In this report, the operation and project management of Burberry Group plc have been discussed in detail. Burberry Group plc, a global luxury fashion brand founded in 1856 in London. The company offers a wide range of options in ready-to-wear outerwear, sunglasses, trench coats, fashion accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics. Currently, the company is dealing in the high fashion market. There are 498 branded stores and franchises across the globe. In addition to this, the company sells products via third party stores. In this report, the effectiveness and efficiency of operation management in the chosen organisation has been critically reviewed. Further, various concepts of continuous improvement in the operation management have been applied and discussed. Apart from this, the principle of Project Life Cycle (PLC) have been applied in context of the Burberry Group plc. Also, the report reviews the use of PLC in the given scenario.
Operation management has a multidisciplinary nature and is often discussed in context of manufacturing and production of goods and services. Being delivery-focused, it is responsible for converting inputs into outputs efficiently. The inputs can be equipment, technology, or human resource (Ajodhia, 2012). It also includes managing relations in order to procure organisation’s sustainability.
Operation management is characterised by the activities related to production of goods and services by transforming the inputs and outputs. It consist of processes, such as planning, organising, staffing, leading, and controlling. Operation management in the organisational tasks of the Burberry Group plc. Major significance of operation management has been described in this section as follow:-
Six sigma is the method often linked with the operation management. Managers apply six sigma principles in order to improve the quality of process by discarding the defects and errors. It reduces the cost and a lot of time. Implementing the six sigma in organisational operations (both engineering and service-based) is an expensive option, but it pays for itself and benefits the company in the long run. This leads to higher quality products and services, thereby satisfying the needs of the customers.
Talking about the lean thinking approach, it talks about the “no wastage” of resources, thereby making the operations effective and efficient. This method cut the production cost and therefore, provide an extra edge to the organisation. In Burberry Group plc, the lean manufacturing is not fully implemented. In today’s time, organisations are realising the importance of waste elimination, improvising the quality, and improving the customer satisfaction.
Continuous improvement aimed at improving the organisation’s performance through some targeted incremental measures in the production processes. The continuous improvement focuses on linear and incremental improvisation within the existing operations. It makes use of statistical techniques (Lowson, 2014). In context of Burberry Group plc, the continuous improvement can be understood as the process to improve the quality of fabric used to prepare the final clothing accessories.
Figure 1: CI programs of textile organisation
(Source: Gopesh, 2016)
A continuous improvement plan is a document consisting the strategies for making the product better. It is different from the reactive plans that defines the course of actions of a team within a company for managing crises. It helps in determining the bottlenecks and weak points in the established programs and processes and assists in finding the ways to improvise them. There are seven essential steps to prepare the Continuous Improvement Plan for Burberry Group plc that are mentioned below:-
There are wide range of methods that are being used by the top organisation to carry out continuous improvement. These methods include six sigma, lean thinking approach, PDCA cycle, and Total Quality Management. All of these method emphasise teamwork and high employee involvement, reducing the fluctuation in the process output, and systemising processes. Textile industry like Burberry Group plc is more into lean manufacturing processes. The approach focuses on “zero waste” concept from the operations. The lean thinking approach emphasise on flow. It allows the consumers to pull products through the process (Ajodhia, 2012). Lean manufacturing leads to simplification of the organisation’s production line to reduce the fluctuations, thereby improving the performance.
It is a well-known fact that continuous improvement focuses on incremental or breakthrough improvement over time (Hill and Hill, 2012). Among all the widely used tools for the CI, PDCA cycle is widely used. It is also called Deming Cycle or Shewhart cycle:
This way one can improve the existing process of Burberry Goals plc.
The continuous improvement is the process of intervention in issues to improvise performances. It aims at creating a sustainable culture by making each and every employee a part of the waste elimination process. For the application of continuous improvement processes, various programs are being used, such as TQM, lean thinking, six sigma, PDCA cycle. The six sigma talks about reducing the fluctuation in the processes, whereas TQM focusses on increasing the level of satisfaction external and internal consumers. Lean approach targets to improvise the flow of production line. The lean and six sigma strategy aims at waste reduction and discarding variations.
Every project has three important phases: the beginning, the planning, the implementation, and the termination phase. All of these phases when taken together represent the path of the project. It is often called as “life cycle.” Talking in the context of Burberry Group plc, during the initiation phase, the manager aims at defining and exploring the team with suitable skill set and knowledge. Once this is done, the project team start to develop methods and procedures for accomplishing the tasks and creating healthy relationships with other strategic partners.
During the planning phase, the team create an integrated schedule that coordinated the tasks of the designing, procuring, and constructing teams. The team is also responsible for creating a budget and controlling the expenses. Even if planning is an ongoing process, the planning phase focused on figuring out every aspect of the project so as to coordinate efficiently with the team and allow the team lead to make relevant decision.
The implementation phase includes the work done in order to furnish the requirements of the process. The project team completes the task given in the plan and make suitable adjustments when the scenario changes.
In the termination or the close out phase, the documentation of the overall process is done. The accounting books are analysed and closed, the final report is formulated and distributed to stakeholders. Once this is done, a new project is allocated to the manager.
In order to accomplish an objective, manager develop a project based on the defined budget and schedule. There are numerous methodologies that help them at each stage of project from the beginning to the end. There are many methodologies in project management that are discussed below:
PLC depends on the leadership of the organisation. Leader should understand the significance of developing a collaborative culture within the organisation. In addition to this, management and staff should feel empowered to be a part of the process.
The PLC is an effective tool often used by the organisational managers, marketers, and strategists to produce a product strategies. Burberry Group plc is a clothing brand and for that marketing plays a crucial role. One of the many benefits of the product life cycle is that it helps in defining the strategies based on the different stage of the life cycle. So if the organisation is planning to launch a new product, then a lot of investment and marketing planning are needed to sustain the product in the growth stage. Hence, creating strategies become a cakewalk with the help of PLC.
Coming on the decision-making, it helps in making decision faster manner as it provide both previous year’s performance and sales data to the manager. In addition to this, it makes the forecasting process of easier and subtle. Once a manager is familiar with the PLC process, it is easier for him to forecast the sales of it. Moreover, it gives the managers an edge by preparing them against their competitors marketing plan (Anderson, et.al, 2015). For instance, a competitor’s product is in the initial stage, whereas the organisation’s product has achieved the maturity. The company would start advertising and pulling consumers toward their product so that the newly launched product of the competitors never achieves success.
There are certain limitations of the PLC that are also mentioned in this report. One of them is that it cannot deal with the fluctuations in the data. The fluctuations can take place due to seasonal variations, production issues, etc. Apart from this, PLC process is time consuming as the data collection and analysis takes a large amount of time.
Large scale businesses are organised and structured intentionally. They follow the pre-defined hierarchy, whereas the small scale businesses are often poorly structured and work informally. PLC in large businesses maximises their success because of their structure. PLC ensures their dominance in the domain of expertise. It sets a clear chain of command in the production line at every stage. Small businesses lacks this feature and often taste failure. Small businesses focus on increasing the sales and maximisation of profit by any mean. No doubt they may succeed in their goals, but they cannot avoid failure. The PLC of small businesses does not say anything about what to do with the final goods or services. In case of failure, the PLC would probably direct to create a plan to either rejuvenate it or cease the production process.
Although there are many models, theories, and concepts available on project management, each one of the lacks in explaining different stages of PLC. The practical approach of PLC often face challenges in executing the project successfully. It may sometimes take time to adopt the upgraded version of the planning. Since the company deals in wide range of products, the operations become complicated at times. Allocation of resources across various projects and clients becomes a bit tough and perplexing if an organisation relies on four step PLC. The theoretical aspect of PLC sounds effective and a handy tool for the managers, but in practical world, it fails in repeating the past success or forecasting the future plans. Schedules can be narrowed down to optimise the current processes (Anderson, et.al, 2015). Without a PLC that consists of feedback phase, the organisation would fail in meeting the rising demands of the customers. It is suggested that a company must have a platform that works with the PLC. Organisation should include RM,PM, invoicing, time tracking, and business intelligence in a collaborative scenario and to analyse the previous projects to optimise the PLC.
The following report detailed out the operation and project management of Burberry Group plc. In this report, the effectiveness and efficiency of operation management in the chosen organisation was critically reviewed. Further, various concepts of continuous improvement in the operation management were applied and discussed. Apart from this, the principle of Project Life Cycle (PLC) had been applied in context of the Burberry Group plc. Also, the report reviewed the use of PLC in the given scenario.
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