The organisation and structure of the business
My coursework will involve developing a detailed study of each of the above criteria related to Safeway Plc. I initially contacted various companies of my choice, including: HMV, Virgin, WHSmith, Asda, Heinz, Safeway, Tesco, Burton’s Mensware, Next, Boots, Vodafone, Bulmers, Cadburys, Shoulers and Son, Walkers, Aston Martin, Sony, Rolls-Royce, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. I contacted all the above companies via my e-mail; I found this a very quick and easy method of contacting these companies and very productive in that I received many replies. I have chosen to investigate Safeway Plc, because I found that Safeway Plc was the clearest, most helpful, and the most resourceful.
Most of the companies replied to me via post, as I stated that it would be more useful to me if they did this. This is because it gave me the chance to refer to particular parts of the company suitable for my research. What I need to investigate As mentioned above I need to examine Business objectives, Types of business, Organisational functions and structures, communication and Product quality ; control.Safeway is one of the top four food retailers in the United Kingdom. This very competitive market includes Tesco, Sainsburys and Walmart/Asda.
Food retailing has undergone many changes in the recent past with the advent of the supermarkets in the U.K. during the late 1950’s, and the mobility of the population (increasing car ownership). This sector has prospered over time as shopping habits have changed. The arrival of a new Chief Operating Officer Carlos Criado-Perez some two years ago resulted in a change of strategy, and has transformed Safeway from a “follower” to a dynamic leader in grocery retailing. This statement will be analysed elsewhere in this report.
The Safeway brand is an international one born in the USA with outlets in other parts of the Americas and Europe. This report deals especially with Safeway Plc here in the U.K. where the company trades as an autonomous unit. (Quoted on the London Stock Exchange, in the FTSE 100). As mentioned earlier I contacted via e-mail many companies in my search for suitable material. I decided to choose Safeway Plc because I believe it to be the basis for an interesting case study.
E1 How can I classify Safeway in terms of its ownership? What are the advantages and disadvantages, benefits and constraints of this form of ownership? Safeway is a Public Limited Company (Plc). A Public Limited Company tends to be larger than a Private Limited Company. A Public Limited Company can be abbreviated as Plc. There are around 1.2 Million registered limited companies in the U.K., but only around 1 per cent of them are public limited companies. However, they contribute far more to national output and employ far more people than private limited companies. The shares of these companies can be bought and sold by the public on the stock exchange.
To become a public limited company, a Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association and a Statutory Declaration must be provided. This is a document, which states that the requirements of all the Company Acts have been met. When the company has been issued with a Certification of Incorporation, it is common to publish a Prospectus. This is a document, which advertises the company to potential investors and invites them to buy shares before a Flotation. To become a Plc Safeway had to go through these legal formalities, which can be expensive.What are Safeway’s objectives as a company?
Business objectives are medium – to long-term goals or targets that provide a sense of direction to the business. Objectives are normally measurable and have a stated timescale – for example, a business may have an objective to boost market share from 24 per cent to 33 per cent over the next four years. Market share simply measures the proportion of total sales in a particular market achieved by the business. One of Safeway’s key objectives is to try to maintain its present market share in the face of fierce competition from its major rivals Tesco, Asda (Wal-Mart), Sainsbury’s, Somerfield, Co-operative Societies, etc.
Companies may have a number of objectives. In general, the objectives pursued by a business tend to vary according to its size, ownership and legal structure. Larger businesses may aim to maximise profits, especially if they are public limited companies whose shareholders will want the highest possible return on their investments. These objectives will reflect the purpose of the business as expressed in the mission statement and they have a considerable impact on the way in which it operates.