Understanding roles and responsibilities within business organisations
Adetokunbo Adebanjo Unit 16 Certificate in Administration
Education Business Partnership
Understanding roles and responsibilities within business organisations
Businesses and organisations are a huge way of life. They are part of pretty much everything we do, from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, from the holidays we go on and to the schools we attend. In this booklet, we’re going to give you the ins and outs of what exactly goes on in a business. This is the ultimate guide for the business-hungry school or college leaver.
Most well known businesses tend to be larger enterprises. These include Nando’s, Arcadia Group, Wal-mart, J Sainsbury, and Tesco.
An SME is a Small or Medium Enterprise. It usually only has 250 or less employees working for it, and works at a relatively small scale to a larger business. Examples of SMEs include Breast Cancer Campaign, Lastminute.com, Lime Crime Makeup, and Sugarpill Cosmetics.
Information technology and graphics
A LOOK AT LARGER BUSINESSES: ARCADIA GROUP LTD
The Arcadia Group Limited is a large British retail company that owns several popular high street fashion chains, which are Topshop, Burton, BHS (and Tammy), Dorothy Perkins, Topman, Wallis, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Outfit (this is the only store that is not a clothing brand in its own right, but is an outlet that sells clothing from the other eight stores). This business is owned by Sir Philip Green and his family, who bought it in 2002. As well as the UK, Arcadia has stores in 30 other countries around the world.
Arcadia Group and its nine stores
Arcadia’s mission statement is “To provide a unique shopping experience where choice is paramount, by taking a portfolio of successful high street brands to quality retail parks.” In turn, Arcadia has managed to succeed in becoming a very successful, popular and world-renowned high street retail company.
Arcadia also aims to lead in ethical retailing and sustaining the environment, of which is part of their project called Fashion Footprint.
Arcadia takes all these steps to be a top leading retailer in all aspects.
The Arcadia Group Ltd is a large centralised and market-based organisation that has many people working in different departments, both in the retail stores and in the head offices, which are based in London and Leeds.
As a centralised organisation, key functions and major decisions are made at the head offices, and all branches are made sure to operate in the same way. Key services are centrally controlled, such as administration, human resources, retail operations and finance. It avoids duplicating staff roles and responsibilities, as well as keeping costs down. It can also obtain larger purchasing discounts.
In contrast to a decentralised organisation, central office approval is usually always necessary, decisions are not made as quickly, nor do local and departmental managers have as much decision-making powers, which may make them feel slightly demoralised. These are a few of the disadvantages that can come with being centralised organisation.
Below is a chart that visually displays the general layout of this organisation and its key functions.
This is a departmental organisation that is mainly made up of functional roles, as well as responsibilities under store operations. In addition, Arcadia operates geographically, as not only does it operate stores in the UK, but also in many other countries such as Sweden, Malta, USA and UAE.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Each department would normally have a manager or two, who lead a team of assistants and other staff members. Owner Philip Green has an overall wide span of control, but the chain of command travels down each individual department.
Members of the Team and Descriptions of their Departments
Owners and chief staff
- Chief Operating Officer – Ian Grabiner
- Owner and Chairman – Philip Green
- Owner – Lady Christina Green
Each department has a director who regularly reports to the Chief Operating Officer Ian Grabiner, who in turn reports to the owner of Arcadia, Sir Philip Green, who makes the big decisions about the whole of Arcadia. Sir Philip Green’s wife Christina also co-owns the retail chain.
Roles in the retail stores are mainly sales advisors and management. They are the ones who mainly interact with customers on a regular basis.
- The sales advisors work with customers daily to provide them with good service. It is their job to make sure that the right stock is on the shop floor, as well as to advise customers on selecting goods and to deal with their purchases.
- Branch store managers hold responsibility for the performance of one branch of an Arcadia group store, and they lead employees within their team. They have usually been previously promoted from sales advisor roles, and take on their leadership skills for the overall running of their store.
- Area managers have responsibility over a number of stores grouped together within a certain region, including their respective branch managers. Their span of control is wide in comparison to branch managers. They have weekly visits to all these stores to monitor progress, convey business messages across the area and to ensure that they are all working to consistent standards.
It is the marketing team’s job to create advertising to promote the brand of Arcadia to its customers and the general public through a variety of different media, such as television, billboards, magazines and press, the Internet, and direct marketing (such as store cards).
The marketing team perform their market research by working closely with the merchandising and buying teams, to find out in depth what the brand and products are all about and how it would be best to promote them. Collaborations with creative and PR teams are also important in getting the message across to the customers in the best way through good publicity and quality advertising.
- The marketing co-ordinator works with many departments such as media, advertising, events and promotions.
- The group marketing co-ordinator works closely with the events team and supports and does research for events, such tasks including scouting venues and looking for suppliers.
- The marketing assistant assists in all areas of marketing strategy.
- The marketing manager oversees the campaign and all tasks involved to make sure that it is every bit as successful as possible.
Merchandising people work closely with the buying team to make sure there is a balanced range in store to cater to customers’ needs. They take into account the need to maximise profit, re-evaluate stock and build strategic promotions. It is important to regularly check stock because running out of stock would result in not having enough to sell to customers, and ordering too much will take up too much space in the stockroom and store, and so a good balance needs to be maintained. The merchandising team also analyse past and present trends to plan future ranges and also consider how to maintain the best profit.
- The merchandiser works with the buyer to plan the store’s ranges.
- The merchandiser’s administration assistant analyses sales and works on stock distribution.
The Human Resources team provide assistance in recruitment and training of all staff and management. They work closely with branch managers in order to understand the needs and vacancies of a particular store, and then act appropriately so to fulfil these. For example, TopShop’s London flagship store in Oxford Street has a very large number of employees working there (in comparison to the average sized TopShop store in a typical high street location). In addition to the generalist HR teams, there are also teams that specialise in Employee Relations, Reward, Resourcing and Management Development.
Part of Arcadia’s great success is due to the high quality of its employers. Sir Philip Green makes sure that the HR teams use thorough policies when recruiting, selecting and training staff. When looking to recruit new employees, HR like to target school leavers and recent graduates in particular, and use a number of methods to attract people to apply for their jobs, such as career fairs, advertisements and communications in-store. HR also like to encourage internal applications, as current employees already know the nature and culture of the business, and so could well be good candidates for promotion within the company.
Selections for employees take part with Arcadia’s Management Trainee Programme, which makes a shortlist of successful online applicants who then move on to an assessment centre.
- The HR officer is involved in various activities such as recruitment, training and reward management, and also provides a general service to many various departments such as PR, Logistics, Finance, IT and Property.
The finance team in London organize budgets, forecasts, trading reports and plans for head office functions. The accounting centre in Leeds produces financial and management accounts. They also process transactions such as payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, stock accounting, credit control, statutory accounting and data services.
Finance people need to liaise with human resources in order to calculate the correct wages to give to employees.
- The finance manager regularly forecasts the group’s cash flow, develops trading reports for key groups, and follows requests from senior management.
- It is the job of the finance analyst to analyse the finances for both internal and external clients.
- Being the finance controller is a management role that involves supervision and monitoring of internal finances.
The IT team has offices in Leeds and London, and work to provide IT services for the Arcadia group’s stores and head office. The work within the IT department includes eCommerce, application development, application management, business systems, and help and data.
- The business systems analyst works to find out what the business needs from a system and how their department can deliver this to them. Their role involves creating the necessary documents and specifications, as well as trialling new systems and controlling the performance.
It is the property department’s job to acquire, organise and buy property for new stores opening. Arcadia owns a portfolio of 2500 stores, and the property department manages the maintenance of them, as well as planning store locations and store sizes.
The property team network with finance in order to create suitable budgets for purchasing and developing stores.
- The acquisitions and disposals manager visits different towns and retail parks as possible locations for new stores. A lot of work is involved, such as negotiating rents and working with the store planning teams.
Arcadia Group believes in ethical trading and responsible retailing, and it is important and useful that they have many different influential groups that help with their Fashion Footprint work. Fashion Footprint is all about Arcadia committing to be a socially responsible brand, and it is concerned with ethical and environmental issues raised by customers. It is led by people in senior management roles, and they work to improve strategies and performance every year. All of Arcadia’s management and employees are its main internal stakeholders, with the rest of its many stakeholders being external.
As the main internal stakeholders, these people are face of Arcadia, all 44,000 of them, and they want to work for an organisation that acts on its values. The employees want to be sure they earn good fair wages in prosperous jobs as well as being able to develop promising careers within their working lives. Arcadia works to focus on its employees by training them to work to the best of their abilities, as well as making sure they have full awareness of their ethical policies.
Suppliers, their factories and factory workers
Arcadia works closely with its suppliers to ensure they are delivering a trading service that is as ethical as possible and to overcome challenges along the way. Suppliers are in the business of providing companies with products, and so benefit greatly from work with the successful Arcadia Group. 2009 saw the launch of the Code of Conduct Guidebook, as well as many supplier workshops. The Code of Conduct Guidebook is aimed at suppliers and factory managers, to explain how to sufficiently meet Arcadia’s policies about providing safe, fair and legal working environments for all workers. They also increased the number of ‘green’ graded factories, increased the number of Topshop/Topman factories run by the ARC programme, developed a home worker policy, and enhanced factory and audit databases.
Being a heavily customer-driven business, Arcadia has to continually give its customers the best products and services possible in order to keep succeeding on its mission of providing top, affordable, up-to-date fashion to the high street. Arcadia also makes sure to keep its customers as well informed about its ethical services as possible and also welcomes much feedback from its customers in the form of letters and emails. Customers benefit from having a large choice of fashion stores, from Arcadia alone, of different styles to shop at.
Other retailers and brands
Sustainability of the ecology and environment is not a particularly competitive area, so it benefits Arcadia to work with other retailers and brands who are also working on similar projects in relation to ethics. For example, last year, Arcadia received Adidas’ manual, and integrated it into its own Code of Conduct Guidebook. This is a useful method of retaining productivity as well as practising cross-promotion.
Trade unions, governments, NGOs, campaigning groups and students
Arcadia works hard with these many different groups in its efforts to improve labour conditions for all its workers alike. Non-governmental organisations in particular are very important because Arcadia help with projects such as the Self Employed Women’s Association and home workers. Arcadia works with several various campaigning groups to raise awareness of their labour standards. Arcadia also takes university fashion students on work placements to learn more about Arcadia’s ethical trading practices and to help with their projects, and these students in turn build rapport and good records for their CVs and future careers.
Third party service providers
Service providers from third parties are needed for testing products, evaluating supplier factories and shaping thinking about Fashion Footprint.
A LOOK AT SMES: LIME CRIME MAKEUP
Lime Crime Makeup is a small American company that specialises in producing and selling bright cosmetics internationally for the more creative makeup consumer. Set up by makeup artist, model and former pop star Xenia “Doe Deere” Vorotova, and helped by only three other people employed in her company (including her own husband); Lime Crime is the perfect example of an SME. Lime Crime sells its products online and ships worldwide, as well as in stores in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Bermuda.
Lime Crime’s mission statement is simply, to create makeup that is “so bright, it’s illegal!” - inspired after Doe Deere could not find makeup colours dazzling enough to suit her extravagant tastes. Doe Deere personally believes in people making the best of themselves with confidence and individual expression, and this is reflected in her work for the company and her blog. As a result, Doe Deere has made quite a name for herself particularly in the online beauty community.
This is a chart of the main organisation. Due to the very small size of this company, Lime Crime isn’t organised by traditional departments, as all of the four workers tend to take on multiple job roles, and the management’s span of control is very narrow. This means that communication across the organisation is relatively easy and straightforward, as there are not many employees to account to.
The Main Members of the Team and Their Roles
Founder, product development and marketing
Doe Deere – She had been disappointed by the lack of very bright cosmetics in the beauty market, so much so that she decided to create her own makeup line to cater the makeup needs of herself and other beauty eccentrics. In turn, she founded her company, Lime Crime, in 2008. She works to develop all the cosmetic products, as well as designing the packaging. Her multiple job roles also extend into overall creative direction, modelling, and designing photo shoots. As well as all this, she also writes her own personal blog, , with which she uses to help promote her company, which includes tutorials on how to do different makeup looks with her products.
Customer services, photography and sales
Mark – As well as being Doe Deere’s husband, he is also her business partner and fellow multi-tasking worker. He is a photographer, who shoots a large proportion of the photos for Lime Crime’s websites and campaigns. He also reads and answers the entirety of customer emails, as well as working to get Lime Crime products into suitable stores. He collaborates largely with Doe Deere in marketing, future products, and doing the photo shoots.
Public relations and social media
Erica – She deals with developing and maintaining a good public image for Lime Crime. She uses many different media platforms in her job, communicating with bloggers, YouTube users and publications, as well as interacting with users on Facebook and Twitter. She is also the leader of the Lime Crime VIP fan club Team Candyfuture.
Brazilian outreach specialist
Fernanda – She is a multi-linguist based in Brazil, and she works to represent Lime Crime in Brazil, a country which has a notably large number of customers of the brand.
Emma – She is not technically part of the Lime Crime Company, but still serves an important role in working for them by organising and maintaining the shipping of their goods to the customers. Since a lot of Lime Crime’s retail operations are done online, she has to regularly organise the shipping of its products to customers worldwide. The popularity of Lime Crime makes sure that the shipping manager is always busy and always has some abundant work to do.
IT and graphics
Carlos – Like Emma, he is not a direct employee of Lime Crime either, but his own important job is to help maintain the website and create the graphics for the newsletters. He also designs Lime Crime’s newsletter and website, which is very bright and colourful, to match the personality of Doe Deere and her company. The Lime Crime website regularly needs updating, so he is never short of plenty of work to do.
Since Lime Crime is such a small company, Doe Deere and Mark themselves also take on the additional role of being the only shareholders, as well as the main internal stakeholders.
Founder and employees
Doe Deere is the founder, and her husband Mark is her business partner, and both take on multiple roles for their small company. Their other two main employees are the PR publicist and the Brazilian outreach specialist. They all make their main income from this business, and therefore the company is as vital to them as they are to it, in making it the success that they want it to be.
Stores selling their products
As well as on Lime Crime’s Official site, its products are sold on other online sites, which are Modcloth.com (USA), Shanalogic.com (USA), Makeup Emporium (Canada), Crushcosmetics.com.au (Australia), and Makeupnet.com.au (Australia). Lime Crime counters also operate in the stores Space NK (USA and UK), Urban Outfitters (Canada), and Chrysalis Cosmetics (Bermuda). All these companies are aiming to increase their own profits, and one way of doing this is working with other growing companies. By adding Lime Crime products to their stores, they all benefit by creating more variety in their store ranges and attracting more customers.
As well as via fashion magazines, one of Lime Crime’s primary sources of advertising is through the internet, and a lot of it is done through customers and online word of mouth via forums, blogs and YouTube users. Its products are also often reviewed in various web logs and video logs. Lime Crime benefits greatly from these external activities by gaining lots of free and low-cost publicity for its business to gain more customers from its target audience.
We have now come to the end of this case study where we have compared and contrasted a large enterprise, Arcadia Group, and an SME, Lime Crime. We have learned how Arcadia has many several people working in each of its several departments, where in contrast Lime Crime’s four employees each take on multiple departmental roles. They may have large differences in business size and number of employees, but both companies tend to have the same type of departments in common, such as marketing, customer services and IT, and they both aim to make a profit.
Tokunbo, a good introduction. Well done!
Good, this outlines Arcadia's key activities.
Well done for concisely describing the organisational aims and objectives. (AC 5.1)
Good Tokunbo. Very well identified.
Tokunbo, well done for anyalysing the organisation structure and noting how it affects responsibility. (AC 2.1, 2.2)
Good, this evaluates roles at various levels of the retail operation. (AC 3.1)
Good. (AC 1.1)
Very good. (AC 1.2)
Good. (AC 3.1)
Very good. (AC 1.1, 1.2)
Very good. (AC 1.1, 1.2, 3.1)
Good; this is a specialist role. (AC 3.1)
Tokunbo, well done for identifying Arcadia's functional departments and analysing how they interact. You have also woven the various roles and responsibilities of staff at various levels into the above section. (AC 1.1, 1.2, 3.1)
Good description, well done.
Well done for identifying different stakeholders. (AC 4.1)
Well done for describing stakeholders aims and objectives. (AC 4.2)
Good. (AC 4.3)
Good, a very positive impact. (4.3)
Well done for identifying Lime Crime's organisation objectives and the benefits they bring to the business. (AC 5.1)
Very good analysis of the structure and how it affects responsibility. (AC 1.1, 1.2)
Well done, the link to Doe's blog provides a useful insight into the company.
Well done for describing Mark's role and noting how he interacts with Doe. (AC 1.2, 3.1)
Well done for evaluating different roles within Lime Crime. (AC 3.1)
Well done for identifying stakeholders aims and objectives. (AC 4.2)
Very good; Web 2.0 technologies are useful marketing tools.
Tokunbo, well done for providing a good insight into two organisations, who have similar objectives, but contrast sharply in size.