Hackard Dell Management Essay

University.Posted November 8, 2016. 1632 words.

As a preface, this essay was coursework for one of my less favourable modules. I figured I would include it here for completeness sake, bar other reasons.


Hackard Dell, a fictional hyper-conglomerate had been the market leader in both desktops for well over the last decade. However, with worldwide shipment on the decline for the last 7 months 1, to remain relevant, a paradigm shift is required. Gone are the days of the desktop, it is time to embrace the new reality.

A Critical Reflection on the current Environment

People are replacing their computers less often 2, and after 5-6 years, they are not replacing them with desktops. Since advent of mobile computing, smart-phones, tablets, and chrome-books have eaten into the desktop market. Consumers no longer feel the need to purchase new desktops, and both educators and businesses around the globe are making a switch to chrome-books 3. As a company, Hackard Dell is not a part of this mobile revolution, it is up to us now, to ensure that we jump on, enabling us to be a dominate company in the market for decades to come. This management plan isn’t about short term gain; this is about the long term survival of the company.

Key Management Decisions

I am advocating a paradigm shift, from focusing on the desktop market, to the emergent and thriving mobile market. Hackard Dell has previously released a few mostly experimental smart-phones 4 5, yet none has captured significant market share in the eyes of consumers.

By shifting out focus to the emergent mobile scene, we can leverage our unique situation to tap into new markets. We should start by increasing the R&D budget and focusing on developing a range of compelling Android devices and chrome-books. Next, we need to provide a marketing push in order to raise consumer awareness of our brand. In the short term (i.e. next few quarters), our expenses will likely increase, yet afterwards, we’ll be able to reap the rewards of increased market share.

Aspects of Project Management

It’s always a good idea to know the situation outside the company, that’s why at the start of the project, and on a quarterly basis it would be wise to perform PESTEL analysis’s. This is so we can adjust our future plans if the business environment changes 6. While it is expected that the business environment will change, expected changes will always be small and easily mitigated. The purpose of quarterly PESTELs is to guard ourselves against massive industry paradigm shifts.

We will need to build small focused teams spread amongst the company. It would be wise to ensure good team synergy and cooperation. This will be tasked to the project managers. This is very important.

Key Management Techniques

Due to the rapidly changing marketplace, we will need to use agile methodology, such as SCRUM in order to manage our product design, development, and marketing efforts 7. Using such methodology will enable us to rapidly adapt as we inevitably encounter issues and successfully solve them.

Agile methodology enables us as a company to work together in teams organizing the work into sprints. Using sprint plans and burn down charts, we will be able to easily and accurately track progress, focusing on what is difficult enabling us to ship on time. Once the product launch is set, it’s incredibly damaging to have to change the widely marketed date.

Risk Management

The risk’s involved are numerous, so to safe guard our company, we’ll need to perform regular SWOT analysis, so we can accurately identify the current risks facing our company 8. From the SWOTs we will create a cost benefit analysis to help us prioritize that which needs to be prioritized, assigning tasks to mitigate any weaknesses discovered from most to least costly. We may not need to cover all of the very small risks with small cost, as they can be seen as the cost of doing business and simply amortized.

By allocating tasks on a person by person basis, we will be able to accurately track progress as we develop reliance against the risk, managing it on a per person basis. By involving relevant employee’s in the risk management, we will spread the time cost amongst the company, making it more manageable. Lastly, we should continue to constantly evaluate the market, we don’t want to be caught off guard against a rising trend. By staying up to date we will be able to deliver the product the customers want now, as opposed to what they wanted a year ago 9.

Marketing Strategy

As a company, we will be shifting focus onto two new major product lines: smart-phones and tablets. Until now we have remained mostly out of the market, but with our supply chain, product engineering, and economy of scale, we can succeed where others fail. Our smart-phones and tablets will help the customer organize their digital lives, helping them compute on the go. By investing into our ecosystem, they’ll be able to easily work between devices, and share their content.

Developing, releasing and promoting a new line of products is useless if they are far too expensive for our target market to afford. This is why I suggest the creation of not just a single smart-phone and tab-let, but a range of devices spread across different price points. This ensures that any customer can afford one 10.

Partnering with both traditional retail stores, and online retailers we want it to be not only easy, but fun for consumers to purchase then use our products. By ensuring that they can purchase the device they want, where they want, it is likely going to translate into great sales numbers, and a significantly more successful launch.

I suggest that in order to promote our new product lines, we should use a mixture of primarily visual advertising, such as television and static print/online adverts, along with a few radio adverts in critical regions in order to reinforce the impact. We will need to create not only these adverts, but sufficient display material to ensure our products ‘pop’ from the displays. Lastly, it might be a good idea to help retailers by providing training so customers can make the most of the devices.

A new product launch affects many different groups of people. As a company we aim to serve a large range of people, using our process. The products will feel high quality giving good physical evidence.

Ethical Considerations

To help keep our company on track, we’ll need to ensure that our workforce is happy. It will be up to our team of managers to ensure that the work load is balanced, to keep crunch time to a minimum. We will be able to reduce overtime pay, and have a happier and more productive group of engineers. This should ensure quality.

Conflict minerals and child labour plague the supply chains of electronics manufacturers such as our-selves. It would be a good idea ethically, legally 11, and for marketing reasons to help eliminate them entirely from all of our products. This will mean contacting, incentivizing, and possibly even replacing certain suppliers until our entire supply chain is 100% ethically secure. Once done we’ll be able to launch a large promotional push, which is why it would be ideal if we could coincide this with the product launch.

Quality Management

To ensure complete customer satisfaction, we’ll need to ensure that we maintain a high level of quality control, so customers can trust that our products are reliable, and we don’t want them arriving dead on arrival. As we will be launching a new product line, we need to be especially careful during the design, and the manufacturing. We want to avoid product recalls, last thing we want is to release an exploding smart-phone 12.

References

  1. Gartner, “Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 5.2 Percent in Second Quarter of 2016,” 11 July 2016. Available: http://gartner.com/newsroom/id/3373617. [Accessed 3 December 2016]. 

  2. A. Shah, “The PC upgrade cycle slows to every five to six years, Intel’s CEO says,” PCWorld, 1 June 2016. Available: http://pcworld.com/article/3078010. [Accessed 3 December 2016]. 

  3. H. Taylor, “Google’s Chromebooks make up half of US classroom devices sold,” CNBC, 9 December 2015. Available: http://cnbc.com/2015/12/03/googles-chromebooks-make-up-half-of-us-classroom-devices.html. [Accessed 4 December 2016]. 

  4. GSMArena, “HP Phones,”. Available: http://gsmarena.com/hp-phones-f-41-10.php. [Accessed 2 December 2016]. 

  5. GSMArena, “Dell Phones,”. Available: http://gsmarena.com/dell-phones-61.php. [Accessed 2 December 2016]. 

  6. PESTLEanalysis, “What is Environmental Analysis?,”. Available: http://pestleanalysis.com/what-is-environmental-analysis/. [Accessed 5 December 2016]. 

  7. J. S. &. K. Schwaber, “The Definitive Guide to Scrum: The Rules of the Game,” scrumguides.org, 2016. 

  8. Mind Tools, “SWOT Analysis: Discover New Opportunities, Manage and Eliminate Threats,”. Available: https://mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm. [Accessed 5 December 2016]. 

  9. E. Jackson, “The 6 Reasons Research In Motion Shot Itself In the Foot,” Forbes, 18 July 2011. Available: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2011/07/18/the-6-reasons-research-in-motion-shot-itself-in-the-foot/#7ea5038e7ef4. [Accessed 5 December 2016]. 

  10. MSG Experts, “Different Types of Customers,”. Available: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/types-of-customers.htm. [Accessed 5 December 2016]. 

  11. K. E. Woody, “Conflict Minerals Legislation: The SEC’s New Role as Diplomatic and Humanitarian Watchdog,” Fordham Law Review, vol. 81, 2012. 

  12. A. Shedletsky, “Aggressive design caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explosions,” Instrumental, 2 December 2016. Available: https://www.instrumental.ai/blog/2016/12/1/aggressive-design-caused-samsung-galaxy-note-7-battery-explosions. [Accessed 5 December 2016].