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The human resource function

The finance department provides information to firms of accountants auditing the business’s financial records. Auditors are employed to confirm a business’s accounts are a true and fair statement of its activities. This key functional department is responsible for maintaining the viability of the company. It releases funds for investment in the business. Capital projects such as store refurbishments. New machinery for production of own label products, etc.

It is also the Companies interface with the city where “sentiment” can make or break share prices. The Finance Department managers such issues as Taxation, Property purchases + disposals. It prepares the annual accounts and managers the companies business through financial ratios.

The human resource function

In modern businesses, human resource management is now taking on the role previously carried out by personnel management. There is a very clear distinction between personnel management and human resource management. Personnel management considers the tasks involved in managing people – recruitment, selection and so forth – as separate elements. It does not take into account how these elements can combine to achieve organisational objectives. The personnel management approach makes decisions relating to recruitment, training and pay systems independently, without considering the impact the individual decisions have on each other

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aspects of management and the achievement of corporate objectives.

In contrast, human resource management (HRM) elevates the effective use of a business’s labour force to an issue to be considered by senior managers as an essential element of the organisation’s strategy. This approach has raised the profile (and salaries) of those employed in human resource management.

The human resource function engages in a number of activities to ensure employees are utilised effectively. These activities are carried out with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the business’s objectives. The organisation’s need for employees is regularly monitored and incorporated into a workforce plan. This sets out likely future needs for labour and how (through training and recruitment) these needs might be met. In order to fulfil the workforce plan, managers responsible for human relations audit existing human resources and put into action a plan to develop the right number of employees with the correct skills to take the organisation forward.The company has a huge workforce of over 80,000 people. Personal records have to be maintained on each member of staff.

The Human Resources Department provides ongoing training and development of Personnel. It also has responsibility for recruiting, developing and rewarding the staff. Staffs are encouraged to improve their knowledge and skills across the company. The introduction of a performance bonus system has ensured that more staff enjoys Safeway’s success.

The Distribution function This function is the main artery between the stores and the various depots departments. The importance of managing the supply chain effectively in any retail operation is of critical importance. The whole operation is dependant upon I.T. to ensure that stores place orders on the depots. In turn the depots place orders upon suppliers. The loading + despatch of trucks to the stores complete the process. Tight control of stock management throughout the supply chain ensures that product is in store to satisfy consumer needs.

The Marketing function The marketing department carries out a wide range of functions on behalf of the business. Essentially marketing is communications. The marketing department communicates with a number of groups inside and outside the business as it carries out its tasks. Some of the marketing department’s relationships are shown below.

Customers. Keeping customers satisfied is a key objective for the majority of businesses and marketing plays a central role in attaining this target. The marketing department carries out the market research to discover the needs of consumers. This research is likely to be an ongoing activity to ensure the firm is aware of changing tastes and fashions. The department is also responsible for organising advertising campaigns, special offers and other activities designed to promote the company’s products. The marketing function may also deal with customer complaints.

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