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Assessment of Consultant Albanese’s Performance for Sunflower Inc.

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Assessment of Consultant Albanese’s Performance for Sunflower Inc.

Alejandro Rodriguez

TEXAS A&M Corpus Christi

MGMT 3355-001


        

Introduction

        Among today’s modern society lies an unfathomable desire and consumption for tasty snack foods and alcoholic beverages. Regardless of the consensual opinion deeming them unhealthy, Sunflower Inc. has garnered great success and wealth with the purchasing and distribution of salty snack foods (corn chips, tortilla chips, and peanuts) and liquor by tapping into the never dying market. According to the text, “Sunflower Incorporated is a large distribution company with over 5,000 employees and gross sales of over $700 million” (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 232) standing to reason that Sunflower is a dominant force in their respective field.

Sunflower Inc. does business in a vastly large area expanding across the United States and Canada and split between 22 regions, each region operating with “its own central warehouse, sales people, finance department, and purchasing department” (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 232) backed with the intent to self-govern due to local tastes and practices among each respective region.

Problem Significance

        Despite Sunflower managing to achieve great success, there is always the inevitable challenges and obstacles to be faced along with threatening competition to overcome.  Sunflower was facing unrelenting competition from rival companies Frito-Lay, Bordens, Nabisco, Procter & Gamble and Planters whom of which were all “pushing hard to increase market share by cutting prices and launching new products” (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 232) thus threatening the foothold Sunflower has in the market share.

        Along with the external threat of competition Sunflower faced, they were also met with internal issues that could prove detrimental to businesses practices. In 1989, Sunflower had implemented a method to analyzing profit margins across the 22 regions and found that “the differences were so great” and the belief for this was that the “highly profitable regions were sometimes using lower-quality items, even seconds, to boost profit margins”. (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 232) The end result of this malpractice would be Sunflower experiencing a gravely tarnished name in the public eye that could severely threat market share.

        In hopes of combating these threats, the president of Sunflower Inc., Mr. Steelman implemented a new position designed to monitor pricing and purchasing practices. Former employee of a rival company’s finance department, Agnes Albanese was hired to fill this new position and although the official title was director of pricing and purchasing her role in Sunflower transformed into aa consultant with the power to “establish whatever rules and procedures were necessary” (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 232) to turn things around for Sunflower.

        

Analysis

        Albanese started her endeavors with an unrelenting and stubborn pace in order to induce the quickest possible change and results for Sunflower Inc. She firmly believed an immediate change of direction was needed or else operations would be forced to surrender a lion’s share of the market share. Within three weeks of being in the job, she had made her first executive decision to establish a standardized pricing and purchasing policy amongst all participating regions. This policy entailed that any order of local purchases exceeding $5,000 [statistically 60%] should be ran through her and her offices and that any changes in prices and purchases should be notified to the home office beforehand. The change had reached a consensus and was implemented into policy and procedure manuals for Sunflower later on.

        Despite approval of the new change, Vice President of the finance department and supervisor of Albanese, Mr. Mobley, met Albanese with his bearings about distributing the new policies to the regions in the most efficient manner. Albanese found herself set in her ways for using e-mail services to distribute the policy changes, but at the time of this endeavor the internet was not the most optimal piece of technology and the various region heads dealt with too many incoming e-mails that the policy change could’ve easily been lost in its tracks. Mobley had suggested to Albanese that a simple e-mail would not be sufficient and that she should personally visit the heads of the regions, but she reluctantly turned the idea down by saying “the trips would be expensive and time-consuming” (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 233). Upon failure to change Albanese’s mind, Mobley attempted another suggestion to yield on the distribution of the policy change until after the annual company meeting in three months. Albanese turned this down as well stating “this would take too long because the procedures would not take effect until after the peak sales season” (Cummings & Worley, 2013, pg. 233).

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