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With the increasing competition among businesses, it has become important for the business to manage the operations in an effective manner. Better supply chain management and operational management is important success factor for the organization. With the ongoing technological advancement, businesses need to focus on bringing innovation in their supply chain management and operational management which can help them in making their business operations more effective and efficient(Yamin, &Alharthi, 2020). In the present report, the researcher would critically evaluate the strategic contribution of the operational cycle within the chosen organization. This report will focus on the case of Uniqlo from Fast Retailing which is a Japanese company that is a manufacturer and retailer of casual wear clothes. The research would critically evaluate the supply chain and operational management of the case company and will mention the issues faced by the company and how the company can solve these issues for achieving the company objectives.
Uniqlo is a Japanese company that is offering a wide range of clothing varieties to its customers across the globe. Uniqlo is the main group company of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd, which is the biggest apparel retailer in Japan and is the third-largest retailer in the global market after ZARA and H&M(Anwar, 2017). The company is offering low-cost apparels to the customers across the globe and the target market of the company includes both men and women and it includes both the teenagers and adults. The case company focuses on offering up-to-date and fashionable clothes to their customers. Uniqlo is having fabric innovation in the organization which helps them in having better in-office designs and it also provides them unique functional performance in the clothing industry(Serbin, 2021).
Being a successful company in the retail clothing industry it is important for the case company to have effective supply chain management in the company so that they can deliver high-quality products and services to their customers in an effective manner. The case company is focusing on having an effective supply chain that can help them in managing their inventory in an effective and for this, the company is focusing on the just-in-time inventory approach(Altenburg, et. al. 2020). With the changing customer trends and shifting customer demands the company is focusing on making the supply chain more advanced. The company is doing well but in the year 2019, the company is facing issues due to the unseasonably warm winter which resulted in the overhang of inventory. When the company had faced this issue then the company had focused on bringing changes in the inventory management and entire supply chain management. The competitors of the case company are also investing heavily for making their inventory more effective the case company had also decided to invest in the inventory and supply chain management(Saraswati, &Saputri, 2020).
Uniqlo had taken a better decision to invest in making the inventory more effective and efficient and for this, the case company is focusing on bringing automation in an effective manner and to increase the automation which can help them in addressing the issues faced related to the labor shortage, storage costs and which would increase the overall speed of delivery. Bringing automation would be a better choice as it would help the case company in reducing the issues related to inventory management and will also help the company in managing the inventory in an effective manner so that the company can reduce the unnecessary cost of inventory management(Tripathi, & Gupta, 2020). Along with this, the overall operational cost would also decrease which will provide additional benefits to the company. If the company implements the automation then it would help them in increasing the speed of the inventory management and will also improve the overall quality and flexibility as well.
Businesses need to manage business operations in an appropriate manner so that they can manage the organization in an effective manner. All the different stages of operational management such as designing, planning, implementation, monitoring, and controlling the operations are equally important and the businesses are required to focus on all of them in an effective manner.The company is looking forward to bringing change in the operation management of the company as they want to make the entire operation management system automatic which would provide them several benefits(Choi, et. al. 2018).
When the businesses focus on making changes in the operational management of the company then it is important for the company to analyze the V’s of the business operations which can help them in bringing a change in an effective manner. The four V’s of the business operations of Uniqlo are mentioned below such as:
On the basis of the Four V analysis of the case company, it can be said that the company is having better operation management but if complete automation would be introduced in the operational management system then it would help the company in managing the business in an effective manner. The case company should focus on implementing automation in all the processes of the business operation and then it would help the company in making the process fully automatic(Yang, 2020).
When the company is planning the architecture of the automated operational management then it is important for the company to focus on all the different factors in an effective manner so that they can develop a better plan for implementing automation. It can be said that the company should align all the things with one another through automation and all the processes such as inventory management, just in time, forecasting, location strategies, material requirement planning, facility layout, maintenance, and total quality management needs to be well managed(Qi, et. al. 2017). Along with this, the company should also focus on offering the same online and offline experience to their customers which would help them in increasing their profitability and customer base in an effective manner.
The case company had decided to bring complete automation in their business operations which can help them in managing the inventory in an effective manner.Whenever the company makes a decision to bring change in the company there are different factors that need to be considered and there are different resources that need to be made available so that the company can bring effective change in the organization. Along with this, the company needs to focus on all the factors in an effective manner so that they can implement the change in an effective manner. The choice made by the case company required highly skilled and knowledgeable human resources which can help the company in implementing the automation in an effective manner at all the different sections or stages of the operational management. Uniqlo needs to focus on redefining their location strategy which can help them in selecting the location which can offer them having all the important resources available which can help them in better implementation which would lead to better performance of the company(McCluskey, &Vallati, 2017).
Along with this, the company should focus on making the process structure of the operations more effective and introducing digitalization of the supply chain in an effective manner. When the case company would transform the supply chain with digitalization then it would help the company in making their operation management more automatic and this would help in better implementation of the choice made by the company(Bechtsis, et. al. 2017). It can be said that Uniqlo is focusing on making the supply chain digital which would bring complete automation in their business operation and will offer great efficiency to the company and will help the company in managing their inventory in an effective manner and making the supply chain and operation management more convenient and efficient.
Whenever the company makes a choice for bringing changes in their inventory management or in the supply chain or even in the operation management then it is important for the company to make sure that the business environment should support the change and the choice made by the company for bringing change.The case company is operating in a highly competitive business environment and in such a business environment it is important for the businesses to have an effective supply chain. It can be said that the choice of making the business operations more automatic and supply chain digital is a better option for the company. Uniqlo is having highly skilled employees and a technologically advanced business environment as they are using automation in some of their business practices. The company would also need to develop better cooperation and collaboration among the employees because the company is already facing challenges related to demographic and cultural pressures. The issue of the labor shortage will also be solved for the company because when the business operations are being made more automatic then the requirement for the human resource would also decrease. According to this, it can be said that the business environment of Uniqlo would support the company in the choice made by the company, and change in the supply chain and operational management would lead the company towards success and development.
The above-mentioned report had mentioned operational decision-making and the concepts related to it. In the report, the researcher had considered the case of Uniqlo which is an apparel company offering a wide range of products to customers across the globe. The report had mentioned that the case company had made a decision related to the operation management and the company is focusing on making the business operations automatic and transforming the supply chain as a digital supply chain. All the different factors which are having an impact on this decision or are playing a role in the implementation of this decision are being critically evaluated in this report. It can be concluded that the business needs to focus on all the different factors which making an operational decision for the company so that they can make a better decision for the firm in an effective manner that can offer better benefits to the company.
Altenburg, T., Chen, X., Lütkenhorst, W., Staritz, C., & Whitfield, L. (2020). Exporting out of China or out of Africa? Automation versus relocation in the global clothing industry (No. 1/2020). Discussion Paper.
Anwar, S. T. (2017). Zara vs. Uniqlo: Leadership strategies in the competitive textile and apparel industry. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 36(5), 26-35.
Bechtsis, D., Tsolakis, N., Vlachos, D., & Iakovou, E. (2017). Sustainable supply chain management in the digitalisation era: The impact of Automated Guided Vehicles. Journal of Cleaner Production, 142, 3970-3984.
Chen, Y. L., & Fan, K. K. (2017, May). Exploratory study on corporate brand image and customer satisfaction on consumer purchase behavior: A case study of UNIQLO. In 2017 International Conference on Applied System Innovation (ICASI) (pp. 1190-1193). IEEE.
Choi, T. M., Wallace, S. W., & Wang, Y. (2018). Big data analytics in operations management. Production and Operations Management, 27(10), 1868-1883.
McCluskey, T., &Vallati, M. (2017, June). Embedding automated planning within urban traffic management operations. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (Vol. 27, No. 1).
Qi, Y., Huo, B., Wang, Z., & Yeung, H. Y. J. (2017). The impact of operations and supply chain strategies on integration and performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 185, 162-174.
Saraswati, T. G., &Saputri, M. E. (2020, June). Analysis of customer satisfaction as an intervening variable on the effect of retail service quality on customer loyalty at Uniqlo Indonesia. In Managing Learning Organization in Industry 4.0: Proceedings of the International Seminar and Conference on Learning Organization (ISCLO 2019), Bandung, Indonesia, October 9-10, 2019 (p. 87). Routledge.
Serbin, ?. (2021). Malty-national entry analysis of uniqlo company.
Tan, X., & He, Y. (2019, September). Research on Marketing Modes of New Retail Based on 4C Principles: a Case Study of UNIQLO. In The 4th International Conference on Economy, Judicature, Administration and Humanitarian Projects (JAHP 2019) (pp. 944-950). Atlantis Press.
Tripathi, S., & Gupta, M. (2020). Transforming towards a smarter supply chain. International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 36(3), 319-342.
Yamin, M., &Alharthi, S. (2020). Measuring impact of healthcare information systems in administration and operational management. International Journal of Information Technology, 12(3), 767-774.
Yang, L. (2020). Transferring Retail Format of Hybridization: A Case Study of UNIQLO in Mainland China. ECON-Journal of Economics, Management & Business, 8(3).
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