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SOL is a cleaning service based in Finland. It can be described as one of the high-technology companies in the world. It was founded in 1992 by Joronen. SOL offers security services, cleaning services, domestic services, and facility services. The supervisors together with the employees make their own budget and other plans for the company.
Their activities have been computerized to make their work easier and they can work anywhere using their laptops and phones. This paper will discuss management functions in relation to SOL, describe it as an “old workplace” and also give an analysis of its efficiencies and effectiveness.
Functions of Management
There is no business that does not have a manager, be it a salon, a petrol station, cleaning service and the list is endless. All managers in all forms of businesses perform similar functions, which are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. All these functions are important and organization cannot perform properly if any of them is missing.
The foremost function is planning; a manager has the responsibility of determining an organizations goals and devising ways of achieving them (Erven, 2009). When we look at SOL, this is quite evident since the 135 supervisors have been vested with the power to open up new studios in areas of their choice as long as they will be profitable to the business. Each supervisor preside over 50 cleaners and they work together. They work with targets which are normally set beyond the normal operations but they have to be realistic and achievable.
The second component of management is organizing; managers have the responsibility of organizing personnel as well as the companies’ resources. They have to know the exact number of employees required for a particular shift and equip them with the required skills (Pakhare, 2010).
SOL managers/supervisors have been able to achieve this as their employees have to go through the seven modules of training that normally take 28 months before they can be allowed to work for the company. On top of the normal training, SOL employees are enlightened on time management, customer care skills, and budgeting.
There is a difference between leading and managing. The work of manager is to manage employees and ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner. On the other hand, it is the duty of employees to follow the orders of the manager simply because he is the one in-charge.
A leader is a person who is able to motivate employees in achieving the company’s goals. In most cases, the manager acts as the leader. At SOL, the supervisors acts as both managers and leaders; they allocate duties to their employees and at the same time motivate them through involving them in the decision making process where they discuss their targets and ways of achieving them.
Managers have a responsibility of monitoring the company’s performance to ensure that the objectives are met. They should always make sure that cost does not exceed the company’s performance (Pakhare, 2010).
SOL as an “old workplace”
I would evaluate SOL as an old workplace that has been upgraded to meet the current customer needs. It is a high technology company that has evolved over along period of time to become what it is today. At the time when it was launched (1992), it was just an ordinary company.
However, it has taken another angle to prove that, cleaning is not an inferior career but a career like any other. Joronen has dedicated her life to her company to make it what it is today. She used her intelligence and knowledge to transform what was formally known as an illiterate person’s work to a professional work.
SOL Company uses high technology and advanced equipment in its operation. It has been able to attract both local and international customers due to its efficient services. At SOL, there is no discrimination and employees can clean all sorts of mess ranging from the hospitals, vegetable stores, executive offices, and the list is endless.
Joronen is a good manager who understands customers needs and looks for ways of satisfying them through training her employees. She understands that, an unhappy customer can lead to a decline in performance since she is likely to tell about ten people.
SOL innovativeness is facilitated by the use of decentralized structures where supervisors are allowed to experiment new services. An effective procedure is followed in order to establish new and attractive ideas for the success of the company. SOL’s superior marketing strategy complements its mission statement and has seen its services being well positioned in the market. The company’s reputable brand name is a source of competitive advantage as it lures customer traffic. SOL’s low cost strategy offers are also an effective marketing tool.
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In order to enhance its uniqueness and competitive advantage, SOL has reconfigured its value chain through horizontal and vertical integration (Daft, 2009). It has developed a core competency in its patented software technology, which not only provides an efficient link between the company’s value creating activities, but also boosts business efficiency through speedy transactions and fulfilment services with reduced margin of error.
SOL’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
SOL efficiency roots from it’s compete Human resources who ensure growth and development through innovation and creativity. It is headed by competent supervisors. Its human resources can be described using the following:
- Human resources is composed of talented personnel
- Upon appointment they go through a training process
- Workforce planning-organization of staff
- Team empowerment nurtures a culture of innovation.
- Skills management fits in with frugality value.
- Employees are motivated to think and act like owners
- Utilizing independent contractors and temporary personnel tallies with seasonality of business
Strong leadership is the cornerstone of any organisation’s success and SOL is no different. Supervisors’ direct involvement in the day to day running of the company, particularly the organisation of teams, fosters an informal top management style, which promotes upward feedback and effective deployment of human resources according to proficiency.
SOL has realised a high turnover growth which offsets its low profit margins and enables sustainability of the cooperation’s price-based competitive advantage. In addition to reinvestment of margins, SOL has achieved differentiation through its services as well as imperfect mobility of its brand name, which is inimitable. Hence, SOL enjoys market dominance and first mover advantages through technological innovations (Brewer, 2010).
From its initial existence, it has developed its strategy through; Market Penetration, Consolidation, service development, Market development and related diversification. It has therefore capitalised on its core competencies through vertical integration, horizontal, and geographical diversification.
In line with its marketing strategy, SOL uses products that are environmental friendly with the aim of conserving the natural resources. The employees understand their ethical responsibility to the community and they always aim at satisfying their customers as well as being environmental friendly (SOL website, 2009). The internal expansion focused on improved services for existing customers and new markets. This has generated (additional) value into SOL’s existing business thus increased competitive advantage.
Brewer, D. (2010). Management efficiency effectiveness and economy Web.
Daft, R.L. (2009). Organization Theory and Design. Cengage Learning, Wiley and Sons.
Erven, B. L. (2009). The five functions of management. Ohio State University Extension Web.
Pakhare, J. (2010). Management Concepts- The four functions of management Web.
SOL website (2009). Sunny SOL at your service Web.