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Asda Operations Management

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All operations use some kind of process technology, and the operation will have chosen to use the technology because it hopes to get some kind of advantage from it.

Over the past decade retailers have turned traditional approaches to logistics and product distribution on their head, as there has been a move to embrace total supply chain management. While many companies have implemented new operational systems, leading retailer ASDA has taken the technology step further, implementing a data warehouse that provides the information to drive the operational systems.

What is process technology?

Process technologies are the machines, equipment and devices which help the operation transform materials and information and customers in order to add value and fulfil the operationЎЇs strategic objectives. Some technology is peripheral to the actual creation of goods and services but plays a key role in facilitating the process that create and delivers the goods and services efficiently. For example, the computer systems which run planning and control activities, accounting systems and stock control systems can be used to help managers and operators control and improve processes.

Management information systems (MISs)

Operation s managers make considerable used of MISs, especially in there planning and control activities. System are concerned with inventory management, the timing and scheduling of activities, demand forecasting, order processing, quality management.

Case and analysis

ASDA warehouse operations strategy

ASDA warehouse operations

Today's ASDAЎЇs warehouses function autonomously, but they must also learn to think universally. This can lead to the development of advanced systems built on the idea of distribution at an enterprise level, connecting multiple sites and supply chains together for a network-centric view. Storage is the core activity of warehousing and it identifies the location where the goods are deposited and held until they are demanded for usage. Since items are of many different shapes and sizes, there are also different usage rates of the storage space, which poses different problems.

Built-in flexibility can be an advantage for continuous improvement of the inventory control. On-line analytical processing (OLAP) and data analyses are the decision support technologies used in ASDA warehousing operations. The main objective of these technologies is to enable ASDA to gain competitive advantage by exploiting the ever-growing amount of data that are collected and stored in corporate databases and files for better and faster decision making.

Typically, warehousing comprises six major throughput activities:

I. receiving;

II. transfer;

III. handling;

IV. storage;

V. packing;

VI. Expediting.

The importance of warehouse

Warehouses are the sortation and consolidation points in the supply chain. Most products pass through warehouses, however briefly, and so it is important that they operate efficiently. The resources to be optimized are space and labor. (

More important, warehousing increases the utility of goods by broadening their time availability to prospective customers. In other words, by using warehouses, companies can make goods available when and where customers demand them. This warehousing function continues to be increasingly important as companies and industries use customer service as a dynamic, value-adding competitive tool.

(The management of business logistics, John J. Coyle, Edward J. Bardi, C.John Langley)

Because of the importance of the warehouse to an organization, utilizing some process technologies in a warehouse to make it operations run as efficient as possible becomes important.

The SCIP - Supply Chain Information Database in ASDA

Information-processing technology

Information-process technologies include any devices which collect, manipulate, store or distribute information. ÐŽ®computer-basedЎЇ technologiesЎЇ is the most common single type of technology with operations. The presence of computer-based technology in nearly all types of operation and the sheer pace of technical improvement make information processing technology particular significant. (Nigel slack, 2001)

Technology can have an impact on each performance objective. The ASDA warehouseЎЇs implementation of new technologies to improve their operations is given blow.

ASDA is the second largest grocery retailer in the UK and has ambitious plans to continue to grow it market share. ASDA realizes it has to invest in IT to support its growth plans. And key to that is the supply chain. Availability has a direct bearing on a customer's perception of ASDA: having the right range is important but if the product is not on the shelf you create an unhappy customer.

In addition to high availability there is huge pressure on retailers to reduce stock in both stores and depots, to reduce lead times from supplier to shelf edge, and to increase order accuracy and fulfillment to ensure that stores and depots get the right products on time. Add to this the requirements for 24-hour trading - coming on top of Sunday trading - and ever increasing ranges.

Integration, synchronization and speed

The benefits of integration come directly from the effects of combining several separate technology units into one simple synchronized whole. First, there is fast throughput of information or materials. Second, as a consequence of throughout speed, inventory of materials or information will be lower. Third, flow is simple and predictable. It is easier to keep track of parts when they pass through few stages or information when it is automatically distributed to all parts of an information network. ( Nigel slack, 2001)

Three years ago the company had no information systems to support its focus on customer availability. All the supply chain ordering systems were detached both from customer demand and each other. Without a sales basis for ordering, there was



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