Best Buy, Yahoo and Telecommuting: The Problem Isn’t Distance-It’s Management

Distance isn’t the problem-management is.

Is telecommuting a privilege or a right? Telecommuting has become one of the most recent and effective ways of doing business. However, many people have debated weather it is a privilege or a right.

Telecommuting can be more efficient at times, however that depends on management. Recently, Marissa Mayers (Yahoo CEO) added a new policy against telecommuting. Best Buy has also brought about talks regarding banning telecommuting.

Telecommuting can be environmentally friendly and preferred by employees, especially those that have a long distance for commute. Telecommuting can motivate employees to work from where they want to work. It can also be very inefficient if those that telecommute are not paying attention to the work they have to get done.

Management really needs to take more action especially since Telecommuting is fairly new. I am not saying management needs to be micro managing, but they do need to step it up if they see that those telecommuting are taking advantage.  It seems that in order for a company to be successful if they want to telecommute, they need to set of training on how to effectively improve communication/management.

Operation can take a huge toll in the way things are being ran especially if not much attention is put. Those that telecommute may find it distracting to work effectively once they are sitting at home with a laptop surfing the web, eating dinner, listening to music ect. However, operation can increase if those that work at home find those distractions to be necessary for their production. If they feel that at work they are being pressured and constantly watched on.  We discussed how managers should develop pride and joy in work and how that effects production. If managers effectively carry out with that, employees may feel better about doing their job wherever they are.

In today’s tech world, it almost feels that telecommuting is almost essential rather than being a privilege. For example, I have worked in a company where we telecommute and we do this because everyone is doing a marketing project where they feel that are more concentrated at home, or other employees commute is so long that if they worked from home they could get a lot more done during the time spent on the commute. Management is on a 24/7 contact basis and we have employees that work great communicating effectively and production is great. However, we also have some employees that do not communicate all the time and we find ourselves slowing down on production. I think that it depends on the type of company and task, in order to determine if  telecommuting is a privilege or a right.

Overall,  management is extremely important if companies do chose to allow employees to telecommute. Management really plays a huge roll because they have to effectively communicate with employees and allow them to do their work without making them feel they are being hounded to deliver work on time.

How To Save J.C. Penney: Shut Hundreds Of Stores, Say Business Professors


J.C. Penney has been a popular shopping mall back to the time, however, currently J.C. Penney appear problems to face.J.C. Penney hired Ron Johnson as J.C. Penney CEO in June 2011, and Johnson started a new strategy of Pricing method for J.C. Penney such as “Every Day” Price and ” Best Price”. However, those methods do not help company sale profit increase. Although J.C. Penney stock has been risen, total sale of 2012 decrease a lot after Ron Johnson took over CEO position. In Fact, Johnson gave wrong strategy for J.C. Penney.

Therefore, J.C. Penney fired CEO Ron Johnson and solved problems itself. J.C. Penney have been operated for more than 100 years. In the article, Bruce Clark, a professor of marketing stated that some J.C. Penney are old, and it had not opened more new stores in the last five years. J.C Penney located from suburb to downtown, it has been experienced peak or trough. Nowadays, there are more competitors than old modernization, such as Macy’s, Sears and Nordstrom; these stores are mostly located in downtown and mid-range areas. J.C. Penney has financial problems because they did not do well in operation management. To have a good operation management, it need a great critical thinking.

In addition, in the end of article, it mentioned that the main focus of J.C. Penney for now is to open stores in higher end malls. I think that it has this idea, this main focus because it can attract more higher-income customers to shop J.C. Penney so that it can earn more sales. Also, if J.C. Penney are going to put stores in higher end malls, they have to have great critical decision to save stores. Since it will be closing 700 stores out of 1100 J.C. Penney stores, it need to offer great design of goods and services, managing quality and supply chain management. In Chapter 1, we discuss in-class of ten critical decisions, and I think these three decision areas are more concern for J.C. Penney. Since they have a bad strategy of pricing and cash drain before, it need these decisions to operate well J.C. Penney.

If J.C. Penney really decide closing stores, I believe that it is a tough decision since it is a large company with 1100 stores and open more than 100 years, and it would cause a lot of effects, such as it will make handles all closing stores problems, a lot of employee and employers losing job opportunities, destructing of  operating covenants  and paying penalty. Therefore, if J.C. Penney do not close that 700 stores and have new strategy development, I think that J.C. Penney can be back on track, for example, like the Chapter 2 strategy, the elements of operation management strategy are low-cost products, high-value offerings and efficient, flexible operations adaptable to consumers etc.  Therefore, I think that it should not close stores, and I believe that each of J.C Penney stores still have value so they should not give up, and they just need a great strategy and critical decisions of management.



Project Managers vs Workers

During our first class, we got to do our first exercise. This exercise was making the paper puppets. Though I was not involved with the workers or even the timer guys. I was observing the whole operation. The teacher acted like the project manager, and 5 class colleagues were doing the assembly line workers job.

During this exercise, each worker was given a task to be done. The teacher was putting pressure on them as she was acting like the project manager. As a result, they were trying hard to finish as much paper puppets as possible. I was observing the behavior of each worker, since the last three workers were sitting idle until the second worker finishes her job. Her task was a longer task than the rest, thus she was a bottleneck. The class was fun and we have learned a lot.

Some of what we have learned from this class was:

  • The way you layout the operations space, is going to influence the production and product quality, it even influences the communication between the workers. During our exercise, though they were close to each other, each worker was only talking to the one right next to him/her.
  • During the exercise, the first worker tried to optimize the way he worked but the project manager which is the teacher told him to follow the process. This teaches us that if we ever want to  re-engineer a process, we need to talk to the workers. They see the obstacles, they most probably know how to optimize their work.
  • During the exercise, the workers found defected paper, but due to the pressure, they passed it on just to finish the process. What we could learn from this, when project managers or management puts so much pressure on workers, workers will have ethical issues and lead to high rate of defected products.
  • After we were done with the exercise, the teacher asked the workers how did they feel about their work load. Some said they were doing so much work, others said they didn’t have to do much. It is probably one of most faced issue with operation workers. Work isn’t divided equally among workers.
  • We also have discussed what we could have done to help our second worker which she had more complicated work to do, we have came with so many solutions which seemed to help, like hiring one more worker with her. Or distributing the work among other workers too.
Here are some pictures that I took during class while we were doing the exercise: (Note: Some faces are blurred because they asked me to blur their faces). Edit: One more colleague asked for her picture to be blurred., so I re-uploaded the images.