Steven Sim Leong Thun is the founder of the famous dessert in Malaysia, Secret Recipe. He was born in Kota Bharu, Kelantan in 1959, the youngest of eight siblings was from a poor family. Before he started his own business, he doing a marketing director at a multinational company. He also loves to visit many countries to exploring food culture them. He quitted his job as a marketing director at a multinational company and started his first premise namely ‘Secret Recipe’ in SS2 Petaling Jaya with his three nephews who are trained-bakers and kept strong about his concept of building a global brand eventually in 1997 which is 100% Malaysian brand name. Steven Sim has entrepreneurial traits which assist him to be successful in his venture
The ‘secret’ behind the success of this chain is Datuk Steven Sim, who is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Secret Recipe Cakes and Cafe Sdn Bhd where he is known for being one of the most successful marketers in Malaysia. Secret Recipe has successfully established its brand name in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Philippines, Brunei, and Australia by virtue of its fine quality cakes, fusion food and distinctive service. From there, he would grow the brand from strength to strength where it now has more than 270 outlets of which 80 are in other countries, close to a total 4,000 employees.
Behind the success of Secret Recipe is Steven Sim who, ever since the early days of his enterprise, focused heavily on brand building whilst creating a menu that enclose the best of local and western cuisine which is most notably a cakes. It is a universal food and simple found in every culture, race and nation. Steven Sim realized how he could implement innovative brand features that would set Secret Recipe above the competition. He has also cited retaining Malaysian favourites in his international outlets as a reason for his brands success. As a famous brand in various countries, the biggest challenge faced by Steven Sim is to ensure consistent product quality, especially taste in every branch of every menu except menu which should be modified based on local preferences. For this purpose, Steven Sim establish a management system such as creating team managers franchise, which is responsible for checking the quality of the product regularly, in every branch and conduct employee training.
In the early stages, Steven Sim decided to venture into this business to find that there is a significant deficiency, the concept cafe offers a casual atmosphere and enjoy a relaxing meal at the time. Steven Sim identify and grab this opportunity, and take the risk of introducing the concept of a meal in a casual, relaxed yet elegant.
2.0 Roles of Managers
In managing an organization, effective management is something that is very important. The Manager assists in ensuring that each task is properly implemented and meets the objectives set by an organization. According to Henry Mintzberg, the role of the manager is divided into three parts such as ;
2.1 Interpersonal Roles
The manager’s responsibility to involve interactions and relationships with organizational members and other constituents. There are three interpersonal roles played by the manager.
Firstly, a leader must have a role of the manager as a figurehead. The manager performs several symbolic or ritual tasks which are managers appear in the community function, attending social events, signing official documents or presenting certificates and awards. For example, Steven Sim attended a dinner supper for the launching of the new Secret Recipe branch which will open on 23 October 2013 in Cambodia with all the team work and staff.
Secondly, as a role of leader, manager should direct, coordinate and motivate employees to carry out their work to ensure that the work performed complies with what has been designed. This is because, manager are responsible for the success or failure of their organizational units. For example, Steven Sim always encourages and guiding for teamwork and lower employees to carry out their duties and become smooth to increase sales at each Secret Recipe branch to achieve target goals.
Thirdly the communication or cooperation which facilitates a close working relationship between people or organizations that called a liaison for manager. The Manager is responsible for maintaining network connections either inside or outside the organization via email, phone calls or meetings. For example, Steven Sim is always looking for support to interact with individuals or outsiders who want to be part of a Secret Recipe branch that can influence the organization’s success.
2.2 Information Roles
Managers are responsible for ensuring that the people with whom they work have sufficient information to do their jobs effectively. By the very nature of managerial responsibilities, managers become a communication centers of units and communication source for work group within an organization. There a three type of information roles.
Firstly, as a monitor managers should seek and receive information, scan periodic reports and maintain individual relationships such as managers constantly monitor the environment outside and within that affect the organization. For example, Steven Sim will do research related to lifestyle, cultural differentiation, the main types of food and food culture community in the country. This is to ensure product Secret Recipe easily accepted by the local community.
Secondly, managers must disseminate important information obtained either from within or outside the organization to members of the organization through memos, reports or phone calls. Most important, managers must ensure that their employees have the information necessary to perform their duties efficiently and effectively. For example, Steven Sim announces sales target for each Secret Recipe branch in November 2018 to sales supervisor through a memos.
Thirdly, Managers must be spoekesperson to often communicate information to individuals outside their units and organizations such as managers communicating information to members of organizations and outsiders through speeches, reports and memos. For example, Steven Sim communicates with journalists who want to know about the success of Secret Recipe entrepreneurs who have opened nearly 300 branches worldwide.
2.3 Decisional Roles
The role in which a manager processes information and reaches conclusions. Managers make a decisions. The organization commit their work groups to courses of action and allocate resources so that group plans can be implemented. There are four type of decisional roles.
Firstly, entrepreneur like managers are acting as pioneers to initiate a project that capitalize on opportunities that have been identified and encourages change and innovation. For example, Steven Sim acquired the idea of expanding its range of products to meet the needs of its customers and still wants to eat cakes such as opening a healthy vegetarian concept where their cakes are free of sugar, eggless, high fibre and low calories ideal for diabetics.
Secondly, the manager as a disturbance handler are makes decisions or actions appropriate to the crisis that arises in the organization so that the problematic organizational environment can be solved. This may involve dealing with an irate customer, negotiating with an uncooperative supplier, or intervening in a dispute between employees. For example, Steven Sim took action to resolve the conflict among workers who had been struck by not giving a good service by giving an award or bonus to employees who could increase monthly sales at each outlet.
Thirdly, the manager have to determine how limited organizational resources allocator are shared and used by all members of the organization to achieve the goal organization. For example, Steven Sim wants to set up a new branch in Thailand with the allocation of funding, sufficient staff, as well as other organizations resource can applied that can achieve the organization’s goals.
The manager as a negotiator are represents an organization in the field of consultation involving jurisdiction. Managers may negotiator with employees, suppliers, customers, or other work group. For example, Steven Sim deals with the production department that produces the menus at Secret Recipe to get special offers for its core customers.
3.0 Management Skills
Management skills are required for a manager to fulfill their responsibilities. Every organization needs a manager to make a decision, give directions to employees and so on. Therefore, each manager needs to have the skills to manage an organization such as ;
3.1 Conceptual Skill
Ability to view the organization as a whole and integrate the relationship between the parts within the organization, as well as have far-reaching knowledge and insight to make decisions involving long-term effects. For example, Steven Sim realized how he could implement innovative brand features that would set Secret Recipe above the competition. So, he decide to take a risk for building the Secret Recipe outlet in every country.
3.2 Human Skill
Lead, motivate, manage conflict and influence individuals by understanding the feelings, behaviours and attitudes of other individuals. Ability to communicate with various groups of people such as meet with customers, meeting with senior officers and communicating with employees. For example, Steven Sim is constantly working to address employee performance problems by giving award to those who work hard every month to increase sales and provide feedback to employees so they know Secret Recipe’s vision and mission to achieve the goal.
3.3 Technical Skill
Ability to apply procedures and method techniques in a particular field. The mastery of technical skills can help lower-level managers to provide advice, clarification and tutoring on technical aspects in detail to employees. For example, Steven Sim applies the existing methods and skills to a person to venture into their respective fields such as financial managers, those in the accounting field group who are able to know about withdrawing money or entering the organization at each Secret Recipe branch.
4.0 Function of Management
In my opinion, how the POLC function can help leaders manage their organizational effectiveness by guiding future activities.
Firstly, Planning is a process by which the manager determines the goals to be achieved and determines the most appropriate action to take at all levels of the organization to achieve the organization’s goals. Such as, Steven Sim focuses on a brand building strategy to make Secret Recipe different with competitors. This includes creating a logo, corporate colours to choose business, detailing the marketing strategy, producing uniform employees, designing the display menu, set the interior design for cafes, and setting standards for customer service.
Secondly, Managers need to organize and distribute organizational resources to fulfill their assigned tasks in order to achieve the target. For example, Steven Sim compiled limited organizational resources such as employees, capital, land, entrepreneurs to work well in the organization to distribute their respective duties to avoid overlapping work.
Thirdly, managers need to lead the people to influence the behaviour of employees so that they can carry out tasks that are given in an effective and efficient way to achieve goals. For example Steven Sim needs to lead each unit and employee with an explanation of the task list that needs to be done to increase sales at each Secret Recipe outlet.
Fourthly, controlling is one of the ways managers monitor current performance and take corrective actions to ensure the end result of work is achieved as expected. For example, Steven Sim Steven Sim needs to control the position of the Secret Recipe brand in several ways, including product excellence, additional features, experience, service quality, innovation, product warranty, guarantee, packaging, brand name, image, service promises and more to ensure the organization runs smoothly