In what ways are the elements of the classical management approaches evident at Zara International?
Frederick W. Taylor’s first principle, motion study is the science of reducing a job or task to its basic physical motions. It was indeed clearly evident in Zara International’s case. Inditex Group, the Parent company, shortens the time from order to arrival by a complex system of just‐in‐time production and inventory reporting that always keeps Zara at the forefront of the competition. It is only possible for a well-trained set of employees who have the abilities for their jobs and resulting Zara distribution centers to have items in European stores within 24 hours of receiving an order, and in American and Asian stores within 48 hours. This shows the presence of elements of guiding principles 2 and 3 of scientific management here. At the same time a sign of careful planning is also noticed which smoothing the way as they perform their jobs consistently.
Administrative principles of classical approaches of Henri Fayol were also seen in case of Zara’s operational line of attack. The leaders generated a single plan to ‘go fast’, which turned into proper action resulted an awesome US$10 billion sales due to unity of direction as well as superb initiative to undertake work with zeal and energy.
Finally it can be concluded that Fayol’s five “rules” of management, which give impression of four functions of management are more or less visible in Zara’s case. In elaboration, ‘planning’ seen as foresight plan for future to ‘go fast’, ‘plans to double in size’, etc., ‘organizing’ as provide and mobilize resources like product distribution twice weekly to stores worldwide etc., ‘leading’ as implementation of just-in-time production and inventory reporting and distribution etc., and ‘controlling’ as vertically integrated as many points in the supply chain as possible optimize design, production, distribution and sales etc.
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