Reinventing the Wheel

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Answer the questions to the case, “Reinventing the Wheel at Apex Door Company,” at the end of Chapter 5. Include at least one outside source supporting your answers. Explain your answers in 200 words

Reinventing the Wheel at Apex Door Company

Jim Delaney, president of Apex Door Company, has a problem. No matter how often he tells his employees how to do their jobs, they invariably “decide to do things their way,” as he puts it, and arguments ensue between Delaney, the employee, and the employee’s supervisor. One example is in the door-design department. The designers are expected to work with the architects to design doors that meet the specifications. Although it’s not “rocket science,” as Delaney puts it, the designers often make mistakes—such as designing in too much steel—a problem that can cost Apextens of thousands of wasted dollars, especially considering the number of doors in, say, a 30-story office tower.

The order-processing department is another example. Although Jim has a specific, detailed way he wants each order written up, most of the order clerks don’t understand how to use the multipage order form, and they improvise when it comes to a question such as whether to classify a customer as “industrial” or “commercial.”

The current training process is as follows. None of the jobs have training manuals per se, although several have somewhat out-of-date job descriptions. The training for new employees is all on the job: Usually, the person leaving the company trains the new person during the 1- or 2-week overlap period, but if there’s no overlap, the new person is trained as well as possible by other employees who have occasionally filled in onthe job in the past. The training is basically the same for jobs throughout the company.

QUESTIONS

1.

What do you think of Apex’s training process? Why might it help to explain why employees “do things their way”?

2.

What role do job descriptions play in training?

3.

Explain in detail what you would do to improve the training process at Apex. Make sure to provide specific suggestions.

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