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Question:
Discuss about the Retail Supply Chain Management for Quantitative Models and Empirical Studies ?

 
Answer:
Introduction:

This assignment is a report which delves into business proposal of a firm named The Fashion Station. The researcher has selected fashion industry as sector in question for the study. The fashion industry forms a considerable portion on retail sector. The fashion industry is on a rise with fair returns. Hence, interested parties from across the globe would be interested to have their share of involvement and subsequently rake up profit for the unit. The Fashion Station is an establishment which will serve the American-African society of cowboys in the Texas region.The Fashion Station aims to be one of the prominent names in the industry with various items in their ranks to reckon with. The name suggests that the main focus of the company is to produce quality apparels and styling catering to Cowboys community of Farnborough, Hants. The company will be located in the prominent site of 820, North Road, Farnborough, and Hants, UK. This will be the headquarter of the unit. The firm will operate in 10 popular locations across Hants primarily. Later it will expand the operations across Texas and other adjacent locations. The Fashion Station is formed as a partnership of partners namely, Jason Miller and Stacey Drew respectively.

Project Proposal Plan
Proposed financial structure:

The Fashion Station will be incorporated as a partnership firm with Jason Miller and Stacey Drew, where, Jason Miller will be at the helm of administration and finance divisions while Ms Drew will manage all Marketing as well as PR and HR functions. The Fashion Station will begin with three-four months inventory in hand for costing of fashion apparels and accessories (Smart, 2013). Both of these line items are primary income originator. At the outset, the inventory will contain major portion or bulk of company’s assets. The opening cash balance in hand of The Fashion Station is proposed to be £ 500. The Fashion Station aims to secure a loan for its operational funding worth £ 20,000. The extra funding is required to meet the expenses namely, operational expenses, stock/ inventory and on site functions and also other daily miscellaneous costs. Since, it is a Start-Up; the additional funding will be borne by contribution of an owner in this regard amounting to £ 5000. Competent operations and creation of a pool of loyal customer base will see through the firm in good stead for the initial years (Ashworth, 2012).

Start-Up funding

Start-Up Expenditure

£ 9,500

Start-Up Assets to Fund

£ 15, 000

Total

£ 24,500


The computation of estimated Assets is laid below:

Non-cash Assets

£ 14,500

Cash requirements (Cash in Hand)

£ 500

Additional Cash

NIL

Cash balance

£ 500

Total Assets

£ 15,500


Computation of estimated Liabilities and Capital

Long Term Liabilities (Loan)

£ 20,000

Current borrowing

NIL

Accounts Payable

NIL

Total Liabilities

£ 20,000


Here, capital estimates amounts to £ 5000 which is deemed as owner’s contribution. Hence, overall, planned investment figures amounts to £ 5000. The total capital figure is mentioned below:

Total planned investment

£ 5000

Start-Up expenses

(£ 9,500)

Total Capital

(£ 4,500)


The total Capital and Liabilities amounts to £ [20,000- (4,500)] = £ 15,500. Total funding in this case is £ 24,500.

The break-up of expenses are laid below: figures in (£)

Rent

£ 1600

Utilities expenses

£ 550

Travel expenses

£ 750

Insurance

£ 550

Advertising expenses

£ 1050

Cash register

£ 1200

Subscriptions

£ 150

Office supplies

£ 400

Stores expenses

£ 1500

Permits

£ 200

Others

£ 1550

Total

£ 9500


The total Start-Up expenses amounts to £ 9,500. To begin with, the computation of assets is as follows: figures in pounds (£).

Cash in hand

500

Inventory

14,500

Other Current assets

NIL

Long-term Assets

NIL

Total

15,000


Hence total requirements amount to £ 24,500. The fashion station should find ways to manage the requirements to start off the business operations in the first place (Agrawal & Smith, 2015). However, the risks associated with financial scheme could be capital constraints and compliance issues. Moreover, the firm may have obstacles from the likes of inventory, daily cash management etc.

Marketing proposition:

The Fashion Station will be situated at 820, North Road, Farnborough, and Hants, UK. This space has 1,000 square feet and has been leased for five years. This position is ideally suited for the firm since it is positioned centrally in the region of Hants and Farnborough, UK. The management believes it is essential to be located in such place which will induce to create a large customer base and also generate interest amongst the mass (Wade Clarke et al., 2012). The management strives to create a feasible culture of openness and acceptance amongst the locals as well as people of different origin which will enable the company to expand the spectrum of its overall business operations. As far as products are concerned, The Fashion station aims to carry nationally recognized outfits and materials which will range from cowboy apparels to accessories and other basic materials. The products and services will be in line with emerging as well as existing trends and styles. The management will heavily rely over customer interaction, the likes of customer feedback, sales report, suggestions and responses which will enable them to be abreast of the customer needs and desires most of the time. All the shipments of varied proportions will be carried through the store which is located in the headquarters. Later, in the expansive phase, the firm intends to extend the deliverables through robust structure of transportation.

The Fashion Station will enjoy the distinction of being the first firm engaged in business of fashion catering to cowboys that too in UK. It will, bring a radical change in the domain of fashion in the UK (Tang et al., 2015). It will assume competitive advantage due to number of indicators. The prospective items of The Fashion Station are mainly, Lawman Jeans, Wrangler, Cowboy hats, Clutches, footwear, gears and shades. The firm will be the first of its kind of Cowboy fashion in the central location of UK. It will offer customers 15 percent discount straightway on purchase of ten items. A shopper card will be introduced that will enable consumers to enjoy benefits after a certain amount of purchase at the end of a month. The firm will maintain a comprehensive documentation on each customer, their addresses, purchases, size, brand etc. for customer follow-up and in-house promotional purposes. The unit will shop for its merchandise from local markets which will be mutually rewarding. The local suppliers will be benefited and at the same time, The Fashion Station will procure items at reasonable cost. Marketing risks that are related to The Fashion Station could be that of inability to locate market of procurement, distribution and failure of knowledge of actual competitors or players.

Operational proposition:

Retail clothing groups have a tendency to have a high number of SKU's because of the level of inventory. It is crucial that an advanced inventory and point of sales program be utilized to maintain stock levels and track sales (Monios, 2015). The Fashion Station will utilize Peachtree Accounting software for all financial and accounting purposes. For inventory management and point of sale transactions Retail I.C.E. (Inventory Control Expert) software will be used. This product is Windows-based software that allows the small, single store retailer to manage their inventory and point of sale functions all in one (Davila et al., 2015).

The business plan will be generated and reviewed on a bi-annual basis using the most updated version of Business Plan Pro from Palo Alto Software and reviewed quarterly to ensure all financial goals and objectives are being reached. Operational facets like, Palo Alto's companion software, Marketing Plan Pro, will allow the company to make the most of the limited marketing budget by focusing our communications on our target markets and enhancing our marketing knowledge, by and large. Such timely analysis and feedback will ensure the firm to keep themselves well informed about what customers want (Grohn et al., 2015). Any company or organization, irrespective of its size, conforms to a structured operational makeup. And it should meticulously follow the standard. The Fashion Station aims to set up a crafted supply chain system in place for better operations. Supply chain management refers to movement of goods and services (Kuivalainen et al., 2012). This includes flow of goods and services and solutions of raw materials, inventories and finished products from points of origin, manufacturing to delivery and subsequently consumption. The firm in consideration has laid importance over specialized people of the industry. The firm will follow latest management techniques while dealing with matters pertaining to supply, distribution and selling channels. The company will employ locals as far as selling and distribution is concerned (Fernie & Grant, 2015). It will train the prospective candidates for a considerable period of time and finally induct them into the system. In keeping with latest trends and social behavior of clients of lower age profile, the firm will introduce an Application or commonly known as App on mobiles and devices which will connect them to prospective customers. A quick response and swift delivery of goods and services of good quality will inspire confidence in the parlance of consumers and other interested parties (Sundström & Reynolds, 2014). Here the risks could be that of having incompetent resources in the ranks as well as dearth of faith in the operational scheme of things. The firm will first have to create a confidence in the psyche of vendors, and others and then commence operations.

 
Human Resource proposition:

The Fashion Station will adopt HR technique of Position description while doing recruitments and functions of Human Resource (Miller, 2013). The position description generally outlines the key outcomes and the activities that are to be performed. The position descriptions should be written in preliminary documentation format and should be approved by the approved position description templates. The human resource personnel will be able to short-list the candidates among the pool of applicants with the help of position description. Position description helps to build a proper understanding about the job responsibility and required skills of the employees.  This in turn helps to make the process of recruitment and selection a bit convenient and less cumbersome.

The candidates will receive certain training and skill development programs during and after the recruitment and selection process. The Fashion Station, which have tied up with a training institution, and all the staffs will be recruited from that particular organization only. During the recruitment and selection process, sometimes after recruitment the short listed candidates are provided training. After that on the successful completion of the training, they should be absorbed in the organization.

After determining the job vacancy and obtaining approval for recruitment, the firm in question will prepare the position description and then advertise the vacancy. The major sources of recruitment are newspaper advertising, advertising on the internet, employee referral etc. (Nickson et al., 2012). However, The Fashion Station prefers the online advertising policy. As per the strategic planning of the organization, the policy of online advertising is perfect for the company. The selection panel prepares the questions of interview based on the supporting documents, templates and guidelines as provided by the culture crew (Mariotti & Glackin, 2014).

This includes the evaluation form of a candidate in which the responses of the candidates are noted down. The interview questions should be related with the selection criteria of the position. After the interview the selection committee selects the most suitable candidates based on their performance in the interview. All the HR functions and polices will be in concurrence to that of existing Labor Laws in the UK namely, National Minimum Wage Act 1998, The Employment Rights Act 1996, Pensions Act 2008, Equality Act 2010 etc. Overall, the firm achieves to function as one of the preferred firms in retail industry as far as people or Human Resource is concerned (Tombs & Whyte, 2013). As far as HR issues are concerned, it will face hindrances from quality workforce as most of the prospective people would be wary of the firms policies since it’s a new establishment in the industry (Scott, 2016).

Conclusion:

The author has categorically and chronologically explained the various avenues and aspects of business plan of The Fashion Station through a comprehensive analysis. To start of a venture, one should be very accurate about what it is going to produce and serve to the clientele. Primarily, the main objective of any firm is to generate revenue. Going forward, it will amass profit out of the operations in days to come. At the outset, the author has offered insights about how and what the financial structure should be that of The Fashion Station. He has given an exhaustive explanation about apportioned of funds and expenses under specified heads. The management should be conscious of allocation and distribution of funds and expenditure. Secondly the researcher has laid importance over operations perspective. Here, he has described about the operational theories and objectives of the firm the likes of inventory management, usage of latest and efficient software and techniques. Such applications and procedures will only benefit the overall operational structure of the firm. In fine, he has given inputs over marketing and human resource policies that the firm should contemplate to have in its ranks. The overall report offers a significant analysis of Start-Up inclusive of varied factors and propositions.

 
References:

Agrawal, N., & Smith, S. A. (Eds.). (2015). Retail supply chain management: Quantitative models and empirical studies (Vol. 223). Springer.

Ashworth, C. J. (2012). Marketing and organisational development in e-SMEs: understanding survival and sustainability in growth-oriented and comfort-zone pure-play enterprises in the fashion retail industry. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(2), 165-201.

Davila, A., Foster, G., & Jia, N. (2015). The Valuation of Management Control Systems in Start-Up Companies: International Field-Based Evidence.European Accounting Review, 24(2), 207-239.

Fernie, J., & Grant, D. B. (2015). Fashion Logistics: Insights Into the Fashion Retail Supply Chain. Kogan Page Publishers.

Grohn, K., Moody, K., Wortel, D., LeClair, N., Traina, A., Zluhan, E., & Feuer, G. (2015). Lean start-up: A case study in the establishment of affordable laboratory infrastructure and emerging biotechnology business models. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 21(2).

Kuivalainen, O., Saarenketo, S., & Puumalainen, K. (2012). Start-up patterns of internationalization: A framework and its application in the context of knowledge-intensive SMEs. European Management Journal, 30(4), 372-385.

Mariotti, S., & Glackin, C. (2014). Entrepreneurship and small business management. Pearson Higher Ed.

Miller, D. (2013). Towards sustainable labour costing in UK fashion retail.Available at SSRN 2212100.

Monios, J. (2015). Integrating intermodal transport with logistics: a case study of the UK retail sector. Transportation Planning and Technology, 38(3), 347-374.

Nickson, D., Warhurst, C., Commander, J., Hurrell, S. A., & Cullen, A. M. (2012). Soft skills and employability: Evidence from UK retail. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 33(1), 65-84.

Scott, S. (2016). Risks of Starting a New Business. Smallbusiness.chron.com. Retrieved 24 February    2016, from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/risks-starting-new-business-4195.html

Smart, D. H. (2013). Book Review: Consulting Start-up and Management: A Guide for Evaluators and Applied Researchers. American Journal of Evaluation, 34(1), 132-134.

Sundström, M., & Reynolds, J. (2014). Final Report from the Expert Group on Retail Sector Innovation.

Tang, N., Hong, W., Ewing, T., Beyenal, H., Kim, J. H., & Heo, D. (2015). A Self-Sustainable Power Management System for Reliable Power Scaling Up of Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells. Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on,30(9), 4626-4632.

Tombs, S., & Whyte, D. (2013). Transcending the deregulation debate? Regulation, risk, and the enforcement of health and safety law in the UK.Regulation & Governance, 7(1), 61-79.

Wade Clarke, D., Perry, P., & Denson, H. (2012). The sensory retail environment of small fashion boutiques. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 16(4), 492-510.

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