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Analysis of Relationship with Stakeholders

Discuss about the M&S for customer relationship management?

In the current environment, the relationship of the firms with its stakeholders has become an important aspect in order to ensure the organisational sustainability for long-term. Marks & Spencer (M&S) operates its store without having any manufacturing facility and the competitive advantage of the firm and its growth depend on its relationship with its stakeholders at a significant level (M&S, 2016). This report analyses the relationship of M&S with its stakeholders and also discusses a new CRM strategy for the firm along with determining its influence on the major stakeholders.

There are various stakeholders that influence the operations and are being influenced by the operations of M&S. Suppliers, customers, community, employees, governments are the major stakeholders of the firms, which have a critical relationship with M&S and contribute to the success of the firm significantly (Bourne, 2012).  The relationship of M&S with its stakeholders can be analysed as below:

Customers: A per power interest matrix, the main focus of the firm is to keep the customers satisfied as they have a significant power to influence organisational operations as all the business activities are focused on improving their value and satisfaction (Gregory, 2015). In order to meet the needs and the interest of the customers, the firm offers high quality and value products to the customers along with offering them convenient services as they can buy from its stores, online and by mobile phones, which is effective to increase their satisfaction (Globscan, 2015). The firm is also engaged in suppliers’ audit regime to protect the customers by providing latest fashions and quality products to them, which enable the firm to meet the interest of the customers and to develop a loyalty based relationship of the customers with the firm. The firm also provides club loyalty cards, which also facilitate a loyalty based relationship of customers with M&S. But at the same time, higher pricing of its products affects its ability to meet customer needs and consequently the relationship with them (Piercy, 2012).

Suppliers: The relationship of M&S with its suppliers is the core competence and the major contributor to the growth of the firm. It is because through its long-term relationship with suppliers, the firm is able to ensure the better quality and timely availability of its products to the customers (Donati, 2015). As per power interest matrix, the relationship of M&S with its suppliers is based on keeping them informed about the organisational strategies and requirements, so they can contribute to organisational success. The relationship of M&S is based on clearly set standards and the firm also uses the pragmatic approach to eliminating the issues in the supply chain, which facilitates an effective relationship with the suppliers (Earley, 2013). M&S also gets engaged with the suppliers by providing them training and highlighting the benefits of business sustainability that is effective to improve the relationship with the suppliers. The firm facilitates a reciprocal transparency that is also effective to build a two-way trust and ultimately the sustainable relationship with suppliers. But at the same time, it increases the organisational dependency on the suppliers and the complexity of the supply chains of the suppliers also affects its ability to monitor each supplier and to ensure the required quality, which sometimes affects its relationship with them (M&S, 2015).

CRM Strategy

Employees: M&S also has a good relationship with the employees by providing them monetary and non-monetary rewards and benefits on the basis of their performance, which is effective to retain them in the firm and develop an effective relationship with them (Xesha, et al, 2014). At the same time, flexible working hours, learning and development facilities, effective diversity management, career growth opportunities etc. are some of the major aspects that are effective for M&S to develop a long-term relationship with its employees (M&S Careers, 2016). But at the same time, the firm lacks to engage the employees in decision making and it affects the ability of the firm to develop an effective relationship with them and their contribution in serving the customers effectively (Marks & Spencer Plc, 2013). The firm manages the employees closely to ensure their full contribution towards the accomplishment of the organisational goals.

In order to develop new CRM strategy for M&S, media and message components in the 6M’s model can be used. Message component is effective to determine the specific points that are required to be communicated to the potential customers. Media is effective to determine the communication vehicles that should be used to communicate the message across (Karakaya et al., 2011). In order to develop the new CRM strategy, the message will be focused on the quality and the unique aspects of M&S and the associated benefits of to the customers. At the same time, the relationship with the suppliers will also be communicated, so that customers can be ensured about the quality of the products. A two-way communication with the clarity of the message will be effective for the firm to create the interest of the customers and consequently attract the customers by meeting their needs and requirements. It will also be effective get the views of the customers and to develop the strategies accordingly for improving the customer satisfaction (Mehling, 2007).

Similarly, for developing media for the effective communication of the message, the new media channel will be chosen not only the basis of their advantages and disadvantages but also with the consideration of their characteristics and the suitability with the target audience and the purpose of the message (Süphan, 2015). As there is a need for a two-way message, the social media and internet marketing will be the major communication media that will be used under the CRM strategy for M&S. It will be effective to identify the issues of the customers and to change in the organisational strategies to meet their needs and to increase value for them. It will also be effective to determine the effectiveness of the advertising on the basis of gross rating points and to identify the promotion needs to develop and long-term relationship with the customers (Payne, 2012).

Conclusion

This strategy will have some significant implications for the suppliers and customers, which can be analysed from the below force field analysis: 

significant implications for the suppliers and customers,

From the force field analysis, it can be determined that new CRM strategy will be effective for the customers as they will be able to communicate with the firms and to provide their feedback more effectively for the organisational products and their needs and requirements. Along with this, the new CRM strategy will also enable to improve the awareness of the customers for the organisational events and new products effectively, which will be effective to improve the value for the customers and consequently their satisfaction (Daft and Marcic, 2010). Along with this, it will also have a positive impact on the customers in terms of ensuring quality products to them. But at the same time, customers can face an increase in prices due to higher marketing costs and it may affect the organisational significance to meet the organisational goals (Doherty et al., 2014).

Along with this, suppliers will also have some implications for this CRM strategy as it will improve the consideration and the relationship of the firm with the suppliers due to their importance in increasing customer satisfaction and it will be beneficial for the long-term benefits of suppliers (Piercy, 2012). But at the same time, it may increase the expectations of the firm from the suppliers in terms of technology and speed of the supply chain along with monitoring that may affect the suppliers’ operations and its relationship with M&S.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that M&S has a good relationship with its stakeholders and continue to develop it for increasing its competitive advantages. The new CRM strategy will also be effective to improve its relationship with the customers and suppliers by having a positive impact and increasing the value of them.

References

Bourne, L. (2012) Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational. UK: Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Daft, R.L. and Marcic, D. (2010) Understanding Management, 7th edn.. USA: Cengage Learning.

Doherty, T.L., Horne, T. and Wootton, S. (2014) Managing Public Services - Implementing Changes: A Thoughtful Approach to the Practice of Management. UK: Routledge.

Donati, M. (2015) M&S announces new supplier auditing regime to 'protect customers'. [Online]. Available at: https://www.cips.org/en-SG/Supply-Management/News/2015/February/MS-announces-new-supplier-auditing-regime-to-protect-customers/ (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Earley, K. (2013) Supply chain transparency: forging better relationships with suppliers. [Online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/supply-chain-transparency-relationships-suppliers (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Globscan. (2015) M&S Stakeholder Transparency Study. [Online]. Available at: https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/plan-a-our-approach/globescan-mands-transparency-study-highlights-report-may2015.pdf (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Gregory, A. (2015) Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns: A Strategic Approach PR In Practice. USA: Kogan Page Publishers.

Karakaya, C., Badur, B. and Aytekin, C. (2011) Analyzing the Effectiveness of Marketing Strategies in the Presence of Word of Mouth: Agent-Based Modeling Approach, Journal of Marketing Research and Case Studies. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ibimapublishing.com/journals/JMRCS/2011/421059/421059.pdf (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

M&S Careers. (2016) [Online]. Available at: https://careers.marksandspencer.com/why-work-here (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

M&S. (2015) Global Sourcing Principles. [online]. Available at: https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/plan-a-2015/global-sourcing-principles.pdf (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

M&S. (2016) [Online]. Available at: https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/aboutus (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Marks & Spencer Plc. (2013)  [Online]. Available at: https://www.propertyweek.com/Journals/2013/06/13/s/j/s/Marks-and-Spencer-plc.pdf (Accessed: 11 March 2016).

Mehling, M. (2007) Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy: An examination of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. [Online]. Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1619&context=thesesdissertations (Accessed: 11 March 2016). 

Payne, A. (2012) Handbook of CRM. UK: Routledge.

Piercy, N.F. (2012) Tales from the Marketplace. UK: Routledge.

Süphan, N. (2015) Customer Relationship Management Strategies in the Digital Era. USA: IGI Global.

Xesha, D., Iwu, C.G., Slabbert, A. and Nduna, J. (2014) The Impact of Employer-Employee Relationships on Business Growth, Journal of Economics, 5(3), pp.313-324.

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