Avon in Global Market in 2009: Managing and Developing a Global Workforce 1. Referring to this chapter and chapter 9, evaluate Avon’s Strategic International Human Resources practice in global market regarding development of a global management cadre, HCNs, and building company associates and independent representatives in host countries. I believe Avon is very successful in its international human resources management in global market. First of all, Avon’s first female CEO took charge of company and implemented efficient policies to make the company get out of debt problem and sluggish sales problem. Secondly, Avon also focus on international market. They hire millions local door-to-door representatives who know well about local culture. Meanwhile, to improve the quality of their workforce, Avon runs leadership program and on-the-job training seminar on a regular basis. Thirdly, Avon set up Avon foundation to help charitable program and women issues around the world. Fourthly, Avon also builds up its good reputation by workforce diversity and minority recruitment.
2. Describe how Avon’s business model has changed in light of demographic and social changes in the United States and abroad. What role has IHRM played in the company’s global expansion? In global market, Avon hires and trains the new local workforce in its door-to-door selling model (Avon’s salespeople and company representatives become more critical in their door-to-door selling in diverse markets). Avon’s distribution strategies also adapt to the local needs because of working women or other cultural and logistical considerations and include mail, phone, fax, retail outlets, and web site. Role of IHRM in global expansion: 1) Training in both virtual and time-based seminar. 2) Adapting and adjusting the operation to local industrial relations systems.
3. Since 70 percent of Avon’s revenues are generated outside of US, what recommendations would you provide to the company regarding dealing with a culturally diverse workforce and a multicultural marketplace in the coming years? 1) Focus on hiring and training local workforce. They know better about their culture and local economic, social situations. Training will help improve the global view and work ability of their workforce. 2) Improve the transnational management skills, such as sending expatriates to diverse countries to help Avon set up business and gather local information for company’s further use. 3) Avon need prepare to deal with market pre-entre and post-entry issues. They need to do more research about local market’s culture and other environmental factors. 4. Avon’s future global expansion is contingent on hiring and retaining the best workforce and salespeople in the global market. What training and cross-cultural practices would you recommend to the company to deal with this area? Avon should focus train its employers in culture sensitiveness, motivation and loyalty, ethical standards, customer relationship building and organizational skills.
Avon can do it by: 1) set up seminar on a regular base. 2) Virtual class. Because Avon has millions of workforce all around the world, it’s not easy to Avon to control every singe details on its operation, thus, Avon also need to train their workforce with ability to solve the particular problems by themselves and be loyal to the company. 5. China is expected to be a major market for Avon. If you were to advise Avon, how would you develop a competitive IHR plan for the company? 1) Send an expatriate manager team to China to set up the basis of Avon business there, and also control the operation in the following years. 2) Hire and train local representatives. 3) Hire local consultants who know political and legal issues well. It will help Avon get along with local government and market. 4) The head masters of company not only should give the authority to local company, but also should keep an eye on local companies operation and adjust their direction and decision when needed. 6. What is the role of IT in Avon’s markets, in particular in developing areas?
What are the implications for training its representatives? IT is an essential method for Avon to control the operation, sell the product and train its employers. In developing areas, IT can help organize orders, distribute orders, promote products and brand. Also it’s not possible to have representatives every areas to provide door-to-door services, IT will help to increase sales, increase efficiency and reduce cost. For training its representatives, IT will also be efficient. Instead of gather every representative in the office, Avon can upload teaching seminar videos online, so representative can get the training at home. Also Avon can use on-line facetime to hold sales meeting, so manager can know about each one’s sales situation and control them.
7. What do you think are Avon’s prospects in India, given that the per capita spending on beauty there is only $1, compared to between $100 and $200 in developed markets? I think Avon should develop India’s market. Even the per capita sending on beauty there is only $1, but India has 300 millions women between age 15 and 64. This is a huge market. Avon is not a luxury brand, with the cheap price and good quality of their products, Avon can be accepted by normal Indian consumers. Moreover, India is an emerging market. The growing economic and middle class will increase their consumer power in the future. Avon should get into this market and take the market share before other company discovered it.