Paradoxical Twins: Acme and Omega Electronics

Case Symmary for "Paradoxical Twins: Acme and Omega Electronics" by John F. Veiga as discussed and presented in class

After Technological Product was sold out it’s two plants under electronic division become two firms Acme and Omega Electronics. Both of the firms are competitor if each other , Acme had annual sales of $10 million and 550 employees and Omega had annual sale of $8 million and 480 employees. Acme is consistently more effective and achieve greater net profits.

Organizational differences between Acme and Omega


  • Retained original management and promoted GM to president.(Mr John)
  • Well defined organizational structure
  • Decisions taken by top management without consulting manufacturing dept.
  • Well defined job responsibilities
  • Hired new president and upgraded several existing personnel within plant.(Mr. Jim)
  • Organizational chart seems like artificial barrier.
  • Filling people who could not contribute to solution (participative management)
  • No well defined job specification

Both of these firm competed for a major photocopier manufacturer’s project. Photocopier firm gave 2 weeks time to manufacture 100 prototypes each. Based on the prototype photocopier manufacture will award the final order.

Prototype Development at Acme

Mr John president of Acme , issued a memo to purchase department , drafting department, Industrial Engineering dept. and all heads and executives indicating time constrains.

Purchase dept. notice that a component could not be purchased for next 2 weeks. Acme decided to built the prototype except for the one component and add component later.

In haste to make things going production foreman ignored the normal procedure of contacting the methods engineers and set up assembly line and started assembly.

Method engineers complained to head industrial engineer, who immediately complaint to plant manager. Plant manager ignored the complaint.

Later , a design error was identified and photocopier manufacture instructed Acme to rectify the problem. The alteration in design , lead to disassembly and unsoldering of several connections.

After design error was rectified missing components were installed by again disassembly. This increased the time of production and final prototype was sent without inspection.

Prototype Development at Omega

A meeting was called with all head of the departments , criticality of issue was explained and department heads agreed to start process at their end.

Purchase dept. notice that a component could not be purchased for next 2 weeks. Head of the engineer suggested for substitution. Head of mechanical department stated that in absence of the component assembly time and cost will increase.

Electrical department inspected the design and came up with substitute.

While building the unit they discover the error in design, Error was corrected and changes were approved from photocopier manufacturing firm.

They developed the prototype before the deadline and final prototype was sent after inspection.


Acme had delivery delays. Acme’s 10 /100 units were found defective. Omega’s all prototype were passed. The final contract was split between the two firms. Acme reduced its unit cost by 20 percent and was ultimately awarded the total contract.

Case Analysis

Acme had a well defined organizational structure but was information flow was unidirectional. Direct contact between management and technical experts was lacking. As one of the employee has mentioned that, “ I wish I had a little more information about what is going on”. Interdepartmental communication was only possible at management level.

In case of Omega , It’s president was from a research laboratory and thus respect input of every one. Organizational structure and work allocation was not clear. Departmental communication was strong, when purchase department raise concern for delay in a particular component there was prompt response from electrical department for substitution and mechanical department told that without this particular component cost and assembly time will increase. Information was flowing in both directions without routing it from president. This enabled Omega to manufacture at time.

In long run, as we know that Acme was more successful than Omega. This could be attributed to the fact that job allocation was not clear. Moreover information flow was better in Omega but sometimes such information flow also create hindrance by creating interference in each other’s domain.


Ultimate Appliances said...

Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks

Standard dishwashers

Online electronics store said...

Another informative blog… Thank you for sharing it… Best of luck for further endeavor too.Online electronics store