Business Proposal

Research Project ACME Industries, Inc. has done some major organizational restructuring during 2014 and 2015. In September of 2014, ACME decided to replace its President/CEO, Yusef Yosemite Sam. Mr. Sam had been in charge of ACME for over 50 years, and literally ran the organization with an iron fist. During his tenure, the organization has been financially sound, but over the course of the last ten years, many ethical and legal issues have come to the forefront regarding Mr. Sam and his unorthodox management style, mostly in ACMEs effort to adhere to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. His termination was effective as of September 1, 2014 after he was charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of two ACME employees in a suspicious warehouse fire in Louisiana. On November 1, 2014, it was announced that a new CEO had been hired by the Board of Directors, Mr. Phillip Plucky Duck. Mr. Duck has been part of ACMEs Sales team for five years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology, and got his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2005. Mr. Duck is young (he was born in 1984), ambitious, hard-charging, and has plans to take ACME in new and innovative directions. The majority of ACMEs current employees (including upper management) have been part of the organization for a minimum of 25 years. Many have been with ACME since its inception in 1949. Since Mr. Sam became CEO, ACMEs organizational culture was based on fear and to some extent cruelty. Mr. Sam was known to not only to fire people from their jobs, but fire at them with guns, flame throwers, cannons, or whatever other ACME weapon he had on hand. He never spoke without shouting, and never had kind words to say about anyone. While business was good, ACMEs employees suffered in silence, and accepted their lot. Mr. Sam did reward loyalty monetarily, and ACME employees who stayed were well paid. When Mr. Duck came on board, he sought to change this toxic culture. At first, Mr. Duck was not well-accepted. Many employees were distrustful of his different management style and were put off by the fact that he was so young. Some saw him as a slacker, due in part to his choice to wear casual attire. The entire Financial Department gave notice (with the exception of the CFO, Percival Porky pig) and left the organization, along with several other key employees, and the sales department was reorganized, including the replacement of several long-term members of its staff. Upper management remained primarily intact, but the stress of the change in leadership and philosophy took a physical and mental toll on those at all levels that stayed with the organization. In June of 2015, sales and revenue slowly began to recover. Mr. Duck had begun implementing many new employee well-being programs, including an on-sight gym, several stress reduction programs, and new safety programs, all in an effort to rebuild and restructure ACMEs organizational culture. Unfortunately, some of this restructuring also meant a reduction in the sometimes exorbitant bonuses that Mr. Sam was known to hand out. This too was not well received, but the large array of non-monetary benefits seemed to satisfy the employees. Absenteeism began to drop and performance and productivity began to rise. The stock price rose from a low of $ per share in December of 2013, to a respectable $ per share prior to the July 4,, 2016 weekend. Mr. Ducks strategy was working, and it led to a happier and more productive workforce, and a slow, steady rise in sales and revenue. In the summer of 2018, Mr. Duck announced to the board of directors at their strategic planning meeting that he would like ACME to go global after facing some tight competition from a Chinese manufacturer called Shngo Industries, Inc., who for lack of a better explanation, produces cheap knock-offs of ACMEs products (an example is Shngos High Flying Slippers, a copy of ACMEs Spring Loaded sandals, which retail for $, versus ACMEs $50 price tag). ACME is not used to such large and direct competition, particularly from overseas. Mr. Duck was concerned that Shngo would take away ACMEs current and future business mainly on the basis of their significantly lower pricing. Shngos product quality has been called into question on several occasions and is facing several complaints and lawsuits including but not limited to personal injury and product failure. ACME has been an US only company for so many years that Mr. Duck is really not sure where to begin. He is not sure how long it will take to create an overseas presence, whether ACME should simply import their products, or manufacture them overseas, or even how to market their products in international markets. He is also concerned with the impact this move will have on the employees, after they have gone through so many structural and cultural changes. Your job is to diagnose ACMEs current state in order to assist Mr. Duck in his decision-making in this situation. You will create a proposal for the Vice President of ACME Industries that includes your suggestions for what options ACME has organizationally to move in an international direction.