieved (Zsambok, 2014). Other senior staff at same level must keep track of task and activities of new customer assistants.

The main motive of these monitoring and review techniques is utilisation of resources. Effective project supervising and review help develop new targets, programs and ways of reaching goals. These ways of doing things also enable programs to stay on track, and improve project wasting very little while working or producing something and responsibility for behaviour. Watching/supervising and process of figuring out the worth, amount, or quality of something methods can prove expensive and time-using/eating/drinking to design and put into use.

They require trained staff to secure/make sure of success. The benefits and importance of such ways of doing things, however, usually far outweigh these limits. Project watching/supervising and process of figuring out the worth, amount, or quality of something ways of doing things use supervision, process of figuring out the worth, amount, or quality of something, judgement of value and reactions or responses to something helpful returned information to make sure that a project goes forward toward its goals.

As a happening now process, supervising figures out how effectively project inputs convert into outputs. Process of figuring out the worth, amount, or quality of something, on the other hand, measures progress towards goals and goals. Monitoring involves an occasional evaluation of performance, progress, wasting very little while working or producing something, effect and relevance with respect to project needed things.

Conclusion

From the above project report it has been concluded that all the business entities have to face different types of issues or problems at workplace. It includes conflicts among managers and staff members, insufficient resources and poor quality of services. It is essential for the organisations to take immediate action so that all the issues can be resolved quickly.

These problems can affect overall performance of the enterprise. Effective process of problem solving and decision making can help to deal with all the difficulties. The managers of the organisations need to identify the cause of the troubles in order to formulate strategies to resolve all the critical problems.

References

  • Custers, E. J., 2013. Medical education and cognitive continuum theory: an alternative perspective on medical problem solving and clinical reasoning. Academic Medicine. 88(8). pp.1074-1080.
  • Davis, J. H., 2014. Group decision making and quantitative judgments: A consensus model. In Understanding group behavior (pp. 43-68). Psychology Press.
  • Hickson, L. and Khemka, I., 2013. Problem solving and decision making. The Oxford handbook of positive psychology and disability, pp.198-225.
  • Higgs, J. and et.al., 2018. Clinical reasoning in the health professions. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  • Hwang, C. L. and Lin, M. J., 2012. Group decision making under multiple criteria: methods and applications (Vol. 281). Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Jonassen, D. H., 2012. Designing for decision making. Educational technology research and development. 60(2). pp.341-359.
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