Canaan Group Reshaping the ECS Division
(7 pages of text)
In January 2015, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Canaan Group, a privately owned logistics conglomerate of businesses in Vancouver, Canada, was considering how to capitalize on opportunities in the freight forwarding industry. The first thing he needed to do was stabilize the Export Cargo Specialist (ECS) division. The ECS division focused on ocean freight forwarding—helping customers coordinate and ship goods from origin to destination. To counter a glut of shipping capacity and fall in demand over the past few years, the CEO had restructured the roles and assignments in the division. He attempted to create a cross-trained workforce capable of performing a range of functions for clients. However, issues emerged with the restructuring, leading to employee departures and, along with the industry changes, a net loss in operations. The CEO was looking to turn things around and avoid further mistakes. He wondered if he should give his restructuring experiment more time, bring in an experienced project manager, or promote a current ECS staff member to find a solution.
This case is designed for both undergraduate and graduate level courses in leadership, human resources management, and entrepreneurship. It can be used to address how teams are organized for high performance, the need to match human resources plans with strategic goals, training and improving the skills of employees, and overcoming obstacles to achieve a management objective. The case gives students an opportunity to
- assess the potential effects of a change in human resources policy on employees;
- identify the difficulties in changing work expectations;
- discuss the balance between employee skill improvement and work efficiency; and
- understand and work to overcome team management issues.
Transportation and Warehousing
Canada, Large, 2015
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