Aligning Culture and Strategy at A. P. Nichols
(8 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
A.P. Nichols, a distributor of parts in the maintenance, overhaul, and repair industry, is facing the need to realign its strategy to cope with a competitive environment. A key component of this realignment involves changes to the culture and compensation of its sales force while simultaneously building sufficient sales capacity to take advantage of opportunities in key markets. The case focuses on the newly hired vice president (VP) of sales, who is tasked with leading the change initiative. Immediate issues facing the VP include: 1) alignment of the client service representative (CSR) team to the strategy and new model; 2) infrastructure and the need to make a commitment to invest in bringing it up to a best-in-class level; and 3) building a critical mass in the CSR group.
The case can be used in undergraduate, graduate, or executive classes in strategy implementation and change management. The case illustrates many of the challenges associated with strategic change, and focuses specifically on the issues of culture, capacity, and competence. The case also challenges students to deal with potential trade-offs and conflicts, such as whether the VP should compromise on the new compensation scheme or risk losing a significant portion of his client base if CSRs defect from the firm.
United States, Large, 2011
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