Example 1: Defining
an organization in terms of its aspects
A thumbnail sketch, or
synopsis of an organization can be produced very quickly by considering each of
the aspects in turn without going into the detail of each element. This gives a
logical flow to the description, which is easy to read and covers all the
Ashley's is a small, specialist retail chain, which is still a private
company. It has a reputation for giving customers good advice and selling well
designed products with excellent service. The atmosphere in the stores is very
friendly and relaxed for staff and customers alike.
high quality furniture is sold to middle and upper income families. Great
importance is placed on cultivating a long-term relationship with its customers.
Ashley's is growing in size and aims to expand throughout the UK, but will still
base its operation on the values of a traditional family run business.
At the present time, there are three stores and a warehouse in the
south-east of England, with a head office at Walton-on-Thames. Although Ashley's
plans to increase in size, the aim is to do this without introducing more levels
The business is family owned, has a loyal set of customers and has built
up a network of small but traditional craft suppliers. It has a strong sense of
responsibility towards the local community and is involved with a number of
Enablers The stores
are well sited in town centres, the staff are very experienced and many of them
have built excellent personal relationships with customers. The skills of all
employees could do with updating, particularly with regard to the use of
is placed on buying, displaying and selling to high professional standards and
there is a training plan in place for all employees. However, activities
associated with local charities are taking too much time of some senior
The main products are furniture for private homes, wall coverings and
curtains. An interior design service is also provided.
Being a relatively small business, government regulations are a constant
headache. There is also concern that one of the large retail chains is
The atmosphere is very much that of a family run business with the senior
management taking a keen interest in staff. More emphasis is now being placed on
training to give the staff a more professional attitude and image.
Turnover is £20m per annum with profit before tax of 15 per cent. The
company is particularly good at introducing new product lines and its customers
are much more loyal than is normal for similar retailers.
An excellent use of this synopsis is as a section to include in a larger report
or as a briefing document for visiting executives, officials or dignitaries. The
fact that the synopsis is structured and to a standard format means that it is
easier to prepare and assimilate than those prepared in an ad hoc manner.