Sobeys Business side in general
The production department at Sobeys will look after the land and the buildings that they own or rent. In most cases Sobeys owns 5 stores to one warehouse. Sobeys production department also makes sure that all the necessary equipment is in working order and there is enough time. They make sure that the delivery trucks are working and if any thing like a meat grinder or an oven needs repairing that it gets done. They also check to see that the cash registers are working. They can check this through a central computer that is connected to all the cash registers in the region (Sobeys Ontario).
They also look at the type of people they need to do the necessary jobs then relay it back to the Human Resources department. They will have all the operators who will drive forklifts at the factories and truck drivers. Also the support staff processes the orders for new equipment and tools. They also hire support staff to do the jobs that Sobey staff aren’t trained to do (plumbing, electrical). They also have managers who make sure that everything is running smoothly and that no one is wasting time and everyone is getting the proper amount of breaks.
They look at the raw materials that is used for the bake shop and meat department and make sure that there is enough stock in the warehouse to last until there next bulk order comes in. Then that bulk order is broken down into smaller but still bulk orders for the different stores to use. Some products are delivered straight from the suppliers warehouse to the store. They also make sure that the product isn’t damaged when received or sold to consumers.
Some other areas that the production department is in charge of is quality control, making sure that the product is made to the best it can be made, meeting deadlines, making sure the product reaches the store on time and that anything that has to be made or cut is done on time. They also look at keeping the product cost efficient but this sometimes shows in their products. Sobeys sells to a variety of people with very diverse economic backgrounds. So they sell high quality products that cost more and not so good products that cost less.
Marketing and Sales
This department at Sobeys looks at ways that they market themselves and the amount of sales. They also look at ways to increase to increase the sales of the company. They do this by following the four P’s of marketing.
The product is what Sobeys sells. They sell a wide range of products from fresh meat to seasonal products. They also carry some stuffed animals and charcoal for barbeques. Also every month they get an item from a company that isn’t really big and they sell it for that company.
The place is where the store is and where they put the product. Most of the stores are in spots that already had a grocery store there before. Sobeys likes to use these spots because customers are familiar with a grocery store always being there and won’t look for a new one.
Also with the products that they sell for only a month are in a spot that most people that come into the store will see them. They usually will have them on display by the dairy sections of the store. They put them there because the sales records show that a lot of profit is made from the milk sales.
Sobeys will promote their products in the weekly flyer that can be picked up as soon as u walk into the store every department has it’s own two pages. In the centre of the flyer is the small companies item. It usually draws the attention of the reader and is bright and colourful.
The products prices range from expensive to cheap. The cheaper ones have less packaging and aren’t as good of quality as the ones that are more expensive. They also have more packaging and are more attention grabbing.
Sobeys looks at which place they would be able to sell their products. If there was a supermarket there before them they can just look at the records from the other store. If there wasn’t one Sobeys would hire a marketing company to carry out telephone and mail surveys. If the results aren’t what Sobeys was looking for they will try to find out why they don’t want a grocery store and what they would like to see in one if one was built. They would generally like to cover the whole country but it’s hard with the terroritorys in the artic and all the products would have to be flown in. This pushes the cost of products through the roof.
The marketing department will also look at the highest price a consumer will pay for a product. They can figure this out in a variety of ways. One way is to carry out research through surveys and questionnaires. This can compile data that is usually accurate but not always. Another way is to change the prices on products they feel could have a higher price. They could raise the price by 50 cents and see if it sells as much as it did when it was lower. If it stays at the same sales level or higher the price will stay. A way Sobeys does its price changes without customers noticing is by putting it on sale for a price that is higher then it was. But when the sales over the price will be higher then it was before it went on sale. Sobeys and its competitors usually have very similar prices for most of the products. But most customers are loyal to their grocery store.
The marketing and sales department is also responsible for the promotion of products. They use a variety of ways to do this. The main way is Sobeys inserts a weekly flyer into the local newspaper. It is a fairly cheap way of promotion. It also has posters up in the store to tell which is the better brand of beef or tin beans. Another way that they promote themselves is that they have their logo printed on the bags.
Organisational Structure and Culture
Sobeys organisational structure is a traditional hierarchy. They give all the employees a defined role and there is really no room for advancement within the company. Their culture is a traditional one. The management expects the employees to do the job they are told that is it. Most employee’s just do what their manager tells them to do then they go home.
Sobeys culture has changed since it started back in 1925. They went from being a family-owned business with more of a power culture and entrepreneurial structure to Canada’s second largest food retailer.
This structure suits Sobeys because most of their employees are part time and this way the managers make sure that the job is getting done. If the job is done poorly or isn’t done at all the employees can look forward to some times harsh discipline action. Sobeys uses the three strikes rule. You have two chances to mess up before you can be fired. There are exceptions to this rule though. If you are caught stealing you will be fired on the spot or if you are a cashier and you are caught selling cigarettes to minors you will also be fired. But sometimes you can have more then three warnings before you are fired. But after three there is always some sort of action taken. Sometimes it’s a suspension with out pay or to working very inconvenient hours.
The entrepreneurial structure and power culture suited Sobeys well when they first started off. It was good because it left them with a lot of room for trail and error. It was good until they started to get bigger and bigger they needed to make sure that the employees in stores where the management couldn’t see were doing their jobs, so Sobeys adopted the traditional culture
In the stores Sobeys has a more autocratic style of management while at head office they tend to be more democratic. In the stores the stores the manager will tell you what to do and he/she will expect it to be done the way they want it to be done. If you don’t get it done or do it poorly there would usually be disciplinary action. The assistant manager is usually the one that will discipline employees. The only time really that the department manager’s discipline someone is when he or she cut hours or they give the employee the really early shift or the late shift.
The Store Managers usually ask the opinion of the other managers that work in the store before he decides to do anything major. This makes them more democratic. The department managers in most cases will have a full time staff under them that has been with the company a long time and in most departments the assistant manager has been a manager or has rejected the offer to be one.
If Sobeys would use a more democratic style of management they would probably have happier employees. This would also show in their work. Also it might make a lot of the task of the manager go a lot quicker. This would be because he would have the help of his whole staff to make decision and everyone wouldn’t feel that they don’t have a say in how the companies being run. The manager will sometimes ask the more senior employees how much they should order for a particular holiday but for the most part they like to make desions on their own. Most the employees don’t like the job they have but they like the people that they work with. If the management were more democratic then it would mean a happier work place and employees would be happy to work for Sobeys.
A laissez-faire style of management wouldn’t suit Sobeys at all. It would give the public the impression that the company is very disorganized and not very formal. The employees on the most part would like this. But if Sobeys were to have this style nothing would ever get done and they would have some very angry customers because their would be no one on the shop floor and the shelves would be empty.
I think autocratic way of management is the best for Sobeys because it makes sure that all the jobs will be done and done good. The employees may not like the style but the style is what Sobeys is known for and feature employers know this. So the autocratic style helps the younger employees when they are finished college or high school because this is one of the reasons why Sobeys looks good an a resume.
Sobeys use formal and informal types of communication internally and externally. An example of restricted communication is when something is only able to be seen by some members of staff.
In the lunchrooms Sobeys has message boards put up that have messages available to all the staff. This is a form of unrestricted communication. On these boards you can find the quote of the month, minutes of meetings of the health and safety board, holidays, pay raises, the health and safety legislation, and anything the stores has planned for the social club.
ICT has revolutionized the way that Sobeys communicates with suppliers and other stores. Before automated ordering came it use to take a really long time to place an order. It had to be written out by hand and then sent through the mail to the suppliers who would then send the order to the store. This was a big waste of time and the stores couldn’t really see what they would need for the week the order would be for. The automated ordering system let’s the manager got out on to the floor and look how much stock is left on the shelves and compares it with how much is left in the back.
If they need anything then all the manager has to do is go over the barcode with a laser pin that is connected to a hand held device that has all the ordering information in it. To send the order they have to call the supplier and simply put the speaker of the ordering device up to the receiver of the phone. All orders have to be received by 3.30pm the day before you want the order. This allows the warehouse time to get the order packed on skids and shipped out.
Sobeys uses many forms of internal communication. They will use a notice of meeting to get the necessary staff aware that there is going to be a meeting. They will use a meeting (which is a form of formal communication ) to discuss ideas the different managers or staff