In the early 20th century many large corporations were guilty of committing scandals and fraudulent activities. Many people today are very familiar with Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 when the large companies such as Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and many others collapsed between 2001 and 2002, and Congress passed SOX also known as the White-Collar Criminal Penalty Enhancement Act of 2002 (Jennings, 2006).
To minimize the fraudulent activities done by especially the educated ones such as top executives of the company, Security Exchange Commission (SEC) now regulates and requires public companies to file reports of the accurate finding of the audit reports under SEC rules and guidelines. Despite the set in place of internal control systems, financial policies and procedures, many people in power have been abusing the systems and manipulating the guidelines to gain profit or hide the truth that can potentially ruin the business.
Problem is that quick cover ups and hiding the dust under the carpets worsened the situation and many companies or executives of the company who were acknowledged by public for outstanding business example who appeared on top magazines and publications found to be untrue and many faced lawsuits. In this paper, corporate compliance plan to prevent unethical conducts of the business, minimize the liability and implement the risk management for better future of a corporation such as Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. ill be discussed. Riordan Manufacturing According to Apollo Group Inc (2004), Riordan Manufacturing is a global plastics manufacturer employing 550 people with estimated $46 Million in sales per year. As Riordan Manufacturing practices its business globally, high level of strategic quality improvement program such as ISO 9000 and 14000, and newly designed Continuous Process Project Review (CPPR) is required.
It is imperative to identify and analyze the following elements when developing a strategic corporate compliance plan for Riordan Manufacturing: The mission and vision, organization’s strategic objectives, the significance of Total Quality Management (TQM) as a strategic level objective, and identifying the impact, legal compliance plan, and complexity of globalization on TQM. For Riordan’s new quality improvement plan to be successful and be competitive in the global market, the organization require higher level of commitment to meet all the corporate compliance and support from the executive management team.
Organization’s Mission and Vision Riordan Manufacturing’s mission and vision statement has four emphases; company Focus, Customer Relationships, Employees and the Future. The emphasis on the organization’s Focus includes continual development of excellence in quality exceeding the standards and maintaining the position as the industry leader in using polymer materials. The emphases on Customer Relationships include providing solutions to customers and maintaining long-term relationships by producing quality products at a reasonable price.
For Employees, providing a team oriented working environment and through proper support, employees are retained for the development of the company. The organization’s Future will be focused on profitability and availability of financial and human capital for uninterrupted development. Strategic Objective Riordan’s mission statement reflects that the company strives to meet all the legal compliance and the quality management in all the operating and strategic functions. But as Riordan’s internal functions are analyzed it is found that the company needs to change and upgrade many functions and policies to comply with the principles of TQM.
One of the reasons Riordan is not being 100% in compliance with TQM is that it is a fairly new and small organization compared to GE or Motorola and needs to grow stronger overtime. There are a few functions that need immediate attention for the company to become more efficient and profitable. Riordan has three locations Georgia, Michigan, and California plus a joint venture in China. All the locations have their own finance and accounting systems. The finance and accounting system is almost in chaos when it comes to compatibility and communication among all the locations and the headquarters in California.
Each location has a different way of operating its finance and accounting system resulting in delays and hurdles in the smooth operations of the company. Management needs to discuss this ongoing problem as soon as possible and must come up with a solution that is in compliant with Generally Accepted Account Principle (GAAP) and rules and guide lines under the Security Exchange Act 1934. Instead of hiding and make negative out come a secret, periodic filing of financial report under SOX is recommended as SOX require both chief executive officer and chief financial officer to provide written certification of the report.
Companies such as Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco, the failure of employees to report the problems they knew allowed financial frauds to occur that the unrecoverable damage so big affected the whole United States’ Economy. Sales and marketing is the backbone of any company. Without the proper infrastructure of sales and marketing, companies can lose a good amount of potential business. Riordan’s sales and marketing database is not centralized. Some employees store information on paper, using pen and pencil or on their personal PC. Other employees use different types of software for their convenience resulting in a lack of standardization.
It would be very difficult to manage copyrights of software and employees may incur liabilities to the company by breaking the copyright infringement using their personal software that may not have license to use in a corporate setting. When employees are mixing up with company property and personal use, under Electronic Espionage Act (EEA), employees or managers may be liable or being accused of for taking employer’s proprietary information as they share with other personally involved businesses. Poor managements allow crimes to occur.
Riordan needs to consolidate the sales and marketing data information on one single platform. One single electronic system is needed where all sales and marketing employees can store and share information for security purpose as well as fast and speedy processing. Globalization on Compliance Position As Riordan has developed relationships with a Chinese Contract Manufacturer (CM), the impacts on their foreign legal compliance, TQM strategy, and current system are relevant. Many concerns must be realized now and considered for the future, including details of every international aws and process, and material specification. CM, CM suppliers, and their respective material control systems, on-time delivery, operational over-site, relationship development, CM trust, CM supplier management, quality, design, material specifications and documentation (on both ends), packaging, audits, appropriation, bilateral treaty, confiscation, inter-American Court of Human Rights, Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Trademarks, treaty and resources are critical considerations for impact.
Of course, the famous “bait and switch” tactics that the Chinese suppliers are well known for must all be addressed in both current business and strategic plans for Riordan. Meeting AACSB standards and requirement that address on language issues in contracts, women as executives in other cultures, the role of lawyers in other countries, and attitude outside the United States on inside trading and antitrust laws, will help understand legal basis necessary for business operation and sales in overseas (Jennings, 2006).
As far as the “bait and switch” is concerned, simply put, the supplier or CM puts on a show for the customer at a location “model” only to turn the lights off that facility once the customer leaves and then revert back to a cheap labor pool at another location that costs less to run than the sophisticated equipment in the “model. ” As an example, an audio speaker could be assembled using the latest technology, six sigma capable, robotic assembly line or using extremely cheap laborers from the remote villages.
Assemblers from the villages can assemble the speaker at a fraction of the cost it takes to maintain and power a robot line. The customers only see the model, not the everyday process. It may take 100 or more young women, age 18-24, on one assembly line, each handling one specific task such as applying a glue drop, but that labor is cheaper. Although unfair treatment of workers, child labor, and long working hours seem a part of the culture that business can not change, but through the new operation rules compliant close to United States’ law what seems to be unethical can be minimized.
The bigger problem is quality and reliability. The customer may never know about the assembly difference until the assembly reliability and quality deficiencies show up at the customer site in the future. Often an overlooked quality concern is the material used and controlled by off-shore CM’s. Something as simple as a screw can become an issue. The screw may meet the dimensional requirements of the customer, but unless the customer specifies that a specific part number from a specific supplier must be used, the CM will typically source an alternate supplier that is cheaper.
In essence, the customer pays one price for the screw then the CM finds it cheaper and charges customer original price to make profit from the screw. The problem is the material that the screw is made out of; it is of lesser grade and is ultimately softer or less corrosion resistant than what the customer expected. Again, the customer doesn’t find out about the quality sacrifice until their final product is in the field and their customer easily strips the head of the screw or the screw, visible to their customers, begins to rust after only a month in the field.
The bottom line for Riordan, it must take a detailed tactical strategic approach to meeting its overall TQM strategy. The impacts of globalization are far and wide and most certainly, at every detail of a manufacturing process. Riordan is not a GE, Motorola, Dell or Microsoft sized company. It doesn’t have the resources to thoroughly ensure the TQM it strives for in its domestic operations is carried over into its off-shore endeavors.
If case of any breach of an agreement, there are not many choices. Alternative dispute resolution through arbitration, Mediation, conciliation, medarb, minitrial, rent-a-judge, summary jury trial, and early neutral evaluation are not possible like in the United States. Alternatively, through International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that offers arbitration in international disputes can be utilized, but the company can not put much faith in it.
The only way to ensure the goals of the strategy are met is to fully understand all of the impacts that globalization can bring to the table and develop a trustworthy relationship with its CM and have a tactical, detailed plan to help achieve TQM in all areas of business. Increase of TQM Complexity Based on Globalization There are many factors that increase complexity of TQM with a company conducting business internationally. Human resource management, shipping processes, and regulatory requirements are three areas that are affected by the global decisions and business practices of Riordan Manufacturing.
If the company does not identify and thoroughly address each area’s needs, the level of quality is not only jeopardized in China, but in other areas of the company that have dealings with this plant. Quality must be a company wide culture. The company must be able to recruit and retain employees who will buy into the company’s quality standards, code of ethics, and thus must employ consistent human resource practices. However, how does a company maintain consistency and fair compensation practices when the company operates in and out of the United States?
Human resource management must be knowledgeable in the applicable laws regarding employment in every country they do business in. Riordan Manufacturing’s compensation structure would have to be more complex to ensure the right individual would manage their new facilities in China. Riordan’s China Plant Manager would be an expatriate with additional allowances for his tenure of three years in China. An expatriate is an individual who leaves his native country to live elsewhere, and in this case, live in China (Merriam-Webster. com, 2005).
Riordan human resources notes that these additional allowances include, a twenty-five percent foreign-service premium, home visit leave, relocation benefits, educational tuition assistance for two children, housing allowance, and cost of living adjustment(Riordan Manufacturing, 2004). To achieve the same quality practices Riordan has established in the United States, it was important, although more complex, to get the most capable individual to China to manage the plant. Shipping logistics are also more complicated when entering the global market because the company must deal with different regulatory requirements.
Certain export licenses, regulations, and documentations have to be considered to ship into China. This adds steps to the shipping process for Riordan Manufacturing when shipping items to China from the United States. Riordan Manufacturing lists some of these additional items on the company intranet under Operations. The company still uses a common shipping company in FedEx, but has to have a registered export license through the United States Bureau of Export Administration, list Product Duty Classification Codes on certain shipments, and deal with a customs broker and United States Customs (Riordan
Manufacturing, 2004). To continue to achieve TQM, it is important that Riordan fully understand the additional requirements and logistics of global business. Code of Ethics Ethics in organization is about teaching and training all levels of employees to have awareness of ethical issues, recognize a situations, and knowledge of appropriate conduct. It also is about when things go wrong, have and ability to evaluate and turn it into positive effect with openness to confrontation to fix the problems.
Ethics is about creative and make award system, survey to evaluate and reinforce the ethics message; learning, training, and understand foreign cultures and have on going effort to make correction, change, and enhance system so that employees can make best decision when faced ethical dilemma globally(Linda K. Trevina, Katherine A, 2004). Domestic or international, in order to minimize the misconduct at work place Riordan should use everyday ethical dilemma situation and history as the basis for developing code of ethics.
The resources of references should be from legal perspective as well as widely known organization’s code of ethics. Having code of ethics in place allows under no circumstances that misleading statement or information be made known to investors, shareholder or any other potential client to meet the fiduciary responsibility (Jennings, 2006). Discipline Discipline is important to ensure worker productivity and set standards that certain behaviors are expected from all employees, and to meet the requirements of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (Linda K. Trevina, Katherine A, 2004).
Discipline must be constructive and done in professional manner treating equality and fairly by explain the consequences and focus the discussion on his or her behavior not personally. Appropriate and consistent with all other employees are most important for the future performance. The purpose is to avoid employment discrimination. Termination There are termination for cause which includes theft, assault, cheating on expense reports, forgery, fraud, and gross insubordination. There are terminations for poor performance based on performance appraisal and attendance records and usually comes with verbal warming, than written and hen termination. Following employee handbooks and employee agreement will minimize or help avoid wrongful terminations which lead to lawsuit. There also is downsizing or layoffs resulting from mergers, acquisitions, relocations, economic reasons and changes in business strategy and this procedure have to be handled well treating the victims with dignity and respect with generalized equality and fairness (Linda K. Trevina, Katherine A, 2004). Harassment Even the compliments constitute harassment if an individual feel uncomfortable.
It is important to inform and employee know that inappropriate compliments are not acceptable and that anyone who behaves inappropriately will be discipline making clear that every member of the team has the right to feel comfortable on the team and to be treated with respect (Linda K. Trevina, Katherine A, 2004). Conclusion Riordan Manufacturing is ultimately growing and becoming a stronger company meeting all the legal compliances. Riordan’s mission and vision reflects that that company strives for quality and long term customer relationships.
Legal compliance as a part of TQM is also a part of Riordan’s vision. But in order to be efficient and cost effective in all the business process, Riordan needs to change few business practices. Sales, marketing, and accounting and few other business practices need immediate attention. Many factors are involved in the impact of globalization on TQM and increase of TQM complexity based on globalization. Market in China is also one of the concerns when globalization and TQM is discussed. Reference Jennings, M. M. (2006).
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