Posted: May 24th, 2022
Strategic Management Bausch and Lomb Sales Force Reorganization Case Study
How extensive is the statement in terms of strategic analysis, relevance and in-depth understanding?
Every enterprise which employs a diverse and multifaceted workforce to facilitate organization, production, and service, from major international corporations to local community churches, utilizes a concept known as performance management to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. The field of performance management has been defined by managerial researchers as a “strategic and integrated approach to increasing the effectiveness of companies by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors” (Armstrong and Baron, 1998), and the technique has been used since the 1970’s by businesses seeking to improve their organizational results. In the case of Bausch and Lomb, which has been built into one of the world’s largest producers of contact lenses, lens care products and eye health aids, a clearly defined mission statement defines crucial relationships with key stakeholders, including consumers, investors, suppliers, and employees. Managers are seeking to apply the concept of organizational alignment to guide Bausch and Lomb’s mutually beneficial interaction with its thousands of employees worldwide, with “aligned” employees working collaboratively to achieve the company’s collective mission by adhering closely to four shared values. Today, Bausch and Lomb has become handcuffed by prior managerial policy, as “the company carried excess overhead from duplicate departments that remained as a result of two large acquisitions made in 1997 whose integration had proceeded more slowly than expected.” The duplication of departmental operations and redundancies in terms of expenditures has necessitated a reorganization of the company’s resources in the hope of streamlining certain processes and righting the proverbial ship in terms of cost management. The priority for incoming CEO Ron Zarrella is to achieve genuine alignment between those longtime employees who possess valuable experience and knowledge, and incoming employees who add vibrancy and innovation while still lacking the foundational skills of their predecessors. By identifying the most valuable assets from a personnel perspective within each redundant department, and forming a cohesive unit comprised of those exemplary employees, Zarrella hopes to cut costs significantly by eliminating unnecessary salaries, while also streamlining Bausch and Lomb’s internal operations to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
2.) Recommendation: How strategic is the recommendation and is it appropriate given the problem statement and rationale?
Bausch & Lomb’s ability to facilitate this important internal reorganization may have been improved if the company’s executives elected to implement the so-called open book policy. The initial phase of their Stronger as One initiative, the management team at Bausch and Lomb notified employees a series of organizational adjustments and transitions was impending and inevitable, and yet they neglected to provide any detailed information regarding the potential impacts of this ongoing process. As a Bausch and Lomb employee, this lack of a clear commitment on the part of the company to exemplify their newly instated core value of “Stronger as One: One vision, One goal, One team” which holds that embracing the spirit of unification is central to the company’s future success. As previously mentioned, Zarrella and his fellow Bausch and Lomb executives should remain consistent with its new vision statement, because the cooperative process of regional collaboration shows that the idea of “Stronger as One” is more than simply lip service.
3.) Rationale: Does it make effective use of the concepts from the book, case and in class discussions? Does it consider alternatives and challenges?
During the last three decades, the emerging field of ERP has revolutionized the methods by which multifaceted organizations, including corporations like Bausch and Lomb — and its network of manufacturing and distribution plants — by enabling management to “integrate data across and be comprehensive in supporting all the major functions of the organization” (Motiwalla & Thompson, 2009). By allowing companies to fully incorporate all aspects of their enterprise’s daily operations, such as capital financing, accounting, production, marketing and public relations, implementing a sufficiently structured ERP system is a crucial component within the operational hierarchy of nearly every major business. This concept is evident in Zarrella’s decision to embrace a “vision for the new Bausch and Lomb titled ‘Stronger as One: One vision, one goal, one team,’” because his objective is to streamline the company’s operational scope and “the reorganization was intended to merge the region’s four sales forces into one.”
Once a multifaceted corporation or company like Bausch and Lomb makes the decision to adopt a particular reorganizational agenda within their overall operational structure, the planning and implementation phases are simply the beginning of a continuous and constant process of observation, adjustment and analysis. The field of Enterprise Resource Planning has been developed to direct the ever evolving series of changes and alterations made by an adaptable modern company in concert with the systemic requirements of its project management system. Although it has been conclusively proven that “an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation can result in a synergistic fusion of marketing, purchase, R&D, production, quality control, distribution and other cross functional activities,” throughout a company’s hierarchy, “the implementation requires inspecting every link in the operational and decision-making chains and then modifying them to take advantage of the new systems” (Bakht, 2006). In attempting to effect this crucial aspect of the proposed reorganization, Bausch and Lomb’s managers would have benefited immensely had they taken time to keep their employees in the proverbial loop, as an extension of trust between the two parties is likely to enhance communication.
4.) Implementation Tactics: Does this make sense and can it be done and how will the execution happen?
Before structural reorganization can be actuated and adopted by a multi-tiered corporate enterprise like the Bausch and Lomb, an extremely intensive process of implementation readiness planning must take place, because going live “is the culmination of a number of planned tasks, activities and resources brought together to implement the system based on the goals of the organization” (Motiwalla & Thompson, 2009). Clearly, Zarrella and his fellow Bausch and Lomb executives have worked tirelessly to ensure that the company’s publically stated values of “Stronger as One” remains a guiding principle as time progresses, by aligning employees across regional boundaries and pursuing progressive approaches to the concept of performance management. Although this strategic shift to a more consolidated, inclusive operational scheme was based on sound reasoning, “Zarrella wondered whether “Stronger as One” would return B&L to its rightful position in the market, or whether such a large reorganization would create more problems than it solved.” Zarrella’s concerns are valid because the massive investment of resources from a financial and human resources perspective can often apply additional pressures to a struggling company, as middle managers struggle to cope with the additional duties and expectations. Furthermore, Zarrella could not be entirely sure that his reorganization plan would actually address the causes of Bausch and Lomb’s continued inability to generate consistent profits, as “revenue had been flat for the past several quarters with margins slowly eroding due to a lack of cost management.” This fact suggests that Bausch and Lomb’s struggles may indeed be systemic in nature, the product of industry-wide trends, major shifts in consumer perception of the company’s products, or an inability to bring price points down to more effectively compete during the recession. Although reorganization is indeed a bold display of initiative on the part of the incoming CEO, Zarrella’s lofty ambitions are not guaranteed to bear fruit in terms of actually reversing the company’s recent stagnation.
Armstrong, M., & Baron, A. (1998). Performance management: The new realities. London: Institute of Personnel and Development.
Bakht, A. (2006, November 06). Erp II: A new concept. Retrieved from http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20061106/technology02.shtml
Motiwalla, L.F., & Thompson, J. (2009). Enterprise systems for management. New York, NY: Pearson Prentice Hall.
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