The Changing Process of Business Operations Management

My wife once worked in the payroll division of a large retailer located in a major shopping mall.  It was a tedious job that was partially offset by the convenience of living close to work and by the informality of the workplace; she and her co-workers usually dressed casually since they spent nearly the entire day working at computer stations in an enclosed office.  Indeed, she would occasionally refer to the place as “the 21st -century version of a 19th-century sweatshop with air-conditioning” when discussing her job with friends.  She took classes while studying for a graduate degree that would lead to an independent career as a business management consultant.

However, like most folks she was appalled when her employers announced they would be eliminating the payroll division.  The onset of good communications, electronic banking and deposit procedures and records keeping and time capture methods had made it possible for the firm to see ways to save significantly by outsourcing the responsibilities of the payroll division.  This would mean that those persons who’d worked there for quite a while would find themselves out of a job.  Naturally, this dismayed the ladies who’d strolled into the place daily in their Ray Ban sunglasses they bought online for prices much better than those of the boutiques in the shopping mall where they worked.  Those Aviators they’d gotten with a Groupon coupon for a great discount might no longer be worn at work, since many of them would find themselves transferred to different divisions which might have more formal dress codes.

The outsourcing worried them even though their employers had adopted a program gradual implementation.  This meant that current employees were slowly retrained and then transferred to different jobs as other vacancies within the firm.  Thus nobody would “lose” a job, instead they’d be moved into newer positions as they became available.  This made the change more efficient for the firm since they were retraining valuable personnel.  The transition was accomplished smoothly without the dismay that occurred when other firms outsourced whole offices and cut staffs without considering the impacts upon staff morale and loyalty.  My wife noted the effects of this program, which she later used as one of her favorite recommendations whenever she was hired as a business management consultant by a firm seeking advice on ways to improve management relations with personnel.