Acme and Omega

Essay by himanshubahmaniUniversity, Master'sA+, August 2014

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In 1995, Technological Products of Erie, Pennsylvania, was bought out by a Cleveland manufacturer. The Cleveland firm had no interest in the electronics division of Technological Products and subsequently sold to different investors two plants that manufactured printed circuit boards. One of the plants, located in nearby Waterford, was renamed Acme Electronics; the other plant, within the city limits of Erie, was renamed Omega Electronics, Inc., Acme retained its original management and upgraded its general manager to president. Omega hired a new president, who had been a director of a large electronic research laboratory, and upgraded several of the existing personnel within the plant. Acme and Omega often competed for the same contracts. As subcontractors, both firms benefited from the electronics boom of the early 1990s and both looked forward to future growth and expansion. Acme had annual sales of $10 million and employed 480 people. Acme regularly achieved greater net profits, much to the chagrin of Omega's management. ACME'S TIGHT SHIP The president of Acme John Tyler was confident that, had the demand not been so great, Acme's competitor would not have survived. "In fact," he said, "we have been able to beat Omega regularly for the most profitable contracts, thereby increasing our profit". Tyler credited his firm's greater effectiveness to his manager's abilities to run a "tight ship." He explained that he had retained the basic structure developed by Technological Products because it was most efficient for the high volume manufacture of printed circuits and their subsequent assembly. Acme had detailed organization charts and job descriptions. Tyler believed everyone should have clear responsibilities and narrowly defined jobs, which would lead to efficient performance and high company profits. People were generally satisfied with their work at Acme; however, some...