Managing an Amazon Warehouse
MGT 330 Week 4 Assignment
In any business or company, how well an organization function depends on how well the five functions of management are implemented. These five functions allow the manager an opportunity to be more efficient when problem-solving, motivating employees and achieving organizational objectives and goals. According to Baack, D., Reilly, M., & Minnick, C. (2014), “management consists of all the techniques that are used to lead the human resources in an organization to become productive.” (1.2) The five management functions are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and control. My paper will describe how I would use the five functions of management as a manager of an Amazon warehouse.
Planning is one of the most critical parts of the five managerial functions. It determines a foundation for managers to follow as they create a plan to meet operational goals and set standards. I will use my experience of knowledge of what packer’s daily job responsibilities promote a healthy team culture and maximize productivity. Managers create goals and standards for employees that include clear-cut, measurable criteria, which constitutes the function of control and establish the baselines that will be used to evaluate performance at each level. Effectively planning allows management to focus on the preparation of the future of the company and anticipated any needs or complications that may arise. Quality strategic plans integrate all the company activities, strategies, and practices into one coherent and coordinated course of action. According to Baack, D., Reilly, M., & Minnick, C. (2014), planning is “a purposeful effort directed by management within an organization, which, when conducted effectively, draws on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of employees at all levels of the organization.”(2.1) Drawing on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of employees makes it easier to gain the respect of your team, as you are making changes and decisions based on facts and not assumptions. I will use the SWOT analysis to help me outline the warehouse’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Amazon is the wealthiest company in the world and must maintain an organizational structure that supports its market reach. Amazon’s structure is influenced by Global function-based groups, global hierarchy, and geographic division and benefits Amazon by increasing efficiency and by empowering the functional leader to make decisions in his domain. As a manager, I can focus on meeting strategic goals for their department, while the teams I put in place will specialize in the execution of plans to fulfill departmental goals. I will not attempt to reinvent the wheel as they have an efficient and working model in place already. Amazon has defined the jobs and departments necessary for a warehouse to complete its objectives, including picking, sorting, packing, and shipping departments. With so many different products and services, Amazon’s divisional structure allows department heads to focus their resources and results, as well as monitor the organization’s performance but they also operate as a machine bureaucracy because decisions are made at the top level and flow down. Amazon has over 30 fulfillment centers worldwide working together to get the job done effectively and efficiently. In most cases, there can always be room for improvement, but Amazon is already dominating the retail world in their current functional organizational structure, and I will adapt their proven methods.
Staffing is pivotal to a company’s success, and my hiring process will be vigorous and complicated to weed out the pretenders and leave us the very best candidates. While it is the norm for firms to acquire small startup companies to expand their business, Amazon tends to focus more on cultivating its entrepreneurial projects from within the company, and I will do the same. Filing vacancies from within the company and grooming employees to advance their status. Company morale is sky high due to this; everyone feels their job is essential to the company’s success. According to Taube, A. (2014), “the company (Amazon) believes that every new employee should increase the average level of productivity on whichever team they join, ensuring that the company’s standards get higher and higher as time goes on.” Using the resource-based outlook contends that the focus of Strategic human resource management should be to obtain, train, use, and retain the most capable and skilled employees, thereby to help achieve organizational goals and to ensure that the talent coming in will enhance production in the department they are placed. My only suggestion would be to follow the company guidelines meticulously only to hire the best.
Strong leadership doesn’t mean being overbearing or whipping your employees into shape. Rather it is getting your employees to work towards a common goal collectively. I will employ the transformational leadership theory finding leaders within the company and training them to take on new responsibilities and increase their value to the company. I prefer this style over the transactional theory because it affords the manager the opportunity to plan and build for the future instead of just maintaining day to day operations. According to Ingram, D. (2018), “a transformational leader goes beyond managing day-to-day operations and crafts strategies for taking his company, department or work team to the next level of performance and success. As a transformational leader, I will set ambitious goals and give generous incentives to encourage higher performance levels while offering and promoting opportunities for personal and professional growth for each employee within the company. This leadership theory will also allow me the ability to design and communicate new and innovative strategies to supervisors and team leaders for implementation of the particulars of the new scheme.
Control systems ensure company standards and guidelines are met and followed allowing managers to analyze organizational trends, activities, and behaviors align with and promote achieving desired results. The best controls make doing the right thing, the default behavior or correct response to issues or customer complaints. According to Finkle, D. (2016), “controls are the intelligent processes, procedures, and safeguards that protect your company from uninformed or inappropriate decisions or actions by any team member.” Building strong internal controls is enhancing and giving power to your managers and team leads. I will empower my managers and leaders with the ability to make on the spot decisions concerning coaching and disciplining team members. Rewarding associates when their choice meets previously implemented standards or ensure customer satisfaction. Measures that have been met or missed provide valuable feedback for company leaders and dictates if it is too low or high and how the employee should be rewarded. This vital information is the basis for the future changes to the company and departmental standards and improvement of overall productivity.
Management is about getting things done efficiently and effectively using company resources. Achieving goals by creating a clear and defined direction for business and inspiring an employee to be resourceful, independent, and to make decisions that reflect the company’s values, mission, and purpose. By implementing planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and control strategies (the five functions of management) detailed, I will maximize the success of the organization and help me to be the best manager I can. Using various tools provided to managers such as SWOT, the company’s human resources department, intense interviews and hiring processes, employee performance plans and meticulous monitoring of company standards will help me maintain if not increase effectiveness while working towards company objectives and goals. These functions will keep my warehouse on track and prepare us to cope, adjust, and anticipate coming business changes and trends as the market dictates or as passed down from upper management or myself as the manager. All the while developing leaders who can make company minded decisions in the field that can positively respond to customer needs, meet company standards, and maintain a competitive advantage over our rivals.
Baack, D., Reilly, M., & Minnick, C. (2014). The five functions of effective management (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Finkle, D. (2017), 35 Business Controls Your Company Needs to Successfully Scale
Ingram, D. (2018), Transformational Leadership Vs. Transactional Leadership Definition. Small Business – Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/transformational-leadership-vs-transactional-leadership-definition-13834.html
Taube, A. (2014), The Business Insider, This Jeff Bezos Quote Explains Amazon’s Insanely Difficult Hiring Process