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Read Chapter 8 to 10 in the Niven' s book. In this paper you must combine all theories previously covered, and connect them with your present work position. If you aren't working currently, use the last one you had. After explaining what your major responsibilities are or were, tell us in what ways ideas covered by authors affected decisions you made or avoided to make lately. I expect you to show a practical understanding of how author's ideas relate with your day-to-day job. Be careful in the way you organize this paper, since a list of anecdotes will be badly graded. I am leaving freedom for each student to establish their own structure and internal organization of arguments and examples, but make sure you have any.

Major Responsibilities

Balanced scorecard has gain more popularity in the current century due to intense competition associated with globalization. Balanced scorecard is adopted by an organization to help in measuring various internal functions and providing feedback to help in making improvements. Balance scorecard plays significant role in reinforcing good behavior among staff in an organization to improve efficiency and effectiveness in various functions (Kaplan & Norton, 2001). Personally, I have gained more insight particularly the role of scorecard in management function that include communicating objectives in strategic plan, aligning individual employee’s work with strategy, continuous measuring and monitoring organizational progress towards strategic targets and prioritizing company products (Kaplan & Norton, 2001). This paper present integration of authors ideas to my former job as a call center customer care agent.

I worked during my internship in pharmaceutical firm as a call center agent with major responsibilities of answering incoming calls from various chemists and hospitals who are major customers to take orders. The customers usually call from 8 am to 5 pm that are working hours to place order from Monday to Friday and between 8 am to noon on Saturdays and public holidays. The firm is closed on Sundays. I also handled customers queries particularly in relation to prices and availability of certain drugs and medical equipment both by mail and phone. The complaint further arose from customers and I had responsibility of resolving and managing such conflict.

The organization deal majorly with distribution of drugs and medical equipment that are sourced from local and international manufacturers as well as other distributors. I had to inform customers on availability of new products and at times I had to enter new information concerning the products and services that customers had requested and we did not have. This new information in the system aid in decision making to acquire such products to meet customers’ demands. After taking order, I had to process them and liaise with finance and transport department for distribution of requested goods to customers in various destination across the country. I also had responsibility of entering new customer information into the system particularly who opened account with us. After sale, I could make up follow up call to customers where necessary. Other responsibilities include assisting management in decision making by identifying priority issues, producing call report and routing calls from various clients to appropriate resource.

The scorecard benefits the organization when fully implemented by all staffs in an organization. As mentioned by Niven (2002), the scorecards from low-level management must be aligned with objectives and measures contained in highest-level scorecard. Working in the sale department, we had the responsibility of accomplishing the two major objectives of organization including maximizing customer satisfaction and profitability through sales. Many studies have attributed customer satisfaction to increased revenue and customer loyalty (Deng et al., 2010). I worked with the call center agents and supervisor to develop departmental objectives that aligns with corporate strategy. I knew I had potential of providing great customer service, so I suggest to the team that we must have best customer service that act as differentiator from our competitors.

Involving Junior Workforce in Cascading

In order to improve profitability, the sales department agreed to be good listeners when interacting with customers. The supervisors emphasized the need to take notes when talking with customers. This helped in providing service exactly as requested by the customers. I used to repeat back what the customer had said and where necessary, I always asked clarifying questions before providing a response. Good communication when handling customer is vital to achieve best service delivery (Ndubisi, Malhotra & Wah, 2008).  One of the measures of achieving best customer service was providing timely feedback concerning placed orders and any other queries through telephone call or email. After sale, I could make a follow up call to solicit feedback. It has been reported that facilitating feedback from customer and using the information to ensure that activities are geared to meet needs and customer expectation makes organization more competitive (Liu & Gal, 2011). This way I was able to help organization cascade the scorecard to achieve best customer satisfaction.

Constant meeting of staff from sales department with top management heled in ensuring that our roles, measures and objectives were aligned to corporate strategy. I was personally motivated to engage in actions that bring influence to the organization. At one point, I could make some adjustment that suit customer like extending credit facilities and offering discounts to bulk buyers according to company policies.

Budgeting is vital to ensure that resources are allocated to various departments in organization to enable delivery of goals (Frow, Marginson & Ogden, 2010). The balanced scorecard is vital for ensuring accountability in budgeting process. Budgeting can influence strategic goals when considerations is given to scorecards at lower-levels department. I personally participated in budgeting process by making suggestions on drugs and equipment that must be prioritized. Since I was taking orders, I was able to identify the fast and slow moving goods and I could make recommendation to our supervisor to consider allocating more finances to most bought products. I realized there were products that company did not have so I requested our supervisor to request allocation of funds during budgeting for its acquisition.  

The participative budgeting that involve all workforce from the organization is reported to create a budget that is achievable (Sintomer, Herzberg & Rocke, 2008). The top-down approach boost sthe morale of employees and I saw from the company that employees worked very hard to achieve what they had predicted in the budget. As a result, most departments surpass their target quarterly objectives resulting in increased performance and profitability of the organization. The high-level strategic objectives were met by providing guidelines on how low-level employees could do their jobs to fit the overall direction of the company.

Role of Scorecard in Budgeting Process

The sale budgeting is vital to organization as it help in predicting the units that can be sold and can be multiplied by price per unit to forecast the expected revenue. The revenue is important for financing various company operations including materials, labor, transport and overhead cost. Failure of reaching expected sale negatively affect financing of budget therefore calling use of alignment of balanced in budgeting process. As a sales staff, I provided information concerning demand as I was always in contact with customers. The customer demand helps in forecasting expected revenue in projected sales. Due to continuous changes in market tends, it is important to carryout research concerning customer demand rather than relying on past trends to make sales estimates (Shankar et al., 2011).

The intrinsic motivation as mentioned by author is the best strategy to achieve best in our work. I always find joy interacting with customers and satisfying their needs. Employee motivation as reported by Nohria, Groysberg and Lee (2008) inspires employees to accomplish activities related to work. What inspired me to work harder in the pharmaceutical firm is the conducive environment in the organization. The intrinsic factors such as personal sense of accomplishing given task, valuing job and urge to help others rather than getting higher pay is effective in motivating employees to find joy in their jobs.

Challenging tasks allowed me to find way of providing solution. However, apart form intrinsic motivation I always appreciated the financial rewards that organization offered to individuals with outstanding performance.  Monetary rewards were the main extrinsic motivator for employees where one was given bonuses on top of basic salary on monthly basis after meeting the target in sales. Linking scorecard to compensation is effective in recognizing the efforts of high potential employees. This is particularly important since there is much competition in the labor market and many organizations would like to have highly productive workforce. Apart from relying on intrinsic motivation, I feel it is important for the organization to have extrinsic motivation in form of competitive wages and salaries to retain high best performing employees.

The intrinsic factors that have been reported to motivate employees include progression through career path, ambitions, commitment, integrity and responsibility. During the meetings we sales persons proposed to the management the need to provide opportunity for career advancement. Personally I would like to work in an organization that gives me a clear career path to enhance my skills in order to be more productive and make organization successful. Mentoring and education programs that were organized in form of seminars and training sessions boosted my morale to value my job in the organization. However, the most interesting part of the job was the constant feedback from the management. The supervisor conducted constant evaluation of performance and providing feedback on how to improve.

References

Deng, Z., Lu, Y., Wei, K. K., & Zhang, J. (2010). Understanding customer satisfaction and loyalty: An empirical study of mobile instant messages in China. International journal of information management, 30(4), 289-300.

Frow, N., Marginson, D., & Ogden, S. (2010). “Continuous” budgeting: Reconciling budget flexibility with budgetary control. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35(4), 444-461.

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (2001). Transforming the balanced scorecard from performance measurement to strategic management: Part I. Accounting horizons, 15(1), 87-104.

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (2001). The strategy-focused organization: How balanced scorecard companies thrive in the new business environment. Harvard Business Press.

Liu, W., & Gal, D. (2011). Bringing us together or driving us apart: The effect of soliciting consumer input on consumers’ propensity to transact with an organization. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(2), 242-259.

Ndubisi, N. O., Malhotra, N. K., & Wah, C. K. (2008). Relationship marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty: a theoretical and empirical analysis from an Asian perspective. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 21(1), 5-16.

Niven, P. R. (2002). Balanced scorecard step-by-step: Maximizing performance and maintaining results. John Wiley & Sons.

Nohria, N., Groysberg, B., & Lee, L. E. (2008). Employee motivation. harvard business review, 86(7/8), 78-84.

Shankar, V., Inman, J. J., Mantrala, M., Kelley, E., & Rizley, R. (2011). Innovations in shopper marketing: current insights and future research issues. Journal of Retailing, 87, S29-S42.

Sintomer, Y., Herzberg, C., & Rocke, A. (2008). Participatory budgeting in Europe: potentials and challenges. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(1), 164-178.

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