The Wesfarmers Limited was started by the Australian farmers and settlers to take care of the need of the farmers and merchandising business operations in the year 1914. Its headquarters are located in Australia and New Zealand. The company’s operations revolve around protection of agricultural chemical, fertilizers and products (13). Also, it is in charge of protecting the coal mining sector and the agricultural industrial sector in the country. To be specific, the company focuses on products like wool, livestock, grains, fruit producers, wheat farmers to name just but a few. Being one of the top most listed companies in Australia, Wesfarmers cooperative operations covers a diversified business areas, e.g. supermarkets, business stores, convenience stores, departmental stores, industries, office supplies, hotels and liquor stores among others (11). For this reason, the company has been growing and developing since its establishment. Therefore, for the sake of my assignment, this is the business of my choice.
Strategic information systems are the systems every business uses to achieve its initiatives and objectives especially regarding competitive advantage. Therefore, every business needs these systems because they are the guide towards business success.
Wesfarmers Organizational Structure
Wesfarmers is a business limited by shares and currently its shareholder base is approximately 530, 000 shareholders. In addition to that, the company is also listed in the Australian Securities Exchange which has helped diverse its operations over a wider range of areas. Its organizational structure was changed in 2015 by grouping some of its business industries under one division; i.e. chemicals, energy and fertilizers, industries and product safety and resources departments (14). Other changes were changes were made in 2016 whereby the business’s two main stores were put under one department store division. Currently, the changes have brought a lot of positive impacts to the business operations especially smoothening its growth and development path.
Just as mentioned earlier, the company is one of the top most rated business in Australia. Since its establishment, its business operations have been growing and developing in different ways as well as dealing with various specific products or activities. With the fact that the business also deals with home improvements, it has recently acquired the Home Retail Group which has caused an increase in the number of employees by 15, 000. This certainly causes an expansion in the business operations, size and structure.
Any change in an organization’s structure causes some benefits as well as problems to the business operations in general. Therefore, in the case of Wesfarmers, the following problems can arise:
The company may face difficulties when controlling and managing the large number of the employees. A business with a very wide base of employees and same previous management team may face hard times to manage the employees which can lead to business failure.
Also, the business may face frequent financial challenges by changing the organizational structure. Apparently, there is always a cost incurred during the acquiring of the new business and budgeting for the new employee’s payments.
Also some problems may arise in the business especially with the new employees as they try to adopt to the new business structure (9). Additionally, the current employees and management may face some challenges in adapting to the new structure as well. This will certainly affect the business operations and hence it success.
The most likely acquisition methods for Wesfarmers Cooperative is the ERP system. The purpose this system will be to integrating the business management and control of the main business processes and operations to achieve the business objectives and goals (7). This system will be able to help Wesfarmers manage its different departments and businesses effectively and efficiently. For instance, the procurement sectors, human resources department, inventory management, supply chain management among others.
Every system control has some problems that accompany it after it is implemented (3). Some of the problems that may come in handy with the Wesfarmers system control flow chart include
The stage of decision making in every organization always has many issues and aspects to be taken under consideration. For instance, the employees have to be notified and given time to discuss and give their opinions, the managers must take time to consider other alternative ways of achieving the required results among other things. Therefore, it is possible that the delays of this stage can cause adverse effects to the business’s operations.
This is a problem that is caused by poor and outdated information systems. For a system control to be completely operational, functional and effective in its purpose, the communication process should therefore be clear, simple and easy to understand. This will enable the management team and the employees to work together towards the same objective.
When a business chooses the wrong kind of process to run its operations and produce its services or products, it may result to business failure. Every business must ensure that its operation processes are effective and efficient for the end result expected by the management or consumers. In that case, the business will be increasing its chances of success and objective achievement.
Wesfarmers being one of the most developed and top rated companies, retailers and employers in the whole of Australia. The companies has certainly been using modern and updated accounting soft wares, policies and principles to run and manage its operations. This is especially for the case of the financial, supply chain, employee management, budgeting issues, investment aspects among other things. The company has been managing and controlling all of these sectors by use of developed accounting software. This has certainly been of great help to the business because they are able to perform its operations at the set budgets and without financial crisis or pressure which is often one of the main issues with large companies. This has also led to immense growth and development of the whole business operations around its offices and business regions.
The company has a very large market share around Australia. It has set its operations in different main towns like Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland. Also, it is in charge of a large number of businesses like in supermarkets, coal mining businesses, chemical, energy and fertilizers businesses, industrial and product safety businesses, raw material producers, home improvement businesses and department stores among others. It is one of the largest retailer companies in the whole of Australia with a very large number of employees and shareholders (11). This clearly shows how the business has progressed since its establishment, grown and developed with time. This shows how large its market share and segment.
Wesfarmers is rated as the top most company in Australia according to the revenue it makes. However, there is very stiff competition in the Australian business market. Wesfarmers faces a lot of competition from Woolworths Company, BHP Billiton, Commonwealth Bank, Caltex, Rio Tinto to name just but a few companies. Apparently all of these companies are effective in their operations and other business activities. They have a competitive advantage over Wesfarmers because of their market share, collaborative aspects with other related businesses among other things (13). For instance the services that are offered by the Commonwealth Bank are highly rated than those offered by Wesfarmers Cooperative. Therefore, this is one factor that sometimes gives it an advantage over Wesfarmers.
The users may not have the knowledge to operate the systems. Apparently, every accounting system needs expertise, skill and experience which is not common to all users (5). This may pose as a challenge for the users and therefore making them shy away from accessing the systems.
Also, the systems may not be fast enough for the customers to invest their time in. If a business has very slow and outdated systems for the customers, there may be time wastage which leaves the customers with no choice but give up.
In addition to that, systems that are few in numbers may cause a challenge for the users. Very few systems e.g. computers will also lead to customer’s time wastage which may make them give up the desire to access the system.
Every business should ensure that its users have the skills, knowledge and experience required for them to use its systems. For the case of Wesfarmers, it can consider conducting trainings, conferences and meeting to teach the farmers on how to deal with the systems.
Business should make sure that the systems are ready, available and enough in number so that every user can be able to access them. For instance Wesfarmers should make sure that every business entity and producer has enough systems e.g. computes and other machines that help the system run.
The systems of every business should be fast enough in speed to accommodate every users’ issues. Wesfarmers should update its systems and software frequently to make sure that it is of the best status in terms of speed.
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