M&S Case Study

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BRUNEL UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
LOGISTICS AND GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

M&S Case study Assignment

Mark&Spencer

As it is well known, the retailer M&S had been a giant in the UK market, offering several products and services that have had a big participation in the daily life of the population that in some way had been influenced by any branch of this company in any place where they stay selling its goods, whether in the UK or on overseas places. Marks & Spencer owns no factories and does not make the goods, which are sold in its stores, which represent a different approach to the retailer business and gives some advantages that M&S enjoy.

The key element in furthering its competitive advantage has been the development of strong supplier relationships which although have had suffer several changes in the past few years because of strategies in the market and distinct factors, they maintain as an essential part of the business.

Marks and Spencer’s mission statement is broken into 3 parts which include:

Vision - To be the standard against which others are measured

Mission - To make aspirational quality accessible to all and

Values - Quality value, service, innovation and trust.

Representation on M&S general operations

* Given that M&S had an image problem in the past, what change did it make and is making to its clothing business to enhance its competitiveness?

The serious problems of image that M&S had in the pass were consequence of several decisions and assessments made by its board and especially very often by the chairman and the chief executive. There is one factor that shaped for long time all the decisions made in the company; “the culture of Marks&Spencer”, this way of thinking was the method to use for manage the firm for many years from its beginning until the changes in the market and in the customers did not fit with that culture anymore. In lights of these events and in the increasing problems, severe changes has to be made, changes that were enough to return the plot to the company in their market that was falling as consequence of this. The quality of the clothes was not the same and the customers get realised of that as they begun to claim about it. Moreover, the bad winter season in 1999 coinciding with the retail sales downturn put a starting point in the definitive necessity of changes in M&S. 1999 was a year to forget in the UK clothing sector.

Can be said that the beginning of the first change made was the incorporation as chief executive of Peter Salsbury to succeed eventually to Sir Richard Greenbury. The first approach to changes was a series of radical culling in the board of the company, which meant a change from the top-down in the structure of the organization and the incorporation of the technology in the communicational way among the board members which it have to be stress, they were not familiarised with new technologies, these initial changes made by Salsbury were aimed to vanish the old fashion way of manage the company and dismantling symbols of the old regime; many people were removed from the administration work to go to dealing with costumers’ needs. A general reorganization that split the company into UK retail, overseas and financial services was made as well.

As another remarkable change, was the approach to the renewed focus on the client itself and the fulfilment of its necessities, part of the image problems was because of the treatment to the customer from the staff of M&S, as part of the change process, a new department of marketing was created in order to enhance the advertisement and to gain customers over from the dynamical market they deal with, new thinking and new minds were hired, and the marketing department would take over many decisions of the buying departments to support in the decision of what the customers wanted. Within this period the board of...
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