Mission statement for Marks and Spencer

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1.0: Introduction In this report a critical analysis on Marks and Spencer Plc is presented to the reader emphasising upon key theoretical areas to identify whether the argument of Scott (2003)[1] that an organization’s goals and not the key to understanding the organization no more than the origin of the organization, structure, culture, technology, and other strategic elements of the organization. In this report the four theoretical concepts of strategy listed below are analysed on the company or interest: Marks and Spencer Plc - UK’s retail giant.
  1. Organisational purposes, stakeholders and ethics
  2. Environmental sensitivity and scanning
  3. Effectiveness: Added value and success
  4. Processes, functions and their management
The analysis presented in this report aims to identify whether the company’s mission statement (or goal) provides a better understanding of the organization on its own than the aforementioned. 2.0: Mission Statement or goals of Marks and Spencer Plc Marks and Spencer Plc is a century old retail sector organization that has seen tremendous growth in the retail business across the globe through innovative methods of business and marketing (Data monitor, 2004[2]). The company’s mission statement or the goal as stated in its corporate website is “To make aspirational quality accessible to all”[3] From the mission statement of the organization it is clear that the organization’s goals are mostly implicit in nature (i.e.) the company’s goals are not explicitly mentioned. Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes (2003)[4] argue that the organizational goals play a vital role in reaching the customers and of strategic importance. This is not only because of the increase in the awareness among the customers and stakeholders but also due to the increase in the competition because of which the competitors try to communicate their company values to attract new customers as well as retain existing customers. Furthermore, Richard Lynch (2003)[5] argues that the goals of the organization when communicated through the mission statement of the company not only should be explicit but also provide a concrete statement that is not misleading. In the light of this argument, an insight into the mission statement of marks and Spencer Plc not only proves it is misleading but also justifies that it is rather elusive in nature sending mixed signals to the external environment. Since the mission statement derives the goals of an organization and the increasing tendency of the organization to communicate the mission statement has justified that the mission statement of the organization should be explicit in communicating its values and goals. Asda Plc: UK’s second largest food retailer (company profile, 2005[6]) on the other hand communicates its mission statement as follows “To be Britain's best value retailer exceeding customer needs……Always”[7] From the above statement it is clear that the company is explicitly communicating that its goal it to provide best value goods and services to the customers. In the next section a critical analysis on Marks and Spencer in the light of the theories identified is presented to the reader prior to concluding the report. 3.0: Organisational purposes, stakeholders and ethics An analysis of the annual report 2005, of Marks and Spencer Plc has established that the purpose of the organization is mainly to high quality and value added service to the customers through continuous innovation. The profits announced by Marks and Spencer has further justified that the company not only strives to increase its sales but also its revenue and satisfy its stakeholders and customers. Alongside, the statement by Stuart Rose, the CEO and director of the company to focus the business on increasing the profits and reducing costs has justified that the company is focused on retaining its goal on quality and value added products focused on high income group of the nation. The fact that the increase in competition especially from other retail chains like TESCO Plc, Asda Plc in the form of price competition has not only hindered the company sales but also reduced its market share as argued by Steve Burt (2002)[8]. Steve Burt (2002) further argues that Marks and Spencer Plc has not only seen fall in revenue due to the competition but also due to the issues faced within the organization that was overcome by the then Chairman of the organization Luc Vandevelde (annual report, 2002[9]) who revived the organization form severe loss to stabilise the company’s market growth in the early years of twenty-first century. An insight into the company profile further reveals that the purpose of the organization is to specialise in the mi-priced merchandise in clothing, food and household goods categories. Alongside, it is also clear from the business review of the company that the business goal of the organization is to maximize its profits in order to meet the stakeholder demands as well as increase its market share which further justifies the ethical factors embraced by the organization to benefit its customers with quality products as well as its stakeholders whose investment is essential for the company’s continuous growth. 4.0: Environmental Sensitivity and Scanning From the analysis of the company profile it is clear that the company is highly sensitive to both the external environment as well as the operating environment to the business. 4.1: External environment The company’s effective deployment of the centralised supply chain management system to accomplish a central warehouse integrating its stores as well as the suppliers to accomplish prompt delivery of goods is an outstanding example for the technological awareness of the company. The use of the environment friendly methods to dispose its waste and the use of recycled products like recycled paper, safety wear for warehouse personnel further justifies the ecological awareness of the company and its initiative to be eco-friendly. Alongside, the effective deployment of the delivery system by reducing the number of truck deliveries to the stores and warehouses in order to reduce the emission into the environment is an incomparable example for the company’s effectiveness in environmental sensitivity. 4.2: The operating environment Unlike the external environment, the Operating environment predominantly focuses upon the business operation and its capability to effectively compete in the target market. The company deployment of innovative fashion strategies (company profile, 2005) and the ability to provide extensive product range in every category of the products not only justifies the company’s ability to meet the operating demands of the business but also justifies its sensitivity to the environment. Furthermore, the intriguing fact that the company has not only deployed effective advertising strategies but also in targeting the right market segments as argued by Alexandra Jardine and Laurel Wentz (2005)[10] further justifies the ability of the company to respond to the operating environment demands to effectively compete in the business. 5.0: Effectiveness: Added Value and Success An insight into the primary activities of the value chain of Marks and Spencer Plc is presented to the reader below. Inbound Logistics: The company’s effective inventory management which is not only computerised to the local store but also connected to the warehouse in order to effectively identify the threshold level of every item in stock proves that the company is focused in prompt delivery of the products to the shop floor. Operations: The operations of the company especially in case of the online retail version of the company where the company pioneers in an integrated system to manage the distribution of the goods and services ordered by the customers promptly. Alongside, it is also interesting to note that the deployment of the Microsoft .NET architecture to integrate the online order management system like Amazon.co.UK the leading online book retailer (Microsoft news, 2003[11]) further justifies the company’s effectiveness in adding value. Outbound Logistics: Not only the company excels in the prompt delivery of the ordered goods and services (Isla Gower, 2004[12]) but also deploys effective logistics methodology to increase the efficiency of the overall supply chain management. This is accomplished by the reduction of the storage space and increasing the shop floor area to customers at stores as well as integrating the suppliers in the supply chain thus reducing the storage level at the warehouse. The above statement makes it clear that the company has accomplished effectiveness through value addition to the overall business as well as the customers in the outbound logistics category. Sales and Marketing: The company’s investment on sales which has increased since the year 2000 (Isla Gower, 2004) as well as the deployment of effective and innovative marketing strategies like the Customer Relationship Marketing and advertising strategies. The seasonal promotion activity in the clothing segment of the business is a classical example for the effectiveness in the company’s marketing and advertising strategy. Servicing: the dedicated customer service team that meets the demands of the customer service for the organization as sated in the company profile justifies that the company not only considers the cost reduction and sales escalation as a primary activity but also to provide effective customer service in order to retain the existing customer and attract new customers makes it clear that Marks and Spencer has indeed accomplished value addition and effectiveness in its primary activities. 6.0: Process, Functions and their Management The analysis of the company profile (2005)[13] has revealed that the take over by Stuart Rose as the CEO and director of the company has not only streamlined most of the business process but also increased the overall efficiency of the inbound logistics. The strive by the company to reduce its costs through the effective management of the resources as well as focusing on the sales through value added services justifies this statement. Alongside, the approach of the company as a pioneer in selling quality products and services not only justifies the company’s effectiveness in the process management but also justifies its overall goal of increasing sales and providing value added services to the customers in the target market. The take over by Stuart Rose in 2004 has not only seen streamlining of the business process but also in its overall function as a competitor in the UK as well as the global market. This is evident from the company’s initiative in increasing its global market share whilst utilising the outsourcing the strategy to reduce costs as well as provide value-added service to the customers. The fact that the company has effectively accomplished the process of serving its customers (buyers in the retail market) as well as its clients (strategic clients who are involved in business development and operations) justifies the efficiency of the company to accomplish its goals. The effective management of the Far Eastern operations of the company through the deployment of the local knowledge and human resource whilst accomplishing the overall goal of providing unmatched quality products to the customers in the target market is a notable example for the aforementioned argument. 7.0: Conclusion The analysis of the mission statement of Marks and Spencer Plc in section 2 and the strategic analysis of the company in section 3,4,5 and 6 have revealed that to understand the company it is necessary to understand the company in the light of the strategies deployed rather than the analysis of the goals. It is also clear that the strategic analysis of the company will not only provide a clear understanding of the company but also help the stakeholders and the customers to appreciate the goals of the company rather than the mere mission statement, which in most cases can send mixed signals to the customers and stakeholders. Thus to conclude this report the argument of Scott (2003) that the mere knowledge of the goals of an organization will not provide a better under standing of the company than the origins, stake holders technology, process, outputs and environmental forces. References Books Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes, (2003), Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, UK: Prentice Hall Richard Lynch (2003), Corporate Strategy, UK: Prentice Hall Scott, W.R. (2003), Organizations: Rational, Natural and Open Systems, 5th ed., New Jersey, Prentice Hall. Journals and Reports Alexandra Jardine and Laurel Wentz (2005), Twiggy beefs up sales at Marks & Spencer. Advertising Age, 10/17/2005, Vol. 76 Issue 42 Annual Report and Accounts (2002), Marks and Spencer Plc, UK Company Profile, (2004), Marks and Spencer Group Plc, UK: Data Monitor Company Profile (2005), Asda Group Limited, UK: Data monitor Isla Gower (2004), UK Retailing – market Review, UK: Key note Ltd Microsoft News, (2003), Marks & Spencer trials Smartphones, UK Steve Burt (2002), The Failure of Retail Internationalisation in Marks and Spencer. European Retail Digest, Sep2002 URLs: Marks and Spencer Corporate website, URL: http://www2.marksandspencer.com/thecompany/mediacentre/yourquestions/generalfaq/q3.shtml Asda Company Analysis, (2002) URL: http://www.www2wk.com/evidence/evidence2.asp?id=1220&qid=1

Footnotes

[1] Scott, W.R. (2003), Organizations: Rational, Natural and Open Systems, 5th ed., New Jersey, Prentice Hall. [2] Company Profile, (2004), Marks and Spencer Group Plc, UK: Data Monitor [3] Marks and Spencer Corporate website, URL: http://www2.marksandspencer.com/thecompany/mediacentre/yourquestions/generalfaq/q3.shtml [4] Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes, (2003), Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, UK: Prentice Hall [5] Richard Lynch (2003), Corporate Strategy, UK: Prentice Hall [6] Company Profile (2005), Asda Group Limited, UK: Data monitor [7] Asda Company Analysis, (2002) URL: http://www.www2wk.com/evidence/evidence2.asp?id=1220&qid=1 [8] Steve Burt (2002), The Failure of Retail Internationalisation in Marks and Spencer. European Retail Digest, Sep2002 [9] Annual Report and Accounts (2002), Marks and Spencer Plc, UK [10] Alexandra Jardine and Laurel Wentz (2005), Twiggy beefs up sales at Marks & Spencer. Advertising Age, 10/17/2005, Vol. 76 Issue 42 [11] Microsoft News, (2003), Marks & Spencer trials Smartphones, UK [12] Isla Gower (2004), UK Retailing – market Review, UK: Key note Ltd [13]
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