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The BISM Case - Essay Example

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The writer of this essay focuses on the BISM Case which clearly points out to the needs and attitude of modern day office staff – they want to work in a team environment and at the same time, they want a bit of privacy for increased concentration on the job…
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The BISM Case
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The BISM Case
Q.1
A: Knoll is more likely to be engaging in differentiation competitive strategy. Its market space is ‘office furniture and equipment’, and this segment has undergone a sea change with the advent of information technology. In order to sustain / increase its business, Knoll has to understand and adapt its operations and product offerings to suit to the changed market conditions. Its marketing theme will be ‘increased productivity backed by research’ that customers can expect with the new product offerings. In this process, price factor is secondary to innovative design features and hence one can conclude that Knoll is working towards differentiation competitive strategy.
Q.2
A: The research clearly points out to the needs and attitude of modern day office staff – they want to work in a team environment and at the same time they want a bit of privacy for increased concentration on the job. The essential change in hierarchical to cross-departmental process thinking lies in two important factors namely, a) work execution at lowest possible levels and b) informality in cross-departmental consultations without going through bureaucratic procedures – these indicate productivity at individual level and team work at company-wide, rather than departmental level. These two factors impact the way a modern office and its furniture / equipment are designed. For companies like Knoll, this change in an office environment means a very significant change in the way its products are designed and marketed. Failing to realize such changing demands would mean losing market to better designed products.
Q.4
A: The five productivity factors revealed in the research work, point to the need for self-contained workstations that offer personalized space, flexibility of movement and at the same time, a sense of participation in a team atmosphere. Work itself is to be executed with the state-of-the-art computer technology.
Furniture and workstation are to be integral to each other. While designing the workstation, care will be taken to understand the space needed for the specific electronic equipment like telephones, computers and peripheral items like printers and stationery items. Equally important will be the free table space that is required for off-computer work, using traditional paper and pen/pencil. In other words, integrity of design with work requirements will be of prime importance.
Chairs are to be ergonomically designed for long hours of working in a sitting posture and permitting easy movement within a defined limit without the employee rising from the seat.
Work requirement may change from time to time and this may involve regrouping of staff to execute a specific project. In such a situation, it is not unusual for relocating a group of people to form a new project team. Towards this end, workstation design and furniture can be made in modular construction so that a new project team and its working arrangements are quickly set up with least additional investment in time and costs.
Q.5
a. I would propose to my management that my sales department should reflect the same type of working atmosphere that it encounters in the market place. To this extent, I would forcefully argue for integrating the teams that now sell separately to new and existing customers on the one hand and provide them with the same kind of wherewithal like equipment and furniture that they intend to sell in the market.
b. To support my request for budget provision for new furniture and equipment, I would argue that the need is as much for an in-house, hands-on experience for the sales people as it is for keeping up with the modern trends for improved productivity. A salesman with firsthand experience of what he is trying to sell is much better equipped to anticipate customer needs and answer queries with confidence. At the same time, he will also be in a better position to communicate to his design team improvements that can be made from time to time.
c. Workspace environment is certainly more important than system features, for users of a new information system. In the ultimate analysis, the individual’s comfort zone determines the level of his / her output and performance. Efficient workspace environment that permits both concentrated individual and team-effort goes a long way in enhancing productivity. In the process, even if the features of a system are not completely up-to-date, such a drawback can be overcome by the greater efficiency afforded by the well organized workspace.
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