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Problem and Solution Scenario 2
Transcript of Problem and Solution Scenario 2
by Jacob Elliott
As the lead contractor on the Quickie Mart construction site outside Phoenix, Arizona, I must hire thirty extra workers to lay the foundation and construct the building. I have decided to place an ad in the local newspaper’s employment section for one week. I have to decide how much to pay the extra workers and I am considering $10.00 per hour. My regular workers make $12.00 per hour, but I think the lower wages for the extra workers will be justified because they have never worked for me before and I am considering giving them four or five extra hours per week to compensate for the lower wages. I have to consider how the extra workers will feel about the lower wages and I have to consider how my regular workers will feel about allowing the extra workers to work four or five more our hours per week.
Conflict has developed between a few of the regular and extra workers. Because of the conflict it is difficult to talk openly between the two groups. In order to not show favoritism or bias, I have decided to keep the conversation general – mostly about work and occasionally about family or health or pastime activities. I have to consider how the regular employees and the extra workers will interpret and react to this impersonal approach.
I have been hired by the Quickie Mart Corporation to build a new Quickie Mart twenty-two miles outside Phoenix, Arizona, alongside Interstate 10. The Quickie Mart will sell gasoline, diesel and ethanol as well as food, drinks and other miscellaneous merchandise. The Quickie Mart will be one story with a possible three to six “basement” (optional). I am a contractor specializing in the construction of commercial buildings and I must take certain precautions in building in such extreme temperatures, specifically, in laying the foundation. In addition, I must review the plans provided by the Quickie Mart Corporation and select appropriate building materials for the construction.
Solution: Budget and Design
Budget and design: have been established by the architect and the Quickie Mart Corporation. Using the design requirements, I can cost out the materials and labor for the project while recommending materials that will work in the desert environment.
The store will be 60X40 feet, or 2,400 square feet. The average cost per square foot of a steel commercial building is approximately $11.50, not including the site preparation and the foundation (http:www.buildingsguide.com/faq).
Materials: a pre-engineered steel building because it will cost less than any other type of construction (http:www.buildingsguide.com/faq). In addition, the steel-based systems offer the quickest form of construction, eliminating excessive labor costs.
To my knowledge, Arizona does not have any coded requirements for sustainability or energy-efficiency in construction however, it is cost effective to have good insulation in an extreme temperature climate. Steel will achieve the best insulation value and be the most durable and weather resistant of the building materials on the market.
Solar panels: I recommend installing solar panels even though the initial investment is high. In my experience, the store can recover the cost in energy savings in a few years. The solar panels and quality insulation will provide a cost-effective way to deal with the heat in the desert.
I will conduct a site and soil analysis to determine the composition of the soil under the building site. This is important because sandy soil can cause the foundation to shift and the walls to crack. Cracked walls can allow ground water or heavy rain water to seep into the foundation and undermine the construction. If the sand is inadequate to sustain the foundation, I could recommend the use of piers, driven further down into solid rock. This will be more expensive and time-consuming, however.
Finally, the possibility of three to six “basements” has been requested by the company. Basements are very unusual in the Phoenix area because they are very expensive. Digging out a basement can add as much as a month to the construction cost and can be more costly then adding a second story. If more storage is anticipated in the basement, I propose adding more square footage to the store.
Questions to Consider
Minimum wage in Arizona?
Are the extra workers skilled in their positions?
How should I word the advertisement?
The newspaper advertisement should be placed in the local (Phoenix) newspaper. In addition, the ad should be placed on bulletin boards where construction workers congregate. The ad should state that the $10.00/hour wage is well above the minimum wage of Arizona, that the position requires some construction skills and that there is a possibility of moving on to the regular crew if the work is exceptional.
The extra workers will probably not appreciate the lower wages, but with the prospect of learning on the job, being in a position to become full time and an additional four to five hours per week, the extra workers will see the value in taking the job. The extra workers will be part-time, meaning they will work 30 hours per week with an additional 5 hours per week, which still keeps them under the 40 hours for a full-time job requirement.
The regular workers may resent the extra 4 or 5 hours given to the extra workers, however, the full-time crew members have benefits such as healthcare and a pension which the extra workers will not have. The regular workers will be scheduled for 40 hours per week and the construction union will make sure that their pay and working conditions are appropriate. The regular workers are assured a place on the crew, whereas the extra workers will have to earn any promotion they receive. The extra 4 or 5 hours given to the extra workers will not be taken from the overtime of the regular workers. Because the job is so extensive and the time frame is short, the regular workers may have overtime opportunities in order to finish the project on time.
Anticipation of Events
I anticipate that the crew will work effectively together. I will have enough foremen on the job to maintain an environment of hard work and cooperation.
The lower pay for the extra workers can be justified due to their lack of experience. In addition, the savings on labor will benefit the budget. The extra workers will help to get the constructions completed on time.
Questions to consider before solving
• Should I attempt to resolve the personal conflicts between the workers?
• Should I fire the extra workers involved in the conflicts and hire replacements?
• Should I require the workers involved in the conflict to work together, or should I separate them as much as possible?
I have decided to remain neutral with all the workers, to establish a good working environment for all the workers, I am having lunch delivered on Fridays. Occasionally, we might have a barbeque or picnic. This will establish a better bond among the workers and allow them to interact in a friendly manner. In addition, I will create teams to work together, with each regular worker responsible for mentoring an extra worker and I will set realistic goals for each team or set of teams. There will be rewards for exceptional and on-time work performance.
Even though I remain neutral in my interactions with the workers, I will make it clear that I require the work to be done in a timely fashion. If the conflicts continue to interfere with the work, I will be forced to fire the extra workers who are involved.
Anticipation of Events
I anticipate that I will learn by trial-and-error whether barbeques or picnics work to bring the crew together. The work teams will prove to be an effective tool to reduce the conflict and complete the construction.
My goal is to complete the construction on time and under budget. It is my responsibility to have the crew work at their full capacity at all times and to have a friendly working environment. I will do whatever I can to maintain the relationships among the workers, despite the conflicts.