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    I am really stuck analysing this case study for HR, can anyone help and give me tips. the case study is below

    Safe Mint UK Ltd. was founded in 1902 by Samuel Mint as a manufacturer of steel shipping containers for private and commercial use. The company is now owned by Samuel’s grandson Samson Mint. Safe Mint UK is governed by a board of directors; Mr. Mint is the chief executive and he owns 70% of the company share; and there are 3 other directors who own 10% each. Safe Mint UK Ltd trade on a world wide basis and have agreement with over 30 container depots, also known as terminals, that are used to store empty or damaged containers.

    The company employs 407 staff, around 300 of which work on the shop-floor on the production plant in Liverpool. Currently, there are 5 teams made up of around 60 workers, and 3 supervisors for each team who have the overall responsibility. All 5 teams are under the supervision of 3 project managers who are in charge of material distribution and project targets who directly report to the board of directors.

    The remaining staff work at the head office in London which oversees marketing, sales, personnel and finance. The plant in Liverpool is heavily unionised with TGWU, union for manual employees, and the workers have been on strike eight times in the last five years. However, there are ongoing problems in the head office and the management refuses to recognise AMICUS, the union for clerical and managerial employees, on the basis of the previous strikes in Liverpool.

    There has been a considerable increase in the number of container suppliers for private and commercial shipment and storage. The company only recently launched its website and it has been slow in identifying an edge for the business. There are frequent problems with ordering and tracking have been reported and in addition, customer complaints have been on the rise since 2004. The competition has been affecting Safe Mint UK, and the company announced a loss in 2007 for the first time in its history. Mr. Mint claims it is the nature of business and one cannot win all the time; however, his board of directors believe that Mr. Mint is out of touch with the modern business environment and current ways of people management.

    Absenteeism is also a problem in Safe Mint UK Ltd. Personnel Manager Mr. Scotty, who until three months ago was the Head of IT, is annoyed:” I can’t force people to come to work. They are nothing but a bunch of lazy idiots, who shouldn’t have been recruited here in the first place. Now, I can’t get rid off them because there is no way the Trots in TGWU will let me.”

    One of the project managers, Ms. Stella, who joined the company 2 years ago after completing her PhD in the University of Sheffield, proposed the need to invest in new machinery to produce and repair containers faster, and a new computerised production and tracking technology in order to keep up with national and international competition and changing customer demands. The system is believed to increase the effectiveness of the sales staff and enable better connections with partnering container depots.

    She has also plans to reorganise the shop-floor and set self-managed teams (SMTs) because lately, the production has been really slow and there has been a few accidents. This was attributed to the lack of skilled staff on the shop-floor. Ms. Stella argues that the workers lack training and they do not have any opportunity to improve their skills to perform better.

    However, none of these plans have been finalised because firstly, Ms. Stella could not manage to have a meeting with the board of directors since the beginning of the year and the Finance Manager, Ms. Shilling, is on her 27 day annual leave in Barbados, and cannot be contacted. The cost of new machinery, new system and changes on the shop-floor are likely to be over £40 million and Mr. Mint is not impressed. Mr. Stepp, one of the directors, claims “we have plenty of good ideas to turn things around, but Mr. Mint has the last word, he always has the last word”.
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