SAS Institute Case Study

Could and should the institute maintain its unique approach to pay and other practices? And could it expect to continue to thrive in a world in which software talent was a scarce commodity?

They have a good long term customer base because customers are entitled to all upgrades and updates so this makes for a stable set of repeat customers. Their turnover rate for customers is very low, so they can always count on having an available market and steady sales coming in. They also rely heavily on opinions and concerns of their customers. They often ask them what they think of new products or updates and whether or not it would be something they would be interested in. I think this is a large reason why they are successful, because it lets the customers know they their opinions are valued, and it allows SAS to market and produce exactly what the customers want. Another aspect of the company I think is an advantage is the interaction upper level managers have with the employees. Managers aren’t just there to supervise and critique the employees; they have a specific role in helping to produce a product. The CEO of the company also makes a huge difference; James Goodnight makes a point to interact with the employees and let them know that their concerns matter. He does a great job of impressing his employees so they in turn feel like they can and should go impress the customers.

I think there are a few areas SAS can evaluate and determine where changes need to be made, but they have a pretty decent structure for a system which is a great place to start. They need to take a very serious look at their recruitment process and make sure they are accepting the candidates who fit best with the company philosophy and values. If being a “fun” environment is important to the company then they need to really look at different personalities of the applicants and compare their fit. I think their bonus program is smart; if they have a good year they are willing to give bonuses, but if not then they need to be safe and do what is best for the company as a whole. If the employees are motivated by intrinsic factors then they will strive to do better because it makes them feel better, which in turn will constitute for more bonuses.

I feel that if SAS carefully looks at the following categories they can make their company as successful as possible: Listening to customers, treating people fair, motivation and trust that people will work hard, long term outlook, recruitment/selection, compensation, environment, outsourcing, performance management, training, and career development. By looking at these different aspects of their company structure they can talk as a whole and figure out what will be best for everyone.

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Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 9:11 PM  Leave a Comment  

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