留学生作业: M&S'Operations Management Report

时间:2010-11-19 13:06:17 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien

Operations Management Report

1.0 Introduction

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is http://www.ukthesis.org/a leading British retailer of clothing, food, homeware and financial services with over 895 stores in more than 40 territories around the world. (Marks & Spencer-UK Stores, 2009) During those glory days, M&S experienced a wrenching time which has become particularly vulnerable in its core customer base-women aged between 35 and 55. Its profit margins seemed to be untenable and the loyalty of its customers was also severely eroded in 1998. Besides, as rival retailers continuously sourcing their materials from low-cost countries, the increasing cost of using British suppliers exerted a burden on M&S, but M&S was rather slow to switch to overseas suppliers. These combined factors pushed M&S into a wrenching time. The clothing sector represents a large proportion of the UK retail turnover and poor performance will result in a negative effect on its profit in this area. In recent years, M&S has been struggling and rebranding to regain its reputation. With reference to the strategic review of M&S, the UK retail management team developed an operational plan to built up the strengths of M&S and exploit new growth opportunities which concentrating on improving its product appeal, availability and value to rebuild relationships with the core customer base-womenswear. Based on the case study of Marks& Spencer, this paper will make an illustration on three M&S clothing ranges, namely Perfect and Classic ranges, Autograph range and per una range through analyzing three questions.

2.0 Question One

As customers become more interested in quality and design, shoppers are opting for higher-priced items (Wheatcroft & Patience, 2000). In order to regain the loyalty of its core customers, M&S has to concentrate on designing and supplying a collection for the fashion conscious woman apart from classically stylish clothes. The range Per una is “ring fenced” within the M&S system which can be produced to a different standard. The Autograph, another range was created by top designers in order to offer fashion items at High Street. M&S also planned to recover the confidence of its customers by emphasizing the quality and fit of its clothing. A number of ranges and sub-brands are introduced to appeal to different lifestyles, including The Perfect Collection and The Classic Collection, apart from per una and The Autograph.
In order to satisfy different customer needs, the three M&S ranges are designed with different aims. The Perfect Collection concentrates on core customers for classically stylish merchandise, including plain, white shirts, black roll-neck sweaters and jeans for women and men. These basics with many items machine washable, non-iron and tumble-dry friendly, are aimed at the customer who has a busy lifestyle and looks for quality and value with a reasonable price. The Classic Collection is aimed at more mature customer who pays more concentrations on design, comfort, long-lasting style and versatility of the products. The core of The Classic Collection is designed to ensure that every piece favors the natural body shape with different sizes. The Autograph range created by top designers, is aimed at offering fashion items at High Street prices which bring unique and exclusive designs to M&S customers. The Autograph range belongs to top designer collections. After his innovative designs and methods, Davies made a subsequent success in developing the George range of clothing at Asda supermarkets whose sub-brand was labeled Per una. Per una, the high quality range is aimed to provide superb designs at very affordable prices whose target customers are fashion conscious women aged between 25 and 35, sizes 8-18.#p#分页标题#e#

2.1 Question Two

As for operation strategy, Slack defines it as the strategic decisions and tactics which set the role, objectives and activities of a firm (Childerhouse, P., 2001). It is based on the firm’s capacities, resources and processes which seeks to competitive advantage to win customers through satisfying their needs. Competitive factors that have significant effects on winning customers are called order winners. Improving these factors is http://www.ukthesis.org/likely to result in more businesses for the firm. If a firm strives for a competitive advantage, it must be able to understand and provide products and services which can generate order winners for its customers. (McCullen et al., 2000) Then, order qualifiers are defined as these factors that customers have a certain minimum expected level from and the firm should comply with. Therefore, order winning and order qualifying criteria should be taken into consideration when business decisions are made to win customers and drive the firms’ business growth.
In view of the failure in 1998/99, some critics claimed that overpricing and poor services are the main reasons resulting in falling sales. Others argued that customers were not satisfied with a decline in quality of some products. Retail analysts also pointed to a drop in product quality behind these falling sales. Wheatcroft further emphasizes that the main problems of the company largely result from a failure by M&S to deal with core problems referring to supplying chain design and operation (Wheatcroft & Patience, 2000). Every collection of these ranges has its own competitive advantage. For example, The Perfect and Classic ranges are characterized as their timeless essentials and long-lasting styles; The Autograph range concentrates on its unique designs within boutique environment; Per una range is known as its superb designs at very affordable prices. Then, in terms of order winners and order qualifiers for these three clothing ranges at M&S, I will make a brief explanation to them. Following table will provide a general view on these three clothing ranges at M&S.




Perfect and Classic ranges Autograph range Per una range
Product range Classically stylish merchandise and more mature clothes Fashion items, womenswear, menswear and accessories collection Latest trends, individual cuts, fanatical attention to detail for fashion
-conscious women
Design changes Return to basics ; Skim and flatter the natural body shape Top designers
Collection within a designer boutique environment Design concepts coming in weeks, versatile and fast#p#分页标题#e#

Price Value-for-money prices High street prices Very affordable prices
Quality High-quality fabrics High quality Superb quality materials
Sales volumes SKU Sold widely, in Large quantities Available in selected stores In small numbers into selected stores
Order winners For core customers with a busy life, versatility, fitness, reasonable price and quality Fashionable, unique and exclusive designs Limited editions, special and more exclusive styles, competitive prices
Order qualifiers Timeless essentials reflecting one’s style and finesse Collection with no more than 60 of each color and way and style Superb designs at very affordable prices
Operations priorities Improving the segmentation of clothing,innovation Bringing cutting-edge design to a wider audience Improving and controlling the supply chain
2.2 Question There

cost speed quality flexibility dependability
Perfect and Classic ranges 3 5 3 4.5 3
Autograph range 5 3.5 5 3.5 5
Per una range 4 4 5 4 4

Generally, the lower the cost of producing their goods and services, the lower can be the price to their customers. The performance of operation will spend its money on staff costs, material costs, and facility, technology and equipment costs. Compared with these three clothing ranges, the cost of Autograph range is highest, for it is designed by top designers using high-quality materials. Speed means the elapsed time between a customer asking for a product or service and getting it, so Perfect and Classic ranges can meet customer’s needs quickly. Flexibility is associated with an operation’s ability to change which provides different types of requirement, such as mix flexibility, product or service flexibility. From above polar diagram, Perfect and Classic ranges have a wide range of products, so they are most flexible. Autograph range is characterized as its unique designs so it hardly has different quantities and wide range of products. Dependability means doing things in time for customers to receive their goods or services when they are promised. With an overview of these clothing ranges, every range of them has distinctive order winners and order qualifiers.

3.0 Conclusion

Marks & Spenser, the largest British clothing retainer suffered from a heavy blow whose glory days were difficult to recovery. According to BBC news, the overall UK sales were down 3.4%, including the benefit of M&S’ well published and unprecedented promotional days. And clothing was the worst performer, with sales 6.5% lower whose profit margin was also significantly lower, for Marks has been forced to reduce prices. Troubled British retailer M&S abandoned its European, American and Far East operations, which affected thousands of jobs. M&S has already regained its image and revamped its UK stores and product ranges through employing top clothes designers and promoting ambitious campaigns. However, the results were not satisfying, for the Strategy of M&S has become stuck in the middle, particularly, its clothing market is neither appealing to the younger fashion market nor older market for stylish clothing. Actually, the younger market is the largest sector of customers, so M&S brand should be fashionable but not completely re-brand as it are still well represented. A more fashionable corporate image is necessary to draw a new cliental in the youth market. Then, continuing the use of celebrities and new brands of clothing is urgent to ensure immediate marketing.#p#分页标题#e#

4.0 Reference

Childerhouse, P., Enabling Seamless Market-Oriented Supply Chains, PhD
Thesis, Cardiff http://www.ukthesis.org/University, 2001

Marks & Spencer - UK Stores M&S website, February 2009.

McCullen, Peter and Denis R. Towill, “Practical Ways of Reducing Bullwhip: the case of the Glosuch global supply chain”, International Journal of Operations Management, Vol 26, No. 10, 2000, pp 24-30.

Wheatcroft, Patience, Business Commentary, The Times, London, 13 September and 8 November 2000.



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