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CASE STUDY: GORDON COLLEGE I. Identification of the Problem A.

Background of the Institution Gordon College is a local government-funded college in Olongapo City, Philippines. It was an off-shoot of the Olongapo City Training Center, then the training center for skilled manpower for employment at the former Naval facility of the United States. With the facilitys closure and the slowing down of demand for skilled workers, City residents shifted to professional courses. The unavailability of affordable tertiary institutions for urban poor sector of the population led the City Government of Olongapo, during the incumbency of Hon. Katherine H. Gordon, then City Mayor, to open the Olongapo City Colleges through City Ordinance No. 9 Series of 1999. Initially, the College offered Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Computer Studies to 177 enrollees. Additional four-year programs were offered in the succeeding years to accommodate the demand of City residents for other programs. City Ordinance No. 42, Series of 2002 was passed in May 2002 providing a change in the name of Olongapo City Colleges to Gordon College, its present name, in honor of the Gordon families who greatly contributed to the development of the City of Olongapo. In the same year, the College was officially accepted as a member of the Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU). Today, in addition to its undergraduate programs and TESDA accredited training programs, the College opened its graduate programs. Gordon College Vision, Mission and Goals A premiere institution of higher learning committed to the holistic development of the human person and society. To produce well-trained, skilled, dynamic, and competitive individuals imbued with values and attitudes and responsive to the changing needs of the local, national, and global communities Gordon College shall: Provide opportunities that will enable individual to acquire a high level of professional, technical and vocational courses of studies; Develop innovative programs, projects and models of practice by undertaking research and studies; Promote community development through relevant extension programs; and Provide opportunities for entrepreneurship and employability of graduates.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

B. Problem Statement Basically, one problem identified by our group which we think should be improved or given importance by the management of the college is the process of the payment of the school. Specifically on how they carry out the actual transactions with students which most of the students, and even the guardians, find inconvenient, time-consuming and complicated. Regarding the said matter, many have been complaining about how they spend so much time in the payment section especially during enrollment where several students and/or guardians are expected to get involved. As to what we have observed and experienced, not once but many times and continuing, in our three (3) years of study in Gordon College, we can already conclude that there is a problem concerning the way things are done during payment. Being one of the most important stakeholders, we are directly affected by the issue. As for the time spent, we are bound to wait for a longer time instead of doing school stuffs or more important matters, most especially for those guardians who are very much busy but need to stay for their queue. Students also whine about the place where they have to wait which is dreadfully uncomfortable either during sunny or rainy days. Even the cashiers are affected as they become moody for the reason that they would still have to deal with more students. Actually, there are only two cashiers that operate and most of the time, those two alternate in accommodating the payer resulting in only one functioning cashier that which makes the process more troublesome. Taking into account all those things, people tend to become desperate just to end up early in the process that is why many of them find a way around to slip ahead of their line and as a consequence, more complications arise.

II. Pertinent Issues Involved A. Analysis of the problem Weve come up with the said problem because since our first year of study in Gordon College, we had gone through the same situation over and over again. Even if the school changed the location of the cashier department, still the same procedure is implemented. Many have been troubled by the limited time of the payment that have been reached by the cut-off period and for having the need to return for the next day to fall in line again and wait for their turn to pay. Those numbers given by the guard for the order of who will pay next are not also followed. So, what people needs to do then is to go at an early time in order to make sure that they will end up early or just in time. The issue is not just a mere problem where it can be solved over coffee and cake. It needs to be carefully analyzed by first drawing attention to things which may have caused the problem identified and then focusing on what possible actions that can be done by the management to eliminate or at least lessen and improve the whole procedure of the payment. One of the underlying factors that mainly cause the said problem is the lack of technological competence of the school, that is, as a whole; they implement a manual system of payment. This type of system makes the procedure time-consuming and with more paper works. The school may have been used and already have expertise with their current process but the inefficiency of the method should trigger the change of system to be used. We are convinced that their current system is not also properly executed and has a lot of flaws. It can be observed that Gordon College sort of lack high technology and improved facilities to assist better knowledge for the students from the classrooms to the equipments used like the computers in the computers lab although they are good enough to sustain the students needs. Of course, the likelihood of the implementation of technological advancement would not be possible should there be sufficient financial support for the accomplishment of the improvements. Financial factors also contribute to the complications of the process. Since Gordon College is a public and government-owned school, it is quite difficult for them to just acquire the said improvements unless there is enough support from the government in terms of financial matters. They cannot easily adjust or rise up the students tuition fees just for them to achieve the same for the reason that Gordon College is quite known in town for having an affordable tuition fee while at the same time serves a good quality of education. Lastly, another factor affecting the issue would be their lack of employees in the cashiering. As what we have mentioned earlier, there are only two cashiers but most of the time they alternate

in the operations. They do not maintain the two windows be open especially during times when payment from students is expected at its greatest. B. Strength and Weaknesses Strengths Having been the problem recognized as well as the causes how it arises, we can now derive the strengths of the department concerned. First thing is that, the current process may be quite lengthy, but this is less expensive for the school since as a public college, they cannot sustain costly system, considering the fact that they maintain a high number of scholars, if their source of fund would rely solely on those appropriated for them by the government and on their low-cost tuition fees. Another is that, it would be just enough since there would only be times when payment is much active during the whole school year. Their existing routine is also a good thing for employees in the cashiering because it maintains the cashiers activeness in the operations for the reason that they would be preoccupied with their jobs. Since there are a limited number of employees for the cashier window, they are bound to do things other than that they are really assigned to do, but this gives an opportunity and makes the employees flexible when it comes to other works within the department. Aside from that, they also have better control over their finances since they are directly involved with it unlike when they outsource their payment process (e.g. when they partner with a financial institution where the students may be allowed to pay through). Weaknesses After having a brief understanding about the departments strengths we will now proceed to its weaknesses. One weak point of the department is that their maximum running window for accommodating the students is only two but that was not the case at all times either. They only have two cashiers in the department thats why the window operating is very restricted. From there on, their cashier would have to work double-timed to meet the customers demand during the payment process if there are several students. Regulars and scholars are also mixed up on the same line which makes the process for the scholars to lengthen because some of them simply need confirmations from the cashier and would not really spend so much time there. The very limited time would also be considered as a flaw of the department. Although their time period of payment is reasonable, it was, most of the time, not followed. They start the operation late and resumed it later than what it should be. It would be just okay if only the

process would not take so long but because of the manual system used, they have to record and verify the account of the student over and over again and that includes a lot of paper works. In relation to this is the probability of committing error. Using the present procedure requires the recording of transaction repetitiously and when this is combined with the pressure of having to deal with a great number of students, the more likely can error occur. Another weakness seen by the group is the location of the cashier which badly affects those who are in line to pay. C. Opportunities and Threats Opportunities As a government-owned school, we considered this particular factor as an opportunity that directly involved the related department. This is for a simple reason that the government is primarily the source of fund of the school which can really help the college to achieve the improvements they are seeking. They may also assist the college on the right and appropriate procedure to be implemented, just the same as how it works in the government. The college can also have their process of payment in cooperation with a financial institution (e.g. RCBC) in order for others to be able to pay even outside the College, especially for those who find it more convenient to do so. Threats Some may be discouraged to enroll with Gordon College although it would be an absurd reason if ever it happens. It would be one threat for the institution to compete with others if they continue operating in the same way in the future. As technology within the business industry arise, the use of the school of their current system would not give competitive advantage and will only make the institution obsolete in terms of the payment procedures they implement. The anticipation that more students will enroll in Gordon College would be a potential risk to the institution should they retain and stick with their existing process, and this particular issue may possibly become a big problem for the institution in the near future as they face the economic demands of their increasing number of customers.

III. Alternative Courses of Action A. Underlying Principles With regards to the analysis of the problem, we have used the SWOT analysis in order to be able to come up with an appropriate solution to the institutions existing problem concerning the payment process. This will primarily be one of the bases that we will consider in the formulation of actions to be done for it reflects the inner and outer situations that is directly associated with the subject issue. The resources, capabilities and competencies discovered within the institution should be handled efficiently and effectively by the management so that they may be able to form a distinctive competency over the others. Analysis of the strategy should be done then to better understand the relationship between the institutions resources, capabilities and competencies. In addition, stakeholders analysis would also be important because knowing who will be affected by the institutions decision should be taken into account so that the choice would also benefit the stakeholders welfare. The possible triggering events are also identified from the experiences of the institution itself because those are one of the main grounds for the change of strategy by the institution that will later on lead to a particular niche that the institution must satisfy. Furthermore, in the strategy formulation, we think that functional strategy would best suit the problem since it only focuses on one main department namely, the cashier/finance department of the college. This is the approach that should be taken by the area involved in order to develop and nurture its functional capability and provide the institution with a competitive advantage. R&D strategies are also necessary because we can see that one real weak point of the college as a whole leads us to R&D issues. They lack of innovative technology that would be needed to deal and compete with the growing technology in the same institution and in the business industry as a whole. Aside from that, HRM issues are also connected with the main problem of the study given that the cashiers may have been troubled enough with their work because of the inefficiency of the system they presently use. This may unconsciously affect the quality of work life of the employees which is not a good thing for them and which the management should pay attention to. B. Strategic Options and Courses of action Alternative A: Retain and only improve the existing system Description of the improvements to be applied: The current system would be modified by eliminating the manual writing of the receipts and replacing this with the printing of the receipt for the finished transaction. They would also have a scanner for the purpose of scanning the students identification cards that will be the primary key to have their accounts checked and updated when payment has been made or any other changes with the students accounts. It should also be required to have two open windows at all times to help out the students with their concerns and if needed, additional employee should be hired for the assistance within the department. At the same time, regular students and scholars would be given separate lines in order to make the process easier. Another line will also be provided for the students for the acquisition of permits and clearance (only for the final term) during examinations. Advantages of this alternative:

The main advantage for this alternative is that it will lessen the waiting time for students and also the errors that are likely to occur before, since the manual writing procedure would now be replaced by a faster method, that is, the use of printers and scanners. The process would also speed up because separate lines are made providing a better designation for those who will pay, either regular student or scholar, and for those who will get permit. If additional assistance would be acquired, the cashiers will no longer have to do the issuance of permit for a separate window will be available for that. Disadvantages of this alternative: One downside of this alternative is that it will produce additional cost for the institution for having the necessity to provide fund for the acquisition of printers and scanners and for the hiring of additional employees. Alternative B: The usage of an automated machine in replacement of the current system. Description of the machine: The said machine will have a touch sensitive screen that would serve as the primary input device. In order to commence a transaction, one must swipe his identification card and one's account will be shown. The student then must encode the amount to be paid and shall enclose the payment in an envelope that will be provided by the institution. He or she will then drop the envelope in the machine and shall process your payment. It shall be noted that one cannot deceive the said machine by putting the incorrect amount. One cannot also pay an amount less than that required in order to get a permit for an examination. Once payment has been done correctly or according to the specifications of the system, the receipt of payment will be printed out by the machine with the permit if it was an examination period. However, if the payment process have been done incorrectly, the student may always return to the previous pages in order to correct the said error committed. After printing out the receipt the machine will return to previous pages in order to record another transaction. Students will be oriented on how to use the machine during the orientation date of the institution. It shall be noted that the students will not have a hard time in using the automated machine for its program is not of a difficult or of complicated nature. The program will be studied by technology experts and shall also be monitored by them. Due to the implementation of this machine, there will be a demand for additional security guards and the machine will be opened at exactly 7:00am up to 9:00pm for the convenience of those who have classes in the evening. Advantages of the automated machine's usage: It should be noted that if the said machine will be used, it will primarily speed up the payment process and thus, it will lessen the waiting hours of the students in settling their accounts and securing their permits. Another advantage is that it will be very convenient for the students for all are aware or equipped with the knowledge of using an ATM or a high tech machine. The receipts will also be printed out so there would be no need for manual writing of the receipt and the tedious time for waiting in for the cashier to finished one transaction.

Disadvantages of the automated machine's usage: The usage of the machine will bring upon some negative effects. One of the major disadvantages is that it will be very costly or expensive for the institution. A single machine will cost a fortune. Moreover, not only is the machine itself is costly, also the maintenance of the machine. The institution will also need to pay for additional fee for utilities. The machine will also require the payers to pay in whole bills for coins will not be allowed. Alternative C: The improvement of the current system and payment to RCBC bank will be permitted. Description of the improvements to be applied and the joint arrangement with RCBC bank: This alternative will focus on the current system's improvement or modification. Instead of the manual writing of the receipts, it will be changed to printing them as the transaction finishes. The cashier will no longer be required to type the student numbers a scanner will be provided for by the institution that will scan the bar code in the students identification cards for their account to appear. She will then modify the account by reflecting the remaining balance of the students. There will also be a separate line for the scholars who paid their full amount. During examination periods, a separate line will be provided for procurement of one's permit. Additional employees will be hired if there is a lack for manpower. The cashiers will also be required to come on time for the opening of the office. At least two windows should be open for the convenience of the students. Another provision in our alternative is that payment will be allowed in RCBC bank since the said financial institution is a partner of the organization. Students may come to RCBC to settle their accounts. Receipts will be issued by the bank and the permits of the students will be claimed in the said window for permits in the school. Advantages of the implementation of the said alternative: In the improvement of the current system, the primary advantages is that it will lessen the number of students to fall in line in the school's cashier, thus reducing the waiting hours for the students. Scholars may also be saved from waiting for a separate window is provided to them and also the cashier's tasks will be reduced for the issuing of the permit will be in a separate window. There will also be no more manual writing of the receipt, for it will also be printed out for the convenience of the student and cashier. To sum it up, the alternative will lessen the work load of the cashiers unlike the current system wherein they were the ones to write the receipt, edit the account on the computer, reflect the balance in the enrollment form of the student, and the giving of the permit. Disadvantage of the implementation of the said alternative: In the improvement of the current system, the primary disadvantage is that it will incur additional costs for the institution to acquire a printer for receipts. The payment of students in RCBC will also incur bank charges of at least P5.00-P10.00. The students will also incur transportation costs and also additional scholars will be needed to serve their duty in the cashier as assistants for three windows will be open.

IV. Decision and Implementation Decision As the group has studied their suggested alternatives, out of the three, the group has chosen alternative C which possesses the best solution to the problem in the payment process of the institution. Compared to alternative A, Alternative C has a better improvement or is a better solution for it not only has modification but also an option for the students to pay in RCBC bank as a choice. Compared to alternative B, the chosen alternative is less costly and is more efficient for it answers the demands of the students and cashier. In doing the alternatives that we have suggested, we applied the principles of strategic management for we followed the steps. Alternative C best follows these principles and theories that we have encountered. The said alternative in terms of internal scanning have the best strengths over the other alternatives and in terms of weaknesses it has the least important and the effects are not that complicated as compare with alternative B. In terms of external scanning, the alternative has the most influential opportunities for example it strengthens the partnership with the RCBC bank and improved their relations. It also provides advantages in the said bank in return. In terms of threats, the alternative has only minor possibilities of threats in competitors. It is also structured in the way that it serves for the best welfare of the different stakeholders of the institution for example the students, as the customers of the organization, and also the employees in the persona of the cashiers and the scholars who have duties in the said office. The government also forms a great part of the possible implementation of the alternative. The alternative has the best competencies over the other alternatives. It cannot be simply imitated by other institution unless they are in partners with RCBC bank. It can also be easy to implement for it is just modification of the current system only that it reflects the best solution for the problem. The alternative has been well studied in terms of functional strategies wherein the affected division of the organization is carefully analyzed. The niche has also been satisfied by the alternative for a better payment system. The issues are also considered in making the alternative. Some of these issues are the Research and development issues such as the lack of technology advances in the payment system. The Human resource development issues such as the working conditions of the employees and scholars.

Implementation The implementation of the said alternative will be done in a systematic manner wherein the specific office that is involved in the change of process will be oriented of what the modifications will be especially the employees involved specifically speaking, are the cashiers. Before the instructions, the current cashiers will be analyzed if the number of the employed cashier is enough in order to implement the new system, if not, there will be hiring of the additional cashiers in order to fulfill the provisions of the alternative. In hiring of the additional cashiers, the HR department will be involved in choosing the most competent person for the job, the one that can handle the demands of the alternatives or the tasks to be done by the cashier. Once the slots are completed, they will be instructed of their new tasks and requirements. First in the list is their strict compliance in coming to work on time. As stated in the above alternative, cashiers will be required to come to work let say on 7:30 am and shall open the treasurers office on 8:00am to begin the day. Also stated above, is the opening of the three windows, one for the regular students, one for the scholars and one for the issuing of permit if it was an examination period. If it was not, then two windows will be provided for the regular students. Therefore all three cashiers should come to work on time. Then installation of the equipments will be next, which eventually, the cashier will be instructed on how to operate the said machine. For example the printer, for the printing of the receipt and also the scanner of identification cards. After knowing the basics the cashier will then test the usage of the machine in order for them to get used to the new system. Upon learning how to operate the machines, the system will now be undergoing the dry run wherein, sample students will be testing the new system and it will be analyzed. Once the dry run is successful, the new system will now be implemented. With regards to the provision in the alternative which is the payment in RCBC, the said financial institution will be contacted and will be informed of the new system , once the institution have agreed to the arrangement, the said bank will now accept payment from the students. In order for these changes be put to the attention of the students it will be informed to them during the first semester orientation. The students will be informed on the new process in payment, what the improvements are and what will be the benefits of the new system. They will also be informed that payment will now be accepted in RCBC bank and is now available to them.

V. Conclusion In the case study that was conducted by the group, we have several realizations or conclusions, one is that there really is no perfect organization, or even a perfect system, there is always a flaw in the plan because of this, it should be noted that one's system should be carefully analyzed and studied if it is still meeting the demands or the purpose it was made. One should evaluate the current system for the many problems that are arising due to changes in the environment. This case, the group have evaluated the current payment system of the institution and have suggested different alternatives that have been formulated or constructed by the group to meet these demands or to be a solution to the current problems that the group encounters in every semester that they spent in the institution. In constructing the said alternatives, we realized that without noticing, we actually applied the principles and theories of strategic management. These are the internal scanning, external scanning, social responsibility, stakeholder analysis, functional strategy, the different issues in the organization, corporate governance, strategic planning, evaluation and control, implementing actions and many more. This put us in the realization that these theories or principles form a great part or the major concern in an organization. These principles cannot be removed from a system. An organization will not exist or will not prosper without these principles. During the construction of an alternative, one should also think of the possible outcome or the possible effects if that alternative will be implemented. What would its advantages and disadvantages be and if it would answer the problem. So it should be noted that one cannot give an alternative, if one do not understand the problem itself. The problem should always come first before anything else. It is the main reason why we make solutions, modifications or improvements. The group also concluded that in studying an organization or in evaluating a current system, one should take notice of the different factors not only the ones that are for a short period of time only but for the future of the organization. Also one should view the different angles of an organization and should understand first the causes of these problems before making the necessary solutions or alternatives. And last, in making the alternatives, the group realized that one should be aware of your purpose or your goals. It must be clear to all so that you will be directed into what you wanted to achieve. Also every organization or institution should be open to changes. There is no permanent in the world, only change and last, the biggest room in the world is the room from improvement.

GROUP 3 MEMBERS FERNANDEZ, Ryan D. GUTIERREZ, Jan Clarize MATEN, Mark Joseph H. MAURE, Julie Anne K. MISTICA, Kay-Anne B. MONTES, Denisse Ira M.