Summary Notes

The New Rational Manager

Charles H. Kepner

Benjamin B. Tregoe

ISBN-13: 978-0936231013

Due to electronic copyright restrictions, the reader is referred to the text material for which copyright permission has been granted.

Problem Statements from Chapter 8

First Day on the Job. . . Trial by Fire

Sara Brown has just become manager of Brennan's Office Supply Store. The Brennan Company owns ten such stores in the Midwest. Sara's store, which is located in the downtown area on a busy street, has an inventory of over one million dollars and over 20,000 square feet of floor space. On her first day of work, Sara is inundated with problems. A very expensive custom-ordered desk that was delivered last week received a number of scratches during unpacking, and the stockroom manager wants to know what he should do. She just discovered that the store has not yet paid the utility bills that were due at the end of last month, and she realizes that the store has been habitually late paying its bills. The accounts receivable department tells her that it has had an abnormally high number of delinquent accounts over the past few months, and it wants to know what action should be taken. There is a large pile of boxes in the storeroom from last week that have yet to be opened and inventoried. The impression she has been getting all morning from the 30 employees is that they are all unhappy and dislike working at the store. To top things off, shortly after lunch, a large delivery truck pulls up to the front of the store and double-parks, blocking traffic. The driver comes into the store and announces that he has a shipment of 20 new executive desks. Where does Sara want them placed? The employees tell Sara that this shipment was not due until next week and there isn't any place to put them right now. Outside she hears horns of the angry drivers as the traffic jam grows. What should Sara do?

The Perfect Vacation

Lara and Tom Anderson are a 23 year old couple who want to take a summer vacation from their hectic schedule. They live in the suburbs of Chicago and commute 45 minutes each way on crowded trains to downtown Chicago and are eager to get away from the stress of their jobs and experience a change of scenery. They have set aside $2,000 for the vacation which is the most they can spend. They both love learning new things, seeing interesting sites and eating good food. However, Tom is currently on a diet. Tom likes to do outdoor sporting activities, while Lara likes to visit art museums and is happy to sit outside and read. The main thing that both want to do is come back refreshed. They have brainstormed and identified three vacation possibilities.

Lara tells Tom of three museums she would like to visit in New York. While the airfare is cheap, hotels are expensive and they would have to get a hotel outside the city and commute to stay within their budget. Tom says that would be okay as he enjoys theatre and there are excellent restaurants there, but also suggests northern Michigan where he can golf, sail and visit Mackinac Island which has a lot of rich history, fun restaurants and hiking trails. Upper Michigan also has the Mackinac Bridge, world-class golf courses in Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes where you can hike and travel across the dunes in a dune buggy. Lara shows Tom a brochure from Cancun, Mexico where they can spend a week in the sun sailing and lying on the beach all for $895 per person, airfare, lodging and meals included. Cancun is not known for its food and Tom doesn't like spicy things. She points out there are guided tours of the Mayan ruins are only two hours away

Where should Tom and Lara vacation?

Marketing and Selling the New Ragin' Cajun Chicken Sandwich

   Wes Thompson is a manager of a Burgermeister (not real name of chain) restaurant, which specializes in fast food hamburgers. He has just been notified by the corporation that a new chicken sandwich, called the Ragin' Cajun Chicken, will be introduced into Burgermeister restaurants in two weeks. This surprised Wes because he has never heard anything about the new sandwich from the company or from advertisements. The memo says that plans for a national advertising campaign have unfortunately been delayed until after the introduction of the sandwich.
The memo also says that next week, Wes's restaurant will receive a shipment of 500 Ragin' Cajun Chicken Patties. These are shipped frozen and have a shelf life of three months in the freezer. The notification also stresses the importance of proper handling of the uncooked chicken. In order to prevent cross-contamination by salmonella, the bacteria present in some raw chicken, specially marked tongs will be used to handle only uncooked chicken.
With the shipment of the chicken, Wes's restaurant will receive a new broiler to be used exclusively for the new sandwich. It is important that the broiler operate at least at 380°F to ensure that the chicken will be fully cooked in the five-minute preparation time.
Wes thought that it was very important that the transition run smoothly when Ragin' Cajun Chicken would be added to the menu in two weeks . To prevent any problems, he carried out a brainstorming session using the techniques in Chapter 6 and identified potential problems (e.g. bacteria in food) and the corresponding consequences (illness) that were deemed the most logical to occur are shown below.
Develop a plan to introduce the new sandwich.
(Developed in collaboration with Michael Szachta, University of Michigan)