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Operations Management of Ladbrokes Plc history essay help Java essay help

Introduction Ladbrokes plc is one of the leading bookmakers in the high street in UK. It was established in 1886. Currently Ladbrokes plc operating with over 2200 branches across the UK and also operates in Ireland, Belgium and Spain. In this assignment we are focusing on the operational activities of the Ladbrokes plc. Task 1 a) The role of operations management The operations management can be defined as the systematic processes which convert inputs in to finished goods or service by adding the value. The operations management is very important in modern days as the competitiveness among the businesses very high.

Therefore most of the organizations do have a special functional unit for manage the operational activities of the organization. According to Nigel Slack, we can identify three different roles in operations management. * Implementer of business strategy This is the most basic task of the operations management where they help to implement the business strategy established by top management. * Supporter of business strategy The supporter role provides the company to effectively implement their strategy and make necessary amendments. Driver of business strategy The driver of the business strategy relies on the unique capabilities it has. If they do not have unique capabilities then they cannot be a driver of the business strategy. Here we can conclude as the operations management function cannot be a supporter of the business strategy unless they have the implementation skills and, cannot be a driver of the business if they do not have the unique capabilities. Importance of effective operations The effective operations management is one of the key ingredients in successful organization.

Because they are mainly deals with the implementation process of company business decisions. If the implementation is not effective then the whole strategy becomes the waste. Therefore for the following reason can be highlighted as the importance of operations management. * Cost The cost is main concern for any businesses as they are trying to maintain cost effectiveness. Therefore the implementation process comes with the budgeted cost where the businesses try not to go over the target. In order to maintain cost effectiveness they have to maintain efficiency and effectiveness of operational process.

If not then the strategy will become less effective. * Time Time is an important factor in modern business as the environment is very competitive. Therefore who ever able to react quickly to the market trends will be able to gain the competitive advantage. Therefore operational process will help to reach the customer quickly to gain the advantage if the process is efficient and effective. * Quality Quality is one of a key factor of the success of any organization. Therefore to compete in the market the product or service that offers to the customers should be high quality and reasonable price.

Therefore the operational function will be in conjunction with other functions to provide the better quality product or service. * Technological changes The technological environment is changing faster than ever before. The new advanced technology is affecting every process of the organization. Therefore the right choice of the technology gives competitive advantage to the businesses. Therefore operational function will help to identify the need of new technology to compete in the market. b) Strategic objectives of Ladbrokes plc

Strategic objectives can be defined as the long term goals that an organization expecting to achieve. Strategic objectives are mainly establishing on focus of external environment. However these objectives are different from businesses to business according to the industry, market they operates. The following are the objectives of Ladbrokes plc in UK retail sector. * To become a leading book maker on the high street. * To deliver technological excellence to the customers. * Building upon retail strength by enhancing the margin. * Maintain regulatory leadership. Create competitive pricing and trading management to improve product range and optimise margin. The betting industry in UK is dominated by few companies in the market. The competition among them is very high in order to gain new customers and to retain the existing customers. Therefore to implement best strategy to achieve their strategic objectives the company need to have knowledge of its environment. In order to analyse the business environment the following tools can be used. * SWOT Analysis * Porter’s five forces analysis SWOT Analysis of Ladbrokes plc

This analysis will help to identify the internal environment against the external environment. The internal environment analysis identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the company and the external environment identifies the opportunities and threats to the company. According to the Ladbrokes plc internal environment analysis the following strengths and weaknesses can be highlighted. Strengths * Brand image * Advance technology * Low operational cost compared to its rivals as call center tasks allocated to some retail shops. * Use of the loyalty card Quality of the customer service Weaknesses * High labour turnover. * Lack of modern gambling machine to attract new customers. * Limitations of offers available to the customers. The external environment of Ladbrokes plc highlighted the following opportunities and threats to the company. Opportunities, * The increase demand for playing on gambling machines. * Increase the opening hours for betting shops granted by the authorities. * Tax release for customers on their winnings. Threats, * The changes in customer spending behaviour as a result of economic downturn. The expansion of Irish bookers in UK markets. * Tough regulations introduced from gambling commission to protect vulnerable people and children. Porter’s five forces model This model helps to analyse the industry to give Ladbrokes plc overall picture of the market. Therefore effective use of this analysis will help them to make effective decisions to gain the market competitiveness. * Competitive Rivalry Here we consider the competitors to Ladbrokes plc. There are few competitors in the market with good brand image.

Therefore the competition among them is very high. Also it gives customers choice and there is no switching cost for them to change their choice. Therefore creative marketing and quality customer service plays major role to Ladbrokes plc. * Bargain power of suppliers Ladbrokes plc has few suppliers specially those who provide the gaming machines and betting slips, other electronic machines such as scanners and computers. The company is the major customer for them and as there are only few betting companies they have very little power over Ladbrokes plc.

Therefore the suppliers have very little power or no power at all. * Bargain power of buyers There are no substitute products in the market. However as they can switch to another brand without a cost the customers have more power over Ladbrokes plc. Therefore company needs to identify the customer requirements and need to offer creative products for them. * Threats of substitute products As mentioned before there are no substitute products in the market. However some of the businesses do have ‘Slot gaming machines’ where customers will be able to play.

But they are not very popular among the customers. Therefore no threats to the Ladbrokes plc from substitute products. * Threats of new entrants The new entrance to the industry is very difficult as the requirement of large capital and brand image. Therefore threats from new entrance are very low. c) Performance operational objectives The performance objectives are identified according to the stakeholders of the company. These stake holders are those who have impact or affected by the company operations. * Customers * Suppliers * Shareholders * Employees * Society

After identifying these stake holders, the performance objectives can be classified into five performance objectives. * Quality Quality can be defined as the product or service which conformance to specifications. The importance of the quality results in two ways. * It helps to retain the customers as well as to gain new customers. * Help to save cost as there will be fewer errors to rectify. Ladbrokes are very much concern about the quality of customer service. Therefore they have introduced the mystery shopper programme where the quality of the service tested.

These scores and its individual reports use for the training purposes to train their staff to provide better quality service. * Speed Speed can be defined as the time between customer request of product or service and the actual time they receive it. The speed can be classified in two ways. * External speed which is responding to customers quickly. This will help to satisfy the customers who receive the product and services. Sometimes the businesses have opportunity to charge higher prices by responding customers’ quickly. * Internal speed can be identified as cost reduction process.

If the businesses able to process the internal task quickly, then it will help them to achieve the efficiency where they can save cost. Ladbrokes plc is having better system which integrated with server in the head office for processing customer bets quickly and payout as they come along. Therefore it helps the company to improve the customer service. * Flexibility Flexibility means by the way businesses be able to change its operations to provide better customer satisfaction. The flexibility allows the operational function to provide wide range of product and services to the customers.

Ladbrokes plc has improved their flexibility by offering a special service to the customer when there is no market in retail shop to provide betting opportunity. This special service will give them special price for the and also they can place the bet in the retail shop. * Dependability Dependability means the ability to provide the product or service to the customer on time. The dependability improves the customer satisfaction s well as save money by achieving the efficiency. This is an important factor to the Ladbrokes plc as the customers are trying to place their bets on time.

Therefore to improve the dependability Ladbrokes plc have trained their staff effectively and provided with required resources. * Cost This is the most important factor for any organisation. The cost effectiveness will lead organisation to achieve success. According to the operational objectives, if the company can achieve the quality, speed, flexibility and dependability then they will be able to achieve the cost effectiveness. Therefore the Ladbrokes plc mainly focused on those four factors which help them to reduce cost as well as to maintain the market growth. Task 2 a)

In order to improve the quality of the product or service the operational function needs resources, tools and systems. It helps them to provide the supporting role to the corporate strategy. The Ladbrokes plc has the following resources and systems to improve the quality of the service. * Human resources This is one of the most important resources for the Ladbrokes plc as they have more concern about the customer service. The skills required to provide the service is the key to success. Therefore the company has a special training programme for all the employees to train them.

This will help them to interact with customers effectively to provide better service. * Suppliers Suppliers are refers to the supply of gaming machines, electronic tools and other materials such as furniture, betting slips, pens etc. The ability to supply the required materials is one of the most important factors in delivering the best service. Without these the shops will not be able to provide the better service to the customers. Therefore the Ladbroke plc has agreements with unique suppliers to them who are able to provide the required supplies to the company on time. Research and development Research and development department is very important to the company to identify the customer requirements and competitors strategies. The identifying the unsatisfied customer requirement will help them to make effective strategic and operational decision to gain the competitive advantage. Also this unit will help company to identify the training requirements of its employees and to develop effective operational system. Therefore Ladbrokes plc has the separate function for research and development. * Technology Technology plays a major role in betting industry.

The speed of the process time of customer bets is one of the key factors of customer service. In addition to that the ability to provide the coverage of racing and sports events also required for better service. Ladbrokes plc has invested large sum of money for new betting software system which called as ‘BS2000? to process customer bets effectively. This system will provide the facility for customers to collect their winning from any Ladbrokes betting shop in UK. Also launch of new gaming machines which called ‘Global Draw’ is also help them to compete in the market. * Marketing materials

The competition in betting industry is very high. Therefore the company needs to have creative marketing strategy to attract new customers as well as retaining the existing customers. Therefore the marketing materials used in retail shops and other outlets are also can be identified as resources to the company. * Financial resources The financial resources are the most important resource to the company. Because, the investment of large capital provides the facility to gain more resources, which needs for the operational process. As a leading bookmaker and public company Ladbrokes has the access to the funds they need. ) Quality is defined by Nigel Slack as ‘consistent conformance to customers’ expectations’. The operational function needs to make sure the quality of the product or service achieving constantly. If not the customers those who consumed the product or received the service will be dissatisfied and the company will lose their customers. Therefore in order to constantly provide quality products and services the company needs to use a system which could help to maintain the standards. The quality audit is one of the tools which the company can use.

The quality audit system identified the quality standard and measures it with actual product or service. The quality audit can be implemented in three ways. * By the company itself with predetermined time of periods. * Hiring the third party to carry out the quality audit system. * Establish the special quality audit team within the company to monitor the quality of products and services on daily basis. The Ladbrokes plc considered the quality of the service as a key for the success. Therefore they are using the second method which is hiring a third party to carry out the quality audit. Then Retail Eye’ company is responsible on assessing the quality of the customer service provided by Ladbrokes plc. The company uses the mystery shopper programme to assess the quality of the service. The mystery shopper programme carries out the following way. * The assessing criterias are discussed with the operational management to ensure require quality will be checked. * The mystery shopper visits five times a year in each shop. * The report consists with marks for each criteria and the overall score reflects in percentage figure. In addition to that the Ladbrokes plc also use the ‘Net promoter Score’, where the shopper needs to rate his/her experience of the visit based on the recommendation of the company to others. * The mystery shopper scores are divided into three categories as follows. * 95% or over – exceptional service * 90% – 95% – good service * Below 90% – poor service All the shops that scored below 90% will have another visit to make sure that they have improved the service. If they fail to reach the satisfactory level again could leads to a disciplinary action. c)

As mentioned above the quality of the service plays a major role in betting industry to gain competitive advantage over its rivals. Therefore the requirement of quality culture in Ladbrokes plc is a very important aspect. The quality culture can be defined as, the relevant parties of the organisation work together as a one unit to achieve the quality of the product or service provided by the company. This is a constant process which the company should comply with all the time. There are different stages in implementing the quality culture in an organisation. * Learning, training and communication

All the employees need to undergo with training on their main tasks in order to gain necessary skills to perform their role. Educating them on importance of service quality will help to get their attention and change the attitudes towards the quality service. The communication plays major role as the employees need to receive correct information to perform their tasks effectively. * Hiring the third party to monitor the quality of the service As a decision of the top management of Ladbrokes to hire third party to assess and monitor the quality, they have to assess the most effective party for this role. Identifying the important criterias to measure the quality of the service After deciding the third party it is important to highlight the assessment criteria of the quality to the third party in order to get the correct information. * Developing the report using the information collected by third party According to the collected information from third party, the report should be summarised to provide the quality of overall service. * Identify the necessary training requirements The employees who failed to reach the service standard will be given an additional training to help them to achieve quality standards. Reassess to make sure the improvement of service quality Reassess the employees who failed to achieve the quality standards. Task 3 a) The following problems of the Ladbrokes plc can be identified where the improvements need. * Lack of communication The effective communication is very important factor for the success of the organisation. However Ladbrokes plc has a problem in communicating with their operational staff specially during a special promotions. The operational staffs do not receive the message on time and also some do get the message wrong.

Also there is no two way communication within the company as operational staffs could not pass their opinion to the higher level. There are times when the operational staff could not contact their immediate managers’ regarding customer queries. * Lack of motivation of the employees The employee turnover of Ladbrokes plc is very high. The one of the reason could be for this is the lack of motivation. The employees do not feel happy and sometimes they have no idea about some of the roles given to them. Also the company freeze the pay rise for three years and all the bonuses has been temporarily stopped due to difficult economic conditions.

The motivation of retail staff is a very important factor as they are the people who interact with the customers. Therefore company needs to consider the ways of motivating their staff in order to have a successful operational system. * Limited promotions to the customers Ladbrokes have a very limited promotional activities compared to the some of the other bookmakers in the high street. As an example, During the Grand National racing Ladbrokes paid only for the first four places where the other companies paid for first five places.

Therefore customers are more likely to use the service of other bookmakers when they have promotions to gain the maximum advantage. This one of the areas which Ladbrokes plc does needs to consider. * Regular System failures Recently the company experienced the system failures in some of the retail shops during the big events. Therefore the company loss the some of the possible income as they unable to accept bets from punters. Some failures were rectified within short time but some of them took too long. This problem has adversely affected to the company as they fail to satisfy their ustomers during the important events. * Late delivery of the betting coupons The betting coupons are delivered to the shops three times a week and other materials such as betting slips and pens delivered monthly basis. However recently some of the shops received the betting coupons which should be used during the weekend was delivered on Saturdays or Fridays evening. But some punters do like to have the coupons in three days in advance as some of the bookmakers do. This is also one area where the company fail to response to customer requirements. b)

In order to overcome the above mentioned problems, the following recommendation can be made. * Create an effective communication system top to bottom The two way communication needs to establish within the company where the operational staffs have opportunity to communicate with higher level of management. It is also necessary to use the correct communication channel to communicate the upcoming promotions in advance to the retail staff where they have plenty of time to go through and plan the promotion. Therefore internal communication system needs to redesign to overcome the communication problems within the company. Increase the employee satisfaction Employee satisfaction needs to improve using the financial and non financial motivation techniques. Because, it helps to improve the positive attitudes of the employees, towards the organisational goals. Therefore the promotional campaigns should come with the combine of incentives for the operational staff. This will help to maximise the effectiveness of the promotion. * Use the creative promotional campaigns on regular basis The creative promotions will help to attract new customers and also to compete effectively in the market.

The cross promotions will be more effective as the company can attract customers to gamble on sports events as well as for gaming machines. Regular promotions are also required for the company to keep existing customers and compete in the market. * Rectify the regular system failure by looking at the major issues of the system Having experienced the regular system failures during the past, the company needs to identify the problems of the entire system to rectify as soon as they can. Temporarily amendments will not sort the problem.

Because fail to deliver the customer requirements will create the bad image for the company in the market as well as they lose some potential income. * Use an effective delivery system to provide betting coupons on time to the retail shops Create a plan to deliver the betting coupons and other materials well in advance will help to deliver the better customer service. This will give opportunity for the customers to place their bet early. c) Evaluate the implications of proposed changes * The changes do not mislead the corporate strategy

The changes proposed are not interfering with the corporate strategy to mislead the company vision. The above changes make the operational performance more effective and it will help to support the corporate strategy rather than making any confusion within the company. The communication system help the organisational structure more effective as well as the customers also will enjoy the benefits. * Make sure the significant issues and risks do not involved in the proposed changes The proposed changes enhance the quality of the service than creating more issues.

However, when rectifying the system problems the company must make sure it will not open up other problems in the system. * The benefits of proposed changes should be higher than its cost The additional costs involve in the motivation and promotional campaign must generate the additional benefit to the company. The improvement of efficiency will help to save the cost for them as the motivation takes place. Also the promotional campaigns will attract new customers to the company and will help to increase the market growth. d)

In order to implement the proposed changes in Ladbrokes plc the operational function needs to create an effective implementation plan. The following steps need to follow in developing an implementation plan. * Communicate the changes of the operations to operational staff in advance. * Establish the target at each stage of the operational process. * Allocate the tasks and assign responsibilities for each employee. * Monitor the performance and make necessary changes to original plan. * Feedback from the operational staff on proposed implemented changes.

However the implementation plan may need to change due to the changes in the marketing environment. Therefore the flexibility of the plan is very important to make necessary changes. References * Lee. J. Krajewski and Larry P. Ritzman (3rd edition), “Operations Management” Addison- Wesley publications * Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers, Robert Johnston (5th edition), “Operations Management” prentice hall edition, * http://wps. pearsoned. co. uk/ema_uk_he_slack_opsman_4/17/4472/1144836. cw/index. html, (accessed on 29th April 2011) * http://www. ladbrokesplc. com/about-ladbrokes. aspx (accessed on 27th April 2011)

Insert surname3 Professor’s name Student’s name Course title Date Positioning offering for

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Positioning offering for new and existing customers

Companies which are well positioned always beats completion which is has a comparable offering. A company which articulates clearly why it is relevant, what it does and how different it is helps customers to make better fast and better buying decisions. While each company’s situation is unique, from common experience there are criteria’s for an organization to succeed in reaching and winning the market regardless of whether it is centered business services, emerging technology or packaged goods.

Position dedicates the success or failure of an offering and some companies begin positioning process when resources for creating an offering are allocated, other companies do not spend time on positioning until when the offering is ready in the market. A startup’s market type dedicates early positioning strategies while affecting all the company does from developing a product to marketing. The company must consider the market types which include; the new product to an existing market, new product to a new market, or a new product trying to re-segment an existing market by creating a niche.

Better positioning strategies consist of acquiring new customers through promotions, product trials and establishing channels of distribution. Also analyzing the existing customers together with their specific sales history allows the company to understand and identify how to position their offering (Ström, Roger, Martin Vendel & John Bredican, 2014).

Product investment plan

New product development takes care of the complete process of bring a new product to the market. Before offering a product to customers, it is important to pass it through product development which involves market tests and prototype. In this phase, the company will incur more costs bearing extra distribution costs and not forgetting that there are few customers who are aware of the product meaning that the sales are low. Here, the company profits may be showing a negative figure due to the high amounts of costs and low sales volume.

For example during the introductory stages, the company core focus aims at establishing a market and arising demand for product. Branding and quality levels as the product is under consideration and the customer’s first impression is the last impression. Distribution is also selective and scattered and promotion is thoroughly done to build the brand awareness like it is in the case Unilever International products.

Role of marketing in new product development process

Product brand is the most valuable asset a company owns which is unique and distinguishes the company product from its competitor’s. Therefore, within a new product development process, marketing role is the ambassador, its sentinel and its advocate. Through marketing, the product is introduced to more realistic market settings and the marketer is able to tweak the marketing mix before the real product launch.

Marketing acts as the brand ambassador role; it constantly communicates and reinforces the position of a brand showing how it can influence outcomes positively in every business function. This allows all stakeholders to understand the brand, its uniqueness, its purpose and benefits, and its end user value. Marketing also serves the brand advocate role; it is the brand champion and must argue the brand value and must advocate that the company’s brand is the best in the market. Lastly, marketing serves the brand sentinel role; it guards the product sanctity with all it has. The role requires endurance, strength, sacrifice and courage (Rubera, Gaia, Deepa Chandrasekaran & Andrea Ordanini, 2016).

Work cited

Rubera, Gaia, Deepa Chandrasekaran, and Andrea Ordanini. “Open innovation, product portfolio innovativeness and firm performance: the dual role of new product development capabilities.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 44.2 (2016): 166-184.

Ström, Roger, Martin Vendel, and John Bredican. “Mobile marketing: A literature review on its value for consumers and retailers.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21.6 (2014): 1001-1012.