Sea Treasures is facing a dilemma not unlike the same dilemma faced by many other businesses. Times change, technologies change and the markets change. Sea Treasures is facing going out of business due to their business model not being current with the demands, ebbs and flow of the market. To remedy this problem, Sea Treasures has decided to start off with a website from the ground up. This is their short-term solution. Over the long haul, Sea Treasures will flesh out their online business to include the sale of live animals. The short-term items will be aquarium decor items. One footnote given about the short-term plan is that the items being sold via the website are collecting dust in a warehouse that is rather costly for Sea Treasures to rent and maintain. While the overall plan for Sea Treasures is pretty basic, the execution will be complex and it is important to get things right the first time as much as is possible and adjust for things that are missed on the first pass.
As alluded to in the parameters for this assignment, Amazon and other online sales portals come from very humble beginnings. Indeed, neither Google nor Amazon even existed corporately in 1990 and yet both now dominate the online sphere of the United States and much of the rest of the world. The parameters also points to two sources of models and frameworks that should be pointed to. Indeed, the author will point to the three questions each asked in regards to developmental change, transitional change and transformational change. Further, it has to be recognized that the initial launch of the online portal will be the more pivotal of the two website stages. Before the website is even launched, there needs to be a paradigm shift with Sea Treasures. They are going to have to ask the hard questions such as whether the current culture supports the changes that are needed, whether it is realistic to expect his change to occur over a pre-determined timetable and does the organization need to begin its change process before the destination is fully known and defined. As for the last question, the destination is known fairly well. The current business model that the firm is using will not allow them to survive and thus they need to shift to a model that allows for online sales of decor items (initially) and live fish (later on in the process) so as to keep the business solvent over the long-term. Basically, Sea Treasures is doing its best to be the “evolve” in the “evolve or die” truism (Anderson & Ackerman, 2011).
The second change, as noted before, will be the easier one with the exception of the logistics of selling live animals online. However, that pales into comparison to reinventing a company’s business model and what it relies on from a revenue standpoint. To realize success with the initial efforts, Sea Treasures would be wise to make heavy use of the words of Worley and Cummings and Worley. They give five steps to follow when it comes to change and creating readiness for the same. These steps, in order, are motivating change, creating a vision, developing political support, managing the transition and sustaining momentum. Essentially, the leaders of Sea Treasures will need to define precisely what the end goal should be, why that goal is necessary, what will be necessary to reach that goal and how everything will proceed from point A to point B. There will need to be heavy management support and knowledge of the changed because that is the only way to gain employee buy-in for the same. If management or the general employee base digs in their heels and refuses to change with the times, it will undermine the results and increase the likelihood that one or both change efforts will fail. It has to be made clear to everyone involved that the evolving of the business is a necessity as the market is changing (Cummings & Worley, 2016).
Since the market is changing and will not revert on the whim of Sea Treasures, the change must be done. Indeed, people have flocked to online shopping portals like Amazon and Wayfair. Brick and mortar stores that wish to survive have gotten wise and done the same. Indeed, Wal-Mart, Target and just about any other retailer has an online portal and the portal is often integrated with the in-store experience. Between the two, Sea Treasures will obviously be doing a blend. The retail stores should remain open so long as they are viable. However, there is always the possibility that the stores could be shuttered in favor of online only sales. While having an on-the-ground presence is ideal, Amazon and Wayfair have more than proven that it is not required to succeed. One thing that Sea Treasures needs to do is streamline their supply chain and procedures and that means the warehouse has got to go. If the cost of the warehouse can be justified based on sales, that is one thing. However, if there is a huge amount of backstock and inventory is not turning over in a fairly quick fashion, then the items in that warehouse need to be sold down until a smaller warehouse/storage area can be used instead. Having enough supply to meet sales needs is one thing but having a glut of it is just wasteful. Indeed, Sea Treasures should shift to a “just in time” philosophy when stock is there when it is needed but, other than a small buffer, anything beyond that is a waste (Lu, 2016).
It is clear from the case that Sea Treasures needs to reinvent itself. Their business model needs to change, the way they move and store product needs to change and their vision at large needs to change. It is clear that they have been a little behind the curve as they are realizing trends when sales are already in the tank, to coin a pun. However, it is not too late to make the needed changes. However, it is imperative that there be as little wasted motion as possible when changing things with the company as too much dawdling could cause bigger problems.
Anderson, D., & Ackerman, L. (2016). Leader to Leader Journal – Article Print Page. Leadertoleaderjournal.com. Retrieved 8 February 2016, from http://www.leadertoleaderjournal.com/article-print-page/conscious-change-leadership-achieving-breakthrough-results.aspx
Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2016). Best website on HRM – Excellent HR Tools and HR Presentation Slides – HR ppt – Human Resource Management. Explorehr.org. Retrieved 8 February 2016, from http://www.explorehr.org/articles/Organization_Analysis/Five_Steps_for_Effective_Change_Process.html
Lu, C. (2016). Zara’s secret to retail success – its supply chain. Tradegecko.com. Retrieved 8 February 2016, from https://www.tradegecko.com/blog/zara-supply-chain-its-secret-to-retail-success
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