GlaxoSmithKline: Rebalancing Excessive Workloads
(3 pages of text)
End-of-month account closure at many firms often requires long work hours, which may lead to staff fatigue and attrition that will affect productivity and quality of work. This is true for GlaxoSmithKline’s Record to Report Finance team in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2014. The company is a science-led global business that researches and develops a broad range of innovative products in three primary areas: pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer health care. The team in Malaysia has 40 employees who provide services including month-end accounts closure, financial reporting and analytics to business units operating in the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. At the end of every month, the team must perform within five days a sequence of 17 activities requiring varying man-hours. The activities must follow a specific flow according to information availability and must, for internal efficiency and quality control reasons, start and end on the same day. Is there a method by which management can help the team achieve work balance or minimize the number of work hours per day?
This case is suitable for undergraduate and graduate quantitative courses in analytics, optimization, operations and project management. Its objectives are the following:
- To illustrate a workplace reality — namely, long hours on some days such as during account closure — for students without internship or work experience.
- To discuss work balancing through optimization or operations/project management or, if this is not possible, through minimizing work hours.
- To discuss practical solutions that management can implement to further balance (or minimize the maximum) work hours on such busy days.
Health Care Services
Malaysia, Large, 2014
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