How functional structures benefit in bringing clarity into business

Most organizations today spend thousands of dollars on business solutions to manage their business assets, but they sometimes fail to manage the most important asset – the workforce. Understanding the structure of the organization is important, understanding the roles people play, how they interact through formal and informal processes and the relationships they build are crucial to the success of any strategy.

Electrolux Home Products (EHP) as you may know is a global leader in household appliances. They are manufacturers of refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners. It’s a Swedish multinational company that has grown through acquisitions to become a dominant player in Europe. But the European market is highly competitive and the company had to find ways to cut down on costs and improve product standards to stay ahead of fierce competition.

This is a case study of how Electrolux Home Products Europe used a functional organizational structure to compete in the European market.

Their solution was quite simple yet very strategic in nature. They introduced a Europe-wide functional structure to replace the geographical structure (resulting from its acquisitions).

The new organizational structure had four functions/departments. You can see the org chart below, which will help you visualize the breakdown of EHP’s company structure.

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1. Purchasing, Production and Product Development – This department/function was important as it ensured a seamless flow from supplies to finished products.

2. Supply Chain Management and Logistics – This function was responsible for getting the products to the customer and created the association between sales forecasts and factory production.
3. Product Businesses, Brand Management and Key Account Management – This function was involved in all the marketing activities to support products and brands. Also included key account management, service and spare parts functions.
4. Sales clusters – The different sales divisions grouped geographically.

Functional structures always allow for greater operational control at a senior level with clear definition of roles and tasks. This structure is best suited for organizations producing standardized goods and services at large volumes and low cost. Having introduced functional structures, EHP was able to improve operational efficiencies where employees became specialists within their own realm of expertise. The realignment was also helped to ensure profitable growth as the organization brought in more clarity and uniformity into business by creating more focus on areas where increased effort is required to meet the tougher challenges of the market-place.

This is a demonstration of how a functional structure has helped EHP. If you’ve been part of a functional structure or have any interesting stories to share, drop a comment here or contact us.
Source – Exploring Corporate Strategy, 7th Ed – G Johnson K Scholes R
Original Source – Adapted from The Electrolux Executive, December 2000

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Central Desktop Introduces Online Diagrams by Creately

Central Desktop announces Online Diagrams by CreatelyThat moment, which you all (excitedly, no doubt!) waited for, is finally here! Well, folks, (drum roll) Central Desktop officially announced the availability of its new Online Diagramming feature.

Online Diagrams Powered By Creately

Central Desktop delivers a complete Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) collaboration platform that allows business teams to communicate and collaborate online. This gets more powerful now with Creately’s integration into Central Desktop’s collaboration platform, which gives customers the ability to translate their ideas graphically. Comprehende, amigo?

In other words, users can directly create and collaborate on diagrams from right within their Central Desktop workspace to literally create anything visual. Cool, eh? For instance, users can now create professional  flowcharts, org charts, pretty mind maps, interactive wireframes to include in reports, docs and wiki pages. In fact, according to Isaac Garcia (who is the CEO and co-founder of Central Desktop), this new dimension to online collaboration will help their users communicate more efficiently and improve the decision-making process.

Fully Interactive Creately Diagram Editor

All of Creately’s key features are available on the Central Desktop’s Online Diagrams so Central Desktop customers will be working in Creately’s fully interactive interface loaded with our extensive library of objects to create any type of diagram.

As a technology leader in the online diagramming space, Creately is proud to deliver the best diagramming capabilities to Central Desktop’s collaboration platform.

So without any further ado, take a quick glimpse at this short video, and then get creative!

Central Desktop Online Diagrams from Central Desktop on Vimeo.

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Creately for Google Apps | Creately

Creately for Google Apps

Creately is now available on the Google Apps marketplace as the easiest online diagramming software used by thousands of small businesses around the world.

Access Creately on Google Apps Marketplace without having to download or install painstaking software.

Creately for Small Business Teams
  • Easy to use online diagramming software for professional business graphics
  • Add Creately to Apps account and access it immediately from any other Google service
  • Everything is securely stored online, all you need is a web browser
  • No Training Required - Everyone can now create diagrams with our easy to use interface

Add Creately on Google Apps

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Faster Visual Communication

Add Creately to your Apps account, and engage in faster visual communication by accessing Creately from all other Google services. Get your stuff done faster by communicating clearly with any type of business and project diagram.

Perfect for Small Businesses

Google Apps is a collection of web-based applications which run right in your web browser. With Creately’s integration into your Google Apps Domain, everyone on your team will get 1-click access to the best online diagramming software.

Diagramming made easy

Creately comes with an interactive interface that makes diagramming easy. Extensive set of smart objects, quick start templates and the easy to use contextual toolbars make diagramming so professional.

Access all your Diagrams

Want to add Creately to Google Apps, but not sure what happens to your previous diagrams? Don’t worry, add Creately to Google Apps and all your old diagrams stay with you.

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