Thursday, July 12, 2012

MotorolaGetting Back To #1

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The company we now know as Motorola was founded in 18 and known then as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. Over their 75-year history, but especially in more recent years, the companyfs strategic planning and market performance has been severely impacted as a result from both internal challenges and external factors in the wireless industry. Motorola was once the market leader in wireless technology but quickly lost that distinction once competition started becoming fierce.

Since being appointed as Motorolafs Chief Executive Officer in January 17, Christopher B. Galvin (grandson of the founder, Paul V. Galvin) was plagued with problems. Many have said that one of his biggest challenges was his hands-off style of management. He delegated to and put his trust in his executives to execute smartly, much like his father did, while he focused on vision and strategy. (Crockett, 001) He sat back while costs went unmanaged and promises to customers were consistently broken. gMotorola has technical prowess, but it is hopeless in addressing customer needs. It has grown into a big dinosaur,h says Choi Dong June, marketing director for Koreafs Appeal Telecom. During the spring of 001, SBC Communications Inc. was forced to pull ads featuring one of Motorolas inexpensive phones because the company didnt deliver them on time. gOur demand for Motorola phones was soured because they were late getting the phones to market,h said Frank C. Boyer, a vice president at Cingular Wireless, who subsequently went on to partner with BellSouth Corp. (Crockett, 001)

While competitors like Nokia, Intel, and Qualcomm were moving in fast-forward with innovative technology in everything from cell phones to microprocessors, Galvin sat back and moved slowly, methodically, and, some would say, indecisively, loosing money, market share, and employee confidence. Where competitors made educated decisions within days, if not hours; Galvin took months and sometimes years. James E. Schrager, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business once said, gFrom 17 until now [May 000], he has made every wrong bet. His radar screen is so bad.h

In May of 000, Galvin had begun to make many organizational changes to the company that would hopefully get them back on track. But was it too late? At that time, most of the companyfs top executives were family friends. Galvin had to change the companyfs culture, but in order to do that he had to terminate most of the top-level executives whom had been with Motorola for most of their careers. The only executives he kept had less than three years experience with Motorola. He also terminated the lowest performing 10% of managers. Unfortunately, this also meant layoffs for many of their manufacturing and warehouse workforce as well.

Due to the fact that the current executives had not been innovative thinkers, the company had fallen severely behind with their technology. They were not listening to their customersf needs and missed the largest innovative change in the cell phone transition, going digital. Galvin finally realized they needed to fix their internal issues first. The first of many steps they needed to make was to start listening to their customers.

During Motorolafs transitioning, there was a real need to make changes in budgets and operating structure. Despite the organizational changes and corporate epiphany that had taken place, Motorola had posted $5.8 billion in losses for 001 (Crockett, 00). They had to start planning to reduce costs while making huge strides in their technology. They also had to develop new products at a rapid rate. One way Motorola had lowered its costs was to simplify their product development. In the past, Motorola had quite a number of teams developing different types of phones. These teams were all using different components, which made it a very confusing for manufacturing and a costly expense for the company. Motorola began by eliminating many of their cell phone models, thereby reducing the number of different resources they needed. gNow we have a systematic product plan that reuses common parts,h Galvin said. This move enabled Motorola to reduce their manufacturing expenses, operate in the way Galvin had envisioned, and show an increase their profits.

There have also been many external factors that have led Motorola to constantly adapt and reform. The economy has been a huge factor for the wireless industry. If the economy is down, consumers are less likely to invest in ghigher riskh companies or purchase gluxuryh items. Throughout the past few years, Motorola has been constantly developing new products that are not getting any attention. People have lost the desire to buy hand phones or they opting to buy phones that are less expensive. In addition, the financial community has listed Motorola stock as glow earningh which has scared off many investors. These two external factors have contributed to more employee layoffs. Even competitors like Nokia, Ericcson, and Alegre are experiencing a downward trend leading to layoffs within their respective organizations.

According to the Third Quarter financials (00), Sales fell % to $1.04 billion due, in part, to weak market conditions; Net Income totaled $404 million versus a loss of $.66 billion. This was affected by the decrease in reorganization expenses. Motorolafs stock has been on a steady incline (ยช 44%) over the past year when it reached a 5-week low of $7.50. However, it has not performed as well as expected when the stock split 1 in June of 000 after achieving an impressive $60+ a share in February of 000. Current value of Motorola stock at the end of business today was $1.40.

Motorola is a global organization that is impacted by international issues. There have been tough times in China due to SARS and inventory build-up. However, this is not the only reason international sales are down for Motorola. Companies like Nokia and Samsung are flooding the market with new products with better features. Motorola is still playing catch up to their competition in the area of technology. Although doing better in recent years, they are still not on the leading edge like they once were. Motorola is positioning itself to stay ahead of the game in China by focusing on Manufacturing and R&D. They also plan to expand their semiconductor production, broadband equipment, and digital communication systems. Motorola has plans to partner with competitors by selling chips for cell phones to TCL and Eastcom. gBear Stearns estimates that since the mid-0s, Motorolas market share in handsets has slipped from about 50% to 0% in the U.S. and from more than 0% to less than 10% in Europe. In the context of those setbacks, China is the gamble Motorola has to winh(Einhorn).

(00). Yahoo Finance! keyword MOT. Retrieved October 1, 00, Oct.1,00

Crockett, R. O. (001, July 16). Motorola Can Chris Galvin save his familys legacy? BusinessWeek Online. Retrieved October 17, 00, http//

Crockett, R. O. (001, May 8). Motorolas Galvin shakes things up -- again. Can his latest overhaul revive its standing in the wireless biz? BusinessWeek Online. Retrieved October 17, 00, http//

Crockett, R. O. (00, September 5). Motorola needs a revolutionary. BusinessWeek Online. Retrieved October 17, 00, http//

Einhorn, B. Roberts, D. & Crocket, R. O. (00, January 7). Winning in China. BusinessWeek Online. Retrieved October 1, 00, http//

Reinhardt, A. & Crockett, R. O. (00, April 14). Can Mike Z work more magic at Motorola? Business Week Online. Retrieved October 17, 00, http//

Reinhardt, A. & Crockett, R. O. (00, July 8). Motorola A shot of adrenaline. BusinessWeek Online. Retrieved October 1, 00, http//

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