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Question:

Describe about a Report for Research Reflection.

 

Answer:

Research Methods and Processes

Pret A Manger Restaurant was suffering from serious issues related with the degradation of the customer service, low level of quality, communication gap with the patent shops for delivering the products to the twin shops, degradation in the operational model, which was followed by the introduction of twin shops. As all these issues were serious in nature, thus it was necessary to identify effective solutions to improve the company's brand image and reputation in the market. For handling these issues, I thought of opting for varied strategies for effectiveness.

Readers: The research methods used to analyse this case were exploratory in nature and were based on secondary data. The reliability and the authenticity of the data are high as it has been collected from the company’s official websites only. The problem is not limited to any specific issue. It studies the problem from various perspectives to have a proper solution. To have comprehensive analysis of the case, the study has been divided into four main domains:

International Business

Strategic Management

Marketing Management

Organizational Behaviour

 To study these aspects, various business models have been used. The reason for choosing business models for analysis purpose is to analyse company’s current position and strategy and to identify various possible opportunities. Through such tools it would easy to analyse the competitive position of the company. By analysing company’s position, it would be easy to identify the problematic areas and thus necessary remedial actions can be taken to solve those issues. To analyse company’s international position, Blue Ocean Strategy and Ansoff Matrix have been used. These tools will help to identify various strategies through which the company can penetrate in international markets and diversify its business. Through SWOT analysis and Balance scorecard, I can identify the company’s strengths and weaknesses so that the company can work on those issues. These tools will also help to identify the possible opportunities as well possible threats. These tools are excellent way of analysing company’s current positions and areas of improvements. For solving issues related to marketing of the products and services, Benchmarking and 4P’s of marketing mix model tools have been used. These tools will help in analysing the impact of company’s marketing strategies on its customers. To understand issues related to organizational behaviour, six thinking hats, McKinsey’s 7S model have been used.

For Employers: The case has various issues to analyse. Since the company wanted to expand its business globally so they opened twin shops with small sizes but unfortunately that idea could not turned up into a profitable one. To understand the underlying problems and providing fruitful solutions, it was necessary to analyse the case from all perspectives. Various business models have been used to understand the problems in a better way. These models helped us to identify and amylase the current market position of the company. These are great tools to compare the company with its competitors, analysing effectives of the strategies adopted by the company, identify various options available for the company to grow its business, identify the flaws and bottleneck in the operational activities if any, identify communication gap between the twin shop and parent shops if any. These tools are also helpful in suggesting the company that how it can penetrate the market with maximum customer satisfaction. The models used in the study will also evaluate the promotional and advertising strategies and its alignment with the company’s vision and mission.

 

Literature and Sources

For making the research, study effective, secondary data has been used for understanding the concept clearly. I have used various summaries and data published on internet. The varied methods, which I have chosen for the collection data include, archives, server based data, and documentaries, which have been posted by business analysts. Varied financial data has been collected from the website of the company and therefore its reliability and reasonability is high. For justifying the issues faced by the company in the current time because of expansion and the remedies for the same, I have gone through varied journals; articles, web sources for understanding the concept of SWOT analysis, Ansoff matrix, Blue ocean strategy, Mc Kinsey model and organizational strategies. Approximately 32 effective references were used for developing an action plan for the company. All these sources were the main foundation of the action plan, which was effective for the company to implement for fighting the issues related with the brand image, quality and customer services.

Theories used in the research study:

  • SWOT Analysis theory
  • Ansoff Matrix
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Mc Kinsey Strategy
  • Porter’s Five Force Model
  • Vendor Management inventory
  • Balanced Score Card Theory
  • Marketing Management
  • Marketing P’s

Sources Used in This Research Study

  • Journal
  • Articles
  • Books
  • Web Content
  • Online published material

Strategies and the reasons for the selection of the strategies and processes have been discussed below:

SWOT Analysis: This strategy was selected as it helps in identifying the weaknesses and threats of the company so that these can be covered with the help of strengths and opportunities. By doing this analysis, company will be able to assess the scope of the knowledge for the business.

Ansoff Matrix: This process matrix was used for helping the company in assessing the varied types of market penetration strategies and opportunities for the development of the product in the existing market.

Balanced scorecard: This strategy was chosen to help the company in implementing the operational mode.

The sources are important as they helped in:

Determining the simultaneous pursuit of the high differentiation in the product and low cost factor for making competition

Sources helped in understanding the strategies for diversification and identifying simple ways for thinking regarding the risks of growth.

They helped in determining the strengths and weaknesses of company for making the company avail of new opportunities in the market.

All the sources were helpful in brainstorming new opportunities for the company

Information regarding the competent rivals, substitution effects, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers and competition in between entrants in industry, have been shared in this study because of the sources and theories.

Varied theories helped in understanding the perspectives of business

Sources helped us in making rapport with the audience so that they can trust that I have done our homework. It also helped in avoiding the incidental plagiarism also. As I have a literature review, I was able to avoid the mishaps of incidental plagiarism on the onset of research study. With the help of assembling outside resources, I was able to condense, evaluate, and synthesize the gist of the outside sources in our own words.

All the sources helped me in comparing and contrasting what I am doing in the historical context of the research as well as how the research is unique from what others have done.

All the references and theories helped in rationalising why I thought of doing this research study.

The main idea was to understand the implications in the business model through the twin shops.

Your Knowledge

This research study helped us in analysing the importance of customer service, quality maintenance and communication management. With the help of the strategies and theories I was able to identify that the company is suffering from serious issues of customer service, quality maintenance and communication management. I have gained knowledge of varied appropriate frameworks for evaluating and developing the effective organizational responses towards diversity. Formulation of an integrative business project through the application of the multidisciplinary learning was also learned. All the strategies and theories undertaken helped us in analysing what are the major weaknesses faced by the company because of which they are not able to capture the opportunities prevailing in the market.  By undergoing this research analysis, I was able to analyse the scope of the knowledge of the business. I was able to analyse the varied penetration strategies in the market and was able to plan an action plan for the development of the product in the existing market. With the help of the literature review, I was able to determine the exact issues faced by the company. Some of the major learning from this research study was:

Because of the change in the initial commitment made by the company for delivering the fresh food, company was unable to differentiate its services from the competitors, which lead to serious issues for developing the strategies for marketing and long-term implications of the decision making for twin shops. I analysed that company should take any decision related to any kind of change implementation with the consent of stakeholders, which should include customers also. In this case Study Company did not think about the customers and because of that they lacked in satisfying their demands.

On the other side the mangers of the company did not communicate well about the changes in the system and because of that confusion was there in the company. Employees were not aware about what seniors are thinking about them, customers were not getting what they were communicated about and many other similar issues.

Because of the twin shop concept, company was facing varied issues which affected the just-in-time production also. Another problem which company faced was related with the management of the shops, as the company identified it difficult for finding the suitable location, which will have prime street visibility and the needed kitchen space. I was able to analyse that in many cases the customers were asked to wait in queues for more than 4 minutes, which was against the policy of the company. All this happened because of lack of communication, company people lacked in implementing serious communication standards in the company and because of which they mainly failed in serving the customers in effective manner. Customers are treated as god by the retail companies as they are the main source of earning for them, but in this case study, demands and importance related with the customers were neglected and because of that company faced serious issues of down fall in profits.

 

Your Learning

MBA: From the MBA course, I was able to understand the concepts related to the management of the business. For instance, I was able to understand what business is all about and how it should be handled for better results. The MBA course helped us to develop innovative thinking in decision-making process and effective problem solving skills. It also helped in generating skills for generating novel and value creation products, processes and organizational forms. Theories related with business management, organizational behaviour, communication management, marketing management, entrepreneurial development, global business management, team participation and many other concepts, helps in practical implementation of the theories.

Following through Research: The research study helped us to develop logical construct and relevant arguments and information. It also helped us in analysing specific situation and reaching to the logical and fruitful solutions. I was able to analyse the situation from varied aspects. I practically assessed the environment and opportunities for aligning the business activities and thereby developing and implementing the strategic change in complex and uncertain conditions. I demonstrated the ability of managing circumstances where the business practices and social conventions were different. I merely identified the impacts of the decisions and their actions on stakeholders including the interpersonal, societal and organizational considerations. I applied varied appropriate frameworks for evaluating and developing the effective organizational responses towards diversity. I formulated an integrative business project through the application of the multidisciplinary learning.

Applying Your Knowledge and What you have learnt from Major Project: This major project helped us in learning how to analyse and apply strategic information for facilitating strategic decision making and employing decision models for selecting appropriate projects for business and managing the growth through the strategies like issues in international expansion. Through this research study, I got the learning of implying theoretical concepts in to practice. This research study also helped in making us learn analytical skills with the help of implying varied business model. The reason why I implemented the business models was to analyse the current positioning of the company and strategy for identifying varied possible opportunities. Through varied tools, I was able to analyse the competitive positioning of the company. Management tools learnt in MBA course helped in identifying the problematic areas and there remedial actions also. Many of the strategies learnt in the business management were applied in determining the strategies for the company in future time. Some of these strategies are Blue Ocean Strategy and Ansoff Matrix. I determined simultaneous pursuit in the product differentiation and the low cost factors, for making competition high. The study helped us in understanding the strategies for diversification and determining the varied ways for thinking in respect of the growth and the risks associated with the company. The strategies allowed me to analyze the strengths and weakness of the company for making the company avail of varied opportunities in the market. Learning regarding the rivals, effects of substitutions, bargaining powers of the buyers and suppliers and competition factors were gained with the help of the theories I studied in MBA. These studies also helped in understanding the perspectives of business and making rapport with the audience so that they can trust that I have done an effective and efficient research study. 

Critical Thinking and your Ideas

While carrying out the research study and analysis, I was able to see that the company is lacking in management of operational activities. Nearly every theory undertaken in the research study especially the SWOT analysis, helped in determining the weaknesses and threats prevailing in the market. Through this theory, I was able to identify that company’s communication flow is ineffective and the managers of the company are not playing effective role in communication management. The main discovery from this research study was that if any company wishes to gain success and popularity in market, then the first thing they should focus on, should be communication and even the last thing should also be communication. Having high expectation for the growth of the company is not wrong, if the point of view of owner has to be concerned about, but still just by thinking of growth and neglecting the customer and the promises made to them will only lead to disaster. I was able to lean that it is communication, which helps the managers of company to perform their jobs and responsibilities in effective manner. Communication mainly serves as the medium for planning. All necessary information’s should have been communicated to the mangers who in turn should have communicated the plans to implement them further. Organization also needs effective communication with other stakeholders, for completing the job tasks effectively. Similarly, leaders as managers should communicate with the subordinates to acquire the team goals. Communication plays an important role in the success of any workplace programme. The new learning from the research study helps organization in selecting and tailoring their programs and policies for meeting the new heights and growths. Managers are required to devote great part of their time in communication. This particular research study reveals the importance of strategy in the light of Mc Kinsey strategy. Strategic planning has been under the assault for past many years. However, good strategy is more important than ever. Learning from the research study influences the management concepts in some way or the other.

 

Barrier met

Undertaking Research: There are certain limitations, which I came across while conducting the research study

Choosing the research topic is the foundation step on which everything else rests, so it was difficult to identify a research topic, which can gather focus. After considering a lot of topics for conducting this research, I managed hard to come down to this research topic. It was a tough job to make sure that the resource I am using and initial study idea I am working on, does not replicate another study, as it would be too much resource intensive.

As the research study is focused towards a specific company, therefore there is a possibility that this will limit the liberalization of the results of the research. Identifying a theoretical context for offering base to the research study was also a difficult task. The key was to have an overreaching theoretical context for the results. However, after a lot of hard when I found the theories that fitted well in the research study like a glove, I got very excited. Another limitation was related with the time constraint. The research study was adjusted with the schedule of the working time of company and availability of data in order to have effective results. The major limitation was availability and accessibility of the data required for carrying out the analysis. Access to the managers of the company was difficult because of the nature of their jobs. There were some people working in the company, who did not offer to share any kind of information as they considered it of competitive importance. Limitation with time made it quite impractical to include more theories and sources in their research study.

Completing Major Project: The main objective of the research study cannot be generalized, as it is restricted within the organization discussed in this research study. This research study is only helpful for the integration of the management concepts related the company discussed in this research and for the companies having similar issues. Additionally, the theories and the concepts used in the major project are not unique instead they are generalised methods and that can make readers bored of reading the theories again.

Professional development

Managing serious situations gives an exposure to understand what problems affects business and in which manner I have to play my role in managing the issues. This case analysis was a good example for us to understand the management concepts and applying the same for better understanding. I was able to understand the underlying issues and offering fruitful solutions for the same. It helped us being exposed to serious issues faced by the company and thereby enhancing a professional development by brainstorming the solutions.

Varied business models have been utilised in the research study which helped in making us analyse the process in which problems related with the management can be better or understood. Some great tools were used for comparing the company with the competitors for better understanding the competitor’s strategy and the areas where the company was lacking. These tools were  professional tools and it helped us in building a confident action plan for supporting the company that how it can penetrate the market with maximum amount of customer satisfaction This research study made us understand the promotional and advertising strategies that can be useful for companies which are facing similar issues. This kind of knowledge enhanced the professional learning and knowledge of ours and in future, in case if I will think of moving ahead in any good company then I will be able to imply these learning in a better way if required. Professionally I have become confident enough regarding the usage of all kinds of theories and models used in this research study. This research work enhanced my learning skills, brainstorming skills, report-writing skills and above all management skills. The findings of the research study clearly shows that I have gained an understanding of the programme and the subject areas, as the findings are based on many theories and models of business, which I have studied in our management course. The most satisfying fact was, that I was able to apply all what I have learned in the classroom in practical way by developing an action plan for the company. Learning from this research study helped us in influencing the management concepts in some way or the other.

Some of the skills which were enhanced during this research study were:

Management Skills: As I was able to prioritize, delegate the work effectively. I was able to communicate the research objectives in a professional manner

Communication Skills: I was able to get the point across, developing a compelling presentation for supporting the goals and getting ideas for achieving the better results and demonstrating emotional intelligence.

Project Management Skills: I was able to grasp the scope and the objectives of the projects and were able to identify the roles and responsibilities of others for using the tools to stay on the track and becoming an efficient and effective member of the cross functional teams.

Critical Thinking: Through brainstorming, I was able to identify effective research theories and models of business for implementing the same in the research study for effective results.

 

Objectives

The objective of the research study was fully achieved as I successfully drafted an action plan based on the issues faced by the company. The major aim and objective of the research study was highlighting the issues faced by the Pret A manager related with the twin shops. The secondary aim was to highlight how the company changes the business model, which will ensure an annual growth of 15% for the company. The objective was achieved by evaluating the varied types of challenges in both retaining and abandoning the ideology of twin shops. With the help of the strategic models, which I studied in my management course, I was able to imply the same on the company for its operational benefits. With the application of the operational models, company will be able to reduce the risks and will be able to make safe environment for investment. For achieving the objectives, I took support of secondary data and for increasing the success chances of objective achievement, I maintained the reliability and authenticity of the data by taking the data from the official website of company.  For effectiveness, the case was analysed from varied perspectives, which I learnt from my management courses. The study material which helped in gaining the objectives of the research study was related with:

International Business

Strategic Management

Marketing Management

Organizational Behaviour

The reason for choosing various business models was to analyse the current position of the company and to set the standards for achievements and for acquiring new opportunities.

 

Findings and Outcomes

The outcomes of the research study were helpful in identifying strategies adopted by the company of twin shops. Findings show that the decision of importing the quality goods from UK adhered to the constraint of quality but at the same time, it proved expensive in bringing more amounts of revenues. For example, with the help of research study, I was able to learn that the company requires following the safe strategies of investment in the blue ocean but because of the factors relating with the quality aspect and satisfaction, company needs to focus more on red ocean strategy. I realised that the company need to offer appropriate training to the staff members for handling the business across the globe. I merely learnt that whenever a company decides to take any decision in respect of expansion of company, at first it should provide and defy the strategic positioning of the location of the store, which will actually ensure the minimum travel time from the store to the parent shop. The recommendation, findings and analysis helped us in learning how manager should set the priorities and delegate the same for effective growth and management of company. The findings helps in farming an action plan about how a company can enter the Australian market and Asia Pacific market for looking ahead the stores which inbuilt the centralized kitchen

From the point of view of employers, this case study has varied issues to analyse. Since the company wished to expand its operations globally so they established twin shops with small sizes but unfortunately the findings shows that strategy was not a profitable one. For understanding the issues and offering fruitful solutions, it was necessary for analysing the case from all the perspectives. Varied business models have been utilised for understanding the issues in an effective manner. The findings show that the model helps us in identifying and analysing the current market positions of the company.

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