Applied Psychology Consulting, Inc. (APC)

(A simulation study for masters students in I/O applied psychology)

About APC, Inc. 

APC is a virtual organization created solely for the purpose of providing simulation exercises for masters students in the I/O specialization in Applied Psychology at the University of Baltimore. The client organizations are hypothetical as are the data and information used. None of the simulations are derived from actual information from actual companies. Any resemblance to persons or situations in real organizations is purely coincidental and certainly unintended. 


Client: Faultimore County Public Schools ( FCPS) 

Client: Alum Aluminum Corporation(AAC)

Client: Wireless Communication Inc. (WCI)

Client: Miracle Medical Corporation(MMC)

Client: SoftApps, Corp. (SAC)

Client: Faultimore County Public Schools (FCPS) 


Location:  Faultimore County, Maryland


Chief Executive Officer: Dr. William James, Superintendent

Description of Client relations to APC: 


Faultimore County Public Schools has been a client of APC since 2001 when we were retained to implement a computerized system for student tracking and forecasting. Since this project was completed in 2011, APC consulting has been contracted to perform several IO/HR consulting projects


Description of client organization:


The Faultimore County Public School System is the 34th largest in the United States with 160 schools (101 elementary, 26 middle, 24 high, 5 special, and 4 alternative) with over 107,000 students. Of the approximately $800 million operating budget for the current year is from local funding. Members of the Board of Education are appointed by the governor for five-year terms and serve without pay. Five appointed from local districts, and three serve the county at-larges. Members may be reappointed for not more than two consecutive full terms.


The student member serves only a one-year term. This school year the cost per pupil is $6,800 which includes administrative and instructional costs as well as pupil personnel services, transportation, and many operation expenses. FCPS has experienced improved performance in all grade levels over the past four years. Based on results from national standardized tests, over 90% of second grade students in 2000 could read and compute on or above grade level ,  Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills results for the 2012-2014 school year are well above the national norm in reading, language usage, and mathematics at grades 2 and 4.In fact the average score of FCPS students even exceeded those of students in comparable grades at Lake Wobegon.


In recent years, all of the FCPS schools were above the state average in every Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) data base area.  In 2010 county schools continued high performance on the state's functional tests, meeting standards in seven functional test areas in grades 9 through 11. The county's dropout rate was 2.5%, below the state average of 3.9%. The members of the Board of Education are "committed to a program of continuous improvement in the educational standards for the Faultimore County School System.”


Increasingly, there is a movement toward instituting a "pay for performance" program to reward the teachers based on the impact they have on their students' education. Consider, in developing your projects, that the findings will very likely be used to in this effort to manage teachers' performance.


Relevant sources:

Tables of Professional Staff by Assignment, Race/Ethnicity and Gender Faultimore Public Schools October 2012 :


Faultimore County Public Schools:  WHERE WE WERE…AND WHERE WE ARE October 20020


Maryland Teacher Staffing Report 2012-2014


Also see updates (articles from Baltimore Sun) on plans to control teacher assignments 

Atlanta Schools To Repay $363,000 For Cheating 2/2012

Limiting Teacher Moves Decried
School May Expand Bonus Awards

10 Schools Get Waiver

Client:  Alum Aluminum Corporation(AAC)

Chief Executive Officer: Pat McCann

President: Frederick Falcon

Other Personnel:

Paul Posner, VP HR 

Description of Client relations to APC: APC has been conducting managerial assessments since 1993 for Alum Aluminum Corp. for managers at all levels at the corporate offices in Baltimore as well as at their seven plants located in:


AAC is interested in developing a valid performance appraisal system beginning with its management personnel. It is also interested in conducting a validation study to determine if the content valid battery that has been in use is in fact working effectively. There is reason to believe they will want to conduct a job satisfaction survey with their plant personnel to compare satisfaction levels between unionized and non-unionized plants.

Description of company: 

AAC is a manufacturer of aluminum extrusion products, and also provides services in fabrication, and finishing. It specializes in the light metals industry and provides solutions for all industrial and residential aluminum needs.

AAC offers local solutions in aluminum extrusion, fabrication, manufacturing and finishing and is backed by the global capabilities its parent company. Five of the U.S. plants are strategically placed throughout the eastern region of the country and one is located in the western U.S. Construction and Assembly, provides engineering and advanced manufacturing services primarily to the transportation industry in their two QS-9000 and ISO-9002 certified manufacturing centers.


Client: Wireless Communications, Incorporated (WCI)

Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland

President: Frank Fiedler

Human Resources Manager: Sally Furney


Description of Client relations to APC, Inc.

Since 2000, APC has been retained to revise the performance appraisal system to make it more valid, and less burdensome to managers. APC has also been asked to conduct an organizational employee survey to assess opinions’ about all aspects of work behavior and management. Future projects will involve developing a selection program for engineers and technicians, designing an employee development program, and improving communication within and between work teams. Focus group data collected in summer of 2003 indicated that many of the engineers and technicians were dissatisfied with opportunities for personal career development. They also did not have confidence in the validity of the performance appraisal system and thought it needed to be redesigned to make it less cumbersome and more reflective of the work production.


Description of client organization: WCI is the leading developer and producer of wireless communications systems. It has extensive experience designing and developing hardware and software for indoor wireless LAN environment. WCI has designed a wide range of custom wireless data hardware – from antennas and modems to embedded controllers. WCI has a demonstrated ability to develop design embedded systems for wireless applications.


WCI’s client base has traditionally been with government agencies such as NSA and CIA. However, in recent years, WCI has been marketing their products to private sector companies. WCI can customize its products, develop new systems and or provide full turnkey development.


WCI currently employees about 80 workers. Engineers and Technicians account for about 65% of the workforce with a small in manufacturing and the remainder in administration.

Client: Miracle Medical Corporation (MMC)

Location: Westminster, Maryland

President: Preston Pyle

Personnel: Christine Hanson, Corp HR Manager; Todd Walther, HR Manager

Description of Client relations to APC:


MMC has retained APC to redesign the current performance appraisal system, develop a selection program for two of their primary job classes. These are entry-level workers in the syringe manufacturing department (n=60) and the instruction kit assembly (about 50).APC will also conduct a job satisfaction survey with these employees.

Description of client organization:


Miracle Medical Corporation, founded in 1968, is a world-wide manufacturer of medical supplies and other medical products. It manufactures, exports, imports, markets and sells medical supplies and accessories. Its U. S. corporate headquarters is located in Baltimore, Maryland and serves facilities in Philadelphia, Bozeman, Charlotte, Chicago and Los Angeles. Cardiac Medical Systems (CMS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Miracle Medical Corporation devoted to the design, manufacture, and sale of products used during cardiac surgery. The company has its headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan and operates plants in Richmond, VA, St. Paul MN, and Caston, LA. It employs over 400 people in the U.S. The Westminster plant employs about 1100 manufacturing workers who are employed primarily in two departments responsible for assembling syringes and producing instruction kits.


Client: SoftApps Corp.(SAC),


Location: Bozeman, Montana, Baltimore Maryland

President and CEO: Ashonnie Starr, President and CEO

Key Personnel: Izzy Shorter, COO: Stanley Tall, CIO, Wanda Wynn, VP HR,  CFO: Dewey Cheatham,


Description of Client relations to APC:


SoftApps Corp. has been a client of APC since 1994 when we signed a contract for $250,000 to design the primary operations job classes of software engineers, computer hardware specialists, and programmers for applications software. After several years of operating losses, which were expected, the organization turned a profit in 2000 and established an IPO with the help of Deloitte Financial Consulting.  Over the past three years APC has been retained to help with succession planning, management selection, and now, given its exponential growth since 2004, with organizational development.


Description of client organization:


SoftApps, Corp. (SAC), a multi-state company that develops applications software primarily for business and industry, was incorporated in 1985 by Stan Tall and Izzy Shorter  to develop software for PC applications that are user friendly (i.e., consistent with proven, cognitive psychological principles). 


There are two primary locations, Bozeman, MT, corporate headquarters, and Baltimore, MD, a primary sales and and distribution facility.  There are also regional sales offices in several locations throughout the country. These regional offices are staffed by sales/marketing personnel and a secretarial support person.  Total employees: approximately 750, consisting of 600 software engineers, sales, marketing and distribution, trainers, finance and accounting. Recently, management at SAC has decided to move to a team approach for programmers and software engineers. At the same time, each software engineer project manager will have to directly manage client relations in the development and implementation of the software.  


SoftApps has been in a growth phase over the past decade when business began to really take off.  Client's users have found that the applications can be learned quickly, and are flexible enough to meet the varying demands of their customer needs.  A major attractive feature is the personal support from training and development for on-line help.


The software development and R&D is in Bozeman, while production, distribution  are run out of Baltimore. The company specializes in communications software and workstation special needs.

SAC Objectives

Organizational geographical locations:

BOZEMAN, Montana: Operations and Production Facilities:


Ms. Ashonnie Starr, President and CEO 


Mr. Izzy Shorter, Chief Operating Officer (COO)

            20 Support personnel:  Office mgrs, Secretarial, Maintenance

Mr.  Stanley Tall, CIO

            4 CIS technicians

Mr. Dewey Cheatham, CFO

            6 Accountants and 1 financial advisor
Mr. Willie Gates, Mgr. Product development 

       600 Applications Software engineers
         25   Engineer Managers
           7 hardware specialists

Ms. Pat McCann, Director of Research and Development

            5  Computer science experts


Baltimore, Maryland, Sales and distribution

Mr. Steven Jobs, Production Mgr.

            10 Production

Ms. Dawn Wright, VP Sales

       30 sales reps in four regions

Ms. Anita Shipp, Mgr Shipping and Receiving

         6 Shipping clerks

Ms. Wanda Wynn,  Director, HR & Training and Development

            10 Trainers

             5 Human resources generalists/specialists: