Wynne, co-owner of Arena Flowers, and you are considering how to grow your business. You decide to complete a SWOT analysis so can fully understand where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the business lie. Your SWOT analysis should include an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for its human resource management, accounting and finance, and marketing functions. You should then summarise, in a short paragraph, which parts of the business you need to strengthen.
management accounting finance marketing
The owners of Arena Flowers (e.g. Will Wynne) are creative and innovative
Management is relaxed which encourages environment of innovation the company has won a deal with American flower retailer Provide Commerce to run its European distribution service
AF runs websites in six European countries
runs flower deliveries for a web-based greetings card business (a deal which provides 40 per cent of Arena Flowers' revenues)
The company has a hedging deal which sets the buying price in advance to protect itself from slow times
Arena Flowers specializes in Dutch roses that are more costly providing them with good business for Valentine's day (they also know that sex sells better than simply buying for one's mother).
Arena Flowers has an online presence which expands its influence and helps it avoid competition from local traders.
Arena Flowers planned an auction that would fetch more than the Dutch roses necessarily would weaknesses
Management may be too relaxed and insufficiently autocratic
The control system that AF is run on is complex and difficult to run. It may also lack organization.
Wayne has difficult time in attracting investors due to aversion to recording net profits
Needs to constantly raise money for new staff, technology and products
Company specializes in Dutch roses and other flowers that are more expensive than competitors offer.
Management is innovative and interested in changing himself and company. He is flexible.
Provide Commerce -- AF's partner -- has links to many potential consumers.
There is more potential for AF to expand to other countries. The Internet provides them with global scope whilst being located in one spot
Provide Commerce can provide them with links to venture capitalists.
Expense of staff, production, and flowers:
The company has to make a £50m turnover run rate in week in order to make profit)
Valentine's Day (and similar events). These will always be around threats
The expansion of the business can cause difficulties in industrial organization with communication challenges between the various segments
Online technology is becoming more complex potentially making it harder for them to stick out in future
Low margin due to expense and customers being attracted to other sites.
Competition from cheaper sites
Competitors are challenging AF's inventive capacity. AF needs to constantly invent and win loans for their inventions
The organizational development aspect of the company needs strengthening. Whilst it is good that Wayne is not autocratic and sounds flexible and relaxed, his nonchalant manner may be adversely affecting the culture and organizational environment of the company. The company may need more structure and direction and may need to form for itself a message and a focus; and needs to connect all the different parts of its organization so that each is aware of the functions of the other, communicator well together, and in effective correspondence with one another. In this way, customer service will be more effectively and rapidly met without the company wasting money on resources, labor, and other aspects of their service.
AF would be advised to hire an objective evaluator -- either a consulting company or an OD expert - who would offer a skilled analysis and advice on how to improve the company in each of its processes and on all of its levels. They should set goals defining where their difficulties are, and where they wish to improve. They may also decide to offer employee training programs that would include development in technical proficiency, communication skills, problem solving and creativity, as well as decision-making and change management. All levels and echelons of the company would receive this training. Given that AF seems to operate in a high pressure, intense change environment, employees may need to be trained to deal with change.
Applying the behavioral techniques of OD will result in a greater degree of efficiency for the organization. To that end, Wayne (and possibly the company as a whole) may need to integrate a higher level of discipline and rigidity with their relaxed approach. The company has to also find more ways to market themselves as well as avenues of cutting their costs. To that end, they may need to hire a PR who can help them with differentiating themselves and attracting investors better than they are doing at the moment.
Question 2: human resource management function
(a) Will Wynne is thinking about suitable selection methods to use in order to choose from a pool of candidates for the proposed order fulfillment posts. Explain the different methods of selection that are available to him. Given the nature and demands of the job and the needs of the organization, explain which method you think should be used to select candidates to fill the posts.
There are various section methods that Wayne can use. These include: interviews, tests, asking for references, assessment centers, role plays and team exercises.
There will likely be a number of prospective candidates and, therefore, a structured interview would be best in this situation. Length and style of the interview should relate to the job in question (mostly IT). Wayne should use a combination of practical and psychometric tests to see whether candidate possesses skills and whether candidate is able to work under stress and possesses human relation skills. The job requires IT skills, physical dexterity to pick and pack delicate products and, above all, the capacity to work under pressure. Candidates should be tested for all of these. References should then be closely investigated.
The disadvantage with using psychometric / personality tests is that some of these tests are sometimes controversial. The organization too needs a lot of resources (money and time) to conduct them. Given Wayne's small financial margin and the amount of candidates he intends to hire, the expense may be too great for him
Wayne may select a practical test too (involving IT) in order to test for ability. Nonetheless, costs and benefits of giving such a test should be considered. It may be disadvantageous particularly if Wayne is interviewing and planning to hire a lot of candidates.
(b) Will Wynne also needs to consider the induction programme that will need to be organised for the successful candidates. What types of information do you think should be included in this programme? Again, considering the nature of the job and the needs of the organisation explain what information will be particularly useful to the new employees.
The induction program should not only inform employees of the history of the organization but also of its mission, culture, and objectives.
Wayne should introduce staff to their colleagues and to tools / machines that they will be working with as well as giving them a tour of the place and an overall understanding of the running and structure of the company. Staff should be equipped with dealing with the stress and pressure of the place. A training program on conflict and change management may be appropriate. Wayne, too, may have trainees observe other staff in action: how they pick the appropriate product(s) from stock and pack it appropriately. Trainees will need to be shown warehouses (or where products are stocked) they will also need to be shown how order is entered on the system and how identified problems (e.g., lack of stock, incomplete order information) and logged. Some of these induction programs…