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In mid-1984 case study solution (Code: c61)

In mid-1984 case study solution
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In mid-1984

In mid-1984, Kartik, the general manager of Western Exports Ltd, Karachi, Pakistan was striving to
implement a management information system. He was facing resistance from; his most senior supervisor
Kartik wondered what he could do to overcome this resistance. Western Exports was an exporter of
ladies’ cotton cloth garments. It was private company established from, his most senior supervisor Kartik
wondered what he could do to overcome this resistance. Over the past 14 years, the exports of the
company had grown from Rs. 0.71 million in 1972-73 to Rs. 59.76 million in 1984. Almost 90 percent of
the exports went to the USA. It owned no manufacturing facility of any kind. It purchased cotton cloth
from six different textile mills and had the cloth dyed and printed. This fabric was then passed on to 138
stitching subcontractors. The company had been expanding the product line over the years, and by 1983 it
was exporting about one million garments in over 100 basic designs. The 100 designs were presented in
range of fabric types, shades, designs and sizes. When seen in the context that the company got all these
things done through subcontractors, the managerial control of the operations became quite challenging.
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The directors, who had always been actively involved in each and every aspect of the business, and made
all the decisions themselves, felt the heat o the changing situation. The appreciated the problem, and
decided to hire some professional assistance to bring more control to their operations. Kartik was hired in
late 1983 to be the new general manager. He was an agricultural graduate who had about 13 years of
marketing and sales experience with a multinational organization. He had also attended more than a dozen
management development courses. The directors were confident that he could introduce some new
control measures to help ensure the continued success of the company. Kartik quickly determined that if
Western Exports was to remain in business, it must immediately eliminate the haphazardness in its
operations. No proper costing, no scheduling, no progress sheets or order status reports, no follow-up
charts, or for that matter no control procedure worth the name existed. “It was all so nebulous”, he
concluded. He worked late hours to comprehend fully the nature and scope of the company’s business and
its coordination and working relationships with the contractors. Almost immediately, he started to design
a proper system to help cure the black of control and information available. Out of about 200-odd
employees in the company, the key operating manager was joined the company in 1973 as a production
officer, nearly the lowest rung in the company’s hierarchy. He distinguished himself because of his hard
work and was promoted to be a supervisor. By 1982, , under direct supervision of the directors, was
looking after every activity in manufacturing. Right from raw material procurement to packing and
shipping of finished garments, he was coordinating all the activities. Because of the varied nature of his
duties and his dedication to work, he was able to learn all the ins and outs of the business. He was also
considered to be a man with a photographic memory. He virtually ran the whole business from the
information stored in his head. “I have abhorrence for paperwork,” said Saleem. “My work load is so
great that I am always engrossed in my job. Even my dreams are job-related”, he added, “but due
recognition has always been accorded to me by directors”, he added, “but due recognition has always
been accorded to me by my directors”. Saleem initially cooperated with Kartik. However, when Kartik
started to implement some of the mew system and procedures, Saleem refused to go along with them.
Saleem even questioned the very need for such a drastic change. “Ask me about anything – any detail of
fabric, any garment, or any export order-for that matter anything that has happened in this company since
I joined, and I will tell you instantly. Why are you bothering the people here with such clerical burdens?
These luxuries are alright for big companies, but not for us. We cannot spare people for such
unproductive things.”Kartik understood that was close to the director and was the senior most
supervisors. Therefore, his opposition could not be taken lightly. Kartik also felt that the other might say
that he had neither the general management experience, not any particular experience in the garment
industry. Nevertheless, Kartik, was confident that he company did need the change, and as soon as
possible. He was troubled, however, with the resistance of. Unless he could somehow overcome Saleem’s
reluctance to accommodate his new systems, he would not be to do the job.
1. Do you agree with Saleem that “Such luxuries are for big companies, but not for us”? Why or
why not?
2. How should Kartik handle the current situation?


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