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Business Analysis of Speciality Fashion Group

Question

Task: This assignment is a precursor to Assessment Item 2. In Assessment Item 2 you will choose an organisation and a contextual factor from those provided in a list; you must explore the assigned contextual factor in relation to the specific organisation. PLEASE NOTE you do not choose your own organisation; you MUST choose from the list provided. Prior to discussing the specific contextual factor of interest in Assessment Item 2, Assessment Item 1 requires you to discuss the assigned business organisation in relation to the following five topics.

  1. Describe the organisational structure of the business.
  2. Discuss the external and internal environmental forces that impact the business.
  3. Analyse the risks that currently confront the business organisation.
  4. Describe the business practices decisions that the business should make to enhance organisational performance.
  5. Discuss the most important functions within the business organisation that will assist it to achieve its strategy.

The format of the assessment is an essay of 1500 words (+/-10%), 30 marks.

Answer

1. Organizational Structure of Speciality Fashion Group
In relation to Speciality Fashion Group, it can be observed that the company’s organizational structure is functional in nature. In other words, the company exerts considerable importance in maintaining a strong controlled environment. The functional organizational structure allows the company to frame clear lines of a delegation of authority and accountability as a whole. In the presence of such organizational structure, the company is focused on activities like supervision, coordination, and task allocation. This structure allows Speciality Fashion Group to ascertain how it performs in collaboration with the members (Corkindale, 2011). In simple words, this structure sheds light on the fact how people associated in an organization are grouped and to whom they must be accountable for. Some basic functions in such organizational structure comprise of activities like human resources, marketing, production, and accounting (Aureli & Salvatori, 2012, p. 22). This is the reason why there is an adherence to the code of conduct in the business environment of the company wherein it fosters a culture of integrity and quality. Such functional organizational structure is well suited for companies like Speciality Fashion Group who is engaged in standardized goods and services at low cost and large volume. Moreover, specialization and coordination of tasks are the core factors in such organizational structure because it assists in making the products and services more predictable and effective for the ultimate consumers.

Besides, efficiency in such functional structure can be further realized as Speciality Fashion Group can integrate its affairs vertically so that sale of products is carried out on a larger scale and at lower costs. Hence, such organization of specialization can assist Speciality Fashion Group to enhance its operational efficiency wherein employees can easily become specialists within their own zone of expertise (Aureli & Salvatori, 2012, p.30). However, communication problems tend to occur in such functional organizational structure because it tends to be rigid in nature.

2. External and internal environmental forces that impact Speciality Fashion Group
In relation to the external environment forces encountered by Speciality Fashion Group, it can be seen that the company operates in a retail environment wherein value, price, and quality are crucial for the customers it serves. Besides, its retail fashion market is developing day by day and the company needs to monitor such developments and adapt its business model with such changing landscape. In contrast to this, the most significant internal environment force encountered by Speciality Fashion Group is the issue of money. The company faced negative financial outcomes due to one-off restructuring and other expenses. Besides, even though the mature brands enjoyed significant growth in online sales, the company had to incur issues in trading because of margin management and tight cost issues. Another external environment force is a competition that allows the company to remain unique while dealing with its competitors (Malevergne & Sornette, 2005). The influence of online shopping together with the entry of overseas Australian retailers into the market has created a major competition issue for Speciality Fashion Group but it has also allowed it to change according to the environment that is a positive indicator (Cohn et. al, 2005). The strength of employees is also another internal business environment factor that impacts the business of Speciality Fashion Group. This is the reason why the company invests in development and training of its employees so that they can serve as the best talent and redress the customer needs as soon as possible. Moreover, having over 5000 employees across various countries surely necessitate hard-working and talented people who can offer better outcomes in comparison to the lesser talented workforce (Rosemary, 2005). Change in exchange rates is also another external factor that impacts the business of Speciality Fashion Group. This is why forward cover methods are adopted to tackle such movements in Australian Dollars.

3. Risks encountered by Speciality Fashion Group
The most significant risk that is encountered by Speciality Fashion Group is its increasing reliance on Information Technology systems, which means that security breaches, disruptions, and outages can easily have a negative impact on its financial and operating performance. Furthermore, the failure to upgrade and maintain its IT systems can also hamper its ability to achieve its business objectives (Jansen et, al, 2007). In addition to this, another risk factor in the case of Speciality Fashion Group is that its trading conditions have been immensely challenging for it because the trends regarding fashion cannot remain temporary in nature and it is prone to immediate variations. Moreover, forecasting the emergence of a fashion trend is not feasible because it can happen at any point in time, thereby causing huge losses to the company. Another risk factor in the case of Speciality Fashion Group is its property portfolio management because it has around 1043 physical sites in USA, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. Nevertheless, out of these sites, around 1029 are leased and are also open to negotiations with every landlord at the termination of the term of the lease. Therefore, management of such property portfolio is also risky for the company as it necessitates the establishment of operational and financial benchmarks.

Another risk factor for the company is seasonal fluctuations in the demand for fashionable clothes that can impact its smooth flow of operations (Deckers, 2010). Such seasonable variations or fluctuations can cause the company to design different patterns of clothes that are well-suited according to the fashion environment (Condamin et. al, 2006). Lastly, high variations in the interest rates in Australian Dollar also makes it problematic for the company to manage its resources in an effective way because government policies often result in high variations in such rates that can affect its overall business scenario (Luostarinen & Gabrielsson, 2006).

4. Ways to enhance organizational performance

  1. Association of employees
    The business practices that Speciality Fashion Group must make to enhance its organizational performance are first, that it must attempt to engage its people by leveraging high-influenced leadership practices. Since the company has a functional organizational structure, it must give importance to communication methods to enhance its organizational performance (Fayolle, 2007). Engagement of employees have become the key to organizational success in today’s scenario and without choosing proper means of communication, it is not feasible to attain organizational performance.
  2. Knowledge management practices
    Secondly, the company must also focus on knowledge management practices by collecting and managing crucial information to enhance its ability to obtain outcomes. Such practice often includes enhanced utilization of computer technology (Speciality fashion group, 2017). Besides, the efficiency of such practice in attaining organizational performance relies on how well the critical and enhanced knowledge is implemented in the organization.
  3. Total quality management practice
    Another practice that can be undertaken by Speciality Fashion Group is total quality management practice (Griffin & Clarke, 2010). With the help of such practice, an organization can ensure whether it can consistently meet or surpass the requirements of customers. Moreover, the company is prone to seasonal fluctuations and shift in trend patterns that require immediate implementation of such practice in its framework (Zent, 2017). Further, since the method is quality initiative in nature, it can allow the company in focusing on process controls and measurement as a means of continuous improvement approach (Sonnentag & Niessen, 2008). Lastly, the best business practice in relation to Speciality Fashion Group is the practice of business re-engineering (Resnick, 2008). In such practice, the organization aims to enhance its performance by radically reframing its organizational structure and measures that includes the time of starting up over from the ground up. Besides, since Speciality Fashion Group has a functional organizational structure, it may face issues relating to communication mismanagement and hence, business re-engineering process can allow it to enhance its organizational performance while changing its organizational structure from functional to some other form that is more suited for it (Speciality fashion group, 2017).

5. Functions that will help in the attainment of the strategy
The most major business functions within Speciality Fashion Group that can assist it in achieving its strategy are first, it must focus on innovation through the function of research and development. The reason behind this can be attributed to the fact that being a fashion retailer, the company is prone to seasonal variations and trends (Speciality fashion group, 2017). Furthermore, the demands of customers are never-ending in nature and without focusing on research and development, the company can never ascertain the type, quality, value, and price of fashionable clothes demanded by them (Letens, 2008). Furthermore, creativity is the need of this generation and if an organization is not creative in its measures, it may fail to retain its customers and they may seek other fashion retailers to address their demands. The second business function that can allow Speciality Fashion Group to achieve its strategy is the human resource function (Letens, 2008, p. 45).

With the help of such function, the senior management is entrusted with the job of enhancing the efficiency of human performance. Besides, such function allows the company to maintain an effective and capable workforce so that the employees can be motivated both in groups and individually in order to contribute their maximum for the purpose of attainment of intended strategies (Speciality fashion group, 2017). Lastly, adoption of a production function can also allow Speciality Fashion Group to attain its strategy because such function comprises of other functions like inventory management, handling of materials, production control, etc. Besides, being an enormous retailer industry, the production of fashionable items clearly relies on the organization of money, men, materials, and other facilities into a smoothly functioning business. Hence, implementation of such business functions can allow Speciality Fashion Group to attain its strategy in a better, easier, and effective way that can altogether outperform its competitors. ?

References
Aureli, S., & Salvatori, F. (2012). An investigation on possible links between risk management, performance measurement and reward schemes. Journal of Accounting and Management Information Systems, 11, 306–334.

Cohn, JM, Khurana R, and Reeves L. (2005). Growing talent as if your business depended on it. Harvard Business Review 83(10), 62–70.

Condamin, L., Louisot, J.-P., & Naïm, P. (2006). Risk quantification: Management, diagnosis and hedging.Chichester. England: John Wiley & Sons.

Corkindale, G. (2011). The importance of Organizational structure and design. Retrieved https://hbr.org/2011/02/the-importance-of-organization

Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation; Biological, Psychological and Environmental. (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

Fayolle A (2007), Handbook of Research in Entrepreneurship Education. Cheltenham, Griffin, M.A, & Clarke, S. (2010). Stress and well-being at work. APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology. Washington, DC

Jansen, W., Steenbakkers, W. & Jägers, H. (2007). New business models for the knowledge economy. Gover/Ashgate, Aldershot, UK

Letens, G. (2008). Towards a balanced approach in risk identification. Engineering Management Journal, 20(3), 19–25.

Luostarinen, R. & Gabrielsson, M. (2006). Globalization and marketing strategies of Born Globals in SMOPECs. Thunderbird International Business Review, 48(6), 773-801

Resnick, R. (2008). Can you handle the investment risk? Entrepreneur Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/199022

Rosemary, H. (2005). Learning and Development. CIPD Publishing. Edward Elgar Sonnentag, S., & Niessen, C (2008). Staying vigorous until work is over: The role of trait vigour, day-specific work experiences and recovery. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 81(3), 435–458.

Speciality fashion group. (2017). Speciality fashion group 2017 annual report and accounts. Retrieved from http://www.specialtyfashiongroup.com.au/index.php/investor-centre/annual-reports

Zent, M. (2017). 4 ways to Boost your business by cutting costs. Retrieved https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309878

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