4: Defining an
organization in terms of its elements and issues
following is an example of using the model with a retail organization Although the issues, in this example, are shown on a single line, with only one
instance of each usually being given - in practice there would be a much fuller
treatment of each issue.
example, under the analysis of 'innovation' the ability to encompass new
working practices is cited. However, there could be many other examples of
innovation, such as the ability to change the layout of stores, the ability to
change the mix of employees or the ability to change suppliers. Indeed, an issue
itself could take a whole report to cover, for example, the strategy with regard
to the skills of employees.
- Registered name: Ashley Home Furnishings Limited. Trading name: Ashley's.
- Gives an up-market sound compared to similar stores.
- To get 50 per cent of the
local population to recognize the name.
Private, family owned
- Similar stores are owned by large multiples rather than family owned.
- To widen ownership to
- The percentage of repeat or recommended customers.
- Thought to be slightly
higher than competitors.
- To be known as the most up-market store in the area.
- Distinctive shop front and staff uniform.
- It is felt that the store interiors are not distinctive enough.
- To produce a recognizable
style of store interior.
Analysis - The provision of well designed and produced furniture, furnishings and decor.
- Well in line with the
aspirations of the management and staff.
- To concentrate on high value, exclusive products.
- Not allow price to compromise quality. All employees
share in the success of the business.
- More specific than
- To have only a few, well
defined values, which are then communicated to all employees.
- A store in every major UK city within 10 years.
- Similar organizations are more regionally based.
- To convey the vision to
employees, customers and suppliers.
Analysis - To double the size of the
business in three years by organic growth (rather than by takeovers).
- Will take longer to accomplish than by acquisitions.
- To produce a plan with the
help of external consultants.
Analysis - Pay
suppliers within 30 days. Refund money to customers without question.
- More ethically based policies than competitors.
- To use policies to promote
the integrity of the business.
Analysis - Middle-class,
- Too narrow a market.
- Add one store per year.
Sales departments, back
office, warehouse, delivery, personnel, IT.
- Each department needs more 'best practice' procedures.
- To improve the
communications between different areas.
Roles and jobs
Analysis - Manager, sales person,
supervisor, buyer, accountant, secretary.
- The proportion of
sales trainees is too small.
managers, increase sales staff.
Analysis - Office, shop floor,
warehouse, returns desk, buyer’s office, delivery trucks.
- Lighting not up to latest recommendations.
- Reduce time spent at home
resulting from workplace injuries.
Analysis - Managing director, store
manager, department managers, supervisors, sales staff.
- Each level has too few
staff reporting to it.
- Reduce the time taken for
information to travel down the management chain.
Analysis - Suppliers, chamber of
commerce, local government, press.
- Interfaces between external
organizations are not managed well.
- Improve the relationships
with external organizations.
- The Ashley family,
directors, various individuals.
- The number of shareholders
is too small.
- Widen the share ownership.
Analysis - Chairman, directors, store managers, warehouse manager,
senior buyer, personnel manager.
- Average age higher than industry norm.
average age of managers.
Analysis - Sales staff, warehousemen,
secretaries, delivery drivers.
- Too high a turnover of
- Retain staff for longer
Analysis - Stores, mail order,
- Mail order side is proving difficult to grow.
- Increase the number of
Analysis - Individuals, families,
small businesses, hotels.
- Amount spent per customer
per year is too small
Strategy - Increase size of each
Analysis - 23 furniture makers, 3
carpet suppliers, 4 fabric wholesalers, 2 office suppliers, 4 IT suppliers.
- Probably too many furniture makers and IT suppliers.
- Reduce the number of
suppliers and improve quality.
Analysis - Brown's Emporium (for
training purposes), Kingston Design Centre.
- Have made little use of
alliances in the past year.
- Increase the benefits,
which associating with other organizations bring.
Analysis - Families of employees,
suppliers to the suppliers of Ashley.
- Approximately 1000 family
members of employees depend on the success of the store.
- To involve families more in
the stores' operation.
- Residents living near stores, other businesses in the vicinity of each store.
- Residents complain about early morning delivery trucks.
- Reduce the number of
complaints from 30 per year to 5.
Land and buildings
Analysis - Freehold of three stores,
leasehold of warehouse with another three acres of land.
- Freehold gives security and future realizable value.
- All future stores and
additional warehouses to be bought freehold.
- Telephone system, IT systems, warehouse handling systems, trucks.
- Telephone system needs
updating. Too many suppliers of IT.
- Review equipment for
Analysis - The company's name and
logo. The designs that it produces for customers.
- The designs produced are not secure and sometimes find their way to
- To vigorously protect all
- Products, customers, suppliers, employees, sales, orders, financial.
- Poor information on buying
habits of individual customers.
- To implement a foolproof
security and recovery system for data.
Analysis - Selling, buying,
negotiating, computing, managing.
- Negotiating skills need improving to get better deals.
- Everyone to have at least
five days training per year.
- To present an ambience of luxury, quality and professional service.
- Ashley's provide a very up-market environment.
- To get the different
departments working better together.
- Customers, suppliers, local government departments, local
- Certain managers adopt a bullying approach to external organizations.
- Use consultants to train
appropriate managers in handling external organizations.
Analysis - Working capital,
- Existing finance is
inadequate for future expansion.
- To put in place a source of
capital for future expansion.
Analysis - Buying, selling,
warehousing, delivering, invoicing.
- Many of the activities are
subject to errors.
increase skills and introduce 'best practice' where appropriate.
Analysis - Training, personnel,
marketing and advertising, IT, staff restaurant.
- Takes too much of the company's resources and budget.
- To increase effectiveness, by subcontracting these activities outside.
- Board meetings, strategy planning, formulating staff objectives, reviewing
- Probably too many meetings.
- To increase management
visibility and reduce the time spent in meetings.
Analysis - VAT, annual financial
returns, Health & Safety checks, minimum wage returns.
- Procedures are applied efficiently.
- To produce the necessary
information as a by-product of operational activities.
Analysis - Christmas party for
employees' children, staff days out, sponsoring local hospital radio station.
- There are more of these activities than competitors have.
- To reduce activities to
those that actually promote the store.
Analysis - Furniture, carpets, decor
(curtains, lighting, pictures).
- The products are the most
up-market in the area.
- To select products as part
of a distinctive style.
Analysis - Design, delivery of
furniture, alterations and modifications.
- The design staff need some
- Employ a young professional
Analysis - Availability of suitable
staff, Green issues, planning regulations.
- Employment laws together
with Health & Safety issues cause managers most problems.
- More effective planning around possible constraints.
- Loss of
data, fire, loss of chief buyer, higher interest rates.
- More exposed than average
to economic cycles.
- To insure against as many
risks as possible, e.g. loss of key staff.
Analysis - Furnishing offices,
catalogue on the Internet, selling to well off retired people.
- Should follow the trend for
higher quality, craftsman made luxury goods.
- Exploit technology,
Internet, virtual reality, computer aided design.
Analysis - Quality stores in London
such as Harrods. Small
firms of craftsmen.
- Similar quality products always seem to be cheaper in other stores.
- To increase the perceived quality of the products and services.
Analysis - Not very visible, but
interested in the welfare of staff.
- More paternalistic than competitors.
- Increase visibility and
professionalism of Board members.
Analysis - Promotion by age rather
than ability, working unsociable hours at normal rates of pay.
- Environment rather outdated
- Introduce more professional
Analysis - Staff associate with each
other outside work, friendly atmosphere, high standard of manners.
- A more friendly and cohesive environment than competitors have.
- Staff to be less tolerant of unprofessional behaviour in colleagues.
- Most staff enthusiastic, low absenteeism, staff resist change.
- Staff more loyal but also
more conservative than competitors.
- Staff to become more
flexible with regard to their work.
Analysis - Good staff discounts,
private health cover for
managers, pension scheme.
- Perks and benefits depend
very much on status.
- To provide more uniform
Analysis - Standard courses, ad hoc
courses, yearly training reviews of staff.
- Training is less than satisfactory, budget for courses is too low.
- Introduce a mentoring
Analysis - Three
- Number of stores is too low
for efficient operation.
- Double the size of the
operation within three years.
Analysis - Sales per square foot,
sales per employee.
- Better than the industry average for this type of store.
- To improve all our efficiency measures by 20 per cent during the next year.
Analysis - Number of customer
complaints, time to pay suppliers, care of employees.
- Most are better than the industry average.
- To gain a reputation as the leading retail employer in each town.
- The speed at which new working practices can be introduced.
- Somewhat slower than the
competition and more training needed.
- Set up a formal system for
introducing new working practices.
- Balance sheet, profit & loss account, various ratios (sales/employee,
- Profit low in relation to turnover, overheads too large, sales/employee is
- Increase profit to fund