Marks & Spencer Case: Operational Strategy and Location)

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In this essay type assignment we are going to look at the various strategies that are undertaken by the organization for improving the services and the quality of product. We are going to throw light on the operating strategies of the organization with special reference to location.We are going to consider the entire example in reference to Marks and Spencer.We will also relate the various aspects of Marks & Spencer and this assignment will examine briefly how Marks & Spencer's operations strategies has changed in last 30 years time and how location of its stores is important for a retailer which competes both in UK and internationally.To make it easier,first we investigate Marks & Spencer's operations strategy and then importance of location.

1.Operations Strategy

As a part of doing business,all the organizations have to compete with companies which produce similar goods and which might supply similar goods in the future.Therefore,to be successful in this great competition,organizations must have a competitive strategy.It is very difficult for a company to compete successfully in the long run based just on operational effectiveness. A firm must also determine how operational effectiveness can be used to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. An effective competitive strategy is critical.Waters(1999) states that to develop a competitive strategy,managers must look at the organization's strength and weaknesses in relation to those of its competitors.At this point,we consider that explaining what are operation management and operations strategy is very important.

Operation management is the important key of the successful business environment. This is essential for a company run and earn more profit and improve the business. And strategy is a long term procedure, it provides full direction for a business.We are trying to explain through this essay, we analyze and describe the concept of operation managements and link between strategy and operation management.Operations strategy is the total pattern of decisions which shape the term capabilities of an operation and their contribution to overall strategy(Slack,Lewis,2001).

2.Marks & Spencer: A Brief History

Marks and Spencer p.l.c. is the largest retailer in the United Kingdom,having over 600 stores located throughout the UK and the company also operates in 34 countries,having 240 stores worldwide, including over 219 franchise businesses( company has three operating divisions: the UK Retail, the International Retail and the Financial Services."It opened its first penny bazaar in 1884.By 1915 the company was building variety has been growing fast ever since.Its most spectacular growth period,however,was the ten years between 1963 and 1972-a period in Britain's economic history which was characterized by stagflation",i.e.,inflationary stagnation,rather than growth"(P,Drucker,2007).The company saw its profits grow steadily from 1968 until the second half of the 1990s.

In a company like Marks & Spencer,there are many operations strategy decisions taken everyday,because not only the stores sell clothing, footwear, gifts, home furnishings, and food but the company also trades in finance and property sectors.When you talk about a company like Marks & Spencer,which is over a hundred years old,you have to accept that its operations strategies has changed a lot.However,we are going to focus on a 30-years period which we consider that to show us how "one of the best managed companies in the world" (Tse,1985) lost its market share to the competitors such as Sainsbury,Tesco at the end of 90's and what operations strategy decisions has taken to manage to be successful again.Main operations strategy areas we are going to examine are;

quality,customer service and cost challenges
reality of global competition
social responsibility issues

3.Marks &...
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