Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. (CFFI) • World’s largest integrated shellfish harvester and processor. • Leading seafood producers • Largest buyer, producer, and exporter of live lobster • Largest producer of sea scallops • Major exporter of shrimp, surf clams, ground fish tuna and shark
Organization Structure as of 1997 • CFFI had parted company with Hillsdown in 1989 • Maintaining 100% of its Canadian seafood businesses • Owns Grand Banks seafood for Icelandic scallops, surf clams • Argentina joint venture producing Antarctic scallops • Controlling interest in Ocean Nutrition Canada • Fish oil encapsulated products
Organization Structure as of 1997 • International Sales Offices: • Santa Ynez, California • Orlando, Florida • Windsor , UK • Shanghai, China
Organization • Ownership- 100% managment • Sales - $200M CAD • Board of Directors -Internal • Operations • 12 Divisions • 10 Processing Plants • 30 Vessels • 4 Sales Offices
Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. Divisions: Blue Ribbon Seafoods Clearwater Arctic Surf Clam Co. Clearwater Lobsters Clearwater Lobster Shops (Retail Stores) Continental Seafoods Deep Sea Trawlers Grand Bank Seafoods Highland Fisheries Ocean Prawns Partnership Pierce Fisheries China Sales Office Toronto Sales Office CFF (Europe) Ltd. Windsor, U.K. CFF (U.S.A) Inc.. Santa Ynez, CA Orlando, FL Clearwater Limited Partnership Eastern Quebec Seafoods Ltd. Ocean Nutrition Canada Glacier Pesquera S.A.
Organization • Employs • 90 head office (Bedford, Nova Scotia) • 30 in 3 retail outlets • 650 in vessels • 1875 regular + 600 seasonal in processing plants • 5 sales staff
Corporate Strategy • Focused on growing distribution channels • Diversified products through strategic partnering and market growth • Primarily decentralized yet vertically integrated, dominating or leading each product line
Organizational Problem • Change in Corporate Strategy in1995 • Growth oriented to “CFFI Vision 2000” • Five and Three Year Corporate Goals • Targets • Financial • Product • Market • Operations Performance
Organizational Problem • Development of Strategic Plans • Each Line and support function creates their own plan • Outlining the objectives in Vision 2000 • List of implications to operations/ actions for Vision 2000 success
Information Aspect of the Problem • 1996 Yearly Update Meetings • Noted Problems with Communication and Collaboration within the company. • Contributing Factors • Size • Diversification • Decentralized • Vertically integration
Diversified and Decentralized Clam Processing Shrimp Processing Groundfish Processing Scallops, Clam Processing Dryland Lobster Saltfish Plant Saltfish, Scallops Head Office Dryland Lobster Fleet Headquarters 3 Retail Stores Offshore Lobster Plus: 3 Vessels off coast of Argentina and Sales Offices in Toronto, US, UK and China
IT/IS Aspect of the Problem • Pre 1996 • Basic Email • Internet site but no intranet
Define Solution in Case • MIS Manager , Leonard Landry • Developed a Corporate Intranet • Secure, common area to post company interests • Upgraded to Microsoft Exchange for e-mail • Shared Calendars, Corporate Address Book • Ease of contacting colleagues ** Search for Brainstorming and Consensus-building Software to aid in decision making
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) • Combines • Communication • Computer and Decision Technologies • Support formulation and solution on unstructured problems in group meetings • Used when problems are not optimal, evident or possible • Used in real time
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) • Decision Rooms • U Shaped Configuration • Network Micro Computer Stations • Color monitors sunk into desktops • Wide screen protector at front of room • Central desk, server • Independent Facilitator
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) • A Member of MIS Steering Committee suggested: • Queens University Executive Decision Room • Uses Group Systems Software • DeSantis-Gallupe matrix in text • Brent Gallupe is a professor at Queens University • Founder of the first group-decision support lab.
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) • Committee decided to send a group to evaluate the QEDC usefulness • Group selected was the Finance and Admin Department • Two Goals of the meeting • Develop an initial draft of a strategic agenda for the department • Familiarize Managers with the tools of GDSS
Bedford Accounting and Finance Group : Organization Chart Bob Wight VP Finance Rein Liiva Controller CFFI Emerson Fiske Internal Auditor Leonard Landry MIS Manager Linda Fowler Accounting Supervisor John Miller Controller Clearwater Lobsters Bill Stafford Controller Ocean Nutrition Canada Sandy Rudolph LAN/WAN Administrator Andrew Bower Programmer/Analyst Debbie Korecki Programmer/Analyst Lori MacCaull Information Manager Clint Slaunwhite End User Support Accounting Staff 13 people Accounting Staff 3 people
The Meeting • Bob Wight and his 6 direct reports • Meeting lasted 8 hrs in duration • Began with a electronic brainstorming exercises to familiarize team with the technology • Completed a SWOT Analysis • Topic Commentator • Through Discussion they decreased the volume of ideas then ranked their strengths and weaknesses from the SWOT analysis using a vote tool
The Meeting • Goal Generation • Idea Organizer Tool • Discussion reduced to 10 items • Reduced again to 5 main goals with the Vote Tool • Creation of Objections for each Goal • Electronic brainstorming created 90 goals • Ended with 4 main objectives per goal • Team mapped out a list of actions items and assigned responsibility through discussion
The Meeting • Meeting Ending: • Had 5 main goals, • 4 objectives per goal • Assigned action items to responsible parties in the meeting • All agreed to a follow-up session after discussion with other senior managers in the org. • Last activity • Discuss suggestions and ideas for the groups long term vision for which they used the Topic Commenter
The Meeting Evaluation • Meeting evaluation using the questionnaire tool • PROS • All members felt satisfied • Felt they had equally contributed • Felt unthreatened • Like the lack of interruption • CONS • Felt Rushed • Isolated from Group • Ideas Overlooked • Felt ideas were left out
The Follow Up: • Meeting took place on November 6th • All agreed to collect feedback and have a follow up session at the end of November • March 1997 at case end • Feedback had been solicited • No follow session took place
How well did CFFI Implement GDSS Software as a solution? • Pros • Solicited an outside facilitator for first meeting • Used a test group that included the MIS manager • Buy in would be important in full scale implementation • Mixed technology use with old fashion face to face discussion • Help to improve consensus
What Went Wrong in the Implementation of the GDSS Software as a Solution? • Cons • Test group only included managers • Nice to have all levels of opinions • Lower level staff may seen more benefit from anonymity • Due to the facilitator, a main leader did not emerge from the group • Follow up meeting was never planned and implemented • Progress stalled on strategic plan and full use of GDSS • Team seemed to lose interest • Take more time to pre plan to use GDSS • Booking time to travel etc.
What Other Alternatives Were Available? • Non Technology Tools for Strategic Planning • Brainstorming • Nominal group techniques • Explain/ defend opinions • Final decision • Organizing and Prioritizing • Fishbone Diagram • Venn Diagram • Etc
Alternative • PROS • Cheaper • Promotes relationship building • CONS • Difficult to document all suggestions and ideas, challenge for group to focus • Slower and inefficient • Productivity is also low • Smaller ideas get lost due to difficultly to capture • No anonymity to idea generation
Solution and Advantages • GDSS Software: Saves time, increases efficiency/ productivity • Avoid Group Think • Equal participation by providing anonymity • Users work simultaneously and independently • Eliminates time restraints of debate • Ideas are quickly edited, sorted, saved, discarded, and copied
Messages for a Modern Leader • Creating the need for change • Study found on average spend 800 hrs in meetings and executives consider 240 of those hours as wasted time. • Fewer and/or more productive meetings means more time for other activities • However, people are less likely to use this tool as it requires more motivation and effort than paper based tools. • Team must be open to developing new skills and consider innovation and efficiency a priority
Messages for a Modern Leader • Systems need to be managed • There should be a centralized leader to follow thru after the meeting and encourage continued participation and buy-in. • Silos created between organizational structure can not be removed with the addition of technology alone. • Different time and place tools could be used to help improve collaboration and communication between all department lines
Define Alternatives: Zing Technologies • AnyZing • Requires a single computer, a data projector and several keyboards. • It had 3 components called Create, Meet and Learn • ZingThing • Requires a server and client computers, one for the facilitator. • Additional participants use extra keyboards attached to the client machines.
Define Alternatives: Zing Technologies • Pros over Groupsystems • Link 12 people through single computer • Can rent system to determine needs • Server software and intra or internet based • Consultant Kit $3,000 vs $20 – 40,000 • Networking allows laptops to be linked using wireless LAN • No Limit to Users
New Developments • Clearwater Fine Foods (USA) Inc. • Public Offering in Trust, 2002 • Bob Wright CFO “The way to manage the company’s costs was to invest. We have invested in the latest and best technology to reduce costs and improve quality. That has given us a competitive edge in this industry.” John Risley, Co-Founder CFFI