Aligning Culture And Strategy At A.P. Nichols Case Solution & Answer


A clear communication was needed for CRS to brief them about the changing dynamics of the business and because of it, a new sales strategy was essential for sustaining. Nichol’s wanted to communicate the shift in the model from 70/30 to 50/50 revenue split to the top producer personally, and the increased share was decided to be allocated in improving customer care service and improved infrastructure. He knew that CRS will not be very happy with this change but he clearly mention that this decision is irreversible.


Compensation is viewed as a directly proportional element to the behavior, especially in the distribution related industry and many of the CRS joined Nichols because of their 70/30 model and any change in the compensation would be considered as adopting corporate practices. The concern of Klein was the lacking in the investment of infrastructures, as CRS were supposed to invest in technologies in order to improve the customer’s experience but the core infrastructure needed to provide appropriate service to the clients of CRS was lacking. Therefore an immediate shift in the CRS compensation was demanded.


In order to provide standard services to their clients, some increased control were essential beyond the mandatory rules implemented on CRS by the company on how the CRS is dealing with the customers in certain areas. Klein wanted more direct control so that the CRS stay more aligned with the company’s strategy.

Building partnership with ISA:

An integrated firm requires that a company should work for the interest of their clients. However the relationship between ISA’s and CRS’s has not been very consistent, but Klein believes that they can make a real partnership, but it would require that the CRS should always be ready to fulfil the need of clients at hand.

Creating new CRS:

Klein identifies an important element for Nichol’s, to build its own program for training its new CRS. CRS role need to be reshaped in order to align it with the company’s new strategic goal and defining the role of CRS into the required competencies, values and characteristics, in order to attract a bunch of right individuals that fit in the new required profile, created by Nichols. This would require some great efforts in order to define a clear profile of what is needed, before investing heftily into any recruitment and developmental program.

Achieving optimal CRS network:

One of the most crucial decision faced by the company is in deciding the appropriate size of the company CRS group and till when it should be done. Between the years 2003-2011 the hiring for Nichols was done, based on the track record of the CRS being hired, in order to allure new business and improved the overall value of the company. In order to expand the CRS team, while ensuring that the quality CRS staff remain with the company, the team decided to employee 10 individual approximately each year through sagacious recruitment of experienced and new CRS, leading toward the goal of becoming the big fish and one of agile distributer of the industry…………

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