The objective of this report is to provide successful planning of a required solution, along with the effective execution and regulation, and systematic closure of a business process enhancement to A2Z organisation. This is done by providing an interactive website, enlisting all its product to A2Z retail company. The website solution is delivered by using task-sequencing approaches, fact-findings, organisational chart analysis, as-in process diagram and so on.
1.2 Purpose of Report
2. Time management plan
2.1 Work Breakdown Structure
2.2 Task-Sequencing Approaches
2.2.1 PERT Chart
2.2.2 Gantt Chart
3.2 Documentation Review
4. Organisation Chart
5. AS-IS Process
A2Z Shopping is a medium sized retail organisation operating in most states of Australia. It has fifteen retail stores around Australia. Such retail stores belong to the retail industry. These retailers are different from other industrial companies, as these are not the actual producers of the palpable products (Renner, 2018). The process of business in retail industry involves purchasing large quantities of goods from the manufacturers, in order to re-sell those goods to customers at a reasonable profit. The retail industry is a mature industry and has a high amount of competition involved (Renner, 2018). A2Z offers a wide range and variety of products to its customers. The variety of product offered by A2Z involves clothing, footwear, groceries, home appliances, liquor, and books. A decent number of brand options are available for its customers in various shopping segments. It caters to clients of all age groups. The variety of brand options helps A2Z to target audience from all economic sections. Availability of various categories of products has created many competitors for A2Z in this industry. Grocery stores, e-commerce companies, book stores, fashion outlets and so on, are among the competitors of this organisation. The availability of various categories of products makes A2Z organisation different from its major competitors like Shoes of Preyapos, Bookotopiaapos, Catch of the dayapos, Dan Murphyapossapos and so on. It faces competition from all major categories of retailers, namely selling hardlines, soft goods or consumables, art and so on. All its major retail competitors have a limited number of products, therefore, they are having a limited number of customer base too. Giant e-commerce companies like Amazonapos and ozbargainapos are also among its major competitors, as A2Z is still lacking presence in the online market.
The various products offered by A2Z are mainly divided into four categories. These categories are namely hardlines, consumables or soft goods, consumables, and art. Hardlines are products that tend to last a long amount of time. Examples of hardlines are home appliances and furniture. Consumables or soft goods include clothing, shoes, and fastly usable products like toiletries, dishwashing liquids, beauty products and so on. Food products include edible products like cheese, baked goods, meat and so on. Products like books and musical instruments fall under the art category. These products are offered by a number of competitors throughout Australia. Various department stores, big box stores, discount stores, warehouse stores, mom-and-pop stores, and e-retailers are the competitors of A2Z in Australia. A2Z works on the basic functions of retail marketing. Retail marketing brings products directly to customers in retail stores (Pilkington, 2019). It requires planning, promoting and presenting products in front of the customers in the retail store, focusing on customer needs. Planning involves market analysis in order to find out the demand for a product by a large number of customers. After the planning process, the selected products are promoted to influence a large target audience. The promotion involves advertisements in multiple ways (Lewis and Dart, 2014). After proper promotion, comes the presentation part. It involves bringing the demanded products to retail stores. The products are directly procured from the manufactures or the brand factories. Once the product and the customers reach the retail store, then the internal process of selection of goods according to oneaposs needs, followed by monetary transactions take place. Various departments like marketing, accounting, finance, customer service, inventory flow operation and so on, help in the smooth functioning of the retail industry (Pilkington, 2019). The simplicity of the processes involved in the retail industry attracts a large number of customers towards itself.
A2Z is an independent retail company with a single owner. The name of the proprietor of this organization is Bruce Stark. He started this organization in the year 2005 with a single store in the northern territory, and he now owns 7 such stores around Australia. The key people of this organization are general manager, the store managers, floor managers, cashiers, assistant store managers, inventory managers, marketing managers, finance and account managers, sales and marketing employees and so on.
The key issue faced by A2Z organization is the limited amount of target audience due to the constraints of time and cost involved in locating and visiting the store for buying products. With the advancement in technology, people save the cost and time involved in visiting a store for shopping. This is the main reason for the flourishing of e-commerce companies around the world. They have made the process of buying and selling a bit simpler, and thus reducing the customer base of retail store industry. A2Z company wants to have its own website, in order to compete with the e-commerce companies, and thus enhancing their market reach.
An efficient time management plan is required for the project, in order to effectively address the problems of the company in an efficient way (Hussain, 2014).
The aim of the project is to set up an online platform for A2Z by launching its own website. It will allow A2Z to reach a larger number of customers around the country in an easier and convenient way. The project consists of a number of processes which are combined together to achieve the objectives of this project. A website, listing all the products available in the retail stores, with the facility to order products online, is the main deliverable of this project. The equipment and software used in the project are Firefox Developer, Photoshop, programming languages like Java amp python, use of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), and Word Press. The people working on this project would be web developers, content developers, quality checkers, and the project manager. The total time allotted to this project is thirty days. The team working on this project consists of six people. Two website developers, Two content developers and two quality checkers (one of them being the project manager himself) would be working on this project. The senior quality checker would also act as the project manager for this project. Table 1 represents the work breakdown structure in a simple way.
Activity Number Start Date Finish Date Activity Name Activity Description Planned Action Status Note
1. 1/5/2019 1/5/2019 Making time-based strategic plans required for this project. This activity requires the project manager to make time-tables and plans for conducting the whole project. Use of technical expertise of the project manager to evaluate the needs of the A2Z organisation, in order to fulfill the business requirements. Not started This is the first task essential for every project.
2. 2/5/2019 7/5/2019 Analysing the technical requirements and collecting data for the website. Meeting the general manager of A2Z, for collecting the records. The products that are required to be listed on the website and expected features of the website. The project deliverables are decided in this process. The project manager and his team would be working on the technical requirements of the company. The features, the discussion regarding the front-end design of the website, preparing the product scope and vision template. Getting the details signed by the General Manager in written and on e-mail for making the deliverables clear. Not started Defining the exact objectives and listing the exact deliverables of the project.
3. 7/5/2019 30/5/2019 Design and development. With the help of programming languages like Java amp python, use of HTML and Word press to achieve our planned objectives. Various web traffic and quality tests would be carried in this step. The web developers will design the website layout by use of programming languages. Content developers and third-party software like Word Press will be used to list all the products of A2Z organisation on the website. All the necessary requirements of website development would be fulfilled in this activity stage. After the application of the required technicalities, the website would be put in a test phase to check the functionality and practicality of the website. Not started This phase is time taking, as internal recommendations may be made by the quality team for improvement of the structuring and content of the website.
A PERT chart is a graphic representation of a project in the form of a network (Williams, 2017). It consists of numbered nodes which are either circular or rectangular, representing milestones or events in the project. The directional lines (labeled vectors) represents the tasks or activities in the project. The sequence of the tasks is indicated by the arrows on the directional lines. In the above diagram tasks between nodes 1,2,3 and 4 must be completed in a sequence. These tasks are called dependent or serial tasks. If any of these tasks were not dependent on the completion of the other in a sequence, then such tasks are called concurrent or parallel tasks. The numbers mentioned opposite to the vectors represent the number of days required for completion of that task/activity. The PERT chart clearly depicts the task dependencies, therefore it is preferred over a Gantt chart (Williams, 2017). Figure 1 shows the PERT chart for this project.
center635 Figure 1
A Gantt chart is a frequently used tool in project management. It is a horizontal bar chart, developed to provide a graphical representation of time and activities/tasks of a project for any organisation (Williams, 2017). The horizontal axis in the table represents the total time for completion of any project. In our case, the columns of the table represent the time used for the completion of various activities, in order to deliver the project. The vertical axis depicts the activities or tasks that are carried out in order to complete a project. In this case, the rows represent the activities that are carried out for achieving the desired target. Different colours are used for representing different activities. The Gantt chart has a drawback, as it does not represent the dependencies of the project and therefore, it is unable to depict the order in which the activities are performed (Williams, 2017). Table 2 represents the Gantt chart for this project.
Day-1 Day2-7 Day7-30
The data in this report is collected by an effective fact finding process. The fact-finding process includes the collection of the information from the company documents, interviewing the employees of the company about the actual requirements of this business, use of questionnaires for getting the details about the processes involved in the business, and the gaps which are to be addressed by the product (UKEssays, 2018). In order to analyse the requirements of the website, the fact-finding plan includes conduction of interviews, reviewing the company documentation, observation the needs of the organisation, collecting the responses of the questionnaires, and researching the causes of failure of the previous attempts to address the organisational needs and so on.
Conducting interviews is the most commonly used method for fact-finding from any organisation. These interviews help in collecting detailed information regarding the business complications from the employees of an organisation (UKEssays, 2018). In this process, structured interviews are conducted from the concerned employees of the organisation. These interviews consist of closed-ended questions for the product requirements. Finding out the project deliverables in the form of exact content requirements of the website is done in this process.
3.2 Documentation Review
Collecting data from existing documentation of the company helps in analysing the existing system of any organization (UKEssays, 2018). Various types of company documents are considered for the collection of information about the business processes of the company. Customer suggestion box notes, e-mails, customers complaints and company reports are analysed in this process. List of products that are to be listed on the website of A2Z would be extracted in this process.
Observing the work environment of the company is an important aspect of fact-finding process. This task takes place with the help of a concerned individual, who studies the flow of tasks and documents, in order to draw conclusions about the business needs of the organization (UKEssays, 2018). For A2Z retail company, the process of sales, marketing, the on-floor efficiency of the employees and so on, would be observed by the project manager.
Questionnaires are suitable for gathering facts from a large number of users of any product (UKEssays, 2018). In this case, the website would be dealing with all the stores of A2Z company around Australia. So, using questionnaires would make the process of collecting data from employees working in all the company locations, a bit easier. A questionnaire to know about the objectives of the website, and to know about the delivery options of the products would be prepared for this purpose. A free format questionnaire, related to order processing would also be put in the questionnaire.
Research to find out the previous measures taken to address the business needs will be conducted. The causes of failures of those measurements in order to improve the business processes and the associated problems would be analysed. It is among the most essential parts for finding the exact product requirements. In addition, qualitative research to find out the possible solutions for the requirements is also carried out in the research process. Qualitative research helps in getting in-depth knowledge about the solutions for fulfilling the requirements of the company (Hammersley, 2012).
99695-12700 Organisational Structure of A2Z Company
The organisation structure of A2Z retail company is represented in Figure 2. The Owner, Bruce Stark heads the organisation. Below the owner, is General Manager. The General Manager is the second from the top in the hierarchy. The General Manager will be interviewed, as he oversees all the administrative function of this organisation. All the major administrative decisions are his responsibility. Therefore, the major inputs regarding the requirements of the website would be provided by him. The project scope template and the product vision statement would be signed by him. Apart from the general manager, the store manager and the inventory manager would also be interviewed to get detailed inputs regarding the products, to be listed on the website. The Store Manager looks at the day to day floor operations of the store. He is responsible for sales staff and the cashier. The Inventory Manager manages stocks in the inventory. He is responsible for the smooth supply of products for the retail store. The inventory staff report to the Inventory Manager.
List of Objectives for the interview of-
To enlist all the project deliverables.
To mention the specific features, requirements, technical details and so on.
To find out the exact time frame expected by him to complete the project.
The grey areas of his current business.
To know about the type of product that is to be listed on the website.
To know about the efficiency of the retail company to pack and deliver the product.
To know about the technical expectations of the website.
To know about the maintenance of the stocks.
To know about the products with maximum demands and maintenance of their stocks.
To know about the products which should be given high priority.
To know about the discounts they can offer on the products which are not in demand and so on.
The process flow of the A2Z retail company starts with a customer visiting the retail store. After the customer visits the store, he/she reviews the products he/she wants to purchase. With proper selection of product from among a number of options, the customer takes that product/commodity to the billing counter for making the payment. After making the payment, the customer takes that product to his/her home. The AS-IN figure of A2Z is shown in Figure 3.
-18415171450 Figure 3 AS-IS Process Diagram
In this business process, the product (website) would be improving the improving upon the initial start process of the overall business process. The real presence or a physical visit of a customer to the store will be replaced by virtual presence using the online shopping platform. The website will thus, allow customers to buy the required products from far away places, thus, saving their quality time. The nearby customers might still visit the stores for buying products. It will attract more customers towards A2Z retail company, and thus would be beneficial for the growth of the company.
The report consists of planning, strategizing, fact-finding for developing an e-commerce website for A2Z company. Task sequencing approaches like work breakdown structure, PERT Chart, Gantt Chart has been used. Fact-Finding is done by interviews, documentation review, observations, and research. Organisation Chart has been used to identify the required individuals for the interview. quotAS-ISquot process diagram has been used to explain the business process of the organisation. And then, the necessary solution has been provided to the company.
An android mobile application of A2Z retail company, with all the features of the website, is also required along with the website. It will make the website easily accessible from the mobile phone. Easy accessibility will attract more customers, as it would increase the ease of doing online shopping.
Along with the cash on delivery payment method, various other payment options like mobile wallets, credit cards, and online banking options should be present on the website.
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