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Managing Internationally - Essay Example

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The case of Tombow Pencil Co., Ltd, a pencil manufacturing company typifies the common concerns and issues encountered by organizations, whether operating locally or internationally. …
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Managing Internationally
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Download file to see previous pages Tomboy can be analyzed as a company that operates internationally due to its system of production, subcontracting and distribution where the entities involved are situation in different locations typical of international companies. Production of a simple mechanical pencil may be simple, but in the case of Tombow, the process seems to be complicated. Tombow was founded by Harunosuke Ogawa in 1913 and operating its main headquarters in Tokyo (Mishina 1993). It has pursued modifications and innovations to make its product line-up competitive and the company profitable. Communication is one of the essential elements in the effective management of an organization. There seems to be a communication problem with Tombow. For instance, Yohei Ogawa (president of Tombow) said, when the stockouts of its products have been increasing, that the company’s subcontracting system had not efficiently performed its functions. He is at a loss on what is happening in the subcontracting level. He is wary on what the problem could be, or how would he know the problem. Late deliveries had also been a perennial problem of the sales department. Keitaro Ogura (head of sales promotion department), expressed dissatisfaction with the way the production people had been doing their work (Mishina 1993). Selling the products is easy he said, but the late deliveries are causing uneasiness in the sales department. As in the case cited above, Mr. Ogura is unaware of what is happening at the production level. In fact, he seems be disgusted with the way the production people had been doing their job. He said that, “. . . we can’t tell if they’re just not trying hard enough,” referring to the production sector (Mishina 1993, p. 4). During meetings, the problem with late deliveries are not discussed and threshed out. Definitely, when problems are presented to the higher level of management and not settled or attempted to be settled, this would affect the morale of the middle level managers. Communication is the process of sharing and exchanging information within a common interpretative framework so that the information can be useful and meaningful (Booth 2008). Without the established communication channels and protocols, there will be a breakdown in communication (Patterson 2009). Appropriate communication channels must be formed within the organization and between the organization and the suppliers, vendors, retailers, dealers and sales agents. Regular meetings can help in threshing out business and management issues. However, issuance of memoranda and letters are sufficient to share information. At present, the advanced information technology can help a lot in bridging the gap in information among the different components of the organization. The information system has been contributing much to the changes in the organization (Mills 2005). It is clear in the case study that the use of computers and information technology has not been utilized by Towbow in any of its processes. A computer system must be set up to facilitate communication among the components. IT can also help in one of the main problems of Tombow – inventory control and tracking. As expressed by the head of the sales department, there had been delays in the deliveries and he was not aware of what was happening. The problem of uncertainty can be solved by a global inventory system for all stakeholders of Tombow, each component with specific access to the database. For instance, the orders of retailers, dealers of sales agents will be posted by the sales department in the database. The sales department will inform the main headquarter of the orders through letter or email. The sales department will post in the global inventory ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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