DigitalC2 (DC2) is an upstart in the IT consulting and services industry. Since mid 2000, the firm has specialized in delivering high-end custom products and services to a small but rapidly growing clientele base. The products include, but are not limited to: web site publication services, programming and data driven services, printing and design services, and an accredited Design Institute. At the Design Institute, customers become students and learn how support products purchased from DC2. To provide these products, DC2 has an organizational design divided into the areas of application design, software engineering, marketing, customer support, among other areas. Currently, there are three players involved in the operation: Chad Collins, President/Lead Programming Designer, Bernard "Bern", Designer, and Pete Talick, Designer/Instructor.
Since the inception of the firm, besides some short lulls in sales, the business has grown at a rapid pace. Revenues in '01 were 75k, '02 estimates are 125k. In '03, DC2 forecasts earnings/revenues to be 375k, a 300% annualized growth rate.
Lately, DC2 has been receiving an increased amount of customer complaints. Based on my preliminary evaluation, customers are complaining about deadline delinquencies, unreturned phone calls, and communication breakdowns. A common concern is that, "the machine seems to answer more often than a live customer service representative." In addition, customers feel that obtaining product maintenance or enhancements are, "always expensive, hard to get quick turn-around on. They also increase the end product cost significantly."
Within the company, design personnel complain that they are underpaid, understaffed, and are often under extreme deadline pressures. Complaints to the President seem to get confrontational, and the staff member leaves feeling ignored. The President is unsympathetic to complaints stating he is responsible for the design and inspiration for all the products, and he does 95% of the work. Furthermore, the President complains that he...