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Problem Solution: Interclean

In: Social Issues

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Problem Solution: InterClean, Inc.
InterClean, Inc., a leader in the industrial cleaning and sanitation industry. They are planning to launch a marketing blitz announcing the launch of their new solutions focus. The sales force excels at demonstrating and selling products, however, CEO David Spencer envisions high performance teams that not only sell its high quality products, but also educate and train clients in the customer’s organizations. In preparation for the launch, leadership must evaluate the skills and talents within the organization and determine the needs to realize the new strategy. Extensive research, training and development will need to occur quickly in order meet the targeted 90-180 day goal of launching the marketing blitz.

Situation Analysis
Issue and Opportunity Identification
The current organizational structure does not support the new strategy. The current sales staff lacks the skill set to excel in the future company focus. “High-performing firms display a greater commitment to training and skill development than their lower-performing counterparts. This practice, a core HRM activity, is related to other ideas about the need for continuous improvement and development over time. Thus, firms must take care to select people with the ability and willingness to learn and develop, and they must establish reward practices that encourage employees to participate in training activities.” (Dreher & Dougherty, 2001, ch.1, p.13-14).
Organizational behavior should be monitored and controlled as much as possible. Identifying job candidates who possess not only the ability to be top performers but also the motivation to work hard and the desire to stay at a company represents another difficult challenge. Both the motivation to perform and the motivation to stay are determined by a complex interaction between the outcomes associated with each type of behavior and the individual’s unique mix of interests and values. (Dreher & Dougherty, 2001, ch.5, p.28-29).
Recruiting and selection alternatives will need to be determined. The knowledge and skills required to perform jobs at a high level of proficiency vary greatly within and across companies. Employees are not perfectly substitutable: Within any given labor market, individuals are likely to differ with respect to the possession of knowledge, skills, and other important job-related attributes. (Dreher & Dougherty, 2001, ch.8.)
Is going global dependent upon or more important than domestic dominance?
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
David noted unstated mistrust of Janet, who is seen by other executives as a defender of the status quo and loyal to long-time employees. Does Janet have too much authority over the restructuring? She is overseeing the staff audit, gap analysis, recruiting and selection alternatives, training for new positions and integration of EnviroTech staff with InterClean staff. Will Janet create positions for current staff to which she feels loyal or will she objectively review the gap analysis and chose the best talent for the best positions?
Prior to its acquisition, Sally Lindley, the former CEO of EnviroTech, Inc. was interested in developing some joint ventures with other firms in the cleaning industry in order to leverage her future power. InterClean did not enter a joint venture with EnviroTech, which could possibly leave Sally without a job. Although she is politically active and well connected to key state and national elected officials in Florida, does her motivation for success coincide with InterClean’s vision or will her selfish motives deter the organization? Should she maintain a connection with InterClean because she likely can obtain some lucrative domestic and global government contracts for the organization? On the other hand will she harm the organization’s perception because she is no longer the powerful CEO?
Tom Jennings, Vice President of Marketing, has been with the organization for one year and is 62 years old. Tom is likely looking to realize his goal of global expansion and retire shortly afterwards. Tom views the current corporate restructure as an obstacle to his goal, but it requires his short-term attention. Rather than viewing this restructure as a foundational effort to support his plans, Tom sees it as a nuisance. Marketing and sales have a strong dependence on each other and domestic dominance is a better introduction into global dominance. Tom has an opportunity to shape the foundation of the new and improved InterClean, but his loftier plans are his real focal point.
Eric Borden, Ving Hsu, and Terry Garcia are awfully presumptuous with ideas of grandeur and playing key roles in EnviroTech after it’s acquisition by InterClean. Was there an announcement to EnviroTech that EnviroTech would act as a separate entity after the acquisition? Do the three not have to compete with InterClean staff for the coveted sales and marketing leadership roles? Just 16 days after the acquisition is announced, the threesome is meeting to discuss the territory division they envision. It does not appear that they are aware of the restructure plans. Their plan will likely be ambitious and the motivation will be appreciated by InterClean, however, the scheme will not likely coincide with the InterClean structure, nor may it be palatable to the vice president of human resources who worked her way up and is still loyal to her comrades from whence she came.
Employee moral has been low since the announcement that InterClean was changing its marketing strategy. Current employees are insecure about their futures at InterClean. Three weeks after they learned that their sales strategies would need to change, they learn that a major competitor, along with that major competitor’s sales staff has been acquired. Many of those employees were previously competing InterClean employees for clients in like territories so obviously in order to not duplicate efforts, territories will be reassigned and some possible terminations may result. David Spencer announced on January 31 that a major marketing blitz would start in 90 to 180 days, however, it is not until 71 days later that the pre-training assessment was completed. That leaves human resources and the compliance department 19 days to establish the optimal size and composition of the sales force, determine from the gap analysis which positions need to be filled with new hires, recruit and select employees, develop the multi-faceted teams and train the teams. This while incorporating the newly acquired sales staff and operations specialists into the structure.
Problem Statement
InterClean must transform its organization from a sales-based model to a solution and service based model while integrating the newly acquired EnviroTech staff.
End-State Vision
David Spencer envisions InterClean as domestic and global leader in the institutional and industrial cleaning and sanitation industry. The sales reps will be grouped into multi-functional teams prepared to support InterClean’s high-quality products with high-quality service. InterClean will change its marketing strategy from sales-based to solutions and service based. David is projecting a 40% increase in profitability next year.
Alternative Solutions
EBay was founded in the San Jose, CA, in the living room of Pierre Omidyar sometime in September 1995. The name stood for “electronic Bay area,” and its initial concept was to attract neighbors and other interested San Francisco Bay area residents to the site to buy and sell items of mutual interest. EBay is an online marketplace that facilitates a person-to-person trading community based on a democratized efficient market in which everyone could have equal access through the same medium, the Internet. The company is an online auction, which has three types of auctions that made eBay a success. EBay is the business-to-business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), and person-to-person auctions. EBay also had six users that participated in online auctions they were the bargain hunters, hobbyist/collector buyers, professional buyers, casual sellers, hobbyist/collector sellers, and corporate and power sellers.
The organizations technological infrastructure is strong and weak in the same sense. As with many technological companies, systems breakdowns could disrupt trading activities. As technology improves such a weakness is less and less of an issue. EBay has formed alliances with some of the best to ensure they are doing what is necessary to keep their infrastructure expanding and stable. EBay has the opportunity for joint ventures with many organizations. As they continue to grow and expand their categories, this will continue to open up more alliances. EBay could acquire or provide joint ventures with competitors that are too small to compete with them. Acquiring, merging and joint ventures are areas eBay could use to their advantage to gain more of a financial leverage.
As with InterClean, Inc., they have the potential to further the advancement of the company with the dedication of their sales staff adjusting their focus on becoming a solutions company; this will benefit InterClean in every aspect.
“Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The company also devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but also help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service” (Merck & Co., Inc., 1995-2007). Merck Pharmaceuticals measures their success by the actions they take to ensure that everyone served will benefit from the products. This has achieved a long lasting customer base for this company; total satisfaction with their customers is a must.
Merck Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to the highest principles of ethics and integrity. Their customers, Merck employees and their families depend on the quality and dependability Merck offers its customers and employees. Merck does not take professional or ethical shortcuts in either their products or values. “Our interactions with all segments of society must reflect the high standards we profess” (Merck & Co., Inc., 1995-2007).
“We recognize that the ability to excel -- to most competitively meet society's and customers' needs -- depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, skill, diversity and teamwork of our employees, and we value these qualities most highly. To this end, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork -- an environment that rewards commitment and performance and is responsive to the needs of our employees and their families” (Merck & Co., Inc., 1995-2007).
Merck has always strived to put its customers first which has led to the employees having a high level of respect for the company. InterClean, can make this happen within their company if everyone is willing to contribute his or her fair share of the responsibility to make this company turn its focus on a better approach to enhance the company. Once everyone is willing to adjust to a new vision, it will make the transition much less distressing.
When looking at InterClean it was found to have a number of alternative solutions to the problems presented. The alternatives include looking into a revamp of leadership positions, team building, employee training and development and targeting alternative markets. These alternatives can become ways to get InterClean into a position to make CEO, David Spencer, feel competent that his company has the leadership and dedication to make the company’s clients feel comfortable with this company’s handling of their sanitation needs. The key course concept that CMS repeatedly encounters is redevelopment of its recruiting and selection alternatives. Gorman introduces incentive pay in the form of a 15% annual bonus to teachers meeting performance goals. Additionally, the nationwide search for highly-skilled instructors should offer CMS more flexibility in selectivity in recruiting. Perhaps these two alternatives will strengthen CMS’s opportunity to realize it pass rate goal by 2008. Very similar to CMS, InterClean must fire or redevelop members of its current staff and create a recruiting and selection model that will redefine its image as a solutions and service provider. The Charlotte Observer has increased its expenses exponentially on training and development since 1997. As a result, the company is reaping hefty benefits. The finance division has evolved from a task driven environment to an analytical environment. Whereas staff was once triggered by reactive stimuli, it now takes a proactive stance and assists other departments before problems arise. The gap between actual performance and potential or desired performance within the finance division has drastically shifted in the past decade.
The key core concept that The Charlotte Observer has applied is human capital development with regard to skill sets and gap analysis. Whereas, the paradigm shift at The Charlotte Observer occurred over about a 10 year period, InterClean has a 90 to 180 day window in which they expect to produce the new service focus. With such a small timeframe, it would appear that most of the training and development will need to occur outside the organization and adopted within the organization in a matter of days. The staggering gap that exists between the skill set of current InterClean staff and that of the EnviroTech staff is likely InterClean’s greatest asset in realizing its short-term goal. InterClean has essentially acquired the skill set that will afford the organization the opportunity to meet the solutions model goal. The computer, leadership, communication and compliance skills of the current staff at InterClean will not likely reach the level of achievement that the EnviroTech staff has earned however, the recruiting, development, and selection process will benefit as InterClean and EnviroTech transition into one solutions based cleaning and sanitation entity.
Analysis of Alternative Solutions
After looking at the alternatives presented to InterClean, in order for the company to achieve their new strategy of an all-inclusive full-service solutions company tailored to environmental safety, InterClean needs to find the experience to accomplish the mission. Janet Durham has the experience to aid in the implementation of this new strategy but some executives within the company do not have confidence that she can make this change take place.
Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques
Obviously, InterClean does not need two CEOs. EnviroTech’s success can be attributed to Sally’s leadership. David might consider offering Sally a position as COO with InterClean in order to appease her sense of self-worth and capitalize on her connections with political officials. Losing Sally’s expertise at such a critical point in InterClean’s existence may not be to David’s advantage.
Proceeding with the media blitz in the original timeframe is still a feasible option. As the sales staff HR summaries show, there are a myriad of talents and skill sets available between the two staffs from which leaders for all disciplines will emerge. The acquisition makes the staffing decisions easier because it broadens the talent pool. However, given Janet’s perceived loyalty to InterClean staff, she may be somewhat biased in her decision-making.
Optimal Solution
InterClean should definitely delay the launch of the marketing blitz. The compliance evaluation and the skills analysis results were made available about 70 days into the preparation window. Although the dynamics of the multi-faceted teams could have been formulated during the skills audit process, the size of the sales staff and the fact that an outside consultant was used lead me to believe that the resources are not available for the activities to take place simultaneously. Janet Durham simply ran out of time. Carol Stanley should be retained to assist with the organizational structure.
Implementation Plan
Now that the staff audit is complete, Janet and Carol will identify the skills and competency levels needed for the new sales direction within 3 weeks. The following 60 days will be used to recruit and select members for the sales teams. Tom Jennings and Sam Waters will provide training and development for the sales teams within 60 days after the team members are announced. Although Tom Jennings will devote much of his time to training promoting the new InterClean domestically, he will resume his global efforts after the teams are effectively servicing the customers.
Evaluation of Results
In 90 to 120 days, InterClean will emerge with the multi-faceted service teams. The pretraining skills audit was conducted during the first 70 days after the announcement of the solutions based model. Janet and the leadership team will conduct training and development for the retained employees and conduct a post-training audit after six months of using the new model. The training and development module can be critiqued for its effectiveness based on the results of the post-training audit. An increase in profitability year over year will be tracked by the accounting staff each quarter and then was reported at year-end.
InterClean is laying the groundwork to become the major domestic and global leader in which David Spencer envisions. The HRM practices that David initiated as well as the strategic alignment and implementation are the cornerstone of David’s plans.

Dreher, George, & Dougherty, Thomas W. (2001). Human Resource
Strategy: A behavioral perspective for the general manager. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Helms, A. & Smolowitz, P, (September 27, 2006) CMS board backs major shake-up.
Retrieved September 27, 2006, from

Human Capital Development. (2007) Retrieved September 28, 2006 from

Previous Turnaround Efforts (September 27, 2006). Retrieved September 27, 2006, from

eBay, (2006). The eBay Company. Retrieved 11 January 2007 San Jose, CA., from Merck & Co., Inc., (2007). The Merck Corporate Philosophy. Retrieved January 11,
2007 from The Merck Corporate Philosophy - Mission Statement

University of Phoenix scenario: InterClean, Inc.

Table 1
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Issue Opportunity Reference to Specific
Course Concept
(Include citation) Concept
The strategic direction of the company needs to be revamped to keep up with the growing of the industry. David Spencer, President and CEO, has considered making changes in current leadership to accomplish the goal he has set for InterClean. InterClean can develop intelligence on potential business relations to better understand better other companies goals and achievements. USAuto can develop intelligence on potential business relations to understand better others’ goals in negotiation settings. “Development of full-range service packages tailored to individual accounts” (Scenario: InterClean, Inc., p. 1). Distributive negotiations

Table 2
Stakeholder Perspectives
Stakeholder Perspectives

Stakeholder Groups
The Interests, Rights, and
Values of Each Group

David Spencer, President and CEO David Spencer is determined to make InterClean an industry leader.
Janet Durham, Vice President of Human Resources An extremely practical and resolute leader who wants InterClean to progress in using expertise to automate HR functions.
Tom Jennings, Vice President of Marketing Very determined to move InterClean swiftly into strategic dominance within the cleaning and sanitation industry.
Sally Lindley, CEO of EnviroTech, Inc Has a very reputable connection within the cleaning industry in Florida.
Eric Borden, Ving Hsu and Terry Garcia, Senior Sales Specialists at EnviroTech, Inc They anticipate being named the sales and marketing leadership team for the new business.

Table 4
Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques
Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques
Alternative Solution Risks and Probability Consequence and Severity Mitigation Techniques
Long-term profit growth • Early Retirements

• Reluctance to change, high

• Continue Benefits
Structure of the company • Lay off key people
• Change Job Function
• Relocate staff • Less staff, mild
• Training, mild
• Training, mild • Phase layoffs
• Cross Train
• Make Voluntary

Table 5
Optimal Solution Implementation Plan
Deliverable Timeline Who is Responsible
New strategic direction. 90 to 180 days David Spencer
Classes on the new strategic direction. Two months Janet Durham
Restructuring current personnel 60 days Janet Durham
Incoming EnviroTech personnel. Four months Janet Durham

Table 6
Evaluation of Results
End-State Goals Metrics Target
Being an all-inclusive service sanitation company. 3 previews Within six months

Expanding the company—both domestically and worldwide. 2 previews Within 12 months

Customer satisfaction 5 previews Always

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