The domain of implementation and performance is the operations dimension. In a nutshell, it refers to the business’s ability to complete tasks. Many companies are struggling with operations despite having a good sense of strategy. Therefore, this paper outlines the operational dimensions of Furniture Shoppe and discusses what is wrong with the current process and how the efficiency and effectiveness of the business could be improved.
The Operational Dimensions of the Business
Furniture Shoppe was founded in Edinburgh in 2005 by former aviator Dave Biggles. Essentially, it all began with a single shop, but as the clientele grew over time, a second shop in Glasgow was added in 2013. The operational dimension, especially the system for handling orders, is entirely manual. Dave, the proprietor, has never been fond of new technology and readily admits to being a technophobe. The store has never used computers since Dave prefers handling paperwork. According to reports, manual processes are used by 84% of small businesses (Sophy, 2017). In Furniture Shoppe, if a customer wishes to purchase a product, an employee will fill out a Customer Order Form. Generally, most entrepreneurs like Dave believe that the paper documentation has a better impression at the end, especially on the consumers.
Furniture Shoppe also utilizes an electronic fund transfer point of sale (EFTPOS) terminal. EFTPOS is an electronic payment system that involves electronic financial transfers using payment cards at point-of-sale terminals. An electronic transaction’s average bank expense is one-third to one-half of a paper-based or cash payment (Bolt, Humphrey and Uittenbogaard, 2008). Additionally, receiving money electronically over other means or at the point of sale (POS) is less expensive for a business (Bolt, Humphrey and Uittenbogaard, 2008). Most accounting software, for instance, can generate invoices, receipts, and credit notes instantly. Employees would not have to spend hours individually compiling these documents. Therefore, they can concentrate on the most critical areas of the company. Generally, this is the only modern technology that Dave accepts for the Furniture Shoppe business, owing to its advantages.
The Furniture Shoppe combines both regional and global business operations. Local activities involve placing pieces of furniture on display for customers to view. A client will walk into one of the stores and look around at the various items. The support staff is available to provide consumers with product information if they see something they like. The furniture items in the store are not for sale; they show the consumer how the finished product will appear. Globally, the firm operates in Malaysia, where their furniture is made.
The supply chain operation of Furniture Shoppe is complex and involves a third-party provider. Inventory minimization, better delivery service, and faster product development cycles are advantages of a strategic supply chain (Fawcett, Magnan and McCarter, 2008). In Furniture Shoppe, the orders are made at the Edinburg shop, where the customer fills the form. The information is then mailed to Malaysia for the item to be processed. The furniture batch is stored by a third-party provider company when it comes from Malaysia, and the Edinburgh store is notified by phone. The provider will then deliver the necessary furniture on the specified day, with each customer signing for the delivery. After that, the customer order forms are mailed to the Edinburgh shop. In essence, each consumer will be called to ensure that they are satisfied with the final products. If everything checks out, the consumer will be asked to pay the remaining balance. However, if there are any issues, the details are forwarded to Edinburgh’s Service Issues team for resolution. Finally, a completed order is signed off to signify an end in supply chain and procurement.
Finally, Furniture Shoppe operates a partial payment method negotiated with the client. A deposit of 15% of the total order price is usually asked (Case Study). The consumer will also be questioned about how they plan to pay the deposit and the remaining money. Once the deposit is paid, the customer receives a receipt, and the remaining balance is calculated and noted on the customer order form. Overall, transactions are kept track of, totaled at the end of the month, and compared to bank statements.
The Problems with the Current Dimension and How Efficiency and Effectiveness Can Be Improved
The first thing which is wrong with the current dimension is the paper documentation. As discussed in the case study, Dave, the owner, has never liked new technology, even the basic client information capturing methods. According to Sophy (2017), 49% of small businesses still utilize a handwritten record to monitor, manage, and evaluate spending. The process can be cumbersome, costly and inefficient in contemporary society. The number of filing cabinets a company had could indicate how large it was or how much paperwork it needed (Sophy, 2017). In the case study, the order form is composed of carbonated paper, and the customer order will be duplicated three times. Generally, if the customer is a regular client, their information is entered into a card index, whereas if the consumer is a new one, the card index is updated as the customer is given a unique number.
Paper documentation is hard to store, and important information can be lost. Documents are essential for keeping company data and preserving the memory of an organization. There is a lot of interest these days in finding techniques to protect and prolong the lifecycle of documents (Macías-Jiménez, Acosta-Fontalvo and Jiménez-Barros, 2019). Losing a copy can be disastrous to businesses, especially when they involve transactions. Ultimately, it may translate to legal procedures since some records must be confidential.
The current problem can be eliminated by incorporating information technology (IT), such as computer-based customer data capturing methods. The expansion of IT and the increased records generation have ushered in a revolution in document management approaches and processes. Increased efficiency in record-keeping, proximity to real-time financial information, digital invoicing, and cost savings are advantages of an IT system. Initially, legal awareness sparked interest in this sector; for example, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 designated data governance as a limited resource, establishing the US resource management foundation (Macías-Jiménez, Acosta-Fontalvo and Jiménez-Barros, 2019). There is a growing concern among businesses to improve document management systems. Designing and implementing electronic document management systems (EDMS) has become tactics companies use to achieve this goal (Macías-Jiménez, Acosta-Fontalvo and Jiménez-Barros, 2019). Overall, EDMS solutions help reduce issues associated with maintaining paper documents, such as information access, degradation due to constant handling or improper storage settings, and loss.
Another problem with the current dimension is the complex supply chain (SC). An SC is a set of actions that lead to delivering a commodity to a consumer (Kenton, 2021). According to Kenton (2021), when supply chain management (SCM) is done correctly, it can reduce overall expenses while increasing profits. However, if one link fails, it can negatively impact the rest of the process, which can be costly. SC’s growth appears to be accelerating due to trends such as globalization, outsourcing (second or third-party providers), invention, and flexibility (Serdarasan and Tanyas, 2012). The process of obtaining furniture at the company is unreasonably lengthened by having a third-party provider and international production point. Generally, this can reduce efficiency, lead to delays, and affect the most critical aspect of business: customer satisfaction.
Furniture Shoppe needs to ensure that its SCM is efficient and satisfactory. SCM aims to increase efficiency by coordinating the actions of diverse entities (Kenton, 2021). Essentially, this can lead to a business gaining a competitive edge in the market. Thus, the firm should incorporate modern technology into the SCM process by eliminating the document mailing system that likely leads to delays in deliveries. Additionally, they can ensure that the production point is located within Edinburg or locally to reduce the request and processing time. One major cause of ineffective SCM is the slow SC process. In essence, the company tracks and offers correct delivery dates and timings to consumers despite the complexity. However, Furniture Shoppe may benefit from a fast-chain model because it sells things based on trends that may only be fashionable for a short period. According to Kenton (2017), businesses that adopt this model must get their items to market rapidly to take advantage of the existing situation. Generally, they should move quickly from concept to prototype to manufacturing to the client.
Additionally, the company needs to improve its organizational structure. Dave controls almost everything, including whether it should acquire new technology at the moment. The new system should split function to ensure that Dave is left with management and a new division is created to oversee infrastructural development. Generally, to guarantee expansion, some departments, such as research and development (R&D) and administrative positions that handle several decision-making, must split their tasks.
Change is certain to occur and cannot be avoided in any business environment. Therefore, designing proper operation dimensions and organization structure is crucial in overcoming the adjustment. Executives should be innovative and creative to improve the business’ competitive edge. They must be willing to adopt technology and restructure leadership to ease productivity. Overall, companies that complete the task grow quicker and more consistently than those that stumble with execution.
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Serdarasan, S. and Tanyas, M. (2012) ‘Dealing with complexity in the supply chain: the effect of supply chain management initiatives,’ SSRN Electronic Journal, Web.
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