Improve Business Performance
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Introduction to Small Business Enterprise
A small business enterprise is characterized by less number of workers. It is generally a privately held company which needs to develop and improve its performance constantly. This is important for sustaining in the industry and fighting the competition (Teece, 2010). Small businesses need to demonstrate high level of enthusiasm for being capable of incorporating the changes that take place in the industry. As per these changes, the work processes, management styles and working practices have to be modified by small business enterprises. The present report is on Allan Reeder Ltd. It is a dairy goods supplier. The report aims to investigate the performance of the chosen small business. For improving the management and business performance, changes have been proposed. Objectives and plans of the selected small business enterprise have been revised so that the proposed changes can be incorporated. Further, an attempt has been made to study the impact of change management on the operations of business.
1.1 Profile of Allan Reeder and identification of strengths and weaknesses
Allan Reeder is a dairy supplier for top restaurants, hotels, bakeries, caterers, patisseries and cafes of London. The business was founded in the year 1971 by Allan Reeder with his son Chris and daughter Heidi. It operates in the catering industry of UK and fulfills the dairy requirements of its clients (About Allan Reeder Ltd, 2015). It is a family owned and operated business which is run with dedicated and personal touch. Allan Reeder provides a wide range of products such as fresh as well as 'Uht' Cream, milk, butter, margarine, English cedar, soft cheese, specialty cheeses, yogurts, juices, egg and egg based products, bread, yeast and pastry. There are also some new products that have been introduced by the business. These include natural fruit purees.
The following are the strengths of Allan Reeder:
- It provides a wide range of dairy products. They are available in a wide variety which make Allan Reeder Ltd. capable of satisfying the demands of its clients.
- It provides quality products to the clients.
- The products are offered at competitive prices (About Allan Reeder Ltd., 2015).
- Alan Reeder has a friendly team which has expert understanding of the catering industry.
- The company offers daily deliveries and is open 7 days a week.
Allan Reeder has some weaknesses which can be summarized as under:
- The innovations in the catering industry have not been incorporated by the business.
- It has a flat structure which sometimes leads to chaos and confusion. This may cause problems in future.
1.2 Carrying out an analysis of Allan Reeder by using comparative measures of performance
Customer service- The performance of Allan Reeder can be measured by analyzing the customer service provided by it. The extent to which a business is able to satisfy its customers by providing excellent service to them indicates its performance (Kautonen, Luoto and Tornikoski, 2010). Allan Reeder provides satisfactory customer service. It has an easy ordering system which provides convenience to the customers. It opens 7 days a week. The employees of the business readily deliver the order the very next day on the morning if it has been ordered before midnight. The business has a long serving team of telesales girls and delivery drivers which are involved in providing customer service with dedication.
Social responsibility- This is another measure which helps in analyzing the performance of a business. Social responsibility is indicates the dedication of a business towards the interests of the society and community in which it operates. Being a small business, Allan Reeder understands its social responsibility. It manages the business in a way that increases the positive impacts on the environment (About Allan Reeder Ltd., 2015). The work practices and procedures are such that they minimize the negative social and environmental impacts of the activities undertaken at Allan Reeder.
Quality- This tool represents the extent to which customer requirements are met by a product or service. Provision of good quality products which surpass customer expectations indicate better performance of a business. Allan Reeder provides a variety of dairy products of superior quality to its clients.
Effectiveness- Effectiveness is a tool to measure performance. It is the degree to which the products conforms to the requirements. Allan Reeder achieved a BRC issue 2 warehouse and distribution standard in the year 2012 (About Allan Reeder Ltd., 2015). It works as per the recognized quantifiable standards. The company works according to an independently certified standard as per an auditing company which operates under the guidelines of UKAS. From this, it can be analysed that Allan Reeder has the element of effectiveness. This indicates the improvement in its performance.
2.1 Recommending appropriate actions for addressing identified weaknesses
While analyzing the profile of Alan Reeder, certain weaknesses were identified. The following recommendations can be given for overcoming those weaknesses:
Consult experts of catering industry- Allan Reeder should consult the experts of catering industry so that it is able to be aware and implement the innovations that take place in this sector. This recommendation can be justified on the grounds that Allan Reeder has been unable to incorporate innovations that have been popular in the catering industry. Further, there have been certain technological advancements in the field of production of dairy products (Juntunen and et.al., 2010). This advancements are also required to be understood by the business. This is because these will help in improving its performance further.
Modify organizational structure- Allan Reeder is recommended to modify the structure of the organization. This is because the business follows a flat structure which sometimes becomes responsible for chaos and confusion. At the small scale, the chaos and confusions can be cleared by the team (Wu and Olson, 2010). However, with the growth of business in the future, this structure will not be able to support the objectives of the chosen dairy supplier. It also makes the lines of authority unclear. Therefore, Allan Reeder should slightly modify its structure.
2.2 Analysis of ways in which the existing performance can be maintained and strengthened
Allan Reeder is a small business enterprise. It has a good team of employees who work dedicatedly to serve its clients. It is performing well in the catering industry by fulfilling the dairy requirements of its clients. However, it is important for Allan Reeder to maintain and strengthen its performance. This can be done in various ways:
Improving workplace environment- Performance of an organization can be enhanced by improving and nurturing the workplace environment. The workplace environment comprises of the organizational culture (Ciampi and Gordini, 2013). Allan Reeder can improve its performance by fostering an open and supportive culture at the workplace. It should also provide physical amenities to the employees to make them feel comfortable. Apart from that health and safety conditions as well as aesthetics should be focused upon. There should be a set of shared values and beliefs which define acceptable and unacceptable behavior within the organization. This will assist in modifying the culture at the workplace.
Laying focus on the human side- The employees of a business are the major contributors to its success. No business can be run without the support and dedication of employees (Athayde, 2009). Therefore it is important for every business to lay emphasis on the human side of the business. In order to maintain and improve its performance, Allan Reeder should make efforts to motivate the employees and increase their enthusiasm. This will encourage them to contribute innovative ideas for improving the work processes.
Focusing on quality- Another way in which Allan Reeder can strengthen its performance is by focusing on the element of quality. Along with increasing its scale of production, the dairy supplier should also focus on maintaining the quality of its products.
Introducing innovations at the workplace- Allan Reeder can strengthen and maintain its performance by installing an innovative learning and creative process. The work practices and methods of production should be continuously modified and made creative (Tschiesche, 2012).
2.3 Recommending new areas of expanding business
Allan Reeder is a dairy supplier which caters to the needs of restaurants, hotels, bakeries etc. It excels in producing dairy products and has introduced fruit purees as new products. However, there are certain new areas in which the company can expand its business. They are the following:
Delicacies made from dairy products- Allan Reeder provides dairy products of various types. These include milk products, cheeses, bread, yoghurts etc. however, it can also expand its business by producing delicacies made from milk products. This is because it has excelled in making products from milk such as butter, various types of cheeses, fruit purees. Therefore, the business of providing delicacies that have been made from dairy products will be supported by its existing milk products and new products such as fruit purees. Delicacies can be made fro them and supplied fresh to the customers. In this regard, the business can open a restaurant that provides these delicacies to the customers directly. In this way, it will have two types of customers (Chell, 2007). One will be the businesses like hotels, bakeries etc. and the others will be local people of London.
Products made from fresh fruits- Allan Reeder can also expand its business in the area of providing products made from fresh fruits. It already produces fruit purees and juices. This indicates that it sources fruits from various places. Therefore, it will be feasible for the company to expand its business by producing products which have been made from fruits.
3.1 Producing an assessment of the existing business objectives and plans
The objectives of Allan Reeder can be assessed as follows:
Objective 1- To provide quality products at competitive prices
This objective is concerned with satisfying the needs of the clients at fair prices. The positive impact of this objective will be that it will help Allan Reeder to improve its performance. This will provide support to its aim. However, the present objective will also imply that the business will not be able to earn profits because it will be supplying products of high quality at competitive prices (Hayes, 2010).
Objective 2- to provide excellent customer service
This objective of Allan Reeder is important as it will help in satisfying the needs and expectations of the customers. Customer service is an important aspect while considering the growth of the organization. Excellent service helps in increasing the customer base thereby leading to growth and expansion of business (Nussbaumer and Merkley, 2010). It also increases the sales revenue of the organization. Moreover, with excellent customer service, Allan Reeder will be able to attract new customers and retain its existing clients.
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Objective 3: to maintain the reputation of most popular diary supplier in London
Allan Reeder excels in supplying dairy products to various hotels, restaurants, bakeries, caterers and cafes etc. It has build its reputation as the most popular dairy supplier of London. This objective is beneficial for Allan Reeder. This is because it will encourage the company to make efforts toward maintaining its existing reputation. In this way, the current objective signifies the attempts that are made towards improving the business and reaching new heights of success.
The existing business plans of Allan Reeder can also be assessed. It is a dairy supplier and strives to become the mots preferred choice top restaurants, hotels, bakeries, caterers, cafes and patisseries of London. It aims to provide unbeatable customer care and maintain the dedication. The business plans to maintain its reputation and enhance its performance thereby upholding the family ethos. The efforts of the company are directed towards keeping its valued customers retained. It aims to make the lives of the customers easier as far as their dairy requirements are concerned. For this, Allan Reeder constantly makes efforts to understand the busy and demanding nature of catering industry.
3.2 Revising business plans of Allan Reeder
The business plans of Allan Reeder can be revised for incorporating appropriate changes at the workplace. It can be analyzed that most of the plans of Allan Reeder are short term. The team at the organization make planning for providing customer service and become most preferred choice for the top restaurants, cafes, caterers, hotels etc. however, long term planning has not been done by the company. In this regard, the business plans have been revised. As per the revision, the new plans of the company are to explore new ways of serving customers. It is also required to carry out its operations in new fields. This is concerned with expanding the business in the new areas. The company needs to change its organizational structure. For this, more levels have to be introduced in the company (Smith, 2011). This is required so as to distribute the responsibilities of the CEO. Thus, new management positions will be identified at Allan Reeder. The company will thus plan to work in teams to achieve its desired objectives. It will also plan to motivate its employees and make the organizational culture a supportive one. Further, plans need to be made for incorporating the technological and other advancements that take place in the catering industry. For this, advice needs to be taken form the experts. These advancements which the company needs to adopt will also be communicated to the employees and justifications will be provided. Therefore,the business will also need to make plans regarding the development of employees so that the advancements could be accepted and utilized by them (Sampaio, Thomas and Font, 2012).
3.3 preparing an action plan or implementing the changes
The proposed changes can be implemented at Allan Reeder with the help of the following action plan:
Defining the change- This is the first step and concerns with defining the type of change that is required to be implemented within the organization (Potts and LaMarsh, 2004). It will involve preparing documents that give details of what are the changes and in which areas are they required.
Management support for change- It is crucial that management provides support to the changes. This support is required to be demonstrated while communicating and interacting with the staff. When the employees will see management supporting the changes, they will develop a comfort level.
Involving the employees- Allan Reeder should involve employees at all the levels of change. Employees are closest to the work processes (Lotich, 2014). Therefore, involving them during the implementation of change will be beneficial.
Preparation of timeline- The changes that are to be introduced at the workplace will be communicated by the management to the employees. At this step, a timeline will be prepared for implementation of change. The timeline will be effective in enabling the company to allow for training, supplies, new equipments before the change is fully implement (Bajo and et.al., 2012).
Removing barriers- This is the next step in the implementation of change. When the timeline has been prepared and communicated, the management will identify the barriers to change. Actions will be taken for removing the identified barriers.
4.1 Impact of proposed changes
The proposed changes will impact the business as well as the employees. The structure of the organization as well as its culture need to be changed. This implies that there will be addition of new levels in the lines of authority (Carter and Jones-Evans, 2012). This will positively impact the business. This is because it will lead to more clear lines of authority. Moreover, the roles and responsibilities will also be clearly understood by the employees. Therefore, there will be smooth flow of operations and tasks could be completed on time. However, change in the structure may have negative impact on the employees. They may not be initially comfortable with the new structure which may lead to friction. Therefore, the work may be impacted and there may be delay in operations. Change in culture will have positive impact on the business as well as the employees. The staff will perform better in an open and supportive culture ( Reid, 2002). Workplace problems will be eliminated. These will in turn lead to improvements in the overall performance of the organization. Further, attempts have to be made to motivate the employees, this will positively impact the employees and the business. The employees will be able to work to their full potential. Therefore, their productivity will increase. This will lead to an increase in the productivity of the organization.
4.2 Plan to manage changes in the business
At Allan Reeder, the changes will be managed by creating a change team. This will consists of capable employees who can act as change agents. The responsibility for managing the change will be of the change team. Therefore, the members of the change team will perform the duty of facilitating and enabling the change in a way that employees can cope with it (Down, 2010). Management of change will also be done by involving the employees so that they do not feel that change is imposed on them. Obstacles will be removed and constructive feedback will be provide to the employees. Short term targets will be set which are easy to achieve. These will keep the employees motivated. Action plans will be developed for addressing the change management issues. In this manner, the change will be managed at Allan Reeder.
4.3 Monitoring improvements in the performance
The improvements in the performance of Allan Reeder can be can be monitored over a given period of 2 years. This can be done by tracking the sales of various products. Improvements in the performance can also be monitored with the help of monthly reports. These reports can be prepared by the respective departs and can include the details of issues faced during the past month (Hatten, 2015). The managers of individual departments can assess and record the improvements that have been observed in the performance. These reports will be discussed in a meeting and the overall performance of the organization can be monitored.
From the report it can be concluded that Alan Reeder is a reputed dairy suppliers that strive to upheld business ethos while providing excellent service to the customers. The organization has strengths in the form of its knowledgeable team and quality products. However, it is not able to incorporate the innovations that take place in the catering industry. Also, flat structure of the organization may create problems in the future. It can strengthen and maintain its performance by focusing on quality, motivating the employees, improving workplace environment and introducing innovations at the workplace.
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