Clean Sweep, Inc

12 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009

See all articles by William Rotch

William Rotch

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

C. McNair

affiliation not provided to SSRN


This case describes a vacuum cleaner manufacturer whose program for operational improvement includes the development of performance measures. Management decides to start with the service department. Students are asked to design a system of performance measures that are simple and feasible and that relate to both company strategy and what people do. Balanced scorecard or other frameworks may be used, but students find that fitting the situation to a preconceived framework does not work as well as the other way around.




Every time I turn around there's a new project and a new demand on the already scarce resources in my department. I understand why Corporate wants improved measurements, and can even see that they may help us in the long run do a better job at meeting customer requirements. But will the benefits outweigh the costs? If the measures point out problems, will we be given the time and resources needed to fix them? In fact, I just can't help wondering what my role is here at CSI, and why I should be in charge of the measurements project. Good measures begin with the people who do the work…I can't dictate measures and expect them to be accepted. Too little time, too much work, and now this endless stream of projects…what next??

—Bill Sweeney, Controller

In early 1996, Bill Sweeney, controller of Clean Sweep, Inc. (CSI), was working on ways to respond to a corporate initiative to develop new and improved performance measures. A pilot site had been chosen, and now it was time to define the measures. Sweeney was conscious of the challenge, because he knew the process was not as easy as it appeared; he wanted the first effort to be successful.

CSI was a subsidiary of an international corporation. Focused on manufacturing and distributing vacuum cleaners and accessories, CSI was faced with the need to maintain and improve profits and performance in an increasingly demanding and competitive environment.

. . .

Keywords: customer relations, management-control systems, motivation, organizational management, performance management, customer service

Suggested Citation

Rotch, William and McNair, C., Clean Sweep, Inc. Darden Case No. UVA-C-2131, Available at SSRN:

William Rotch (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

C. McNair

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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