When Jack Sindler Spir-it, Inc., founded in 1934, he was the sole director of the company employees. By 1999, the company Sindler more than survived its first 55 years. Employment was up to nearly 200, with facilities in both states and worked the work in three shifts. The product line – which had grown to 20,000 products grouped in 800 different product families – supports annual turnover of 12.4 million euros. Richard Oedel, Spir-it Manager, and then its owners in the 1980s and the 1990s, facing a number of challenges. These challenges … Read more »

When Jack Sindler Spir-it, Inc., founded in 1934, he was the sole director of the company employees. By 1999, the company Sindler more than survived its first 55 years. Employment was up to nearly 200, with facilities in both states and worked the work in three shifts. The product line – which had grown to 20,000 products grouped in 800 different product families – supports annual turnover of 12.4 million euros. Richard Oedel, Spir-it Manager, and then its owners in the 1980s and the 1990s, facing a number of challenges. These challenges beyond managing a product line that had become increasingly diverse, a customer base that had become increasingly diverse and scattered, and a technological base that had extended to include a larger number of manufacturing processes. Spir-it had become increasingly international workforce. Most of the staff spoke English as a second language, so that supervisors had to be multilingual in order to be successful. Orders between the two sites were sometimes mutilated, vacation policies were different, and health care and other benefit plans were subject to three different state laws, as well as workers compensation and other state-specific programs. Oedel had a personnel policy that effectively meets the needs of its workforce and effectively the idiosyncratic situations that came unexpectedly to develop addressed every day.
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Steven J. Spear
Source: Harvard Business School
8 pages.
Release Date: 12 June 2001. Prod #: 601091-PDF-ENG
Spir-it, Inc. (B): Managing People HBR case solution