HR/1200 words/Case study

hrcase study
Description of the assessment
This module prepares you to analyse the causes of poor performance within organisations and the principles and practices of effective performance management. By the end of the module you will be able to explain how these practices can be integrated into high performance work systems (HPWS) and analyse barriers to high performance working and the development of high performance cultures.
You are required to write a management report to demonstrate learning outcomes 2 & 3:
· Analyse the signs, causes, principles and practices of performance management in a modern organisation, the impact of practices on key stakeholders, and how work and people performance can be measured
· Outline the concept and components of a High Performance Work System (HPWS) and evaluate evidence of their impact and effectiveness and barriers to their successful implementation.
You should apply your answer to the Ferdinand Bilstein Logistics Centre at Markham Vale.A case study and supporting videos and documents are provided in Appendix 1 and we will work with the case study during lectures and seminars as a teaching and learning aid.
Assessment Content
Analyse the potential risks to performance at the Ferdinand Bilstein Logistics centre at Markham Vale.Advise the senior management team how they could build an effective High Performance Work System to reduce the risks you have identified.
Your response should consider:
· The multiple possible causes of poor performance and how this shapes the approach to managing performance within an organisation
· The concept and key components of a HPWS
· Possible barriers to the successful implementation of the system you recommend
Your answer must be:
· Presented as a management report of 2,000 – 2,500 words (NOTE: 2,500 words is the MAXIMUM word limit.There is no +10% allowance on these questions.)
· Supported with relevant literature using the Harvard Referencing system.This requires citations (references to relevant literature) within the answer itself which then must also be listed in full in a reference list at the end of your work.
Assessment Rubric

Outstanding 90-100%

Excellent 70-89%

Very Good 60-69%

Good 50-59%

Satisfactory 40-49%

Unsatisfactory <40% Knowledge Evidence that the student has: Understood the topic area Supported their work with relevant research and reading · Detailed understanding of topic areabacked up with relevant references · Research beyond scope of module materials · Draws links to other modules · No further development of answer required · Wide topic knowledge from the module · Draws different concepts together effectively · Strong use of relevant theoretical models and/or research · Fully referenced with wide range of sources · Strong evidence of independent research · Draws together some of the key topics from the module · Some use of theoretical models and/or research to support answer · Evidence of some independent research but largely guided by references provided in the module · Adequate use of module topics · Some gaps in knowledge or misunderstanding of concepts · Some evidence of research and reading but may be overreliance on core textbooks/overuse of direct quotes etc. · Limited use of topic knowledge from the module/lack of detail · Some significant gaps in knowledge or misunderstanding · Limited or poor evidence of research and reading · Overreliance on lecture slides and notes · No/ very limited use of topics from the module to answer the question · No/very limited supporting literature Critical Thinking Evidence that the student has: Questioned their sources, arguments and solutions · Extensive critical evaluation of arguments and cited literature · Fully balanced argument · Researched and answered from different angles. · Questions some of the research sources used · Well balanced argument · Explores some alternative arguments, advantages/disadvantages, pros and cons etc. · Some evidence different approaches to answering the question are understood · Acknowledges a few alternative arguments to the answer e.g. advantages anddisadvantages, pros and cons · Very limited identification of alternative arguments · Accepts reference sources at face value · A one sided answer with no consideration of alternative arguments Application Evidence that the student has: Pulled ideas together effectively to answer the question Provided appropriate examples where necessary/helpful · Thoughtful and thorough application of knowledge, theory and research to case study/question throughout · Tailors informationto answer the question fully/explore the case study · Illustrates answer with range of organisational examples · Links in relevant personal examples/experiences · Uses some appropriate organisational examples discussed during the module · Uses personal examples but may not always link this back to theory/literature · Integration of theory/research may still be disjointed · Examples are limited or lack relevance · Case study is mentioned but poorly integrated into the answer · Lacks examples · Very limited reference to case study organisation · No or inappropriate use of examples · No links to case study organisation Evaluation Evidence that the student has: Identified strong and relevant information to answer the question Left out weak or unnecessary information · All concepts and material fully relevant to the analysis and recommendations including materials sourced from independent research · All chosen ideas are relevant to the answer · Answers the question fully covering all key concepts · No evidence of ‘padding’ with irrelevant information · Uses some relevant ideas · Chooses appropriate concepts and makes an attempt to answer the question · Information is mostly relevant to the question · Only minor missing elements · Minimal ‘padding’ with irrelevant information · Some effort to answer the question · Some missing, weak or irrelevant elements · Links to answer are unclear in places · May ‘pad’ with irrelevant information · Key elements of the question remain unanswered/underdeveloped · Confused choice of concepts to answer the question · Important concepts may be difficult to pick out · Largely irrelevant ideas · Does not answer the question that was asked · Covers concepts which are not relevant to the answer. Communication Evidence that the student has: Put their ideas across clearly on paper · Outstanding, sophisticated written communication · No significant areas for further development · Logical organisation and flow of ideas · Error free written communication · Precise Harvard Referencing · An enjoyable read · Largely well-structured answer · Only minor spelling/grammatical errors · Good grasp of Harvard Referencing · Mainly easy to read and follow · Some spelling/grammatical errors but do not significantly interfere with understanding · Some attempt to Harvard Reference · Difficult to read and follow in places · Repeated spelling/grammatical issues · Weak Referencing skills · Difficult to read and follow · Very difficult to read and follow · Extensive problems with written presentation · No or incorrect Referencing Appendix 1: Assignment Case study Ferdinand Bilstein UK – Logistics Centre (Markham Vale) Ferdinand Bilstein UK Ltd deliver high quality vehicle components to the UK aftersales automotive market offering more than 62,000 different replacement parts for professional vehicle repairs such as timing belts, water pumps, cooling systems, electrical components, wiper blades and steering and suspension parts.The Logistics Centre at Markham Vale opened in January 2018 and is the main distribution hub and UK headquarters for Ferdinand Bilstein UK.This is a subsidiary of a 180 year old German based business, the Bilstein Group, which is both a manufacturer and supplier of automotive parts. “The strategic aim of the business is to be a supplier of choice to the independent aftermarket by continuing to offer a comprehensive range of high quality vehicle parts.”They “aim to offer a high quality service to the customer by maintaining availability and smart logistics delivered with the customer’s bespoke needs in mind” (Annual Report and Financial Statements for year ended 31 December 2020). Engagement with customers and suppliers is key to support the organisation’s aim to build strong partnerships with its customers based on trust, driven through reliability and positive experience. The Logistics Centre is the largest of 10 warehouses located in 8 countries (UK, China, France, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Singapore).Covering 212,771 square feet it employs around 200 employees, in a clean and pleasant warehousing environment which benefits from natural lighting, heating and ventilation. Goods are delivered to the Logistics Centre, from the groups own manufacturing units in Germany and other suppliers, where they are received into the ‘goods in’ section of the warehouse.A sample is taken from here to the dedicated, 3 person quality control department.Safety components in particular are subject to the strictest specifications in checking the material quality and fitting accuracy.The company’s stringent quality checking procedures are vital to support the three year guarantee on all replacement parts in their three prestigious brands, Febi, Blue Print and SWAG, and to maintain the centres ISO 9001 quality accreditation. Goods are moved from the ‘goods in’ area into the large storage system.Warehouse operatives in the ‘pick and pack’ area are then able to use the automated order picking system (OPS) to retrieve the required items to fill customer orders, which are displayed to them on electronic screens.Bulky items, referred to as ‘ugly stock,’ which cannot be handled by the system are stored in an adjacent area and retrieved by forklift truck.Orders are boxed ready for delivery in the ‘kitting area,’ where they are weighed to ensure the order is correct, before being sent on to the ‘goods out’ area ready for dispatch to customers.Maintenance of the OPS is vital to the smooth running of the Centre and is supported by an on-site workshop, staffed by specialist contract workers 24 hours per day. It is also important for the company to continue to develop these systems to accommodate more parts in the future, to support its strategy to expand the range of vehicle parts on offer.This wide range is a key reason why customers choose Ferdinand Bilstein over its competitors. The company also has a tradition of embracing change to repeatedly reinvent itself to open up new markets Ferdinand Bilstein UK measure their performance through both financial and non-financial key performance indicators (KPI). Financial performance indicators include turnover and gross profit.Revenue fell alongside the gross profit margin in 2020 by £5.39m compared to the previous year contributing to an operating loss of £1.91m.Non-financial indicators include product availability and staff retention of key personnel. Turnover of permanent staff is relatively low compared to the industry average but is considerably higher for temporary staff, approximately 80 employees recruited from two local agencies.The company also considers the impact of its operations on the community and environment.At the Logistics Centre, the focus on the warehouse shopfloor is on safety, efficiency and accuracy e.g picks per hour, number of picking errors and cost per pick.Recruitment of warehouse staff therefore concentrates on testing numerical recognition and language skills and training focuses on operational procedures. Despite the impressive automation in the centre, the groups employees are fundamental to the delivery of the organisation’s business plan according to the UK Director.In the 2020 Annual report he states “we aim to be a responsible employer in our approach to the pay and benefits our employees receive.The health, safety and well-being of our team members is our primary consideration in the way we conduct our business.” This is in line with the parent group’s philosophy which emphasises the importance of collaborative working - “Individually Strong, Unbeatable as a Team,” andfive behavioural values; teamwork, communication, integrity, versatility and motivation.However, the work of most warehouse employees is busy, demanding and repetitive.On ‘Glassdoor’ one previous employee noted that the work “can become tedious as it’s not challenging” and a senior manager admitted that the values may not be as well embedded at shopfloor level.Work is more varied in the small backroom departments (Finance, Marketing, Technical support, Customer Service and Sales and pricing) but this is only a very small percentage of the workforce. The Centres employment structure is relatively flat.Shopfloor employees report into team leaders (Key Operatives) and then onto managers who report directly to the Centres Operations Manager. Day time employees work on a shift basis alternating between a morning (5.30-14.30) and evening (14.30-22.30) shift on a two-week basis.A third group work permanently on the night shift (22.30-5.30) and all employees are required to work a half Saturday shift every three weeks.Rate of pay increases after a 6 month probationary period and night shift workers receive an additionalpayment for unsocial hours.Amazon, a key labour market rival, pay more however and there are no overtime payments, although employees who work over their contracted hours of 42.5 hours per week may be given time of in lieu (TOIL) instead. In addition to monthly salary, the Centre runs a quarterly bonus scheme which is awarded based on attendance and the achievement of team based KPI’s (key performance indicators) set for each department.The bonus is only paid to permanent members of staff and employees with a disciplinary are also excluded. Permanent staff are recruited from the temporary pool but some employee reports on ‘Glassdoor’ suggest further development opportunities are limited. Although the company say they have a preference to promote staff through from the shop floor to back office service roles and senior positions, only about 30% of the current office based staff in the Logistics Centre started in the warehouse. Management abilities are another source of criticism on Glassdoor. One former employee stated the atmosphere was awful and “management have no clue.” Even a more positive reviewer who rated the company 4/5 noted there was “not a great deal of leadership or direction.” Mangers at the centre have observed that staff tend to go straight to the Human Resource Department with problems and questions instead of their direct line managers. Staff are communicated with through short daily meetings.There is also an employee forum but senior managers suggest that the topics covered in this are generally superficial.Due to the pandemic, the Centre has not run an employee satisfaction survey for over two years but only 63% of former employees on glass door said they would recommend working for the company to a friend.The Logistics Centre does not operate an annual appraisal scheme.However, all warehouse employees are assessed in a monthly meeting between HR and team leaders on three areas:attitude, attendance and health and safety. Employees are given a numerical score for each area and an overall rating, using a traffic light system, of green, amber or red.Agency staff who are rated as red are not re-employed. Permanent staff rated as red will have an informal conversation with a manager which is recorded on their file.Continued poor performance is investigated further and could lead to action being taken through the disciplinary process. Useful Videos: · Video of inside the warehouse · Behind-the-scenes at Bilstein Group, Markham Vale UK, from Garage Wire · Bilstein group – Your partner in the Automotive Aftermarket – Video from Germany Headquarters Useful Documents: · Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2020 available at

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