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Example 2:  Defining an organization in terms of its elements


A very good picture of an organization can be produced by defining it in terms of its elements. In this example, the analysis of each element is restricted to one or two brief points. In an actual case each individual element could be discussed within a paragraph, page or complete report. An assessment of each element is not made at this stage - this occurs when the issues are considered more fully (example 3).

Identity

Name
- Registered name: Ashley Home Furnishings Limited. Trading name: Ashleys.
Constitution
- Private, family owned business.
Reputation
- The percentage of repeat or recommended customers.

Impact
- Distinctive shop front and staff uniform and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.


Purpose

Raison d'etre - The provision of well designed and produced furniture, furnishings and decor.
Core values
- Not allow price to compromise quality.  All employees share in the success of the business.
Vision - A store in every major UK city within 10 years.
Mission
- To double the size of the business in three years by organic growth (rather than by takeovers).

Key policies
- Pay suppliers within 30 days. Refund money to customers without quibble.

Target market
- Middle-class, high-income families.


Structure

Physical deployment - Three stores and a warehouse in the south-east of England.
Functional composition
- Sales departments, back office, warehouse, delivery, personnel, IT.
Roles and jobs
- Manager, sales person, supervisor, buyer, accountant, warehouseman, secretary.
Workplaces
- Office, shop floor, warehouse, buyer's office, returns desk, delivery trucks.
Reporting structure
- Managing director, store manager, department managers, supervisors, sales staff.
External infrastructure
- Suppliers, chamber of commerce, local government, press.


Participants

Owners - The Ashley family, directors, various individuals.
Managers
- Chairman, MD, directors, store managers, warehouse manager, senior buyer, personnel manager.
Workers
- Sales staff, warehousemen, secretaries, delivery drivers.
Channel
- Stores, mail order, Internet.

Customers
- Individuals, families, small businesses, hotels.
Suppliers
- 23 furniture makers, 3 carpet suppliers, 4 fabric wholesalers, 2 office suppliers, 4 IT suppliers.
Partners 
- Brown's Emporium (for training purposes), Kingston Design Centre.
Neighbours
- Residents living near stores, other businesses in the vicinity of each store.
Indirect participants - Families of employees, suppliers to the suppliers of Ashleys.


Enablers

Land and buildings - Freehold of three stores, leasehold of warehouse with another three acres of land.

Technology
-
Telephone system, IT systems, warehouse handling systems, trucks.
Intellectual property
-
The company's name and logo. The designs that it produces for customers.
Information
-
Products, customers, suppliers, employees, sales, orders, financial.
Skills
-
Selling, buying, negotiating, computing, managing.
Core competencies
- To present an ambience of luxury, quality and professional service.
Relationships
-
Customers, suppliers, local government departments, local press.
Financial resources
-
Working capital, investments, loans.


Activities

Line-of-business - Buying, selling, warehousing, delivering, invoicing.
Support
-
Training, personnel, marketing and advertising, IT, staff restaurant.
Management
-
Board meetings, strategy planning, formulating staff objectives, reviewing salaries.
Compliance
-
VAT, annual financial returns, Health & Safety checks, minimum wage returns.
Incidental
-
Christmas party for employees' children, staff days out, sponsoring local hospital radio station.


Deliverables

Products - Furniture, carpets, decor (curtains, lighting, pictures).
Services
-
Design, delivery of furniture, alterations and modifications.


Influences

C
onstraints and pressures -
Availability of suitable staff, Green issues, planning regulations.
Risks and threats - Loss of computer data, fire, loss of chief buyer, higher interest rates.
Opportunities - Furnishing offices, catalogue on the Internet, selling to well off retired people.
Competitors - Quality stores in London such as Harrods. Small firms of craftsmen.

Culture

Management style - Not very visible, but interested in the welfare of staff.

Rules and customs
-
- Staff associate outside work, friendly atmosphere, high standard of manners.
Attitude to work
- Most staff enthusiastic, low absenteeism, staff resist change.
Benefits and perks
- Good staff discounts, private health cover for management, pension scheme.
Personal development
- Standard courses, ad hoc courses, yearly training reviews of staff.


Performance

Scale - Three stores, employing approximately 350 people.
Efficiency - Sales per square foot, sales per employee.
Empathy - Number of customer complaints, time to pay suppliers, care of employees.
Innovation - The speed at which new working practices can be introduced.
Financial - Balance sheet, profit & loss account, various ratios (sales/employee, sales/overhead, etc.).
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