Strategic Operations Issues

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STRATEGIC OPERATIONS ISSUES

Elizabeth Kelly

ABSTRACT

This paper identifies an operational issue of a national food-chain. The problem is identified with the demonstration of the functional relationships and process flow analysis. With the use of concepts of operations and process management, the problem is analyzed and methods sought to provide recommendations and an implementation plan.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Background of Hi-Lo Food Stores……………………………….. 5

Problem Identification…….……………………………………… 5

Background of the LINX Operating System……………………… 6

Analysis using Concepts…………………………………………… 7

Recommendation and Implementation Plan……………………….. 9

References…………………………………………………………..11

BACKGROUND OF HI-LO FOOD STORES

Hi-Lo Food Stores is a supermarket chain operating in Trinidad since 1950. With 17 outlets spread throughout the length and breadth of the country, Hi-Lo Food Stores employs over 1800 employees.

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

At Hi-Lo Food Stores, which is considered a mass service process type (Slack et al, pg. 114) customers are afforded the option of different payment methods. Payment methods include cash, credit cards and debit cards. In an effort to continue to provide better options for settling of payments to merchants and customers alike, the company Infolink was formed. Infolink is a joint venture company owned by the four commercial banks of Trinidad and Tobago whose focus is to provide state of the art financial transaction-switching technology by way of debit card payment.

In recent times, it has been observed that on peak commercial periods, Hi-Lo Food Stores terminals have not been able to process debit card payments. The message ‘No Communication Field’ is generated when debit card transactions cannot be processed. The customer is either forced to use a credit card or use cash. The nature of the business of Hi-Lo Food Stores would in some instances cause for a large sum of money at the check-out

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