Improving efficiency and productivity for Living Styles

Improving efficiency and productivity for Living Styles

Improving efficiency and productivity for Living Styles



Student Name: Vishwa Chaitanya Javvaji

Student ID: 1106867

Subject: MGT726

Course: MICT

University: University of Sunshine Coast







  1. Executive Summary:

This progress report is based on the Living Style online retailer company that deals with premium grade products sold at affordable prices.  The company offers a wide range of products including but not limited to kitchen ware. The company’s main objective is to offer a broad variety of designs to the customers by following the trends that offer the most incredible services.This report examines and discusses the best ways for“Improving the efficiency of productivity of Living Styles.” The company’s production efficiency can be considerably enhanced by identifying the patterns in fluctuations of market demand of the products sold by Living Styles or by carefully investigating the customers’ needs and work towards satisfying them. By understanding the customers’ needs and their demand, the company’s production team gets insight on what products have a huge market demand and thus increasing their production. Conversely, the production of products that are seldom demanded by customers is reduced. These consumer insights are a key factor in the company’s productivity since resources are appropriated to the products that sell thus avoiding wastage and possible losses.

Additionally, the report also explores, in detail, the changes that occur to peoples’ the living styles. The management challenges experienced in Living Styles are largely due to the constantly rising demands of the customers which, regardless of the company’s situation, must be satisfied by following proper strategized planning. The research’s core objective is to explore the shifts that take place in the Living Styles of people. The research is purposefully performed so as to establish the exact requirements of the customers. In conducting the research qualitative methods are used whereby secondary and primary data is collected, analysed, and presented by using graphs and tables.







  1. Table of Contents







List of Figures

List of Tables



  1. Introduction:

    1. Purpose:

The principal purpose of this report is to dissect all the management problems experienced at Living Styles which in turn affect the company’s productivity. Moreover, the report aims at exploring all the potential solutions to the aforementioned management problems affecting the company. Essentially, the report seeks to answer the question; why productivity is lacking for Living Styles and what the management can do to achieve optimum productivity.

    1. Background and report significance

Living Style online retailer company deals with products of premium grade at affordable prices.  Company offers wide range of products which includes kitchen, homeware etc.  the main objective of the company is to provide large variety of designs to the customers by following the trend which offers best services.

Currently the Living Styles is dealing with a management problem which is due to the ever-changing demands of the customers. Customers are the base of each and every company in an industry with cut-throat competition. The business is driven by various factors such as speed to market, low cost and god quality. That means that the company can increase their business among the other companies by generating high quality of products as compared to the competitive companies in the market. The company can also enhance their business value by lowering the cost of the products but by maintaining the quality of the product. It is observed that the fast as well as ever changing lifestyles of the people made the business of the Living Styles more vulnerable in terms of sales. It has become difficult for the company to generate the products at faster rate by fulfilling the increasing demands of their customers. Due to the ever-changing demands of the customer, the demand of the retailers associated with the products also changes. Therefore, it is essential to satisfy the demand of the retailers by the end of the horizon.

There arevarious factorswhich have led to the immediate management problem which are discussed below:

  • Issues in strategy and planning:This is the main factor responsible for the rise of the management problem in the company. This is because improper planning as well as strategy leads to lack of fulfilling of the ever-increasing customer demands.

  • Unreliable suppliers:Another main factor responsible for the management problem in the Living Styles is the unreliable suppliers. The suppliers who deal with the Living Styles are not able to meet the requirements of the company due to reduction in service levels, backorders etc. Late shipments or short shipping also contribute to the increase in the management problems experienced in the company.

  • Slow processing of business:If the overall business process will be slow the management problem rises automatically, hence, the same management problem is faced by the company currently.

Why does it matter?

These management problems have major impact on the overall development of the company. In order to retain the customers it is necessary to offer best in class services to the customers. Time is the only constraint in doing business in this busy world. Therefore, faster as well as efficient service helps in creating the healthy customer interest towards the business.

Why should the problem be investigated?

There is need to investigate the management problem as it will help in satisfying the customer demands which will further help in increasing the overall development of the Living Styles. By carefully investigating the root causes of the management problems experienced at Living Styles, the management team will gain an understanding of exactly how to address the issue in order to increase the company’s productivity while minimizing expenses and resource wastage. This, consequently, will enable the company to fulfill all the customer demands.



Expected benefits:

  • Increased market revenue

Increased company productivity translates to more sales for the company and thus higher revenue. In addition, by increasing efficiency in production, the company is likely to enjoy increased profitability.

  • Better managed inventory

Addressing the underlying cause of the management problems experienced in Living Styles goes a long way in transforming the whole company’s operations. Some of the most impacted operations include management of the company’s inventories. By ensuring due diligence in the company’s management, critical company operations such as book keeping and inventory management are also bound to improve for the better.

  • Reliable suppliers

Changing the way business operations are run in Living Styles may include having to let go of unreliable suppliers and choosing to work exclusively with suppliers that are reliable. This is important especially in ensuring that all customer orders are met punctually. Unreliable suppliers would cause late completion of customer orders consequently losing the clients’ trust and thus hard to retain them.

Consequences

If these management problems are not addressed then it will create an adverse impact on the overall development of the company. Moreover, it not addressing of the management problem also results in lack of proper supply and economic scale. This will further result in improper planning of the inventories.

Therefore, the management problem due to ever increasing demands of the customers must be satisfied by following proper planning as well as strategy.

    1. Research questions and objectives



The main objective of the research is to explore the changes in the living styles of the people and thus their ever fluctuating demands. Through completely understanding the consumers’ demands and their preferences, it will be much easier for Living Styles’ management to direct energy and other resources on the most demanded products.

    1. Research boundaries

The report’s research boundary is the ever shifting living styles and preferences of the target market. Understanding the market’s changing living styles and preferences is crucial for establishing its relationship with the patterns in the fluctuations of the demands of the customers.

    1. Report outline

The scope of this report is to investigate the supply of the product to the customer in time efficient manner. The report includes the Purpose, background as well as the significance of the report in the Introduction section. Introduction section also includes the research questions, research objectives, research boundaries and the report outline. The second section of the report includes the Literature Review/ Theoretical framework in which the literature review of the various authors is done. From this literature review, the research gap is analysed and the conceptual framework is design which helps in eliminating the research gap identified from the literature of the other authors. Then in the next section, the methodology used in this research that is the qualitative method is described along with the research approach and justification. Data collection techniques are discussed along with the proposed analysis results.


  1. Literature Review/Theoretical Framework

    1. Introduction

Start with an overview of the literature review by outlining the main topics to be discussed. For example:

This section will review literature on the following topics:

Topic 1includes “Measuring salesperson burnout: A reduced Maslach burnout Inventory for Sales Researchers.Although, the study examines the outcomes of burnout but thefuture researchcan be conducted by examining the predictions of burnout such as role conflict, role ambiguity and work family conflict.

Topic 2includes “Trustworthiness Change and relationship continuity after contract breach in financial supply chains”. Since the study focuses only on the one outcome variable therefore, thefuture workcan be conducted on exploring other performance variables associated with the customer requirements.

Topic 3includes “The importance of logistics and supply chain management in the enhancement of Romanian SME’s”. Although, the study investigates the management of the supply chain management as well as logistics services market in Romania which can be useful for both the profile companies operating in the market but, it does not investigate the customer needs in Romania.

    1. Measuring Salesperson Burnout: A Reduced Maslach Burnout Inventory for Sales Researchers

The author stated the salesperson burnout is a multidimensional process which helps in decreasing the salesperson’s job satisfaction[ CITATION Rut11 \l 3081 ].In this study it is analysed that, the negative impact of the burnout on the sales force such as increased turnover intentions and decreased performance can have implications regarding the management drivers and outcomes of burnout. Moreover, the impact of the multiple burnout dimensions in sales context is identified for which the data collected is used to subscale the burnout inventory. Thearguments of the authors includethat the 10 items reduced the salesperson burnout scale and the reduced scale provides a considerable reduction in scale length while maintaining the consistency and dimensionality. Along with this, the reduced scale provides a considerable and more reliable valid scale by reducing the fatigue and acquisition bias. Reduced scale also helps in reducing the concerns from participating organizations for long academic surveys which consumes valuable employee work time. Although, the study examines the outcomes of burnout but thefuture researchcan be conducted by examining the predictions of burnout such as role conflict, role ambiguity and work family conflict.

    1. Trustworthiness Change and Relationship Continuity after Contract Breach in Financial Supply Chains



The author stated that the management financial flows in the supply chain are integral part of effectiveSupply Chain Management[ CITATION TaH18 \l 3081 ].A breach in the relationships between the firms as well as financial providers might not only affect the financial health of the local firms but also affects the financial stability of their supply chains. A change in the trustworthiness is crucial since inter-firm supply chain relationships are impacted by the negative effects such as contract breach. It is analysed that the Trustworthiness Change is used for serving the key determinant in the non-breaching decision of the party to continue on in a relationship. The archival data is collected by the author and the evidence shows that the TC significantly influences the relationship continuity. Thefindingsshow that there are several important implications for both the financial supply chain relationship theory as well as practices. Since the study focuses only on the one outcome variable therefore, thefuture workcan be conducted on exploring other performance variables associated with the customer requirements.

    1. The importance of logistics and supply chain management in the enhancement of Romanian SMEs

The author described that the globalization as well as development of the economy is a process which helps in creating the single market and this process the most important toll which is used is a logistics[ CITATION Khe16 \l 3081 ].A market that has well organized logistics as well as supply chain management facilitates the qualified advantage over the other economies. The arguments of the author conclude that small enterprises are improving logistically and infrastructure-wise and thus making plausible efforts in rising in their market share. The trade logistics as well as supply chain management are required by the emerging countries in order to enhance their competitiveness. The main significance of this study is that it investigates the methods in which the logistics can be considered as tool for developing the activity of small as well as medium sized enterprises. Although, the study investigates the management of the supply chain management as well as logistics services market in Romania which can be useful for both the profile companies operating in the market but, it does not investigate the customer needs in Romania.

    1. Limitations– the research gap

Themain limitationof literature of this research is that it does not investigate the customer needs and only explores the changes in living styles of people. Therefore, in order to overcome this limitation, a conceptual framework is designed which will help in resolving the identified research limitations of the literature. In order toaddress the research objective and eliminate the limitations of the research, the secondary as well as primary data is collected in order to perform the qualitative research. The primary data is collected from the interviews of the customers. Whereas the secondary data is collected from the statistical reports in order to identify the pattern in fluctuation of demand. Moreover, in order to address the objective of the research, the reports are analysed for best inventory management. Since the objective of the research is to explore the living styles of the people, to achieve this, interviews of the customers were conducted.

Conceptual diagram:

Figure 1: Conceptual framework diagram

Through this conceptual design, the objective of the research is achieved by collecting the primary and secondary data and by performing the qualitative research on the collected data.

  1. Methodology

In this research,the qualitative research design and methodologyis selected in which the two types of data are collected which includes thesecondary and primary data. This research method is used in this research method is used in this research because through this method the data is collected by performing theinterviewsof the customers. This data helps in analysing the increasing demands of the customers and changes in the living styles of the people[ CITATION Ati18 \l 3081 ].

    1. Introductions

This section describes the design used by this study in order to achieve the objective of the research stated in this research. The research method used in this research is the qualitative method.

    1. Research approach and justification

In order to perform this research on exploring the changes in the living styles of the people,qualitative researchmethod is used. This research method is used because it subjects materials which can be evaluated with greater detail. This research helps in focusing less on the metrics of the data which is being collected. With the help of this research, a research framework or design can be developed based on the incoming variables. This research further helps in adapting the quality of information which is being gathered. Moreover, the main reason behind the selection of this research method is that is based onthe human experiencesas well as observations which help in achieving the objective of this research. Moreover, this research method is based on open-ended process which helps in rationalizing the thoughts to gather the information from the response of each individual[CITATION Gan11 \l 3081 ].

In thisresearch both typesof data is collected in this research which includes the secondary as well as primary data. Theprimary datais collected by conducting the interviews and surveys. Thesurveyis conducted among the10 customers of the Living Stylesin order to explore the changes in the living styles of the people. Whereas the interviews are conducted among10 customersin order to investigate themissing requirementswhich are required by them. Thesecondary dataused in this research includes the statistical reports of the company which is used to identify the pattern in fluctuation of demands[ CITATION Hox05 \l 3081 ].

Secondary dataused is more significant form of data used in this research because from this data inventory management used by the Living Styles is analysed properly.



    1. Details of specific data collection techniques

The data collection technique used includes the secondary and primary resources. In order to collected the secondary data various sources of secondary data are collected which includes the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Annual Sales of the company, Australian transport open data source and the Raw Product supplier historical data. From the annual report of the Living Styles, the paid as well as the authorized capital of the company is analysed and is illustrated in the following graph:

Theprimary datawhich is collected fromthe interviewsof the customers is analysed in this report. Several questions were asked from the10 customersregarding the availability of the products online and the quality of those products. The questions that customers were asked in the interviews include:

  1. How often do you buy items online?

  2. What is your age?

  3. What is the total annual income of the household you live in?

  4. How would you rate our product?

  5. How well does our product meet your needs?

  6. Features that you don’t like on our product?

  7. How would you rate the value for money on the product?

  8. How easy is it to navigate on our website?

  9. Why did you choose our product rather than a competitor’s?

  10. What else would you like us to know?

These interview questions were useful in establishing the customers’ preferences among Living Styles’ products. Also, the questions were important in understanding the challenges encountered by customers when trying to order from Living Styles. The answers obtained from the questions were analysed and from the answers it is evident that some of the customers were not able to get the products from the Living Styles on time. Whereas there were4 customersonly from who’s answered it is analysed there no such problem was faced by the customers regarding timely availability of the products. Moreover, from the answers of the customers it is analysed the main reason behind the unavailability of the products on time is ever increasing demands of the customers associated with the products produced by the company. Therefore, it was established that the company needed to come up with the best strategy to ensure timely order fulfilment.





Figure 2: Interview results





Therefore, from the above pie chart it is analysed only 40% of the customers were not facing any problem regarding the timely availability of the products whereas there 60% of the customer who were not satisfied with Living Styles as the company was not able to deliver their products in time efficient manner.





The overall data is collected in following manner as discussed in table:

Table 1: overall data collection

Research Objective

Data Collection Method/ Technique

Specific research questions or sources

RO1: To explore the changes in living styles of people

Primary data: Survey

Secondary data: Annual product sales history


Sales reports are compared to the customer survey in order to find the likings of people

RO2: To investigate the customer needs.

Primary data: Interviews with customers

Interviews are conducted in order to find any missing requirements that the customer need.

RO3: To identify the pattern in fluctuations of demand.

Secondary data: Statistical reports


Analyse report for best inventory management

RO4: To develop a strategic plan in maintaining inventory

Primary data: Focus groups interview


Interviews help in producing an economical plan to achieve good profits.







      1. Gantt chart

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

Living Styles company

13 days

Mon 8/27/18

Wed 9/12/18


Data

3 days

Mon 8/27/18

Wed 8/29/18


familiarization of data

3 days

Mon 8/27/18

Wed 8/29/18


analyzing familiarized data

0 days

Wed 8/29/18

Wed 8/29/18

3

primary and secondary data collection

3 days

Thu 8/30/18

Mon 9/3/18


Interviews

1 day

Thu 8/30/18

Thu 8/30/18

4

Secondary Data

2 days

Fri 8/31/18

Mon 9/3/18

6

deep analysis

0 days

Mon 9/3/18

Mon 9/3/18

7

construction of initial set of categories

3 days

Tue 9/4/18

Thu 9/6/18


refining and grouping together of categories

3 days

Tue 9/4/18

Thu 9/6/18

8

target audience

0 days

Thu 9/6/18

Thu 9/6/18

10

data gather

2 days

Fri 9/7/18

Mon 9/10/18


refining and grouping together categories

2 days

Fri 9/7/18

Mon 9/10/18

11

contrasting comparison

0 days

Mon 9/10/18

Mon 9/10/18

13

development of theories

2 days

Tue 9/11/18

Wed 9/12/18


results

2 days

Tue 9/11/18

Wed 9/12/18

14

discussions

0 days

Wed 9/12/18

Wed 9/12/18

16



  1. Proposed Analysis of Results



In this research the data is collected from both the resources that is secondary as well as primary resources.

Inorder to explore the living styles of the customers,various factors are analysed which are responsible for changes in the living styles of the people which includes change in the technology, quality of products produced by the other companies, globalization, unravelling economy, and health risks.

Figure 3: Factors responsible for changes in customer’s living styles



Focus Interviewsare conducted across a group of people to focus on the issues of transition process of the inventory management. The group is selected on the designation i.e., inventory managers, CEO, financial manager and designers. The respective aspects are discussed and a proposal is made for the changes to improve the efficiencies.

Some of the questions asked in the focus include:

  1. What are the most commonly experienced challenges in your daily duties?

  2. What are the most cited complaints from customers?

  3. What products are often ordered by clients?

  4. Would you term all the company’s suppliers as reliable, if not; who are some of the suppliers you think are unreliable?

  5. What do you think is the biggest challenge affecting the company’s inventory management?

Surveys and small questionnaireresponse session were conducted among the customers in orderto identify the customer’s needsand it is analysed that the two main factors responsible for the change in the customer needs include the globalization and quality of product produced by the other competitive companies. It is analysed that the customer’s needs could easily be fulfilled by using advanced technology in order to develop the products at the right time as this will further help the company to increase their market value. The following graph describes that the globalization is more responsible for the changes in the customer needs as compare to the product quality.

Figure 4:Factors responsible for changes in customer’s needs

Thestatistical reportsof the company are used for analysingthe pattern fluctuationsof the demands and the best inventory management system and to develop a strategic plan in maintaining inventory. It is analysed that all these elements depend on the overall capital of the company.

The Paid capital and the authorized capital of the Living Styles company is shown below and it is analysed that the authorized capital increases in 2017 due to the increased demands of the customers



Figure 5:: Paid and Authorized capital of Living Styles from 2014-2017.



  1. References

Atieno. (2018). AN ANALYSIS OF THE STRENGTHS AND LIMITATION OF QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH PARADIGMS. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from http://www.scientiasocialis.lt/pec/files/pdf/Atieno_Vol.13.pdf

Ganguly, G. (2011). Understanding supply risk in supply chain: a fuzzy framework. International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 267. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/57d6/4f1006e4df624c2e3f318031c

Hox, J. a. (2005). Data Collection, Primary vs. Secondary. Encyclopedia of Social Measurement, 593-599. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46664275_Data_collection_primary_versus_secondary

Kherbach, O. a. (2016). The Importance of Logistics and Supply Chain Management in the Enhancement of Romanian SMEs. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 405-413.

Rutherford, B. H. (2011). Measuring Salesperson Burnout: A Reduced Maslach Burnout Inventory for Sales Researchers. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 429-440.

Ta, H. E.-D. (2018). Trustworthiness Change and Relationship Continuity after Contract Breach in Financial Supply Chains. Journal of Supply Chain Management.









  1. Appendices

    1. Appendix A: List of Secondary data sources:

  • Australian bureau of Statistics (ABS)

  • Australian transport open data source

  • Raw Product Supplier historical data.

  • Annual sales of the company

  • Annual year report

  • CSR reports

    1. Appendix B: Primary Data sample question and survey.



Survey and questionnaire:

  1. How often do you buy items online?

    1. Always

    2. Most of time

    3. Few

    4. Prefer to buy instore

  2. What is your age?

    1. 18-24

    2. 25-35

    3. 35-45

    4. >45

  3. What is the total annual income of the household you live in?

    1. 0 to $25000

    2. $25000 to $45000

    3. $45000 to $75k

    4. $75k to $120k

    5. Above $120k

  4. How would you rate our product?

    1. Not good

    2. Fine

    3. Good

    4. Excellent

  5. How well does our product meet your needs?

    1. No good

    2. Fine

    3. Well

    4. Life saving

    5. Not applicable

  6. Features that you don’t like on our product?

    1. Packaging

    2. Delivery services

    3. Customer services

    4. Anything else/not sure

    5. Happy with all

  7. How would you rate the value for money on the product?

    1. Bad

    2. Fair

    3. Good





  1. How easy is it to navigate on our website?

    1. Difficult

    2. Regular

    3. Easy

  2. Why did you choose our product rather than a competitor’s?

………………………………………………………………………………….

  1. What else would you like us to know?

………………………………………………………………………………..



Vishwa Chaitanya Javvaji (1106867)1