IT Based Tools in ALDI
The IT department is built in ALDI comprehensively and it is comprised of analysts, specialists and managers. The IT teams of ALDI work on a diverse range of projects and optimize customers’ experience along with other business operations (aldi.com.au 2017). The departments to look after the works of information technology are:
- Data Warehouse and Development
- Help Desk for Operations and Technical Support
- E-learning and Information Management
- Payments and Network
- Internet and Security
- Project Management
- Store Operations and the like.
Primarily ALDI has to manage a large volume of data and information as well as has to control Data Modeling. For this purposes, ALDI uses databases that enables the organization to store information of customers and the employees as well (scc.virginia.gov 2017). This electronic system makes it easier for the global firm to update, insert, store or retrieve data. ALDI also employs the feature of Normalization of DBMS to avoid instances of duplication and cut data redundancy.
Access to Multiple Users
The usage of latest database technology facilitates ALDI with access to multiple users feature where several users can update information at the same time and it becomes viewable instantly as well. This is to improve communication within the organization and to ensure that the server distributes evenly with “load balancer” through file, print, application server and database (Soares 2015).
The layer of database used in ALDI is:
- Data Dictionary
- Structure of the Organization
- Log Files
- Master Data
- Data Transaction
Protection and Security of Database
ALDI imposes database security through control in access, auditing and encryption. Access control refers to the authorization power of the managers connecting to the database through authentication (Ribeiro 2013). Auditing refers to recording information about the activities of database. The encryption process aims to protect data even at the lowest level by transmitting the information and data in an incomprehensible form.
Centralizing the Database
Being a global brand as ALDI is, the centralization of data is an essentially important IT tool to be used. The centralization of information and data is accessed easily by ALDI in DBMS via File Sharing and Networking tools. On the other hand, the feature of Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) maintains the IT tools, repairs them, tests them and gives them back up as well.
Apart from this, ADIL also employs the latest technology of data storage as well as retrieves them via XML, connected with the DBMS. Moreover, Component Object Model used by Object Linking and Embedding i.e. OLE Database helps in reducing needless doubling of data at the high level (Soares 2015).
The socialization-based tools refer to the system that an organization embraces to establish communication and learning between the employees and the company so that they communicate and interact well. In ALDI, the organizational culture relies on communicating the values, mission and vision of the enterprise to the employees. It deals with the entire unwritten and written rules that canalizes and shapes the social relations of the working members and the relations outside the organization as well (Holsapple 2013). The managers at ALDI understand well the value of socializing with the employees and hence, they frequently adopt new ways to communicate with their employees. In the first place, ALDI believes in celebrating success with the employees to be the best way to befriend them (Borghoff and Pareschi 2013). The celebration of success gives them confidence and thus, they successfully learn about organizational culture. Next, the strategic planning of ALDI strongly supports the idea of a tightly knit team so that the managers and the employees can work in a close environment with each other communicating better.
Understanding the employees better also falls under the socializing tool of ALDI where the leaders believe in knowing each employee professionally. The goal of this strategy is to understand the professional aims of the employees and that making them realize how they can attain these goals within the boundaries of the global organization (Becerra-Fernandez and Sabherwal 2014).
On the other hand, communicating with the customers is equally necessary as the customers are the lifeline of the business. Now, ALDI exploits social media to establish a good communication relationship with the customers. The customers in the food apps rate various food items available at the outlets of the brand and by pressing the ‘like’ button in the social media they can easily communicate their choices directly with the firm. Besides this, ALDI also employs endorsement techniques through third parties in the press and on TV (Meihami and Meihami 2014). This is necessary to understand the taste and preferences of the customers so that ALD can effectively modify the gaps in customer experience. The features of complementary feedbacks on social media too help the firm being ahead of the others.
Knowledge Management in ALDI
Knowledge management specifically refers to gaining the appropriate or the obtaining sources of right knowledge. In this process, knowledge sharing is the most significant aspect, as the majority of the knowledge management initiatives depend on it (Schoenherr, Griffith and Chandra 2014). According to the theories of knowledge management there are two ways of knowledge sharing, Explicit and Tacit. The explicit ways of knowledge sharing involves the following steps:
- Creating documents
- Identifying the main customers and the roles of them
- Managing and Tracking multiple accounts of the contents
On the other hand, there is tacit knowledge sharing process as well that involves the followings:
- This knowledge sharing process depends on the informal sources that are information from the day-to-day operations between the customers and the firm.
- This is not structured and formalized way of gathering knowledge, hence, these networks are difficult to monitor (Short 2014).
Now, as for ALDI, it uses both explicit and tacit ways of knowledge sharing for knowledge management in the organization. This has built the highest numbers of satisfied customers for ALDI and for this; ALDI has been awarded with the superior brand title for customer satisfaction in 2015. For knowledge sharing purpose, ALDI conducts surveys to gather customer feedbacks. One such instance is when ALDI conducted such a survey in 2015 where this German supermarket chain obtained four stars out of five for eight categories; they are availability of deals, products with private label, value for money and ALDI was the only global supermarket that secured the highest marks for overall customer satisfaction (aldi.com.au 2017). The ratings were collected from those specific respondents who use ALDI for the majority of their shopping.
For knowledge sharing purposes ALDI also prioritizes the tacit ways, which are collecting customer reviews from unorganized sources and thereby expanding the areas and boundaries of feedback. However, ALDI intends to improve their knowledge management process even more to ensure that the products they sell comply with the expectations of the consumers. Not only collecting the good feedback is aimed by ALDI but also the complaints of the customers are also given much importance. The enterprise has a different complaints section in their website where the customer dissatisfaction is given equally importance. The consumers are only needed to register with their e-mail address and lodge their complaints. This is indeed a very effective way of knowledge management (scc.virginia.gov 2017).
Changes in the Organization
As ALDI spends little or no amount for promotional and marketing activities it is essential for them to depend on the knowledge management procedures to obtain the customer feedbacks or simply, to reach out to them. These attempts have shown results in some of the company policies of ALDI where they have gone for decentralization in the structure, realizing that this is the best way to give even the smallest units the required importance. Leaving advertising a bit, all the departments of physical distribution is also managed by ALDI after acquiring knowledge of the best suitable organizational practice for them. To mention the other changes, ALDI makes the products under its own brand and now it is the central warehouse from where the products are distributed to the consumers directly (Soares 2015). This change facilitates the enterprise to reach their products to the consumers without any intermediaries and hence, chances of gaps between the firm and the buyers are less. As a result of their effective knowledge management ALDI keeps innovating and offered variations in them such as canned broth or string cheese or the Wednesday special offers for fresh meat that delight the consumers. Apart from these, the biggest advantage of the firm is the competitive price that it offers to the consumers and effective knowledge management from both explicit and tacit sources can only decide these changes in prices.
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