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Argos was founded in 1973, owned by GUS plc and a part of Home Retail Group. Home Retail Group was demerged from its parent company, GUS plc, in October 2006 and since then It started selling products under two distinctive and complementary retail brands, Argos and Homebase, which are household names In UK . Argos has recently gone international by opening their first ever shop in India in this year. During the year Argos reviewed its performance against a number of industry benchmarks. Argos was also privileged to be nominated for a number of corporate responsibility awards, receiving top honours in several categories. Argos is a responsible retailer. Every year they continue to make good progress on their corporate responsibility aims and commitments. Argos has met the published social and environmental criteria required for investable companies. Argos calculates these indices by assessing the top 10% of companies against a proprietary framework to judge their sustainability. Argos has been awarded a silver class, placing us in the top four general retailers. Argos progressed to the gold band from silver in 2007. Sustainable Investment Research International’s draft profile for Argos has been rated by independent analysts PIRC using their SiRi methodology. Argos has been included in the proprietary ethibel index, assessed by French analysts Vigeo. In 2007, Argos led the retail sector in donations generated from others as a proportion of our community investment. Argos has received several notable corporate responsibility awards during the last 12 months. DJSI Silver award, BitC6 Gold award, Retail Week CSR award finalist 2007. Argos won in the ‘Supply Chain Innovation’ category at the 2008 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards for its work in smoothing stock flow with Far Eastern suppliers. Argos was a finalist in the ‘High Street Recycling Champion’ category at the 2007 Letsrecycle.com Awards. Argos also received the gold award for institute of fundraising. The gold award is a symbol of excellence and is awarded to employers who are successfully running their business. ‘Argos has proved itself by successfully running the business and gaining the top slot in all departments of excellence’.
Argos has three kinds of stores Argos regular stores.Argos business solutions [Argos rewards and Argos business purchasing]. baby and nursery. Argos car insurance. toys& games. Argos master cards. Argos is being the only one of its kind of retailer which is very well known for variety of choice. General merchandise items and household products are sold in Argos . diy & leisure. video games. jewellery& watches. gifts etc. office. Those services include Argos credit & insurance [Argos cards. amend list and view and buy list. furniture and furnishings. Product insurance [breakdown cover and free accidental cover] and Gift list services [set up list. Argos regular stores are smaller stores and just keep the Argos regular range of products whereas the Argos extra are bigger stores and keeps the full range of products. Argos call and collect stores are very smaller stores that do not hold any stocks. best value and convenience. TYPES OF THE PRODUCT AND SERVICES Argos offers plenty of products and services. Argos pet insurance. The products their offer it’s almost covers all the section of daily and entertainment needs of present life. photography. Argos is part of Home Retail Group. Argos sales is growing day by day and it registered 8% growth to £4. Argos travel insurance and Argos homeowners loan]. Purchases can be made online and over the telephone. -2- . Argos home insurance. but they can get both regular and extra items for customers. pc & phones. Apart from these it has got 2500 extra lines of products and it always adds some new products twice in the year Apart from all these products Argos also offers plenty of services.2 billion in the last financial year. Argos call & collect stores and Argos extra stores. personal care and bathroom.It has got over 700 stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. sound & vision.TASK 1 NATURE OF THE ORGANIZATION Argos has got a very strong workforce of some 34. Argos sells varieties of product from garden. Argos call & collect stores are used as pick-up point to save customers a long journey to their nearest stocked –in store. sports and fitness. kitchen and laundry.000 people across the business. the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer. There over 2500 extra items in Argos extra and the products which are extra are marked by extra symbol an are found only in Argos extra but it can also be ordered in regular Argos stores which can be get normally in three working days.
supply chain .i. Around two third of the country’s population.process improvement team . As it is said every single lining has a cloud.distribution HR .etc].e.Crawford. Its internet site is the second most visited internet retail site in the UK.17 million UK households on average have an Argos catalogue at home at any time. Strengths can become weakness and turn on you when you least expect it.if a business have more than one product . OPERATIONAL STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS As it can be seen that Argos offers plenty of goods and services in more than 700 stores all over the country and through other different mediums . it is very hard to run a business with plenty of goods and services .It is always hard to run a business with more than one product .there will always be technical glitches and operational complications which makes the life of the operational team very hard. -3- .Its operational strength lies in its strong workforce and a very strong operating team [distribution .But as ‘operating conditions are now getting more challenging’ [D. aug 2008. and every strength has a dark side. The target of the company is to add around 30 stores per annum with the chain expected to exceed 800 over time.Argos is serving almost over 130 million customers every year through its stores and also serving four million customers either online or over the phone. The financial express] and the much unexpected frequent change in present market and where a business is serving more than 130 million customer.it is only possible because of the way its operates .
There are three managers in Argos shops store manager. And  transformed resources i. But Most of the products that are sold in Argos are not manufactured by them. The central distributions team take over the process to distribute it to different centres. stock room manager and shop floor manager. Resources are of two kinds  transforming resources i. Heywood.e. There are different managers like support manager.e. Input is the stage where resources are supplied. The distribution senior managers are responsible for the purchase of products. All the imported products from the manufacturers first come to central distribution centre. etc. transformation and output. From there it’s been send to different shops all over. labour. Each and every deliveries got a detailed list of the products their location and where they coming from . At this stage there should be consistency in supply of resources and the resources should be of good quality. facilities. material. machinery.Then after putting the deliveries away. regional manager.. Basildon . equipment. apart from this they have to make sure that they have ordered the right quantity and according to their budget and from the right place. information and customer. input. The team leaders then supervise the team to put all the products on the shelf. From there the different managers and regional managers sent the products required to different shops all over the country. Corby. supply chain manager. magna park. Castleford . When the products comes in the shops the stockroom manager takes over the process and distribute it to team leaders. its been released on the -4- . The input-output model basically has three stages i. The main distribution centre is the central distribution centre. but are mainly imported from different manufacturers from different countries.TASK 2 INPUT-OUTPUT MODEL & CURRENT OPERATION STRATEGY The link between Argos and its customers can be examined through transformation process [input-output model]. Kettering and Moss End.e. Argos has different distribution centres all over the country.. Bridgewater. They have to make sure that the quality of products has got the standard to be sold in Argos. etc. The input-transformation-output model provides a useful way to visualise the planning and scoping process against the implementation process and the link between the organisation and its customer. These transforming or transformed resources are then put into transformation stage from where the final product comes out at the output stage. In the central distribution centre the distribution team transformed and categorised the products in different sections and sent it to different distribution centres like Barton .
The operation inside the shop runs in a systematic way. PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES There are five performance objectives in operation i. its location. order number. Speed Speed is a shorthand way of saying ‘Speed of response’. dependability increases and speed of response increases. performance objective. Quality Quality is placed first in our list of performance objectives as well as in the list of Argos because many authorities believe it to be the most important. speed. If there is any mistake they respond it quickly and come out with a solution. This brings in more revenue for the company. Then customer can pay at the kiosk in the shop or queue up to pay at the tills. -5- . reliability or dependability.. flexibility and cost. There are two important points on quality as a performance objective. It means the time between the customer ordering an item and. and if not available whether it can be ordered. them getting it. These five performance objective are very much relevant to Argos.system so that all the products are ready to sale. which is discussed below. They are quality. It says the price. As soon as the customer pay the money they get the receipt saying order number and the section and at the same time there is a ticket comes out in the stockroom saying the catalogue number of the item.e. Customers are a very important part of business and so in Argos. units available. From there it reaches to customers. And if there is any complain on any items it is sent back to the lab for quality checking. Customers can find that the products they wanted are available or not on the machines provided in the shop.17 seconds from the time customer pay the money] Then the designated person responsible for picking pick the item and pass it to the collection team and then the collection team gives it to the customer. This generally means that cost is saved. time of ordered in the limited time set for serving customers [present serving time is 4. There are internal and external affects. and if any defect found in that particular item it is RTM [Return To Manufacturer] So if the customers have nothing to complain about they will (presumably) be happy with their products and services and are more likely to consume them again. The quality control manager is responsible for the quality of the products and make sure that the customers who ‘consume’ the operations products and services will have less (or nothing) to complain about. The senior distribution manager’s team make sure that the conformance quality is high in all the operations processes and activities and very few mistakes will be being made. units available.
or where they want them which are Volume and delivery flexibility. In every six months Argos develops new products and a service in ideas which customers may find attractive which product service flexibility is. Usually. Certainly being late with delivery of goods and services can be a considerable irritation to customers. There are external and internal affects. or information. Flexibility Flexibility in operation means ‘being able to change the operation in some way’. -6- . The internal affects of speed have much to do with cost reduction. or customers ‘hangs around’ in a system for long periods (slow throughput speed) there is more chance of them getting lost or damaged with a knock-on effect on dependability. When materials. it has external and internal affects. Externally (no matter how it is defined) dependability is generally regarded by customers as a good thing.Externally speed is important because it helps to respond quickly to customers. again. faster throughput of information (or customers) will mean reduced costs. In Argos the supply chain manager is responsible for the smooth and proper supply of products and managing the whole supply network and makes sure that the products reaches to the customer on time. Argos has more than 700 stores all over the country and it is trying to open another 100 stores by next year and thus reaching to the customers thereby increasing its utilisation and reducing its cost by saving fuel [reducing delivery through transport]. Argos has different types of flexibility and allows its operation to fit its products and services to its customers in some way. or when they want them. It has got a wide variety of products and services for its customers to choose from which is mix flexibility. So. Argos has got a process improvement team and different projects managers which allow the operation to adjust its output levels and its delivery procedures in order to cope with unexpected changes in how many products and services customers want. Dependability Dependability means ‘being on time’. The distribution improvement team make sure that the speed of internal throughput within an operation is not slow.And. The operation team in Argos make sure that the customers are getting the quality product or services in the fixed serving time [4 mins and 17 secs] which they are promised. the external affects of this performance objective are to increase the chances of customers returning with more business. Argos has set a serving time of 4 mins and 17 secs from the time customer orders a products or a services . The operating system in Argos very much flexible. this is usually viewed positively by customers who will be more likely to return with more business. Externally. Again.
high speed. and most importantly. "If managed properly. Cost The project manager. and helps maintain dependability. continuous improvement manager. high dependability and high flexibility can not only bring their own external rewards. The different categories of cost vary in the other four objectives which are discussed above. etc in Argos are always planning in improving costs the cost structure of different organisations can vary greatly. saves time (and therefore money). This has been one of the major revelations within Argos operations management over the years. Second. distribution strategic manager. internally.Once again. high quality. there are several internal affects associated with this performance objective. -7- . they can also save the operation cost’’. Argos is very much flexible which speeds up response. to reducing cost. the other four performance objectives all contribute.
process layout. If the process design fails the whole business is going to fail as well.g. There are four types of designs namely product design. The layout design is physical location and the arrangement of transforming resources. object or a service. model. The product and process design can overlap and in the cases of services this can be to a greater extent because of the service characteristics of intangibility. Product/process technology is used to convert the resources into final product which is core product.. Product design is the idea generation. It helps to develop more advance products in such a way with improved quality. testing and implementation of a product which can be physical. They make plans that translate the broader decisions about the competitive priorities. -8- . structure. proposal. layout design and network design. process design. For this Argos has got a separate team for that which is process improvement team.e.g. description) or the result of implementing that plan (e. inseparability.TASK 3 ROLE OF DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY OF OPERATING SYSTEM Design refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product. system. It is used for either the final (solution) plan (e. cell layout and product layout. and capacity of its processes into actual physical arrangements. Whereas process design is a design of processes for desired physical or chemical transformation of a materials into a product. There are four basic types of layout design i. It also helps to maintain the consistency of supply. Technology is considered very important in product/process design. concept development. The above team is responsible for planning process that involves decisions about the physical arrangement of economic activity centers needed by a facility’s various processes. quality. where transformed resources are put together for sale. Technologies are a broad concept of transforming the material and design it in a manner of present market need. object produced. It should reflect the volume and variety. Process design can be the design of new facilities or it can be the modification or expansion of existing facilities. Argos is a process layout. or component. The design starts at a conceptual level and ultimately ends in the form of fabrication and construction plans. fixed position layout. Network design is basically a set up of network in designing the product. Technology gives the idea to the designer about the present concept of product in the market. result of the process). The interrelationship between the product/service design and process design has implications for the cost of production or operation. and simultaneity. process strategy. drawing. Process design is very important in this type of business.
ideas and expertise in processes and systems. They said RACO was a great example of a retailer pre-empting the need to revolutionize its system and infrastructure in order to meet the needs of a changing trading environment and ensure continued success in the non-food -9- . ‘’The judges said few other retailers have so successfully employed technology to create a unique market position and successfully compete against super market offering increased general merchandise. It helps to develop and deliver the continuous improvement rollout programme across the distribution network including resources and required enablers to facilitate the implementation of continuous improvement on a site specific basis. in line with another initiative across the business. understanding and capability of operations team.Design activity can improve the quality of operating system. Argos presently is not very well equipped with such facilities that can change the way the company replenishes the stock which can be one of the biggest problems in its operating system in the near future. In Argos design activity play a very important role. It provides excellence team across the wider business. Design activity gives the knowledge. it is very much essential to maintain and replenish stock properly. Design activity leads to improve events and develop other aspects as well. It supports site base planning and review sessions. It delivers a proper guidance in operation management team across the distribution division. RACO [Replenishment and Core Operation] can be adopted as a new operational tool. To overcome this operational issue and problem. But now as the world is running fast and it’s getting very hard to forecast the future of any business. Argos needs to adopt some new operational technique. It evolves and manages communication in distribution support managers helps in developing and delivering good quality communication and manages distribution’s communication strategy. It makes the divisional training team to deliver enhanced in house awareness. CURRENT OPERATING ISSUES AND ITS SOLUTION Argos is running its business very successfully and has got a good operational team. It establishes and operate a reporting mechanism that provides written and statistical data on the effectiveness of continuous improvement. It can be one of biggest system implementation has ever been taken. If the stock is not maintained systematically the organization will loose its control over business. Design activity supports the division and business with process improvement to support the requirement for business growth. At present Argos does not have any such technique to revolutionaries its systems and infrastructure in order to meet the needs of a changing trading environment. It reviews and challenges the internal processes with a view to improving Argos service to the customers. As Argos is such a big company dealing with plenty of products. the business and its operating system need to employ good technology to create a unique market position and successfully compete against the other competitors. This can be the biggest problem in operation.
has received surprisingly little attention. increasing the number of shifts. proper forecasting output. proper inventory management etc. So RACO is the new operational technique which needs to be adopted in order to overcome the present operational issues and problems. Effective planning and control includes proper capacity planning.retail sector’’ [Argos post April 2008]. the third well-known management function. A discrepancy between the capacity of an organization and the demands of its customers results in inefficiency. managers should carefully consider the behavioural aspects of the process when designing a control system if employees are to be motivated to accomplish assigned tasks. increasing the number of workers or machines. But as previously noted. proper resource planning. RACO will increase the level of engagement in the project across the business. Though Argos mainly . or acquiring additional production facilities. The planning manager and the distribution manager are responsible for Capacity planning in Argos. Control. Effective planning and control is very much important in getting the maximum output and profit from the business. RACO will help and improve daily stock management. equipment and materials. such as increasing or decreasing the production quantity of an existing product. The goal of capacity planning is to minimize this discrepancy. due-day deliveries and moving to a single merchandising system for stock data. either in under-utilized resources or unfulfilled customers. Capacity can be increased through introducing new techniques. Capacity Planning Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. This is perhaps because the task side of control is noticed and the behavioural or human side is largely overlooked. Demand for an organization's capacity varies based on changes in production output. RACO allows faster and more frequent generation of orders and stock replenishment. "capacity" is the maximum amount of work that an organization is capable of completing in a given period of time. It will keep the track records of buy-in suppliers and other external partners updated. In the context of capacity planning.10 - . ROLE OF PLANNING AND CONTROL Planning and organizing are two management functions that have been popular research areas in recent years. They determine the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. or producing new products. It should be dealt according to the nature of demand and supply of products in the market. Better utilization of existing capacity can be accomplished through improvements in overall equipment effectiveness.
demand for public transit may be high and during the business hours. demand for telephone and other communication services can be high. If forecasting is not done correctly business suffers a huge loss. cultural and social or even financial. Strategic planning manager is responsible for forecasting output in unknown situation in Argos. For example. etc. Currently he is engaged in Irish delivery strategy where he allocating resources in proper way. The central operation manager reviews the cost. Planning resources is very important in any type of business. expert opinion and judgmental method. Ideally. As they plan for resources they also manage the risks and issues and . In present trading situation it is very hard to forecast business and so output. Before forecasting. Though it is an extremely difficult thing. or even other causes such as political. Without proper planning production cannot be done in a smooth manner. The central operation manager is responsible for proper utilization of resource and planning in Argos. there are some mathematical models are available to do forecasting. It should be done according to the nature of supply and demand of product in business. It includes financial resources.depends on products manufactured by different companies from different countries role of capacity planners is very important in finding the present need of the business. benefit and resources. during the morning and evening hours. information technology. demand should be forecast in output terms rather than input units. but a proper and close estimation is done by the strategic planning manager to get the output for the business.11 - . production resources. They take the feedbacks from stores and distribution chain and order the products according to the need of the business. Forecasting Output Forecasting output is very important thing in any business. Resource Planning Resource planning is the planning of how business resources are acquired and moved from one state to another. External factors often make it difficult to attain any level of accuracy. operations manager should clearly define the output units that can be used to forecast the future events. behavioral. They are moving average method. Sometimes businesses don’t do well and there are loads of stock already in warehouse is available. In Argos the capacity planners also decides as to the capacity of products and varieties needs to be send in different stores. Human skills are managed by the HR manager. It can be geographical and climatic condition as in the case of travel and tourism products. time series method. There are several causes of seasonality and regular fluctuation in demand. particularly when the demand depends on seasonality. In this situation strategic planning manager plays an important role in forecasting the situation and getting the proper output for the business as well as getting the stocks out.
Supply chain manager in Argos provides a comprehensive and professional secretarial advice to operation managers. Quality maintenance is a method for ensuring that all the activities necessary to design. Quality management is focused not only on product quality. However. The issues related to quality management in Argos are inconsistency in maintaining the quality of the product. it is also a very costly asset to maintain. and also to ease the effect of imperfections in the manufacturing process that lower production efficiencies if production capacity stands idle for lack of materials. Having the right amount of inventory to meet customer’s requirement is critical. Inventory are held in order to manage and hide from the customer the fact that manufacture/supply delay is longer than delivery delay. Supply chain manager in Argos not only manages the supply network keeps track of goods held available in stock by the business. but also the means to achieve it. At present the central operation manager is engaged with the staff in central operation trying to utilize the resources in a proper way. Quality management therefore uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality. Quality Management is all activities of the overall management function that determine the quality policy. However. develop and implement a product or service are effective and efficient with respect to the system and its performance.12 - . Managing inventory in the supply chain is critical to ensure high customer service levels. Supply chain management manages the inventory and supply network Managing inventory in the supply chain is critical to ensure high customer service levels. or those goods and materials themselves. So the work of supply chain manager is versatile in Argos. They also help the distribution director in maintaining the proper distribution chain. . objectives and responsibilities and implement them by means such as quality control and quality improvements within a quality system. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT AND SUPPLY CHAIN Inventory is a list for goods and materials. held available in stock by a business.ensuring appropriate action is taken. Inventory are held in order to manage and hide from the customer the fact that manufacture/supply delay is longer than delivery delay. it is very costly asset to maintain. and also to ease the effect of imperfections in the manufacturing process that lower production efficiencies if production capacity stands idle for lack of materials. ISSUES OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVEMNT Argos has got a comprehensive operational team but still they are lacking in quality management to some extent.
Now Argos has set up a lab for quality checking. . They establish and operate a reporting mechanism that provides written and statistical data on the effectiveness of the programme. The quality management team is also engaged taking other initiatives and planning to improve the quality system. To improve this situation Process improvement manager and the continuous improvement manager has been given the task to make a proper strategy to control and maintain the quality. It is very hard to check all the products as it is dealing with plenty of products so if any complaint is made for any products they a quality is checked and if its found ok they are send back to the stores and if they are not found ok they are RTM [Return To Manufacturer]. so the products is distributed to the stores without proper quality checking which decrease the level of quality management.As Argos is dealing with plenty of products.13 - .
Operational Management.co.com o o .google.REFERENCES Mr.uk o www. 4th edition o www.argos.14 - . N Saleem’s Hand Notes 2009 Pearson Education.
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