Phoenix Computer manufactures and sells personal computers directly to customers. Orders are accepted by phone and through the company’s website. Phoenix will be introducing several new laptop models over the next few months and management recognizes
a need to develop technical support personnel to specialize in the new laptop systems.
One option being considered is to hire new employees and put them through a threemonth training program. Another option is to put current customer service specialists
through a two-month training program on the new laptop models. Phoenix estimates that
the need for laptop specialists will grow from 0 to 100 during the months of May through
September as follows: May—20; June—30; July—85; August—85; and September—
100. After September, Phoenix expects that maintaining a staff of 100 laptop specialists
will be sufficient.
The annual salary for a new employee is estimated to be $27,000 whether the person is
hired to enter the training program or to replace a current employee who is entering the
training program. The annual salary for the current Phoenix employees who are being considered for the training program is approximately $36,000. The cost of the three-month
training program is $1500 per person, and the cost of the two-month training program is
$1000 per person. Note that the length of the training program means that a lag will occur
between the time when a new person is hired and the time a new laptop specialist is available. The number of current employees who will be available for training is limited.
Phoenix estimates that the following numbers can be made available in the coming months:
March—15; April—20; May—0; June—5; and July—10. The training center has the capacity to start new three-month and two-month training classes each month; however, the
total number of students (new and current employees) that begin training each month
cannot exceed 25.
Phoenix needs to determine the number of new hires that should begin the three-month
training program each month and the number of current employees that should begin the
two-month training program each month. The objective is to satisfy staffing needs during
May through September at the lowest possible total cost; that is, minimize the incremental
salary cost and the total training cost.
It is currently January, and Phoenix Computer would like to develop a plan for hiring
new employees and determining the mix of new hires and current employees to place in the
Perform an analysis of the Phoenix Computer problem and prepare a report that summarizes your findings. Be sure to include information on and analysis of the following items:
1. The incremental salary and training cost associated with hiring a new employee and
training him/her to be a laptop specialist.
2. The incremental salary and training cost associated with putting a current employee
through the training program. (Don’t forget that a replacement must be hired when
the current employee enters the program.)
3. Recommendations regarding the hiring and training plan that will minimize the
salary and training costs over the February through August period as well as answers to these questions: What is the total cost of providing technical support for the new laptop models? How much higher will monthly payroll costs be in September than in January?
4. A complete mapping defining when to hire new and when to hire from within current. additionally, show when demand is fulfilled from a pool of Idle trained staff.