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In-Depth Analysis of Global Leadership Challenges, Term Paper Example

Pages: 12

Words: 3187

Term Paper

Mom and Baby offer the ability for consumers to purchase products that will simplify their daily lives and allow for freedom of movement without the attachment to conventional household necessities while also providing the ability to provide an environment conducive to their child’s growth and development.  The product range includes that of self-warming feeding bottles, bottle scrubbers, pacifiers and training feeding cups.  The primary objective is to create a competitive advantage in the nutrition and development market by creating products that are not only targeted toward the growing market of where both parents or single parent working families have grown accustom to quick, easy and quality products that deliver specific and intended services.  The product of the self-warming bottle provides the ability to move about freely and always have the optimal temperature bottle for the infant in less than four minutes.  This outpaces competition and allows a near-real time reaction to the hunger pangs of the child.  With the inherent use of the product there are also products that are leveraging the ease of use and desired quality that comes from the IIamo bottle warming system which includes sustainment of the product through proper cleansing through the use of the bottle scrubber and ultimately the product line grows with the child through training cups to help transition the child from bottles to cups.

The organization is leveraging their ability to market their product globally and are looking to enter other geographically separated areas across the globe.  In order to do so they must understand the cultural inference required to do business in other countries.  The baseline is made in the United States but the expansion is looking toward Spain and China.  All three have benefits of expansion but each face their own level of risk.

Planning

In order to grow the business it must first have sound business frameworks in place to do so.  Business organizations are usually established with an aim of gaining dominance in the market so that they attain their set goals. The firms will strive to become globally known due to their high levels of performance in terms of their products and services. It is the pride of a company to conquer the world market and prosper in relation to the company’s vision and mission objectives. Strategic leadership is the main reason behind the success of global companies (Gully, 2002).  Mom & Baby has taken their ability to develop and apply cutting edge feeding and optimization product advancements with best practice operations within their supply chains to create a value added network of logistics to their business model.  The focus on taking a traditional cost center and turning it into a tool to deliver high quality products while also increasing value through visibility, production, supplier interactions, financial dependencies and other key business intelligence allows Mom & Baby to derive a benefit in their business.

Mom & Baby is divided into operations, manufacturing and sales based on innovative feeding products.  The primary focus of providing a quality product that allows for good health and optimal nutrition spawns out of the desire to provide the best opportunities for growth and development of children.  Their product range spans from Iiamo go bottles, brushes, pacifiers, and training cups, each are used to promote health, safety and optimization of feeding.  Mom & Baby has taken on a monumental task in their business philosophy.  Their dedicated strategic plan is to solve for tomorrow’s growth and expansion of products.  As technological advancements increase in implementations and acceptance, the ability to progress on the cutting edge of technology lies in solving problems for tomorrow.  Their high risk/ high reward structure lies within their core competencies.  The risk of placing limited resources such as capital and employee effort for research and development for areas of advancement that do not have a current market need can be mitigated substantially by the core business operations that Mom & Baby is continually improving upon.  The supply chain management of Mom & Baby is based on planning and optimization.  Within the planning function supply, resource and planning capabilities are split into separate organizations in which each own a specific responsibility (Drach-Zahavy and Erez, 2002).  The Supply function encapsulates supplier management, procurement activities and the logistics for delivery to the plant locations.  The second area focuses on resource planning.  Resource planning includes port management, intra-organizational logistics, forecasts for part supply and part usage as well as the ability to understand the demand of the customer and how it translates into the manufacturing and supply chain management (Vernvi, 2007).  The tertiary pillar of the supply chain management operations within Mom & Baby is the Demand Management function.  The customer collaboration extends to not only the end customer and ensuring the quality products reach the consumer but the customers include retail chain stores, service providers and other outlets.  The customer collaboration efforts allow for a synergistic leveraging between customer and Mom & Baby to create an environment for success within the supply chain.  The opportunities to reduce cost, increase transit availability and improve efficiencies between organizations all occur due to a collaborative nature among partners (Hamel, 2007).

Mom & Baby embeds the ability and drive to continually improve operations, tasks, procedures or any other aspect within the organization that can receive a benefit from improvement.  By aligning the business philosophy to achieve a superior supply chain management operation through the installation of best practices as a framework and then working to continually improve the capabilities allows Mom & Baby to operate on the cutting edge of technology in many regards while also focusing on internal processes and procedures to achieve maximum capability, efficiency and effectiveness.

United States

Within the United States, the Iiamgo product line through Mom & Baby are classically focused on the families with disposable income that are looking for ways to limit the amount of time they are spending from away from their primary responsibilities and activities.  The bottle warmer is a perfect example of limiting time away from the baby to warm the bottle to the appropriate level and return to the family for feeding.  The United States also values time in which they spend in leisure.  This includes taking trips and spending time away to enjoy the country in which they live.  Having the ability to bring the essential capabilities to thrive and provide the optimal nutritional experience to the child is unparalleled through other means.  The target market of the United States is a solid foundation for the product lines and expansion through a direct placement with the same marketing, product supply chain and deployment would not necessarily end with the same intended results.

Spain and China

This difference is more obvious for such culturally diverse nations but there are other nations that are different but only in key areas (Campbell, 2013).  To fully understand the risks and rewards choosing to either move business to other countries or establish project to utilize foreign countries resources it is necessary to look at multiple countries to get an understanding of the variables that will impact the human resource management operations (Yeung & Ready, 1995).  The first example is the China.China is in a unique position in which they are creating an environment to be conducive for foreign investors to come into their country and enhance their global economic model.  China and offers tremendous opportunities for foreign investors to conduct business in their location.  The prerequisite for the business or conglomeration of investors is to have a steady and ample capital backing.  If the group has enough capital and is willing to work overseas, Chinese locations are great areas to springboard operations and enter the target markets of the area.  Imports of foreign goods are limited but locally operated facilities can gain access to the end users of the product.   The opportunity for China to provide high quality goods such as the Iamgo bottle and scrub brushes another opportunity arises.  Not only is the labor and manufacturing cheaper Mom and Baby can take advantage of the conducive and entrepreneurial environment instilled by the country.  The benefits of doing business in the China include tax benefits offered to startups and large investment companies, free trade zones and distinct markets that cater to varying business types such as financial districts, manufacturing zones and other areas tailored to business growth.  The country provides the vessel to conduct business and the project manager’s role is to understand exactly what is required and the cost associate with meeting those requirements.  The benefits of the human resource management would come from the general culture of the area including the established business culture for change and grow regarding business ideas and implementations as well as the focus on driving success.  China wants the companies to become successful in order to increase the benefits experience by their citizens and economic prosperity.

The disadvantages mostly reside in the same core areas that would be experienced by doing business in any other country that has a difference language, beliefs system, laws, business models or geographic separation from the other country looking to conduct business activities.  Language, customs, politics and religion all play a role in project execution but there are some other areas that also are limitation to project management in China.  The hyper-competitive process of resource allocation for the project must be accounted for as a risk to the project.  Since the area of China is conducive to new ventures based within China there are limited resources available for new countries looking for a part of the market share.

Another country that provides a multitude of business opportunities for business projects and requires a strong leader in the human resource management field are the ventures in Spain.  Spain provides resources that are technological savvy, industrious, intelligent, and highly educated.  When projects are implemented in Spain it is the people and logistical placement within the globe that make the attractiveness so great.  Spain is limited in size but is strategically located in the East and provides the democratic governance that is advantageous to free trade and business growth.  Key benefits of expanding opportunities to Spain include the established business partnership between the United States and Spain as well as the forged path of success that has been blazed by other companies over the past few decades.  There are lessons learned and knowledge available for the project team to learn and understand about Spain’s cultural differences and other high impact low probability risks.  The formidable and highly capable workforce in Spain allows the organization’s efforts to be centrally controlled and decentralized executed (Gray& Larson, 2011)

Challenges in Global Operations

There are two main challenges entering the foreign markets.  The first is the competition that is already established.  The goal was to enter markets that did not have a high level of market ownership by other commodity providers.  The problem with this is that there is already an established set of large organizations spanning the key geographical areas in which our organization is planning on launching.  The launch of the product will require specific competitive advantages to be created in order to be successful.  Each area will need these key benefits to be communicated and exposed to the consumer so that the consumer will choose the Mom & Baby product over the already established commodities.  Each market entry will need to have an established plan specific to the entry and sustainment of the product within each country. The first example would be that of China.  China does not have the same regulatory screenings on consumer products and the plan is to exploit that deregulation as an opportunity for growth.  The Mom & Baby organization will offer a product that meets higher quality standards and offer that to the consumer. The plan would need to include the management of those costs associated with increased quality, a plan for marketing the quality as a value add to the product and a return on investment for these efforts that exceed the increased cost.  As with China, all markets need to have the specific plans for creating a competitive advantage and how to sustain the market share.

Creating the Market through Efficiency

Quality is ingrained within the Mom & Baby culture. This entrenched focus to continually improve and provide quality products to the customer has led to the adoption of lean management and the Six Sigma methodology. Many of the large manufacturing and assembly companies have created, enhanced and promoted total quality management, Six Sigma and lean management methodologies.

Lean management’s purpose is to limit or eliminate waste from the creation process that does not bring value to the customer (Holweg, 2007). The purpose is achieved through a set of tools whose sole purpose is to provide insight and direction to help those in the manufacturing process make better decisions to eliminate waste. Lean management helps facilitate the use of the tools to create a repeatable and sustainable manufacturing process to remove wasteful activities such as holding too much inventory, rework of product and extraneous transportation costs are just some of the wastes companies experience in the process of managing a supply chain and are exacerbated by the lack of lean processes.  Lean supply chain management is not just a project to temporarily relieve the pain points experienced by a temporary issue. Lean supply chain management is a way to run a business to the point in which lean thinking and lean actions are ingrained into the daily activities of every employee.  Lean is a way of life and not just a fly-by-night operation.  It takes time and commitment to implement and more importantly sustain in the manufacturing environment. Lean management, when implemented successfully, will be ingrained into the culture of the organization from the leadership of the company down to the front lines of the business where the company touches the suppliers and customers.

The lean management tools are utilized to drive out the waste from the process at the root cause of the issues the company is facing. The root cause is quality issues in the manufacturing process (Town, 2005).  By addressing these issues on the line they can be eliminated.  By eliminating the issues at the source they will not come back as re-work which leads to more costs associated with the product.  The lean management methodology will need to become a cultural staple in the company’s manufacturing process.  By promoting and driving the lean culture, the leadership will create a sense of accountability and buy-in across the organization which will facilitate the positive results from a lean implementation.

Lean management and Six Sigma are often used to better the organizational efforts to increase productions, capability, efficiencies or effectiveness. In this case, for Mom & Baby’s business processes, the focus is on Supply Chain Management (SCM). Both are similar in that they are structured frameworks to help solve issues and improve the performance of their respective organization.  Lean management is used to reduce waste and improve efficiency of a process while Six Sigma is utilized for the reduction in variances and improved performance. For example with lean management the focus could be on processing times, improving safety, utilization of resources and process improvements.  These increases in efficiencies will not help prevent products from failing quality checks or missing other specifications on the requirements.  This is where Six Sigma would be used.  In essence, Six Sigma methodologies push the organization to make the product exactly the same without defects every single time.  It does not mean that the process is efficient but it does force defects from the operation.  Both could and should be used in a synergistic approach.  For example while working through the lean management tool set which uncovers inefficiencies, the root-cause could be caused by consistent rework or scrapping parts due to defects in which the Six Sigma methodology would come into play.  Lean management is a great place to reduce the waste in the processes before implementing a Six Sigma approach.

“Lean management implementation is continuous process that requires a change in the way the company conducts their business” (Pettersen, 2009). Mom & Baby must identify a need within their processes or a need to reduce the waste to better utilize their limited resources. While the focus here is on lean management methodologies a key to success is integrating lean management philosophy as a cultural attribute. One of the major tasks of the team is to bring in leadership and ensure that the culture change is pushed from the top down to not only kick off the culture change but also create a sustainable environment for the lean culture. Implementing lean management is often like opening a tool box and selecting the correct tool for the job. Lean management is also in a continuous state of improvement so that it must also be understood that while there should be recognizable gains from each lean management activity to goal is to continuously improve and strive to draw down the wastes in the manufacturing process. There are two basic methods to implement lean management projects (Hanover, 2006).  The first method is a tools based approach and the second is a flow based approach. Both implementations work through a repeatable process which results in an improved area that contains a repeatable and sustainable process improvement.

Conclusion

Mom & Baby has established itself through hard work and dedication to effectively and efficiently creating an environment for success within a collaborative supply chain management operation. This includes providing those within the supply chain the appropriate tools to accomplish their objectives as well as placing a significant emphasis on core capabilities and business optimization. These aspects are engrained throughout the organization across all functional areas. The focus on standardized operations across business units, synergistic approaches to supply chain management and metrics for managing performance create the best possible scenario for success within the supply chain. Mom & Baby’s business philosophy for solving tomorrow’s problems places a direct emphasis on continual improvement. This philosophy is a direct correlation between Mom & Baby’s cutting edge supply chain and their successes in multiple product markets.

References

Campbell, Andrew. (2013). In-depth analysis of global leadership challenges. Journal of Business and Ethics. Indiana University.

Drach-Zahavy, A. & Erez, M. (2002). Challenge versus threat effects on the goal-performance Relationship. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 88, pp. 667-682.

Gray, C. F., & Larson, E. W. (2011). Project management: The managerial process (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Gully, S.M., et al. (2002). A meta-analysis of team efficacy, potency and performance: interdependence and level of analysis as moderators of observed relationships. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, pp. 819-832.

Hamel, G. (2007).The future of management. Harvard Business Press.

Hanover, B. (2006) Deliciously lean – a mouth-watering introduction to lean manufacturing for printing professionals and sandwich makers alike. SGIA Journal Fourth Quarter 2006. Retrieved from: http://tpslean.com/pdfs/introtolean.pdf.

Holweg, Matthias. (2007). The genealogy of lean production. Journal of Operations Management 25 (2): 420–437.

Pettersen, J. (2009) Defining lean production: some conceptual and practical issues. The TQM Journal, 21(2).

Town, K. (2005). The virtual supply chain the ultimate supply chain management strategy. Retrieved from: http://www.webpronews.com/the-virtual-supply-chain-the-ultimate-supply-chain-management-strategy-2005-07

Vernvi, B. (2007). Where are the real problems in manufacturing? Retrieved from:http://americanmachinist.com/Classes/Article/ArticleDraw.aspx?HBC=iCopyright&NIL=False&CID=71108&OASKEY. 2007.

Yeung, Arthur &Ready, Douglas. (1995) Developing Leadership Capabilities of Global Corporations: A Comparative Study in Eight Nations. 34, 4; ABI/INFORM.

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