The most appropriate strategic planning and management tool to address the issues faced by CWS DAC is the balanced scorecard.
We note that CWS DAC has recently acquired three small insurance brokers, which suggests they are keen to build their business and increase their market share. However, this growth has generated some issues within the company. The purpose of the balanced scorecard method is to comprehensively analyse a company’s business activities from four angles: Financial, Internal, Customer and Learning and Growth, and to then arrange the company’s resources so that the business units can perform in an efficient and cohesive manner. By doing so, it allows a company to determine what expertise and systems are required by employees to assist them in establishing and developing the right strategic processes, which will then in turn increase market share and shareholder returns.
If utilised appropriately, the balanced scorecard method will allow CWS DAC to resolve the issues caused by the recent acquisitions.
The purpose of the balanced scorecard method is to comprehensively analyse a company’s business activities from four perspectives: Financial, Internal, Customer and Learning and Growth.
CWS DAC has grown quickly over the past five years indicating a want to become a bigger player in the market. The challenge facing CWS DAC is to ensure that that growth is profitable. Obstacles to this are an unclear organisational strategy and difficulty accessing a suitable range of insurers for its newly diverse portfolio. In order for the acquisition to become a success and to become profitable, these obstacles must be resolved.
When a company makes several acquisitions within a short period of time the organisational strategy and the company’s internal policies may become uncertain or unclear. The challenge facing CWS is to unify its internal policies and strategy so that the organisation has clear goals and employees are all subject to the same standards.
When a company experiences quick growth, it can sometimes allow customer service standards to slip while it focuses on the acquisitions. Additionally, a decrease in morale caused by the uncertainty felt by employees surrounding the acquisitions can also lead to a decline in customer service. The rise in complaints noted in the question suggests customer service has declined and so the challenge facing CWS DAC is to enhance the customer experience through the investigation and resolution of the customer complaints.
Learning and Growth
A big benefit of acquisitions is that it can result in new skillsets being available to the company. However, training will still need to be provided to the new employees to ensure they are proficient in the products the company will be providing and how to use the company’s internal computer systems, amongst other training needs. The question notes companywide training is required which suggests CWS may have chosen to adopt the systems it inherited through the acquisition. The challenge faced by CWS DAC is to ensure the training they provide is adequate and is rolled out quickly and effectively.
If a company wishes to succeed, it requires a clear organisational strategy. In the case of CWS DAC, a SWOT analysis should be carried out to detail their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The results of the SWOT analysis can then be used to map the directions and objectives of the company with the aim of ensuring profitable growth. As part of this, the company will need to address the difficulty they are having in accessing a suitable range of insurers by, perhaps, reviewing their portfolio to assess what areas are most profitable. By establishing this, they may choose to exit the areas where losses are being made and this could then make it easier to access insurers for the remaining portfolio.
Prior to the merger, CWS DAC and the three companies acquired will have had their own individual internal policies and procedures in place. This would include pay and bonus scales. In order to create a harmonious workplace, the policies all 4 companies had in place should be reviewed with a view to implementing one unified set of internal policies. Extensive benchmarking should be carried out to ensure the pay and bonus scale the company is introducing is competitive.
A decline in customer service becomes evident when a rise in complaints is experienced. In order to implement a higher standard of customer service, the complaints received should be analysed to identify failures, such as a process or system failure or a training issue. Once identified, these issues can be rectified to ensure they do not reoccur. Additionally, in order to monitor the progress the company is making in its attempt to improve customer service, customers could be given the opportunity to complete a survey after each interaction with the company allowing them to rate the service they received and provide invaluable feedback to CWS DAC.
In order to ensure the required training and development is rolled out, a head of learning should be appointed to CWS DAC. They will be tasked with assessing the training needs of the company and ensuring these needs are met by creating the required training and development materials. In order to establish the areas where training is required most urgently, skill assessments could be undertaken to establish what skills each employee possesses and where training is required. Once the company has established a training and development programme, annual refresher courses should be provided to each employee to ensure a high level of competency is maintained within the organisation.
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