Individual Learning Essay
Work-study Enterprise (WSE), founded in 1994 in Matteson, Illinois offers childcare and early childhood education. WSE believes in developing the whole child and strives to show God’s love to all entering its doors. WSE enrollment is open to kid’s age 2 through 15 and offers a safe and positive environment for all. In addition, the organization offers before and after school programs, to include summer camps. A for-profit organization, WSE seeks to keep enrollment high in order to make child care cost affordable for all in the Chicago land area (Mitchell & Mitchell, Work-study Enterprise, April 4, 2013).
According to Blocher (2010), the balanced scorecard (BSC) is an accounting report that includes the firm’s critical success factors in four areas: (1) financial performance, (2) customer satisfaction, (3) internal processes, and (4) learning and growth (p.11). The following is a balanced scorecard for Work-study Enterprise Inc. Critical Success Factor
Annual growth of income from specific courses
+5% by end of fiscal year 20141
Offer more specific topics of tutoring (algebra, statistics, etc.)
Reduce overhead expenses
-10% by end of fiscal year 20142
Explore tax benefits, give philanthropic contributions, and apply for government subsidies Customer satisfaction
Retain Current Enrollees
-10% by end of fiscal year 20143
Improve communication between staff and parents
Enroll New Clientele
Clientele enrollment count
25 additional contracts by end of fiscal year 20144
Improve marketing campaigns and courses offered to attract new clients Internal Process
Number of grading periods to raise letter grade in a particular subject < 6 weeks
Implement strict policy and procedure for increasing letter grade/GPA Learning and Growth
Improve Tutorial Service through training classes
Number of tutors lacking new tutorial training
Increase by 50% by end of 2014
Implement a tutorial training program, providing training opportunities each month Discussion of Critical Success Factors (CFSs)
CFSs are defined as “the limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory, will ensure competitive performance for the organization” (Ram & Corkindale, 2014, p.152). Work-study Enterprise (WSE) will be able to deliver quality tutorial services for affordable prices, when the costs and quality of its services are addressed. The implementation of critical success factors will allow WSE to process each success factor into a particular category. Work-study Enterprise, Inc., can accomplish this by focusing on financial and tutorial goals that are in sync with one another. Work-study Enterprise can achieve this by changing the way in which the company hires tutors. Financial
The first CSF is financial performance. Financial performance is important because it measures the profitability and market value which are good indicators of how well the firm satisfies its owners and shareholders (Blocher, 2010, p.11). If a company can increase profits while decreasing its overhead, it will be in a better position to maintain positive profits. Profitability is gained strictly on how well WSE choose each critical success factor. The bottom line is to satisfy the owners. This critical success factor is not mutually exclusive, and depends on the other CFSs to keep Work-study Enterprise Inc doors open for business.
The second CSF is customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is important because satisfied customers tend to be loyal and repeat buyers. Measures of quality, service, and low cost, are three good indicators of how well a company satisfies its customer (Blocher, 2010, p.11). The objective here is for WSE to retain current enrollees and enroll new clientele. Current enrollees are the ones that continue to pay the bills (operating expenses), and enrolling new clientele helps increase profits thus assisting the financial CSF. Work-study Enterprise is looking to add online learning because it will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of it program (Cheawjindakarn, Suwannatthachote, & Theeraroungchaisri, 2012, p.61). This can be accomplished by hiring online tutors. A case study found that in order for online-course resources to be used effectively, the CFSs that need to be considered are: human factors pertaining to the instructors; the instructors’ and students’ technical competency; the instructors’ and students’ mindset (about learning); the level of collaboration intrinsic in the course; and the level of perceived IT infrastructure and technical support (Soong, Chan, Chua, & Loh, 2000, p.102).
These same CFSs align with WSE success factors. The human factors pertaining to the instructors can be found under financial CSF. The instructors and students technical competency is important in the learning and growth CSF. The instructors and students mindset about learning can be found in the internal process of improving the letter grade or increasing a student’s GPA in less than 6 weeks. The level of collaboration intrinsic in the course and the level of perceived IT infrastructure and technical support can be found in customer satisfaction critical success factor. Internal Process
The third CSF is internal process. WSE internal process is important because it measures efficiency and effectiveness of its services (Blocher, 2010, p.11). Greater efficiency and effectiveness can result in satisfied clients and more business. Raising GPAs and/or letter grades in tutorial services are very important. If a student is failing in a subject or is having a hard time comprehending the way his or teacher instructs, parents generally seek tutorial services. If WSE are able to help students by raising their GPA or letter grade, clients will want to continue with their services. This is why the choice to raise a letter grade in less than 6 weeks is a critical success factor. Learning and Growth
The fourth CSF is learning and growth. Learning and growth is important because it can help develop and utilize human resources and strategic goals (Blocher, 2010, p.11). By increasing the learning of the tutors, not only do the tutors become better and more efficient in their services, the parents/students become more satisfied. The addition of a tutorial training program will help with the growth of the tutors and the enterprise (Cherryl Mitchell, Work-study Enterprise, April 4, 2014). Tutoring has become an increasingly effective tool for academic support in the last 25 to 30 years (Holliday, 2012, p.21). This is why many universities and colleges offer tutorial services, however, outcomes may vary depending on the tutor to student interaction.
Evaluation of Work-study Enterprise Inc.
Reducing the overhead expenses in order to increase higher revenues is the objective for any rationale organization, if not all. This is because every company would like to maximize its profits in the most efficient way while still providing an effective service to its clientele. Work-study’s goal is to increase its profits by 5 percent, and by offering more specific topics of tutoring such as algebra, statistics, chemistry, etc, the tutorial service is on track. Offering a wider range of courses to tutor will target new customers and offer more services to existing clients thus bringing in more profits for the company. By exploring tax benefits, giving philanthropic contributions, and applying for government subsidies, the company can help reduce overhead. In addition, if the company increases its efficiency in the internal process CSF, a decrease of 10 percent of its overhead can be obtained by year end 2014. The financial CSF appears to be on target at Work-study Enterprise, Inc. It may be impossible to eliminate all overhead; however, taking advantage of the aforementioned can minimize some overhead expenses.
One objective under the customer satisfaction CFS is to retain current enrollees. A growing body of empirical work supports the fundamental logic that customer satisfaction should positively influence customer retention (Anderson, Fornell, & Mazvancheryl, 2004, p.173). Work-study Enterprise realizes that their customers are the key to their success thus stressing the importance of great communication. Furthermore, satisfied customers are able to make positive recommendations to others. Since its inception in 1995, communication between staff and parents is of the utmost importance to Work-study Enterprise. Through great communication WSE have been able to reiterate special incentives to existing customers, receive feedback about the services rather good or bad, and settle disputes in a prompt manner. Implementing good lines of communication between its staff and parents has allowed WSE to keep clients for as long as the program will permit the child’s age. In 2010, Work-study Enterprises signed a contract with District 162, which allowed WSE to offer its services to all the schools in its district. By securing a contract with District 162, WSE is on track for meeting the objective of adding 25 more contracts. Furthermore, as a result of signing with the district, WSE marketing campaign has opened opportunities for securing more districts.
Work-study Enterprises Inc. seeks to increase the letter grade or GPA of a student less than 6 weeks. This time starts on the first day a student meets with a tutor and ends 6 weeks after. Though students receive report cards 4 times a year or every 9 weeks, WSE likes to guarantee 6 weeks to increase a child’s letter grade. If the grade is not increased, the tutors will have an additional 3 weeks to spend more time with the student (s). The implementation of strict policies and procedures for increasing letter grades/GPAs has allowed WSE clients to pass their courses, as well as retain satisfied customers. Learning and Growth
In the past, clients of Work-study Enterprise have committed on the disparity in training of its tutors. The majority of the tutors at WSE are high-school and current college students. However, the disparity in training will be rectified by offering a tutorial training each month. The critical success factor seeks to increase to their goal of 50 percent by the end of 2014. The addition of this tutorial program each month has allowed tutors to provide a greater learning opportunity for the students. In addition, WSE is in the process of hiring a new trainer to focus specifically on training tutors. Overall Work-study Enterprise Inc. is on track of achieving each of its critical success factors by the end of 2014. As previously mentioned, critical success factors are interdependent. In other words, all critical success factors must work in tandem in order for Work-study Enterprise Inc. to achieve its strategic goals. The bible tells us “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26 KJV). Just because one prays does not mean that his business will be successful. Business owners must develop a strategy and work that strategy. Work-study Enterprise Inc have been working their strategy for nearly a decade and this is why their company is still going strong.
Anderson, E.W., Fornell, C. & Mazvancheryl, S.K. (2004). Customer satisfaction and shareholder value. Journal of Marketing, 68(4). p. 172-185 Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/30162024 Blocher, E. J., Stout, D. E., Juras, P.E., & Cokins, G. (2010). Cost Management: A Strategic Emphasis (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin Publishing. Cheawjindakarn, B., Suwannatthachote, P., & Theeraroungchaisri, A. (2012). Critical success factors for online distance learning in higher education: A
review of the literature. Creative Education, 3, p.61-66. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1353565510?accountid=12085 Holliday, T. (2012). Evaluating the effectiveness of tutoring: an easier way. The Learning Assistance Review17(2). p. 21-32. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA308883380&v=2.1&u=vic_liberty&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=a5e72816293a40e9cba7076990429c51
Ram, J., & Corkindale, D. (2014). How “critical” are the critical success factors (CFSs)?: Examining the role of CFSs for ERP. Business Process Management Journal, 20(1). p.151-174. Retrieved from 10.1108/BPMJ-11-2012-0127 Soong, M.H., Chan, H.C., Chua, B.C., & Loh, K.F. (2001). Critical success factors for on-line course resources. Computer & Education, 36, p.101-120. Retrieved from http://www.nc12z.com/uploadfile/cms/books/269/ts269019.pdf