create a report for the senior management of an organization named Bobco

Capstone ReportAttached Files:File The Case of BobCo – Case Study.pdf Students are required to individually create a report for the senior management of an organization named Bobco. The report is to be designed to provide senior management with the benefits of KM for that organization, the costs associated with it as well as a prioritized list of initiatives that can be implemented within the organization leading to new competitive advantage. Senior leadership should be able to make informed decisions based upon the report. The report receives four scores based upon the student’s ability to:a) Collect appropriate data and conduct the relevant analysis;b) Provide sound recommendations of how KM can be used to solve business problems;c) Justify the solutions proposed; andd) Determine the likelihood that senior management would adopt the proposed actions based upon the report.Minimum: 5 pages

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The Case of BobCo
Kevin J. O’Sullivan, School of Management, NYIT
Bobco is a small family operated company based in Jericho, NY that employs 250 consultants focused on
the import export market with the European Union. Consultants are assigned to customers to assist in
the development of import/export strategies, sourcing business partners, development of marketing
strategies, legal issues in import/export and logistical support. Although the majority of the consultants
are based in NY reporting to Sam Silverman, the Vice President of Consulting Services, a sizable portion
of them are based out of offices located in London, Paris, Milan and Barcelona as illustrated in Figure 1..
Each office is headed up by a Vice President and consists of consultants at different ranks including
Associate Consultant, Consultant, Senior Consultant and Program Manager/Director.
Each Vice President holds meetings with his senior staff on a regular basis, although the timing of such
differs from location to location depending upon the available time and commitments of the staff. In
turn, there is a senior staff meeting held on Monday mornings that is conducted via video
teleconference. Each quarter an in person meeting is held between the senior staff. This meeting
rotates between the different office locations each quarter and generally takes the form of the agenda
indicated in Table 1.
9:00AM – 9:30AM
Meet and Greet
9:30AM – 10:15AM
Presidents Update
Vice Presidents Update
12:00PM – 1:30PM
Lunch with invited staff
1:30PM – 3:00PM
Meetings with Key Clients
3:00PM – 4:00PM
Presentation on state of the company to Staff at
that location
4:00PM – 500PM
Individual staff meetings by appointment
Net Revenues for BobCo, after remaining
steady for the previous 5 years have declined
in the last 2 years. This has been attributed to
the Global Economic situation and the
fluctuations in the exchange rates between the
Dollar and Euro, however, the company has
consistently reinvested in its operations and
recently opened the office in Barcelona, which
absorbed a significant portion of the cash on
Table 1: Senior Staff Quarterly Meeting Agenda
Consultants with BobCo work with clients in different ways depending upon the requirements of the
client and the terms and conditions of the contract.
Large clients operate with Master Contracts that dictate the general terms and conditions of
engagements governed there under. In such situations a long term relationship exists with the
client and consultants work with the client as necessary to fulfill specific requirements that the
© 2007 – 2010 Kevin J. O’Sullivan. All rights reserved. This document is not to be distributed, copied or reproduced in any
way without the express written permission of the Author.
Page 1
client may have. Clients with a Master Agreement also have a BobCo Program Manager assigned
to them and BobCo consultants work for that Program Manager while they are at that client.
Such consultants may be assigned from any BobCo location worldwide as appropriate and may
be selected based upon their area of expertise, familiarity with specific markets and legal issues
associated with business in different sectors. It is not unusual for consultants to work for a single
week with a client to overcome specific issues or to work longer term with large projects for up
to two years at the customer site.
Small to Medium Size Clients generally do not operate with Master Agreements and the nature
of the work performed at these clients tend to be not project based, but assignment based. As
an example, PepCan Inc., a medium sized client of BobCo in Paris, France, exports carbonated
sports drinks to Canada and engages a BobCo consultant for one month each quarter to assist in
dealing with the import / export processes and procedures required to ensure that delivery of
its product goes seamlessly. Generally the same consultant is engaged with this project,
however, there are times when that consultant is not available due to other commitments and
at those times a different consultant is generally utilized. There are occasions where specific
expert skill sets are required to deal with issues at PepCan Inc., and on those occasions BobCo
consultants are dispatched to deal with those issues based on their skill sets, however, delays
are not unusual in these situations as the specific consultants with the required skill sets may be
already deployed or the skill are difficult to locate within the company.
Bob Johnson
CEO & President
Sara Jane Smith
VP BobCo
Henri LeMittier
VP BobCo Paris
Sam Silverman
VP Consulting
Services USA
Alan Alexander
VP Sales
Briana Baxter
VP Marketing
Debbie Daniels
Jose Revilla
VP BobCo
Antonio Saval
VP BobCo Milan
Figure 1: Organizational Structure of BobCo
Bob Johnson, the founder of Bobco has approached you because you have studied knowledge
management in university with a significant task. Johnson indicates that the company has been in
© 2007 – 2010 Kevin J. O’Sullivan. All rights reserved. This document is not to be distributed, copied or reproduced in any
way without the express written permission of the Author.
Page 2
negotiations with another company that is interested in acquiring Bobco. The acquiring company is
hesitant to proceed with the purchase at this time due to the economic climate, availability of financing
and most critically, because Bobco doesn’t appear to have a Knowledge Management System. The
acquiring company has raised issue with the fact that should they acquire BobCo, there is a significant
chance that many of the consultants may leave and although the list of clients that BobCo has is very
impressive and that many of those clients have a long term relationship with BobCo, much of that
relationship is based upon the individual consultants, the program managers and to a great extent the
relationship with the Vice Presidents that they deal with.
FredCo International
The company, Fredco International, founded in Taiwan in 2001, that is interested in acquiring Bobco is
based in Taiwan and has branches in Hong Kong, Dubai, San Francisco, and Shanghai and employs 3000
employees internationally. FredCo Int. is not only in the import /export business, but also has practices
in taxation, management consulting, innovation consulting and technology. Generally, the customers of
FredCo Int. are larger than those of BobCo and engagements tend to be longer and involve larger
numbers of consultants. FredCo Int.’s organizational structure is also different than that of BobCo and is
“customer facing”. Fredco Int. operates using a Partner based model, whereby clients are assigned to
partners within the organization. These partners are senior managers responsible for cross disciplinary
responsibility for their clients. Consultants from any or all of the practices at FredCo Int. may be engaged
at any time with a particular customer for the partner. The partner requests the resources that he may
need for a client from the practice managers associated with the different disciplines. Practice managers
are responsible for scheduling their consultants, training, setting objectives, career mentoring, the
development of the practice, and with input from the partners that have utilized the individual
consultants, for their evaluation at the end of the year.
Fredco Int. has a fully developed Knowledge Management system called “Endeavor” that has been in
use since 2002 and was the brainchild of FredCo Int. Chief Executive Officer and President, John Lee.
Their system was developed along the lines of the “4 Pillars of Knowledge Management” and the system
has gained widespread support throughout the organization. They currently use Lotus Domino from IBM
at the core Knowledge Management System with an array of document libraries, best practice libraries,
discussion forums, engagement management, contracts management, project management and an
expertise locator all integrated with workflow management and their e-Mail system. They have
integrated other products to enhance the system such as Google Search, Tenrox Project Management,
Crystal Reports and Documentum. Jack Chan, the Chief Knowledge Officer explained that without
Endeavor, the company could not have succeeded as it has. Endeavor is a core critical system that allows
the company to leverage it’s resources regardless of where those resources are located. It is used by the
partners to find the experts that they need to get their job done, allows our consultants to collaborate
together to solve problems, enables our organization to operate on a much flatter basis as the
organizational levels that exist in many companies of our size are overburdened by middle management
and it allow us to have a shared vision. The Endeavor system has evolved over the years and they have
© 2007 – 2010 Kevin J. O’Sullivan. All rights reserved. This document is not to be distributed, copied or reproduced in any
way without the express written permission of the Author.
Page 3
considered migrating their aspects of their system to SharePoint by Microsoft. They are also now
considering implementing Google Wave as an interface to Endeavor.
Several years ago the Sam Silverman, Vice President of Consulting Services at BobCo raised the idea of
implementing a knowledge sharing system at BobCo at a Senior Staff meeting. There was a degree of
support at this meeting for the concept, but it was not universal and several of the stakeholders were
against the idea, specifically the Vice Presidents from Barcelona (Jose Revilla) and France (Henri
LeMittier) and the Chief Information Officer, Debbie Daniels. Jose Revilla indicated that “…such a small
operation that the consultants in my group meet and discuss their work all the time. Making them put
their reports in some database is not going to help and will just cause confusion and delay.” LeMittier
agreed and further indicated that “We have staff meetings every Wednesday morning to do this, but
attendance is so low that it hardly seems worth doing. My consultants work for a living and I am not
going to drag them away from their clients so that they can do more of it”. Debbie Daniels indicated that
all of our consultants are equipped with laptop computers with wireless access to the Internet and VPN
secure access to our internal systems and smart phones so from an infrastructure perspective we would
not have a problem, but BobCo doesn’t have a system in place so that consultants can share information
electronically outside of making a phone call or sending an e-mail. She further indicated that should the
CFO come up with the money then she could investigate options.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that there was value in having a knowledge sharing system, but
the time was not right and the idea was shelved at that time. No further action was ever taken on
investigating a system or looking at the concerns raised from Revilla or LeMittier.
Bob Johnson has assigned you as the person to head up the development of the KM system for Bobco.
He has brought you into a meeting with the Senior Management of Bobco for a briefing and in that
meeting he has explained that the news of the potential sale of the company must not leave the room.
Present at the meeting with Johnson and yourself are the Alan Alexander, Vice President of Sales, Briana
Baxter, Vice President of Marketing, Charles Christopher, the Chief Financial Officer, Debbie Daniels, the
Chief Information Officer, and the Sam Silverman, Vice President of Consulting Services and the Vice
Presidents from each of the locations in Europe.
© 2007 – 2010 Kevin J. O’Sullivan. All rights reserved. This document is not to be distributed, copied or reproduced in any
way without the express written permission of the Author.
Page 4
Your Assignment
Your assignment is to create knowledge management strategy position paper for BobCo. In completing
the assignment you should consider the following:
? Leadership issues associated with BobCo
? The international aspect of BobCo’s operation including the multicultural nature of the company.
Consider the KEI factors
? Technologies available currently that will act as an enabler
? The organizational structure of BobCo and the impact of an acquisition by FredCo may have
? The impact that key consultants leaving the company would have should BobCo be acquired by
FredCo Int.
? Ethical issues associated by the implementation of Knowledge Management.
? Budgetary issues associated with the implementation of KM
? Communications strategy for implementing KM
The position paper should include but is not limited to sections on the following:
Leadership / Management
Cultural Issues, both Organizational and National
Technology and Technology Integration
Organizational Learning, Expertise Location and Tacit Knowledge Conversion
Organizational Impact and Design
Implementation Schedule
Your position paper should be no more than 10 pages in length and should be submitted to the
Assignments Section in Blackboard.
BobCo, Fredco International and PepCan Inc .are fictitious companies. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any
resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental
© 2007 – 2010 Kevin J. O’Sullivan. All rights reserved. This document is not to be distributed, copied or reproduced in any
way without the express written permission of the Author.
Page 5

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