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Structure Analysis of Idlenot Dairy

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Structure Analysis of

Idlenot Dairy

I. Introduction

Idlenot Dairy was located in Springfield VT. The company that had been in business for about 5 years. The Dairy received unprocessed milk from the local farmers and produced a variety of products. These included different types of milk, yogurt and cream. The plant also bottled an assortment of juices and water.

II. Departmentalization

The Functional Structure would best describe the form of Departmentalization used by Idlenot. Various departments employed people with particular training. The IT trained personnel worked in the Data Processing Department. People with Financial backgrounds were located in the Accounting Department. The exception to this was in the Shipping and Warehouse operations. The employees that were responsible for moving stock from one location to another did not require specialized training.

III. Methods of Coordination

A. Wharehouse

Managers at the Dairy used different methods of coordination for specific activities. The Warehouse Manager used coordination through standardization. Procedures that were used for the stocking of items in the coolers became routine. The Team Leader would assign Stock Men to a machine. The machines produced and packaged the products and sent them down the track in milk crates stacked six high. An employee would pull them from the track and place them in the appropriate cooler. He continued this as long as the machine he monitored produced a product. To perform the same steps day after day did not require a significant amount of thought.

B. Shipping

The Shipping Manager's activities required a different approach. He used coordination through formal hierarchy. The Shipping Manager assigned the Team Leader tasks that required more supervision and resources. He gave an order to the Team Leader who divided it among his Pullers. The Pullers would enter the tunnel, assemble the order from the various coolers and send it down the track to the awaiting loaders. The Loaders would remove their assigned color-coded stacks and put them in the appropriate trucks for delivery. This process did not require special training but it did require more direction from the Supervisors than the warehouse functions.

IV. Elements of the Organization

Idlenot Dairy was a small organization. Its span of control was limited. In the shipping and warehousing divisions the managers and team leaders had no more than six employees under their supervision at any one time. The other departments had slightly higher ratios. Most of the supervisors directed the employees, they did not oversee them.

The decision-making at Idlenot rested with the President, Vice President and Department Managers. There was very little, if any decentralization. The team leaders had the orders to follow and were not allowed much room for autonomy. This was tied closely to the degree of formalization that was directed by the President and Department Heads. The Team leaders and workers on the floor had specific ways of handling the product. All the crates were stocked the same way, all the orders were pulled and arranged the same way. The same procedures were followed by every employee during every shift. With Idlenot's limited span of control, high level of centralization and formalization it meets the textbook definition of a mechanistic structure.

V. Analysis

A. Organizational Structure

The Functional Structure that Idlenot employed was appropriate for the organization at the time. Having specializations in each area allowed for experts on the floor to be

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