The objective of this assignment is to go in depth identifying an organizational problem and solving it based on a methodology. The methodology here is Soft System Methodology. Here I am going to look into the organizations problem and also recommend how The Company can solve the problems using the methodology. The Company The evergreen state of kerala located along the south western tip of Indian sub-continent, accounts for about 93% of the natural rubber produced in India, the fourth biggest producer of natural rubber in the world. Merchem limited is one of India’s biggest chemical manufactures.
The Company is one of the biggest manufactures for chemicals used in the tyre and latex industry. Its Clients include Indian tyre majors like MRF , CEAT and international manufactures like Bridgestone. Merchem limited manufactures various rubber, chemicals used in the production of various rubber products. Merchem also produce latex preservation chemicals, pesticide intermediates and water treatment chemicals. Merchem is the largest producer of Thiuram and Dithiocarbamate Accelerators in India. The company enjoys a major market share of these products in India and also exports large quantities to South East Asia, Europe, etc.
It has four Factories and employs nearly 500 employees. The company’s factories are located mostly in industrial areas. However the company’s only business is chemicals and it has not yet diversified. Areas which need to be concentrated are employee relations, quality ,environmental issues and use of new information technology tools. Its Managing director started Merchem as a small chemical manufacturing unit. The business he started soon expanded and began flourishing and expanding. Merchem added new chemicals to its list mostly by developing in its research labs and company entered as a big player in India
In Recent years the business environment has changed rapidly. Chemical business has been in a state of flux, with new products frequently coming to market. Many small and efficient firms have managed to take advantage of this situation to establish them and to gain a reputation for producing and delivering chemicals quickly and cheaply to customer requirements. Merchem has been unable to adapt satisfactorily to change circumstances and this has shown in disappointing financial returns. Its research and development is not functioning properly and the company is not getting the investment returns. Inevitably it has fallen behind its competitors in product development.
It takes time for problems to show big impact on companies. When a company grows big it is very difficult to find a solution as each problems are interrelated. Use of Various methodologies’ gives a solution, which can improve the situation. Lets us analyze and solve Merchem problems using Soft system methodology. Soft systems methodology (SSM) has been developed at Lancaster University over the last 30 years, through action research.
Professor Peter Check land is the best-known member of the team in the Department of Systems and Information Management involved in this development. Other members of the team include Dr Brian Wilson, Professor Gwilym Jenkins and Dr David Rippin, all of whom have their backgrounds in “hard” fields, such as engineering. The methodology has developed mainly as a result of consultancy work. As more experience was gained dealing with different sorts of problem situations, the learning was analysed and incorporated into the methodology. What we have as a result is a generic methodology which should be adapted to any given situation, A. Platt, S. Warwick(1995)
SSM study is all about finding the stages of the problems, the outcome of which is captured in a “rich picture” of the problem situation(Fig :1). A rich picture is a representation of the problem situation, presented usually in the form of a drawing, which makes explicit a range of diverse viewpoints concerning issues, conflicts and difficulties. It draws attention to cultural and political aspects of the problem situation and attempts to provide a complete picture of what is going on SSM deals with problem formulation at the strategic level. It partly aims to structure previously unstructured situations, rather than to solve well-structured problems. It deals with “fuzzy” problem situations – situations where people are viewed not as passive objects, but as active subjects, where objectives are unclear or where multiple objectives may exist
Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) has long been involved in information systems development through the medium of action research. Its social constructivist paradigm and managerial focus distinguish it from most software engineering development approaches. Check land’s underlying view of systems development, however, is heavily influenced by traditional waterfall models – something of a contradiction The Checkland Methodology The Checkland methodology, or the seven-stage model, is considered by most people to be the SSM. However, SSM covers a range of methodologies developed to deal with different situations.