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BUSINESS 5 CASE STUDY

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Case Study - PROJ 6006
Organisational Behaviour and People Management
Case Study
Ecological Wastewater Solutions Pty Ltd
Background:
Ecological Wastewater Solutions Pty Ltd (EWS) commenced business in 2006 as the
initiative of brothers Simeon and Luke Webster. EWS delivers an environment friendly
wastewater management system, treating sewage effluent to advanced secondary levels
certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The advantage of EWS systems is
that it has no mechanical parts involved, no electricity needed for gravity fed systems and
no chemicals added, the system is low cost with no or little maintenance. EWS is currently
servicing domestic, communal and commercial systems to clients across the Australian and
Asia-Pacific region.
With the global industry’s (wastewater management) governing bodies, installers and
consumers alike, realising the benefits of EWS as a great solution to an industry-wide
challenge, the prospects for global expansion are immense and eminent.
Rather than limit the company with a small minded approach, EWS wants to expand
into these new and challenging markets, which will require consolidation and
reconstitution of the current operations in a way that will appease differing international
regularity bodies and markets. Simply put, EWS is involved in a growing and
expanding process that will take on new markets, countries and opportunities.
The systems components are manufactured in China where EWS has entered a joint
venture with a Chinese manufacturing organization. After production, the system
components are then transported to warehouses in the Australasian and pacific
countries that EWS currently operates in, ready for distribution and installation for local
clients.
The Opportunity
Wastewater management in the West African nations is a regional problem, magnified
by cost factors of installation, ongoing maintenance and the complexity of current
systems on the market. With the ability to supply a simplistic and cost-effective
wastewater management technique, EWS can take advantage of this extensive market
opportunity through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in these countries. Although
headquarters is in Melbourne Australia, each Asian Pacific country also has its own
sales, administration and installation offices and teams. EWS operations currently have
a financial turnover of 25 million dollars per annum with 250 full time staff members.
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The Objectives:
Objective 1 – Organisational Structure
In order to expand into these new markets EWS will need to restructure their internal
organisational operations including ensuring that the current Enterprise Resource
Planning (ERP) and technological systems have the capacity to implement such
expansion on a major scale. This will need specific staff skillsets from across many of
the locations they currently operate. Additionally, the project will require the
assessment and update of the current organisational framework, policies, procedures
and processes. The accounting, invoicing and administrations of the new organizational
structure has to accommodate the expanded need to monitor and cater for exchange
rates, bills of shipping, importing and exporting documentation across the new FDI
nations.
Objective 2 – Supply Chain - Sustainability
Furthermore, new supply chains systems will need to be investigated and procured,
including the processes of procuring such as, tendering, negotiating and implementing
contracts with transportation companies. In line with EWS mandate for environmental
operations management wants to ensure that the current, and future, manufacturing and
shipping processes are consistent with their objective of corporate, social and
environmental responsibility. The company’s goal is to persuade stakeholders, partners,
and critics that its growth strategy includes plans for long-term sustainability. The team
knows that delivering social responsibility and focusing on sustainability will deliver
shareholder and strategic benefits.
Although the system itself is considered very environmentally friendly, there is concern
with regard to the actual manufacturing, the EWS team is looking closely at
environmental factors, such as pollutants, manufacturing materials, and safety, as well
as energy usage. Therefore, EWS leadership team is interested in learning about
alternative materials, with an eye on both the environment and the safety of employees
using those products in the manufacturing process. In addition, shipping the system
components around the world will use gas and oil, releasing pollutants into the
environment, so management also desires to include environmental consultants on
utilising alternative fuels and procedures for transportation and shipping processes.
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Objective 3 - Legalities
From a legal perspective there are several factors that must be researched for
compliance with the target nations legal systems, policies and regulations. For example,
each countries laws on foreign direct investment (FDI), importing and operations is
different and must be comprehended. Furthermore, the wastewater management
industry is highly regulated, if not by the country itself then by international law. These
legal factors must be clearly understood and complied with. Alongside this is the
cultural aspects of the target countries, including local labour expectations,
management style and health and safety practices.
Over the course of the (estimated 18 month) international project/projects, marketing is
a vital component of which EWS leadership wants to take advantage of social media
networking in its marketing strategy.
Pre-Project Research
The leadership team also examined what other organisations had done in similar
projects to avoid loss of revenue during their projects. From the research, the team
identified three potential risks that could occur during this project of upgrading the IT
systems and processes:
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
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Loss of business due to inability to process orders in a timely fashion
Loss of credibility because of a lack of quality in the shipping process
Loss of sales as competitors took advantage of any down time
While strategizing these changes on an organisation wide scale EWS must consider the
disruption to employees and ongoing operations. Current projects must run seamlessly to
ensure no disruption to clients, and that targets are still met across the business.
Consequently the leadership team wants to monitor employee satisfaction to ensure minimal
disruption and maintain employee satisfaction and continuous motivation of the upcoming
expansion. Employee feedback will from part of this monitoring
It is important to EWS portfolio management to focus on a continued level of the
efficient delivery of quality products and services. This means you must consider each
of the following elements:



Any constant and continued improvement to processes of order, billing, and
shipping efficiencies;
Any changes that may occur due to the current multiple projects; and
New initiatives that may be created by the current multiple projects.
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Project Human Resource Plan:
The EWS leadership team recognizes the need to establish a number of project teams in
order to achieve the above goals. You and your group are responsible for developing a
Project Human Resource Plan that will develop a formal plan for developing, staffing,
managing and assessing the teams that will in turn manage the projects aimed at
addressing the goals. The plan will include the following:







A draft organisational chart for the project teams: Which of the functional roles
will be represented on each of these project teams?
A staffing/recruitment plan: What strategies and approaches will you use to bring
the appropriate individuals onto these project teams?
A team building plan: What strategies and approaches will you use to effectively
build a team that will work together in a project management approach to
achieve each of the goals?
A staff management plan: What strategies and approaches will you use to
manage the project teams?
A communications plan: What strategies and approaches will you use to
effectively manage communications among (and, if necessary between) each
project team? Assume some stakeholders are remote.
An assessment plan: What strategies and approaches will be used to assess the
effectiveness of each project team?
An improvement plan: Describe the improvement plan proposed to address any
shortcomings in the performance of the project teams.
The Project Teams:
The projects that address the above goals require management of the complexity
various project teams distributed among multiple backgrounds, experiences, and even
time zones. These individuals are located in Australia, China, Japan, and Vietnam and
include representatives from the EWS Information Technology, Human Resources,
Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, and Legal departments.
EWS’ external stakeholders include their existing and potential customers, suppliers,
and investors.
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