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In mid 1984 Mr. Mahmood, the General Manager of Westward Exports Limited, Karachi,

Pakistan was trying to implement a management information system. He was facing resistance

from Mr. Saleem, his most senior Supervisor. Mr. Mahmood wondered what he could do to

overcome this resistance.

Company Background

Westward Exports was an exporter of ladies cotton garments. It was a private company

established in 1971. It was a family run business and all four directors were brothers. Over the

past fourteen years the exports of the company had grown from Rs. 0.71 million in 1972-73 to

Rs. 59.76 million in 1984. Almost 90% of the exports went to USA. It owned no manufacturing

facility of any kind. It purchased cotton cloth from six different textile mills and had the cloth

dyed and printed. This fabric was then passed on to 138 stitching subcontractors. The company

had been expanding the product line over the years and by 1983 it was exporting about one

million garments in over one hundred basic designs. The 100 designs were presented in a large

of fabric types, shades, designs and sizes.

When seen in the context that the company had to get all these things done through

subcontractors, the managerial control of the operations became quite challenging. The

directors who had always been actively involved in each and every aspect of the business, and

made all the decisions by themselves, felt the heat of changing situations. They appreciated the

problem and decided to hire some professional assistance to bring more control to their

operations.

Mr. Mahmood

Mr. Mahmood was hired in late 1983 to be the new general manager. He was an agricultural

graduate who had about fifteen years of marketing and sales experience with a multinational

organization. He also had attended more than a dozen management development courses. The

directors were confident that he could introduce some new control measures to help ensure the

continued success of the company.

Mr. Mahmood quickly determined that if Westward Exports was to remain in business it

immediately must eliminate the haphazardness in its operations. No proper costing, no

scheduling, no progress sheets or order status reports, no follow up charts, or for that matter no

control procedure worth the name existed. “It was all so nebulous” he concluded. He worked

1 Currently serving as Chairman, Department of Commerce, Bahauddin Zakria University, Multan.

late hours to comprehend fully the nature and scope of the company’s business and its

coordination and working relationships without contractors. Almost immediately he started to

design a proper system to help cure the lack of control and information available.

Mr. Saleem

Out of about 200 old employees in the company, the key operating manager was Mr. Saleem.

Saleem joined the company in 1973 as a production officer, nearly the lowest rung in the

company’s hierarchy. He distinguished himself because of his hard work and was promoted to

be a supervisor. By 1982, Saleem, under direct supervision of the directors, was looking after

every activity in manufacturing. Right from raw material procurement to packing and shipping

of finished garments, he was coordinating all of the activities. Because of the varied nature of

his duties and his dedication to work, he was able to learn all the ins and outs of the business.

Saleem also was considered to be a man with a photographic memory. He virtually ran the

whole business from the information stored in his head. “I have an abhorrence for paperwork”,

said Saleem. “My work load is so great that I am always engrossed in my job. Even my dreams

are job related”, he added. “But due recognition has always been awarded to me by my

director.”

Current Situation

Mr. Saleem initially cooperated with Mr. Mahmood. However, when Mr. Mahmood started to

implement some of the new systems and procedures, Mr. Saleem refused to go along with

them. Mr. Saleem even questioned the very need for such a drastic change. “Ask me about

anything …. any detail of a fabric, any garments any export order …. For that matter anything

that has bothering the people here with such clerical burdens? These luxuries are all right for

big companies, but not for us. We can not spare people for such unproductive things.”

Mr. Mahmood understood that Mr. Saleem was close to the director and was the senior-most

supervisor. Therefore, his opposition could not be taken lightly. Mr. Mahmood also felt that

others might say that he had neither the general management experience nor any particular

experience in the garment industry.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, Mr. Mahmood was confident that the company did need the change and as soon

as possible. He was troubled; however, with the resistance of Mr. Salaam’s reluctant to

accommodate his new system, he would not be able to do the job.

Questions for Discussion

1. Do you agree with Mr. Saleem that “such luxuries are for big companies, but not for

us”? Why or why not?

2. How should Mr. Mahmood handle the current situation?

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Replies to This Discussion

1. Do you agree with Mr. Saleem that “such luxuries are for big companies, but not for us”? Why or why not?
Answer:
No I am not agreeing with Mr. SALEEM. MR. MAHMOOD was right he wants to change policy of the Westward Exports. A factor, thing, element, or course involving uncertain danger, possibility of suffering harm or loss is parts of business we usually called them risk. If in that condition they are not going to take risk they would close the Westward Export. A great idea, design, policies, planning and strategy make the company cash cow which Mr. MAHMOOD was thinking. Actually Mr. Mahmood made premises for future happiness. He knows if I am bringing a new strategy which is much difficult but we must take risk and trouble but they right way is to take a change in Westward Exports.
2. How should Mr. Mahmood handle the current situation?
Answer:
Mr. Mahmood needs to make vision and mission statement. Strategic planning is worthless unless there is first a strategic vision. Vision that answers the question, what should we want to become in future? And mission is a special assignment that is given to a person or group an address the basic question, what is our business? After vision and mission statement he should make the external and internal factors. To get data from outside the organization and give instructions inside the organization. Plans are nothing; planning is everything. There is needed to make strategies for long time period which may include geographic expansion, diversification, acquisition, product development, market penetration, entrenchment, divestiture, liquidation, and joint venture. There is also need to make short term planning more over for one year.

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