Managing Business Operations Homework - Essay Prowess

Managing Business Operations Homework

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Task 1 – Features of a business environment

Functional areas and divisions in business organisations

In any business, there are several functions found. The common divisions include marketing, operations, human resource, sales, finance and IT. These represent the major departments in large organisations but in small businesses are commonly smaller. The marketing functional area deals with the marketing of goods and services, while the HR department handles all human-related issues such as employment. The finance division handles all the finances of the company and is responsible for the strategic allocation of resources. The sales branch handles the selling of goods and products to consumers in partnership with the marketing department. The operations departments handle all operations of the business from production to distribution of goods. The IT function handles all technological areas of the business, such as installations. All these functions work together as a machine to ensure the business run smoothly. If one of the areas fails at its job, it affects other areas as well in that functions are interrelated.  

Organisational structure

Businesses are set up in explicit ways to achieve diverse goals. The structure of an organisation can promote or hinder progress. There are several organisational structures that businesses can adopt. The major structure is the functional structure. In this organisational structure, the organisation is grouped into different functional areas based on purposes such as marketing, sales, production and others, and it works well for smaller businesses. The other organisational structure is the divisional structure (Kenton, 2019). In this structure, the organisation has smaller companies within the larger organisation to cover different market areas or products. Each division focus on specific areas or products. The matrix structure is the other organisational structure. It is a combination of functional and divisional structures and is commonly used by multinational organisations. There are different divisions dealing with different regional areas or products, but then in the divisions, there are different functions.

Public, Private, Voluntary sector and Public service organisations.

Public organisations are organisations that are openly traded in the stock market, and everybody is free to purchase stock. The stockholders own the organisation and benefit thorough dividends. On the other hand, private organisations are businesses that are run by individuals and provide goods and services for profitability (Dowling, 2017). The voluntary sector is composed of organisations that provide goods and services to society on a voluntary basis. These organisations such as Red Cross are non-profit and work to benefit the community when in need. Public service organisations are those owned and operated by the government and provide services to benefit the community. They are run using resources raised through taxation. All these organisations are regulated by the government through laws and policies.

Task 2 – Business Handbook

Key accounting concepts

There are key concepts that are recognised in accounting as follows.

  • Accrual concepts require that revenue be recognised when earned and expenses when assets are expended.
  • The conservatism concept requires revenue to be documented when there is certainty it will be realised.
  • The consistency concept requires there to be consistency in the accounting method used by a business (Cannon, 2019).
  • Economic entity concept requires that the business transactions are separately kept from those of the business owners.
  • Going concern concept requires that the financial accounts of the business are prepared with the assumption that the business will remain operational for a long time.
  • The matching concept requires that revenue and expenses be matched and recognised in the same period.
  • The materiality concept is the idea that transactions are recorded when failure to do so will affect the decision made by a reader of the financial statements.

Stakeholders

There are several stakeholders who require an understanding of the financial position of an organisation. Business owners need to know how the assets, liabilities and equity if their business. The government as a stakeholder need to understand the financial position for not only taxation purposes but to ensure all laws and regulations pertaining to accounting and operations are observed. The other stakeholder is the investors who need to understand the financial position to evaluate the viability of investing in the business. Another major stakeholder includes the creditors who need to evaluate the viability of repayments. Furthermore, suppliers also need to know whether the business is capable of paying them.   

Business budgets

A business budget outlines the business operational and financial goals. It is thus an action plan that outlines how resources will be allocated to meet business objectives and how to evaluate operations (Popesko et al., 2017). Thus, a budget provides valuable information. A piece of significant information provided is how a business is performing by comparing the actual budget to the estimated budget. The actual budget provides an accurate picture of the revenues and expenses, and this information is used in the decision-making process, such as in purchasing equipment, changing marketing or hiring new employees. A budget also plays a significant role in determining the resources required. The budget lays out expenses, thus informing the organisation what is required for a specific time period.

Customer service

Excellent customer service is significant in that leaves the customer satisfied. Any business seeks to satisfy the needs of the consumer and while products and services can be tailored for this objective, excellent customer service is the final step in ensuring consumers are satisfied (Wilson et al., 2016). Customer service is part of marketing, and when done excellently, it can increase customer loyalty, sales, and word of mouth marketing. Retaining customers is dependent on how well their needs are met, and this lays solely on customer service.

Excellent customer service elements

Excellent customer service has several elements. One of the elements is understanding the needs of the consumer. Without understanding the needs of the consumer, it is hard to offer fulfilling customer service. Again, it is significant to treat consumers with respect. A significant aspect is acting on any promises made to the customer. Making promises to the customer and then failing to act on them ensures that then needs of the consumer are not met. It is also important to ensure that complaints and returns are handled gracefully. Another important aspect is for the customer service employees going out of their way to help the customers with any problem related to organisational goods or services.

Business planning

A business plan is a strategic tool used to help a business focus on specific operations to achieve its objectives and goals both in the short term and long term. The plan directs the business idea in that while an idea may look good, coming up with a plan to identify what is required and the viability. A business plan is important in that it can be used to acquire money for the business. Creditors and investors need to see how the business will make money for returns. The business plan is also used in making strategic decisions, identifying weaknesses and communicating ideas with relevant stakeholders.

Mission, vision, business strategy and organisational objectives

The mission defines the business, its objectives and the approach employed to meet those objectives. The vision, on the other hand, is a description of the desired future state of the business. The strategy is the actions a business intended to take to achieve its goals and objectives. The organisational objectives are the short-term and long-term goals that a business seek to achieve. All these elements work together to form the strategic direction of an organisation and ensure the business remain a going concern.

Key elements of a business plan

The business plan focusses on specific elements of the business. The plan starts with a description of the business and what it offers. A major element is market analysis. The plan shows the state of the market and how the business will benefit from the current state. The plan also describes the products and services being offered. These are the sources of sales and must thus be identified. A major element is the financials. The plan has to show how resources will be used, revenues to be generated and the profitability of the business. The plan also includes elements such as marketing to show how the services and product will be marketed and the estimated cost.

Task 3 – Control and Decision Making

Operational control

Operational control regulates the internal process to direct and monitor them towards the short-term goals of an organisation. Operational control involves budgetary, operational planning and internal reporting. The process ensures that the business plan is operationalised as intended and all operations run smoothly. Operational control compares the short-term achievements with those stabilised in the strategic plan and identify deviations and take measures.

Operational control systems.

To achieve operational control, organisations employ control systems. One of the control systems is output control. It focuses on the measurable results and then makes a decision on whether the output is desirable. Another control system is behavioural control. This system focuses on governing the activities that lead to the achievement of the desired results. Procedures and rules are employed to dictate and standardize behaviours. Another significant control system is clan control which is an informal control type. It relies on shared values, traditions, beliefs, and norms to guide people into working towards the achievement of organisational goals. The use of targets can also be used as a control system. This focuses on providing targets to the employees where the employees have to work to achieve the targets. This ensures that employees do what they can to achieve results.

Decision making techniques.

There are several techniques that organisations can use to help in decision making. One f the technique is conducting an analysis. Whenever a decision is required, the organisation can conduct an analysis of the involved aspects and thus a decision rule to make the right decision. For example, a cost-benefit analysis can be used to determine whether a project should be undertaken. Other analysis stools include SWOT analysis, Pareto analysis and PESTLE analysis, among others (Askarany, 2018). Another technique is to weigh all the available options and make the decision based on the available information. The decision can be made based on the best option. Another strategy is considering al the alternatives. Looking at alternatives that can help achieve the same objective can help in making the right decision.

Task 4

From the placement, I have acquired relevant skills and competencies more so in accounting and business control processes. From classwork, I learnt the theoretical aspects such as accounting elements and key concepts as well as how business control systems can be used to achieve results. While on placement, I was able to practically engage with the organisational and experience first-hand some of the concepts I had learnt in class. In terms of decision making, I was able to learn how organisations make the decision by evaluating alternatives and conducting ana analysis of the prevailing conditions. Much of the decision while on placement were made through an analysis where different aspects were analysed and the best decision made based on a decision rule. I also interacted with people from different cultures and interacted with them respectfully while putting their cultural values into consideration.

References

Askarany, D. (2018). Managerial Tools and Techniques for Decision Making. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition (pp. 2166-2177). IGI Global.

Cannon, M. L. (2019). An Exploration of Key Accounting Concepts Through Case Studies (Doctoral dissertation, University of Mississippi).

Dowling, J. (2017). Comparing Two Organizational Structures in Professional Ultimate.

Kenton, W. (2019). How Organizational Structures Work. Retrieved 4 January 2020, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/organizational-structure.asp

Popesko, B., Novák, P., Dvorský, J., & Papadaki, Š. (2017). The maturity of a budgeting system and its influence on corporate performance. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica14(7).

Wilson, A., Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M. J., & Gremler, D. (2016). Services marketing: Integrating customer focus across the firm.

Task 1 – Features of a business environment

Functional areas and divisions in business organisations

In any business, there are several functions found. The common divisions include marketing, operations, human resource, sales, finance and IT. These represent the major departments in large organisations but in small businesses are commonly smaller. The marketing functional area deals with the marketing of goods and services, while the HR department handles all human-related issues such as employment. The finance division handles all the finances of the company and is responsible for the strategic allocation of resources. The sales branch handles the selling of goods and products to consumers in partnership with the marketing department. The operations departments handle all operations of the business from production to distribution of goods. The IT function handles all technological areas of the business, such as installations. All these functions work together as a machine to ensure the business run smoothly. If one of the areas fails at its job, it affects other areas as well in that functions are interrelated.  

Organisational structure

Businesses are set up in explicit ways to achieve diverse goals. The structure of an organisation can promote or hinder progress. There are several organisational structures that businesses can adopt. The major structure is the functional structure. In this organisational structure, the organisation is grouped into different functional areas based on purposes such as marketing, sales, production and others, and it works well for smaller businesses. The other organisational structure is the divisional structure (Kenton, 2019). In this structure, the organisation has smaller companies within the larger organisation to cover different market areas or products. Each division focus on specific areas or products. The matrix structure is the other organisational structure. It is a combination of functional and divisional structures and is commonly used by multinational organisations. There are different divisions dealing with different regional areas or products, but then in the divisions, there are different functions.

Public, Private, Voluntary sector and Public service organisations.

Public organisations are organisations that are openly traded in the stock market, and everybody is free to purchase stock. The stockholders own the organisation and benefit thorough dividends. On the other hand, private organisations are businesses that are run by individuals and provide goods and services for profitability (Dowling, 2017). The voluntary sector is composed of organisations that provide goods and services to society on a voluntary basis. These organisations such as Red Cross are non-profit and work to benefit the community when in need. Public service organisations are those owned and operated by the government and provide services to benefit the community. They are run using resources raised through taxation. All these organisations are regulated by the government through laws and policies.

Task 2 – Business Handbook

Key accounting concepts

There are key concepts that are recognised in accounting as follows.

  • Accrual concepts require that revenue be recognised when earned and expenses when assets are expended.
  • The conservatism concept requires revenue to be documented when there is certainty it will be realised.
  • The consistency concept requires there to be consistency in the accounting method used by a business (Cannon, 2019).
  • Economic entity concept requires that the business transactions are separately kept from those of the business owners.
  • Going concern concept requires that the financial accounts of the business are prepared with the assumption that the business will remain operational for a long time.
  • The matching concept requires that revenue and expenses be matched and recognised in the same period.
  • The materiality concept is the idea that transactions are recorded when failure to do so will affect the decision made by a reader of the financial statements.

Stakeholders

There are several stakeholders who require an understanding of the financial position of an organisation. Business owners need to know how the assets, liabilities and equity if their business. The government as a stakeholder need to understand the financial position for not only taxation purposes but to ensure all laws and regulations pertaining to accounting and operations are observed. The other stakeholder is the investors who need to understand the financial position to evaluate the viability of investing in the business. Another major stakeholder includes the creditors who need to evaluate the viability of repayments. Furthermore, suppliers also need to know whether the business is capable of paying them.   

Business budgets

A business budget outlines the business operational and financial goals. It is thus an action plan that outlines how resources will be allocated to meet business objectives and how to evaluate operations (Popesko et al., 2017). Thus, a budget provides valuable information. A piece of significant information provided is how a business is performing by comparing the actual budget to the estimated budget. The actual budget provides an accurate picture of the revenues and expenses, and this information is used in the decision-making process, such as in purchasing equipment, changing marketing or hiring new employees. A budget also plays a significant role in determining the resources required. The budget lays out expenses, thus informing the organisation what is required for a specific time period.

Customer service

Excellent customer service is significant in that leaves the customer satisfied. Any business seeks to satisfy the needs of the consumer and while products and services can be tailored for this objective, excellent customer service is the final step in ensuring consumers are satisfied (Wilson et al., 2016). Customer service is part of marketing, and when done excellently, it can increase customer loyalty, sales, and word of mouth marketing. Retaining customers is dependent on how well their needs are met, and this lays solely on customer service.

Excellent customer service elements

Excellent customer service has several elements. One of the elements is understanding the needs of the consumer. Without understanding the needs of the consumer, it is hard to offer fulfilling customer service. Again, it is significant to treat consumers with respect. A significant aspect is acting on any promises made to the customer. Making promises to the customer and then failing to act on them ensures that then needs of the consumer are not met. It is also important to ensure that complaints and returns are handled gracefully. Another important aspect is for the customer service employees going out of their way to help the customers with any problem related to organisational goods or services.

Business planning

A business plan is a strategic tool used to help a business focus on specific operations to achieve its objectives and goals both in the short term and long term. The plan directs the business idea in that while an idea may look good, coming up with a plan to identify what is required and the viability. A business plan is important in that it can be used to acquire money for the business. Creditors and investors need to see how the business will make money for returns. The business plan is also used in making strategic decisions, identifying weaknesses and communicating ideas with relevant stakeholders.

Mission, vision, business strategy and organisational objectives

The mission defines the business, its objectives and the approach employed to meet those objectives. The vision, on the other hand, is a description of the desired future state of the business. The strategy is the actions a business intended to take to achieve its goals and objectives. The organisational objectives are the short-term and long-term goals that a business seek to achieve. All these elements work together to form the strategic direction of an organisation and ensure the business remain a going concern.

Key elements of a business plan

The business plan focusses on specific elements of the business. The plan starts with a description of the business and what it offers. A major element is market analysis. The plan shows the state of the market and how the business will benefit from the current state. The plan also describes the products and services being offered. These are the sources of sales and must thus be identified. A major element is the financials. The plan has to show how resources will be used, revenues to be generated and the profitability of the business. The plan also includes elements such as marketing to show how the services and product will be marketed and the estimated cost.

Task 3 – Control and Decision Making

Operational control

Operational control regulates the internal process to direct and monitor them towards the short-term goals of an organisation. Operational control involves budgetary, operational planning and internal reporting. The process ensures that the business plan is operationalised as intended and all operations run smoothly. Operational control compares the short-term achievements with those stabilised in the strategic plan and identify deviations and take measures.

Operational control systems.

To achieve operational control, organisations employ control systems. One of the control systems is output control. It focuses on the measurable results and then makes a decision on whether the output is desirable. Another control system is behavioural control. This system focuses on governing the activities that lead to the achievement of the desired results. Procedures and rules are employed to dictate and standardize behaviours. Another significant control system is clan control which is an informal control type. It relies on shared values, traditions, beliefs, and norms to guide people into working towards the achievement of organisational goals. The use of targets can also be used as a control system. This focuses on providing targets to the employees where the employees have to work to achieve the targets. This ensures that employees do what they can to achieve results.

Decision making techniques.

There are several techniques that organisations can use to help in decision making. One f the technique is conducting an analysis. Whenever a decision is required, the organisation can conduct an analysis of the involved aspects and thus a decision rule to make the right decision. For example, a cost-benefit analysis can be used to determine whether a project should be undertaken. Other analysis stools include SWOT analysis, Pareto analysis and PESTLE analysis, among others (Askarany, 2018). Another technique is to weigh all the available options and make the decision based on the available information. The decision can be made based on the best option. Another strategy is considering al the alternatives. Looking at alternatives that can help achieve the same objective can help in making the right decision.

Task 4

From the placement, I have acquired relevant skills and competencies more so in accounting and business control processes. From classwork, I learnt the theoretical aspects such as accounting elements and key concepts as well as how business control systems can be used to achieve results. While on placement, I was able to practically engage with the organisational and experience first-hand some of the concepts I had learnt in class. In terms of decision making, I was able to learn how organisations make the decision by evaluating alternatives and conducting ana analysis of the prevailing conditions. Much of the decision while on placement were made through an analysis where different aspects were analysed and the best decision made based on a decision rule. I also interacted with people from different cultures and interacted with them respectfully while putting their cultural values into consideration.

References

Askarany, D. (2018). Managerial Tools and Techniques for Decision Making. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition (pp. 2166-2177). IGI Global.

Cannon, M. L. (2019). An Exploration of Key Accounting Concepts Through Case Studies (Doctoral dissertation, University of Mississippi).

Dowling, J. (2017). Comparing Two Organizational Structures in Professional Ultimate.

Kenton, W. (2019). How Organizational Structures Work. Retrieved 4 January 2020, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/organizational-structure.asp

Popesko, B., Novák, P., Dvorský, J., & Papadaki, Š. (2017). The maturity of a budgeting system and its influence on corporate performance. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica14(7).

Wilson, A., Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M. J., & Gremler, D. (2016). Services marketing: Integrating customer focus across the firm.

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