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Smithfields Custom Furniture Discussion

Case Discussion (This is only for your reference on the discussion, what is required it below in section “Required”)

SMITHFIELD’S CUSTOM FURNITURE

It is 1901. Alicia Smithfield, daughter of the founder of Smithfield Custom Furniture, just inherited the company. She is the only surviving heir to the furniture empire her father built.  

Headquartered in upstate New York, the company has grown significantly over the past 60 years. Began in a shed built next to his log cabin, Jonas Smithfield’s quality furniture developed a huge following among New York City’s wealthiest residents.

After being educated in the best business schools in Europe and America, Alicia has run the business side-by-side with her father for the past 15 years. When there were many issues confronting the business, a tree being felled took an unexpected route and brought Jonas’ life to a surprising end.

The company had just moved to a facility large enough to house its workers: 10 carpenters; 5 furniture designers; 5 wood finishers (varnish and dye experts); 10 machine operators to assist with the various equipment needed to cut the wood into various designs, polish and sand the wood; 5 mechanics to keep the vehicles (5 trucks) and boats (7) that transported wood from upstate New York and Canada to the work area in good repair; 15 lumberjacks who cut wood in nearby areas and moved it downriver by boat or over the rugged highway by truck; and 5 office personnel who assisted with filing, invoicing, drafting and responding to correspondence, handling customer inquiries, and performing other necessary office functions. More than half of these employees were hired in the past 5 years.

Alicia’s Big Issues

The major issues confronting Alicia Smithfield are these:  

(1) The furniture manufacturing functions are very disorganized. It is not clear how to best organize these functions. For example, the varnish and dye experts each use a different method to complete their tasks.  

(2) The production schedule is a mess. It is not clear which projects should be completed first to ensure products are being delivered to customers on time. 

(3) The lumberjacks, both cutting trees down and shipping them by truck or boat, differ on the best methods to perform these tasks. 

(4) Tempers are flaring as a result of the disorganization. The office, clerical, and support workers are rude to each other and can’t seem to act as a cohesive work unit.

(5) While the company is financially successful, as it has grown from a small family-owned business to a large and complex enterprise, the organizational structure has not kept pace. Few formal rules exist, and the keeping and maintenance of records are haphazard.  

(6) Employees are feeling overworked and losing satisfaction in the work they are doing. They believe their basic needs are not being addressed.

Course Materials (This is the only material that can be used):

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-principle…

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-principle…

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-principle…

“Required, your task is to reply to 4 classmates, instructions below”

Requirement is that you find a consultant selection made by a classmate (1 selection) to address a specific issue, as identified by the issue number and description, with which you disagree. You must state why you believe a better consultant should address a particular issue that differs from your classmate’s response. You must state the major idea associated with your choice and why that idea applies to the issue more appropriately.

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