|Subject Name:||Operations Management and Decision-Making Models|
|Assessment Title:||Operational Strategy Report|
|Assessment Type: Length:||Individual Written Analysis|
1500 words (+/- 10% allowable range)
Using the most recent year’s gold award winners of the Australasian Reporting Awards – Sustainability section prepare a 1500 word report explaining how your chosen company’s operational strategies, supply and logistics systems and strategic decisions have supported the company to achieve its desired business outcomes.
In this individual assessment, students will be given an opportunity to explain operational strategies and demonstrate the skills needed to build effective supply and logistics systems that support desired business outcomes by applying strategies integrating ethical, social and global considerations, which will benefit organisational performance.
The Australasian Reporting Awards celebrate and acknowledge excellence in preparing annual reports. The awards are held annually with companies from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific area being eligible to apply. The company chosen by students must; have won either a gold award in the sustainability section of the awards in the most recent year.
The assessment needs to include the following headings:
The operational strategies of the organizations are outlined to achieve sustainable goals of the organizations in the current business environment. The goals or objectives encompass the essential features like supply chain management, corporate social responsibility, the economic viability of the strategic decisions and overall performance in the competitive market. The selected organization Wesfarmers is one of the multi-dimensional companies in Australia that projects a portfolio of chemicals, fertilizers, industrial products, retail products coal mining, and safety products in Australia and New Zealand. The company is headquartered at Western Australia with an approximate number of 1, 00,000 employees engaged with the company. The key people directing the company affairs comprise of the chairperson known as Michael Chaney, and the CEO of the company is recognized as Rob Scott. The estimated revenue of the company in the year 2020 stands at AS $30.8billion (Annual Report, 2020). The company uniquely contributed AS$68 million towards the enrichment of the community.
Figure 1: The revenue accrued by various groups under the parent company
(Source: News Release, 2019)
The supply chain is a vital part of every organization, which is the cumulative effect of all the functions of the organization so organized as to enable the organization to transport, care, modify and then again transport to the customer thereby ensuring that the customer gets the finished product and is satisfied. The perspectives in a supply chain initiate the functioning of the organization with inbound logistics. The supply chain of an organization can be like farming, cleansing, designing, developing, processing, packaging, and delivery. All these aspects are somewhat familiar in every organization and Wesfarmers in no exception (Coles, 2020). All the elements of Wesfarmers in the supply chain of the organization do involve a considerable amount of work, workforce, strategy, and inevitably quality maintenance to enable the organization to provide to the customers the most premiere goods at the shortest time (Ethical Sourcing, 2018). The organization deals in a variety of goods and products starting from chemicals, clothing, office equipment and supplies, energy, fertilizers to industrial safety equipment. The array of the companies goods are large and even larger supply chain is required to manage the entire operations of the company taking into consideration the fact that the Australian continent and the New Zealand Islands are a vast area to cover.
The large map of the supply chain of the company involves many employees from numerous societies and backgrounds, which entail economic and environmental consequences. Although the other aspects of the Carbon footprint and emissions can be duly regulated this is the only aspect which is generally in control of third party suppliers thereby increasing the carbon footprint and levying the onus on to the organizations utilizing the services (Climate Action, 2020). The effective way to diminish the ill effects of large organization on the people, society, environment, and economy Wesfarmers has initiated the complete transparency in the supply chain for complete eradication of modern slavery. The transparency of the organization ensures that modern slavery neither is practised nor is in any form prevalent in the system. In addition, the company has also incorporated huge donations for community service around 25 million dollars were doled out to social welfare organizations around Australia and New Zealand for community service of the areas the company operates in. The continued persuasion to the supplier partners has also ensured reducing the carbon footprint in the transportation sector. The organization has always strived to provide to its employees a healthy, refreshing, and soothing work environment.
Economic, Environmental, and Social Impacts
The impacts of organizations functioning in a particular area definitely have economic, environmental and social repercussions. The repercussions are generally felt in the forms of economic boost or crisis, environmental depletion, and social change of formation. The economic aspect enables the employees of a place employed in the organization to get a salary, thereby increasing the flow of money into the market increasing the buying capacity of the customers in the vicinity and society. However, the case might not be so for everyone. The increased cash flow generated with the employees' salary also increases the economic difference between the rich and poor. This is where the necessity of community service and social help programs gain priority thereby ensuring that even the hapless do have a place in the minds of the company management, therefore, ensuring that the company does the necessary to ensure that the poor are ensured with good living and food arrangements (Community Contributions, 2017). The natural cause of increased differences between rich and poor will enhance and arouse the animalistic tendencies of humans thereby creating chaos in the society, and an increased rate of untoward incidents will be a significant disruptor to the everyday life of the customers and citizens alike. However, the interference of the companies through the social welfare groups and in conjugation with the governmental agencies to improve the life and living conditions of the lesser privileged will definitely be a right turn on the part of the organization thereby gaining social respect and fulfilling its social responsibility. The long-term effect of the same will be an increase in its popularity and broaden its brand name.
Figure 2: The reduction strategy of carbon footprint
(Source: Ethical Sourcing, 2018)
Wesfarmers has exactly and appreciably worked on the lines of being a social, environmental and economically concerned organization. The different parts of the company, which have been created for the same as well as the grants to the social welfare organizations, are quite voluminous. Wesfarmers is the largest employers of the country with employee strength of 107,000; the organization paid around AU$ 4.8 billion dollars as salaries, wages, and other benefits (Performance Overview, 2020). The organization also spent 3.3 billion dollars in the form of rents and payment of services. The enormous amount of cash flow in the country in the year 2020 can be estimated by this. The contribution of Wesfarmers is also quite significant to the Australian Red Cross during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the organization also shared the expenditure during the battle of bushfires.
Figure 3: The performance of the company
(Source: Performance Overview, 2020)
Operational or Management Approaches
The operational and management approach of the organization is the method to elucidate the best of class quality and efficiency in the operations of the organization thereby ensuring that the fines and best quality product are made available to customers. This system of operations management also involves maximization of business profit through the proper and ethical ways (Mitra and Karathanasopoulos, 2019). The approach undertaken by the organization is transparent and straightforward, thereby ensuring that the company is in no type of manipulative practices. The simplistic concept of the initiation of the organization as a farmers cooperation could not be continued over the period of time due to the massive increase in the business of the organization and the complex systems cropping up slowly which were essential to keep the business running (Yun, 2020). However, the essence of the organization to be clear and straightforward is still imbibed in the operational approaches. Operational management also looks into matters of mergers and acquisitions which is an essentiality of business growth but always ascertains that the within a short period of the merger or the acquisition the company starts to work within the limitations of emissions and effluents.
Figure 4: The sustainability strategy adopted by Wesfarmers
(Source: Climate Actions, 2020)
The company's policy is to strive consistently to attain a 100% safe working environment for its employees through regular investments in safety checks, and equipment ensures that the safety and performance of workers are of the highest standards and reduces unaccounted expenditures for treatment and work loss of the employees. The company's operational management also ensures that continuous measures are initiated to create brand awareness. The company strives consistently to satisfy the needs of customers and invests in improving customer experience, thereby gaining brand loyalty. The market of Australia and New Zealand is almost fully expanded, but the brand is still trying to increase its products and service sector expansions and a continuous process to achieve the same is underway. The company is a customer-oriented company which has to have long term, short term goals in addition to making on-spot arrangements in critical situations (Andreassen et al., 2018). The initiatives undertaken to leverage through the market growth offshore is indicative of the fact that the company is trying to expand to a multinational with worldwide market and approachability. According to News Release (2019), the company is striving to acquire a few other companies like Catch group and Kidman resources.
In summary, it may be ascribed that organizations like Wesfarmers have evoked as the highest qualifiers in the sustainability quotient of the industrial sector. The continuous prerogative of the organization to have complete transparency in its supply chain thereby ensuring the abolition of modern slavery, reduction of carbon footprint, increasing social responsibility, and enhancing the environment for the future generations are clearly visible. The operations of the company have also seen a boom with the practice of acquisition, innovation, and diversification of the products and services. The company has also initiated the trial of offshore and exports, thereby intending to vie with other worldwide sector rivals. The altogether success of the organization is the effective practices in the operations of the organization with continued perseverance towards improving the social, economic, environmental, and economic aspects of the societies and communities they work. The company has been aptly adjudged for the Gold Award 2020 by Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA).