Businesses are required to manage large number of functional areas across their organisation. Logistics management and operations managers are the two such important areas that have significant role in leading an organisation to higher success levels. Efficient logistics management allows for timely delivery of products and services to final consumers whereas operations management is essential in achieving operational efficiency at workplace. In achieving efficiency in this area, there are certain component activities that are required to be carried out by them. In this report, the organisation as selected for the purpose of analysing its component activities is Next Plc, and this is followed by an analysis of the performance objectives of the company against such objectives. The actual performance of Next Plc against its performance objectives will be assessed and based on the entire analysis, recommendations would be provided in achieving improved performance levels (Bakliwal, 2011).
An analysis of Next Plc indicates that it is a retailers that deal in clothing and home products with its operations across UK and worldwide. The company not only operates in UK, but it has its operations across different parts of the world. An analysis indicates that operations management and logistics management are crucial functions in respect to Next Plc. In performing these areas, there are certain major component activities that are identified in the company’s performance. The designing of products and services is identified as a major component activity of operations at Next because company specialises in providing best quality products to its customers. The contribution made by human resources is also an important component activity in respect to the performance of Next Plc. This is mainly because the task of product designing and selection is carried out by the employees, and this is therefore regarded as an important component part. In respect to the networking process, Next has covered wide range of geographic areas in UK and worldwide, and in order to efficiently manage such huge network, the component part available to Next is mainly its huge network managed by its logistics partners including the suppliers and logistics companies (Next Plc CSR, 2013).
These are the important component activities noted in respect to the performance of Next Plc.
There are several component activities noted in respect to the operational and logistics management performance in respect to Next Plc. In this context, there are different important objectives that are pursued by the company. As for instance, with respect to the operations management, the objective as identified for the component activity of product and designing include the designing and development of fashion wears that are the best trend in the industry and it also include meeting out the customised needs of its customers by adjusting the designing and development process. In respect to human resources, the target objective has been to make the optimum utilisation of human resources so as to achieve not only the operational efficiency, but also the development of highly efficient products based on the customer requirements. In relation to the component activity of logistics management, the target objective of Next has identified is to make sure that there is adequate compliance with the environmental performance being achieved, and also the timely delivery of finished products is maintained across all the stores of Next Plc in UK. These are the performance objectives noted in respect to the important component activities of Next Plc (Next Plc Annual Report, 2012).
With respect to the performance objectives as identified in relation to Next Plc above, it has been assessed that the company achieves desired level of performance in respect to its performance management area. As for instance, an analysis of Next Plc performance indicates that there is a separate team managed by the organisation in order to make sure that the changes in the external environment fashion is adequately met. The team comprises of senior level managers and they interact with the managers and subordinates in the production process so that the production process can be enhanced and adjusted as per changes in the external environment. As a result of this, the clothes and other such fashionable products as produced are in accordance to customer demands and requirements (Meredith and Shafer, 2009).
In relation to the performance objective of achieving efficiency in the management of human resources, the HR manager is positively engaged in performing the recruitment of best possible employees, and higher level of emphasis is placed on the retention of existing employees at Next. Apart from this, in achieving the maximum utilisation of skills and abilities of employees, there are specific considerations being made with respect to the employee skill enhancement such as training and development provision for employees, efficient communication process being maintained across the organisation, equal employment opportunities and fair treatment to employees based on their performance. These important initiatives allow Next Plc in efficiently accomplishing its target with respect to enhancing employee performance and thereby in achieving operational efficiency (Next Plc, 2015).
Apart from the performance analysis of the company in respect to the operations management, an analysis of the performance of Next in respect to logistic management is also crucial as a part of analysis. As Next Plc operates at such a larger level, it is crucial that the logistics management process should be carried out with higher level of efficiency and effectiveness so that the needs and requirements of different stores of the company are timely met. In this respect, the strategy of Next is that the company is not dependent on a single supplier, as it has established partnerships with large number of suppliers which allows in meeting out the requirements across its different stores. The company also has its warehouses across majority of the locations in UK which allows in meeting out the requirements of its different stores throughout UK (Lewis and Slack, 2003).
In this report, a critical assessment has been carried out with respect to the analysis of important component activities of Next Plc in relation to its operations and networking management. The analysis indicated about different important component activities that facilitate the efficient performance of the operations and networking management of the company. It is analysed that the important component activities include product designing and development, managing human resources, establishing coordination across logistics partners in achieving improved operational performance etc. In relation to these important component activities, the performance analysis of Next Plc indicated that the company’s performance has been highly efficient. The specific production management team at Next Plc allows the company in updating its production process department and this in turn leads to the manufacturing of products that best represent the latest trend in the market. The analysis also indicates that in achieving improved level of performance within its human resource management, the company pays higher attention towards specific areas of developing its human resources such as the provision for training and development, encouraging communication and many more. The analysis has also indicated that logistics management is performed efficiently at Next by way of organisation considering for partnerships with the logistics partners that allows it in achieving timely delivery of products and services across its different stores in UK.
Recommendations: The important recommendations to Next in achieving further enhancement in its performance as against performance objectives are:
Bakliwal, V.K. (2011), ‘Production and Operation Management’, Pinnacle Technology, pp. 1-
Dlabay, L.R., Burrow, J.L. and Kleindl, B.A.(2011), ‘Principles of Business’, Cengage Learning, pp. 228-230
Greasley, A. (1999), ‘Operations Management in Business’, Nelson Thornes, pp. 176-190.
Lewis, M. and Slack, N. (2003), ‘Operations Management: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management’, Routledge, pp. 45-54.
Meredith, J.R. and Shafer, S.M. (2009), ‘Operations Management For Mbas, 3Rd Ed’, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 123-143.
Next Plc, (2015) [Online]. Available at: https://www.nextplc.co.uk/about-next/business-overview.aspx [Accessed: 06 April 2015].
Next Plc CSR, (2013) [Online]. Available at: https://www.nextplc.co.uk/~/media/Files/N/Next-PLC/pdfs/corporate-responsibility-report/cr-2013-v2.pdf [Accessed: 06 April 2015].
Next Plc Annual Report, 2012 [Online]. Available at: https://www.nextplc.co.uk/~/media/Files/N/Next-PLC/pdfs/latest-news/2012/ar2012.pdf Accessed: 06 April 2015]
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