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APPLIED MANAGEMENT

1.0       Identify an Organisation
The major success of any organization depends on the employee’s work contribution and their high level of effectiveness. This is very important as it leads the organization many benefits such as production effectiveness, good working environment, staff will be more determine to reach the goals and objective of the company, and for the company it is a cost saving and therefore leads to profitability.
 
Without the right stimuli, employees limit their work to established daily activities. Their job stop to be challenging for them and they fall into the monotony. This results in employees poor productivity, lack of interest to participate to the mission and goals of the company, and it decreases organizations overall performance and productivity.
 
The crux for management is to implement the right techniques to motivate staff. By understanding employee’s needs, managers can understand what resources and opportunities they need to provide in order to increase their workers participation. It is important for companies to retain, train, and to participate in the learning development of their staff. Employee retention means return on their training investment and increase productivity. In terms of delivering a service such as a freight company like PGL, it is also important for operators to build a relationship with their customers, and for the operators to also better understand their customers business and work ethic. Another advantage for the organization is that they can also train their staff their ways so that the operation team is working together like a team which is of great importance to reach quality service and effective productivity. Delivering a service to customers within an appropriate time frame is of great importance in the freight industry as competition is fierce and customer retention is of great importance for the organization.
 
Motivation is a procedure of deliberate impact on the personnel by using specific stimuli. Motivated employees are more effective, satisfied, and stay with the organization for longer. One of the most important questions a manager faces is to find out what motivates their staff. It is curial for managers to get to know and care for their employees because they must feel like they are part of the organization.
 
In this project, we aim to analyze all aspects of motivation within the targeted organization.
Firstly, we will target a particular company such as PGL to describe the nature of the issue. Then we will investigate what causes the problem in that particular workplace. To support our research, we will use a combination of different theories such as Maslow and Herzberg. Throughout the project, we will deliberate different factors effecting what motivates and what discourages employees.
Finally, we will develop the best solutions in order to change the behavior and to solve the motivational problem.
 
The company which we will focus on our project is called Pacific Gate Logistics Ltd (PGL).
Pacific Gate Logistics Ltd is an international freight forwarding company located in Airport Oaks, Auckland. It is a small company but has other offices in Australia, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia. For this project, we will concentrate on the New Zealand office.
 
PGL is an independent and innovative logistical company specializing in the consolidation export service to the Pacific Islands, while at the same time providing a global logistical solution using their worldwide agency network.
 
PGL was first established in Auckland, New Zealand in October 1999. Its main core service is in the exports consolidation to the Pacific Islands, “Transport to the Pacific Islands is our business”. PGL then move on by providing transport services worldwide. It then opened other offices in Australia, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia. (Pacific Gate Logistics, 2010)
 
2.0       Introduction
PGL is a freight forwarding company offering a service in all aspects of freight forwarding including big and small parcels and freight with a variety of different shipping methods available such as sea freight ,airfreight etc. They also both import and export freight. They are an independent owned, reactive, flexible, and innovative company offering a fast professional and unique service to customers. (Pacific Gate logistics. 2010). PGL limited has their offices all over the world some of which are in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Los Angeles, French Polynesia etc. There are three main offices/depots, two in Australia in Sydney and Brisbane and one in New Zealand Auckland. (Pacific Gate logistics. 2010). One of the problems faced by PGL is communication between the three main offices regarding orders and other things that head offices must be aware of. Another problem is motivation, In particular the motivation of the staff to do their work and run the company efficiently and effectively and to its full capacity. Managers and staff (frontline) could do with some incentives for hard work, if the mangers became more motivated and more focus driven the staff would then also start to follow that more, as the mangers would be leading by example and the employees would then know what standard of work is expected. The business structure for PGL is a limited liability company. There are many roles and tasks performed by managers depending on the area and level of management they work in, some of these things include but are not limited to. Leading, managers are trying to lead by example for the staff to follow and setting the standard, that all staff are expected to work towards. Controlling, make sure all staff are doing the work they have set out to do. This includes making decision for the company; working with and consulting relevant head of departments to reach a positive and satisfactory outcome, so the company can continue to move forward and expand more. Sales managers need to be focus driven to find new areas to expand the company into and grow the company and increase sales and PGL market share even further. Sales managers achieve this by looking to supply companies that will have a lot of daily or weekly or monthly freight that needs shipping. The managers also have been looking into business development to grow the business into new markets and areas; these are new initiative ways to expand in niece/gaps in the market that no other company is currently servicing. Mangers also look at both accounts payable and receivable, finalise all files, supervise sales volume, budget forecasts, make and develop marketing plans, represent the company at relevant conferences, take part in staff training and development, motivating and recruiting staff. Design and implement health and safety procedures and make staff and mangers aware of these.
3.0       Problem Identification
Strengths
These are internal and relating to organization (Rix, 2009).  PGL have good market coverage they transport freight to the entire world. The Pacific islands are their main target market. They also have a well developed strategy because they have offices all over the world, and also considering they have a reasonably big market share of the total freight forwarding market. PGL ltd has good marketing skills
they focus first and foremost; on the Pacific Islands which is their target market. PGL ships freight by air and sea to all of the Pacific Islands. The company has a good brand name that is well known throughout the world but especially the Pacific Islands, it’s the first choice of many people worldwide when they want a fast efficient and effective service. PGL ltd has had recent developments in technology one of which is an online tracking system for customers to check when the item will arrive and how far away it is. They have also put a lot of money into the investment of new software and technology. Another attribute that sets them apart is their personalised and specialised service to all customers.
Weaknesses
These are internal and relating to the organization (Rix, 2009).  One of PGL weaknesses is they only have a small team, this makes things more difficult for management due to the small team they must use all of their available time efficiently and effectively to maximise work and production, the reason this makes managements job hard is they must be very accurate at assigning work to insure they meet deadlines. For example people in the freight centres need to have freight going out at a certain time to meet with planes/shipping etc, if management do not have an effective plan to ensure they meet deadlines they could fall behind and it is very hard to catch up again. It’s also hard to find qualified staff to fill the necessary positions in the company. This is because a lot of the people who apply for these positions do not have the experience and/or qualifications to meet the requirements of the jobs there, this then adds to HR workload and also means there are increased costs such as advertising considering the amount of time it can take to find people qualified
for the positions. Cash flow is limited to PGL budget.
 
Opportunities
These are positive trends in external environmental factors. (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter. 2009).The market is quite a niece market this is because PGL main target market is the Pacific Islands and there is not a huge of providers for that area that will ship freight in the same fast efficient way as PGL and that also have the added extras e.g. such as a variety of different shipping options and a compressive online tracking system. One of the main factors which is said to be a key deciding factor/difference between PGL and other companies. Is PGL specialised and personalised service, PGL achieves this by providing a unique fast, efficient and effective service to all customers. They also have a diverse advantage over competition.
Threats
These are negative trends in the external environmental (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter 2009), to the company PGL limited. Although PGL has quite a good niche market on the pacific islands, a major threat to PGL limited is competition, in particular competition in the world market for freight forwarding. Their main source of competition is from large, shareholder owned multinational companies that offer competitive pricing for bigger bulk lots of freight shipped to the same destination. PGL limited struggles to compete with this because their focus and target market is the Pacific Islands. Another threat to PGL is the exchange rates fluctuating. Depending on whether the exchange rate goes up or down and in which country the person is in. It can in some cases where our money goes up and the consumer money is lower, cost the consumer more. In cases where our money/exchange rate goes down and the consumer in another country exchange rate is up and is paying for the goods to be shipped to them, it will cost them less. So depending on the exchange rate whether it is up in one country and down in another or down in one country and up in another or even in both countries, this is a major threat to PGL, because people who are in countries with a low dollar will end up having to pay more for freight forwarding and will be less likely to use PGL to carry their freight. Another threat to PGL is exporting to other counties is always dependent on the state of the economy in the countries in which PGL is exporting to, as counties for example that are in recession will not be sending a lot of freight and this then impacts on the amount of available work for PGL and lessens it considerably.
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.0       Project Plan
Our team resource requirements have been kept to a minimum, and only require transportation costs to the organization to conduct interviews and handing out surveys. The manpower required is kept to two people as we do not wish to interrupt or disturb the organization as much as possible. The company’s website will also be used as well as contact through emails and phone calls with our selected sources. We have decided that the Decision Making Process is the best methodology/model for problem solving and intend on employing the theory of this model to achieve the best outcome possible for our chosen organization. The Decision Making Process is a set of eight steps that include:
 
Step One: Identifying the problem
“The decision making process begins with the existence of a problem or, more specifically, a discrepancy between an existing or desired state of affairs” (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006, p. 208). In this case we need to sit down with the company or the representative and clearly identify and what the problem/s are before moving on to step two.
 
Step Two: Identifying decision criteria
Once the problem has been identified the next step is to identify the criteria needed to solve that problem. This might include cost, resources, time, etc that need to be accounted for in order to solve the problem (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006).
 
Step Three: Allocating weights and criteria
Once the decision criteria’s have been selected you need to have weight or evidence to support your decision criteria. A simple and effective way of doing this is by ranking or putting value of 10, on your most important criteria and from there rank the remaining criteria in accordance to your most important, thus providing a indication of how strong each criteria is based on their weighting (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006).
 
Step Four: Developing alternatives
This step just requires us to list variable alternatives that could be used to fix the problem. At this stage we do not need to expand further in to detail (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006).
 
Step Five: Analyzing alternatives
At this step we will critically analyze the alternatives listed in step four. To do this we will appraise the alternatives against the criteria determined in steps 2 and 3. To do this a similar process is done to that in step three but with the alternatives instead ranked against the criteria. From this comparison the strength and weaknesses from each alternative will become evident (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006).
 
Step Six: Selecting an alternative
This step is basically selecting the best alternative from the ones listed. After all the analyzing and comparisons of the alternatives listed the one with the highest ranking will be selected (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006).
 
Step Seven: Implementing the alternative
Now it’s time to put our decision into action by letting those involved be made aware of the processes or changes that are going to take effect and making them feel involved with the implementation of the new decision rather than forcing it upon them or, telling them what to do (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2006).
 
Step Eight: Evaluating decision effectiveness
This step is about the results and evaluating whether the decisions implemented had the desired effectiveness? And did it resolve the problem? If the problem has not been resolved then we must go back and look at the steps and identify where we went wrong, for example did we identify the problem? Or did we select the right alternative? Going back will help us identify which step we got wrong and resolve this problem (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2008).
Each of these steps will be included in the process of compiling and forming our team report and will aid in us in achieving the best possible solution, and make the appropriate recommendations for any problems/issues that we may find (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter, 2008).
 
5.0       Research Method and Process
The primary goal of our research is to define and develop understanding of motivational problem in the workplace. Setting goals and objectives are important factor in any organisation for both short and long term. They are the map & compass which gives the company the direction to reach their mission and objective. Goals are the purpose, aspiration, and vision of the organisation; while objectives are the plan and path towards the achievement of any goals. (Goals setting, 2011)
 
As previously mentioned, motivation is a procedure of deliberate impact on the personnel by using specific stimuli. Motivated employees are more effective, satisfied, and stay with the organization for longer. One of the most important questions a manager faces is to find out what motivates their staff. It is curial for managers to get to know and care for their employees because they must feel like they are part of the organisation.
 
In this project, we aim to analyse all aspects of motivation within the targeted organisation. The company which we will be basing our project is Pacific Gate Logistic. PGL is a small to medium freight forwarding company which started as a specialist in the export consolidation service to the French territories such as French Polynesia and New Caledonia but then had grown to service all the Pacific Islands. As of today, not only PGL provides a niche market such as the Pacific Islands, but it is expanding to grow and service globally. (Pacific Gate Logistics, 2010)
 
The second key goal is in understanding what causes the problem in the workplace.
Finally, we will develop the best solutions in order to change the behavior and to solve the motivational problem. The below is a list of the company’s objective using the SMART objective approach. The S.M.A.R.T approach relates to Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; and Time-bound.
Specific
It is important for PGL to motivate their staff & for managers to find out what motivates them. Managers must find out the main key factors of motivation and define strategies and plans to implement the motivation process. This then needs to be reviewed by getting feedback, productivity reviews, and then improved on (SMART, 2010). Managers at PGL will also required to find out specifically which training & staff development will be required in both the short & long-term. Such as, what type of training packages will be required and its time frame. Management will also try to find out which is or are the proper incentives packages or bonuses their employees are mostly interested in. Will it be monetary, giveaways, teambuilding activities, or all of those?
 
Measurable
Measurement helps managers to know when goals and objectives are being achieved. Without measurement, it is not possible to manage properly. Measurement must be both short and long term (Setting SMART Objectives, 2011). Measurement such as PGL budget forecast for employee salary, training programs, team building activities, bonuses, and or give away. Questions such as to what and much how much will these packages shall cost within targeted budget.
 
Achievable
The project must be achievable, goals and objectives must stick to specific and strict time frame. When setting their strategies, managers must make sure that each project is realizable within the time frame; and they must find out what current resources are available. This is crucial for PGL managers to know and understand the company’s limitation and constraints so that goals and objectives are achievable.
 
 
Realistic
To reach each goals and objective, managers must understand it’s company’s resources such as equipment (computers, software, efficient server, printers) so that each staff have the proper tools to produce a quality service but at the same time handling more files? (Setting SMART objectives, 2011) Knowing their staff availability is important as due to the limited amount of staff, will the operators be able in too much stressed due to work overload if PGL decides to develop broader new market? Setting a proper time-frame for the project while at the same time keep within budget is of great importance due to the risk of increase overhead and this could lead to short fall of cash flow which is the blood stream of any company. Hence budget forecasting & proper planning are both important to keep track and being able to set proper review within the short & long term so that adjustment can be made along the project.
 
Time-bound
Setting deadlines creates for prompt action and urgency in any project. Hence it gives staff and managers the motivation to reach the company’s goals and objective. This is of great importance for PGL especially that the industry is time critical while still providing & maintaining quality service. All staff members from top managers to standard operators must have each specific target in order for the company to reach its goals and objectives.
 
To implement this project, our group needs to gather enough information from various sources such as:

Data collection process will include primary and secondary categories.
Secondary data research is a method by which we use already existing information on the subject.

 
In our study, secondary Data collection methods will include:

Adequate diagrams, analysis (It will be use to support our thesis)
Statistics
Company’s records (such as frequency, working hours)
Some documentation study
Online research
Literature/articles overview.
Theories (for example Maslow)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Primary data research will include:

Interviews (employees and managers)
In depth interviews (The general strategy for those interviews will be to keep informal and simple. It will be made over the phone or by email. In that way it will be more private. The questioned person feels more confident to talk about personal experience or share other information)
Questionnaires (Customers, others)
Personal observation (within the organisation)

 
6.0       Project Timeline
The purpose of this Gantt chart is to provide our group with a defined project timeline where tasks are set out and accompanied by expected start dates, and completion dates. You will notice along the bottom axis the days are broken up into lots of seven days also representing weeks. The vertical axis displays the task, and the start dates. Inside the chart is the duration expected for each task while at the same time providing a visual timeline as to how the project will be mapped out from start date until due date. At the very bottom of the chart is a task key, identifying each task and what the task involves in correspondence to the Gantt chart above.
 
In summary we feel that it is very important to have a project timeline, and in our situation we feel the Gantt chart provides a simple yet effective method of planning our project with the intention of keeping us on target, whilst producing quality work within the allocated timeframe. As potential Managers and leaders it is crucial to get into a habit of strategic planning and this method is but one of many steps in that direction.
 

7.0       References
Goals setting. (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html
 
Pacific Gate Logistics. (2010). Retrieved from: http://www.pglnz.com/
 
Setting SMART objectives. (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/2006/03/11/setting-smart-objectives/
SMART. (2010). Retrieved from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria
 
Rix, P. (2009). Marketing a practical approach (6 th .ed.). McGraw-Hill Ltd.
Robbins, S. P., Bergman, R., Stagg, I. & Coulter, M.(2006).
Foundations of Management (2nd.ed.). Frenchs Forest: Pearson
Education.
 
Robbins, S. P., Bergman, R., Stagg, I. & Coulter, M.(2009).
Foundations of Management (3rd.ed.). Frenchs Forest: Pearson
Education.
 
 
 
 


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