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Question:

Discuss about the Oz Business operations.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

According to the case study information, Oz Supermarket is certainly a small business enterprise (retail) that specializes in selling of household, stationery and non-perishable goods. Most of the retail businesses are usually located near residential areas of the possible and potential consumers and also far away from the town markets. This simply means that they have to sell in small quantities, at an affordable price and the products must be of good quality as well. These characteristics of the goods are the main attractive features of a customer towards purchasing any product. However, just like every business organization, Oz supermarket faces some challenges in during its business operations. Nevertheless, it is important for every business device some way to find solutions for their current and also the anticipated challenges and problems which may impose negative impacts to its operations. Business control and management should therefore be the main focus of either the manager or other leaders to be able to succeed.

Un-equality Treatments to Customers Service and Treatment

Apparently, the use of the new technology is a very effective way to the customers as well as the supermarket itself. For the customer it reduces time wastage and therefore this may encourage many customers into visiting the store. However, the fact that the supermarket does not accept cash except from tourists and children will limit most of the customers that may want to pay it a visit. This means that the business does not treat all customers equally. Additionally, the fact that they have only one mode of payment for local adult customers does not make it the best customer service treatment. Also, for those using cash, they must follow a certain rule so that they can be given a card to be able to shop which is a clearly a time wastage. That makes the business rules seem completely tiresome and difficult to obey and especially for those in a hurry who are charged more.

The business also inflicts different car parking charges for different customers and at different times of the season which is purely not professional. This may act as a way to push away some customers who may not afford the high charges when the time come and so they opt to go somewhere else. Every business organization should make sure that they prioritize on customer’s needs and satisfaction. Also it is important for every customer to be treated equally with the others to encourage them into being better and loyal customers.

 

Product Stock

The business specializes in selling household goods, stationery and the non-perishable goods. According to this fact (products that they are selling), Oz supermarket is mostly situated in around a residential area where most of the consumers are the direct consumers. These kind of products are used by people either for house decoration, repair, beauty and coziness to name just but a few uses. Additionally, since the goods are non-perishable, most of them are normally used for long periods and can go for e.g. months or years before they expire or go stale. This means that once they are purchased, it may take a longer time for the customer/consumer to purchase them again.

Technology Changes

The business decided to change its product and service payment method from cash payment to Pay Wave which means that there was more use of technology or machines that the actual human labor (Greg et al, 2009). In addition to that, RFID card readers are situated in every customer troll whose job is to record every item that is picked from the shelf by the customer and puts it on the payment queue. Therefore, as the customer finishes their shopping, the payment is done almost immediately and therefore no queuing in the end. By doing this, Oz supermarket creates an advantage for itself like: reduces labor costs for the business, reduces time for customer queuing and easy to manage and control. However it also creates challenges for itself and creates pressure to the economy by reducing job opportunities (like the cashiers and store helpers, supermarket consultants), encouraging theft, discouraging customers with no cards from purchasing products (like the tourists and children), making it expensive to fund (there are machines that are installed whose purpose is to give a summary of the picked product list, the RFID chips) to name just but a few disadvantages.

Therefore, this means that customers are completely limited to what to use when shopping i.e. Pay Wave method only. A business should have different payment methods for customers the best for them (Magdy et al, 2011). This is clearly unfair customer treatment which should not be practiced in the business world because disadvantages are likely going to out-do the advantages.

 

Recommendation

Customer Equality

Also the supermarket should try to treat the customers as equals. When it comes to car parking charges, the business charges its customers differently at times of the year. Well, as they charge the normal people for car parking, they do not charge the disabled. By doing this they portray the idea of taking advantage of their customers to benefit themselves. Therefore, Oz should find a way to make its customers feel valued by treating them as equals unless circumstances force. This is likely going to encourage into investing towards customer satisfaction rather than to themselves.

Method of Payment

The business permits just one payment method from the customers which is clearly not sensible. They encourage the use of cards only and not cash unless for tourists and children. In the business world it is important for businesses to encourage a variety of payment methods to encourage more customers into buying. E.g. the business can consider the use of mobile NFC payment method as well. Apparently it is almost the same as their current method but its benefit is than it can be installed in mobile phones. Commuter cards and credit cards. This certainly gives the customers a chance to choose whichever method to use for payment either cash or others (Shanta, 2007). This is certainly another way of attracting more customers into buying form a certain business.

Services Offered

Customer service is divided into three categories which are: in-store assistance, transaction processing and handling of complaints. This means effective customer treatment which the supermarket does not practice since their operations are mostly done by machines. In the business world, it is important for a business to encourage more customer-employee relations which increases customer loyalty which is not a priority for Oz supermarket. Therefore, the business should consider changing its customer service methods into a better and effective method which should mostly involve workers rather than machines (David et al, 2013). By doing this, they will create more jobs, relate with customers at a higher level, improve customer loyalty but most importantly know the customers’ needs.

 

Improving Customer Feedback

This relates to the way the customers think and say about the products and services provided by a business. It is one of the best ways for a business to grow and develop itself. However, Oz supermarket may not have any idea about the importance of this practice simply because nothing is mentioned about it. Therefore, the following ways can help any business improve its customers’ feedback:

Conducting Surveys

This includes going to visit the consumer residences and learning about their actual needs, wants, desires, cultures, believes, financial status and many other things that may help the business produce the right product for them.

Social listening

This involves the use of social media. Apart from it being a way of advertising, it also helps maintain the current customers and attract potential ones. However, the seller has to be fast in replying and commenting on whatever is written about the business or product.

Feedback boxes

Meant for customers to comment on the services provided and products bought. This information can help improve the business positively and correct the mistakes that may be made to customers (Bowling, 2006).

Using of customer relationship software

It is used to contact their customers, view their comments, receiving orders, advertising their products and prices among other things that relate to a customer and a seller. Here the customers’ views are more honest and open hence better effects to both the business and the consumers.

Direct customer confrontation

Involves talking to the customer directly and knowing what they think about the product or service. It is the most effective way to get direct answer from the customer themselves. Therefore making the information more reliable and effective to business changes.

Improving Product Quality Review

Every business should be able to produce and sell good quality products to be able to capture customers well. Conducting product reviews at different times of the business year helps make sure that the quality is still good and improving. A good quality product with high price is likely going to attract more customers and create customer loyalty than low quality product at low price (Magdy G et al, 2011). Therefore, product quality is one of the aspects of a business product that can be able to improve its operations hence lead to growth and development. The following are ways in which a business can improve its operations by improving its product quality reviews:

 

Conducting Product Quality Reviews

Consistency of product reviews is normally a way of confirming the manufacturing process, production process, raw material quality and the actual quality of the end product (El-Sayed, 2007). Through the reviews, a business will be in a position to correct any possible mistakes that may have come up in either stages of production on time. In addition to that, the business will be able to come up with ways and strategies to deal with any other type of defect that may arise in future. By doing this they will be able to improve every aspect of the product being sold by the business and therefore be able to produce the best quality for the product. Also, by succeeding in this, the business will improve it general business operations because there will be growth and development.

Conducting Consumer Product Reviews

Customers will always give an idea of what the product should look like based on their own needs and preferences. Nonetheless, they will be giving the business owner an idea of what the product must look like in terms of price, quality, packaging, storage, manufacturing, raw material used among other resources used in any product production (El-Sayed, 2008). When a business conducts customer reviews and put them into action or implement the ideas then the customers are likely going to feel appreciated, valued and needed by the business. This will encourage more customers to the business with an aim of having their needs and wants satisfied to their level.

Price Level Setting

Product prices should always be reasonable and most importantly affordable for consumers. When prices are extremely high, the possibility of the consumers buying the products is very low and when they are very the possibility of the consumers trusting the product is very high. Apparently when product prices rise, the product quality should also be better to reduce the chances of complaints from consumers. Also, if a business owner decides to increase the prices, it is important for him/her to notify the customers a three to four weeks earlier before it is actually done. This will give the customers another reason to trust the seller.

Businesses should also always consider a comparison of its products’ prices with that of its competitors (Stanley, 2011). The prices should not vary with a big margin as long as the products are the same. If this becomes the case, then the competitors will absolutely get the advantage of having more customers than the business which means increase in sale and hence more profits and growth. Therefore, a business should be able to set the prices at a level that is affordable to the consumers but also a level that can bring the profits. This is actually a better way to benefit the consumers as well as benefit the business itself. By doing this, the business will have a chance to improve its operations simply because more customers will be available and therefore growth in all fields.

 

References

Magdy G. Abdel-Kader, 2011. Review of management accounting research edited. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

Magdy G. G. Abdel, Professor. Abdel –Kader, 2011. Review of Management Accounting Research. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK: Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan, Springer eBooks

Greg L. Stewart, Kenneth G. Brown. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons c2009. Human resource management: linking strategy to practice
 
David A. DeCenzo, Stephen P. Robbins, Susan L. Verhulst.11th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons c2013. Fundamentals of human resource management
 
El-Sayed Abou-Zeid [editor], 2008.Hershey: Information Science Reference c2008. Knowledge management and business strategies: theoretical frameworks and empirical research
 
El-Sayed. Abou-Zeid, 2007. Knowledge Management and Business Strategies Theoretical Frameworks and Empirical Research. Hershey: IGI GlobalStanley C. Abraham, 2011. Strategic Planning a Practical Guide for Competitive Success, 2nd ed.: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
 
Shanta. Acharya, 2007. Endowment Asset Management Investment Strategies in Oxford and Cambridge, Oxford: Oxford University PressEmerald Group Publishing Limited, 2005. International journal of organizational analysis: Online)The international journal of organizational analysis.Bingley, UK.Bowling Green, 2006.
 
Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Analysis., KY: 3-R Executive Systems c1993-c2003 journal. Bradford, West Yorkshire, England:Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management 2010. Graziadio business review.Los Angeles, CA:

IEEE Accountants, 2007. Journal, New York, NY. London: The Institute 1965-c2000

NSW: University of Technology, 2008. Economics, management and financial markets, Woodside, N. Y.: Addleton Academic Publishers 2006, Broadway, SydneyLarisa, 2008.
 
Practical issues in management & economics. Greece: PRIMEDordrecht, 2000. Information technology & management (Online) Information technology & management.: Kluwer Academic PublishersMalibu, Calif, 2000. Customer relationship management (Malibu, Calif.)Customer relationship management: CRM.: Freedom Technology Media Group
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