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Retail segment and communications management

Introduction A major share of the contribution to the economy comes in from the retail segment. The entry of numerous domestic and global players in the industry makes it extremely challenging and customer oriented. The World Wide Web has paved the way to virtual stores, facilitating the easy comparison of selling prices and product specification. Cyber trade has seen plenty of aristocratic achievements due to advancement in technology. 1.

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Decision Making The aim is to establish a retail fashion and accessory store to target the student community in particular. The enormous costs hooked up to the inception of a physical store have lead to resolve that a virtual store is a better option. Firstly, a business plan is crucial to any new establishment. Then to be able to concentrate on business development ensure that there is sufficient monetary preparation to feed no less than the initial ten months. Launching a registered website is vital to going virtual.

This will require a domain name, web host and an IP address. A shopping cart script and a payment gateway must be subsequently constituted. The victory of any cyber trade is highly influenced by the marketing tools chosen. The promotion techniques adopted will depend upon both internal and external market information. Decisions that influence the long term performance of any concern are Strategic in nature. They relate directly to its aims and objectives. The choice of a virtual store rather than a physical one is a strategic decision.

Tactical decisions foster the strategic decision of the business. Strategies are generally in standing for a long period of time while tactics tend to be more volatile. Three generic strategies that pull off competitive advantage – 1 . Cost leadership, be the cheapest, 2. Differentiation, eave a better product, 3. Focus, set your sights on convenience niche, as stated by Michael Porter. Elementary to the daily working of the business are the operational decisions taken. Decisions like how to service a client or when to re-order stock are operational in nature.

Several options need to be contemplated before procuring the required workforce. Freelancers could be seen as an alternative as it does not involve any full time salary and benefits. The state agency caters to initial fund requirements along with financial assistances and advises. Therefore fresh entrepreneurs can ply for startup loans and avail their mentoring services as well. 2. Information and Decision Making Information conducive to business can be assembled through multifarious means. Like case analysis, focus group discussions, observations, reviews and surveys to name a few.

These can be broadly divided into internal and external sources. Census figures, Judgments on court cases, national opinion polls, trade Journals, professional publications and the Internet are a few external sources, while production and sales statistics, company reports, sales invoices and accounting records are a few internal ascertaining the current and future plan of action. 3. Improvements in Selection and Analysis of Information Fundamental decision making was based on various internal and external sources of information.

In order to make decisions regarding market segmentation, soot analysis, customer analysis, competitor analysis, risk analysis, product research, advertising, test Marketing and the like it is necessary to use Market research reports as they give an extremely comprehensive summary and analysis of the market. The support and back up catered by the government must be sought after at all initial stages of a new business. Ensure to frequent workshops, seminars and symposiums on new ventures to comprehend and stay up to date in business management. 4.

List of Stake holders Stakeholder of a company means, an individual, group or organization that has interest or concern in that company. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the actions of the business as a whole. Primary Stakeholders – generally internal, take on economic transactions with the business. Stockholders, customers, suppliers, creditors, and employees for instance. Secondary Stakeholders – although do not take on direct economic trade with the business – can influence or be affected by its recordings. General public, communities, activist groups, business support groups, and the media for example.

The company and its stakeholders have to stay in perpetual correlation to attain overall objectives. In retail trade product related decision making has to be made in accordance with customers to get a better understanding of their needs and wants. Likewise there will be many circumstances where decisions are taken with stakeholder participation. In case of any difference of opinion a cordial consensus has to be arrived at. 5. Methods to Develop Contacts with Stakeholders To elicit better understanding of company objectives and stakeholder desires it is essential to have a well designed two way communication system in place.

It finally results in a healthy multidimensional flow of information with a high degree of transparency. Involving examples. 7. Strategy for Future Improvements Concentrate on developing favorable operational association. Prioritize on accepting the discrepancies instead of discarding them. Construct and encourage mutual performance Pay attention on administering internal stakeholder liaison. Review the communication system in practice at least quarterly. Conclusion Establishing a retail concern can be very demanding and complicating.

The realms of decision making for the proprietor and founders stretch in all directions. These decisions will be based on the information gathered through the several internal and external sources. The company and its stakeholders have to constantly stay correlated in all important issues pertaining to the company. To establish and maintain any business successfully there has to be clarity in monetary and market apprehension and awareness. An effective blueprint and continuous effective administration will help keep away from risks and pave the way to success. PART II Communication is a fundamental, universal process.

It is essentially the exchange and share of information, knowledge and ideas among people. Communication plays a vital role in the business organization. It is the life wire of the organization. It is the important essence for the drive to success. Communication done within the organization is internal communication while any form of contact with anyone outside the organization is external communication. External communication if more emphasized than internal communication. Subtle formal communication systems are applied. The vertical communication system, both top down and vice versa, are extremely inadequate.

In a business the major setback is in maintaining proficient communication process. This generally results in poor communication. Blunders occur because orders are misunderstood. The fundamental trouble in communication is often because what is actually understood may is different from what was intended. This results in incomplete communication. 1 . Communication Process The organizational communication network and the types of communication are given below in a self explanatory diagrammatic representation. In today’s corporate scenario a multidimensional system of communication is indispensable.

The need for communication is to put across information and the need for information is to enable timely decision making. The flow of information has to reach the indented receiver in the intended manner. Fundamental tips too healthy workplace communication: 1. Be straightforward and unambiguous. 2. Listen to words as well as body language. 3. Let the speaker know you care about what is being communicated. 4. Opt for a face-to-face conversation in case of complicated information. 5. Be Respectful – use names, look in the eye and nod. 6. Choose the right medium depending on the content and receiver. . Tailor the message according to the receiver – boss, co-worker, customer or supplier require different styles. 8. Use testing when further explanation or repeated follow up is not required. E. G. , “What time is the budget meeting? 9. Regardless of the discussion, try to keep it positive. Even an earsplitting feedback can and ought to be delivered in a positive, supportive, team-centric manner. 10. Be navigable to improvements. Efficient communication is crucial to a company’s development. Improving communication also includes integration of technology.

This brings along the necessity for requisite training. Several businesses have realized efficiency and productivity through communication technology. It has affected is improved accessibility, flexibility and collaboration, which are vital components of communication. Technology will transform communication in many more ways. 3. Information and Knowledge In an organization’s scope information refers to data, conceptual commitments and interpretations, while knowledge is the process of exercising the information to facilitate timely decision making. Hence it must be managed effectively.

Knowledge has to be captured and acquired in order to be managed. Knowledge can be aggregated as structured, unstructured and critical. Bifurcation can also be tactic, explicit and implicit knowledge. Knowledge Management is a multi-disciplined approach towards accomplishing overall objectives through the optimum usage of knowledge. It involves capturing, preserving, transferring, disseminating and utilizing knowledge. Advances in information technology have made it easier to manage tools that can be used. Using information technology for knowledge management will require systematic knowledge management architecture.

This should provide the organization with a framework that can use the central database to store customer tat and effectively utilize information and knowledge. This is a highly cognitive process. The organization in study, we come to understand from the case, does not encompass a modus operandi for storing and retrieving knowledge and information. The knowledge of the supervisor is not stored for the volunteers hence cannot be resourceful to the writer. It is evident from the case study that the organization doses not practice knowledge management strategies.

A fresh and innovative strategy has to be inserted to exploit the available information resources. This will result in 40% raise in profitability. There will be enhanced data acquisition and data storage while complications in information recovery will become redundant. Technology will provide a contemporary management approach through an instant and rapid access to information. An idyllic strategy will merge multiple corporate databases into bigger, integrated, multidimensional knowledge bases that are constructed to sustain cutthroat intelligence.

These centralized knowledge repositories force the optimization of information gathering, organizing, and retrieval. This strategy will comprise Knowledge enriching features with the aim to carry out flawless interoperability and information stream. This implementation will directly correlate with the bottom-line. Crisis management is yet another imperative function to be carried out by the organization in study. These organizations face issues that are not recurring in nature. This means the information handled belongs to a highly volatile breed.

This calls for more speedy availability of dynamic information and strategic knowledge management. Implementing a healthy information and knowledge management: Step 1 – identify the existing setbacks – to implement a thriving system it should be aligned with overall objectives and current issues. Step 2 – prepare for change – this is not bare application of technology but also involves cultural change and requires backing from the corporate management. Step 3 – create the team – a befitting team with an efficient team head and “cross departmental” proficiency is necessary for the success of the new system.

Step 4 – perform the audit and analysis – the information and knowledge audit will reflect what data is there? , what is needed? , what is missing? , how to acquire it? , and how to organize it?. Step 5- define the key features – features in the new system have to be clearly stated. Features differ between organizations. However insurability, customizable and security are commonly preferred features. Step 6 – build the blocks one by one – use a phased approach that balances the existing system and implements the new features in an acceptable manner. Each phase should lay the foundation for the next phase in a subtle way.

Step 7 – link it to people – it’s a known fact that even the foremost user-friendly systems can fail if they are not properly linked to the concerned people. Implementing an inclusive information and knowledge management system can be a taxing task; nevertheless, the outcome will be extraordinary. 4. Improving Access to Information and Knowledge The major objectives to improve access to information and knowledge in the organization are to: Ensure balanced access to information and knowledge. Endow employees with appropriate information and knowledge. Guarantee handy, comprehensible data.

Foster knowledge and information proficiency of an individual. Elicit optimum system usage. Among suggested methods to achieve improved access are firstly, actuality an intranet into the system so as to facilitate the finest database practices and proficient directories. An intranet is an internal computer network of an organization that improves access to information and knowledge through streamlining its cascade. The subsequent method is sowing fresh cutting-edge knowledge and yielding it to precious harvest that is meaningful and capable of breakthrough performances leading to rapid and superior innovation.

This dynamically managed and well mapped meta- knowledge is a significant aspect of the company’s intellectual capital which directly correlates to its success. 5. Personal Plan for Effective Communication Personal and professional life progress to a very high degree is influenced by interpersonal skills. Effectively conveying and translating information, being able to interpret people’s emotions and being sensitive to them, calmly arriving at solutions to conflicts, avoiding gossip and being polite are all members of the interpersonal skill crew where listening is the captain.

The volunteer supervisor needs to develop his interpersonal skills. The development program encompasses the following: Appreciate – spot something positive about each co-worker let them hear it. Build dynamic listening – demonstrate that the other’s point of view has been received in full. Be non verbal where you have to – listen and communicate not Just words but also body language and moods. Bring people together – Create an atmosphere that encourages everyone to work together. Resolve conflicts – be an efficient mediator.

See it from their side – Empathic. Stay calm, poised and balanced. Don’t complain – else you’ll get a bad reputation. The volunteer supervisor ought to acquire the art of communication and allocation to create a healthy work environment. Conclusion The communication system of an organization is its backbone. The political activists’ organization in study needs to sharpen its internal communication system, as an analysis of the case gives an evident picture of the issues resulting from scanty communication practices.

The voluminous nature of information handled by organizations calls for proficiency in its management. Information is not knowledge unless its value is dug out. This gives rise to an essential cognitive process called information and knowledge management the focus of which is to connect people, processes and technology to effectively use and manage the organization’s intellectual capital at par with the physical assets of the company to achieve overall success.


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