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Chosen Organization

Identify the component activities for an organization of your choice then evaluate the performance objectives used by each and critically examine and suggest ways in which the performance could be improved?

Staples Australia and Staples New Zealand are part of the world’s largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in the categories of office supplies, technology solutions, business furniture, print solutions, promotional marketing, kitchen supplies and facility solutions. Staples has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in e Commerce sales. The company is headquartered at Framingham, Massachusetts with 88,000 associates worldwide operating in 26 countries.

A wide range of everyday business essentials providing the widest possible range of business essentials. The office products and consumables range has everything one needs including office paper, pens, stationery, shredders, binding and laminating, filing and storage, mail room supplies, toner cartridges, computer peripherals and more (Small Business 2011).

Made it easy to choose sustainable products. Staples have over 4,000 products across all product lines that meet the classification. This classification means a supplier has met ethical sourcing requirements and the product meets one or more of the following criteria:

1. Recycled content - Products that contain at least 20% recycled materials.

2. Energy conservation/greenhouse benefit - Products that consume or use less energy to achieve the same results as standard comparable products and products that are able to demonstrate clear and significant energy savings in the manufacturing process.

Staples Technology Solutions has everything one needs to stay connected and productive. One could get all the technology products he needs for his organization from a single provider. That is having access to dedicated technology specialists and one of the widest selections of technology products in the industry. Staples works closely with clients to choose the solutions that make sense for their organization. It is to comply with IT standards, hit sustainability goals and still stay on budget (Staples 2011).

Staples assortment of technology products and services include:

Everyday technology - From printers and tablets to mobile products and security items, Staples have the products one needs to stay connected and productive.

Software licensing -  Staples team of licensing specialists can help choose the right solution for your needs and maximize volume licensing spend (Claar, J. B., 1984).

Data centre products - The products one needs to setup data centre and keep it running such as servers, storage, networking equipment and cables.

Professional services - Staples strategic partners can also assist with the design and implementation of integrated solutions to leverage IT for ongoing business growth.

Managed print services - Solutions to help control costs and improve performance, such as fleet assessment and management, nationwide maintenance service, installation and support programs, auto procurement of print supplies and flexible equipment leasing programs (Small Business 2011).

Staples Business Furniture - With one of the largest ranges of office furniture in Australia, one can count on us to create the optimal workspace environment. Whether it’s office seating, desk solutions, metal filing or furniture accessories, Staples makes sure to have the product to suit your office needs.

Canteen & Catering - Staples has an extensive range of canteen, catering and kitchen supplies to stock boardrooms, canteens, staff kitchens, function centers, hotels and many more.

Activities or Nature of Business at Staples

Promotional Marketing - Whether one looking for a few special items for a trade show or an entire managed program, one can depend on us to provide a cost-effective solution for your organization. From graphic design, product concept and selection to development and final delivery, we take care of everything (Staples 2011).

Staple focuses on sourcing the best quality products which are ergonomically designed, environmentally conscious and represent excellent value. 
Staples Brand chairs are renowned as being particularly affordable and of high quality. Majority of Staples chairs are produced in Australia, come with extensive warranties and have been accredited by the Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute (AFRDI).
In addition, we won The Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability for 2012, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to reduce the company’s impact on the environment (Mezirow, J. 1997).

Ethics  - They have trained existing associates on Staples Ethics program and its included in the induction process for new associates.

They have implemented Staples Ethics program which included associates signing the Code of Ethics and related documents.

They have the global company’s ethics helpline, ‘Staples Ethics Link’, which serves as a “24/7 ethics resource”. Associates can raise their concerns anonymously, either by phone or through our Ethics Link website, which is hosted by a third party and administered by our Global Ethics Office 

Community – They have developed ‘How we give’ guidelines, to help our communities, associates, and customers to understand and engage with us in our community giving.

In 2011 associates participated in events including the Run 4 The Kids, Cerebral Palsy Challenge, Mother’s Day Classic and the City to Gong Ride (Corporate Strategy 2010).

Staples participated in the 2011 Choose A Charity program and will plan to continue in 2012.

Environment - maintained ISO14001 certification.

EMS was rolled out to the New Zealand sites in 2011. These sites were included in the Australian ISO14001 external audit, and we expect confirmation of the certification for the New Zealand sites in March (Staples, 2011).

Diversity - promoted Employer of Choice for Women and initiatives in recruitment process.

The sustainability issues which were considered as being the most material for Staples to address were:

Ethical sourcing – It is a process to ensure to the greatest degree possible that our suppliers abide by our Ethical Sourcing Policy which requires them to treat workers fairly and operate in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.

Product quality - It is a process to ensure that our products meet or exceed customers’ performance expectations.

Employee satisfaction - It is processes to ensure associates are treated with dignity and respect, abiding by all employment laws, and supporting our associates’ professional development (Drucker, P. F., 1977).

Sustainable procurement – It is a process in which sourcing has to be recycled, non-toxic and renewable materials that are responsibly produced.

Packaging - minimizing the amount of materials needed to package and distribute our products and selecting packaging materials that are better for the environment.

Customer interest in sustainability - helping our customers reduces their own environmental impacts.

Focus of Business

Customer service - making it easy for customers to purchase the products and services they need at reasonable prices.

  • Integrating Our Quality, Environment, and Safety Systems

  • In 2012 we will develop and implement an Integrated Management System (IMS) to govern the areas of Health and Safety, Environmental Management and Quality Assurance. The IMS will allow us to simplify our current use of multiple management systems and optimize the use of our resources for maximum efficiencies. Some of the benefits of an IMS include:

  • Provides a robust and rigorous system to reduce business risk and prioritize key issues

  • Provides a focused systematic tool to help achieve business objectives

  • Reduces duplication in processes and documentation while improving quality

  • Improves clarity of regulatory obligations and compliance

  • Greater consistency in the provision of products and services

  • Increased operational efficiency and productivity (cost savings)

  • Reduction in the amount of resources required to manage and implement the system

  • Enhanced corporate awareness of system requirements

  • Encourages associate multi-skilling

Staples rely on the talents, strengths and commitment of its associates to deliver on its corporate goal to build a world-class selling organization. To help gain a comprehensive understanding of how well our associates are engaged and more importantly, the opportunities to drive further engagement, Staples launched a global Associate Engagement Survey in 2010.

Staples in-house training curriculum delivered through our Organizational Development Team includes programs on management, leadership, sales, communication, personality type and customer service. Staples introduced a leading change and Train the Trainer program to support implementation of a new ERP system, a Sales Induction program and formal Ethics training.

Effective storm water management through site drain mapping needs attention. Staples made limited progress on mapping of site drains in 2011, so this target will be maintained for 2012.

Launch preliminary cultural awareness training for associates. Staples delayed our cultural awareness training until 2012 and will conduct as part of our Indigenous Employment Strategy.

Reduce our Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate to 6.1. Staples reduced our Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate to 6.4. We will continue to focus on improving our safety performance.

If appointed the CEO of Staples, the four Staples pillars: Ethics, Community, Environment and Diversity would be enhanced further. Strategic-management process would be facilitated using different departments and divisions by sharing experiences and information. This new cross-functional approach to managing the Research and Development function would be a great advantage (King, K. 2000).

There are many possible ways of approaching this strategy, including:

  1. New geographical markets; for example exporting the product to a new country

  2. New product dimensions or packaging

  3. New distribution channels (e.g. moving from selling via retail to selling using e-commerce and mail order)
  1. Maintain or increase the market share of current products – this can be achieved by a combination of competitive pricing strategies, advertising, sales promotion and perhaps more resources dedicated to personal selling

  2. Secure dominance of growth markets

  3. Restructure a mature market by driving out competitors; this would require a much more aggressive promotional campaign, supported by a pricing strategy designed to make the market unattractive for competitors

  4. Increase usage by existing customers; for example by introducing loyalty schemes

Market development is a more risky strategy than market penetration because of the targeting of new markets. A successful product development strategy places the marketing emphasis on:

  1. Research & development and innovation

  2. Detailed insights into customer needs (and how they change)

  3. Being first to market
  1. Recording and storing accounting records including sales data, purchase data, investment data, and payroll data.

  2. Process such records into financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, ledgers, and management reports, etc. 

  3. Recording and storing inventory data, work in process data, equipment repair and maintenance data, supply chain data, and other production/operations records.

  4. Processing these operations records into production schedules, production controllers, inventory systems, and production monitoring systems 

Also to adopt a diversification strategy that is to market new products in new markets. Therefore, one has a clear idea about what to expect to gain from the strategy and an honest assessment of the risks.  However, for the right balance between risk and reward, a marketing strategy of diversification can be highly rewarding.


Small Business, Inc; Developing a Strategic Plan, viewed on April 3rd, 2015

Micahel, P, 1987, ‘Compto Corporate Strategy’, Harvard Business Review v.65, no.3, pp. 43-59

Staples, Inc; Soul Performance, viewed on April 3rd, 2015

Small Business, Inc; Corporate Strategy, viewed on April 3rd, 2015

Staples, Inc; How We Operate, viewed on April 3rd, 2015

Grint, K., 1997, Leadership: Classical, Contemporary and Critical Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mbs Portal, Inc; Self-Managed Learning, accessed on April 3rd, 2015

HR, Inc; Preparing a Learning Development, accessed on April 3rd, 2015

Heaacademy, Inc; Employability Enterprise, accessed on April 3rd, 2015

Claar, J. B., (1984). Organizational design and extension administration. In B. E. Swanson (Ed.), Agricultural extension: A reference manual. Rome: FAO.

Drucker, P. F., (1977). People and performance. New York: Harper's College Press.

Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. In P. Cranton (Ed.), Transformative learning in action: Insights from practice. New Directions for

Adult and Continuing Education. no. 74, pp. 5–12. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

King, K. (2000). The adult ESL experience: Facilitating perspective transformation in the classroom. Adult Basic Education, 10(2), 69–89. 

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