No study of business themes would be completed without looking at up-and-coming trends and technological development. The private sector as well as the public sector is now significantly dependent on technology, and technological development. It should be emphasised that the technological development that are probable to have most impact are not necessarily those at the cutting edge of technological discovery, but those formed by economic, social and political factors by business need. It is market factors that lend a hand market analyst anticipate trends and forecast the ultimate nature of technologies.
The formation or classification of the businesses can easily be identified according their sectors of operations or basically to its nature of ownership. For instance; Public sector are always either are wholly or partly owned by the state (state-owned), private sector being owned by individuals while charitable organisation or voluntary sector as it may be called, made up of non-profit making organisation.
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Public sector is business operations which consist of government controlled bodies like public corporations, government departments and local authorities. For example; BBC, the Civil Services and County or District Councils.
The operations of these sectors are observed and guided by the government with the restricting guidelines which insisting that the service provided should be "value for money" and not for profit making.
The private ownership or private sector is encompasses of directly or indirectly ownership of the business. For the most part of these types of organisations are accounts for most of the businesses working in the UK and they include; sole traders, partnership, limited companies, co-operative and franchise businesses.
The functions of this sector will mainly depend to size of the organisation, their financial capabilities and set of their objectives with intention to maximize sales and profits and market share..
Voluntary organisations or non-profit making sectors, like Oxfam and on their side are not there to generate profit or finding for the market share, while they're engaged to business in order to make surplus and can also offers jobs to qualified individuals.
Technological development is the progression of study and advancement of technology, the new technology growth progression bend over on the new products or services improvement. For the organisation like Tesco which is the selection of the talk in this topic, has well managed to deal with the rapid change of technology for putting all the necessary training and development plans in place for the betterment of the organisation, especially in the areas of e-commerce.
It is known that internet has incorporated into the marketing theory by biased the full range of organisational functions and processes that deliver products and services to customers and other key stakeholders.
Internet also as an authoritative communications medium can act as 'company glue' that integrates the different functional parts of the organisation.
The future role of the internet should form part of the vision of a company since its future impact will be significant to most (Chaffey et al. 2000).
E-commerce (electronic business) is the method of buying and selling of commodities and services on the internet, particularly the World Wide Web. In tradition, this term and a new term e-business are frequently used interchangeably.
Marketing has undergone an approximately innovative change for many years, and this was motivated by changes in technology and the use of personal computers and the developments in communication networks like World Wide Web, satellite television and mobile telephony which in turn have brought major changes in markets and to marketing.
One aspect of the web as a communication technology is that it exposes companies to larger audiences than ever before. Many small and medium - sized enterprises (SMEs) have been surprised that the moment they set up websites they receive enquiries from the other side of the world (Chaffey et al. 2000).
Technology has now been a major tool to supporting the grocer retail like Tesco then when it was in pre-mature advancement. I have a thought as a consumer, I am always thinking about my regular trips to a supermarket to buy my basic need items or groceries. Technology has changed so much in my lifetime, I can now press an order for whatever I want in internet and my goods get delivered with no time at all.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Visiting Tesco Supermarket now you will find lot of changes than ever before, changes such as increasingly sophisticated tills. For many businesses such as major supermarkets like Tesco, tills also link to the inventory control systems and again in logistics as well.
Another trend you might have become across with is range of products and brands are there for you, now are familiar to you because of the form of advertisement which can easily be viewed on TV or other form of advertisements, or number of products are advertised to invite you into competitions through electronic communication such as mobile phone or email.
In the next few years say five an above, supermarkets will be communicating with customers in more sophisticated ways using plasma and LCD screen linked to networks. "Tesco in the UK is already doing so with considerable success. Potentially, such networks could soon be global" Trott, (1998).
Through sophisticated database, the company like Tesco can easily track its customers and use their information to calculate the profit a customer has contribute to the company. And the company will have an opportunity of using those details as the basis of retaining customer loyalty and improve the knowledge of targeted customers and defend the company market share and profitability by gaining the sustainable competitive advantage.
'You shop, we drop' this simple word means a lot to Tesco. After having introduced the online shopping, customers they just press their order through internet, where the process does not take long as computer is the fastest way of communication, hence there is no need for the customer to walk to the store. Eventually this will save money and time and increase market share to the business.
However; Tesco from the sophisticated database, it becomes easier for the company to do a market research. They don't need again to spend time and money for the research development of the market as this can be found on the stored information of the customer.
Technology has played a very big role in the transformation of the different organisations across the globe, Tesco as one of the example of the giant supermarket in the UK. If you walk now in Tesco, you will notice the changes, self till machines are everywhere to make it easy for customer not to spend time in queuing.
Tesco has responded well with the technological change after investing in the training and development of the technology to let its employees to work closely and update with change in technology and hence providing a satisfying customer service with the knowledge needed.
Tesco has well copied with these changes by introducing the development of organisation websites which can be easily being accessible to customers. They have also brought about portfolio of products where now, when visiting the Tesco website you find range of products of the choice in a one roof. These products are like; banking, mobile phone, electronic products, pharmacy products, insurance and food products.
Using the model of Just In Time from the Total Quality Management, now Tesco has found it easy on the way in orders its products from the suppliers and distributing them to customers. There is no need to keep products in the store to wait for customers, but according to the change of technology, you can find today that, Tesco is instantly only ordering products when needed not just to keep them.
Stakeholders are groups of people who have an interest in the decision of the corporation and its business. Stakeholders can be internal or external and direct or indirect to the business. Example of stakeholders can be customers, shareholders, managers, local community, suppliers, pressure interest groups and government.
All businesses have stakeholders. These are individuals with an interest in the decisions they make. Let's take Shell, as an example; this global energy corporation is not exemption. In its face up to to meet the energy needs of both current and future generations.
Shell aims to satisfy the needs of all of its stakeholders while balancing the impacts of its work on society, the economy and environment. Shell's internal stakeholders are its shareholders, employees and suppliers. It has also has external stakeholders such as customers, local communities and pressure groups. The decisions made by the organisation may have an impact on all or some of these groups.
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For instance: JJB Sports aimed to raise £100 million through rights issue, and it has to offer new shares to existing shareholders. JJB was hoping to gain more than the current market value of business than it's currently stands value.
The JJB decision was unlikely going to be successes and would likely impact on a number of stakeholders as JJB which later on made losses. Then; you find that these rights issue should have made the employees feel more at ease of keeping their jobs and customers more confident that they will be able to continue making purchases.
Stakeholders are affected by, or can affect a business. They all have different expectations of the business and these contrasting objectives may cause conflict. Organisations, like Shell and JJB, must balance the requirements of their different stakeholders as they constantly make decisions which could impact on them (The Times Online 9th October 2009)
Conflict can occur between stakeholders because their objectives may differ. For example; employees may demand higher salaries but this would affect on the dividends being paid to shareholders, suppliers may also want to raise the price of their products but this in turn may lead to price hiking to customers.
For the organisation to balance the needs of its stakeholders there is a need to work strongly with force groups. Doing that; the organisation will be able to valve into the knowledge and experience of the pressure groups
An organisation may also ensure that the investments are made into positive projects, to reducing media attention and improving reputation of the firm.
Shareholders I would say are most important stakeholders of any business; shareholders are the source of capital to a business. They provide capital to a business.
Obviously the truth is that; shareholders are the ones who initially taking risk by injecting capital to the business they're not sure how is going to perform; they deserve rewards for the risk they're taking. For example; because of their importance in business, when happens that these people (shareholders) are unhappy in say public limited company share prices could fail.
In addition to the above statement; now look at the customers, shareholders runs the business but without customers business would not be there, so these things should be balanced in order for them work better as they depend on each other.
Employees also plays a very big part in organisation, they want to be motivated, there should be a training development programs to make them perform well, I would say this brings about skilled workers, improve sales and reputation to an organisation.
However; suppliers are as important as customers and employees, especially in the value chain of production. If there is a conflict of interest among these stakeholders, the emergency step should be taken in order for the situation to be resolved. Management should always encourage and maintain mutual relationship between all stake holders of the organisation in resolving their conflicting issues which would have negative impact to the organisation success.
As stated earlier; stakeholders are a collection of individuals who have powers to decide for the organisation. There are possibilities that different groups will have different key objectives or priorities.
If say; the company needs to make a profit and customers wants the product's price to be reduced, in this scenario the company might hesitate to support reducing price as this would reduce its profits; therefore these different priorities might cause conflict to happen in an organisation.
It is significant that an organisation puts the standards of ethical business behaviour for the people who work with and demonstrates them by setting rules of conduct and codes of ethics, and be accountable to the public and other stakeholders.
Apart from technology affecting the operations and management of different organisations around the world, there also issues such as economy, political and legal systems. For example the recent economic down turn had and would continue being a threat to many organisation in the next five or more years.
However, the likely impact to be discussed in details later includes closure of manufacturing plants , downsizing of organisational resources, formation of alliances and merger between affected companies (Halifax and RBS), (orange and T-Mobile) and (TATA and range rover). Not only that because of the economic down turn the sterling pound has been not stable as compared to euro which would have negative impact on British organisations in future as the pound continue getting weaker and weaker.
The second emerging factor which is likely to affect many organisations in the next five years particularly in the United Kingdom is the political and legal systems. For example, the British government are trying to do everything possible to make strictly and tougher emigrations rules which will see many organisation failing to higher scarce skills from outside Europe, especially in education and health sector as many European Union members are having communication barriers which among many African countries is not the issue.
If you go to NHS you discover that majority of the doctors and nurses are from Asia and Africa. Therefore if at all the government achieve it political and legal plans many public and private sector organisation would be disadvantaged.
Foreign students are generating about fifty percentage of the United Kingdom economy as well as providing employment to the British people. For instance; foreign students pays almost thrice of the tuition fees than a home student, and since the government is planning to reduce the funding to the Universities, this will eventually creates jobs loss to many in the education sector.
To conclude, customers have increasingly using of technology either in the products and services, by doing this they have opened new opportunities for business organisations whereby they will now need to differentiate themselves and meet the requirements of never been hard to identify the segments, because it has become the segment of a consumer and not customers as it use to be.
The drawbacks of the use of technology can also be seen if payments made via internet because where sometimes it happen the sites are not protected to secure payments and also the demographics for websites users are not yet as accurately defined as for users of conventional media of communication.
Many of the technological and social changes already mentioned above are leading to the adoption of radically changed marketing strategies, with the emphasis on e-marketing which have become renowned in the world where now has become a 'globe village' of technology.
The benefit of technological change, let alone to an organisation like Tesco, through the power of desktop computing has put database applications within the reach of even the smallest number of organisation.
The information about the customers that, in transactional state, is often not easy to obtain, has been able now to get. With the computer based systems, huge amount of data can be recorded and analysed which was the challenge for many retailers in first place. This will support the marketing decision of the firm as this need to be flexible and easily updated.