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Logistics And Operations Management: Next Plc

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Question: Identify the component activities for an organisation of Next Plc then evaluate the performance objectives used by each and critically examine and suggest ways in which the performance could be improved?     Answer: Introduction Logistics and operations management are the crucial functional areas in any organisation because they determine the effectiveness with which the organisation attains its goals and objectives positively. Logistics management is concerned with the flow of materials to warehouses and finished product to retailers and final consumers. Operations management is concerned with managing the operations through applying advanced technological systems so that cost efficiency is attained which will then be transferred to the final consumers. However, in efficiently performing the management of operations and logistics, there are essential component activities used by different organisations (Loader and Biggs, 2002). In achieving better level of performance against these component activities, there are specific performance objectives that have been considered by these organisations and they are focused with a view to achieve improved level of performance against such objectives (Lewis and Slack, 2003). This report is aimed at identifying important component activities in respect to Next Plc and this is followed by an assessment of the important objectives that are set by the organisation in this regard. Once the objectives are identified, the next step is to evaluate the current level of performance of Next Plc against this so that recommendations can be provided in achieving improved level of performance against them. Brief Analysis of Next Plc An analysis of Next Plc indicates that it is a British Multinational clothing footwear and home products retailer that has its headquarter in Enderby, Leicestershire. Next operates more than 700 stores with majority of them are in the UK. It has been the largest clothing retailer in UK, and the core features of Next is that it includes collection for men, women, and children that are styled and designed by its in-house team. The in-house team is responsible for designing great style, quality and value for money with a contemporary fashion edge. The organisation operates not only in UK, but it has its operations internationally in 40 countries overseas. As a result, the operations management including networking has been carried out efficiently with a view to meet out its customer’s requirements (Next Plc, 2015).   Identification of Component Activities in Operations and Networking at NEXT The component activities mainly indicate the key component parts that must be performed to achieve organisation’s goals. As Next is identified as clothing retailer in UK, the operations management activities of Next involve certain key component activities that fulfils the needs and expectations from such operational departments. As for instance, a major key component activity related to operations management is the product designing and selection. Apart from this, skills and efficiency of its employees is another key component activity of Next Plc that supports the operation management across the organisation. The employees are accountable to supporting the customers of the organisation. Cash handling in Next’s retail format stores, and achieving safety and security are the other major component activities in operations management of the company (Vidler, 2001). Apart from the component activities in respect to operations management, there are certain major component activities that have been identified in respect to the networking process in the logistics management at Next. As Next is operating at a large level, the role of networking and distribution is important, and there are certain key component activities that are involved within its networking process. The current analysis indicates that Next has more than 500 stores in UK and the delivery and supply of necessary clothing wears to these stores have been the crucial component activity of Next’s current operations. The networking process also includes the component activity of supplier’s inclusion so that the entire networking process can be carried out efficiently in meeting out the needs and expectations of its final end consumers (Next Annual Report, 2013). These are the major component activities of Next Plc that have been noted in respect to its operations management and networking processes.   Key Performance Objectives for Each Identified Component Activity In order to achieve enhanced operations performance and logistics management at Next Plc, there are important component activities that have been noted. These component activities as identified have specific objectives and they are indicated separately as follows: Product Designing and Selection: This has been the key component activity of operations management at Next Plc, and the objectives are: To design clothing wear as per current trends as prevalent within UK customers. To anticipate and respond to changing customer preferences and expectations. To maintain sufficient quantities of a particular fashion wear so as to prevent excessive production and ultimately outdated problems (Next Annual Report, 2013). Applying Employees Skills and Abilities: This is another important component activity of operations management at Next Plc, and its objectives include: To make use of advanced skills and abilities of its employees in designing fashionable wears. To make optimum utilisation of human resources in achieving organisational tasks and activities in a cost efficient way (Sharma, 2006). Cash Handling and Safety and Security: Next being operating so many stores across UK has specific operations goals to achieve safety and security in its operations, and manage cash handling process efficiently. The objectives are: To achieve the production process with higher safety and no casualties at workplace. To achieve proper management of cash with higher accuracy levels (Kale, 2013). Suppliers Inclusion in Networking System: This has been the key component at Next in its networking operations, and the performance objectives are: To ensure that there is regular supply of materials as needed by Next throughout the entire period. To make sure that adequate compliances are achieved by suppliers with the company code (Next Annual Report, 2013). The analysis above has indicated about different component from operations management and networking process at Next Plc and the main performance objectives that have been expected to achieved by the organisation. The next section analyses the actual performance of Next as against these objectives so that appropriate recommendations would be provided in achieving improved level of performance.   Analysis of Next Plc’s Performance against Performance Objectives As there are specific performance objectives that have been identified in respect to Next Plc’s operations and networking management, an analysis of its current performance level as against these objectives is essential. As for example, in relation to the objective of product designing and selection, the performance objectives of Next has been assessed which suggests that the organisations aims at identifying designing customised products and services that can suit their customer needs and requirements. In achieving this objective, there has been executive directors and senior management that have been continuously involved in the process, and they perform regular check ups of the production processes that have been carried out. This not only enables the production of clothing wear as per the latest trends and requirements of customers, but it also results into the positive accomplishment of product quantities as per requirements. The chances of extra surplus production get reduced because of the involvement of senior level managers and directors in such production process at Next Plc. This particular approach has been applied at Next Plc in addressing the issue of p
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