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Xerox (Hong Kong): Sales Activity Management Process (A) Case Solution
Joe Yu, the sales director at Xerox Hong Kong, is considering replacing the old paper-based SAMP system with a new more efficient paperless system to help track sales data and information. This is important for the organisation as the old system has been presenting certain issues that highlight its inefficiencies. Employees in the organisation seem to be content with the system. However, this is something the new management wishes to change to improve the overall process. IT-enabled transformation may result in certain resistance from the employees who have served the organisation for long periods and are used to the older process. However, this perception can easily be changed if the management plays its cards right. Highlighting the various benefits for both the organisation and the employees would help them and addressing their issues through open communication lines would eliminate any friction that may occur with the implementation of the new system.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
Possible Sources of Resistance
Key Considerations for the Implementation of SAMP
3 Critical Success Factors for Xerox
Case Analysis for Xerox (Hong Kong): Sales Activity Management Process (A)
Xerox Hong Kong has been an established name for supplying products and creating a provision for services in the industry. The products of the company included publishing systems, copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines and document management software. Customer satisfaction has been one of the greatest priorities for the organisation and an important factor that has contributed significantly towards its success. In 1995, the company witnessed a major management restructuring that called for certain ancient processes to be modernised and, more specifically, streamlined in the form of information technology. Information technology has become the centre stage for many organisations to be able to track and streamline operations. Information technology also provides a significant amount of information that aids in management level decision making (Crowston, 2004).
Moreover, dynamic transformation in organisations mostly results through the use of IT and organisational resources to result in a transformational change to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness (Cha & Cha, 2014). Joe Yu, the sales director for Xerox Hong Kong, has been sceptical about the paperless sales activity management process (SAMP) and wishes to replace the current system with a paperless one to streamline processes and eliminate any pitfalls that exist currently. However, this is seeming like a challenge.
2. Possible Sources of Resistance
There can be certain sources of resistance that may present themselves with regards to the implementation of a paperless sales activity management system in Xerox Hong Kong. Structurally the company has been very different, and the employees themselves are used to the paper-based system of sales management. Employee resistance to organisational change can stem from various factors including job security concerns, lack of motivation and training, loss of control, poor change communication strategy, and lack of competence and a lack of trust or support in/for the system itself (Agboola, 2011). These concerns and issues need to be addressed if the new change is expected to be successful.
Certain resistance can be expected from the employees at Xerox as well. Although the sales teams have been highly successful and experienced, the level of education was limited. The change in management also brought about a need to get more post graduates on-board and targeted to increase the proportion of university educated sales reps to 50 percent. This is a clear warning sign for the sales staff. Employees tend to shy away from any change management strategies as they fear for their jobs. It is important to understand that communication and motivational strategies can help in addressing these concerns of employees (Berna-Martinez & Macia-Perez, 2012). Moreover, the sales management system was very basic and easy to understand. The new paperless system would require the sales force to be trained extensively. It is important to understand that Xerox would have to implement certain change management strategies to be able to execute the paperless system effectively. One important element of this would be to choose the right communication strategy for the employees and other stakeholders. The correct communication strategy can often become the epitome of successful change management (Elving, 2005).
3. Key Considerations for the Implementation of SAMP
The implementation of the paperless SAMP would not be an easy task and would take some time to be fully implemented, however, certain key considerations would enable Xerox Hong Kong to streamline and smoothen this process of IT-enabled transformation in the organization. The main objective for organizational transformation is to be able to successfully adapt a new process, vision or system and manage the resistance to change in an effective and efficient manner. Hence, transformational leadership would need to be demonstrated by the senior management (Sadeghi & Lope Pihie, 2012). Transformational planning and execution would, therefore, be pivotal to successfully implement the new paperless SAMP. The organization should focus on the transition model where it intends to move from its current state to its future state. In this specific case, Xerox wants to move from its current paper SAMP state to a paperless state. It is important for the employees and the management to let go of the existing behaviours and attitudes and transition to new behaviours and attitudes.
The organizational change management (OCM) model is a very critical component of the transformation program for any organization and needs to be planned and executed properly (MITRE, 2016). Another important key consideration for Xerox would be that it would require an appropriate framework for change. Since a number of variables are present that have the potential to impact the transformation, a well thought out plan would need to be implemented keeping in mind Xerox’s culture and leadership. Based on this, a transformational strategy needs to be selected that would work best for the organization. Primary transformation strategies that most organizations utilize include data-driven, participative and compliance-based strategies. Participative change management engages all employees and stakeholders so that a mutual agreement can be made regarding the implementation of the new systems or processes (Pardo-del-Val, et al., 2012).
4. 3 Critical Success Factors for Xerox
Implementing the new paperless sales activity management process is not a very difficult task for the organization, but it is important to understand that certain critical success factors would need to be understood by the organization if it wishes to be successful. These critical success factors include choosing the right communication strategy, staff training and development and also a well-planned implementation process that limits any obstruction to ongoing activities and sales. These will be the key critical success factors for Xerox and are very achievable if handled carefully and planned strategically.
A very important element of the change management is communication. At the heart of all transformation or change processes is communication with the staff and also the stakeholders. The change-agent and the leadership would have to work in tandem to ensure that the communication gets across to all those impacted. For this, a well thought out communication plan is important. At many times barriers to change occur when communication pitfalls exist that result in exacerbated resistance amongst employees or even stakeholders as they aren't fully aware of the importance and the benefits of the change or transformation. It is important to ensure that there is a shared purpose for the intended transformation or change (Malek & Yazdanifard, 2012). In the case of Xerox, it is important to highlight the pitfalls of the paper-based process and the fact that many coordination occurs occur frequently and impact operations. The communication should highlight the benefits of a paperless system and how it would also help save time for sales reps who are spending around 12 hours a day working. Highlighting the benefit for employees would be ideal to help minimize any sort of resistance from their end. Communication would also help in getting employees involved in the transformation process, and since many sales reps have lots of experience, they may be able to give ideas that help set up a more efficient and better paperless system (Elving, 2005).
Another important critical success factor is the training and development of the staff to be able to understand and use the new paperless system to its full potential and also help in improving it. Anything that is new for an organization and its employees is met with some form of resistance, even if that resistance doesn’t surface. The idea of leaving the comfort zone of previous systems or processes is not welcomed by many and, therefore, support in the form of training is crucial (Ikinci, 2014). This fear of the unknown can only be addressed through proper communication complimented by training and development of the skills required.
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