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How could the store, the ‘box’, compete, retain its old customers and build a strong future customer base?

‘We’ve always known that it’s all about customer service,’ Lauren said. ‘But what’s so great about grabbing a giant plastic shopping cart and slogging through some giant warehouse in your shorts and flip- flops, and then joining the herd at the checkout?

‘And what isn’t great about being treated like Oprah from the moment you hit the door until the sales associate swipes your card and hands over something lovely that you just purchased?’

Identifying and Describing the Four Management Functions in the Case Study

The four management functions provide an opportunity for the manager to think conceptually and strategically in order to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. In the given case study, Lauren, the store manager of DeMarco’s Department Store aim plan towards providing excellent service to the customers. A commented by Kerzner (2013), the four management functions include planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Successful implementation of the four-management function allows the manager to achieve the organizational aim and objectives strategically.

In the planning stage, the manager creates a detailed action plan for achieving the organizational goals and objectives (Goetsch and Davis 2014). According to the given case study, Lauren, the store manager of DeMarco’s Department Store was mesmerised by seeing the celebrity like treatment provided in a Chicago restaurant that made the normal customer feel like a celebrity. Lauren, the store manager plan towards implementing personalized customer experience to the individuals coming in the departmental store for shopping, as it is all about satisfying the customers. Lauren plans to provide personalized customer service to the customers that will force them to come back to DeMarco’s Departmental Store repeatedly. According to Lauren, this will help in increasing the sales and customers of the departmental store and provide an opportunity for the employees to earn more.


The organizing step provides an opportunity for the manager to determine the distribution of resources and organizing the employees in accordance with the plan (Rice 2013). According to the case study, Lauren organizes the employees to provide personalized service to the customers. In this case, the employees will assist the customers when they hit the door of the departmental store until the sales associates’ swipe their cards and hand over their purchased items. This will provide an opportunity for the employees to grow their own customer base and earn extra. Additionally, Lauren also aims toward changing the hourly pay to straight commission.

The manager aim towards connecting with the employees at an interpersonal level in the leading stage (Becker, Kugeler and Rosemann 2013). According to the case study, some of the employees have outshined in excellent service to the customers by providing appropriate guidance and informing the customers at a regular interval. However, some of the employees have failed to implement the approach that has hampered their job roles and responsibilities. Thus, Lauren aimed towards establishing personal communication with the employees in order to motivate and inspire the employees to perform better. According to the case study, the implementation of the personalized customer service and reliance on the commission have highlighted the results in the in the sales numbers, repeat business and customer referrals to friends.

Management Approach that Suits DeMarco's Department Store

In the last stage, the manager needs to control the actions. According to the case study, it can be said that Lauren has accomplished after going against the standards of the organizations. This step highlights the monitoring aspect of the manager so that they are able to measure the rate of success of the new approach implemented within the organization (Mitra 2016). According to the give case study, Lauren can see that the implementation of the new strategy within the departmental store has increased the sales, repeat business and customer referrals to friends and customer comment cards.

DeMarco’s Department store manager Lauren implemented innovative and unique management functions for maximizing the sales of the store. From the four aforementioned management functions used by Lauren during the experimental two years, it can be said that the primary aim of Lauren is to maximise the sales and productivity of the departmental store. In accordance with the aim of Lauren, scientific approach best suits the departmental store. Increasing the productivity and sales provides an opportunity for Lauren to gain competitive advantage and survive in the competitive market. According to the scientific management approach, the management of the business organizations evaluates and strategizes workflows. As commented by Shafritz, Ott and Jang (2015), scientific management approach aim towards enhancing the economic efficiency of the business organizations by increasing the labour productivity.

According to the given case study, it can be seen that Lauren aim towards increasing the sales of the departmental store. Thus, instead of offering discounts and promotions, Lauren emphasized on excelling the customer service by motivating and encouraging the employees with the offer of extra or additional pay. Both the corporate and the store management were satisfied with the overall results of the scientific management approach. According to the given case study, it can be seen that the scientific management approach benefitted the departmental store. For example, the customers were extremely satisfied with the initiative taken by the employees and appraising phrases were frequently encountered. Thus, the appraisal from the customers also helped in influencing the employees in performing better (Morse, Babcock and Murthy 2014). This helped in increasing the economic efficiency of the business organizations by maximizing the labour productivity. The satisfied customers due to personalized service provided by the employees motivated and inspired the employees to take extra initiatives in satisfying the customers. According to the given case study, the scientific management approach helped in increasing economic efficiency by maximizing labour productivity.

Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in Managing the Business

According to the given case study, Lauren aim towards increasing labour productivity by providing them the opportunity to earn more based on their performance. As commented by Geisler and Wickramasinghe (2015), individuals tend to perform better when they have to chance to earn more. The individuals tend to give their best when they find they would be provided monetary rewards with respect to their performance. According to the given case study, Lauren has done the same thing. Lauren aimed towards increasing the economic efficiency by maximizing the labour productivity by providing opportunities for the employees to earn more by relying on commission. As a result, the sales associates gave their best in selling products of their respective departments by taking initiatives while giving customer service. The sales associates have received positive feedback from the customers that have enforced them to return to DeMarco’s Departmental Store repeatedly due to excellent customer service. Thus, reliance on commission inspired the sales associates to treat their individual departments as their own small business and becoming experts on nuances of merchandise, exploring new designs and trends, findings innovative ways to promote their expertise thereby building a large customer base (Verbeke and Tung 2013).

According to the given case study, it can be seen that though some of the sales associates excelled in serving the customers and maximized the sales of their respective departments, the co-workers and the aggressive competition intimated some of the employees. During this experimental period, some of the employees were also replaced, as they were not making enough sales in the respective departments. Thus, it is essential for Lauren to implement appropriate leadership skills that will help Lauren to clarify the vision and guide them for achieving them. As commented by Bryman (2013), appropriate leadership skills are essential as this helps in creating a vision and guiding the individuals to achieve the vision. In the given case study, as some of the sales associates failed to perform well that hampered the sales, effective leadership skills will help Lauren to manage the enterprise effectively and efficiently. Additionally, effective leadership style will also help Lauren in communicating the new strategies and motivating the sales associates thereby, increasing employee effectiveness and efficiency. As commented by Bolman and Deal (2017), having a clear idea of the goals allows the individuals to work better and strategically. Thus, effective leadership will allow Lauren to provide a clear idea of the vision and help them in achieving it by developing a clear understanding of personalized customer service and earning more based on commission.

Another method of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of DeMarco’s Departmental Store is by motivating them. According to Bernadette Van Rijn, Yang and Sanders (2013), motivated work force leads to increased productivity thereby, allowing the business organizations to achieve higher levels in terms of outputs. According to the given case study, it can be seen that some of the sales associates failed to perform better, as they became afraid of the fierce competition. Additionally, the sales associates also got demotivated, as the hourly pay was changed to straight commission. Thus, it is essential for Lauren to motivate the sales associates so that they take up the new strategy implemented in the business sportingly. Motivation will help Lauren in improving the performance of the sales associates those have failed to perform well. Thus, excellent performance from all the sales associates in all the departments will ensure increased productivity thereby, helping Lauren in managing the enterprise effectively and efficiently.

According to the case study, it has been seen that some of the sales associates have complained regarding the commission structure upon selling the products. This is because the commission on selling a designer dress is much higher compared to the commission on selling grocery products. Thus, it is essential for Lauren to strike a balance between the commission structures on selling products, so that the sales associates develop the urge to work dedicatedly

References

Becker, J., Kugeler, M. and Rosemann, M. eds., 2013. Process management: a guide for the design of business processes. Springer Science & Business Media.

Bernadette van Rijn, M., Yang, H. and Sanders, K., 2013. Understanding employees' informal workplace learning: The joint influence of career motivation and self-construal. Career development international, 18(6), pp.610-628.

Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E., 2017. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Bryman, A. ed., 2013. Leadership and organizations. Routledge.

Geisler, E. and Wickramasinghe, N., 2015. Principles of knowledge management: Theory, practice, and cases. Routledge.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Kerzner, H., 2013. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Mitra, A., 2016. Fundamentals of quality control and improvement. John Wiley & Sons.

Morse, L.C., Babcock, D.L. and Murthy, M., 2014. Managing engineering and technology. Pearson.

Rice, A.L. ed., 2013. The enterprise and its environment: A system theory of management organization (Vol. 10). Routledge.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Verbeke, A. and Tung, V., 2013. The future of stakeholder management theory: A temporal perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 112(3), pp.529-543.

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