Huffman Trucking Initial Risk Assessment Introduction Huffman Trucking is a national transportation company based in Cleveland, Ohio. (UOP, 2009) The organization has 1,400 employees and 800 trucks on the road, with logistical hubs in California, New Jersey and Missouri. The company’s mission reads: “our mission is to be a profitable, growing, adaptive company in an intensively competitive logistical services benefit environment. ” The focus of Huffman’s mission is on stockholders, customers, regulatory, employees, stakeholders and technology, which supports the company in accomplishing its mission.
Huffman’s mission is tied closely to its business continuity plan, focusing on the appropriate areas of high-level concern in the mission statement. Business continuity relies heavily upon a carefully balanced approach to meeting and managing expectations of these focuses. This practice mitigates risk and promotes support of the business continuity plan. Analysis of the Risks to an Organization (Joey) Analysis of How Internal Organizational Dynamics Influence Business Continuity Management (Louis)
In conducting an initial analysis of Huffman, the organizational dynamics appear to be contradictory. As mentioned above, the mission references a group that is not usually found in a privately owned company; a stockholder. However, as this is a privately owned company, the dynamics that influence the management of business continuity are for the most part internal to Huffman Trucking. Little is known of the management structure of Huffman, but it is assumed that the structure is similar to other firms in the industry.
With this in mind, Huffman is an organization that resembles a pyramid and decision-making is reserved at the top of the pyramid. Internal organizational dynamics influencing business continuity management are found in this level of the company, but must be adopted and accepted by the remaining employee base. Despite the lack of oversight that would be found within a publicly traded corporation, Huffman has a key flaw in their organization dynamics in that the decision-making is geared towards efficiency without consideration to usiness continuity. This focus is displayed in the decision to outsource 100% of information systems support. (UoP, 2009) This is a key issue and indicative of organizational dynamic issues from a business continuity standpoint as there is a single point of failure for Huffman’s entire information systems network. Provided that Huffman contracted with a single Information Systems firm, this decision demonstrates a very elementary regard for the network and the data contained within the databases for which the network holds.
Huffman Trucking appears to be a firm that excels very well in its given market, even if the information systems function of the firm has been outsourced. However as mentioned above, decisions made by the firm appear to be made out of an effort to ensure the firm stays efficient even if it sacrifices disaster planning. For example, preventative maintenance is completed on the company’s fleet in one central location. (UoP, 2009) From an efficiency standpoint, this is a good idea in that all the equipment to conduct maintenance on the fleet is located in one place.
From a disaster planning perspective, this is unwise as the building(s) used to conduct the maintenance could be lost due to fire, vandalism, or tornadoes. Additionally, should a firm asset break down on the road, it must be fixed on-site or towed to a central location for repair. If there were two locations for maintenance and repair, the potential for loss would be further mitigated. This lack of redundancy illustrates that Huffman is not prepared and does not have the necessary policies and procedures in place to complete a business continuity plan.
Explanation of the Importance for Stakeholder buy-in and for a Champion The stakeholders are the shareholders, managers, and employees. The current situation has caused a dilemma that affects all stakeholders equally. When the business is at risk, everyone involved should be concerned about the future of the organization. However, the responsibility falls to the senior leaders of the organization to solve the current issues. However, holding 80% of the company’s stocks is concerned not only about the organizations current issues but also with the value of his investment, as he gets closer to retirement.
This creates an ethical dilemma due to his personal finances and retirement being directly affected by the company’s performance. In addition, the CEO believes that the status of the organization is not as bad as some of the senior leadership team would say. The shareholders interest is purely profit. The impact of how Huffman Trucking runs the business and implements change has a direct reflection on the company’s image. The company’s image will influence sales, which in turn will affect Huffman Trucking stock price.
The senior leadership team is concerned with losing some of the key players in the research and development, sales, and information technology departments. In addition to the issues with employees, some of the senior leadership team is not content with their role in the organization. Contention among the management staff is causing conflict between members of management. The contention and lack of agreement is causing barriers to communication.
According to Cloke and Goldsmith (2000), effective communications begins with active listening, collaborative negotiation, and creative problem solving. When barriers exist and parties are at an impasse, mediation by a third party is sometimes necessary. In addition, some of the senior leadership team is concerned about the timing of resolving the current issues due to the possibility of employees leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. According to Taylor (2006), timelines must be realistic and reviewed often to ensure the success of the project or strategic plan.
Explanation of how competition within an organization dictates where financial and employee resources go to certain projects. Competition is expected within any business and Huffman must continually evaluate the risks involved with their various strategies to ensure the alignment of human resources and financial spending with the strategic business plan. Huffman’s choice to outsource 100% of its information systems support helps to keep the company on the cutting edge of emerging technology while drastically reducing the number of human resources to employ.
Because advanced systems are one of the primary keys to successful management of the company’s data and its security, and these tasks are handled by an outsourced agency, Huffman will have less internal competition for spending than other organizations. Competitors without an equivalent systems infrastructure may struggle to reach the same or more efficiencies than recognized by Huffman. The choice Huffman made to outsource this critical responsibility was a strategic one because of the resources and financial commitment otherwise required internally by Huffman.
These resources, particularly financial, could be allocated to other areas of the organization to focus on competitive strategy. How an organization dictates financial and employee resources go to certain projects is determined by the company’s plan to manage competitive strategy. Various departments have their own plans, sometimes separate from the overall business strategy, creating internal conflict of financial resources. As a result, this conflict can cause the overall plan to be delayed while company executives evaluate alternative projects.
An example of internal human and financial resources conflict would be if a Huffman business analyst questions the expense involved in outsourcing company technology solutions. The Chief Information Officer (CIO), the four coordinators for the key IT business areas and other executives would need to assist in the evaluation of whether to bring these services back in-house, or to leave them outside. Though an expense would be recognized whether the services are in-house or outsourced, this is a conflict in need of resolution so appropriate financial funds can be ear-marked for the project.