Read everything before you begin writing the memo.

What should you do first?

Read everything before you begin writing the memo.

Who are you?

You are in the Management Training Program at Allgood Products, Inc., which has been in business since 1915. The company produces and sells three lines of products: shelf bakery products, dry food products, and frozen food products. Allgood Products has always followed the sensible policy of placing purchasing and production operations geographically near to the source of raw food materials. Consequently, the Frozen Food Division has three large operations near the produce farming areas of Salinas, California; Camden, New Jersey; and San Antonio, Texas. Similarly, the Instant Foods Division places its manufacturing operations in the Midwestern cities of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Des Moines, Iowa. Finally, the Bakery Products Division, unlike the other two divisions, has no large central purchasing function and for the most part buys its raw materials from the Instant Foods Division. Bakery Products is divided into 30 main production areas where sizable automated bakeries serve large metropolitan markets. The largest of these production units are in Hartford, Connecticut; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and San Francisco, California.

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You are currently assigned to the office of Ms. Roberta Mason, the Chief Internal Auditor of Allgood, Inc. Your title is Auditor.

Mr. Frank Finnegan, Vice President for manufacturing is taking the company plane to Atlanta to visit the Allgood, Inc. plant there. You are sent with him. While he is conducting other business, Ms. Mason wants you to check the Atlanta plant’s compliance with company rules concerning the proper usage, ventilation, and storage of hazardous and flammable materials. This is your first off-site compliance audit, and you study the company rules carefully. Ms. Mason tells you before you leave, "When you go out on one of these audits, the whole point of the trip is to find out whether the plant is compliant or not—that’s what your report has to show." In addition, Ms. Mason asks you to pay close attention to how you audit because she needs you to write instructions on how to do a successful audit for the Auditor-Trainee who is starting in three weeks. She would like you to submit the instructions for how to conduct an effective audit when you e-mail your audit of the Allgood plant (as one document).

B. A. McCoy, the Assistant Plant Manager, is assigned to tour you around the Atlanta plant (this is your first visit) and to show you how caustic and flammable materials are handled.

You note that in the Maintenance department caustic liquids are used in a vat to degrease small metal parts before they are painted. The vat is covered by a fume hood, as required by company regulations. Reserve caustics are stored in tightly sealed 55-gallon drums in a locked and ventilated area in the warehouse, as specified in the company safety handbook.

You then question the department’s supervisor about his handling of the highly flammable paints used in protecting certain equipment. You also inquire about his use of KleanRite, the volatile purging agent used to clean paint guns and lines. The supervisor demonstrates that all regulations covering ventilation of spray booths, purging of painting equipment, and storage of materials are followed. All paints and purging agents are locked in a ventilated booth at the end of the day, as specified in the safety regulations.

You finish your inspection in time to fly back to the home office with Mr. Finnegan.

What’s your assignment for Case 3?

Your assignment is to create a report of your audit to Ms. Mason. Your report should be in the form of a memo since this is a message sent within the company. In addition to the report, you will need to provide a set of instructions for how to conduct a successful Allgood Plant Audit, based on your experiences with this audit. Your grade on this report will reflect what you have learned about effective technical communication so far, including bottom line organization, parallelism, formatting, conciseness, etc.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that bottom-lining and conciseness mean brevity. Bottom-lining means putting important ideas where the reader can see them; it does not mean leaving important facts or key supporting details out of your report. Conciseness means “to the point.”

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