Aligning culture and Strategy at A.P Nichols Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Aligning culture and Strategy at A.P Nichols Case Study Solution


The case illustrates the change implementation strategy in AP Nichols, a manufacturing, repairing overhaul distributor, operating on the medium level in the industry. Since its initiation, the company offered a free style working to the CSR individuals, with the development of 70/30 compensation model in the market, empowering the individuals to pitch and c the sales, the away they want it to get done, hence failing a firm direction to pursue the corporate strategy. In the current scenario, Nichols is palling to change or restructure its organizational culture in order to revamp its corporate strategy that will congruent with the organizational culture, hence leading to develop a firm, well-structured organization to lead the market. In doing so, the company is exposed to certain threat like the employee resistance, employee turnover and organizational restructure that could posit the threat to the performance and adaptability of Nichols in the market, making it lag behind the competition.

Keywords:  Change, Organizational Restructuring, Strategy alignment, corporate strategy.


Nichols is medium size distributor in the market, offering the distributor service of Repair parts, over haulingand other maintenance parts to the factories looking for the maintenance services.In the current scenario, the company operates in the medium level with 300,000 different Stock keeping units which is 200,000 lesser than the larger distributors capacity in the market. From its initiation, Nichols focused on developing the sales surge in the market. In doing so, it focused on Customer service and Customer service representative’s skills and a nobility to meet the target and in return offed the 70/30 model of compensation, which on one hand empower the CSR to pursue the strategy that fits best for the min closing sale, while also offered the autonomy and improvement along with profit sharing with the company.Since the management developed a loosely knitted structure and culture in the organization, it lacked the particular vision and business strategy to lead the markets.In doing so, it never developed any training and Development system to train the CSR on a uniform SOPS, while it also offered the autonomy to get the things done by hook or crook. This strategy on one hand developed organizational silos.While on other hand limit the organizational capacity to improve the service level in the industry.

However, the new Sales VP has developed the change strategy along with other business strategy to reform and restructure the organizational structure in order to achieve the maximum sales force, uniformly aligned with the organizational strategy along with well-developed organizational culture in order to achieve the maximum market share, and sales in order to sustain the business in the long term, while increasing the organizational performance through reducing the organizational silos.

Problem Statement

The company is facing the challenge to develop a CSR network that can meet the increased market demand. Since from the initiation, the company has pursued an open, loosely knitted organizational structure and culture, the company faces the issues of low employee morale, performance, ownership and among all the sense of responsibility to establish the teamwork approach and reduce the eccentric approach among the employees.

Situational Analysis

Nichols operated in the distributor market particular in MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) and developed a medium SKU business strategy, incorporating the 300,000 skus to cater the markets. In doing so, it mainly focused to mechanize the system by implementing the technology into the system to entertain the customer.The company from its initiation believed that speed and convenience can make it successful in the market as compare to the competitors.However, with the passing time, Nichols faced the declining growth rate while its competitors received increased sales growth by implementing the conventional sales representative or CSR system in the organization. Though Nichols had its own CSR base, however the number remained limited which made the company lag behind the competitors.

Aligning culture and Strategy at A.P Nichols Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The role of these CSR in the organization has been to address the client’s needs and to cater the customer from first sales till the delivery. Though this system offered the company great success, however, it failed to offer the right profits to the company in the long run. Effecting the profits and sales margin of the company. In addition to this, while developing these sales base in the organization, the company failed to develop a firm line of command to curtail the behavior of the CSR representative, which on one hand, developed an eccentric behavior of the representatives in the organization, focusing in the personal achievements awhile on other hand, enhancing the organizational silos and dependence of the company on the representative to pursue the operations in the long run......................

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