Gill Davis Productions started life in 2001 and we have grown to become the UKs leading juggling balls manufacturer and supplier. The company is fast-growing and our next step is expanding with a second location.
Our purpose, as reflected by our mission statement, is to make juggling accessible and fun for the whole family.
It is paramount that everyone works in a focused way towards GDPs overall purpose, and this can only be achieved by aligning our purpose, our values and our goals, feeding this down and bringing it into every employees objectives.
This has been the stepping stone in establishing an engaged, invested team, and has helped speed up strategic and operational execution.
GDPs goal is to continue to grow the business and become the worlds leading juggling ball organisation with the biggest market share.
In order to achieve this, the business objectives for the new financial year are:
Maintaining our leading UK market share measured by unit sales
Becoming one of the top three juggling ball suppliers in Europe measured by unit sales
Raising brand visibility in the United States of America and Asia by increasing sales by 15%
Exploring other markets (Canada, Australia)
Expanding to a new site to increase juggling ball creation and distribution
Breaking the objectives down further, organisation priorities are established, department plans are built on relevant priorities, team plans are devised within each department, and finally individual objectives are created, all to support the business overall purpose.
Juggling balls a popular prop used by jugglers and entertainers. Juggling balls have also become increasingly popular as childrens toys, novelty gifts and tools for team bonding and wellbeing exercises.
The classic juggling balls are our cash cow, with a high market share and are relatively low-cost, as our production line is already set up and doesnt require any further costly investments.
We also have approximately 20 products that are potentially leading edge, that require more resources and are not yet achieving market share. These question marks will need to be evaluated and further production/investment will be decided.
As well as manufacturing and distributing juggling balls, we also offer training sessions to our customers and we have recently launched our exciting personalisation service. We can brand the juggling balls, alter the shape, change the colour, and insert sound effect devices. This has proved to be our star service, increasing demand for production and contributed significantly to the growth DPG has been experiencing.
1. Who are our customers?
We produce, personalise, design, and deliver to schools, circuses, entertainers, retail businesses, and health and wellbeing practices.
2. What are they looking for?
Our customers are looking for a top quality product, consistency, reliability, functionality and good value for money. In paying for a product or a service, they reasonably expect empathy, fairness, transparency, control, options and access to information in return.
3. How is what they want changing?
Consumers buying habits and attitude toward new trends change at a rapid pace in the Information Age that is the 21st century. Purchasing power, group influence, personal preferences, economic conditions and marketing campaigns all play an important role in determining our customers purchasing patterns.
Four external factors impacting on GDP
Brexit is the biggest single political change to affect the United Kingdom in the last 50 years. This brings high levels of uncertainty across the organisation, especially with a no-deal scenario becoming more and more likely. GDP finds itself in uncharted territory, much as all other retailers and manufacturers that rely on EU suppliers, customers, and workforce. Manufacturing, logistics and supply chains are particularly dependent on migrant labour, which will take a toll on an already shrinking talent pool. However, reduced EU immigration can also provide the opportunity to employ more talent from outside the EU, increasing our workforce diversity. (FTI Consulting, 2017)
With our production department experiencing a high employee turnover, the uncertainty is cause for great concern, and a top priority for our People Department.
The general economic instability and the sterling fluctuation impacts consumer demand, production costs, and overall trading climate.
The devaluation of the pound will lead to higher input costs and inflation, but it can also lead to increased export competitiveness.
GDP needs to be prepared and find alternative, cost-effective solutions in order to continue to sustain the profitability and the growth it has been experiencing.
Society is continually changing, and a thorough understanding of these trends is key to any organisation achieving success. Population growth and age structure, consumer attitudes and lifestyle changes all factor in to give a clearer picture of the marketing strategy we need to employ. A recent change in peoples attitude towards health and wellbeing in the UK opens up opportunities for development of new products and for exploring a whole new market. (PESTLE Analysis, 2015)
The risk of this being a short-lived trend is to be considered at the same time, and the potential revenue and profit calculations should justify any considerable investment of financial and labour resources
Technology plays an essential role in GDP. Investing in new technology to increase efficiency is costly, therefore an in-depth assessment of the impact is essential in order to insure correct expenditure for the correct technology.
All departments must collaborate for a successful roll-out of any new technology. Failure to do so might result in it not delivering the expected results, which will have a negative effect on departmental plans, business objectives, and ultimately impact DPGs ability to achieve its goal.
GDP has a flat hierarchical functional structure, with few layers in the hierarchy, and only three levels between employees/colleagues and the CEO.
Individuals are grouped based on their area of specialisation, and they are supervised by a functional manager with expertise in the same field. (Usmani, 2019)
Increased operational efficiency
Individuals becoming specialists in their particular area of expertise
Clear accountability determined by role/position
Different functional units might experience difficulties collaborating
Communication within the company can be rigid, due to standardised ways of operating and a high degree of formalisation
Aligning priorities across the business might prove challenging without healthy lateral communication between functional units
The main functions/departments in GDP are:
Sales & Marketing This department develops strategies, implements plans, works towards achieving targets, analyses data and identifies areas of improvement.
Production The largest department in GDP, Production is tasked with ensuring that the production plans are met on time and high-quality juggling balls are produced and delivered to our customers.
Support Services A key function in the organisation, this department is responsible for providing effective administrative, financial and logistic services.
People This function covers recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations, disciplinary matters, performance and reward management.
GDPs success and mission to achieve its goals and purpose, relies on the ability of all functional units to work well together.
In an organisation with a functional structure, such as GDP, the departmental responsibilities are well-defined, each individual in that particular department specialises in a certain part of the process, and everyone works towards the same departmental goals. Departments are likely to experience high team engagement and increased efficiency. They are also likely to become isolated within the organisation, if inter-departmental communication and collaboration are not established as strategic priorities.
The Production department is reliant on the People Department for recruitment, learning and development. It also needs to collaborate closely with the Sales & Marketing in matters concerning product characteristics, and it relies on the Support Services department for any issues relating to equipment and systems.
The Sales & Marketing function is more visible due to its exposure to the customers. The Production, Support Services, and People functions tend to receive less public recognition, and might be the first affected by cost-control measures if priorities and budgets need to be adjusted. (Kokemuller, 2017)
There are many success stories within GDP, where colleagues have experienced working in different departments and have used the experience to enrich and diversify their expertise, deepen their understanding and be key factors in successful inter-departmental collaboration.
At DPG we have three strong values that shape the way we run our business and help guide us in our decision making:
Making it happen
Every organisation has its own culture, shaped by a string of factors such as the personalities of its founders, the history of the organisation, the size of the operation, and the stability of its values and beliefs.
DPGs culture is highly dictated by its functional structure, which makes it a role culture, or an Apollonian culture (Handy, 1978).
This type of culture works through the use of logic and rationality. It can be compared to a Greek temple, with the pillars representing the organisations functions. The values and goals, set by the roof of the temple (CEO) are clear, with a tendency toward rigidness, norms and rules.
Looking at functions separately, they have their own subculture, which can be different from the organisations culture. While this could be beneficial, it also needs to conform to certain norms and be able to integrate and co-exist with the general organisational culture.
Culture affects the productivity and performance and provides guidelines on customer service, product quality and safety, attendance and punctuality, and concern for the environment. (Business Dictionary)
It impacts employee engagement, retention, satisfaction, and it can help attract talent.
The People function, through the HR department, holds a key role in supporting the organisation to reach its goals. At DPG, the current priorities for the HR department are:
The Production department has experienced a high team turnover recently, and additional team will be needed for the new site.
2. Performance management
Attendance has been poor in the Production department lately.
3. Training and development
The Support Services department Team Leaders need further training in order to support the Support Services Manager with recruitment and selection.
Role of HR in supporting line managers & GDP colleagues
The role of HR is to maximise the value that individuals bring to an organisation. It provides support to all levels of the organisation.
1. Supporting line managers
1.1. Line managers might need help with managing their teams and their performance. HR will provide coaching and training to help managers improve their knowledge and practice in this very important area.
1.2. The HR function can act as a conflict mediator, helping create a safe working environment, where employees feel satisfied and motivated.
2. Supporting colleagues
2.1. The HR department is actively involved in helping employees advance their careers. It identifies training needs, provides support and learning resources and develops action plans. This can help consolidate employee engagement, and give a deeper insight into available human capital for potential role succession or filling new roles.
2.2. HR can provide, or arrange for employees to access employee assistance programmes. This confidential workplace service helps employees deal with various personal issues that might affect wellbeing and productivity at work.?
Business Dictionary., Organizational Cultures [online]. Business Dictionary [Viewed on 16 March 2019]. Available from:
FTI Consulting., (2017). Impacts of Brexit on the Retail Industry [online]. FTI Consulting. [Viewed on 3 March 2019]. Available from:
Handy, C., (1978). Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organizations. Souvenir Press Ltd
Kokemuller, N., (2017). What Are Organizational Functions? [online]. BizFluent. [Viewed on 9 March 2019]. Available from:
PESTLE Analysis., (2015). Social Factors Affecting Business [online]. PESTLE Analysis. [Viewed on 3 March 2019]. Available from:
Usmani, F., (2019). What is a Functional Organization Structure? [online]. PM Study Circle. [Viewed on 4 March 2019]. Available from: