How to answer to questions based on the case scenario below:
1.What would be the value of an external consultant to TFFF, and how it might be more effective than using internal skilled employees?
2. What analytical framework/s would you use to find solutions for TFFF problems? Please explain the framework and analyse the situation in each category of analysis. Make sure to use the case information.
3. How are you going to build an effective relationship with TFFF (and particularly with Jeff and Steve)? What are the main elements of an effective relationship and how important they are to the success of this project?
4. Why and when you need to form steering committee with TFFF? Clarify your role as a consultant in this process and explain how important are these committees for the success of your consultancy project.
5. Regarding the upcoming negotiations with the Middle-Eastern investment fund, what Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“communication strategiesĂ˘â‚¬Âť you would recommend to TFFF to ensure effective communication? Explain your recommendation according to differences in National culture.
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6. Connecting to your analysis and evaluation of the case, what primary recommendations you might provide Jeff and Steve?
Your client, Toronto Fast Frozen Food (TFFF),is now a medium size Canadian producer of frozen and ready-to-bake food with $90 million in annual sales in 2021. The company has experienced a gradual expansion since its foundation in 2010 by Jeff Lawrence and Steve Yonge. Jeff and Steve begun this company following their business studies at Seneca Business with a focus on the highest quality and a vision to be the Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“most respected within the industry.Ă˘â‚¬Âť In less than ten years, a company of only two, TFFF expanded in terms of production capacity and also market coverage. TFFF has now 100 employees working across different disciplines and at different managerial levels: Structure of Employment: 100ppl
- 05 C-level Directors
- 05 Vice presidents
- 10 Middle managers
- 30 Administration & Finance
- 30 Factory Operators
- 05 Procurement and purchasing
- 10 Inventory & logistics
- 05 Sales & Marketing
As highly motivated leaders, Jeff and Steve tried to prove themselves as successful entrepreneurs via hard work and dedication. However, TFFF recently faced with some severe struggles due to a dramatic surge of sales and distribution. Due to restrictions imposed after the Covid-19 outbreak, the industry witnessed a dramatic shift in shopping preferences of customers who now prefer to do more online shopping and also have more ready-to-eat food in their freezers. The bottom line shows signs of shrinking. Errors are out of control and customer (e.g. chain supermarkets) complaints are increasing. Also, there are internal conflicts between different departments emerging:
Inventory and logistics report that, on average, there is 5% of input ingredients missing every month. Also, reports show that 10% of fresh ingredients (e.g. eggs, ham, etc.) get expired in the inventory before being used in production.
In total, client services reported average 60-70 picking and shipping errors weekly. The chain supermarkets are frustrated.
Shipping errors showed that products that were supposedly loaded onto trucks were not reaching customers more than 5 times a week. Products were not consistently identified, either physically or in the inventory system.
There were always a significant quantity and type difference between the admin-registered orders and the item shipped to the clients
Administration is struggling with new technology of online orders and delivery. Admins prefer to work according to their traditional hard-copy handling style and only use the new software as check list.
Three years of continuous decrease in annual sales
- Competitors with the same level of standard have faster and more accurate online platform and distribution practices.
- Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Sales and MarketingĂ˘â‚¬Âť department argues that there is a quality problem in products.
- Factory believes that sales and marketing people are unable to sell the products and they just hang on quality as an excuse.
- Both departments (Factory and Sales) believe they lack sufficient number of skilled workforces.
- Both departments (Factory and Sales) are in constant conflict with Administration staff and they also argue if the company really needs 30 people in the admin!
Beside of these concerns, TFFF also recently received some positive investment signals from a wealthy investment group in Saudi Arabia. The middle-eastern company is interested to invest in the expansion of TFFF and few other medium-size companies in the frozen and microwave food industry in North America. This is a first time for Jeff and Steve thinking beyond the national borders. They are simply confused about their approach towards the middle-eastern company. On one hand, the new partnership could save the company and boost its financial bottom-line, and on the other hand, TFFF has no experience dealing with foreign parties.
Jeff and Steve discussed all these topics many times among themselves and with other corporate executives. Steve believes that TFFF requires a consultation in special areas of managerial concern. Jeff, however, was not convinced. He asked Steve to clearly explains the importance and the process to him.
Finally, the board decided to seek consulting help from Seneca Consulting Group where you work as a consultant. This would be the first official project in which you are required to apply your business knowledge and education. Your senior managers provided you with above information, and asked you to help TFFF in its managerial struggles.