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1. Discuss the most challenging  aspects of a manager’s job at Staples.

2. Critically discusshow the characteristics of a store manager would reflect on customers’buying experiencesin a store.

3. Commenton the current organisation structureand assessthe advantages and disadvantages if the structural arrangement ischanged to a matrixformation.

4. In your opinion,whatare the likely obstacles to an effective strategyimplementation system at Staples?

Discuss the Challenging aspect of a Manager’s Job

Management of store operation is essential for all the business organisations in improving overall performance as well as increase the sales volume. Nowadays the managers are now more focusing on strategy implementation that helps them to manage the day to day operations in a proficient manner (Ramanathan, Subramanian and Parrott, 2017). The main objectives of all the business organisations are to improve financial profitability and expand the business in a foreign market for the better brand image. Advancement of technology also provides the company huge advantages in the store operation, and use of effective information system and key performance indicators also helps management to ensure better quality and service leads to increase the number of loyal customers (Ferguson et al., 2017). It is important for the management to recognise the current position of the organisation and it also helps to understand the organisational issues efficiently. Identification of the organisational problems helps management to take drastic actions to recover its position.

This particular study usually focused on the management issues of Staples. The major responsibilities of store managers are to make effective strategies to manage the workforce perfectly (Subbarayalu et al., 2018). The managers are facing various challenges during operation so that this study also signifies some strategic implementation that helps management of Staples to improve the working excellence of that company leads grab the attention of more customers.  

Managers need to maintain the workforce effectively to improve overall organisational performance (Ramanathan, Subramanian and Parrott, 2017). The managers are faced different challenges such as lack of proper communications, Shifting mindset, hiring employees, lack of time management, Labor standard management, setting proper goals and objectives for customer service etc. for that reason management need to conduct training program with all the employees and managers to enhance the company performance for better operation.

Communication between all the departments is essential to manage the overall organisational operations efficiently. Lack of communication is the main cause of material misstatement, and it can create different organisational issues in future. In Staples lack of departmental communication generally reduce the overall performance of the stores (Chereau and Meschi, 2017). According to the viewpoint of Ferguson et al., (2017), communication is the primary steps that help managers to solve the other organisational issues. Poor communication generally obstructs the organisational efficiency. In present days, development of technology also improved the overall communication systems, and without communication, it is not possible for the employees to complete a work in a successful manner (Hill and Hill, 2017). It can also reduce the overall efficiency of an organisation. Without effective communication skill, the managers cannot motivate the employees, and high communicative and collaborative working environment triggers organisational development (Moran and Morner, 2017). Implementation of an advanced communication system in the workplace also provides the organisation with huge competitive advantages in operating market. Improved communication also triggers organisational innovations and research works leads to increase in sales volume as well as financial profitability.

The main focus of an employee is to accomplish the task effectively to achieve corporate goals.  The main focus of a manager is to motivate other employees to achieve their task perfectly but shift the mindset of managers in other direction also demotivates the employees, and that also hampers the overall organisational performance (Jones, Michelfelder and Nair, 2017). One of the major responsibilities of managers is to guide and cooperate with the team members in a pressurised situation, and it generally helps the overall team in fulfilling team goal leads to effective performance (Badii et al., 2018). In Staple, the managers need to fulfil the basic requirements of employees to manage the day to day operation correctly and cooperate with the employees in the pressurised situation and provide motivation also increase the confidence level of the employees.

Lack of communication

Hiring experienced employees in the organisation is another major challenge for managers. Human Resource managers are responsible for hiring employees in the company (Dutse and Aliyu, 2018). The competition in the job market has increased. In the United States, the rate of jobless people is very low, and so it is very tough to get the experience candidates. For that reason, managers need to take various strategies such as offer better opportunities and salaries than other organisations to grab the attention of experienced candidate leads to effective operation as well as quick organisational development (Sidhu and Mather, 2017). During the hiring process, the managers need to take assessment and interviews to select the best one. Not only educational qualification but identification of employee behaviour is also important to maintain a good corporate culture that provides the employee's job satisfaction.

Management of time during operation is essential for all the retail business organisation to maintain the regular workforce proficiently. At the same time, complete the project before the deadline is a huge challenge for all the managers. In staples, the management also needs to maintain time in operating the retail stores to manage all the duties effectively (Greer, Lusch and Hitt, 2017). Complete the work before deadline also helps managers to check the work perfectly, and it also reduces the chances of mistake leads to getting validates outcomes from the projects. Time is essential for all the business organisation for that reason the management needs to implement various digital technologies to minimise the project time leads to get high benefits.

It is another challenge for Human resource management. HR managers need to evaluate the performance of each and individual employees and if any problem found than manager needs to conduct training and skill development program to improve the employee standard. According to research, it has been identified that the lack of efficient workers also reduces organisational performance. Identify the problems and area of development for each employee is very tough work for the managers so that implementation of leadership styles and technical implementation will help management to gather performance report of individual staffs efficiently. Maintain labour standard will help managers to ensure good quality services leads to get more positive feedbacks from customers.

Customers generally want high-quality products and good services in affordable rate for that reason it is essential for an organisation to maintain adequate customer service to attach the customer psychologically with the brand (Greer, Lusch and Hitt, 2017). Managing customer service is also a challenging task for the manager because managers generally deal with customer complaints. The managers of staples also faced problems during service operation. The managers also handled the situation by fulfilling each and individual requirements of the customer. So these are the major problems faced by the managers of staples during operation of their retail shops.

The primary responsibility of a store manager is to manage the overall operation of a store and also maintain the workforce of a specific store (Porter et al., 2017). The management of workers and the entire business is very difficult for that reason it is essential to implement various strategies to get competitive advantages leads to effective management of the stores. The strategies are described below to understand the situation better.

Shifting Mindset

Porter generic strategies also help the companies to get more competitive advantages in operating market so that most of the business organisations are focused on this strategy (Moraa, Senaji and Mbithi, 2017). There are three or four generic strategies such as lower cost, differentiated strategy and focused strategy. An organisation generally selects two types of scope to either cost leadership or differentiated strategy to get more advantages.

Cost leadership strategy generally signifies the lowest cost operations of an organisation that provides low-cost advantages to the company (Ze et al., 2018). This particular strategy mainly depends on size, efficiency, and scope of the organisations for that reason it is essential for an organisation to recognize its scope and ability to select most leadership strategy otherwise it can hamper the overall operations. It will be easier for manufacturing organisation to select the cost leadership strategy effectively but the retail organisation cannot minimise the product price so that profit margin is average (Salari and Backman, 2017). In the case of Staples, the product price is higher, but the product cost is fixed so that the profit margin of this organisation also average.

Differentiation strategy mainly refers to the offerings of various types of unique products to the customers that fulfil the requirements of customers. The products are different than general products that mean competition is very low (Porter et al., 2017).  The organisation also charged hire for the uniqueness of the products. The quality mainly allows the company to select a higher price for the product. According to the case study, Staples also provides the business organisation different unique products and service that are valued by the customers and the product price of this organisation also high so that selection of differentiation strategy will be better for Staples. It is important to recognise some internal strength such as good research and development, experienced product development team, strong sales team and organisational reputation of the organisation before select this strategy (Ze et al., 2018). According to the case study it has been recognised that Staples overall situation and brand image is high enough to select this strategy efficiently. It also provides the organisation higher competitive advantages in the international retail market.

Figure: 1 Porter’s Generic Strategies

(Source: University of Cambridge, 2018)

Focused strategy refers to the combined set of actions that helps the organisation to deliver products that serve the requirements of a specific competitive segment. The focused strategy usually divided into two major segments such as a focused cost leadership strategy and focused differentiation strategy (Salari and Backman, 2017). A staple can serve the business organisations different and unique products that fulfil all the requirements of a specific market segment. It generally signifies the small target regarding customer and market, and it provides the organisation innovative ways to achieve the lower cost. Staple will get protection from competition, and it will reduce the possibilities of shifting loyalty that means gain huge advantages from the market.

Michel Porter first introduces this fife forces Framework in, and this tools also helps managers in analysing the competition of a particular business (Gure and Karugu, 2018). This powerful tool also helps management to recognise the business environment perfectly. This particular structure also recognises the overall structure of the industry.

Hiring Employees

Strong bargaining power of the supplier generally increases the price of raw materials, and raw material quality is also low so that high bargaining power will improve the overall cost of Staples leads to reduce profit margin (Lind, 2018). Supplier’s bargaining power mainly depends on some buyers that means if the number of suppliers is low and the buyer is high then they use monopoly strategy because the buyers don’t have the other option (Leal Filho et al., 2017). For that reason, High bargaining power can hamper the overall operation of Staples.

The bargaining power of customer mainly depends on some customer and availability of products that means if the number of customers are few and large products is available in the market then buyers have the option to choose other retailers (Prins, 2017). High bargaining power of the buyers also can hamper the sales of an organisation. Sometimes the buyers are very price sensitive, and they choose the best one at an affordable rate. In this case, Staples needs to make unique products to avoid this threat.  

It is one of the major threats of the organisations because some organisation can introduce the same type of products at low price and that can grab the attention of many customers leads to reduce sales volume as well as a substantial financial loss (Lind, 2018). At the same time, it will be very tough for Staples to provide the customer high-quality product and service at a lower rate, so that introduces of substitute product will increase the competition further. For that reason, senior management of Staple needs to implement some innovative strategy to avoid this threat.  

Figure: 2. Porter’s Five Forces

(Source: SM Insight, 2018)

The entrance of new similar company with a variety of products in affordable price also can increase the level of competition in the market, and it will also reduce the number of customers. But the market entry cost is very high to that it is tough for the other organisation to enter in this retail market (Prins, 2017). At the same time, new organisations need more brand image to compete with existing organisations. So the risk is very low regarding the entrance of new organisations.

This particular force is one of the major determinants that signify the level of competition. The same size competitors can hamper the overall business (Klyczek et al., 2017). For that reason, proper research development is urgent to make the product differentiated to attract more customers. The management needs to implement various innovative strategies to increase the number of loyal customers and that will help staples to maintain its sales volume as well as profitability effectively.

Staple is one of the largest office product organizations all over the world. The head office of this company is in Framingham, Massachusetts. The sales volume of this company is increased over date last twenty years, and profit margin also increased by 9%.  This company operated its business in 21 countries so that overall financial position is good enough to expand the business in other countries. The main products of this organisation are machines, technological products, promotional products etc. More than 61000 employees are currently working in this organisation. According to research data it has been recorded that in the financial year 2016, revenue of this organisation was $20.17 billion. The mission of this organisation is to be the leading office product retailers all over the world, and this organisation wants to expand its business in other countries to enhance its financial condition (Leal Filho et al., 2017).

Organizational Structure

Advantages and Disadvantages

The structure of Staple generally divided into three major parts such as North American Commercial, North American Stores and Online shops and Staples international store. The North American commercial mainly repress the 33% of Staples business and North American stores, and online shops represent 49% of staples business, and 18%  of total business is international business (Staples, 2018). At the same time, Staple mainly used the Management action planning system in the organization and the management and departmental staffs mainly reviews this MAP workbook.

The implementation of this system also helps this company to record specific information with a view to financial transactions. This particular system also assists the managers and auditors to avoid material misstatement in financial reports. Divide the overall organizational structure in three parts also helps management to maintain day to day workforce and to record all the information efficiently (Morrow et al., 2007).

One of the major disadvantages is lack of effective centralize operation. The management can face problems due to lack of effective communication between the departments.

Staples mainly follow the hierarchical organisation structure and management organised the stores grouped into bigger categories of a separate region. The vision of this company is to serve the customer better quality products and service to increase the number of loyal customers (Blakeman, 2018). The environmental record of Staple also good for that reason the company has the opportunity to expand the business in the foreign market. The advertising segment of staple also high enough to grab the attention of many customers leads to more financial profitability.

The hierarchical structure generally provides benefits to both the employees and company. it also helps Staples to maintain managerial integrity leads to effective management operations (Morrow et al., 2007). Diverse workforce generally improves the skill and knowledge of all the employees.

The major disadvantages of Hierarchical organizational structure is lack of communication between the department and it also makes change slowly so that flexibility is very poor.  

Time Management

The current organisational situation of Staple is good but the senior management needs to implement some innovative strategies to trigger the overall sales of this organisation, and it will help the organisation in efficiently maintaining the overall business (Klyczek et al., 2017). There is different obstacle that company can face during implementation such as lack of resources, lack of proper planning, poor skills of the team members and resistance to change process.

Adequate resource is required for every business organization to manage day to day workforce perfectly. During strategy implementation organization needs different resource such as both technical resources and human resources (Blakeman, 2018). According to case study it has been identified that organization is very poor in utilizing it resources and that generally hampers the strategic implementation process.

The higher management needs to conduct a meeting and needs to make proper planning by selecting suitable methodologies (Leal Filho et al., 2017). Selection of effective planning mainly helps the organisation to recognise its basic weakness. For that reason implement of strategy without preparation also increases the chances of future risk and fit can hamper the overall organisational position.

It is vital for all the business organisation to recruit experienced staff in the organisation for improving overall organisational performance as well as financial profitability (Prins, 2017). It has been recorded that a lack of proper training and skill development program generally hampers the overall position of Staples. The management needs to measure the performance of each and individual employees and needs to provide training by requirements.

Conclusion 

From above study, it has been identified that the management of Staples Group is facing different challenges regarding the effective management of the organisation. So that implement diverse strategy in the organisation generally provides the company with huge competitive advantages in operating market leads to sustainable organisational development. Apart from that, evaluation of Porter’s generic strategy and five forces will help this company to gain more advantages by recognising the market environment effectively. At the same time, this organization mainly follows hierarchical structure in the organization and the overall structure is divided into three parts according to operations. This organizational structure also provides the organization competitive advantages. Due this structure Staple also faced some problems so that implementation of strategic ideas and effective communication will help this organization to improve further in this operating market. There is the different obstacle such as resistance in change, lack of resources, lack of proper planning and decision making etc. that hampers strategic implementation of Staples, so these strategies are essential to recover the organisational position as soon as possible.

References

Badii, L., Tiemann, M., Faulkner, R. and Hartley, N., 2018. Smart Specialisation–A Collective Awareness Platform And Toolset For Ris3 Strategy Implementation. In Economic and Social Development (Book of Proceedings), 27th International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social (p. 700).

Blakeman, R., 2018. Integrated marketing communication: creative strategy from idea to implementation. Rowman & Littlefield.

Chereau, P. and Meschi, P.X., 2017. Strategic Consulting: Tools and methods for successful strategy missions. Springer.

Dutse, A.H.G. and Aliyu, M.S., 2018. Cost Leadership, Market Orientation and Business Performance: An Empirical Investigation. Journal of Quantitative Methods Volume, 2, p.2.

Maintain Labor Standards

Ferguson, N.T., Samsonov, Y.A., Kinshumann, K., Chandrashekar, S., Messec, J.A., Novak, M.F., McCarron, C., Tamhane, A.P., Wang, Q., Kruse, D.M. and Ben-Zvi, N., 2017. Secure management of operations on protected virtual machines. U.S. Patent 9,578,017.

Greer, C.R., Lusch, R.F. and Hitt, M.A., 2017. A service perspective for human capital resources: A critical base for strategy implementation. Academy of Management Perspectives, 31(2), pp.137-158.

Gure, A.K. and Karugu, J., 2018. Strategic management practices and performance of small and micro enterprises in Nairobi City County, Kenya. Int. Acad. J. Hum. Resour. Bus. Adm, 3, pp.1-26

Hill, A. and Hill, T., 2017. Essential operations management. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Jones, S.A., Michelfelder, D. and Nair, I., 2017. Engineering managers and sustainable systems: the need for and challenges of using an ethical framework for transformative leadership. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, pp.205-212.

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Leal Filho, W., Wu, Y.C.J., Brandli, L.L., Avila, L.V., Azeiteiro, U.M., Caeiro, S. and Madruga, L.R.D.R.G., 2017. Identifying and overcoming obstacles to the implementation of sustainable development at universities. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 14(1), pp.93-108.

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