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Waters Chromatography Division and Ray Burnett Analysis

Autor:   •  September 9, 2018  •  Case Study  •  993 Words (4 Pages)  •  97 Views

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Waters Chromatography Division and Ray Burnett Analysis

Waters Chromatography Division, a high performance liquid chromatography firm, is experiencing high turnover rates resulting in lost sales due to the disconnect amongst the firm. The current president of the Millipore division, Bill Shippey, values and prides the firm on it’s technical expertise and strong customer support, however after my analysis it is clear that these values are not aligned amongst management and are causing issues with recruitment, retainment, the firms reputation, as well as execution. After my evaluation of the firm and its employees such as sales manager Ray Burnett, the firm needs to align their views and make adjustments to their incentive program, their recruitment and training process, as well as their management structure.

        Ray Burrett has worked with Waters for 9 years and it is very clear that he is extremely knowledgeable, hardworking, and has a good track record of execution. However, due to Water’s sales management processes, I believe he has been forced to adapt and has been shaped to perform actions that higher level management may not agree with. For example, Ray spoke about the incentive program and how it promotes a “run and sell” attitude and has changed every year since he had been at the firm. This is alarming because the firm tries to differentiate themselves based on customer service, yet they are encouraging their salesmen to do the opposite and maximize volume. To an extent the incentive program also seems to discourage the sales of instruments, which makes up 62% of the firm’s total revenues. If a salesman is projecting that they will meet their annual quota, what incentivizes them to sell instruments if these sales will be deducted from their bonus? With the sales of instruments being responsible for a large portion of the firm’s annual revenue, this is an area where the firm could capitalize on the opportunity and consistently push salesmen to sell instruments, regardless of their annual performance.

        Another issue within the firm is the high rate of turnover within the sales department. The turnover rate was estimated to be 10%-20%, with the firm losing $260,000 in lost orders of each turnover. With 57 sales representatives employed under Waters in 1984 and an estimated 15% annual turnover rate, the firm would lose an estimated $2,340,000 in lost orders solely based off of turnovers. This is an issue that needs to be solved and I believe stems from the recruitment and training process that Waters currently has in place.

        Vice President Chane Graziano preaches the importance of staffing experienced chemists and then molding them into salesmen. However, New England regional manager Rod Bretz, sees more importance in hiring good salespeople who can push the product and get orders. The disconnect and varying viewpoints among management shows the firms lack of communication and the disconnect of not knowing exactly what they are looking for in new employees. And once the new hires have been made, I found there to be problems with their training program. Bretz mentions that the firm brings in new salesmen with strong chemistry experience but no experience out in sales. Yet, the training program focuses on teaching chemistry and basic selling, while leaving the courses competitive selling and S4 to be taken over the next two years. The firms focus needs to be geared toward getting the salesmen prepared for making sales. If the best way to prepare the salesmen is by real-life practice, then restructuring the training program into 2 weeks and having the salesmen shadow experienced salesmen such as Burnett for the next 2 weeks would be a solution.  

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