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Business Case Study: SweetCakes Bakery

SweetCakes Bakery is an organisation that was started in 2000. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most popular snack joints in Edinburgh. The company started as a small store that sold cakes, breads, cookies and other pastries in Royal Mile, with only one employee, Mr. Wright, who was also its owner. Since then, the store has expanded into 50 more stores and three major bakeries. The company has also ventured into distribution of these pastries to other businesses. It has employed more than 500 employees. Although the company has progressively grown, it has not done so without its share of challenges.

In the past, the company employee turnover was the lowest amongst the small and medium enterprises in the region. The customer service was very professional. Currently, the company’s employee turnover is very high. The company’s human resource and finance managers reported that they are using a great deal of resources (funds and time) in selection, recruitment and employment process. Additionally, the customer complaints in the past six months have increased by almost 20%.

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Furthermore, Jane White, the executive human resource manager, cannot count the number of times she has addressed cases related to conflicts arising between the employees and their managers. Such cases fall under discrimination, harassment, and irrational actions by either party. Other issues include poor working conditions and bold communication barriers between the employees and managers. It is speculated that if these issues are not comprehensively handled, the company’s performance will be affected greatly. The business is already at the risk of closing one of its stores in Glasgow.

The business intends to embark on a project that will entail using the needed resources in order to find strategies of handlin challenges. This will also include finding practical solutions for handling speculated challenges that relate to this department. The business intends to contract Progressive Consultancy Firm. The project’s stakeholders include the contractor/owner, project manager (from the consultancy firm), finance manager, human resource manager (from SweetCakes Bakery), research expert and IT specialist (form the consultancy firm).

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A contractor, who is also a business owner, is the top decision maker in as far as the project is concerned (Klein, 2008). However, the role of a project manager is the most prominent. He coordinates the whole project, while making various emergency decisions and recommendations (Lewis, 2001). Other managers and experts in the team have the role of advising the team, accordingly, on the field of expertise. They allow the team to make well-informed decisions. Additionally, the team needs assistance of other people, who may not necessary belong on the main team (Lewis, 2001; Klein, 2008). For example, a research expert needs a larger workforce in order to conduct a comprehensive research. This also applies to the IT specialist. Similarly, the team would require a training team (which may be provided by the consultancy firm) if one of the strategies formulated will require a training programme.  

Carrying out the project may need outsourcing of services such as transport and catering services and products such as supplies. In case of the training programme, catering services may be required (Harvard Business School, 2011). Alternatively, the team may decide to start an internal catering department, depending on the benefits, efficacy and effectiveness of either. Other temporary staff will be needed depending on the task at hand. The project will be fully carried out in at least nine months. However, the team may be disbanded before the end of this period, depending on the progress of the project. The progress of some activities, such as the effectiveness of implementing the strategies in the latter stages, may be carried out by an internal team.

The business will get the project funds from the business account that is specifically set for business growth and development. Other funds will be gained from a guaranteed bank loan. The project implementation will take place through the supervisory of the contractor and the project manager. Moreover, the project’s team will formulate the strategies needed to realise the outcomes of the project before commencing on the project. The objectives of the project include:

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  • Finding out the major challenges affecting the company’s human resource department
  • Identifying the minor issues that may be causing the major issues
  • Identifying strategies of solving both major and minor issues
  • Formulating implementation of the formulated strategies
  • Analysing the various ways that the challenges or issues may reoccur in the future
  • Addressing any speculated issues of the future

The expected outcomes include:

  • Well laid out minor and major issues
  • Well laid out improvement strategies
  • Well laid out implementation strategies
  • Positive outcomes in the challenging areas in the next 6 to 12 months

The project’s output includes:

  • The above mentioned project’s team
  • Supporting workforce that includes temporary employees
  • Other resources such as additional equipment, especially in the IT department
  • Outsourcing of services such as transportation, food catering and others necessary
  • Supplies such as stationery, research materials, amongst others

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