Sainsbury Operations

Topics: Customer, Supermarket, Process management Pages: 10 (2417 words) Published: April 13, 2010

This report provides a view on operations of SAINSBURY’S , the third largest supermarket chain across United Kingdom. SAINSBURY’S , in spite of being the longest standing retail chain has been facing stiff competition from rivals like TESCO , MORRISONS. The competitors seemed to have developed at a faster pace since SAINSBURY’S has been through a difficult time in recent years and TESCO is now twice the size in terms of turnover.

Matter of analysis in terms of SAINSBURY’s supermarket is the operational strategies that have been implemented to cope up given the current downturn. The operations management concepts incorporated in SAINSBURY’s operational routine can play a vital role to achieve its main performance objectives like customer satisfaction, fast operations , achieving flexibility for the customers needs and retaining loyal customers.

There is also a scope for SAINSBURY’S to meet its target growth and regain its position if it is ready to make a few changes in its operations in terms of a better inventory management , Robust technological advancements and creating a better customer base. The report discusses the various successful implementations and certain flaws that can be wiped in order to attain smoother operations at SAINSBURY’



An operation is a process transforming a set of resources into services and goods. The input resources may be raw materials, information, or even the customer. These resources are transformed into final goods or services by facilities and staff of the operation( Fig 1).

Operations Management is very important in business operations since it forms the heart of the organisation by controlling the system of operation. Operations management plays a vital role because any operation requires a combination of merchandising, logistics, coordination and cost control skills to move products from production facilities to the consumer(2).

[pic] Fig1 Input output transformation model for operations.


Sainsbury's Supermarkets is the UK's longest standing and third largest major food retailing chain, having opened its first store in 1869. The Sainsbury's brand is built upon a heritage of providing customers with healthy, safe, fresh and tasty food. The stores serve over 18 million customers a week and offer around 30,000 products, having a market share of around 16 per cent(3). An internet-based home delivery shopping service is also available to 88 per cent of UK households.


Fig.2 Layout design of Sainsbury’s

The supermarket is positioned as a process layout. Wherein the physical components are arranged or grouped according to the general function they perform (Fig.2). It operates in a manner that is designed to move the customer through the store until they end up at the cash register. First thing that a customer encounters is the customer services in case of any initial enquiries by the customers. Along the first aisle are aligned the fresh food items for everyday requirements. The dry goods and breads are placed in the middle aisles. The frozen food section is placed near the checkouts to keep them from defrosting while the shopper is moving around the aisles. What makes the layout of the store so coherent is the fact that essentials are lined along the walls and corners and items that are appealing right in the eyesight.



Fig.3 Process flow of Sainsbury’s operations.

Sainsbury’s process flow illuminates various stages between stocking and delivering the product that a customer chooses to buy from the supermarket (Fig.3). Initially the inventory stores the goods and materials that are held available in stock for the business. To manage the stock there is an effective solution in place named “Wesupply” which has been implemented at Sainsbury by IBM (5) .It allows monitoring the status of orders all across the Sainsbury’s...

References: 2) Rodolfo Vázquez , Ignacio A. Rodríguez-Del Bosque, Ana Ma Díaz and Agustín V. Ruiz (2001), Service quality in supermarket retailing: identifying critical service experiences, Journal of retailing and customer services, Volume 8 Issue 1: 1-14.
11) Chambers, S., Slack, N., Johnston, R., & Betts, A. (2009). Operations And Process Management: Principles and Practices for Strategic Impact. Prentice Hall.
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