The main operational purpose of a company is usually stated in its mission statement. A mission statement summarises what a company's mission and purpose is, in addition to providing its employees with a sense of focus and direction. For instance, the world's most famous software engineer, Bill Gates, has said that 'Microsoft's mission is to take the Internet, combine it with other software's and make it one of the most powerful tools of all time'. Asda's main aim is to maximise sales and profits as stated in E2.
Therefore Asda's main objective is to constantly increase revenue by providing a good customer service. Asda do this through media advertising i. e. television and radio adverts etc. Evidence of this objective being met is constantly seen by the company's stakeholders simply through visiting the store and television advertising. Asda have stated that they want the supermarket not only to be an enjoyable place to shop at but also an enjoyable place to work at, where all the staff can work together in harmony. Therefore Asda have expanded their supermarket into the electrical side as well as groceries etc.
Asda now provide their customers with takeaways, cafes, banks, groceries and launderettes etc all under one roof in order to achieve its objective as to making the company an enjoyable place to work at. Furthermore this makes Asda's customers' shopping experience at Asda feel warm, safe and welcoming, along with its friendly customer service. In terms of Asda achieving its objective as to make the organisation an enjoyable place to work at, Asda has several laws and acts which it acts under as regards to no employee being discriminated against for any reason.
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Asda have a log book at all their organisations. This log book is registered with comments issued by customers. This helps Asda identify areas of concern. At all Asda store there is customer service desk, where customers can communicate their complaints, and enquiries regarding goods and services etc. This helps Asda achieve customer satisfaction. Evidence of customer satisfaction and as to Asda meeting its objectives can be seen through its feedback through questionnaires and comments registered in its log book by customers.
Furthermore positive trends on Asda's MIS system also show its achievement in meeting its goals (objectives). Asda have always tried to be environmentally friendly. This can be seen at Asda's packaging centres. Wherever possible Asda have always tried to minimize using raw materials for packaging but rather recycled papers, magazines etc for packaging. Furthermore when constructing sites Asda have always built on ready built sites rather than on green fields causing damage to plants and the environment.
Asda, which has now been taken over by American retail giant 'Wal-Mart' and which is now established as one of the world's most leading chain of supermarkets, has its own mission statement which is very specific to the industry in which it competes in: - 'To be Britain's best value retailer, exceeding local customer needs... Always. ' The main mission and purpose behind Asda is 'to make goods and services more affordable for everyone'. Asda have stated that their purpose shows their determined commitment towards everyday low prices without the need to compromise on quality.
They are constantly striving to sell the same products for lesser prices each year. This is clearly evident and visible through their heavy television advertisement campaigns on 'roll-down prices' and price cuts. Furthermore, in order to ensure its continued success and further expansion and diversification in new business ventures, Asda are always on the look out for new products and services, which they can sell and pass on at better savings to their customers. Asda is very well placed to pass on great savings and great product deals to its customers as it is able to take advantage of its take-over by the American retail giant 'Wal-Mart'.
The new 'Asda Wal-Mart' organisation are able to use their leading retail position and massive buying power to bulk-buy greater new products and services at extremely competitive prices in order to increase sales and ensure the threat of any competition by other supermarket chains is minimised or driven out. Asda's total growth in January was 16%. Over the past five years Asda have opened 62 new stores and renewed 72 others, creating over 25,000 new jobs. This shows a measure of Asda's success.
Furthermore it shows Asda's consideration towards the economy. As 25,000 new jobs were given to employs who were either unemployed or aged over 30 before they came to work at Asda. C2) Asda operates within a hierarchical organisation structure, as it is a large organisation, which employs several thousand employees and has many departments of communication.
It is therefore absolutely necessary that such a large company has an excellent hierarchical structure which delegates authority to the directors, area mangers, branch managers, supervisors, team leaders and shop floor staff. The way in which a hierarchical structure benefits Asda is that every employee has a clear job role, so they will know what they are doing and how they should do it. Also due the many departments that exist within Asda, there are many internal opportunities for job promotions.
This helps Asda to save capital as they do not need to advertise the vacancy externally because they will promote an employee and give them the appropriate training. Finally as Asda is a large organisation which employs thousands of employees to work for the organisation, team work will be encouraged within the organisation. The impact of such an organisational style on the performance of Asda's business is such that it has significantly contributed towards the effective and efficient day-to-day operation of the company.
Such effective communication and delegation, from the very senior executives at the top of the hierarchy right down those shop floor employees at the bottom of the hierarchy, has ensured that Asda has been able to remain at the very fare front of its field. 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 part one, 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. Regular internal and external meetings are an excellent means of communicating effectively in order to achieve targets and goals.
Meetings are often held by Asda to ensure targets are set and achieved, company news is passed on, updates are received and problems are aired and solutions are made. Asda operates both a democratic and consultative management style in terms of management styles, however when results are need immediately and when decisions need to be made quickly, elements of autocratic management do exist, largely on the shop and production floor itself, where production output and customer service are priority. This has a great impact on Asda in both positive and negative ways.
On the negative side an autocratic management style only involves consulting people at the top of Asda's hierarchy structure. Therefore not everyone's views in the company are taken into account and the views of the people at the top may not be accurate as they may be making decisions about the staff at the bottom without consulting them. However on the positive hand an autocratic management style when making decisions saves a lot of valuable time. Furthermore the people at the top of Asda's hierarchy structure are all experts in their job roles, therefore only professional views are taken into account.
However, the general management style that is used throughout the organisation is one which is consultative or democratic in nature, as discussed in E5. The consultative management style is one which is employed throughout the organisation and entails the management seeking ideas and opinions before final decisions are reached and implemented. A democratic management style is perhaps more applicable to those departments and teams which centre around projects, creative design and administration. Such a management style empowers team members to make their own decisions within the confines of a given framework.
This type of management style helps Asda achieve many of its objectives. For instance, one of Asda's objective is to make Asda the most enjoyable place to work at where the staff can get on and work together in harmony. A democratic management style encourages team work and therefore produces better results efficiently. These two styles have had a great impact on Asda in that they have significantly raised staff morale, initiative, sense of empowerment and most significantly, the consequence high staff morale has resulted in higher productivity efficiency, initiative and a reduction in absenteeism, conflict and friction.
The type of culture that Asda adopts has been built upon in response to an ever-changing, dynamic world. By adopting a 'role' and 'task'- centred culture, Asda has been able to ensure that the company's performance is boosted as a result of an efficient work environment. Role culture is based very much on a bureaucratic style in which all members within an organisation have a very specifically, defined role or task to carry out. A bureaucracy is normally divided into various functional departments (e. g. ; sales director, sales managers, supervisors, sales advisors, check-out staff etc ;).
'Role' culture is perhaps more applicable to factory and shop- floor staff as they have very specific tasks and responsibilities. However, it has begun to move where relevant, towards a 'task' culture based on teamwork. This is particularly relevant and applicable to the 'middle-layer' departments such as 'marketing', 'sales', 'accounts' etc; where there is an even greater need to develop team skills, interpersonal skills, communication I. T skills and decision making skills. It is particularly in these departments that managers have shown they are open to listening and teamwork, rather than simply giving orders.
One of Asda's aims is: 'To ensure complete customer satisfaction and minimise any complaints about their products or prices'. This aim can only be completed through communication, as it is necessary for the staff to communicate with the customers by providing them with relevant information if required and helping them out with any problems in order to meet this aim. Without communication it is impossible for any business to succeed. This is why communication is very important to Asda as it is needed for the business to succeed and meet its aims. Asda have a daily meeting across all their branches which they refer to as a daily huddle.
At this meeting the staff get a chance to discuss any problems and get clarification on matters they are not sure about. This helps the staff at Asda to overcome their differences and provide new effective ways in which to meet their aims. This 'Daily Huddle' also ensures that staff are kept happy and feel their thoughts, feelings and suggestions are valued by management. Such means of communication ensure that problems are dealt with very early on as opposed to being allowed to gradually build into a situation which could potentially be disastrous or cause much upset later.
Better and clear lines of communication mean happier, satisfied staff who feel their opinions are valued, which inevitably results in much more efficient and productive operations towards achieving aims and objectives. Asda has a chain of communication in which staff within each department have regular meetings to discuss issues concerning work conditions and operations, in addition to receiving objectives, results and news. The team leaders from within each department then have regular team leader meetings to communicate what news, problems and requests their team members have stated in previous team meetings.
Again, this information is then passed onto senior management who have the authority to deal with the more serious issues and problems. Once a solution has been reached or when senior management feel that that Asda staff need to be kept informed of the latest company news, this information is then passed back down the chain to the team leaders, who then eventually pass it back down to the team staff. If a link in this chain 'broke' away, the lines of communications would fail as there would be some departments and teams who would not have received any important information.
This no doubt would eventually result in much upset with the excluded teams and therefore perhaps cause problems later down the line. The combination of a hierarchical structure, in conjunction with democratic/consultative management styles and role/task-based culture have resulted successfully in better production output, higher staff morale, greater efficiency and customer satisfaction. This area has previously been covered in conjunction with E6 (The use and impact of ICT for internal and external communications of the business).
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