Case Research | Grades Spencer

Marks and Spencer (M&S) is a respected dealer of clothing, food, homeware and financial services (Johnston et al, 2003). The company has over 700 stores located throughout the united kingdom and Republic of Ireland. In addition, the company has over 300 stores worldwide, working in more than 40 territories (Grades and Spencer plc, 2011). The company is a provider of womerswear and lingerie in the UK, as well as menswear, kidswear and home also provided. Since those glory times, M&S has started to experience financial difficulty through the later 1990s because associated with an failure to meet customer prospects and long lead times on development. The loyalty of its customers was also severely eroded. The company began to make some improvements by carry out some changes in functional plan including major improvements in product design, availableness and quality, cheaper and more effectively supply string as well as better quality and unique market segments which always stick to the principles on which its business was founded, the company ideals of Quality, Value, Service, Invention and Trust.

Identify and make clear different customer needs

The customer is the basic reason behind the living of any business since a small business cannot operate without customers to sell to. The key to extended profitable existence for any business is reaching the needs of these customers better than competitors. A feeling of satisfaction should leave with each customer who deals with an company. Thus, the business has to realize that the only path to achieve long-term sustainable competitive edge is to preserve the client satisfaction. Besides, customer service and customer care are also the resources of competitive gain. Service excellence, in short, is a powerful element to corporate and business survival and competitive gain for the organisations of the future. Service excellence is about what it takes to create and maintain a customer-focused group, it is about everything a business does to earn, meet and keep customers. Company with excellent service recognizes the needs of its customers. Customer needs are the perceived-value that customers seek from the product or service they have got purchased. Hence, knowing and understanding customer needs is essential for every successful business. It also contributes to increasing of the customer loyalty.

In order to fulfill different customer needs, the three M&S ranges are designed with different goals where the demographic market segmentation is completed on the basis of age, gender, income and profession. These three amounts will be the Perfect and Traditional, the Autograph range and the Per Una range. Each range is to target a different section of the womenswear market and is also sub-brands of M&S's proper operations so as to improve their performance and their capacity to compete with other competitors.

The Perfect and Traditional ranges are aimed at its central customers, who prefer classically stylish clothes, which consists of women aged between 35 and 55 and men (Johnston et al, 2003). They favor products with quality and value at a reasonable price. The client with a occupied lifestyle is also directed by providing machine washable, non-iron and tumble-dry friendly items. AN IDEAL Collection is to serve the whole portion while the Classic Collection is targeted at the older customer who is concerned on design, comfort, long-lasting style and adaptability items. Also, they are requiring for clothes which are produced from high-quality materials at value-for-money prices. However, there is quite limited of design selections for these ranges. In order to ensure that customers have the ability to find ideal products, these runs have provided variety of colours to customers.

The Autograph range is directed at offering fashion items at high street prices, within a custom boutique environment to M&S customers (Johnston et al, 2003). This range belongs to top artist collections, is to produce womenswear, menswear and accessories which are more up-market range for M&S's key market. This range is emphasizing on the brand image and the maintenance of traditional pricing.

The Per Una range is aimed at customers who have been fashion-conscious women aged between 25 and 35, sizes 8-18 (Johnston et al, 2003). The objective of this range was to provide breathtaking designs at very reasonable prices. This range sustains the key points of providing products with the best quality materials and the latest styles. The products in this range are limited release which escalates the uniqueness of the merchandise compare to the other ranges that still attracting customers to buy although Per Una was more expensive than the M&S main range. The range is flexible because it reacts to changes popular quickly. The M&S website has detailed the Per Una range as 'feminine, sophisticated and positive'.

Identify and explain the order winners and qualifiers

Order winners are those competitive characteristics that cause a firm's customers to choose that firm's goods and services over those of its competitors. Order winners can be considered to be the competitive advantages of the company. Order winners usually concentrate in one hardly ever more than two of the following strategic initiatives, price and cost, quality, delivery speed, delivery maintain, product design, versatility, after-market service and image. You will see either more business or increase the chances of attaining more business final result by raising performance in an order-winning factor. Order qualifiers are those competitive characteristics a company mist show to be always a viable competitor in the market place. Order-qualifying factors are essential in another way although they may well not the major competitive determinants of success (Pycraft, M. , 2000). The firm will almost certainly disqualified from being considered by the customers if the merchandise and services never have reach the qualifying level.

Perfect and Vintage ranges

Autograph range

Per Una range

Product range

Classically stylish merchandise and more mature clothes, Small of designs

Womenswear, menswear and accessories series, Designer wear

The finest quality, Trendy

Design changes

Standard, 'Come back to basics'

Seasonal fashions, Special design

Design concept to arrive every four weeks

Price

Reasonable, Value-for-money

High street

Very affordable, 10 % more expensive than main range

Quality

Practical materials, High-quality fabrics

High quality

Excellent quality materials

Sales amounts SKU

Large quantities

Small quantities

Limited editions

Order winners

Dependability

Fashion items, Quality, Exclusive design

Limited editions

Order qualifiers

Reasonable price, Quality

Price

Competitive price, Appropriate quality

Operations priorities

Cost

Quality

Speed, Flexibility

The Perfect and Typical runs are characterized as their timeless essential and long-lasting style, so they aren't the latest fashion items. The Perfect range is aimed for quality and value at an acceptable price items. Undoubtedly, the sales amounts under these amounts will highly cover greater variety of customers. As a result, the order winner characteristics will be the dependability runs. The suppliers are usually more low cost companies.

The Autograph range is aimed to increase the M&S appeal to fashion items. This range was made by top designers to provide items at High Street prices. It stresses on the initial designs and the shopping experience, which is at the boutique environment. Hence, the order success characteristics will be the stylish product range, traditional pricing and the store structure. The source for this range is the suppliers with strengths in product or material development.

The Per Una range is focused on the best quality materials, designs motivated by the latest developments, limited editions, specific cuts for each size, fanatical attention to detail and ease of shopping. Thus, the order success characteristics are the latest fashion range, quality and swiftness of delivery for the sake of stick with the latest trends. The complete supply string is managed by George Davies to ensure that goods managed to get from design principle to look rails in weeks not a few months.

Analyse and compare different operations performance objectives with polar diagram

ISO 8402-1986 standard defines quality as 'the totality of features and characteristic of something or service that bears its potential to satisfy stated or implied needs'. The Per Una range is mentioned as providing the highest quality materials like George Davies said in the brochure (Johnston et al, 2003). Quickness, in terms of the source lead time, is the elapsed time taken between a customer needs for a product or service and getting it. Thus, an ideal and Classic runs can provide the items to the clients without taking very long time because their stock keeping models (SKUs) will be the highest among these three amounts. Dependability means providing the goods or services to the customers with time as promised and also after-sales service. AN IDEAL and Classic ranges have the highest product availableness to ensure that the clients are able to find their suited products. Flexibility identifies the power of the organization to change accordingly to the customers' requirements. Through the polar diagram, the Perfect and Classic runs have the best rate of versatility as they provide a wide range of products to the customers. In general, the price of something or service is lower if the development cost is leaner. Among the three runs of clothing, the Autograph range has the highest cost because many top designers are recruited in this range and using high quality materials.

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