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Explanation of WHSmith Supply Chain

University: UK College of Business and Computing

  • Unit No: 2
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 7 / Words 1791
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: M/508/4323
  • Downloads: 546
Question :

A report is needed to be prepared on the contribution of a logistics division in providing an edge to WH Smith over their competitors. Role of this organisational function in assuring success will also be explored.

  • Explain supply chain of WH Smith and recognise the role of logistics in providing a competitive advantage to the company.
  • Analyse the challenges faced by WH Smith.  
  • Provide a list of WH Smith’s competitors.
  • Explain Unique selling point of WH Smith.
Answer :
Organization Selected : WHSmith PLC


WHSmith is considered as one of the well-known retail company in UK, which offers variety of retail products and services in its various attractive retail stores. The assignment will be discussing about explanation of supply chain management system of WHSmith organisation. Beside from it, the report will define about how logistics can make a competitive advantage of WHSmith organisation and some key challenges facing by the company in industry. Apart from it, the report will be discussed about unique selling point of WHSmith firm by which they can generate effective revenue for the business.


Explanation of WHSmith supply chain

WHSmith Plc. is well known British retail organisation, its headquarter is located in Swindon, Wiltshire, which running a chain of high street, railway station, airport, port, hospital and motorway services station shops selling books, stationary, magazines, newspaper, entertainment products and services (Wu and Pagell, 2011). The company was focused by Henry Walton Smith and Anna in the year 1792. During the year 1970s, cite firm began to diversify into other markets. At the initial stage, there were physical stores in which the products were sold but with time they made use of technology like online platform and this was helpful enough for the business to make sure that they reach out customers in appropriate manner. In accordance with the type of structure followed is functions. This is a structure in which Supply chain management is most necessary part for WHSmith organisation in order to achieving streamlining of their business. A well-executed Supply chain management helps firm to increasing its customer value and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. Supply chain management covers all aspects related to the merchandising of products from design, development and production to asset management, inventory control and to the information systems needed to direct these undertakings. WHSmith has implemented new supply chain optimisation technology for travel based stores with focus of raising proper management of waste by developing stock forecasting and replenishment. The company operates in 750 stores across the UK, is rolling out retail software in order to ensuring about availability of stock and also increasing visibility of product along the supply chain management. Numbers of retail products are delivering by the firm by using the fastest supply chain management system within firm's operational activities (Wu and Pagell, 2011). WHSmith invests and with proper planning they utilise technological solution for their stock management system, which enables its professionals to making decision to increase its operational efficiently within its supply chain management scheme. Company is utilising the best approaches to delivering its products and services to their end customers in effective way. It has established its stores most of the travelling locations that has wide range of demand for supplying their products. At the locations, the company is using various types of technological software which allocate essential information about availability of the stock in their stores. IT department is helping its business operational functionality to communicate each stock at online platform and according to them, they can roll out new retail services at quick manner (Tokar, 2010). Food products has threats to wasting it requires to replenishment on the basis of time to time. So its new approaches of supply chain management enables the company to supply its products and services from production to distribution level within the firm. Hence, RELEX solution is the best forefront strategy to delivering fresh foods and other retail products at the stores within speed to delivery. This is a type of solution that is used by retailers to improve their competitiveness with the help of localized assortment and making profitable use of retail space.

Also Read: Components of Developing Customer Base

WH Smith’s Range of Logistic Practices

Logistics is a management approach which is being used by its professionals in order to efficient development of business in industry. The competitive advantage is gaining by WHSmith organisation by furnishing its better customer services for greater value and lower pricing or greater benefits for the customers and organisation as well. There are many other companies that deliver their customers with similar type of products and services. In order to be better, it is important for cited firm to make sure that they have supply chain and merchandising so that they are able to meet their requirements in appropriate manner. apart from this, cost plays vital role, when any type of services are delivered by the firm is low, then rate of customers who make use of the services will be high. In today's global economy world. It is necessary for being flexible and adoptive in order to sustain in competitive retail industry. Below given are different type of logistic practices that are made use by WHSmith:

Shipper association: Being a part of shippers association can give benefits to the company in industry for lowering cost of transportation rates due to competitive negotiation. In case of maintaining economy of scale, the firm's professionals need to negotiation within its transaction of goods from one region to another region, which can lead to decrease the rate of costing while transferring goods and services to another regions and countries in respective form. With the assistance of this logistics approach, WHSmith organisation can increase the sales of its variety of retail products and services in industry (Tayur, Ganeshan and Magazine, eds., 2012). So they must follow this strategy of outsourcing if its various logistics products.

Transportation management system: TMS allows WHSmith business to managing of data information about goods and services of the form through transportation efficiently and enable company to reviewing about costing and performance of the business during transportation services is being used by enterprise (Szuster, 2010). The company can use of transportation management system at the workplace in order to examination of its costing upon various goods transferring from its production plants to stores of the firm. So it allows company to identify the over costing sections of business transactions, and according to its approach can reduce costing of transportation expenses. WHSmith can use of this strategy for outsourcing of its logistics products and services at safe manner, so they will be able to introduce their unique retail products and services at various level in industry.

Advanced tracking: In case of serving home delivery of its retails services within the business. Its professionals can implement of advance tracking alternative options to its customers to track its orders and goods which has been ordered by them (Stojanoviġ, 2012). Advanced tracking options enables the business professionals to increase customer conventions and satisfaction level as well. WHSmith also need to utilisation of advanced tracking technique in order to safely outsourcing of its various types of products and services in different-different countries across the world. So it can raise its productivity and profitability of the business within the industry.

Warehousing: Variety of logistic services are being served by its various retail stores in industry. Variety of transportation-al facilities being utilised by its supply chain department to developing such areas where the department ensure that, right shares in the right place at the right time. The team works with the entire WHSmith Group across its complete retail operation. Various transportation channels is being utilised by its professionals which is, distribution administration, assistant merchandiser, senior display planer, senior merchandiser etc. all these assist business management to warehousing and transporting facilities of the firm. These are the best alternative options which can be used by WHSmith organisation in order to add up advances features within its products and services at progress level. So they will be able to increase their productivity and profitability by gaining efficient competitive advantages within the business environment. Hence, it can be said that, WHSmith business has several types of logistic strategies by which they can minimise over costing of its transportation of goods to its retail stores. It will generate competitive advantages for the

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