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The ICT department

The ICT department of co-op has to ensure that all the necessary ICT components are made available to the businesses staff and employees. Email is of importance to any business as it is very versatile, large documents and files can be sent via email and received almost instantaneously, also one document or message can be sent to different email addresses at the same time this enables quick, efficient and easy transfer of data both internally and externally through intranet and internet.

Co-ops ICT department hires skilled and qualified technicians to carry out all tasks pertaining to its ICT function from setting up its internet connection to repairing and maintaining computer equipment. The head of the ICT department is the system administrator he/she oversees all the activities in that department. Their job is to find, introduce and new methods and technology to increase the efficiency of the business communication links. 5. Human resource function Co-op supermarket group cannot be successful without the commitment of the human resource support.

They main responsibility of the human resource department is to recruit the best workers for the right job. Co-op retails grants its staff and employees equal opportunities in terms of recruitment promotion and retention, paying

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them respectable wages and treating them fairly. The human resource function is also responsible for training its staff and appraising them regularly to ensure they are motivated, meeting their individual targets and are happy with their job role and all other aspects of the job.

The human resource function or department of the co-op retail is also responsible for making sure that their highly qualified staffs are maintained. They have to ensure that the organization has less turnover of staff each year, try to avoid unlawful or unfair dismiss and decimation within the organization and finally dealing with all the health and safety issues ensuring that all government health and safety regulations are met and that its employees, staff and customers are free to work and shop in a safe hazard free environment. Recruitment

For co-op to ensure that all its staff and personnel are highly trained and qualified hiring and recruitment takes place in different stages theses include Health and safety Health and safety wise personnel are responsible for training the staff in the health, fire and first aid procedures. This department is required by law to assess the risks in the work place this activity is undertaken so that the employer can take precautions to avoid accidents happening in the work place. Co-op human resource and personnel department has to take five steps in assessing risks in the work place i. e. 1.

Looking for hazards in the shop floor and its environment 2. Deciding who might be harmed and in what way 3. Evaluating the risks and deciding whether the existing precautions are adequate 4. Recording and storing the findings 5. Reviewing the assessment and to make amendments if necessary Some responsibility of human resource:  Welfare and wages.  The holiday entitlement and making sure that the workers receive their pay whilst on leave or holiday. * Equal opportunity in recruitment, retention and promotion.  Ensuring that co-ops staff and employees are happy and gaining job satisfaction form their job roles.

Fair and ethical work practices  Liaising with trade unions to ensure that its members are taken care of and all the needs and constraints are being met or considered  working hours and salary The importance of H. R. and how it helps Co-op meet its aims Human resources are a function important to every business by providing the vital resource (personnel) which the business needs to carry out its functions it overall helps the business meets its goals. This function is vital because without the right qualified people carrying out the job roles the business would not be able to carry out its functions efficiently.

HR not only recruits. The human resources function also helps the business as a whole meet its aims and objectives by finding out new ways to lower staff turnover and keep its employees motivated. Customer service is very important to both the business and the customer for the business it acts as a means for the customers to receive necessary information about products or services provided by the business or to make suggestions, comments or complaints about any aspect or activity of the business.

The customer service department is also important to the business because they could find out from customer’s responses and complaints how to improve certain areas of the business. This aspect of the business also works in unison with the marketing and sales department. Their concern is also to keep up the reputation of the business. Some of the factors that contribute to good customer service are customers expect that the price of the goods and services are reasonable, a wide range of products which must be available at the right time.

The customers also expect a fast service; the payment period for business customers has to be attractive. Customers can also to pay by cash, cheques, credit cards or debit cards. Co-op endeavours to meet the customer expectations by providing a wide range of goods and giving information to customers for example they have a leaflets or magazines showing the new products. Co-op meets the customer expectations by pricing their goods reasonably and providing offers and sales to encourage customers. Co-op has to consider the following to provide good customer service.

1) Polite service The most important issue in trading is politeness and the businesses attitude towards its customers, co-ops staff are trained to deal with all types of customers and situations to provide the customers with their needs and expectations. 2) Value for money Value for money basically means a product is worth what it is being paid for. Customers hate the feeling of paying for overpriced goods. Co-ops main objectives are to provide quality household and grocery products at a fair reasonable price and paying farmers a fair and reasonable price for goods.

3) Well packaged goods Goods have to be packaged attractively to catch the customer’s eye and to interest them in purchasing the product, the packaging should also contain information about the product and its uses. The packaging is useful because it also protects the product from damaging; the customers expect the goods to be received by them in perfect condition. 4) Safe products Acts have been passed in parliament that make it an offence to sell damaged or goods that have met up to the stipulated safety standards and requirements.

The consumer rights act 1987 The consumer rights act was written up to protect both the business and is customer this states that a trader can only sell a product or service which is deemed fit for its purpose and that the product has to meet all specifications and health and safety requirements * Trade descriptions act 1968 This makes it an offence for any business of trader to falsely describe a goods or product, or its specifications or use. This protects the customer from businesses that sell damaged, illegal or counterfeit products.

Co-op ensures that all its goods and products of quality and meets all health and safety requirements. 5) Product availability Customers buy goods or services to satisfy their needs and wants. Therefore customers expect to find products when they want them, meets these expectations buy providing quality goods and services at the right time and seasons when they are needed or in large demand. 7. Transportation function Transportation is an important issue for any business that is in the production and manufacturing sector.

This is important because it is the means of travel or by a large number of goods, resources or materials can be moved form one location to another. This function is important to co-ops survival because gods have to be transported form the production (factories and packaging plants) to its different regional stores Co-op has also been working on projects to minimise the empty space in its Lorries returning from stores to the distribution centres. They have made sure that return loads include both cardboard and plastic for recycling at their distribution centres, and goods picked up from suppliers local to our stores.

This reduces the number of vehicles travelling empty on one leg of their journey. This has also increased the number of double deck trailers to maximise the amount of product delivered to a store. This as a result has produced a highly efficient use of the distribution fleet which minimises the number of vehicles on the road servicing co-ops stores. Transportation does not only carry out the above co-op has to deliver its goods to customers who buy online this is an important function as it also ties in with the ICT function

Co-ops home delivery department responsible is the co-op 2u which delivers and distributes goods ordered from their online store. Green Travel Plans Since the beginning of 2003, green travel plans have become an integral part of all co-op stores and store extension development proposals. These green travel plans outline the measures that co-op takes to reduce the number of store employees coming to work by car; including staff travel surveys, car sharing and walking buddies.

Where employees participate in car sharing or walking buddy schemes, co-op offers them a guaranteed ride home in the event of emergencies. This year co-op have met their target to increase the number of cases of products delivered per litre of fuel consumed, from 18. 4 last year to 19. 1 this year, which represents an increase of 3. 8% in efficiency. This means that they have increased the number of products delivered to stores per vehicle, which has resulted in a more efficient use of the distribution fleet. (Figures taken from co-op online)

How the functional areas support the business and help meet the businesses objectives FUNCTIONAL OBJECTIVES OF CO-OP Co-op objectives are to survive and expand as a business, provide goods and services to the local community, providing a highly competitive service and to maximise sales or improving the quality of a product or service. Each functional area operates to support the business aims and objectives. Below is how each functional area contributes to the overall business objectives. The finance function The finance function contributes towards co-op achieving its main objectives by:

1. Managing the businesses finances appropriately and ensuring that all the businesses bills and costs are covered. 2. Allocating funds and capital to the different departments and functional areas ensuring that the funds are managed appropriately. 3. Budgeting and forecasting the businesses costs and revenue to present a financial analysis and to give a view form the financial aspect whether the business is succeeding or running at a loss. 4. It is a legal requirement to present financial information and profit figures for government taxation purposes and Inland Revenue.

This is another task undertaken by the finance function. The sales and marketing function the sales and marketing function of co-op retails is responsible for undertaking all aspects pertaining to advertising and promotion of the business and its products through the various forms, methods and using all available types of media to advertise and promote the business. Co-op retails sales departments’ main aim is to find out new and effective methods by which it can maximise the sales of its goods and services.

To achieve this business utilizes various niches in its market structure in order to increase it sales and turnover figure. Advertising is very important to any business the various forms of advertising can account for up to 30% of a businesses turnover figure. Utilizing the various types of media to promote a business and build up a profile can have satisfying results. Due to this statistic figure co-op retails exploits the various forms of advertising to maximise the recognition and reputation of the business products.

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