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Question:

Discuss about the Business Operations and Improving Customer Services OZ Supermarket .
 
 

Answer:

The OZ Supermarket retail market was opened recently. They are offering various types of product, such as family products, stationary products and non-perishable items (Turolla, 2016). They have tried to set up alternative methods for the customers to buy and purchase the products. The authorities at the supermarket have identified that it is very irritating and time consuming for the customers to stand in queues for billing procedure of their purchases at the supermarket. In addition to this the shopping process also becomes very complex and problematic. Hence, the supermarket has introduced this new method of billing system for their customers. This new method would make the customer happy and satisfied and would encourage them to opt for the supermarket more often.

In the new procedure of the billing system the supermarket decided to abolish the system of making the payment via cash (Ngu & Scott, 2015). They tried to opt for cashless procedures. In addition to this the supermarket has also tried to introduce the automatic billing system. The authorities have considered using the espouse Pay Wave Technology for the implementing the system they are intending to use for the billing purpose in the future. This system would allow the buyers to simply walk into the store grab their products and the billing would be done automatically. This new concept would change the idea of the billing system in the entire retail chain business in the world.

In the process that is to be followed in the supermarket the shopper can simply walk into the market complex and take an item and simply put it in their trolley. Now, the trolley that are present in the supermarket have been equipped with the RFID or the Radio Frequency Identification system (Yang et al., 2014). The RFID does the labeling and tagging procedure of the products. For the labeling procedure of the items of the market a chip is used which is installed in the products. These chips would contain all the details of the products such as, the name of the product, the product id, the price of the product and the status of the product. In addition to this, a radio wire is placed with the tag of the products. The products can be traced with the help of the chips that is placed in them. In addition to this the chips that are fitted in the trolley can detect the chips that are installed in the products.

 


Thus when an item is kept in the trolley the chip in the trolley detects the item and register it in the bill of the person that is buying the product (Wang et al. 2014). In this process the total bill is summed upped for the buyer as the buyer purchases more products. The total sum is deducted from the balance of the buyer when the buyer exits the shopping complex. In addition to this the details that are tracked by the chip are updated instantly in the company database. And also, if the customer do not require the item anymore, then they can place it back to the place they took it from and the details of the item would be removed from the account of the customer. In addition to this, the customer is provided with the PayWave card. As soon as the customer reaches the exit doors with the products the customer is billed for the products, and the bill is deducted from the balance of the customer.

The system also has methods in the system to stop the people from illegal activities and prohibit them from stealing or procuring the items without paying the money (Amendola et al., 2014). The system has an alert system which goes off if the bill of the customer exceeds the balance of the customer. However the system has proper methods to tackle the situation. In case the customer does not have the proper amount of balance in the card with which he wants to buy a product, the customer can simply go to the front desk and refill the balance in the card. In addition to this if any customer does not have a Paywave card enrolled to his name, then he would be provided with a temporary card from the supermarket in which the customer can recharge it with cash and purchase the products of his needs. In case the customer has extra balance in his card it would kept I accounts and carried forward for his next visit.

In addition to this the supermarket also has some policies for the parking system in the market (Ellickson, 2013). For aiding the financial side of the business, these policies have been adopted by the authorities. In the peak season the supermarket charges high rate of parking fee from the customers, while in the lean seasons the parking rates are lowered significantly. In addition to this the parking charges for the disabled and the handicapped are waived off.

 

Recommendations

Although the supermarket has some excellent operational tactics in place, but some recommendations are provided for the company.

Enhanced Billing system: Firstly, in addition to the prepaid policy the super market has in place they can also have some credit policy in place for the Paywave card (Rothman & Zimmer, 2013). It will allow the customers to purchase items even if do not have and a card or cash with them in the moment of emergency. This would allow the supermarket to credit them the balance and charge them later on when they refill the balance in their card. This would allow the supermarket to maintain proper business relationship with the customers and also enhance the perspective of their business.

Staff satisfaction: Secondly, if the supermarket adopts these policies for implementing the operational changes in the business a large number of staffs would lose their jobs (Bornemann-Shephered, 2015). Hence, supermarket should look to assign the staffs in some different positions or activities in the Supermarket. This would increase the efficiency of the business of the supermarket and also keep the staffs satisfied.

Monitoring: Thirdly, it should be seen that all the detection components are used are working properly and are to be kept under proper monitoring procedure (Crabtree, Zappala & Tavner, 2014). This would maintain the efficiency of the business.

The planned changes that are thought of are very apt and suitable for the supermarket. It has increased the ease of access for the customers of the supermarket. This is because no kind of business can survive in the market with only the financial efficiency, they also require the customer satisfaction that will increase the reputation of the company. The authorities of the supermarket had taken note of this fact and looked into the matter with great eagerness and developed a plan for improving the billing system of the supermarket. As a result of this the customers can easily come into the supermarket and complete their shopping very easily without the fear of standing in the long queues for the billing of the products that they had purchased.

In addition to this the supermarket also can implement a feedback system in place where they would receive the feedback from the customers after the purchase. This system would help the supermarket to rectify the areas where the customers feel that, there are issues that they need to solve to make the system more efficient. The supermarket can take certain measures to implement this procedure:

 

Product and Service rating System.

In this the supermarket can take feedback from the customers about their product and the servicers (Ghobadian et al., 2016). In this system the customers should have an option about providing rating for the service they receive at the supermarket. In addition to this they should also have a product rating system in place so that they can provide the product rating after the use. The customers of the supermarket are to provide the service rating as soon as they exit the supermarket and provide the product rating only after they use the products. The system should calculate the overall ratings of any type of product and calculate and post the result so that they would be helpful for both the customers and the supermarket authorities. It would act as a guideline for both the customers and the experts in that audit with the product reports. Hence, it would increase the overall product efficiency for the supermarket.

Online Portal for the customer feedback.

The authorities should look and implement a customer feedback system for the supermarket where the customer can provide the ratings and the feedback regarding the services and the product of the supermarket (Tanpure, Shidankar & Joshi, 2013). The portal should be online and active 24/7. In this portal the customers should also be able post queries and concern regarding the service and the products of the supermarket. This would help the customers to communicate with the supermarket officials more easily. And hence, a healthy communication relationship would be maintained in between the customers and the supermarket. This would be increasing the overall customer satisfaction towards the supermarket.

Implementation of website for the company and provision of customer services in it.

The company should implement a website in which the details of the company are provided for the customers to gain information from it (Cappel & Huang, 2014). The information such as the operational activities of the supermarket, the list of working days or the days when the company would be closed. In addition to this the website would also be post the advertisement for the supermarket as of the products and the new facilities that the supermarket are providing. The advertisement about the products could be about the sale of the products or introduction of newer products into the supermarket. In addition this the time of the seasonal sales can also be notified to the customers. In order to perform this activities the customers would require to create an account of themselves in the website. The account would provide information about the customers on the website. There can various types of information such as, information about the PayWave card, which are the balance in the card, the validity of the card. In addition to this the customer should also be provided the details about the history of the purchases that they have made from the supermarket and also the details about the exchange of the products if they have made any. In addition to this the website of the supermarket should also have an of the customer service that would provide the customers to contact the customer care executives at moment of time clear out their doubts about any kind of the operations of the supermarket. As a result the overall reputation of the supermarket would be enhanced efficiently.

 

Customer Support System within the Supermarket

In addition to all the online services that customer are to be provided with, the customer support system inside the supermarket should also be implemented (Jaakkola & Alexander, 2014). There should be implementation of customer service exclusive for the customers who purchase the products in addition to the existing customer services desk. These desk would have staffs who would help the customers with the products that they would like to exchange and also make the customers understand the exchange policies of the supermarket very aptly. The staffs would concerned with the exchange methods of the products. They should properly check the items and note the defects in the items and also the customer grievances that are related to the items. In addition to this they should see to it that the customers are provided with a replaced product of same specifications. In addition if any customer wants to return the products and would want of procure the price of the product, then the staffs should also act to the situation. In this they should make the customers understand the product return policy of the supermarket aptly and perform the process of returning the product efficiently. In addition to this section of the supermarket should also contain a drop box system, in case a customer wants to provide reviews for the product and the services anonymously and do not want to reveal their identity. Hence, this would enhance the overall relationship with the customers for the supermarket.

 

References

Turolla, S. (2016). Spatial competition in the French supermarket industry. Annals of Economics and Statistics/Annales d'Économie et de Statistique, (121-122), 213-259.

Yang, L., Chen, Y., Li, X. Y., Xiao, C., Li, M., & Liu, Y. (2014, September). Tagoram: Real-time tracking of mobile RFID tags to high precision using COTS devices. In Proceedings of the 20th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking (pp. 237-248). ACM.

Wang, L., Da Xu, L., Bi, Z., & Xu, Y. (2014). Data cleaning for RFID and WSN integration. IEEE transactions on industrial informatics, 10(1), 408-418.

Amendola, S., Lodato, R., Manzari, S., Occhiuzzi, C., & Marrocco, G. (2014). RFID technology for IoT-based personal healthcare in smart spaces. IEEE Internet of Things Journal, 1(2), 144-152.

Ellickson, P. B. (2013). Supermarkets as a natural oligopoly. Economic Inquiry, 51(2), 1142-1154.

Rothman, M. M., & Zimmer, V. (2013). U.S. Patent No. 8,561,138. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Bornemann-Shepherd, M., Le-Lazar, J., Makic, M. B. F., DeVine, D., McDevitt, K., & Paul, M. (2015). Caring for inpatient boarders in the emergency department: improving safety and patient and staff satisfaction. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 41(1), 23-29.

Crabtree, C. J., Zappalá, D., & Tavner, P. J. (2014). Survey of commercially available condition monitoring systems for wind turbines.

Ghobadian, A., Stainer, A., Liu, J., & Kiss, T. (2016). A computerised vendor rating system. In Developments in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (pp. 103-112). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Tanpure, S. S., Shidankar, P. R., & Joshi, M. M. (2013). Automated food ordering system with real-time customer feedback. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Software Engineering, 3(2).

Cappel, J. J., & Huang, Z. (2014). THE EFFECT OF PREDICTOR VARIABLES ON SELECTED WEBSITE NAVIGATION AIDS. ASBBS Proceedings, 21(1), 159.

Jaakkola, E., & Alexander, M. (2014). The role of customer engagement behavior in value co-creation: a service system perspective. Journal of Service Research, 17(3), 247-261.

Bertazzi, L., Bosco, A., Guerriero, F., & Lagana, D. (2013). A stochastic inventory routing problem with stock-out. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 27, 89-107.

Jarvis, J. E. (2016). Strategies for improving first-line supervisor problem-solving abilities in the retail supermarket industry (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).

Gómez-Lobo, A., Jiménez, J. L., & Perdiguero, J. (2015). The entry of a hard discount supermarket: price effects/La entrada de un supermercado de descuento duro: efecto sobre precios. Investigaciones Regionales, (31), 143.

Saleheen, F., Miraz, M. H., Habib, M. M., & Hanafi, Z. (2014). Challenges of Warehouse Operations: A Case Study in Retail Supermarket. International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 3(4).

Ngu, M., & Scott, C. (2015, April). How secure are contactless payment systems. In RSA Conference, San Francisco, USA.

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