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Alfa I Omega (AIO) is a supplier of personal protective equipment and occupational hygiene products: An introduction to business and management Other, OU, UK

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Alfa I Omega (AIO) is a supplier of personal protective equipment and occupational hygiene products: An introduction to business and management Other, OU, UK

UniversityThe Open University (OU)
SubjectAn introduction to business and management Other

Case Study

Alfa I Omega (AIO) is a supplier of personal protective equipment and occupational hygiene products, based in Glogów, southwestern Poland. Historically, mining and steel manufacturing were key to the economy in that part of the country and AIO predominantly attracted clients from these industries in the 1990s, when the company was formed. However, over the last two decades, the company has broadened its client base to other industries, such as car manufacturing, construction, catering, and logistics. In addition to supplying personal protective clothing and equipment, AIO offers consulting services and provides its clients with educational and training materials.

AIO is a small organisation, which employs 28 permanent staff members, 22 of whom are based in the company’s main office in Glogów and who work between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. Six other sales staff are based in other parts of the country and work flexible hours. When necessary AIO also employs temporary or seasonal workers, who are used on short-term projects, when the company is facing a large amount of extra work. For example, temporary and seasonal workers are hired to help with organising and hosting events during international fairs or translating product information into Polish.

The AIO reward system has evolved over the last few years and compensation differs depending on staff location (i.e. if they are based in the main office or externally), functional area (e.g. sales, IT or admin) and type of contract (permanent vs temporary or seasonal). Core staff based in the Glogów office are offered an attractive base salary, a jubilee bonus, a 13-month salary and a holiday allowance. Staff in the IT and sales departments in addition to their base salaries receive performance-based rewards. For IT employees, these rewards are based on contributions in the areas of innovation and design. Sales staff receive incentives in the form of commissions from net sales with no earnings threshold.

AIO uses two types of contracts with respect to temporary and seasonal workers. One is a contract for a specific work arrangement, where social and health insurance premiums are covered by the employer, but in contrast to permanent staff additional benefits (e.g. in the form of bonuses or 13-month salary) are not offered. The other type of contact is a contract of mandate, which is in force when project outcomes can be deemed as ‘tangible’ under Polish Law, in other words they can be identified as discrete tasks, for example, the translation of a products catalogue, building a new warehouse, etc. Health and social insurance payments are the responsibility of the employee when a contract of mandate is in force.

(Adapted from AIO, 2023; Odrakiewicz, P., Szulc, M., & Odrakiewicz, D. (2017).)

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