Critical Thinking Assignment
The assignment consists of two parts that is the analysis, providing with the assumptions, problems, issues and arguments. The second part of the case study is an executive summary devoted to Cliff O'Conner. CEO at AcuScan, Inc. presents some recommendations and ways out for company's crisis. The analysis comprises the assumptions of four employees of the company.
Kelly Thomas proposed the following assumptions: firstly, the group is not able to complete the new product during the short time period of six months. It sounds rather reasonable, as it is really difficult to achieve good results within such short period of time. There is much time needed for the advertising and trial period of the new product. Secondly, Kelly supposed that he would run short of workers to build up new product because of placing the employees in the timeframes. Kelly is right, as it is rather inconvenient to work having the timeframes, as creation and development requires time. That is why the employees do not agree to work with tight schedule. Thirdly, the cost estimates proposed by PAT not achievable. Kelly understands that the costs in the PAT are not enough to achieve the desirable quality of the goods. Fourthly, Kelly assumes that Pat is engaging in developing of products even without the verification of his superior Cris. Kelly thinks that Pat is too independent to ask someone’s permission. Moreover, he is sure that the development and planning of a new product can be achieved very easily. Pat assumes that new product can appear in the market this August, despite its imperfection. He does not care much about a quality of new product. Terms and being the first on the market worries him much more. The second assumption was that it is necessary to launch the product as early as possible to become number one on the market. From the one hand it is good, but from the other it is not, as being number one requires offering high quality product that AcuScan can not provide within such short period of time. The third assumption is that programmers are helpful and that they are able launch the new product, but only Kelly world not support this. Programmers working in the company are really supportive, and they are ready to work over the developing of the product. The only thing is that the time is too limited. The fourth assumption is that new product can really save the company despite its bad economic situation. It sounds correct as it really so. The launching of new product can save the company from collapse and increase its revenues. The launching of new product on the market is really helpful for the company as it will help to overcome difficult situation.
Cliff assumes that new product produced by the company and presented in the market help to revive the company although many employees were fired during the last year. This is a very optimistic hope as in fact the company suffers bad times because of the lack of employees. Cliff thinks that lack of staff will not lead to bad results. Secondly, Cliff assumes that Cris and Pat could join together and work in one team in order to achieve the goals of the company. It is really reasonable and correct assumption as all the members of team should work together to achieve success. According to Chris’s assumes, Pat and Kelly can work in one team easily and successfully. It is correct assumption as only smooth and friendly team can help the company and its personnel to perform well for mutual success. Secondly, Chris assumed that Kelly should be the one who can make the decisions concerning the scanner. It is not the best way out as one person can not be responsible for the whole process. It requires assistance and decisions of the whole team of experts.
As for the arguments that are necessary to discuss, there are quite many of them in the paper. Cliff O 'Connor argues that he is able to remedy the problems of the company with the help of budget cuts and the company can perform the launching new product and undergo budget cut consequently. He hopes that new product’s launching can cover all the costs and increase the budget of the company in future. According to the arguments of Pat Lambert, he can launch new product having no approval or support from Kelly and the members of product development group. Moreover, he is able to launch a new product with a prototype with all the characteristics during the next 6 to 8 months period. This argument sounds rather silly, as Kelly supposed that 6-8 months period is not enough for this. Kelly Thomas argued that the programmers of the company may not manage to maintain the launching of new products within 6 months, as it is physically impossible to do, as they are too short of time. In this case the product would not meet all the necessary quality requirements and standards. The argument is very logical and correct, as development of a qualitative product requires enough time, that Pat does not want to provide. The arguments of Chris Martinas are that Kelly and Pat will finally agree and start working together to achieve the company’s goals. In current situation it seems to be the most reasonable and correct decision. The main problem of the company is the conflict between its employees who can not come to the agreement as for time needed for the launching a new product. Obviously, all the assumptions and arguments are reasonable and useful enough. Lack of time and qualified specialists, who were recently fired by the company, are one of the main reasons of the problems and arguments. The main solution is compromise between Kelly and Pat, as a result of which they start working together.
AcuScan Inc. is the company producing the iScanner, the product of a retinal scanner security. This product became one of the most popular security scans chosen by the airports in the territory of the United States. The company presented its original iScanner approximately ten yeas ago. The product was performed according to all standards that is why it gained the fame of the most reliable and convenient scan systems. At present, the iScanner takes the market share of 40%. According to the reports in 2002, the revenues of the company AcuScan reached more than $100 million; it appeared to be a new sales record for the company. These data proves the effectiveness of the development department work that deals with the promotion of the product on the market. Despite the recent economic recession that resulted in the layoffs at AcuScan and the decrease in headcount of about five hundred employees, the company managed to accomplish good sales. AcuScan is under important competitive and financial pressure. iScanner and similar devices’ costs that are produced by the opponents are declining. Customers consider this product to be just a commodity item. According to the suggestions, the service revenues at the company AcuScan will enlarge to about 70 percent of the whole sales revenues. Unfortunately, because of rather high overhead costs, service revenues produce lower benefits. AcuScan made the decision that the only way to succeed and go ahead in the current market conditions is to become the leading manufacturer and market leader in the sphere of optical scanning technology. The organizational development department of the company is searching of applying the existing technologies in updated ways. One of the main goals of the company is to develop a new inventions based on verified existing technology. The company is trying to hire the experts in the sphere of production and market development.
At the moment, company is planning and developing a new product that is planned to be launched within 6-8 months. It can be seen from the analysis, there is not unity and understanding within the company. The first problem is lack of time. This problem can be easily solved by enlarging the time frames and hiring more specialists to fast the process. The next step is improving the traditional product quality. It can be made by choosing and working with new specialists and partners. Moreover, it will be quite useful to find new suppliers of the materials in order to improve the quality of the production.
One more step is trying to work with the customers directly, without intermediates, as it will help to reduce price for the delivery to our customers. The last very important thing is maintaining excellent employment environment. In order to achieve it is necessary to improve working conditions and provide the staff with more freedom, giving them the opportunity to take part not only in the production process, but also in the process of developing the ideas. The next problem is absence of unity and compromise between the employees, leading to the arguments and misunderstandings. The solution is finding the compromise, as only it can help the team work smoothly and successfully.