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Caroline Regis at Excel Systems

By:   •  December 28, 2018  •  Case Study  •  1,670 Words (7 Pages)  •  80 Views

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Ashish Chaturvedi – 1716008

Channabasava Kolsur – 1716021

Deepika Khare – 1716025

Prakash Sharma – 1716042

Caroline or Regis, as we refer to her in the case, can be any of us at our workplaces in similar situations at some point or the other.

She was a balanced co-worker, who was interested in the well being of the company more than anything else, even if it meant fighting for the same. As she was considered to be fair and level headed in all her dealings with people, all her decisions were considered to be in the best interest of the company and not for satiating any ego related matters, as we have seen happening at workplaces very often.

She was passionate about the Manufacturing role that she was handling as she had worked very hard to reach at this position, being from a non-techie background. She was smart and aggressive and proved that she can master anything she sets her mind to.

Many a times in the case she has been described as being non-political and goes by the facts and not led by emotions. She is a people’s person and her peers are very loyal to her as she stands for their rights in front of the senior management when required.

We call people like Regis as mentors for our professional lives, who have the knowledge, the skill and the heart of a human to take us through any work-related problems.

But how Regis handles the situation on hand in the case, would talk otherwise about her.

The case begins with Regis’s comment “Either they will let me do my job or I should just leave”. This shows her frustration considering the situation she is being faced with. Dreanan wants to do away with the manufacturing facility at Excel Systems and get it outsourced similar to Gemini’s manufacturing. Regis doesn’t want this to happen because the manufacturing facility helps the company with better shipping times and better integration with engineering. Not just that, she was passionate about this role, as discussed earlier, and had even accepted a demotion to get a role of this nature in Excel Systems.

In companies when mergers or acquisitions happen, then both the acquirer and the acquired companies go through a rough patch with layoffs and organizational changes. With a new set of management setting in, as a senior manager, it was Regis’s responsibility to understand the current financial situation of the company due to which a lot of decisions related to the structure or functions get affected. She was given two weeks’ time by Dreanan to come up with her reasons to hold onto the manufacturing facility for Excel Systems. She only spent these two weeks listing down the points that she had thought of in her mind when outsourcing idea was mentioned to her casually.

These two weeks ideally should have been used in creating a tactical but winning campaign against outsourcing, using the action points given below:

  • TAILOR THE IDEA: She could have gathered information about the goals the key decision makers like Dreanan, Spanner and Ogilvie wished to achieve from this acquisition and this outsourcing. Each of them would have had their own share of goals from this decision which if once found, Regis could have worked out ways of achieving these goals by keeping the own manufacturing facility intact.
  • BIG PICTURE FOCUS: Regis should have shown in her meeting how the manufacturing facility fitted into the big picture of better product experience and quality with shorter shipping times and better integration of engineering and production. Ogilvie went on highlighting how the cost savings were higher in outsourcing but that was the only point of saving for outsourcing when compared with manufacturing and Regis should have leveraged on that point by pointing out the qualitative positives that own manufacturing would provide to Excel Systems and its products. Further, this same manufacturing facility can be used for Gemini’s products too resulting in cost savings and improved product experience for the already popular brand.
  • MANAGING THE EMOTIONS: Regis was fighting a battle inside her when she comments that “Either they will let me do my job or I should just leave”. This emotion should have ideally been channelized into a positive emotion or expressed as a passion towards building the manufacturing capability at Excel Systems from scratch and how it syncs in with the other functions so perfectly. She should have kept he emotions in check and not snapped back at Spanner when she tells him that “….People either have confidence on me or they don’t. And if they don’t, I might as well resign.” This sounds more like a threat, a negative emotion, where it conveys that it should be either my way or highway which finally may not lead to success.
  • INVOLVE OTHERS: Two weeks’ time was enough for Regis to gather information casually or formally from other important and related departments regarding the issue on hand. She spoke to Warner after the meeting got over whereas she had access to him everyday after work for a casual banter. Being the CFO, Warner had access to a lot of information which Regis got to know after the meeting was over. Had she known earlier about this information she could have directed the conversation or her findings in the same direction.
  • DATA GATHERING: Dreanan was known to be extremely good with numbers. Since he was known as a number cruncher, Regis should have used that as a cue to understand what is the kind of numbers Dreanan, Spanner and Ogilvie like to see when they take certain decisions and could have included as many numbers/data in her presentation favouring manufacturing facility.
  • SOLVING THE ISSUE: Regis should have made an effort to understand what was the problem with having the manufacturing facility for Excel Systems, and could have redirected the conversation by providing an alternate solution instead of resorting to outsourcing.

Such an approach if followed, if not assures success but will not go unnoticed as a futile effort. A similar incident at one of our workplaces was when we had to push the idea of a new product category introduction which had failed in the past.

For a watch company, it was once a stagnation period with limited growth over past few years and competition slowly taking over due to stagnation. Every brand in the industry was thinking of growth opportunities by way of diversification in the jewelry category or eyewear category like Titan with Tanishq and Titan Eyeplus. But not all brands had the luxury of a strong parent company backing. So, at such a time, one international watch company with a host of licensed brands under its umbrella, known as a major men’s watch brand, was thinking of growth opportunities with minimal diversification. Since the company was known more for its men’s watches, a clear growth strategy was to focus on Women’s watches. But the tag of Men’s watches was too strong to break the stereotype.


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