What are the major issues at jimmy possum furniture

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Margot and Alan Spalding are the principals in a family-run regional based furniture manufacturing and retailing business called Jimmy Possum. It is not their first foray into the furniture business and their previous businesses taught them many lessons about the decisions that need to be taken, as well as how to follow through on their decisions.

The Jimmy Possum brand has now developed from a struggling two-person manufacturing business in 1995 into a thriving, vertically integrated business that turns over around $25 million annually, employs 160 people, and sells its homemaker furniture range through its own retail chain of six stores as well as through traditional retail furniture stores not owned by the Spalding family.

The development of this successful enterprise required many major decisions, as well as the day-to-day decisions that need to be made by any successful business. Initially, Alan and a colleague manufactured the furniture and Margot was responsible for selling into retail stores. She received many knock-backs: indeed, some of the retailers were quite rude. However, they stuck to their decisions about the type of furniture they wanted to produce and Margot learned to modify her selling technique. The furniture was always high in quality, made of Victorian ash timber, hand finished, and manufactured with traditional cabinet-making values (jointed and glued, rather than using modern, shortcut fixing techniques). The furniture was always aimed at the upper end of the market and targeted to people who care about design. A number of their customers have been known to save up for six months to buy a Jimmy Possum piece, rather than purchase a cheaper item.

One of their early decisions was to exhibit at the 1995 Furnitex show, and this helped to establish the company's reputation as a quality and good design manufacture. The name "Jimmy Possum" was specially chosen to be whimsical and humorous - a name that people could remember easily.

(Jimmy Possum was a pioneer chair-maker in Tasmania who has become something of a folk here in Australia. His chairs are held in the collections of a number of Australian museums, and any that come on to the antique market bring enormous prices.) The Spaldings describe their business as being value based, where creativity, good design and high-quality craftsmanship are the ruling values and far more important than profit growth.

In 2004 the Spaldings realised that they needed to change the direction of their business if they were going to survive. More and more Australian retailers were stocking mainly imported cheaper furniture from our near Asian neighbours. A decision was taken to develop a number of retail outlets to sell Jimmy Possum furniture directly to the public. They now have five retail outlets. The estimated revenue of around $25 million in 2008 when compared with their 2002 revenue of $3 million for manufacturing only indicates that branching into retail was a wise decision.

However, the required skills and mental attitude of retailing can be quite different from those of manufacturing. The Spaldings believe they are lucky to possess the abilities to succeed in both of these business sectors. At the same time, they have been able to put members of both their immediate and extended families into key roles within the business and they outsource as little of their work as possible.

The Jimmy Possum business has won a couple of very important business awards in recent years, including the Australian Westpac Business Owner Award; in 2006, Margot was crowned Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year. This has meant that the Spaldings spend a lot of time on speaking engagements and appearing on TV and radio. It has meant that their profile has been raised within both the public and business communities. Margot, who takes on a lot of this work, tries to ensure that each speaking engagement has a fresh and targeted message, and she sometimes starts her working day at 4 am in order to achieve this.

Margot believes that women are often overlooked and ignored, and her message to fellow women in business is: "Develop resilience... Women get knocked back far too much. They need to stick together and surround themselves with like-minded people.' Asked about the traits that have made her successful, she included: energy, passion, focus, determination and giving. She believes that women bring a different approach to business. An example of this would be her decision to provide a breakfast of fruit and nuts to energise the staff at the Bendigo factory. The Spaldings are also concerned about the future of the furniture industry in Australia and, as policy, employas many apprentices as possible.

The Spalding principals and their family members employed within the business look to an extended future for their business of designing, manufacturing and retailing high-quality furniture that they hope will become the antiques of a later generation of Australian homemakers.


1. What are the major issues at Jimmy Possum Furniture. Assess how the issues may impact the performance within Jimmy Possum organisation.

2. Jimmy Possum branched out from manufacturing into retailing,Identify the organisational structure, authority delegation, andcontrol processes of the organisation?

3. Explain key concepts, theories and factors that influence behaviour of staffat Jimmy Possum Organisation.

4. Relate individual differences in perception, learning, communication and attitudes with what the Spalding's learnt from the experiences of other organisations to be successful.

5. Looking at the "Decision-making styles" at Jimmy possum Furniture, Analyse and report on Spalding's decision making in Jimmy Possum organisation.

6. Investigate organisational behaviour work problems and apply key concepts and theories to recommend solutions to improve them.Prepare a Report on your analysis of the given case study in approximately 1000 words based on the casestudy questions.

Your analysis will need to include the concepts outlined in the questions above.

Analysis should be based on the questions in the case study and should be appropriately answered, logically and clearly linked to the relevant theories.

The report should be in proper report format as shown in the sample report format.

The Report should be the outcome of the group effort, analysis and findings .The Case study analysis should cover:

A well written Reportcovering the case study:

• Cover Page
• Executive summary
• Table of contents
• Situation analysis and case introduction
• Problem identification,
• Analysis /evaluation-Support your arguments with relevant theories
• Recommendations -Possible solutions to the case questions
• Conclusion
• Please do not answer in a Question and Answer Format. In depth analysis is required.
• Suggested method of analysis :
• I -Issue
• R- Relevant Theory
• A- Application
• C-Conclusion

You must include:

• Research using at least 2 academic journal articles(refer to ProQuest /ebrary)
• Carefully select appropriate theories and concepts
• Construct an in-depth and analytical discussion
• Use evidence and examples to support your work
• Write in a clear and logical manner.
• Cite all references using the APA referencing system
• Prepare and format a reference list.

Your assignment will be assessed on the following:

• Quality of the research and analysis undertaken
• Quality of the discussion, how many aspects of management and organizational behaviour have been covered in your overview
• Creativity and consistency - how well your argument holds together.
• Spelling, grammar, referencing, formatting.

Your reportshould be in proper format and will be assessed on the following criteria:
• Prepare a proficient report covering theoretical concepts linked within.
• Creativity and innovation demonstrated in presenting information.
• Make it professional in format with consistent fonts and proper format.
• Proper format in terms of font size, sequence and paragraphs used.

Verified Expert

The topic of solution is Management and Organizational Behavior, includes Executive Summary a TABLE OF CONTENTS, Situation Analysis, Problem and issue identification. In 1300 words solution, all the required diagrams has been included with references.

Reference no: EM13957162

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