How port logistics services fit into overall supply chains varies case by case and ports are often key components of several supply chains running simultaneously and in parallel. Safe Mint UK Ltd formal recognition of the business potential in supply chain value addition came in a number of years back, with the establishment of Safe Mint UK Ltd. Safe Mint UK Ltd Safe Mint UK Ltd. was founded in 1902 by Samuel Mint as a manufacturer of steel shipping containers for private and commercial use. The company is now owned by Samuel’s grandson Samson Mint. Safe Mint UK is governed by a board of directors; Mr. Mint is the chief executive and he owns 70% of the company share; and there are 3 other directors who own 10% each. Safe Mint UK Ltd trade on a world wide basis and have agreement with over 30 container depots, also known as terminals, that are used to store empty or damaged containers. The company employs 407 staff, around 300 of which work on the shop-floor on the production plant in Liverpool. Currently, there are 5 teams made up of around 60 workers, and 3 supervisors for each team who have the overall responsibility.
All 5 teams are under the supervision of 3 project managers who are in charge of material distribution and project targets who directly report to the board of directors. On the other side is the Docklands Solutions Ltd. (DSL) Docklands Solutions Ltd. (DSL) specializes in computer software and security technologies. The company was founded in 1997 by Tony Adebayo and is based in the London Docklands with offices in Glasgow, Dublin and Lagos. Tony started the company with 5 colleagues, all of whom previously worked together for the same large corporation. In commercial terms DSL’s results are impressive. It has maintained an annual 30% increase in turnover for each of the past 5 years, has grown from 6 to 150 people and has won various enterprise and quality excellence awards. The founding members were all friends as well as colleagues; they worked together and also frequently socialized together and as such share a bond of loyalty and a strong sense of identification with each other and DSL which they seek to encourage in the wider workforce. They participate in sports events, enjoy weekends away and raise money for charity together. This ‘friendly’ atmosphere is at the core of Tony’s approach to management. DSL’s espoused philosophy is that the customer comes first but the management is also keen that employees enjoy their work (Allport, 2000). A subsidiary company focused on customer-tailored logistics, Safe Mint UK Ltd sees itself as a “one-stop-shop” for transport, shipping and storage with bespoke facilities at all the ports around the world. Its target flows are high value goods such as perishable food stuff, cars, paper and steel. The vision of Safe Mint UK Ltd is to simplify logistics by combining its existing cargo handling expertise with the company’s national and international reach.
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Amongst its capabilities is: unit load solutions, temperature-controlled supply chains, integrated information and date handling, abnormal load transport and chemical logistics. Safe Mint UK Ltd have emphasized cold-chain logistics management; elsewhere, the emphasis varies according to need; at UK, car-handling is important business and intermodal unit load traffic is the main business Ham’s Hall terminal is linked to the port of Felixstowe by rail and motorway/dual carriageway (Barrick, and Mount, 2008). This cross company co-operation was strengthened further in 1999 when terminal was licensed to operate full customs clearance procedures in deep sea cargo enabling it to act as a fully-fledged inland container depot. Safe Mint UK Ltd has therefore contributed considerably to the diversification of the company’s traditional marine-focused portfolio. The most important influence on UK container ports development is the increasing dependence on import flows from the Far East which acts as a “lead” trade lane with the biggest ships, the largest volumes of cargo and the biggest influence on container ports is influenced considerably by trends in deep sea shipping and ship building. Typically, a very large fully laden container ship discharges a quarter or one fifth of its load in the UK and the rest in ports of continental Europe. This roughly reflects the size of the respective markets but it is also determined in detail by ships port-call sequence and by the number of port calls a major line may choose to make in Europe. In contrast to airport policy, where successive UK governments have applied a medium-to firm steer, the policy approach to ports has largely been light touch. The 90 or so Trust Ports are interspersed with the 60+ local authority “municipal” ports which are mainly small and concentrated in southwest England. These are themselves inter-mingled with a diverse group of fully privatized ports which range from small regional facilities to some Europe’s biggest and most important hubs such as Southampton, Immingham, Felixstowe or London. Growing numbers of UK ports or port groups are under non-British Ownership. Despite this extreme diversity, the combination of ownership models appears to deliver a high quality of service and, overall, good value for money. For the UK, the long-running mostly “hands-off” policy has generally allowed enterprise-driven cargo throughput for the latest recorded year (2007) was 57 million tones; equivalent to just fewer than 10% of total UK throughput, passenger movements totaled 3.1 million, equivalent to 13% of the UK total.
In terms of Culture, Safe Mint UK Ltd organizational culture has created a barrier between the management and the employees. As a result of this, the management of the company is not concerned with the development of its employees in terms of career and social life. From the case study of this company, it was noted that its employees were disoriented with the work and had no future. Furthermore, whereas an excellent organization al culture was supposed to be concerned with welfare of employees and their performance at work, Safe Mint UK Ltd had a culture which had no concern. On the contrary, some of the employees of this company who were at the management level were less concerned with whether employees came to work or not. In fact they argue that they did no care whether these employees came to work or not. Therefore, this company’s organization al culture has contributed it its failure to make an impact in its respective industry; instead, the company has been operating on the downside leading to losses (Cervone, and Shoda, 1999). Docklands Solutions Ltd on the other side has developed and organization al strategy that supports the growth of every employee of this organization.
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Notably individual growth of every employee is a concern to the top management, a factor which has created channels for employees to development their career paths towards building a successful career in future. In addition to being concerned with the career development of their employees, Docklands Solutions Ltd is also concerned with creating permanent ties with their employees in the sense that whereas work matters, social life is equally important. In this respect, this company has developed strategies of tightening the social relationships, not only among its employees but also between its employees and the top management. Therefore, the company has developed social activities such as playing outdoor games together; fundraisings to support the less privileged in the society, company tours and trainings.
One of the biggest advantages of Safe Mint UK and Docklands Solutions Ltd companies is that they should make it easier for people to work in teams. Teamwork should enable the individual contributors to achieve a collective output which is much greater than the sum of the parts. Team ‘synergy’ should lead to cost savings, through avoiding duplication of effort. It should also lead to greater innovation and customer satisfaction between Docklands Solutions Ltd and Safe Mint UK. Working in teams should increase people’s skills, job satisfaction and motivation (Funder, 2001). Sometimes the theory holds true. Effective teamwork really can result from simply identifying the right individuals from different work groups to achieve a clear set of the Docklands Solutions Ltd and Safe Mint UK Ltd objectives which they could not accomplish on their own. In Docklands Solutions Ltd and Safe Mint UK Ltd multidisciplinary teams must be formed to cut across previous functional boundaries. These MDTs should be made up of individuals who have usually had some military training and who are familiar with the notion of teamwork (Bruner, 2009). For Safe Mint UK Ltd, the new teamwork structure should provide greater opportunities to use initiative.
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The problem is this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. One difficulty is that teamwork does not happen automatically just by putting together a group of employees with a common goal in both the companies. Often there are cultural rivalries or a resistance to giving up individual spheres of influence which may make it hard for people to really share in the group task or in making the teamwork. Sometimes groups tend to develop a common approach to that they reject new ideas or ‘outsiders’ (De Waal, 2007). The resulting ‘group think’ can lead to mediocre rather than superb performance in Docklands Solutions Ltd and Safe Mint UK Ltd.
Of course, team working can produce remarkable results and cross-functional team working is increasingly being introduced. At Docklands Solutions Ltd, for instance, the cross-functional team set up to develop and launch the an Antivirus Software discovery was extremely successful in saving two years of the unusual product development cycle time. Indeed, for individuals, successful team working can offer a new form of status a member of an ‘elite’ team. However Samson Mint, the owner of Safe Mint UK Ltd warned of the potential danger of bringing a team together which may be perceived this way by others, in company’s where teamwork is not yet well established. Such groups can become remote from other parts of the company because they filter the information coming in to achieve their own targets and can effectively cut themselves off from others, becoming potentially disruptive.
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In conclusion, Samson Mint believes that being aware of the possible difficulties this would cause is key to avoiding falling into the trap. He suggests that good communication about and within the project team can ‘normalize’ the situation, since if project teams start to be seen as a way of life, there is less danger of their being considered elite. In Docklands Solutions Ltd, the prevalence of the teamwork culture means that individual activity can be frowned upon, yet not all work is performed more effectively in teams. In Docklands Solutions Ltd which specializes in IT Solutions, the technicians sit at individual booths, sorting the internet protocols category (Campbell, 2006). To carry out the task effectively he needs concentrations and quite. When the technician is in doubt about a particular internet protocol, he consults a more experienced technician. The system has worked well for the last two years. As far as the technicians are concerned they have always operated as a team and they do not see what is to be gained by working differently.
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