CRITICAL ACCESS TO THE OPERATIONAL METHODS AND STRATEGIES ADOPTED BY SAINSBURY’S FOR GIVING MAXIMUM CUSTOMERS’ SATISFACTION
An organisation essentially rests on the condition of satisfying its customers to the fullest. Application of various strategies within an organisation tries to identify the areas where appropriate scope of improvement can help in gaining customers’ satisfaction. Nahm et al. (2004) described that organisational activities with the help of strategies produce effective and much improved products and customer service that leads to better customer service delivery. In the present report, study of Sainsbury’s will be conducted which is one of the leading organised retailing firms in the UK. Cameron and Quinn (1999) defined that organisational structure of Sainsbury’s defines a hierarchical organisational structure that depicts command of instructions and information an ideological manner. The chosen department for study of organisational management is retail and logistics department so that attributes of organisational management can be accessed at a deeper level.
2. Accurate Organisational Description:
Organisational management helps in achievement of competitive advantage by focusing on the areas that can be improved and better organisational effectiveness can be provided. Operational functions when implied in a service based organisation has to understand the areas persistent with issues and challenges so that accordingly managing strategy are implied and implemented. Customer value is one of the vital aspects that can help in adding attraction factor within an organisation (Bjerke, 2003). Organisational management on the other hand ensures that as per customisation of customers, production system or service delivery is framed that acquires attention and interest of customers.
Internal customers of the organisation are the employees and shareholders who are valued as they are crucial part of organisational operations. Fangen (2005) mentioned that Sainsbury’s believes in concept of motivation and leadership that can fuel the inner desire of the employees to perform better and attain higher organisational effectiveness. With the help of regular supervision, retail and logistics sector are carefully analysed so that a timely delivery is achieved and customer satisfaction is ensured accurately. On the other hand, external customers are the target customer of Sainsbury’s who are residents of the UK and are not categorised under any criteria or divisions (website). Retail and logistics department need to ensure for the availability of the product and has to maintain the stock that can help in highlighting the potentiality of the organisation with effective organisational management. The competitive market of retail sector needs implementation of organisational management and strategies related to it so that customers do not tend to switch over to other brand or organisation.
2.1 Objectives of Operation Management:
Sainsbury’s adopts the techniques of Operation Management so that a much improved and synchronised process is adopted. List of objectives for operation management are as enlisted as following:
To produce the goods and services according to the demand of the market and target consumers
To lower down the cost of production with better supervision and observation
To improve the time-delivery of products and services by eliminates of delay factor
To maximise the allocation of resources and factors of production
Apart from these objectives, organisation aims to understand the importance of retaining internal and external customers where sustainability is not an issue for Sainsbury’s. Operation management focuses on inclusion of the criteria that can help in increasing performance level at a much-improved level (Coghlan, 2007). Applications of various Operations Management techniques ensure achievement of the objectives that can help in better explanation of customers’ needs along with understanding the organisational needs. Retail and Logistics department aims to understand the most suitable and appropriate strategies that can help in better sustainability of the organisation.
Operation management when implied in an organisation aims to enhance the production and service system to a much improved way so that customers’ demands and desires can be attained in a much better way. Jinhui et al. (2011) explained that operation management ensures that the applied inputs are successfully used in attainment of desired outputs by adding value to the organisation that in long-run helps in sustainability of the organisation. Customers being attended properly and served as per their desires and product’s quality become loyal to the organisation that ensures repeat purchase within the organisation. Liker and Michael (2008) mentioned that operational management tries to manage the activities that can help in better marketing and visibility of the organisation where organisational activities can bring improved performances as well. According to problems of the organisation, operation management helps in utilising resources in the most effective way.
2.2 Retail and Logistics Centre: Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s is one of the leading retail brand in the UK that tries to cater the need of customers and focuses on the concept of customer satisfaction. However, organisation puts its focus on operation management with equal emphasis so that better and the most appropriate form of production level are adopted within the organisation. Bjerke (2003) noticed that Sainsbury’s tries to adopt various strategies that can help in beating the intense competition of the UK’s retail market with the existence of competitors like Morrison’s, ASDA, Tesco and others.
Figure 1: Operations Management at Sainsbury’s
(Source: Irani et al. 2004, pp. 650)
The retail and logistic store of Sainsbury’s with much focus and attention maintains the entire production process that initiates from suppliers with raw materials and until delivery of goods within the stores. The adopted process of Sainsbury’s is termed as ‘Scan and Go’ that helps in easy shopping experience of the consumers and attainment of customer satisfaction is enriched.
Primary Consolidation Centres: in these phase of consolidation centres, allocation of raw materials are deposited that initiates the process of production. Operations management ensure that fresh and best qualities of raw materials are available that can help in production of improved and better quality of products. Sainsbury’s via these centres applies a scrutinised process for selection of the best available raw forms that will add better quality in the production process.
Fulfilment Factories: At Fulfilment Factories according to the product manufacturing, selection of the appropriate raw materials are made. The factories involved in a particular raw product make choice for the best quality of combination in ideal combination of ratios so that a benchmarking process is adopted. It also applies operations management that focuses on the standardisation and ensures that no compromise on quality is made and the most suitable choices are made for the production process. Fulfilment Factories of Sainsbury’s organisation tries to follow the process initially adopted during the production process that was successful in catering consumers’ need in the most appropriate manner.
K Line Deposits: This section of production process helps in deposition of the produced products according to the line of production units under separate category for each item. Such categorisation helps operation management in easy inventory control that helps in further logistics process. K Line Deposits maintain its set of rules that undertaken only standardised products while the rest will be discarded.
Frozen Food Depots: Final destinations of produced products are Frozen Food Depots where food items are stored to remain fresh and healthy. Operations management ensure only fresh foods are available at stores that can help in gaining satisfied customers Total Quality Management (TQM) helps in better availability of food products according to the tastes and preferences of the consumers.
Operations Management as described in Logistics and Retail stores are helpful in showing the applied process that can help in increasing the efforts of retaining customers within Sainsbury’s. However, these broad ranges of activities have to be supervised and accessed at regular intervals so that no scopes of loopholes or failures are remaining. The market of Sainsbury’s is quite competitive in nature so efforts in customers’ attraction are enormous as the other competitors try their best to attract customers and dominate the market. Application of Operations Management helps in directing path that can help in production of the right kind of goods and still keeping cost of organisation to a low level.
3. Process of Operations Management:
Operations Management when applied in an organisation focuses on the process of production either of products, service or both. With the help of this management technique, organisation is able to locate the areas that need to be technically upgraded so that an environment ideal for world class business is formed. In the words of Kaynak (2003), operations management brings an organisation the changes required to manage the current situations in the most responsible and possible manner. Sainsbury’s by application of operation management in retail and logistics department ensures that proper availability and presence of product is present that helps in effective retention strategies of customers. Process as implied in Sainsbury’s is listed in a brief manner as following:
Product Selection and Design: In Sainsbury’s, products to be produced are selected as per current demand of the market that can help in satisfying consumers at larger numbers. Irani et al. (2004) described that product selection and design helps in attracting consumers in the first place that also helps in understanding the buying behaviour of the target profile. Operations management depending on the major selection of design and product selection opts for the next choice where more consumers can be satisfied. On the other hand, decision regarding design of product need to be attractive enough to create a buzz among the consumers that can add an attraction factor within the organisation.
Process Selection and Planning: Post selection of the product ad design, in accordance production process is chosen. In the particular area, the most efficient and effective process selection is made that can add quality in the production process. However, Naor et al. (2008) added that production process is selected with the help of proper planning that will ensure that as per requirements, all inclusions are available. Operation management tries to analyse the most useful and effective process of production for Sainsbury’s that can bring more profit and larger quantity of volume. Planned strategy related to operation management will help in better implementation of decisions enabling better working environment.
Facilities Location: Selection of place with available facilities has to be strategic in nature that can suitably understand the future needs and accordingly makes the choice (Cheah et al. 2011). Sainsbury’s opts for plan locations that can be convenient enough to engage in suppliers along with the retail stores. Apart from that cost and maintenance required at the plant location has to be determined and judged that can be useful in lowering down the cost of production.
Materials Handling: In the process of a production, materials used during a production process helps in deriving the quality of the output product. Fangen (2005) defined that operations management need to ensure that the best and most affordable materials are used that can maintain low cost of production along with customers’ satisfaction. However, Sainsbury’s attempts to engage in the best materials that can help in better satisfaction of consumers. A healthy relation with suppliers also helps in better involvement with quality materials.
Capacity Planning: According to the availability of materials, capacity has to be designed by the organisation that can help in planning of the operations management in accordance. Capacity planning needs to be according to the available resources that can determine the possible productions. However, Sainsbury’s makes planning of the capacity according to the overall view of the inventory and stores availability that tries to look after the capacity in the long-run approach.
Production Planning and Control: Planned and strategized process of production delivers the desired results that are helpful in understanding the contemporary needs of organisation in descriptive way. On the other hand, control function helps in gaining standardisation that ensures better quality of production at constant arte and helps in satisfying customers in the long-run.
Inventory Control: Function of inventory control tries to understand the availability of goods both in stock and in stores. Inventory control engages in ideal planning and availability of goods that can understand the stock of goods in advance process (Kaynak, 2003). Sainsbury’s with the help of inventory control understands stock of goods within the stores and accordingly manages the stock in store. Inventory control also helps in over stock or lack of goods within the stores that ideally maintains stock purchase. Management relating to supply with the suppliers will help in understanding the situation in an ideal manner.
Quality Assurance: As a process of operation system, Kaynak (2003) mentioned that sentinel and quality control is crucial for an organisation. A benchmarking process for a production process checks the quality level for each process of production unit and ensures the minimum level of quality that is required to be approved as per quality standards set by the organisation. Sainsbury’s with the help of operation management is satisfying the efficient quality control process that maintains the quality of output in the production process that is integral for gaining satisfied consumers.
Work-Study and Job Design: A detail review and study of the work process is maintained under operation management that briefly list the key activities involved in the production process (Cameron and Quinn1999). On the other hand, according to the competencies of employees, job design is framed that helps in allocating the best employee as per his/her expertise level and area of excellence. Appropriate alignment of work-study and job design helps in understanding the competencies of employees that ensures best employee handles every process of production system so that optimum allocation of resources becomes possible.
Maintenance and Replacement: Production process is involved with failures and risks that can hamper production. However, Nahm et al. (2004) suggested that operation management need to have a back-up plan that can be implemented in such crisis scenario. Area or production part hampered with negative impact has to be maintained and replaced with alternates so that at least in temporary phase, production process remains continuous. Thus, operation management when implemented within Sainsbury’s seeks a helping hand in the production process and attempts to provide with the relevant requirements within time and effectively.
Cost Control: The crucial process of operation management is to maintain lowest cost to the organisation. Fangen (2005) identified that operation management ensures various strategy that can help in leveraging efficiencies of production process such as elimination of waste that brings additional cost to organisation. Operations management within Sainsbury’s helps in keeping low cost on the production process that further helps in generation of higher income for the organisation.
The process of Operations Management when implemented in an organisation aims to fulfil the criteria required to make Sainsbury’s the leading retail chain of the UK. Product availability and delivery within time is an important section of satisfying customers. Lack of proper operations management creates dissatisfied customers that are forced to change their choice for the next time of purchase and they end up as a switched one. On the other hand, organisation loses its market presence and goodwill that brings unfavourable market condition in an ideal state.
4. Proposed Changes:
Reading and observation related to Operations Management within an organisation has enabled a deep understanding within the researcher. Based on the study of Sainsbury’s for the particular topic helped the researcher in understanding the detail process of the organisation, Sainsbury’s in the most detailed manner. However, observation study also helped in locating few weak and negative points existent within the organisation, Sainsbury’s that if rectified and re-installed can add in better Operations Management of the organisation.
Introduction of Separate Customers’ Help-Desk: In Sainsbury’s customers faces problems in addressing their issues and registering their queries. However, as an application of Operations Management, Customers’ Help-Desk can help in better interaction process that apart from addressing problems can also provide help on an instant basis. Customers being valued and getting recognition from the organisation might become loyal customers of the organisation that would increase higher sales for volume for the organisation and will help in undertaking competition with rivals at better stage. Introduction of Customers’ Help-desk will provide a platform to customers’ views and feedbacks. Organisation might pay heed to the inputs of customers’ suggestions and enact on their feedback that will help in deriving better relationship between organisation and the consumers.
Alignment of Inventory Management: Stock management at an organisation is important in proper customer management as it directly influences the shopping experience of the consumers and shapes buying behaviour at an instant approach. However, with the help of inventory management, adequate supply of goods and factories can be maintained that ideally supports the concept of customer attraction as well. On the contrary, ways of product display is also important in attracting customers. Inventory Management as a process helps in adding more display facility that may attract customers to the products of Sainsbury’s.
The recommendations as cited by the researcher are helpful in applying much improved operations management. The strategies in accordance to company’s existing situations are helpful in bringing positive and desirable changes that will further help in much improved attraction factors as well.
Operation management acts as process that helps in understanding the needs of the consumers and accordingly helps in better and improved process production. During the process of operation, major focus on design, operation system and area of improvement is given. Sainsbury’s aims to implement strategy related to operations management so that effective supply chain can help in adding more profits into the organisation. Better delivery of goods and services will help in satisfying customers at better length. Apart from that, satisfied customers will add more revenue to the organisation via repeat purchase and word-of-mouth. Similar to marketing and finance management, operation management is also crucial for better sustainability. Decision-making relating to the process of production helps in deciding the cost of production process along with the quality of product available in the produced output. Sainsbury’s with the help of operations management chooses the most apt and suitable process of production so that stakeholders can also be satisfied.
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