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Organisational Structure of Birdwell
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netrashetty is on a distinguished road
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Organisational Structure of Birdwell - February 2nd, 2011

Birdwell is an American surf clothing company, headquartered in California, makers of Birdwell Beach Britches. Founded by Carrie Birdwell Mann in 1961, the company manufactures and sells customized heavy-duty swimsuits, which are sold internationally. With four basic models, various fabrics, including Surfnyl, Tectyl, heavy nylon, sailcloth, and canvas, more than 40 colors, and various other options, the combinations that can be created are nearly endless. Justifiably, the company's motto is "We don't build 1000 things. We build one thing 1000 ways."

The swimsuits themselves, which resemble board shorts, are paneled swimsuits, with waistbands resembling boxing trunks, always double-stitched, always with two layers of fabric. These shorts are known and favored among surfers, lifeguards, and paddleboarders, due to their quick-drying design and extreme durability; with an estimated 10 years for average use, and 2–5 for more strenuous use.

On all of the trunks, there is a 2 square inch (50 mm) logo, of a stylized anthropomorphic surfboard, wearing, of course, Birdwell Beach Britches, nicknamed "Birdie".

Torbjorn Sandberg
Chairman of the Board
Tom Nyman
Anna Bernsten
Arne Aarnes
Kirsten English
interim CFO
Chris Langridge
Engineering & Operations
Human Resources & Administra...
Product & Marketing
Stephen Morris
Product Management
Lars Axelsson
Sales, EasyConnect
Regional North America
Sales Americas
Gary Cohen
Domestic Sales, SafeMove
Sales, SafeMove
Tim Carter
Marketing & Communication

As a result, products or services are either better or faster or cheaper or newer, but rarely all four. That leads to a weakened competitive position. And cynicism for subsequent change programs grows throughout the organization.

Total Quality Management (TQM) is one management approach that can successfully integrate all of the above improvement efforts. But very few organizations are implementing truly total quality management. Most so-called TQM efforts are really PQM -- Partial Quality Management. That's why many studies now show that 50-70 percent of what are called TQM efforts are dying or dead. The good news is that 30-50 percent of TQM implementations (those that are truly total) are dramatically increasing customer satisfaction, shortening process cycles and response times, reducing costs and strengthening innovation. Although it's very tough to do, it can clearly be done.

The Labels Rarely Describe The Contents

The TQM/PQM problem is hardly unique. Most labels describing a number of organization change and improvement efforts have become meaningless. For example, when an executive talks about building a team-based organization, he or she may mean instilling a "teaminess" attitude. Or this might mean using temporary task forces to solve problems. Possibly the executive envisions filling their organization with employee improvement teams (similar to quality circles). Or he or she may want to develop self-directed workteams with no direct supervision. Some times "Reengineering" describes layoffs or traditional "slash and burn" cost cutting exercises. In other cases, reengineering means a change to the organization's structure. Sometimes it means installing new information technology systems. Or reengineering could be a radical revamping of the macro, strategic processes that establish how most work and customer interactions flow across the organization.

Successful change and improvement initiatives are integrated or "whole" rather then partial and piecemeal. They flow from the organization's basic reason for being, values, vision of the future, and strategies. The effort is intertwined with the organization's operating goals, systems, and measurements. These changes and improvements aren't programs bolted on the side of the organization. These approaches are tightly intertwined and connected to management systems, daily practices, and behavior.

As he continues a long string of successes in building "the new GE", CEO Jack Welch observed, "The winners of the 90s will be those who can develop a culture that allows them to move faster, communicate more clearly, and involve everyone in a focused effort to serve every more demanding customers". At Multifoods, the international food processing giant (brands include Robin Hood and Bicks), Human Resource vice president, Bob Maddocks finds that "the improvement process isn't separate from good leadership and management practices". He adds, "We want everyone involved in operating the company, focusing on customers, and improving our processes and systems. It's got to become a way of life for all of us".

Whatever labels are used, a "wholistic" or systems approach to change and improvement means reversing the inward focus, management-centredness, and vertical management found in most organizations.

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