This report has an evaluation of the businesses and concepts adopted by ASOS and Primark, and exactly how both companies can adopt a variety of concepts based on their operations.
The research pulls attention to ASOS and Primark's current procedures and ideas. It shows how Primark process their customers in store as soon as they walk in, to the point of payment, and exactly how ASOS process their customers online from site visitation to online checkout. Also some ideas are seen to give surge to cost that may impact on the businesses of both companies.
The report sees that both ASOS and Primark already take up some concepts such as inventory management, capacity planning and offer chain design. It also looks at how they could adopt a mix of concepts to match their procedures such as ASOS developing a system that will enable the mix work together, including the ideal amount of stock in inventory management could result in the supply string where demand would need to be made to the suppliers, and Primark also measuring cost involved in each theory to ensure they maintain their low cost strategy.
Recommendations discussed include; customer romance management in order to continuously target their operations to meet up with the needs with their customers, good provider relationship to ensure effective delivery of products at the typical required, functions monitoring for continuous improvement and adoption of value string analysis to eliminate non value activities.
Table of contents
Executive summation 2
Types of Procedures and Transformation process in Primark 5
Stock get 5
Stock replenishment 5
Customer Service 6
Types of Procedures and Transformation process in ASOS 7
Guided reselling 7
Site monitoring 8
Site maintenance 8
Oder control 9
Delivery and results 9
Customer service 10
Payment Processing 10
Stock request 11
Comparison of Functions and Transformation process in Primark 11
Theoretical Principles, Ideas and Frameworks 14
Capacity planning 14
Inventory management 14
Supply string design 15
Performance measures 16
Total quality management (TQM) 16
Mix of ideas in ASOS 17
Mix on principles in Primark 19
Appendix 1 Primark 23
2 ASOS 24
1. 0 Types of Businesses and Change Process in Primark
1. 1 Stock Request
This entails the store asking for for stock from the top office who then functions the submission. The stock get system can be used when products reach a certain level which is the reorder level of the store and would be recognized by their Management Information System.
As Primark has a warehouse, they keep stock there that allows for faster delivery with their stores. This means that products are plentiful waiting for you so that customers can buy them.
1. 2 Stock Replenishment
Staff of Primark regularly screen the products viewed in store on a daily basis not only to identify fast advertising products but also to replenish the products on display. During this process, products which were migrated around by customers are went back back again to their appropriate section in order never to mislead other customers.
If the shares aren't replenished regularly, customers would have no way of knowing if the merchandise are actually available which could potentially lead to lack of sales.
1. 3 Returns
Primark runs a returns insurance policy where certain products could be came back to the store in the condition in which these were sold provided the receipt of purchase is also made available by the customer. This involves handling customers through the comes back office where refunds would be issued to customers or exchanges made with respect to the customer's needs.
There is generally a queue which is made by customers before the returns table and each customer in the queue is named to the workplace by the next available staff who then deal with their query.
This means that customers know where you can go to for their returns without having to be mixed up with some other clients making acquisitions which allows for faster handling.
1. 4 Customer Service
Primark stores don't have a specific table which handles customer support. Usually customers have to plan staff that happen to be roaming the stores to take care of their query/concerns. This process may lead to delays or dissatisfaction of customers.
However all staff are regularly trained on customer support skills to be able to deal with the needs of these customers.
1. 5 Payments
Customers are being refined through the obligations queue and are called upon by the next available personnel unto the payment workplace. Primark stores usually have more than one payment section to process customers quickly.
At the repayments workplace, credit or debit cards, cash and Primark present credit cards are accepted as a means of payments. This allows customers to be versatile in their repayments as the methods of payments in the above list could be mixed to cover a single purchase.
2. 0 Types of Procedures and Transformation Process in ASOS
2. 1 Guided Selling
This is done by recommending other products to customers which is dependent on the current product being looked at by the customers. This gives the customer an insight or how to mix and match their picked item with other products while also enabling them make more acquisitions.
Emails are also sent out regularly to customers including products and discounts predicated on their shopping habits. This technique is achieved with the use of a Management Information system which recognizes product and customer tendencies.
With this tool, customers can save time going through the website and also use the ideas as helpful information with their shopping.
2. 2 Site Monitoring
This is completed frequently in order to monitor the activities of customers. This technique allows information to be obtained about products and customers. Information like the number of appointments per day on the site could be accumulated here. Also other problems could be recognized such as navigation problems that your customers might face while endeavoring to make purchases.
This process enables ASOS to fix problems that your site is facing to be able to process their customers effectively.
New products are updated in to the website and products which are no longer available to get are being removed from the website so that customers know very well what is available for purchase and what isn't.
2. 3 Site Maintenance
As ASOS only deals online, their websites are regularly managed and updated in order for them to operate effectively.
2. 4 Order Processing
After an order has been located on their website, an order is being generated which has to be processed by an employee. Here the items bought would be sorted and then delivered for transport.
An email would then be sent out to the client to let them know that their order has been refined and checking details are also fastened. This allows the customer to learn when that would be with them as well as also check that the order which has been prepared was the order being requested and paid for by the customer.
2. 5 Delivery and returns
ASOS allows for versatility of delivery of products. Different delivery options are created available to customers during checkout which range from different prices and number of days it could take for that to reach.
ASOS also functions a free profits plan where customers can returning certain products within 28 times after purchase at no extra cost. The profits are being refined upon receipt and exchanges or refunds are being given with regards to the customer's need.
Since customers cannot start to see the physical product, this technique allows them to look with confidence knowing that if they are dissatisfied with certain products they can be easily went back at no extra cost.
2. 6 Customer Service
ASOS doesn't have a range which customers can wedding ring up in order to solve their concerns and addititionally there is no instant talk facility on their website which could enable customers chat with staff of the company.
However they may have other media that they use to cope with their daily customer questions such as ASOS helpers which is on facebook, twitter and other ASOS blogs where customers can contact them involving their questions and a reply is become within the hour. Customers can also use the e mail us service which is on the ASOS website.
They also have detailed answers to regular questions being asked by customers on the website to allow some customers resolve their queries and never have to contact them.
This means that ASOS has to ensure that they have enough trained staff available to nearly package with customer concerns.
2. 7 Repayment Processing
This is done during checkout on the website where signed up customers can use their credit or debit cards, gift vouchers, student discount, Paypal and also other voucher codes to make repayments.
The checkout center enables customers to save lots of their greeting card details for faster digesting on the next purchase. Which means that ASOS would protect their customer's details so their customers can feel guaranteed.
2. 8 Stock Request
ASOS has a warehouse where they store their products. Purchases are made to their suppliers when shares reach their reorder levels. That's where customer requests are being sorted.
By replenishing their securities they can meet their customer's requests and not flip them down because stocks are not available. The option of stock also forms the basis with their changes on products on the websites for customers to make purchases.
3. 0 Evaluation of Operations and Transformation techniques in ASOS and Primark
Both companies take up the same design of stock request and therefore can accumulate information about fast advertising products and slow moving products and may use this to make decisions which involve quantity being ordered using their suppliers.
As they both have warehouse facilities, they might have the ability to keep stock for distribution to relevant stores and customers.
Both companies replenish their securities waiting for you with Primark and online with ASOS. However, staff of Primark physically have to go through the store to be able to recognize what products need to be replenished which would require more labour that could sometimes be inefficient whereas ASOS has an electronic digital system which updates their products on the website based on the option of stock in their warehouse.
This means ASOS is able to all the labour cost that Primark incurs but Primark also avoids the cost of using an electric system which ASOS uses.
Returns and Delivery
Both companies package with returns, however the customers of Primark can head into any of their store and make a come back which makes it faster in comparison with ASOS that involves the customer shipping the products back to them.
As Primark customers can see their products in store, dividends would be less compared to ASOS where customers cannot bodily see or put on the merchandise until introduction which would reduce the number of profits that they have to process.
Primark can save cost on home delivery as they only operate in store; however ASOS has managed to avoid the price tag on operating in store by functioning online which is cheaper compared to store procedures as less personnel would be used and store leasing or purchase is avoided.
ASOS has an assigned team which deals with customer queries which means their customers would know who to point their questions to, while Primark trains all personnel to cope with their customer questions and this could be observed as multi-skilling to be able to increase flexibility in their functions.
However ASOS only offers mail communication in response to questions therefore customers would have to wait for a response.
Both companies are adaptable as to what form of payments their customers might use. However, since Primark pursues a low cost strategy they do not offer discounts with their customers for their low prices whereas ASOS allows for discounts which could be utilized by customers which could be seen as a sales strategy as it could attract more purchases.
ASOS uses this process to store information about their clients to allow for faster handling on their next purchase which Primark doesn't have.
Both companies do this but Primark should it by dressing up their manikins and combining other outfits waiting for you. However ASOS do more in the form of sending out e-mail to their customers with products designed designed for them based on their shopping habits on the website.
4. 0 Theoretical Rules, Principles and Frameworks
4. 1 Capacity Planning
According to Nigel, Stuart and Robert (2004), this is ''the activity of preparing the effective capacity of the operation such that it can react to demands placed after it. ''
It could be difficult to set a powerful capacity as sometimes the demand positioned on their operation cannot always be predicted accurately.
This would be appropriate for both companies. For example, Primark often takes on more staff during the Christmas season to deal with the seasonal demand plus more staff are located in store to aid with operations. This might mean using and training new personnel beforehand.
ASOS also does more delivery during the Xmas season as they also have high delivery to cope with which means using more delivery companies as they outsource their delivery.
4. 2 Inventory Management
As supply and demand are not usually in harmony with one another, inventory management facilitates smoothing of supply and demand, corresponding to Nigel, Stuart and Robert (2004).
Companies would need to determine the optimum amount of stock to be presented which could be based on performance of certain products before or assumption that certain products would prosper or with the adoption of financial order volume.
ASOS uses this method as they constantly update their website on the option of their products. Fast offering products are discovered during site monitoring and much more orders are produced with their suppliers.
Primark also uses this concept as they replenish their stock in store regularly and re order stock when they reach their reorder level.
4. 3 Supply Chain Design
According to Slack, Chambers and Johnston (2004), supply string is ''a linkage or strand of functions that delivers goods and services to end customers. ''
In other for this concept to work, value chain has to also be considered so customer's needs can be satisfied such as taking into account what they need, the price they want it at, and where and when they want it.
Both companies can adopt this method as they both already take up disintermediation where they get rid of the middle men between them and their suppliers that allows them to straight place orders with their suppliers and store in their warehouses after delivery before circulation to stores or customers.
As ASOS is a virtual company, their delivery companies will form part of their supply chain and their activities would have to be checked by ASOS which they already do as they can observe delivery of items and customers also contact ASOS when there has been a problem with the delivery.
4. 4 Performance Measures
As described by Slack, Chambers and Johnston (2004), ''performance measurement is the experience of measuring and evaluating the various facets of an activity or complete operation's performance. ''
This would be befitting both companies; however what should get assessed would differ. Primark could gauge the number of repayment processing staff as a share of customers refined while ASOS could gauge the volume of sales made as a result of emails sent out to customers.
By adopting appropriate options they could fix weaknesses in their procedures; nonetheless it could be frustrating and if the wrong processes are measured then staff would respond in the wrong manner.
This theory sometimes gives surge to dysfunctional decision making as customer's needs might not be taken into account when deciding what get's measured.
For example Primark does not have a community forum where customers can provide feedback other than complaints made in store. ASOS on the other palm has usage of such information through their sites and social mass media pages and they might use this as a basis to determine what gets measured in relation to gratifying customer needs.
4. 5 Total Quality Management (TQM)
Slack, Chambers and Johnston (2004), define TQM as ''a holistic approach to the management of quality that emphasises the role of all parts of an organisation and all people within an company to effect and improve quality. ''
As cheap is usually associated with quality, Primark would ensure a certain level of quality compared to the cost of their products. Also Primark as a brand is known to be cheaper than other traditional stores and so their quality level would differ therefore investing in TQM could increase cost in Primark that could potentially impact on the prices.
ASOS on the other side could choose TQM as they are still trying to build a brand that would contend with high fashion. They've already used methods such as enhancing their response time from six time to one hour, Based on the Times 100 (2007), which would have involved taking on more personnel and training them correctly.
TQM could be extended to suppliers and vendors in order to accomplish overall quality with regards to the activities of an company.
5. 0 Mixture of Ideas in ASOS
ASOS could adopt all the concepts discussed above. For example, by using inventory management, they can determine the quantity of stock which would have to be ordered of their suppliers and then trigger the supply string design.
Based on the demand already designed to their supplier, ASOS may use that as one of the determinants in establishing a highly effective capacity.
Also TQM could be lengthened to get-togethers in their source chain which would likewise incorporate their suppliers and delivery companies whereby targets would be placed for the coffee lover and their performance assessed to see if they meet the required aim for.
The mix has a direct effect on competitiveness as others may already choose these strategies which would mean ASOS would be rivalling on a single level with them ; however if not applied properly consistent with their operation then they may be contending below the standard.
For example by the time demand of products is passed on with their suppliers and being delivered to ASOS, the products could become out of fashion as ASOS practices fashion trends which would no longer be needed by their customers and new products would have to be presented. Good supplier relationship is type in making sure faster delivery of the products.
With respect to invention, the mix gives room for this as the strategies behind the mixture could be transformed if it does improve efficiency in the business.
For example ASOS could create a system which links back to you the concepts as stated earlier where inventory management starts the supply chain process and this could be achieved with effective knowledge management in ASOS.
The mix can be suffered, however using all of the mix could impact on cost. As total quality management takes a while before it can be fully achieved, other quality techniques could be utilized.
As technology remains to improve, most of the blend could be computerized however the cost also must be considered. However ASOS has continued to grow swiftly since they started trading therefore these costs could be protected without having an effect on their efficiency. Although growth like this cannot be sustained, and as such ASOS would have to continue to incur businesses costs even when progress declines.
6. 0 Mix of Principles in Primark
Primark could also adopt the concepts talked about, however as they operate an inexpensive strategy, seeking all the idea may not confirm sustainable on their behalf as their costs would surge and means higher prices would be offered with their customers so when this is not their strategy, it might lead to loss of some customers.
Primark could adopt some aspect of the mix, for example you can say they may have eliminated most nothing value activities in order to gain less expensive such as getting rid of middle men in their resource chain which permits them to remain competitive as cost leaders.
The blend could allow for development in Primark as selection of some areas of the concepts makes it possible for them produce an effective mix which satisfies their low priced strategy.
As they use low fat businesses, they can continue to ensure maximum use of these resources where all staff are trained on these principles which meet their strategy and this would also involve some degree of knowledge management.
For example with the mixture, cost may be the basis for performance way of measuring because if their cost could be reduced they can continue steadily to operate at lower prices while still retaining their customer foundation.
ASOS and Primark both have functions that offer with processing their customers. Their procedures do not are different just as much but their execution of these processes do in order to meet both their needs and that of these customers such as ASOS mailing out emails as part of marketing to trigger buys while Primark displays their products on manikins waiting for you to entice customers.
Both companies already choose some frameworks such as capacity planning; where Primark undertake more staff during seasonal intervals and ASOS uses more delivery companies to meet up with the demand of their products, inventory management; where ASOS posts their products on the websites and Primark replenish their securities in store, and supply chain design; where they both deal directly with the suppliers.
Although ASOS can take up a variety of the concepts, to be able to compete they need to ensure they are simply interacting with the needs with their customers. Sustainability of the blend can even be managed but as ASOS is growing rapidly, they would have to still incur operational cost when development declines.
Primark adopting all the ideas will impact on their low cost strategy; however they can take up some aspects of the concepts which fit into their low cost strategy such as using performance way of measuring as a tool to evaluate cost.
Both ASOS and Primark can continue to improve their functions through adoption of relevant ideas which relate to their procedures and ongoing incorporation with their customer's needs in their operations.
Both ASOS and Primark have a number of procedures and principles which enable them meet the needs with their customers, however more could be done to ensure effective use of their resources such as;
Customer relationship management where ASOS can create a community where their customers can get an instantaneous response to their queries, this could mean dealing with more staff and training them.
Good supplier marriage where both companies improve provider relationships in order to ensure delivery of products promptly as well as reaching the minimum amount requirements of the products.
Continuous monitoring with their operations will enable them identify weaknesses in their businesses and suggest ways to boost those weaknesses.
Value chain analysis may be adopted to ensure that customers actually get what they want and this could lead to cost savings in both companies as well.
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ASOS Finding Fashion Online, 2011. Our Strategy. [Online] 23 Feb. Available at: [Accessed 23 March 2011].
Primark, 2011. Company Record. [Online] Available at: < http://www. primark. co. uk/page. aspx?pointerid=eb44df4565934edca627dac6ec12145a> [Accessed 26 March 2011].
Laudon, K. C. , Laudon, J. P. , Brabston, M. E. , 2002. Management information systems: Controlling the digital firm. 2nd Canadian ed. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.
Etingen, A. , 2010. Advanced performance management. 2nd ed. Romania: InterActive World Wide Limited.
Primark is a retail fashion company which first started out trading in June 1969 under the name Penneys in Dublin. The business pursues a low cost strategy which enables them to go this on to their customers in form of cheaper prices.
Since inception Primark has extended to develop, first getting into Great Britain and now moving into European countries. They now have 215 stores which 150 are in the united kingdom, 38 in Ireland and the others in some parts of Europe. In addition they attained other stores such as BHS and Co-op which increased their range of stores.
Due to their adoption of a low cost strategy, Primark will very little in the form of marketing; however they have had the opportunity to get customers therefore of their cheap prices. Their success has been credited to merging fast fashion with slim operations.
Although they may be a subsidiary, Primark has continuing to broaden. Their performance in the retail industry has triumphed in them lots of prizes such as multi market shop of the year and store custom made of the year. They aim to continue enlargement while maintaining their low cost strategy.
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