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Muffler Magic

Case Study

Human Resource Management
Shahmeer Qasim
Company Introduction

This particular case is about an automobile service centers which was located in Nevada. The owner was
Ronald Brown who started with a single store 20 years ago for repairing mufflers. Which eventually grew
into a chain of repair shops and expended their services from muffler replacement to oil changes, brake
jobs and engine repairs.

Organizational Structure

• Organizationally , Muffler Magic employees about 300 people total, and Ron runs his company
with eighth managers including MR. Brown as president, a controller, a purchasing director, a
marketing director and the human resource manager.

• He also has three regional managers to whom the eighth or nine service center managers in each
area of Nevada report.

Case Analysis

Problem & Challenges

• Being a service oriented company; the shop owner was basically dependent upon the quality of
the service people he or she hires or retain.

• Quality was a persistent problem as well. (rework)

• Problems like replacement was diminishing the profitability of the company and same reputed
many times over have the potential for ruining Muffler Magic’s word of mouth reputation.

• The company had only the most basic HR system in place and used only an application form that
the HR manger modified from one that was downloaded from the web and other forms purchased
from a human resource management supply house.

• The technicians they hired to do jobs like rotating tires, fixing brake pads and replacing mufflers
were untrained and inexperienced.

• Low standards screening and compensation issues.

• Employee safety was also a problem; they were dealing with sharp tools, greasy floors and tools,
extremely hot temperatures and fast moving engine parts including fan blades.
• HR manager scheduled a meeting with himself, Ron Brown, and a professor of business who
teaches compensation management at a local university. The professor was asked to spend about
a week looking at each of the service centers, analyzing the situation and coming up with a
compensation plan that will address Muffler Magic quality and productivity problems. She came
up with the following recommendations.

1. Presenteeism

2. Skill -for- pay plan

3. Setting up a labor efficiency goals

Questions & Answers

1. Write out a one page summary outline listing 3 or 4 recommendations you would make with
respect to each HR function (recruiting, selection, training, and so on) that you think Ron Brown
should addressing with his HR manager now.

Recruiting & Selection

• Use custom made and proper application forms and formats.

• They need to develop a interview questionnaire form for all type of job categories separately.
(structured interview)

• They should re consider their selection and screening process.

o Background investigation

o Reference checking

• Proper orientation should be given

• Employees should be made aware of the company’s strategic goals

• This type of service need on-job training

2. Develop a 10 – questions structured interview form Ron Brown’s service center managers can
use to interview experienced technicians.

Answer: Being a practical and service oriented job the interview will require situational and
behavioral questions, because this will determine whether the person is capable and can satisfy
the customer. Some of the questions are given below.

1. Why did you choose this career?

2. How would you describe yourself?

3. Why do you want to change positions?

4. What did you like/dislike about your last position?

5. In what ways are you qualified for this position?

6. Describe your most important strengths and weaknesses.

7. How would you handle a dissatisfied customer?

8. Why do we hire you?

9. What will you do if _______________ happens?

10. Do you specialize in a certain area of auto mechanics?

3. If you were Ron Brown, would you implement the professor’s recommendation addressing the
presenteeism problem, in other words start paying for sick days? why or why not?

Answer: yes I would, because company was incurring losses even when employees were not
working the whole day they were paid for the whole day also sick employees will make the other
healthy employees sick too, but I will do some modifications in his recommendation. I will give
paid sick leaves but the employee will get only half day pay as in case they were being paid for
full day even if they were not working the whole day. This will benefit the company in two ways;
one that the company will save half of their employee wages and second sick employees will not
make other employees sick.

4. If you were advising Ron Brown, would you recommend that he implement the professor skill-
based pay and incentive pay plans as is? Why? Would you implement it with modifications
should be, and why?

Answer: Yes I would, because this will encourage the experienced technician, with a turnover of
more the 300% it is really getting hard to retain the experienced technician. As per modification
is concerned I don’t think so there is any need for modification.