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London Midland

According to the head of midland trains, it was regarded as very embarrassing how the company had been performing for the past four years. An estimate figure given from October to December states that approximately a thousand train’s encountered failure therefore they were consequently called off or basically delayed as a result of lack of enough drivers. On the other hand the views raised by the managing director of the company Patrick Verwer, reafirr3med the core problem had been totally dealt with, but on the contrary the association and union of drivers had different views about the same issue; they similarly expressed that they still have a feeling that the same problem will happen in the near future.  

Previously, the directing manager had suggested that there would be a massive problem coming up in the near future in London Midland due to lack of enough drivers, more specifically in the summer that was coming up. “We knew there was a massive problem coming up….due to higher turnover than anticipated” the directing manager said in his statement. Though this problem was seen coming, there was no suitable actions taken immediately to ensure that the core problem is completely dealt with of reduced to a lower level. As an organization or firm there should be appropriate measures put in place to ensure that future problems which are detected at a very tender stage are dealt with before they develop into bigger problems which can cost the existence of the firm.

Early preparations to deal with this problem of lack of drivers can be solved through training more drivers thus increasing the total number of drivers the firm requires, however the managing director claims that it would be another major challenge to train other drivers. “Training up a driver and getting them into effective operation will take at least a year, so there was this big challenge” the managing director said. On the other hand the firm was aware of the needs of passengers which ranged from punctuality to reliability of services therefore they were pretty sure that so far they have generally disappointed their customers.

Why the problem occurred

The core problem of London Midland was the lack of enough drivers to cater for the increasing number of passengers. According to the managing director the problem was noticed at a tender stage, however there were no suitable measures which were taken to ensure that the problem is outsmarted before the actual problem occurs. On the other hand the London Midland should have embraced strategies which could have aided in future resolution of such problems. Lack of drivers can be solved by either hiring trained drivers or basically training more drivers, but according to the managing director the cost of training more drivers is very  high and it might take up to a year to come up with a complete and competent driver. The national organizer of the union of drivers Aslef, Mr. Simon Weller said that the approximated cost incurred for training a driver is $70,000 (Layard 2005).

The managing director had categorically stated that London Midland has early noticed that there would be a severe shortage of drivers due to an increased number of passengers in the summer; however as a managing director there was no measure he could have taken in his capacity to ensure that the problem is solved. The image portrayed by the managing director is negative, ideally this implies that there is incompetency in the entire firm, more specifically the leadership hierarchy. On the other hand London Midland absolutely lack firm decision making leaders who can come up with a sound decision finding suitable solutions to a certain problem.

Ways in which London Midland failed

There are several ways in which London Midland failed with regard to service provided to its customers. The major issue of discussion is the general lack of enough drivers which was triggered by the increased number of passengers. For any firm or organization to be considered to be successful, its customers should be fully comfortable with the services rendered to them by the firm but the case of London Midland, the services offered to its customers is generally inefficiency and unreliable. This is one of the biggest failures by any firm of not meeting the needs of the customers as this also lowers the credibility of the organization and it deprives off the trusted bestowed to its by customers (Old House Books 2011).

Failure to train enough drivers or hire more drivers is another major issue of concern with regard to ways in which London midland failed. Basically it would be to ironically to believe that London midland cannot cater for the cost of training drivers, therefore this is viewed as a failure due to lack of strategic measures of dealing with future challenges. On the other if the cost of training more drivers is regarded as higher and it takes a longer period, then London midland should have opted for other immediate and cheaper ways to dealing with the situation at hand. Hiring already trained drivers can be a cheaper alternative and it also takes a shorter time to acquire them.

The managing director claimed that London Midland as a whole was aware of the future problem of lack of enough drivers; however there were no measures taken or strategies lay to ensure that the problem is outsmarted. This implies that there is a total failure in leadership of London Midland; ideally good leadership entails good and effective decision making which enables any organization to solve problems noticed earlier, therefore this was another major failure of London Midland in terms of leadership with regard to the ways London Midland failed.

How the company can solve the problem

London Midland can come up with another of solutions with regard to its problems as a firm. As a company the failure of its leaders to solve a noticed problem is an issue of concern, therefore it is advisable for the company to initiate effective ways which will ensure that incompetent leaders are replaced by competent ones which can comfortably deal with problems through sound mind decisions. The welfare of drivers should also put in consideration to attract more drivers to work for the company. According the union of drivers London Midland pays its drivers $10,000 more than the salary a year as related to Cross Country however they consider it to be low therefore an increase of the salary would most definitely act as bait of attracting more drivers (Wragg 2010). The other possible solution is hiring competent drivers if the cost of training drivers is high and it takes a longer duration.

Seriousness of the problem to company as a whole

Lack of enough drivers implies that passengers would basically not get punctual services as a result more passengers would be forced to seek other services from other companies which offer the same services. This would be major blow to the company as it stands higher chances of losing the source of its income. The entire London Midland is at risk of losing its income and more of its employees are also at risk of losing their jobs. On the other hand the image of the company has also been portrayed negatively thus the number of customer who will be willing to get services offered by London midland will be drastically lowered (BBC News 2013). 

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