In order for Asda to achieve their aims and objectives successfully, it is vital that the staff co-operate and communicate effectively between each other and with the customers. To achieve the aims and objectives stated in E2, Asda uses various types of communication methods such as the intranet, internal telephone extensions, e-mails, written messages and weekly/daily meetings in order to communicate with each other internally. Furthermore, Asda uses the post, telephones, faxes, video-conferencing and e-mailing for external communications with individuals such as suppliers and customers.
The use of ICT at Asda makes it possible for functional areas to share the same information, and to work collaboratively using this pool of information, and information creating-creating and handling capacity. For example client databases can be used for accounting purposes (e. g. handling and processing customer accounts), marketing purposes, i. e. researching the needs of customers or even administrative purposes such as handling the paperwork related to customers etc. Information sharing has helped Asda brutally improve the performance of its business.
Information sharing has not only made it quicker to process data transactions i. e. credit card details etc but also allowed different departments to view information processed by other departments relevant to them. Without the use of data sharing a decrease in revenue would occur rapidly as the business would not be up to date with modern technology like its rivals. Furthermore it would slow the process of the business management as all the data would have to be processed manually by each department rather than one department typing it and sending it to another. Asda uses several methods of ICT both internally and externally. In terms of Internal methods the organisation uses the local company intranet.
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This allows different departments to view notices or special offers etc placed by the ICT department on the intranet. Furthermore the company is able to share data within different departments via networks. All the computers at Asda are linked via a LAN (local area network). This allows different departments within the organisation to view and exchange data which is relevant to them. This is also an advantage for Asda and has a vital impact on the company as all the data does not have to be entered continuously on computers within the different departments at Asda but rather can be sent from one department to another.
This is to say that information processing and data sharing is made a lot faster. Networking also allows managers with more information on which to base their decisions. One of the crucial methods of ICT used by all managers at Asda is management information system. This is a software which has a sentimental impact on the business. MIS allows managers to view trends, areas of concerns and status of employees etc. MIS helps improve the management style of the business as it helps view and improve areas of concern. This is also a method for Asda as to measuring its success. Asda also uses several forms of external communication.
Asda also uses e-commerce as it also sells goods and services on the internet. E-commerce helps the business increase revenue as it simply means selling goods and services over the world wide web. E-commerce allows people to shop at Asda from the very comfort of their own home. Furthermore e-mails are sent by many departments within the organisation everyday to suppliers and customers etc. E-mails allow the company to send mail between terminals through computer linked via a local and wide area network. This has an important impact on the business as it speeds up the processing of data.
However e-mails can also sometimes have a negative impact on Asda, as not all e-mails including important e-mails are delivered on time. Furthermore videoconferencing is used regularly at meetings, in order to keep links with Asda firms worldwide. Video conferencing does not only allow a clearer view of what the person at the receiving end is trying to say but also provides a detailed analysis of what is going on. Asda also uses client/server networks. This involves the use of one, more powerful computer (the server) which is responsible for printing, the maintenance of files and any other peripherals connected to the network.
The less powerful computers connected to the server are called clients. This is an advantage for Asda as each of the computer terminals can access all the network facilities without losing any of its own processing power. Al the data at Asda is backed up at the end of the day by the ICT department using a backup disk. Therefore in terms of security if there is a system crash or the business is in threat of hackers, there is no fear of data being lost as it is all backed up. Asda will also uses passwords and anti virus programs such as firewall in order to prevent unauthorised individuals including hackers from accessing the company's system.
In this day and age, travelling abroad does not present any restrictions in maintaining effective daily communications between executives, management and staff, no matter where in the world one may be. Facilities such as video-conferencing and e-mailing have ensured that the difference in time and continents does not mean operations come to a standstill for days at a time until senior management come back from their international destination. Communication methods using ICT within the Asda organisation Communication is very important in any business.
However Asda believe that communication does not just happen, it needs to be planned, worked at and always improved upon. This is why Asda spend a lot of time and effort ensuring that everyone knows what is going on inside the company. They do this by using channels such as 'The Daily Huddle'. This is when all the teams across all the branches get together everyday and discuss important issues such as results, targets or individual work plans. If anyone needs any help they ask for it here and share their workload out.
Later I will state the different internal and external communication methods at Asda and say how the different functional areas use these communication methods and also how they communicate between each other. In order for Asda to meet their aims and objectives it is vital that the four functional areas, stated in part one of this report, communicate between themselves, suppliers and customers using internal and external communication methods. The table below shows when different departments may use different internal or external communication methods between themselves, other companies, customers and banks etc.
The packaging information may need to be altered because of legislation that the government have implemented and that Asda have to abide by, or there maybe changes in the nutritional concepts or advances in cooking or food preservations method. An example of when Asda may use quality assurance to add value to their products is when a product may have its packaging information changed to inform the consumers that it is acceptable to cook or use this product in the microwave. Asda then take the product into their own laboratory.
Then they will place fibre optic probes into the product to check the temperature whilst cooking, in order to make sure that the product reaches high enough temperature for it to be used safely. Quality control tests are conducted on all existing and new products that have been produced by Asda (their own brand products). These tests are conducted in consumer advice centres, Asda's head office and in Asda's own laboratory. These include tests on food safety. The consumer advice centres test current and new products that have been produced by Asda.
The consumer panel consists of participants who meet the recruitment procedure (heavy users of that product) and who shop at Asda. If these procedures are met then the participants are selected. In the consumer advice centres researches on behalf of Asda test for customer acceptability. After the participants have tested the product or service they will giver their opinion and will asked what they liked and disliked about the product. Then the researchers will ask how Asda could improve the product. Participants will test products, which have been produced by Asda and maybe one or some by their competitor.
The participants will not know which product is Asda's and which one is the competitor. The consumer service officer will then ask which product the participants liked and why. Then the consumer service officer will carry out a more technical evaluation of a product or a service. These officers will be specially trained and use technical descriptions. These officers will then evaluate the product and send their results to the head office. Data from the sensory analysis, questionnaires and participants opinions have been collected and sent to the head office.
These will be marked and statistical data will be used to determine whether the product has passed or failed. If the product has failed then the product will be altered according to the participant's opinions or responses will be retested and will only be sold when or if the product has passed. This process will add value to its product because Asda will take into consideration of want then customer wants to purchase. Quality assurance is implemented at all levels of Asda. All employees are encouraged to give the customer the best shopping experience terms of products and services.
Asda set standards for quality assurance. This is called strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. (SWOT). SWOT allows Asda to check the quality of their products and services against their competitors. SWOT is used regularly to check the quality for certain products, in evaluating a new range of merchandising or a new process provided by the supplier. Asda also uses more methods to check the quality of their products. These are called Just in time (JIT): this is when Asda order products where they are needed. Products are then prepared and delivered to the store, which requires the products.
This will help save money, storage space required and the number of raw materials kept in stock. This will help to add value to Asda's products because they will be fresh and the customer will the best value for the product because they will have longer to use the product before it reaches it 's sell by date. Machine utilisation control; this system is put in place within Asda before machinery is a vital part of Asda's production process. So engineers within Asda take a look at machinery frequently to see if they are overloaded and to see if they are functioning smoothly and efficiently.
Stock control: this is where senior employees within the production department check how much raw materials they have in stock and if they need to order more to avoid running out or low on stocks. Quality control: this is where Asda use a machine that is linked to a computer. This machine will be linked to a computer and will test the products at every stage of the production. This will improve the quality of the final product and add value to the product because the product will be checked at every stage of the production. Food additives: Asda also uses food additives. Additives are chemicals, which are natural or specially made.
Additives help to preserve the food and make it last longer and help prevent food poisoning. It also improves taste and appearance. Additives have to be approved by the government and are given E-numbers. Asda label their foods with full additives name to avoid confusion. Here are a few steps which Asda take. Food technologists visit suppliers to make sure the company's safety procedures and quality standards are being complied with. Quality assurance staff in Asda distribution depots inspects deliveries and have rejected food if it is not up to Asda's safety and quality standard.
If it doesn't meet the quality, appearance or temperature then it is sent back. Raw and cooked foods are stored and displayed separately to avoid cross contamination. Food equipment is colour coded so that separate equipment is used for handling raw and cooked foods. Staff check temperature constantly to see is the food is stored at the right temperature. Food labelling doesn't only warn customers of sell by date and handling and storage information, but a (display until label) tells employees when to take the product off the shelf. It also informs customers of any product ingredients which may cause potential allergies.
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