Johann Seitz founded the SEITZ Corporation in 1982.

Johann Seitz founded the SEITZ Corporation in 1982. The main products of the firm were small- to medium-sized plastic bottles and containers used mainly in the food and dairy industries.By 1985, the annual sales of the corporation had reached $31 million and the firm enjoyed a dominant market position in the upper Midwest. In 1998, Walter and Teri Seitz, Johann’s grandchildren, assumed the day-to-day operation of the business. Teri Seitz was a somewhat unstructured but diligent student of the latest business school theory and decided that in order to meet increased competition, especially from Japanese companies, SEITZ Corporation needed to develop a long-range strategic plan. A consultant was hired to do this. The plan reflected much of the philosophy that had enabled the company to succeed in the past, but this was the first time these philosophies had been written down and synthesized into formal goals. The key elements of the strategic plan, ranked according to priority with the first being the top priority, are as follows:1. Double total sales within the next decade2. Develop and market new products based on the company’s plastics experience3. Reduce dependence on equipment suppliers4. Reach first or second in regional market shares5. Attain a national presence in the container industry6. Increase productivityBy 2003, sales had increased to $81 million. Much of this increase was the result of new markets established in the northeast, southeast, and western regions of the country. New plants were built in Salinas, California in 1999 and in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 2002. As a result of increased production efficiencies, reasonable transportation costs, and aggressive marketing, SEITZ was now the leader in the western market and held a solid second place in the Northeast. The firm had maintained its leadership position in the original Midwest territory.In January 2008, the board of directors of SEITZ Corporation met in Milwaukee with several important questions on the agenda. Among the decisions to be made was the selection of investment projects to be executed during the next fiscal year. After a detailed presentation, one of the proposed investments, the construction of a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama, was approved. During the last three years, sales in the Alabama region have been steadily increasing to the point where SEITZ has achieved third in market share. According to the presentation, the market in Alabama is extremely price-sensitive and SEITZ’s more efficient production capability would ensure quick attainment of second position if transportation costs to the markets in the southeast were lowered. Janis Clark was selected to be the project manager of the Huntsville project. In the memo, which informed her of the board’s approval, she was given authorization to spend $2,750,000 and was given a target of June 2010 for completion of the plant and first shipment of product. Besides being provided with funds in excess of the original request, Janis was given access to the other functional elements of the corporation’s Midwest plant and headquarters for assistance in the project. Steve Pokorski, the Vice President of Operations, and Joe Downs, the Director of Plant Engineering (who had submitted an alternate proposal for a prototype of new product equipment that the board did not approve for funding this year), were instructed by the board to provide Janis with whatever she needed, even if it meant that their own staff would be transferred to Janis’ project. Downs’ prototype was, of course, turned over to Janis so that she could use the technology in the new plant. Janis immediately called in her regional sales manager and her marketing director to assist her in initiating the project. They decided that the first objective was to put in place an appropriate organizational structure and to staff it with the required personnel recruited from both internal departments and from outside the company. Being a marketing and sales organization, they were a little thin on people with technical skills, but they expected to utilize the best and brightest from Downs’ and Pokorski’s organizations because as Janis said, “They don’t really need much talent to run their operations anyway. We can offer their best people higher level management positions on the project team and then at the new Huntsville plant.” When one of her staff questioned if these people would all be willing to move to Alabama, even for a promotion, she replied, “Who in their right mind would want to stay in Milwaukee when they could move to Alabama, especially with a promotion!” Janis was ready to begin her project. Her first task was to create project artifacts, including a project charter, scope statement, WBS, and project schedule, as well as think about and plan for issues that can affect her project. Janis and her assistants drafted a preliminary list of the tasks that they felt were needed to accomplish the project (Table #1 – Huntsville Task List). As Janis began working through the details of the project, she decided that one of the products to be produced in the new plant would be a new plastic container for wine products. She felt that glass bottles were on the way out as wine containers and that this was a ground-floor opportunity to capture a major new market segment. However, in order to introduce the product properly, she felt the plant would have to be ready no later than the end of 2009 (recall, the board of directors wants it up and operational by June 30, 2010). It is now February 1, 2009 and the desired start date for the project is April 17, 2009. Course Project Part I Expectations

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