MGT1005 Introduction to Management
You have been hired as a Management Consultant for Visibility Cycles, a small Scottish manufacturer of innovative lights and accessories for cyclists. The company’s core product is called ‘FOS’. FOS is a ‘smart’ bicycle safety light which is designed to improve cyclist’s visibility using ‘reactive flashing’ at road junctions and includes a GPS tracker which allows cyclists to track their bicycles if stolen. FOS comes in three different versions: deluxe, ingenious and original, retailing at £85, £70 and £55 respectively. Although the organisation also has other product lines of cheaper lights with fewer functions, the FOS ‘smart’ light is their best-selling product. Competitors are charging between £20-50 for lights without GPS technology. Visibility Cycles sells their products mainly through their two stores, located in Glasgow and Aberdeen. When buying FOS, customers would bring their bikes to the store where staff would demonstrate the functions of the smart light and how (and where) it can be mounted on the bike.
However, due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, customers have now shifted to buying the products online through the Visibility Cycles website. The CEO has also noticed that the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the growing interest in sustainability, has greatly increased interest in cycling. As a result, demand for cycling accessories and products has also increased. Visibility Cycles currently employs a total of 15 people but is planning to open one more store in Belfast and the CEO is hoping to grow the team over the next year. The organisation’s stated values as an employer are ‘loyalty’, ‘meritocracy’ and ‘autonomy’. The CEO would like to retain these values, but she feels that the Coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted the need for flexibility in terms of employment. She has heard of zero hours contracts but isn’t sure whether this type of contract would be suitable for the organisation when considering her plans to grow the team.
1. Please advise the CEO of the advantages and drawbacks of using zero hours contracts. Ensure that your answer includes a critical discussion of the key implications associated with this type of employment contract and a recommendation as to whether Visibility Cycles should use zero hours contracts to grow the team.
2. With reference to Porter’s Generic Strategies framework, please advise the CEO of Visibility Cycles of the key characteristics of differentiation strategies and cost leadership strategies. Ensure that your answer includes critical discussion of the implications of pursuing either a differentiation or cost-leadership strategy and a recommendation as to how Visibility Cycles might proceed with regard to its competitive strategy
3. With reference to the 4 Vs of operations, outline and critically discuss Visibility Cycles’ strategic decisions and advise the CEO of the implications of each of the 4 Vs of operations. Ensure that you conclude with providing a recommendation for how Visibility Cycles should design its manufacturing operation processes.
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