Case Study

Recommitment at Trenton Foods: Nestlé USA (A)

16 pages
February 1993
Reference: IMD-3-0540

A culture change initiative was begun four years ago at Trenton Foods, a manufacturing facility of Nestle, USA, as part of a strategy to assure long-term competitive advantage. Plant manager, John Brocke, reviews his efforts over the past four years in anticipation of an internal consulting team arriving to address productivity improvements and cost reductions. Brocke grows increasingly uneasy as the consulting team’s recommendations concerning labor reductions and consolidations are presented. Company and employee history in this small, mid-western town figure largely in his concern that four years of trust and credibility may be threatened, if not reversed. How does John Brocke communicate the concern for cost and efficiency – possible job reductions – without jeopardizing the embryonic culture he has worked so hard to achieve?

Keywords
Culinary Food, Culture, Operations Management
Settings
United States of America
1992
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 1992
Available Languages
English
Related material
Teaching note
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Recommitment at Trenton Foods: Nestlé USA (B): Implementing change with Nestec's production improvement teams
By Christopher Parker and Morgan Gould
Case reference: IMD-3-0541 ©1993
Summary
The case traces John Brocke's decision to bring in Nestec's Production Improvement Team, an internal consulting team from Nestle's worldwide headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. Plant manager of Trenton Foods, Nestle, USA, Brocke had initiated a long-term culture change program four years earlier, and the team's recommended labor reductions seem now to jeopardize his efforts. Andrade, the team leader, enjoys a faultless entry and beginning, but as the "operation phase" is introduced, conflict begins to emerge over suggested improvements, and implementation becomes increasingly troublesome. At the project end, Brocke and the team are in fundamental disagreement whether the project had been a success. Brocke believed that the team was more committed to headquarter's concern about savings than in consulting to his plant, and disagreed with the process employed by the team. He questioned whether his longer-term objectives for gaining competitive advantage had been compromised. How is Brocke to accelerate his efforts at employee empowerment? And, what has he learned regarding processes for implementing change following the Production Improvement Team's departure?
Reference IMD-3-0541
Copyright ©1993
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Available Languages English
Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications