Overview. Using the market audit you completed for an organization of your choice on March 1, you are now to assume the role of consultant to this organization. Your task is to advise the organization on what it should do, in your best judgment, to make it more atune to its users, more visible in the marketplace, more satisfying for its employees, and more valued by its customers. You have worked in teams for the market audit and may continue to do so for the consulting exercise. However, if team members agree, you may do the final report individually.
The Organization. Use the same organization you chose for the first assignment. If you prefer to start anew please contact me.
Consulting Report. In the original assignment you were asked to examine your organization's environment, customers, products and services, place(s) of product/service delivery, price and cost to customers of products, promotional activities, the people who deliver the product/service plus other customers and intermediaries, the servicespace, the process of or product/service delivery, competition (other desires customer might have, generic - other ways to satisfy a particular desire, other forms of service, other organizations offering same service form).
First, please review what you said and consider whether the basic information you reported should be modified or amplified to more accurately portray what is current.
Second, apply the "Gap Theory" to your organization. Consider what you believe are the organization's strengths and weaknesses. How can the strengths be reinforced and the weaknesses overcome? Some questions to consider:
Recommendations. For every question above or other observation that you make indicating changes might be beneficial, please offer some suggestions or alternatives indicating the expected (and preferred) outcomes that your recommendations would bring about.
- Could the organization's mission statement be better phrased or made more prominent?
- Should the organization consider a different segmentation of its publics (i.e., customer segments)?
- Is the staff sufficiently trained? Do they make a good impression and add value to the organization? Is the balance between volunteers (if any) and paid staff appropriate?
- How satisfied with the organization are the staff? Should the organization undertake any activities to make the staff more loyal or better trained?
- Should the organization consider a different mix of products and services more atune to the needs of its customers or more differentiated from its competitors?
- Should the organization change the price it charges to the customers or consider the way the cost is perceived differently? If no price is charged, are the costs in time and energy for use that are borne by the customer commensurate with the benefits obtained?
- Are the various channels available to the customer for product and service delivery the most convenient for the customer and the most cost beneficial for the organization?
- Could the organization engage in more or different kinds of promotional activities?
- What kind of image does the organization project? Is it congruent with its mission? Is it as clear and as favorable as the organization would like?
- Do you think the organization is currently positioned vis a vis its collaborators and competitors? What changes might be favorable?
Format of Final Report. Please note that you do not have to answer every question but should organize your report into a factual part (summarizing/correcting your initial audit), a "compliments" section (things the organization is doing right), a problems section (areas that need to be changed), and a recommendations section with reasons why what you suggest will be an improvement on current practices. The entire report should be no more than 5-6 pages. Your report should be addressed to a person or group in the organization who has the power to make the changes that you believe are necessary. Identify the person or group with a sentence or two describing why this is the appropriate person to receive the report. Submission. My preference for submission would be a link to a class webpage or as a Word document. You may submit your paper as a link or a .doc attachment on the designated Blackboard forum. In addition to the written paper (due May 7), your team will be asked to present your case analysis to the class on April 19 or April 26.
Page revised Feb. 26, 2006..