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Introduction to J Sainsbury plc

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction to J Sainsbury plc J Sainsbury plc is a leading UK and US food retailer with interests in financial services and property. The group comprises Sainsbury's Supermarkets and Sainsbury's Bank in the UK and Shaw's Supermarkets in the US. Sainsbury's Supermarkets was established in 1869 by John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury and is Britain's longest-standing major food retailing chain. Sainsbury's Supermarkets employs over 145,000 people, including Savacentre. Of these, 60% are part-time and 40% full-time. 62% of employees are women. A large Sainsbury's Supermarket offers over 23,000 products, 40% of these are Sainsbury's own brand. In addition to a wide range of quality food and grocery products, many stores offer bread baked on the premises, delicatessen, meat and fish counters, pharmacies, coffee shops, restaurants and petrol stations. Sainsbury's Supermarkets serves over 11 million customers a week and as at June 2002 had 463 stores throughout the UK. Nearly 60% of our stores are in town-centre or edge-of-centre locations, many of these built on previously derelict sites. TASK 1 1.1.1 A classification of the business according to its ownership, and an explanation of the benefits and constraints of this type of ownership. (E1) Sainsbury's Ownership Sainsbury's belongs in the private sector because its main aim is to make a profit. Without profit, Sainsbury's cannot keep its shareholders happy and improve its products and services. Sainsbury's will also find it difficult to plough back money into research and development and to invest in new technologies. It will not have money available to give to charities and it will not be able to increase the rewards to its employees. Of course, if Sainsbury's make a loss, it is possible to borrow, but lenders will look very carefully at Sainsbury's profit potential before parting with their funds. It is a basic fact of Sainsbury's life, therefore, that profit is important. Comparatively, there are several different types of business ownership. ...read more.

Middle

In reality, Sainsbury's or the people working for Sainsbury's do not always behave in the way the organisation chart would suggest. Communication may not always be upwards, but sideways; employees in different functions find it better to talk directly, rather than 'through the proper channels', for example via the boss. The objectives of staff in different parts of Sainsbury's may not always match the corporate objectives because of personal interests or rivalries. This will lead to sales staff believing that they will do the hard work, while Sainsbury's marketing executives only dream up imaginary campaigns. Sainsbury's production managers may follow product quality for its own sake, rather than required by the customers. Sainsbury's accountants will see budgets as an objective, which others see as constraints and position power, for example, something held by Sainsbury's chief executive's personal assistant might be used to sort out communication. Organisational success relies upon bringing staff together in a shared vision of what needs to be done and everyone's roles in achieving it. Diagrams of organisation hierarchies may give little clue about the reality of who is contributing most to Sainsbury's success. Sainsbury's will need to compete directly with its rival competitors, some of whom have recently launched major new initiatives in sales of non-food items: Asda having a George clothing line and Tesco recently introducing its Cherokee clothing line. Sainsbury's are currently third in the supermarket league table. This need to respond to new initiatives will affect the hierarchical structure, as re-structuring means that new managers must be introduced to head the clothing department and more employees will need to be added. This will become costly for Sainsbury's. Any alternatives will take a certain amount of adjusting to for Sainsbury's; particularly as the hierarchical structure remains formal, yet the new management style and culture, which are under discussion, are informal. There may be initial problems at first and Sainsbury's may need to inject more capital to counter-affect problems. ...read more.

Conclusion

Currently, however, Sainsbury's uses organisation-wide approaches to quality, which make quality the responsibility of everyone at all stages of the production of goods and services. Today, Sainsbury's quality is built in from the design stage through the choice of suppliers at all points of the production process to the finished product. Sainsbury's have currently achieved quality assurance and quality control through salmon products and quality food, which are clearly explained in the following quotations: "Sainsbury's breaded Salmon Bites have won the title of Best Retail Packaging For A New Product in the European Seafood Exposition Brussels Seafood Pix d'Elite New Product competition. On top of winning the packaging prize, the judges were highly complimentary of both the visual appearance and the quality of the product". "The food centre plays a pivotal role in ensuring excellence and innovation in Sainsbury's Supermarkets own-label products. A highly experienced team with extensive knowledge of the food industry provides the company with specialist quality control, creative food development, sensory appraisal and supports Sainsbury's Supermarkets range, product quality and choice programme". (Source: www.j-sainsbury.co.uk) Quality Assurance Systems > Total Quality Management (TQM) - Sainsbury's works under total quality management (TQM). It is concerned with creating a quality culture, so that every employee at Sainsbury's will seek to delight customers. It also encourages everyone in the workplace to think about quality in everything he or she does. The customer is at the centre of the production process. Sainsbury's have been following the policy for a long time. It involves providing customers with what they want, when they want it and how they want it. It involves moving with changing customer requirements and fashions to design products and services that meet and exceed their requirements. Delighted customers will pass the message on to their friends. This can be summarised in the following graph, indicating the movement of total quality management at Sainsbury's: Levels of Quality TQM QA Continuous Improvement QC Prevention Inspection Detection Increasing Emphasis on Customer (Source: Needham, D. & Dransfield, R. Advanced Business. Heinemann Educational Publishers. ...read more.

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