Describe about the Marketing and the Other Business Functions for Research in Marketing?
The Cool Car Company based in London has the core business of buying and selling cars. The organisational structure of the company can be represented as:
The main goal of the organisation is provide prompt services to its customers in buying and selling cars and to meet this goal all the departments need to work in harmony. All the departments are interconnected to each other. The functioning of one department depends on the functioning of other. A brief discussion of the roles of different departments and their interrelation is as follows:
Purchase Department – This department is responsible for purchase of cars by the company. The team has to work closely with the sales and marketing department as they deal directly with the customer so the demands and requirement s of the customers are known by them which information is used by the purchase team to purchase the cars. They make a planned forecast of the number of cars required based on this information.
Marketing Department – the main role of this department is to market the product of the company by different modes of advertising. The company has an active website which is maintained by the marketing department so it is the marketing department which is the face of the company. The information required by marketing department to update the website on the new cars available for sale, no. of cars sold, etc. would be required from various departments like sales, finance. Also a marketing plan is developed by the marketing team. The team can only develop the plan keeping finance team in the loop as the budget is decided by them.
Sales Department – this department is responsible for selling the cars of the company. The sales department deals directly with the customers so they are aware of the demand for cars, hence they help the purchase department in deciding on the purchase of cars depending upon the requirement and demand by the customers. Also the service since the sales person is the face to the customer so any matter relating to finance, legal or service is approached to by the customer to the sales department which further directs the customer to the concerned department. So the sales department is involved in most of the department work.
Operations Department – once the car is sold to the customer, the process of delivering the car to the customer starts. This is the job of the operations department. All the paper work is done by this department and it also maintains a stock of inventory.
Dispatch and Service Department – once all the necessary paper work is done, the final delivery of the car is done by the Dispatch. This department needs to work closely with both sales and operations department. The customer and car information is given by sales team and all documents provided by operations team to ensure right delivery of car. Also after the car is dispatched, after sale service is important which is given with support of the sales team.
Finance Department – this team is responsible for giving the business results and also forecast the future sales and revenue of the company. The team has to work closely with the sales and marketing team to get those figures. Also the team prepares the overall budget for the company, hence all the departments are linked to the finance dept. as their budget is also allocated by the finance dept. the dept. prepares financial statements taking cost information from purchase dept., revenue information from sales dept. , various business expenditures from operations department.
Legal Department – this department takes care of the legal issues that may come up during the course of the business ranging from drafting waiver forms for employees to handling suits from angry customers. This department works closely with the service and sales department as complaints from customers are lodged to them which are further transferred to the legal department to resolve the issue.
Determining goals and objectives is imperative to the success of an organisation. The set goals and objectives help the people in the organisation to work in way to achieve those goals. In fact, the various stakeholders in an organisation help to identify the goals and put plans into action to achieve the decided goals and objectives. The main goal of CCC is to keep its customers satisfied by giving best quality services and also maximising its profits and having a good growth year to year.
Now, all the departments work in harmony to achieve the above objectives. In order to keep the customers satisfied, the sales and service department have to perform well by resolving all their queries and fulfilling their needs. In order for the sales dept to fulfil needs properly, marketing dept. has to give right information as to the demand for the cars and the customer requirements. This information is used by the purchase dept. to decide on its buying. The operations department has to work in harmony with other depts. to ensure smooth running of the business. The measurement of the fulfilment of objectives is done by the finance dept. which is reflected in financial statements in terms of profits.
Also the different dept. can give insights in forming the objectives of the organisation based on their experience. The sales and marketing dept. team will understand firsthand which of companies policies and processes are working or not and can suggest improvement. All the depts. in the process of their working can suggest improvements in the processes and the new objectives may be formed accordingly.
Process Management is an approach to making an organizations work flow more effective and efficient. It includes defining a process, establishing responsibilities, evaluating process performance and improvement of processes.
CCC has a process of selling a cars which starts with purchase dept. buying cars, marketing dept. identifying customers, sales dept. selling the cars, dispatch and service dept,. Delivering the car and providing after sales service, operations dept. maintain documentation, finance dept. collecting payment. CCC should document all the processes so that the employees can know the working process. Once documentation is done, the responsibilities will be allocated to respective dept.. An e valuation should be done on a periodic basis to see if work is being done as per standards or not and also if improvements are required in the ongoing process, the same should be taken care of. When all dept. will work according to laid down standards, the output will be automatically good and quality services will be given to customers.
Purchase Department is an important department in CCC as it buys the cars which are further sold by the company. There are many responsibilities to be met by this dept. which include both internal i.e. specific to the company and external i.e. to the third parties.
Internal responsibilities can be stated as below:
Placing order for the cars
Keeping a stock of cars kept as inventory from time to time
Inspection of incoming cars
Verification of invoices
Maintain purchase record and files
Reporting to the Managing Director
Maintaining coordination with other departments
Analyze on long term availability and costs of purchase
External responsibilities include:
Develop and maintain healthy relation with active suppliers
Negotiation with various suppliers to get the best deals
Assessment of demand
Selection of sources of supply
Monitor and control the suppliers performance
The three objectives to be laid down by purchase dept. for the year would be:
Increase the source of supply – the dept. will look out for more sources of supply i.e. procure cars from more suppliers than it is doing currently. By doing this, the company will have a competitive advantage as it will be able to negotiate well and thus bring down its cost of purchase. A decreased cost will lead to higher profit margins. Also more cars at disposal will lead to pushing of sales which will expand the operations.
To maintain uninterrupted flow of materials – a company’s growth is characterised by increasing sales, high sales is possible only if there are uninterrupted flow of materials i.e. cars for the sales team to sell. This will ensure smooth functioning of all the departments.
To procure cars at a cost which is economically consistent with the quality and service required – low cost will ensure high profit margins.
The various systems that could be implemented to achieve quality, time and financial constraints are:
Managing Bottlenecks – means identifying operations with large quantities of inventory waiting to be worked upon, removing such bottlenecks by subordinating all non bottleneck operations to bottleneck operations.
Identifying quality problems using control charts, pareto diagram and cause and effect diagram
Employing financial and non financial measures of quality.
Monitoring the performance of various departments is very important to know if they are operating as per the set standards. The various control techniques which can be applied include:
Budgetary control – every dept. has its assigned budget, hence they should keep a check that their expenses do not cross the budget
Inventory control - there should be a control of minimum level of required inventory at any point of time.
Quality control – to ensure cars sourced meet the quality standards
Quality is imperative to the success of a business and in an industry like healthcare, quality is of utmost importance as a little negligence may lead to high risks. There are various quality management systems available which can be used by the managers to ensure quality by the employees in delivering the services. Quality management systems allow companies to keep up with the current quality levels, meet customer requirement for quality, retain employees through competitive compensation programs and employ the latest technology. There are three quality systems which can be deployed by the operations manager:
Total Quality Management (TQM) – TQM is a quality management approach in which quality is emphasised at every step of the business. It aims at developing long term quality services. The approach breaks down the process into small activities and emphasises that each activity be quality controlled. Under TQM, a quality strategy is developed by the management, the strategy development strategy is made with the involvement of all departments who are to execute such strategies. The strategy is based on customer and stakeholder needs and is communicated well to the organisation to act as a motivating force.
In light of SCAS, the operations manager can deploy TQM. For this, he needs to break the process of receiving calls at 999 to receiving the patient in the ambulance and hospitalising him into smaller activities in terms of quality. Like he can set a minimum call answer time, minimum time to reach the place of emergency, the quality of medication to be provided in the ambulance and so on. While framing these quality strategies, he should also consult the employees responsible for execution of the same as they will give realistic figures for setting standards. This way the employees will also be motivated as they are involved in decision making and they will e more responsible. Also there will be more clarity as to different standards set for various activities.
Continuous quality Improvement ( CQI) – CQI aims to develop a quality system which is never satisfied and required continuous improvement and innovation by reducing time consuming and low value add activities. CQI has been adopted in many industries including healthcare industry mostly known in acronym FOCUS-PDCA
process to improve
to improve a process
what is known
a process improvement
Then move through the process improvement plan:
Plan – create a timeline
Do – implementation and collect data
Check – analyze the results
Act – take appropriate action
The manager at SCAS can implement CQI by rewarding the employees for delivering the desired results of giving quality services to customers. Such rewards will motivate the employees to perform well and continuously improve the performance by improving the process itself.
Six Sigma – six sigma is a statistical measure which tolerates no more than 3-4 defects per million. Sig sigma eliminates wastage and it is suitable for high volume business.
SCAS being a business model where high volumes of calls have to be answered and acted upon, six sigma is suitable where the manager can break the process into individual steps and identify the possible defects in each step and allow only the minimum percentage defect in each step by ensuring control. Such a check will motivate employees to minimal negligence.
Quality Culture means having a culture in the organisation where all the members of the organisation have a mindset of delivering a quality product or service. Having a culture which has positive internal environment and creation of delighted customers. The various benefits of having a quality culture are:
Increases Cooperation – since the leader involves the staff also in forming strategies, there is more cooperation from them.
Enables change – there is strong communication and and the information is accessible so the information can be used as direction for what to do next and how to improve , thus enabling change
Process improvement – there is no blame game and the blame is on the process, so efforts are directed towards improving the process.
Staff develops, takes risks, admits failures and learns
The various methods that the company can use in evaluating and monitoring the performance of employees for continuous improvement are:
– the manager can carry out inspection on the accident sites or the call centre where all the calls are answered. Such inspections can be sudden so that the actual working of employees can be seen and improvements can be suggested. Also manager will have the chance to see the employee on the job, so any shortcomings in the process can be identified on the job and rectified thereafter.
Consumer Surveys – Consumer surveys can be carried out by the company as to their reaction to the quality of services being offered by SCAS. This will provide the company with first hand information and the process can be tailored as per customer needs.
Third party assessment – the company should obtain certification from International Organization for Standardization which measures the company performance in terms compliance with international quality standards.
Statistical Indicators – statistical indicators give suggestion for issues for performance management, quality improvement and further scrutiny. Indicators assess the company performance both internally and externally. The indicators should be designed in a manner that it can measure the achievement of predetermined objectives.
The main objective of the organisation is to provide quality service to its customers and also maintain promptness in its services as it is an emergency case. However, off late employees at SCAS have compromised on quality in order to fulfil targets, hence it is imperative for the operations manager to implement changes in the operations to make it more efficient and effective. The various improvements suggested by the manager are:
Provide incentive on qualitative basis instead of quantitative – the employees should be rewarded for providing quality services instead of quantitative. They should be encouraged to take extra care while responding to emergency calls on 999 as these are life risking cases and should be done with utmost care.
Development of customer oriented culture in the organisation – currently the employees are compromising on the quality of service to customer, this may be due to absence of a customer focused culture in the company, the manager should try to build such culture by emphasising on customer service, involving employees in decision making w.r.t. customer satisfaction.
Addressing employee grievance - the manager should make special efforts to listen to employee grievance if any and try to resolve their problems.
Putting a performance improvement plan in place – putting a plan that sets specific goals for improvement, attendance being one of them. Explain clearly the consequences of not fulfilling it.
The improvements suggested above would be beneficial to the whole organisation. Other departments can also implement the above improvements as it will only lead to increased employee motivation. Customer oriented culture will not be specific to only emergency department but all other departments as all are necessarily working for its customers.
The WHS Act and Regulations has made it mandatory for a person/company who has a duty of ensuring health and safety to manage risks related to it by eliminating it or if it cannot be completely eliminated, then of minimising the risks. The risk assessments required to be undertaken by CSAS by law are:
Work out how severe the harm could be – it includes working on how severe the harm could be in terms of may it result in serious injury or even death. How many people are exposed to such hazard or could one failure lead to another failure and so on.
Work out how hazards may cause harm – in most of the cases, the accident occurs due to a chain of events, hence, it is important to work on each component of the chain from the starting point till the end and determine where things may begin to go wrong.
Work out the likelihood of harm occurring – it means considering how often is the task done, how often are people close to the hazard.
Health and Safety requirements under different situations:
When new staff has joined the organisation – employer must give information about the risks in the workplace and also give training on how to protect one from risks.
A new telephone system has been introduced – to assess any risks associated with the operation of the telephone. Also train the employees on the usage of new system.
Dangerous waste product need to be disposed – the waste is disposed off in a manner that the disposal does not harm the people staying in the area of disposal.
Maintenance work needs to take place in call centre dept. – the calls should be transferred to other dept. i.e. the incoming calls should not be stopped.
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures are administrative measures to control hazards in the workplace and should be used to eliminate or reduce risk of injury or illness at workplace. The various policies for CSAS are:
Elimination of risk – elimination of any toxic substance or hazardous process which is not important for the system to work.
Substitution – substituting a hazardous process with one which is less harmful.
Isolation – isolating a hazardous substance or process from the employees to reduce risk of illness or injury.
Administrative Controls – changing the procedure of work to reduce exposure to existing hazards.
Personal protective clothing and equipment – proper training also must be imparted for use of protective clothing and equipment to employees.
The effectiveness of the policies and procedures can be measured in short term and long term. Short term measurements include
Assessment of plans being properly implemented
Reduction in number of injuries
Proportion of H&S grievance which were resolved
Long term measurements include:
Rates of injury and illness
Hidden coat of injuries/illness
Training Guide for employees of SCAS
SCAS is committed to providing safe and Healthy workplace to all and to providing training to achieve this.
The employees can play an important role in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace through:
Being involved in workplace safety system
Wearing protecting clothing and equipment when required
Reporting all incidents and accidents
Reporting any discomfort or injury
Informing about any health and safety concerns
Sticking to the policies and procedures
Keeping the work place tidy to minimise risks of any trips.
Your participation is appreciated.
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