Introduction to Managing Communication Knowledge and Information
The organizations are competing with one another in the present complex and challenging environment. This is transformed by varied aspects like technologies diffusion, information technology and technological development together with the utilization of right knowledge. Such landscape needs all companies to differently act for surviving and flourishing into the market. For this, they have to search for new resources to get competitive edge and beat new competition type. Also, it requires adequate understanding of knowledge, information as well as adequate process of communication to attain competitive edge. Information is acts as backbone for the organization in present business scenario plus essential part if huge companies. Here, the report is focusing on communication and information methods utilized by a multinational retail company Asda. It has implemented the combination of knowledge, communication and information strategic themes based on globalization, like financial stability, people, clients and operational excellence.
1.1 Range of decisions taken by organizations
The process of decision making is referred to making choices from alternative action course on the basis of value and factual premises with the intent of moving in the direction of preferred state of affairs. After taking a decision, it demands well assurance of resources. The decision that are required to be taken by manager may range from setting of targets and goals for the whole business organization to particular decisions in relation to routine activities. Few of them can only have implications for the short run whereas other might for the long term effects. From the particular view point, decisions of manager can be classified broadly into three categories, such as operational, tactical and strategic
There are main actions choices and influence major or complete part of organization. They directly add to the attainment of firm’s common objectives. Also, the particular decision type have implications on company for long duration. Example of this decision type is merging of Asda with other biggest retail firm.
These are in relation to company’s daily operations. They have horizon of short term as taken on repeated basis. Such decisions are based on facts in relation to events plus not required any judgment of business. For example, type of services to be provided to client and standard of auditing to be used by organization.
These decisions in the Asda can be related to strategic decisions execution. Furthermore, they are directed in the company towards development of divisional plans, workflows structuring, developing distribution channels, resources acquisition like materials, money and men.
1.2 Information and knowledge needed for decision making
Generally, decisions are taken by managers on the basis of their understanding, perception, people around them and perception. However, they can face some situations where their opinion can lead to a big mistake. Hence, the perception together with correct knowledge and information plays a great role in making decisions. But this has been suggested that managers can get into some issues, which result from their wrong views as well as are considered as rare and often negligible. In order to take any effective or productive decision, it should utilize timely, accurate and relevant utilization of information. Managers work on activities based upon knowledge while making decisions. Commonly, such activities are separated into two categories, i.e. practice and process oriented. The process oriented approach is used by managers through attaining tactic knowledge that can be taken from formal meetings and interviews. The requirements of information and knowledge are referred to an outline of decisions that should be effective to make valuable decisions. Additionally, the manager of Asda should have following information to make productive decisions
There are many organizations available that provide best retail services and to beat their competition, the manager should have complete awareness about their competitor’s policies and strategies of expanding or growing business.
The manager also have knowledge regarding each and every activities performed in business premises together operational strengths and manpower efficiency before making any decisions. Such information can be gathered by conducting SWOT analysis, which can help in determining weakness and strength of business in relation market share, available capital and corporate image, etc. Moreover, the manager is able to understand likely threats and opportunities presented in the market.
For the new business development as well as to attain successful outcomes, the manager of Asda should have information regarding target market and its customer’s wants. This can help the organization in manufacturing and distributing commodities that are required by clients for fulfilling their satisfaction. Thus, can lead to profitable outcomes for the corporation.
1.3 Internal and external information sources
The internal information in an organization can be collected in following manner
Personal and administrative information
These are collected to get employees like personal details, career information, experience for making decisions regarding their training needs, productivity rates, etc. For the safety of employees, Asda require to maintain complete record of its manpower.
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This can be utilized to decide about likely success of services offered by organization. It includes information about generated revenue, sales figures, customer complaints.
The Company by having information about the performance of its profit and loss can decide about employee’s salary, tax payable and ways of recovering losses.
On the other hand, the organization can collect external information from sources like private information providers, government agencies, etc. External information includes professional publications, national opinion polls, legislation, census figures, industry standards and trade journals. For Asda, important external information are related to its rivals performance and activities.
According to Victor Vroom and Philip Yetton (1970), there are three decision making styles, such as:
- Autocratic and directive approach
- Involving customers
- Emphasis on engagement and participation
A good time is spent by company’s management for making discussion with consultants and getting their feedback for varied sources. Hence, the tools like decision matrix and T charts can be used by Asda to get fair and reasonable data for making valuable decisions about business operation and functions.
2.1 Stakeholders for decision making process
Asda make several routine decisions regarding what and how to produce. The following is the case of customers request for new organic food to determine needs of stakeholders in decision making process. In the particular situation, main stakeholders can be planning manager and factory, who will suggest about whether the proposed commodity is required to develop as a complete new range of product or adjustments to available stuffs can be made for fulfilling customer’s novel demand. Furthermore, the team of research and development is needed to be engaged for designing as well as producing the product effectively. Moreover, if product required to be prepared on other sites than the site logistic manager of particular location can be called. Accordingly, the organization can make discussion with material manager for purchasing of input. After reaching this point, company seek for the external stakeholders, for instance suppliers because good relations with them is significant for getting ingredients on reasonable cost. Also, discussion with transport suppliers have to be done in relation to transport availability and shipping charges to make supply at different places. By having necessary discussion with each stakeholder, the final decision can be taken and converse to internal stakeholders, like commercial and sales team so they can successfully convey it back to buyers.
2.2 Developing business relationship with identified suppliers
Stakeholders are very important part of any organization and hence the management executives should develop a fair and effective relation with them. By building personal interactions with loyal customers, Asda can improve their satisfaction level with its offerings and sustain client’s interest in the products of business for long. Also, a database can be develop by making personal links that can be given to marketing executives for maintaining contacts with clients regularly at times of special offers and discount schemes available in the store. The customers can be contacted in professional manner by sending discount offers in a mail or explaining them about products available in special rates on telephones. This will assist decision maker in knowing actual requirements or needs of potential clients and on the basis they can select appropriate suppliers for them. Additionally, personal meetings can be planned for making direct discussions with employees to observe their response for several activities undertaken in the outlet. These meetings will be organize for valuing employees suggestions that will again support in bringing their interest and commitment in the organization. On the other side, the company can engage coordinators for developing as well as sustaining useful plus positive relations with the society or residents.
2.3 Involving stakeholders in decision making
The quality of decision making in a company can be improved when suggestions and valuable inputs are taken from many people. This is because by developing personal network, the manager can collect judgment and opinion of others as well as make future evaluation of business progress. It can also lead to development of effective plus efficient decisions at work that can have synergistic influences together with extra opportunities for productive business decisions.
The following are some ways that will be utilized by Asda to involve identified stakeholders in decision making process
- An alliance with non-government and government agencies will be made by company to make discussions in relation to economic and environmental problems that will allow best strategies formation for pricing together with optimum utilization of resources.
- With employees an informal face to face interactions can be done to decide about their appropriate duties and posts in the store.
- A survey by using questionnaire can be taken to get customers and society’s actual response that will support the organization in making several products on the basis of target market expectations and deciding locations for opening new stores.
2.4 Strategies for improvement
Main intention of Asda is to perform right things and for this purpose it manage as well as fulfil its stakeholder’s requirements effectively. The following are existing strategies of company that it used for stakeholders management and some proposal for relevant improvements
At present, Asda is supporting community by consumer panels, public consultations and charity work. Also, it is providing good opportunities of employment globally. Additionally, the company can launch some eco-friendly range to stop the contamination environment.
Asda is providing an honest, good and fair experience of shopping at reasonable prices by evaluating customers changing requirements through Customer Question Time. Besides this, the retail giant can introduce eco-friendly commodities as well as evaluate customers complains in a more smart way.
At the store of Asda, employees are offered with opportunities of development and growth as well as respected with necessary facilities related to safety plus health. Moreover, employees are allowed to give feedback in survey conducted annually. Also, the organization can start undertaking exit interview for improving its appearance or position in labour market.
In present time, the company is maintaining honest, fair and long term relations with suppliers. Additionally, for assuring quality, Asda can execute the system of supply chain management.
3.1 Communication process in Asda
Asda design and develop an effective information system with which it can summarize plus analyse external as well as internal information. The company has developed a department of MIS (Management Information System) for the purpose of collecting, transferring and analysing information from every department. The information sources can internal or external like media, public or stakeholder. The particular unit is responsible for analysing and collecting information from retailer, local newspaper and customer. Besides this, all department used to write a separate report related to their performance and finance, which is utilized by management of Asda for planning, directing, organizing plus controlling every activities of business.
In addition to above, every department at the store have close relation with other units for making productive decisions. The department of customer service conduct survey for determining needs and wants of customers that is used by marketing executives to developing new product for making its promotion into the marketplace. Moreover, all these information is delivered successfully to technology department for designing and producing new customer and after sales services. Hence, a very important role is played by MIS in Asda for making smooth communication between different departments. Additionally, the members of board held meetings on regular basis each week for discussing and making new plan for the organization. The decision taken in such meetings are then required to be followed by employees of every department in the store.
3.2 Ways to improve the communication process
The communication both outside and within the organization can have its effects only when it is understand by receiver exactly what is pass on by sender. It is depend on several aspects that influence the organization activities. Asda should remove the communication process barrier by breaking down the levels of management. Most of the interactions are take place in between manager and employees. Hence, a comfortable environment should be developed by manager for improving the communication effectiveness among staff members. Besides this, a right format of communication should be selected by organization for carrying out activities successfully at work. There are varied formats available from which the best suitable one can be selected by Asda, such as video and audio conference, face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, etc. The technological advantages can support in ensuring smooth process of communication. Also, the organization can learn about an adequate way of listening customers and subordinates feedback for improving the level of communication at work.
In addition to above, Asda can enhance the communication process by transferring messages plus information through network of local computer. By using intranet, the company can improve its overall communication procedure. Through this, employees will able to make interactions via Skype and Yahoo messages for saving their time. Also, the utilization of ICT will enable the company to expand the market plus enhance the service quality, lessen the prices, ensuring faster delivery and so on. Besides this, monthly and weekly meetings can be held by CEO for highlighting mission and significant activities to be undertaken at the store. Moreover, changing culture of company is an effective way of enhancing communication procedure. An appropriate culture can connect every people closer for allowing smooth communication in between them.
3.3 Improvements to ensure greater integration of communication system
Within an organization, there are many methods available that can be used for making effective communication in between different departments. These are as follows
The main advantage of this method is that it saves time for contacting different entities and bring more convenience to organization. Each department can have separate email address for transferring information and contacting others. The particular method is flexible and facilitate an employee to send several type of documents to their peers and seniors related to routine work (Loermans, 2002).
This is a type of short report that can be used by departmental heads to communication work progress to staff members.
This method is specifically adopted in conference and meeting. Many complex views can be effectively and easily presented through beautiful slides by using software Microsoft PowerPoint.
It is an online tool used for developing task deadlines and meeting appointment for staffs. Also, it allow the organization to allocate main mission for every task and manage flexibility of time.
4.1 Existing approaches to collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge
Existing approach to collect, format, storage and dissemination of knowledge and information at Asda are as follows
Data collection is very important for every unit in a corporation for making productive decisions. Asda adopts production based system, i.e. PMO (Production and Operations Management) for collecting information related to several activities. It requires information gathering from varied sources. There are many external and internal information sources like websites, journals, and published articles and from staffs working in distinct departments.
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In Asda, executive information system takes external plus internal information as well as prepares summary reports to be used by management executives for further analysis in developing future strategies. These reports are given in an adequate format like tabular report, text report and readable graphics.
In the retail store, engineering departments keeps information related to specification of varied commodities. The database system of organization is protected through password for keeping confidential information safely. Information has been stored by Asda through pricing information, customer details and history of past transactions.
The stored history of sales is connected with Production and Operations Management to retrieve when needed. Reports are produced for exhibiting monthly sales volume for the organization and adequate presentations for the board members can be devised.
4.2 Appropriate changes for improvement
In spite of better utilization of above process, Asda should develop plus design the standard process to allow communication among people. The common rule is that company has formal reports format for all departments. However, the manager must remove hierarchy barriers among departments for supporting employees to easily collect the information. Also, the organization implement LAN network for connecting with each unit and the retail store should make cooperation with FPT Telecom partner to offer modern device as technology.
Additionally, developing standard format for existing system is important to make sure the process effectiveness. Organization should undertake formatting for keeping information clear and short. In addition to this, the best solution is that Asda should build a single warehouse for keeping all important data related to supplier, customers and financial reports of business. Every staff should have their separate ID for accessing information without impacting the operational systems use.
Besides above, there are many systems to share the file are presented online, such as Google Drive, SkyDrive and Dropbox to upload data on internet. Such platform will facilitate any member of organization to access information from everywhere whether in their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
4.3 Implementation of strategy to improve access to system
The fluency in management of information is significant for successful companies. In today’s digital era, the rapid technological development is changing the manner in which information is created as well as used by organization. First of all, Asda should determine the problem and weakness of current system then plan to remove barrier. The technological advancements will lessen the barrier in existing system. All data will be stores in the system of online cloud sharing for allowing access to all entities via internet. Moreover, designing a good website will support the organization in enhancing image of brand in public. Also, a useful tool intranet will help in sharing information among organization departments by keeping more secrecy. This will ensure about information reach to right user at right time.
After analysing above paper, it can be concluded that an effective system of communication at work supports the company in reaching its set goals successfully. Both external and internal methods to make interaction must be properly developed in an organization. Also, communication strategy should be structured by management for its adequate execution in different departments. Moreover, an effective management of current communication skills and data is significant for running profitable business. In the end it is given that adequate management of communication, information and knowledge is vital for Asda, as the industry of retail is getting more and more dynamic.
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