Marketing department

The marketing department analyses for feedback from customers and gets information about competitors to identify the future of the business. The marketing department also decides how to advertise and promote products and/or the business. Also, the marketing department produces in store catalogues and advertisements to go in the national press and specialist magazines.

Designers create point-of-sale materials such as sings, price tickets, and leaflets. Point of sale make sure the store looks as interesting and as lively as possible so that it appeals to the customer. The marketing department is also responsible for the design, updating and analysing of the website. The marketing department researches the needs of key customers so that they can produce what the customers want such as:

* Excellent value, reliable products

* Accurate + truthful information

* Friendly customer service

* Stores being bright and lively

The marketing departments researchers find out the needs of customers by:

* Analysing till questionnaires

* Obtaining key information about customers

* Asking customers

* Receiving direct feedback

The marketing department also uses ” marketing strategies” such as:

* Word of mouth

* Email updates

* Designing packs for specific customers

* Always trying to improve

* Advertising and promotion directed at correct customers

* Producing informative and colourful catalougues

* Encouraging customer feedback

* Know what NOT to do

The marketing department relies heavily on ICT(Information communications technology). ICT is used in the marketing department to:

* Analyse customer data

* Design catalogues and adverts

* Produce wide range of documents

* Contact colleagues quickly and efficiently

* Sending text and graphic attachments to people

Finance department: The head of finance is called John Currier. He and his colleagues do work in accounts, payroll, purchase, ledger and stock control. The finance department has a number of main responsibilities, these responsibilities are:

* Preparation of financial documents

* Making credit checks

* Checking and recording payments

* Checking all goods related financial documents

* Monitoring the value of items in stock

* Paying stock supporters promptly

* Checking bank statements

* Preparing payroll

* Answering individual queries

* Preparing monthly management of accounts

* Costing new projects

ICT plays a key roll in the operation of the finance department. It has many different uses which help to keep the department running smoothly. ICT is used to:

* Record all financial transactions

* Pay suppliers

* Produce financial documents

* Check that deliveries have been made

* Record and check supplier terms

* Check sales in stores

* Produce financial reports and accounts

* Prepare the payroll

* Communicate with other departments

A lot of the ICT related jobs could be carried out without ICT but it would take a lot more time and effort to do so, this is why the role of ICT is really important to help keep things running smoothly.

Store operations department: Jez Arens heads the store operations department at Richer sounds and is assisted by colleagues who work in operations, distribution, service and repairs, and stock control. The colleagues work in the stores at different levels, from sales assistant to store manager. The stores are overseen by associate directors who are also managers themselves.

The store operations department has a number of responsibilities that need to be acknowledged. These responsibilities are:

* Setting the stores budget

* Checking that all stores achieve their targets

* Taking action if targets are not being met

* Checking stock orders

* Communicating with all stores

* Deciding the minimum staffing level for each store

* Organising store visits

* Customising individual stores

* Managing colleague problems

* Ensuring store managers undertake health and safety risk assessments

* Supporting and advising store managers and colleagues

* Investigating any problems or discrepancies

The store operations department sets sales targets to meet. The store manager must check that the store is not cosing too much to run. Each store is ranked in its contribustion to the company. This is calculated by taking the stores overheads from its profits. This can be presented using the following formula:

Contribution = Profit – Overheads

Therefore, even if sales were down one week, it could still increase its contribution by reducing its overheads. All Richer sounds stores are ranked in the ” Richer way league”. The ranking is achieved by:

* The stores financial performance

* The stores performance on the customer service index – this is measures by analysing all the customers questionnaires which are received by that particular store and mystery shopper reports

The top five stores each month receive a reward.

If a store is having problems meeting it targets then it is visited by an associate director and the situation is investigated. Different associate directors specialise in different areas so that they can solve different kinds of problems quickly and efficiently.

ICT is used within the store operations department is used for a couple of jobs, such as:

* Checking sale and stock records – uses a system to see the records in real-time (as they are at exactly that moment).

* Keeping an up to date customer database – this is useful for customer service as it has records purchases so you would not necessarily need a receipt to return items.

* Email – to contact colleagues in other departments

The jobs that ICT is used for within the store operations department are not very important but they do make work a lot easier and more efficient.

How the departments work together:

I think that the departments are setup very efficiently and are very organised in the way they communicate together. They all have access to email which is exceedingly useful as it allows not only the sending of text but also the sending of images and graphs etc in the form of attachments. Although the departments work together as quickly efficiently and easily as needed I still think that there is room for improvement, for example there could be a computer based message board system which would allow messages to be posted for workers to read, this would help by providing another easy to use form of communication that would work even if there is nobody to receive the message at the exact time that it was sent.

It could also send graphs and images and would therefore make it invaluable and would be useful for certain circumstances where a phone would not be as useful, it would also work better than email and fax for certain situations as it could be read by all departments in all stores without having to send the message out to more than one place.