Internal/External Factors at Nationwide Insurance
Nationwide Insurance has been serving their policyholders for 75 years. As with anything change is inevitable. Nationwide takes great satisfaction in the fact that the organization has been able to change with the times.
Rapid changeNationwide Insurance is one of the largest and most competitive insurance companies in the market. Nationwide is so competitive because they do not limit the company to dealing with only insurance. Nationwide Insurance is a large organization that has a variety of businesses within the organization. There is a Nationwide Bank, Nationwide Financial, Nationwide Property and Casualty and Nationwide General Insurance Company to name a few.
The Nationwide organization recognizes a need for providing the best service possible to the policyholders which in motivates the company to keep up with other items being offered by competitors. This is also a driving factor in motivating the company to keep up with other items being offered by competitors. Nationwide has to be able to surpass what the competition is offering. The insurance business is an ever changing business. Laws can change from state to state and with no hesitation Nationwide has to be able to meet the guidelines determined by the law at any given time.
TechnologyTechnology is constantly changes, which in turn is changing what Nationwide strives to achieve. Nationwide is amongst the leaders from a technological perspective. When the internet became the focus for advancing into new markets Nationwide realized that it did not matter if they could offer products on the internet if they could not track what the return on investment (ROI) would be to continue increasing the website functionality. What they did was create a ground breaking program/tool they refer to as the data warehouse.
This program would allow them to “… measure Web success and produce an ROI; calculate operational savings; determine the success of online and offline advertising that directs traffic to nationwideinsurance.com; track the popularity of different online programs and projects” (Carpenter, 2003, ¶ 2). This tool offered Nationwide information and statistics that no other insurance company had the technology to monitor. Other insurance companies were able to create quoting but were only able to use it in a small number of markets. They were hesitant whether it would be beneficial (Carpenter, 2003). Nationwide does not have to question the value of their online offers because they are able to produce the statistics to guide them in making the right decisions.
Technology combined with innovation is how companies get the leading edge over their competitors. How important is technology? One example from the article the Info Tech 100 is the company Motorola. They were ranked 11th last year on the Tech 100 list and dropped off this year. During 2006 they had tremendous success with their razor phones and had a new phone on the market that everyone wanted. There was nothing to follow the success of the razor, Motorola’s technology feel behind, and they were not making more advanced phones available. The other phone carriers were selling more cutting edge phones for a lower price. Not keeping up with the changing technology can have a significant impact on any organization (Ante et al. 2007).
Innovation”Insurance might not automatically strike some as an information technology industry – selling and administering policies aren’t obviously technical pursuits” (Maagolis, 2007).
It is difficult to imagine how insurance relates to innovation. But innovation is what keeps Nationwide ahead in the insurance industry. It is simple to find something that works and want to continue to use it. But Nationwide realizes it is not realistic, if they are not making changes they are falling behind their competitors. As an example, the computer systems being utilize have to be able to keep up with the constant change. What this means to Nationwide is that we have to be thinking ahead. Nationwide employs 6000 associates specifically in the Information Technology field (Maagolis, 2007). Nationwide is a company that has been around for over 70 years. They are constantly assessing what changes need to be made and what is the most efficient approach to making the updates.
It is a massive task taking an organization that is working on outdated legacy systems and getting on the right platform. This is why Nationwide has to innovative as they are making modifications for systems they want to do it right so it will be advanced enough that they won’t have to make changes again next year. Nationwide was awarded the technology innovation award in 2006 for the data warehouse program explained earlier. This was ground breaking, it is one place that collects data from the entire enterprise and put it in one database (DSS Resources, 2006). Every organization needs to continue to develop and implement changes that give them the competitive advantage.
Internal/External Factors at GTECH Corporation
GTECH Corporation is a technology company whose core business is the lottery. There are many internal and external factors that impact the four functions of management; one important factor that GTECH has a very strong hold on is business ethics.
GTECH Corporation (2007) goes as far as to advertise their Code of Conduct on their web site so that it is visible to customers, applicants and employees. The website states, “The Company conducts its business in an ethical manner, with integrity, trust, respect, and fair dealing. These values should govern our conduct in every decision we make” (Corporate Governance, 2007). Zablow (2006, p. 26) states “Foremost in the creation of an ethical culture is the personal integrity of organization leadership, which is essential for creating and sustaining an effective and value-based “tone from the top.” It has often been said that a deterrent to unethical behavior is ethical leadership”.
GTECH trains each newly hired employee on their Code of Conduct as part of the new hire orientation; employees also watch a video message from the President of the company so that they understand that ethics does start at the top of the organization. Zablow (2006) also reports that each level of employee should be trained on the business ethics of the facility and would be beneficial to hear this message from a CEO. GTECH also has an annual recertification, where each and every employee is required to be re-trained on the policy and even take an assessment to ensure that they understood the expectations and training. Unethical behavior can have a very negative impact on business and management functions, so ensuring that ethics is valued is a job of everyone in the organization.
Embracing diversity is something that GTECH has certainly come accustomed to. They are a global company who is a wholly owned subsidiary of an Italian Corporation. They are familiar with adapting to change and embracing ideas that are different from the way that things are done. GTECH has even adopted a leadership program called Global Leadership Development where a select group of employees from all different backgrounds come together as a team and learn best practices and best ways to do things; many times a diverse approach is adopted. Ewing (2007, p. 70) states “….a diversity statement on the company’s Web site is nice, but meaningless… Companies need to invest time and resources to support diversity through formal training, team coaching and individual mentorship”. This is certainly the approach that GTECH is making, this program, even though designed for twenty employees per year costs the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is not a bad investment for the value of diversity.
TechnologyTechnology is important to any organization; however one that calls them a technology company, this factor even holds greater value. The gaming marketplace is one of a very competitive nature and winning a contract does not always boil down to price; it comes down to innovation and technology. GTECH has been the leader in this industry for sometime, however the technology has not changed much in the past years, and the company realized this. GTECH knows and understand in order to stay on top they products that they sell must be better than they rest, their technology has to shine, the competition is always trying to find ways to be better and they have to do that too.
This year they created “Innovation week” this is when the Chief Technology Officer pushed an initiative to engage employees to gather new ideas. That will help GTECH’s revenue grow as well as provide GTECH with a competitive edge and diversity the core business. This program was launched in June and had over twelve hundred ideas from employees. This response is overwhelming but some wonderful technological ideas have come from this practice. Technology is always changing and to stand above the competition and be the leader in the industry senior leaders and managers from every angle must listen to ideas to keep GTECH’s product the best of the best.
Internal/External Factors at United Parcel Services
GlobalizationUnited Parcel Service has customers all around the globe. Expanding and keeping a global atmosphere is a necessity for a company this large. Globalization is key when marketing and working with customers around the globe. Constantine E. Passaris (2006, pg.3), writes, “The new global economy of the 21st Century has transformed the economic, social, educational, and political landscape in a profound and indelible manner. Never before in human history has the pace of structural change been more pervasive, rapid, and global in its context.” The economy, not only businesses are constantly expanding and utilizing outer areas to make profit. UPS does this also, by having one of the largest shipping areas in the world; it can reach all areas of the world quickly. UPS provides fast, reliable service for customers around the globe. Managers and employees are constantly finding ways to get things done faster and better than the competitor.
Technology makes the success of globalization happen. Without new technological innovations UPS would not expand. Companies depend on the newest and latest gadgets to help serve customers in a fast and timely manner. UPS wants happy customers and to provide fast service to the ever expanding market. With computer technology packages get delivered fast and are guaranteed. This is done through a tracking system that managers monitor daily and can find any package with a tracking number anywhere. For this tracking system to be successful many parts of the four functions of management are essential. Good planning has to be in order, along with clear instructions. Employees need to be aware of what is happening on a daily basis and need to know if changes are to occur. Managers must communicate with employees and show some flexibility when needed. Management teams must conduct meetings that include all members participating in these tasks. Managers should show initiative in further expanding their education and skills to help service the company. Constantine E. Passaris (2006, pg. 3), also states “Life long learning and the continuous upgrading of skills as well as the structural reorganization of the work place have become essential parameters of a country’s contemporary economic profile.
The knowledge based economy is fuelled by technology, human capital, and research and development which contribute to accelerating levels of productivity and economic performance”Rapid ChangeWhen companies base their profits on technology, managers and employees need to show interest in higher education to keep up with constant changes occurring. Jennifer Schramm (2006, pg. 160) wrote an article discussing the constant changing technological advances in companies today. She states, “The rapid turnover of technological knowledge could require that employee education be embedded in everyday working life. It could also lead to skills shortages as fewer and fewer individuals prove capable of managing increasingly complex technologies” employee education is a necessity to keep up with all the changes that are constantly happening in today’s companies. Ideas are rapidly changing; it is difficult to keep up. UPS is also constantly changing, exploring, inventing and finding ways to better serve its customers and employees.
Internal and External Factors at US AirwaysUS Airways Airline have a large amount of diversity, because is a national and international company, with a large group of workers who come from different background.
The difference in ethnicity, gender and nationality. When different people interact with each other it reduces the importance of superficial and increases the importance of diversity for how their team functions.
DiversityAt US Airways they make individuals feel at home, they all share their diverse knowledge with each other. When they share with a team the task has a bit of everyone ideas and each idea come from different culture, everyone think different, it could be because of where they come from, but as long as the multicultural ideas are effective and work for the company, there are no worries. Its diverse group of talented people is the most powerful force driving the corporation. US Airways recognized it cannot succeed by excluding any potential valuable employee.
EthicsUS Airways never denied employment to anyone, because of their nationality, language or any other reason. At US Airways people from all over the world treat each other with respect, the same way as the agents treat their passengers, regardless of their nationality or sex. Lots of Managers and directors believe in different life style, and those who don’t once they start working at US Airways they become part of the team. “I make us fly”. At work sometimes they find themselves too comfortable and they might speak their native language without realizing that there are others around that feel uncomfortable due to the fact that their unable to understand the conversation. At their work place they work as a team.
TechnologyTechnology is a lot easier, at US Airways it eliminates a lot of manual work done by employees in a whole. Payroll used to be done manually; employees were responsible for submitting a time sheet every two weeks now instead is done electronically on a daily basis. Their time clocks have also been updated to a more modern one. The schedules for all employees were usually generated manually know is also done by computer, technology have upgrade since 1998, US Airways update their system every year. Up until 2006 US Airways did not have a windows program in their system, or internet access.
Internal/External Factors at the City of TustinE-BusinessBusiness that is carried out electronically over the World Wide Web (www) is called E-Business. Internet companies benefited from this new rage that started over seven years ago because of the services that they provided. E-Business helps to conduct fast and easy access to purchase products and converse with people as a form of communication. This allows companies to converse globally without need of worrying about the different time zones, languages, or different currencies. The communication factor is quick and efficient, and most people are dependant on the rapid responses to inquiries.
Experts in information technology and ethics have separated categories of organization to add to the Web into e-business structures; “(1) organizations that have a passive presence online and focus on online advertising, (2) organizations that use the Web to improve operations, and (3) organizations that create stand-alone transaction sites as their main or only business (Berkshire, 2004.)” Have companies become too reliant on these types of services? The internet has allowed the City of Tustin to change their form of communication and have relied on the fact that the economy is competitive, changed strategies of planning, and require the capability of performing tasks in a timely manner.
TechnologyTechnology transports computer graphic tools that allow users to utilize anything from telephones, cable, internet, iPods, copiers, fax machines, and much more. Technology progression produces new goods, advanced inventions, and other ways for companies to manage and communicate amongst fellow patrons and co-workers. Technology evolves every eighteen months, so companies have to remain competitive in the market especially with new industries. For example, the arrival of new computers produced a large industry that enabled companies to create new positions. While others created advances to move ahead for a competitive edge. These advances allow companies to market themselves globally, which was not so readily available to them in the past. New technologies permit production, management, and communication skills that were available in the past. For example teleconferencing, audio web-casting, and cell phones have become more utilized today than ever before. Companies sometimes do not realize the fast impact technology has on their day-to-day business and the long term affects.
Technology is slowly but surely taking over businesses to cut back time and money. Technology is not always reliable. Companies tend to hire information technology (IT) personal to respond to internet computer related errors. This will protect the name of the organization and to help communicate with outside sources. IT technicians will be able to observe and react to computer related problems, such as spam or dropped connections. “Computers, communications devices and other information technology hardware can be deployed to perform routine accounting, record keeping and order processing functions cheaply and efficiently (Collins, 2006.)” Additionally, these indispensable data-processing tasks have allowed organizations to accumulate more information than what could be previously handled and are subject it to more detailed analysis.
The rate of change in today’s world is constantly changing due to a consumer- driven economy; such as globalization, technology, and innovation. Organizations will soon have to adapt to the shifting economy, which will enable management to change their supervision skills. Motivational and leadership tasks have to evolve inspiration, resistance, and participation between co-workers to administer clarification of what is to be done. Understanding change determines response to external change and anticipating the change. It also involves opportunities while adapting to change. Change also involves introduction to new products and services to create new capabilities within the industry. If management needs to change effectively, they need to understand employee behavior, technology changes, and the economy.
Internal/External Factors at TD Banknorth
TD Banknorth is one of the largest banks in the New England area. “At June 30, 2006, TD Banknorth had over $40 billion of total consolidated assets and provided financial services to more than 1.5 million households in the Northeast. TD Banknorth’s banking subsidiary, TD Banknorth, N.A., operates banking divisions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.” (TD Banknorth 2007) All of TD Banknorth’s accomplishment has been found in the effective management strategy of its senior executives. The company went from being on the verge of bankruptcy to becoming the enormous success that it is today. TD Banknorth continues to train its managers to handle a variety of issues such as diversity, rapid change and ethics in hopes of continuing its upward trend and becoming a leading contender in the banking industry.
DiversityMost managers who work in large corporations in the United States are facing the differences that are associated with an ethically diverse workforce. TD Banknorth is one of those companies. There has been an increase in the number of training courses designed to help managers work with people who are from foreign nations or people from different age groups. The training courses were implemented as part of TD Banknorth’s goal of being a good employer. Managers take advantage of these training courses because they understand that in order to be a good manager, they have to be able to communicate with all of their employees. Good communication enables a manager to organize their staff and maximize the resources available to the company. Diversity in the American workplace is a growing trend. “In the survey, conducted by global management consulting firm Accenture, U.S. companies were found to be top targets for mergers and acquisitions. Regardless of whether they intend to expand into overseas markets, U.S. companies are sure to feel the effects of globalization as their colleagues and clients become more internationally diverse.” (Frase 2007)
Rapid change is a self-explanatory term and learning to cope with it is part of a manager’s job. At TD Banknorth, one of the rapid change issues that managers are faced with is a high turnover rate among their tellers. This is difficult for a manager because the tellers are the face of the company. They interact and provide services for most of the customers that come into the bank. Managers at TD Banknorth have learned that cross-training is an aspect of their job that enables them to lead their staff in the absence of a full staff. There might be times when a manager has to fill in for another member of the staff such as a teller. Even though filling in for a teller might not be part of a manager’s job description, it is a sign of a good leader. When a manager’s staff sees that the manager is willing to do any job, it inspires them to branch out and work together to get the job done even if that means doing things that may not be specified in their job descriptions. Good leadership like this will only serve to elevate the manager and the company that he or she works for.
Managers at TD Banknorth take the lead in upholding the high ethical standards of the company. “Unethical behavior can cause enormous damage to an organization’s reputation and employee morale, resulting in loss of revenue and even organizational decline.” (Len & Igor, 2007) The managers are responsible for their staff in the sense that they need to lead by example. There is no room for any violation of the company’s policies and procedures.
ConclusionManagers are like the rudder that steers a ship. These individuals guide a corporation in what they hope to be the right direction. Without this guide, a company has no chance of achieving success. It is an invaluable position that needs to be taken seriously. All of the dimensions that make up a good manager such as planning, organizing, leading and controlling are intertwined and should be used faithfully and without hesitation. The result will be a successful career and a competent staff.
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