management discussion 21

Learning Activity #1 – Theme 1

In the 20th Century, many organizations focused on goals, cost, and efficiency in production to keep business profitable. Today, for businesses to remain sustainable they must maintain a competitive advantage either by price, new product ventures, location, innovation in the marketplace, etc. In theme 1, we will begin to put together the process of bringing a new product line into Biotech’s business model to stimulate growth in a new product sector, cosmetics, while remaining true to the company’s current Mission “To develop products that are safe, effective, affordable and natural with the customer’s health always their primary goal.” This new Cosmetics Division of Biotech will be located in Asia and the company intends for it to be a leader in the use of sustainable products using the latest innovations for production and delivery to our global customers. Consider the information below:

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Recently, Geraldine Barney Garrett, the granddaughter of Wilford Barney who held the reins of the R&D department for Biotech Health and Life Products in 1965, retired and Geraldine’s own granddaughter, Melanie Malone, took over the department. Melanie is qualified for the job. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a double major in Botany and Food Science. She minored in Business Management. She had worked in the plant in Chicago every summer since High School and had reproduced and revised all her grandmother’s and great-great grandmother’s recipes. Starting full-time at 22 years of age Melanie got along with everyone in the department but at 27 Geraldine thought she may be too young to assume the position, but Melanie has shown strong managerial and leadership qualities since stepping into the role. Melanie wants the company to be a leader in innovative ways to be a sustainable company using green technologies as well as friendly to the environment, animals, and human health.

Maximillian Barney, the President, CEO and Wilford Barney’s grandchild, decided the challenge of deciding on a location for the new Cosmetic Division as well as the search for a Division Director would fall on Melanie. Since Melanie is passionate about keeping business focused on all-natural products and developing ecofriendly packaging, Max felt Melanie would ensure the company would bring in someone who would seek innovative, green, and sustainable ways to effectively bring Biotech into this new venture, while also ensuring the products are designed, developed, tested and delivered with the organization’s mission and vision in mind.

Melanie has contracted a small minority owned consulting firm, GoTo Consulting, to conduct research on the best location for this new plant that meets all the expectations of Biotech and also has the ability to launch these new products per Melanie’s mandates for green sustainability and innovation. A group has been assembled within the firm to decide on a location for the plant. Melanie has narrowed her preferences down to India, Japan, and Vietnam and wants the firm to present the best option to her.

Students will receive two grades for this week’s collaborative learning activities, a collaborative grade and an individual grade based on participation, level of work within the group, overall defense of the decision and rationale for selection. Groups will consists of 3-4 members and are expected to complete the following requirements.

Due Wednesday by 11:59 p.m. eastern time:

  • Each group member will present a three to five paragraph post about whether Biotech should locate this new manufacturing and distribution plant in India, Japan, or Vietnam. In defense of your selected location consider the cost to acquire the real estate; sustainable/green products record; access to affordable but knowledgeable labor; ease of distribution of manufacturing products to the plant, and ease of distribution of products to customers; and access to innovative employees that can create a new product line to gain market share from day one. You must support the reasoning for the selection with research and the course material.

Learning Activity #2 – Theme 2

In week 1 we asked “Who is a manager and what is their job in an organization?” As Biotech launches a new product division to design, develop and deliver cosmetics globally, they will need to bring in someone to manage this division. Melanie Malone, the head of R&D who has been tasked with identifying the person to lead this new division, wants the new Executive Director for the Asia Division to be open to new innovative ways to develop green and sustainable products that will not only be popular among the traditional Biotech customer base, but will also be the face of the organization when marketing the products.

Partnering with the small consulting firm, GoTo Consulting, Melanie will be vetting three potential candidates who will jump right in and begin the development of management plans that will be used to establish the new division. A senior representative from the firm was on the panel for the interview, and the transcripts of the interview have been given to the GoTo team that is helping Melanie with her tasking. The new Executive Director will be a Manager of the 21st Century who will be able to incorporate the values, culture and traditions of Biotech with the values and traditions of the host nation employees that will be hired as managers and employees.

In addition, the new Executive Director will be the face of the marketing brand in the beginning and this new employee will need to be able to motivate not only the employee base on these new products but also motivate a new customer base for Biotech on the ‘difference’ Biotech will bring to the cosmetic industry. Currently, the cosmetic industry has a lot of well established companies and a strong entry will be key to grab market share. Innovative and well made products, good marketing, and a clear strategy will be critical to that strong entry, so bringing in a strong director will be key.

Candidates

Jessica Sloan

Jessica has been working as the Deputy Executive Director of the European Division for the last year mainly focused on helping the Protein and Fitness branch become more environmentally and human friendly. Jessica currently holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from State College and her MBA from UMUC. Prior to her current position with Biotech Jessica was a production manager for the New Mexico facility for eleven years and was highly regarded within the employee ranks as a fair manager who was inclusive in her decision making. This allowed her to keep her employees involved in the daily operations of the plant and helped foster a cohesive workforce. On her resume, she discusses her research in organic ingredients becoming a major reason for the ascension of Biotech in Europe’s list of environmental and human friendly companies. Prior to joining Biotech, twelve years ago Jessica spent one year as an intern for a small non-profit company researching the effects of cosmetic testing on animals. During her initial screening, Jessica admitted she currently does not have any marketing experience to help be the face of the new product, but has a strong desire to work on those skills and believes she has the managerial and leadership qualities to guide the team to success regardless. Jessica stated in her cover letter that though she only has twelve years of experience she would be a great fit for this executive position not just due to her familiarity with Biotech; its core values; understanding of the mission and vision; but also her desire to see Biotech become a leader in sustainable production with a focus on being environmentally and human friendly. Her degree in chemical engineering paired with the desire stated previously, would also allow her to focus on finding ways for Biotech to become the leader in quality, clean cosmetic products.

Michelle Constance

Michelle has spent the past 25 years working or Silver Fox Cosmetics, a mid-sized cosmetic company currently operating out of New Jersey, which recently was bought out by a large perfume company looking to expand to cosmetics. For the past 2 years Michelle has served as the Vice President of Operations and Marketing where, according to her statements in the interview, she was instrumental in helping Silver Fox gain a 12% increase year-over-year in market share. Before being named as a VP for Silver Fox, Michelle worked for 10 years as a Regional Director for Asia Production working out of their Hong Kong office. During her run as a Regional Director she was responsible to make visits to the production plants in Cambodia and India to ensure compliance to company, federal, and local safety and production regulations. She credited her success in that role due to her strict management style of ensuring she was able to be a part of each plants decision making regardless of how small the issue. She did this thru modern communication channels that allow personnel to work remotely from anywhere in the world. The previous 13 years with the company were spent rising up the ladder starting with the company in the production line at the New Jersey plant where the company got its start. During her interview Michelle stated that Biotech should consider getting into the cosmetic industry with less focus on sustainability and green initiatives as it can be a difficult industry for new entrants, and just make quality products. Once established the company could begin to move to being more environmentally and human friendly. She stated she is an ‘old school’ manager who was able to have success in Asia due to her ‘hands on’ approach. Michelle stated in her cover letter that she is an experienced executive with a track record of success.

Jefferson Bennett

Jefferson is the current owner, along with his wife Tammy, of J&T’s Beauty and Personal Care Supplies with over $300M in annual sales. Biotech recently agreed to purchase the company and Jefferson is to receive a position within the organization as part of the purchase agreement; his wife Tammy will take over as Director of Operations for the Biotech’s Personal Care operations. Max has asked Melanie to vet Jefferson carefully to see if maybe this would be a good fit for his executive level management and leadership skills. Max also believes that since ‘Jefferson can run his own company he should be able to run a new division’. The purchase of the company by Biotech has a stipulation that Jefferson must be provided with a ‘high level’ position within the organization. Prior to starting his company 17 years ago Jefferson was an officer in the US Air Force working in logistics, and his wife was a local consultant for a beauty supply company. During Melanie’s conversations with Jefferson, he admitted that he handled the operations and financial side of the company for many of their initial years and Tammy led the marketing campaigns that helped them grow exponentially for the first few years, and then allowed them to maintain steady growth after that. However, he believes that since he has been leading J&T’s through their growth that he could easily manage Biotech into a new venture. Jefferson spent 10 years in Japan as a Logistics Officer with the Air Force, which is where he met his wife who was a Japanese citizen at the time. Jefferson believes he has the cultural awareness to be successful in Asia, and since he is guaranteed a position with the company, he feels this would be the perfect fit and the remaining interview process for this position should just be a formality.

Students will receive two grades for this week’s collaborative learning activities, a collaborative grade and an individual grade based on participation, level of work within the group, overall defense of the decision and rationale for selection. Every group member is expected to complete the following requirements.

Due Wednesday by 11:59 p.m. eastern time:

  • Each group member will present a two to three paragraph post on which candidate GoTo Consulting should recommend to Melanie Malone with Biotech. Consider their full body of experience and how it aligns with Melanie’s expectations for the new person as well as how they will lead within the context of the mission and vision.