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The most important information about Rimas Technology Group is summarized in this chapter which includes the history and the structure of the company as well as the range of products and services they offer.
Rimas Technology Group located in Beringe, the Netherlands was founded in 1994 as a sales partner for Bosch Rexroth. In 2005 Mr Mark Verstraten took off the company. Over the years the company has invested in specialized markets and engineering solutions, which led to the strong position they are holding today. Moreover dozens of production and assembly factories around the world are now operating on Rimas's equipment and production lines.
The company's structure is based on the strategic business unit approach. It consists of 3 business units as the first is solar module production, then product assembly solutions and the third one is solar glass washers. Every business unit has its own management and when important decisions are made the management team reports to the company's advisory board where the decisions taken are checked and verified. Today Rimas Technology Group counts about 40 employees in total.
The range of products and services that the company is offering to the market varies from parts and equipment to innovative solutions and knowledge for product assembly.
Today Rimas is falling into the medium sized companies and the goal that the company is trying to achieve is to become an international large sized company with a profit of 40 million annually and 200 employees. There are number of external influences that every organization needs to face. Since the company can hardly have an influence on the external environment, it is important the internal environment to be analysed regularly so the necessary steps can be taken in order to adapt the company to the changing demands on the market and achieving its own goals.
3. Research problem definition and objective of the report
This chapter deals with defining the company's research problem and the project assignment as well the following steps to be taken in order to develop recommendations for improvement of the internal environment and achieving the corporate goals.
The project assignment consists of acting as a consultancy agency for selected company in order to provide a simplified company analysis. The objective is to form recommendations for improving the company's internal processes concerning their strategy and corporate goals.
In order to analyse the internal environment, the 7S McKinsey's model is used including shared values, strategy, skills, style, staff, systems and structure.
Since the task is complex, various steps need to be taken. First of all relevant information about the company is to be collected regarding the aforementioned 7S model. Thereafter, it is of great importance to take a closer look to the external factors influencing the company's development and growth. The external environment can be classified into two main parts, macro and micro environment. The macro environment is to be analysed using the STEP model consisting of socio-cultural, technological, economic and political factors, while for the analysis of the micro environment the Porter's five forces and three of those will be applied by determining the bargaining power of the supplies, buyers and competitors. Strategic analysis is also to be done using SWOT model, which is consisting of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
As a result from this process a clear picture of the company's internal environment and external influences will appear. The next step to be taken is using the 7S model as a tool for analysing the internal situation of Rimas in order to determine the weaknesses resulting as possible areas of improvement. For improving each area few changes need to be made and then the best course of action is to be determined for which recommendations will be provided.
4. Internal analysis
In this chapter the 7S McKinsey's model will be used in order to analyse the internal environment of Rimas Technology Group. The basic idea of the model is that there are seven internal aspects that need to be considered in order for a company to be successful. The 7 S's can be divided into two categories: hard elements (strategy, structure and systems) and soft elements (shared values, skills, style and staff).
4.1 Shared values
Rimas Technology Group is now 18 years on the market and the core values of the company are freedom and enjoyable environment for the employees, delivering a high quality and a good relationship with the clients. Among the mentioned higher priority is given to the strong relationship with customers. As a result the company's focus lies on the customer satisfaction which requires flexibility. So Rimas is trying to achieve this by working directly with customers and providing the best services that can.
The company's culture can be defined as a task culture due to the business unit approach that is used, where "teams are formed to solve particular problems. Power is derived from the team with the expertise to execute against a task. This culture uses a small team approach, where people are highly skilled and specialized in their own area of expertise" (Ruiz, 2010, p.249). The company is using this approach because of the self-dependence of every unit. The advantage of this type of company culture is that when a certain market is unstable the rest of company's activities stay undamaged.
The primary process of Rimas Technology Group consist of designing parts, making them externally and then the company assembles equipment and machines which results in providing equipment and knowledge for product assembly and production.
As it concerns the company's vision for the future there is a clearly defined goal Rimas is focused on. That is becoming a large sized company that delivers customer satisfaction by providing high quality to the market and enjoyable environment for its employees.
The initial idea for founding Rimas Technology Group was because of trade activity. The company had a request from Bosch Rexroth to represent a product in the market and that is how Rimas began its existence. The company started to operate on the Dutch and Belgian market of machine building companies and companies that are active in any form of producing parts and products. Since 2005 the company stepped into the international solar panel manufacturing market and the last two years added the manufacturing production lines to the international market as well.
Because of the unstableness of the solar panel manufacturing business the management philosophy is to keep things simple - not too many layers. So in order to make sure the rest of the company doesn't damage during this unstableness of the market Rimas Technology Group has separated its activities to business units.
The long-term strategy of Rimas is to grow into a large size company. For Mr Verstraten the definition of a large company is a profit of 40 million annually and more than 200 people employed. This is the basic goal that the company is focused on.
In order to stand out from competitors the company is trying to bring the message that is having the best possible product within the range that is available. The brand that Rimas is having is an A brand, there are 2 or 3 top brands in this market and Rimas is one of them. The company stands out basically in quality and customer satisfaction and that is why the strategy of the company is to keep it that way in order to keep growing and become a large sized company.
In what aspect Rimas is unique compared to other similar organizations is that it has the exact combination of activities. Therefore, the company has the unique advantage of having some industries with the same demand but with totally different end product. And the fact that the company is working with products from Bosch Rexroth is making it very flexible and fast in completing its orders.
The most valued skill to work at Rimas is to be a nice person, as well it is important to be able to listen to the customer and translate his need to the production staff. Although, some level of general machine knowledge is also required. But there is no requirement for a special diploma or certain education level.
The management leadership style can be defined as a participative management style. It can be best described as involvement of the employees in the decision-making process by contributing ideas in order to solve problems. The advantages of this style of management are that it can increase employee commitment to an organization's goals (Scott, 2009). So in case of Rimas Technology Group the style and the entire culture are very open in scene that everyone is free to talk to Mr Mark Verstraten , for instance if there is a complaint or an idea for improving something. The freedom and the fact that employee's voice is always heard are the main reasons why people are loyal and enjoy working in Rimas.
As it concerns the decision-making process, first of all the regular employees contribute their ideas to the top management, than the ideas are discussed within the management team and all major strategic decisions are checked and verified by the advisory board and the other stockholders. Therefore, it could be stated that the company's activities are more or less initiated by the top management as well as the regular employees. Moreover, when it comes to the manager's authority it is entirely based on respect, because of the opportunity given to every employee to be a significant part of the company.
Around 40 persons are hired at Rimas Technology Group and right now most of them have a contract, but the number can quickly change depending of the different purchases that the company has. The average age of the staff is between 35 and 40.
The traditional way of job advertising in the newspapers is used because of its effectiveness for Rimas. That is because the company's area is very traditional one and most of the people do not use the internet for finding a job.
There is no strictly defined procedure concerning the hiring process. Generally the company is looking for temporary solutions until it becomes clear that it is necessary to hire someone temporarily for more than a year with the expectations that later that person will be hired permanently. On average, staff stays 15 to 20 years at Rimas, there are even employees that are in the company from the very beginning. Due to the enjoyable environment created the employees are satisfied and therefore loyal to the company.
The educational level among the workforce is MBO level which is secondary vocational education and takes up to four years of studying and after completing the training it is permitted to start working or continuing the education. The majority of workforce is expected to take decisions on their own, so that helps the motivation of the employees and the development of personal competences.
There is a lack of bonus system, which on one hand is advantage because there is no competitiveness among the workforce, so the team members tend to be cooperative. However, for the next year it is implemented a profit reward system, so there is a possible tendency to competitiveness in the future.
As mentioned before the corporate values are customer satisfaction, flexibility, quality and enjoyable work environment, therefore, the main systems are the quality control system and the information system.
The quality control system works in the following way: When there is a project delivered to the company in the beginning it is done an acceptance test with the customer. As soon as the project is finished there is Site Acceptance Test (SAT) which consist of the approval or disapproval of the final product and when it reaches the customer it is done another quality check - Factory Inspection Test (FIT). As it concerns the normal trade business there is only ERP system which checks the financial stock supply level, but there is no research made concerning the customer satisfaction level. Taking into account that strong relationship with customers is one of the core values of the company, there is a lack of marketing research based on the customer satisfaction concerning the trade activities of the company.
The information system is quite simple. When there is a project the people responsible for it take up the decision to a certain financial level and negotiate with the bank. For more important decisions the management team is involved and after discussion Mr Mark Verstraten takes the final decision. In order important decision to be taken there are weekly meetings of the management team (every two weeks) where it is discussed and approved or disapproved. After a certain decision is made by the management team, as stated before, it is taken to the advisory board where is checked and verified.
Rimas Technology Group is an organization with flat organization and strategic business unit (SBU) model (Appendix 1). In other words, there are formed autonomous divisions that operate as an independent enterprise with responsibility for a specific range of products or services (Oxford University Press, 2012). The advantages of this organizational structure is that it helps keeping focus within the unit and allows the company to respond quickly to the changing economic or market situation, without damaging the whole company's activities.
On top of the company is Mr Mark Verstraten as the managing director (CEO) who is also responsible for the marketing, sales and strategic development business unit, as well for the solar projects. One level below him is the director of manufacturing, installation and warehousing business unit and project control division's director, also the HRM department, the manager of special projects and the controller manager. And then is the rest of the staff. The tasks of an employee come from the department he belongs to, therefore as to the communication each employee reports to the superior person.
The majority of the workforce know how the company is structured due to the fact that there are frequently organized meeting with the employees so they are informed on regular basis what possible changes are out there.
5. External analysis
The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the external environment of Rimas Technology Group in order to determine the outer factors influencing the company.
5.1 Macro-environmental analysis
In order to analyse the macro environment of the company STEP model will be applied consisting of socio-cultural, technological, political and economic factors. The basic idea of the model is that a company needs to understand the macro-economic environment that operates in so as to detect and understand the broad, long term trends (Provenmodels, 2012).
5.1.1 Socio-cultural factors
The demand for a firm's product and the availability and willingness of individuals to work can be influenced by different changes in the social trends (Oxford University Press, 2007).
In case of Rimas Technology Group a strong impact on the company's activities has the demographic trend. The area in which the company is situated, and from where most of the employees are, is very traditional one. In other words most of the people still are using the traditional way of finding a job in the newspaper, therefore the company is advertising more in the newspapers than on the internet sites. The advantage of this kind of job advertising is that the cost is not very high and it is the most effective one for the company.
5.1.2 Technological factors
The new technologies are creating new products and new processes. Moreover technology can reduce costs, improve quality and lead to innovation. These developments can be favourable to customers, as well to the organisations providing the products (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Through the years Rimas has invested in specialized markets and special engineering solutions, which led the company to the strong position that is holding today on the market for parts and equipment as well as turnkey solutions. In order to improve its production (producing more for less time) the company has integrated robotics to its production activities. This also benefits the company by making it more competitive.
And yet there is a negative side of the integration of new technology and that is the possibility some employees to lose their jobs because of the automation. However as the owner Mr Mark Verstraten is really concerned about its employees there is a balance between people and technology in the company. This aspect is integrated in Rimas' mission, in order to be successful in business and at the same time take its social responsibilities.