Barclays Bank is an international company offering banking services to its clients and potential customers i.e. those with no account but transact with people with an account with Barclays. In banking sector a customer is termed as person who has an account with the bank irregardless of whether the funds are available in that account or not. The head office of Barclays is located in London and it has many branches across the world. The main business of Barclays Bank is to offer banking services, corporate and investment banking to its clients. Barclays is the leading company offering financial services in the world. The company has been rank as a top company in terms of employment. They offer competitive salaries that have made it difficult for employees to move to other companies thus portraying a positive image. Human resource managers of various branches of Barclays Bank have contributed most to the success of the company. This has been due to motivations of employees in terms of promotions, salary increase and praising of good work.
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Services offered by the bank have various characteristics which includes intangibility. This characteristic of services has made it difficult for many marketers to market the services and convince the customer to buy. Effective marketers are able to sell these services despite of its intangibility. The main thing that enables these marketers to sell intangible services is that they create a picture of a service to customers and demonstrate how the services will be beneficial to them in case they make a choice to buy (Krishnan, 2009. p 200). The image of the bank is also another important element which will determine whether the customer will trust the services offered by the bank or not. In Barclays bank, the company has a good image in terms of building and has enough parking spaces for customers in their premises.
Customers want to associate themselves with valuable things and thus when the bank looks smart everyone will want to belong to that bank. This is a strategy especially to customers who are looking for secured place to keep there funds. Most customers look at the appearances before making up their decision on whether to deposit their money in certain bank or not. It is also important to ensure that the banking hall is organised so as to attract many customers to buy intangible service in the bank (Kotler, 2009. p 161). Business people hate queuing in the bank because they will consider it as a waste of time. It is for this reason, that most banks have introduced ATMs in their branches so as to reduce queuing in the banking hall; customers can deposit or withdraw using their ATMs.
Employees are also another important determinant of the success of the bank because they deal with customers directly. It is important that the human resource manager plans for training his employees concerning the services they offered. In most cases, it is difficult to sell the service without a person; services are commonly sold by people who understand how those services work. It is therefore important to train employees so that they can offer quality services to the customers.
Lastly, the bank employees should dress in a certain code so that it is identified easily by the customers who need to be assisted in filling out the forms, or customers who might face any difficulty within the Banking hall. Furthermore, dressing in a certain manner signifies a lot to the customers in the bank. It might suggest the kind of discipline which is being maintained in the bank or it shows that employees are ready to assist at any time the problem arises.
Barclays Bank normally differentiates itself from other banks in the following manner. They offer quality services to its customers and charge higher prices. This pricing strategy indicates that the company is offering quality services and are reliable. The pricing strategy used by the bank is effective because it target certain class of customers in the market. It is important to segment the market so that you can clearly identify the kind of customers you are dealing with. In most cases Barclays bank target people with average income because this is a class where many people fall.
It is challenging for a bank to differentiate itself from other competitors because whenever the bank introduces a marketing strategy other banks will automatically copy. Barclays bank has managed to maintain it leadership position in the market because of the loyal customers. These loyal customers act as the advertising tool to the company because they offer referral to other customers. Barclays bank has also benefited greatly due to the high number of customers they serve in the market. The bank has been in a position to cross sell its products to the customers thus increasing it annual turnover (Gaspary, 2009. p 328)
Barclays Bank offers a wide variety of account to its customers starting from children account to fixed deposit account. These varieties have given the customer a wide choice to choose from their interested field in which they invest in. It is important to offer such variety of services so that they can satisfy all classes of customers in the market they served.
Furthermore, Barclays Bank has differentiate itself by implementing total quality management has part of their strategy. The company apply total quality management by concentrating on the customers’ needs, main goals of the bank and other parties which relates to the bank in one way or another. Application of total quality management have been based on the fact that the bank should at anytime deliver quality services for the benefit of the customers and also to attained its objective (Clark, 2008. p 80)
Apart from differentiating itself from other banks through the application of total quality management the bank has benefited in this application of total quality management in various ways. The main advantage of using total quality management is the possibility of balance of interest of the opposing parties. For example the bank will be in apposition to make higher profit because there are customers willing to pay premium prices for the quality services they received. At this angle, the bank will benefit by selling its services at premium prices while the customers will be in a position to receive quality services which are worth their money. Because of total quality management, customers will receive services which will satisfy them completely.
Finally, the bank can differentiate itself by positioning its products well in the market. Many banks’ products and services causes positioning errors in the minds of customers, these positioning errors comprised of confused positioning, under positioning and over positioning. These errors can be eliminated if the bank can carry out extensive marketing and personal selling so that the customers can receive the right information concerning the bank. It is important for the bank to differentiate its services from other competitors in terms of price, quality, and the benefits attached to the services. Bank can ensure this by introducing post purchase behaviour so that they can obtain the reaction of the customers after they have used the product.
Question 2 – Project management
The managers of the Wagga Independent Groceries Company (WIG) have suggested that all departments be network so that the flow of information and data retrieval will be easier. Furthermore, networking will assist the employees to deliver and serve customers in the shortest time possible because they accessing information or any other requirement they may be looking for. This report will analyse the procedures of networking and the recommendation to the manager of the company (Chary, 2009. p 119)
Introduction and background
Wagga Independent Groceries is a reputable company offering technological services to its customers. The company is trusted by its customers due to its quality services they offer at affordable prices. Furthermore, the company has been able to survive stiff competition in the market because of its quality services they offer which has enabled the company to build a positive image with its customers in the market (Kurtz, 2008. p 123)
The networking plan has been divided into four phases so that it can ensure proper installation in the company. This installation will help the departments to share some important information regarding the performances of the company.
Networking procedures have been divided into four phases. This phases comprised of phase one which is planning and design. This phase is expected to last for 6 weeks with activities A’s going on. We expect to start our project at this phase in which we will deal with technical requirements & design and we will be reviewing the functional designed frequently (Polkowski, 2009. p 63).
In the second phase, we will deal with preparation for installations. This is a crucial stage in which will be ordering various equipment for installation process, we will also carryout system prototyping and pre-configuration and testing. We expect all these process to last for 8 weeks and we will carryout activity B, C and D.
The next step we will be taking is the installation. This will be in phase 3 and we plan to carryout installation because by then we will be having all the necessary materials in hand. We will also deal with site installation and documentation set up to ensure that all the departments are network in the company. This phase will last for 10 weeks and the activities in this phase comprised of G, E, and F. Finally, we will carryout post-installation which will comprised a lot of work such as orientation of staff on how to use the system, and then post installation review on the performances of the new system and finally, the formalization of the system in the company. This phase will also last for 7 weeks. The diagram below summarise the whole process of networking (Lawrence & Kimberg, 2009. p 74)
In conclusion, the implementation process of the company will be carried out as planned because all the necessities have been put in place. Since I am a project manager, I would request the finance department to release the funds to be used in this process in a timely manner so that we can implement the project immediately as planned.
According to the estimates, it shows that in case of disruption of the operation, the company will incur an average of $ 30, 000* 7 = $ 210,000. The system managers have an alternative of this, the activity H (site installation) can be taken by another company though there would be additional cost of $ 80,000, and the period will reduce to 3 weeks instead of 7 weeks. The total expenses in the second option is $ 80,000 * 3 = $ 240,000. This indicates that the option of system administrator is expensive though the time will be reduced to three weeks. The action I am going to recommend is that the management of the company should weigh a different of 4 weeks and a different of $ 30, 000. From there the management of the company will be in a position to come up with a sound decision (Karel, 2009. p 424).
Critical Path Method of project planning.
This report seeks to address the project management of Wagga Independent Groceries Company which we intend to network all departments in the company so as to facilitate easy flow of information. The main aim of this report is prepared for the senior management of the Wagga Independent Groceries to review the planned process of networking the company’s department. Furthermore, the report will advise the management on what is supposed to be done and the date of implementation.
Introduction and background
Due to complexity of the company and its heavy operation, the management of the company have proposed that the project planning be carried out before the actual implementation takes place in the company. We have chosen with my team and under the instruction of our manager to use Critical Path Method when preparing this report.
Steps in critical path method of project planning
To network the company effectively, there should be procedures to be followed. In this method every participant in the implementation must have clear role to carry out in the project. The following diagram shows how the implementation will be carried out.
The letters (A, B, C, D, E and F) represent the activities shown in the above report. The weeks also indicate the duration taken to complete the project in every phase.
In this method, there is critical part which needs to be identified and it concern the period required in order to complete implementation. The critical part can be identified by determining various parameters such as the earliest time of implementation and the expected time in which project will be completed. This is very important for purposes of mentoring the actions taken so that the actual result can be compared with the planned result (Martinich, 2009. p 89).
Question 3 – Plant Location
The best coordinates will depends on so many factors such as infrastructure, to make the appropriate decision the manager needs to determine the demand of the materials in the company. It is not profitable for the company to move long distance when it can make less profit. There are various problems which are associated with the POM-QM for Windows especially when the places are scattered. It does not give the appropriate solution because they are based on estimation. It is better for the company to look for other alternative rather than using POM-QM for Windows. The method also requires somebody who understands the procedures well so that will calculate the relevant answers.
Question 4 – Transportation problem
It has been tradition for central office in rural Victoria to co-ordinate all the shipment of blood into 5 hospitals. From the auditor’s report it shows that the manual technique being used is not cost effective. Due to this the management of the hospital has decided to implement other methods such as mathematical modelling so that they can minimise the cost.
Hospital 1 and 2 spend the same amount in transport in blood from the three Bank Blood though their demand varies. This means that Hospital 1 is not effective as compared to Hospital 2. In general Hospital 3 is very effective because of high demand yet they spend equal amount with Hospital 1 and 2. On the other, supply from the three Blood Banks varies with Bank 1 delivering large amount of Blood. It will be economical if the 5 hospital utilise the supply from Bank 1. Hospital should also consider the storage devices available before making it decision.
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The hospitals need to analyse the blood group from every Blood Bank so that those with the same blood group can consider leaving so as to reduce the expenses. They should also analyse the usage of blood in the hospital to avoid transporting excess blood to the hospital. Besides, the hospital can team up with the Red Cross that has created a blood bank for emergencies so that they can be transporting whenever a need arises in the hospital.
Clark, G. Service operations management: improving service delivery. Financial Times/Prentice
Hall, 2008. 3rd edn. Pp 79-84
Kurtz, D. L. Contemporary Business 2009 Update. Cengage Learning, 2008 12th edn. Pp 121-126
Martinich, J. S. Production And Operations Management: An Applied Modern Approach. Wiley
India Pvt. Ltd., 2009 5th edn. Pp 88-92
Gaspary, P. Integrated Management of Systems, Services, Processes and People in IT. Springer,
2009 4th edn. Pp 326-330
Chary, A. Production and operations management. Tata McGraw-Hill, 2009 4th edn . 117-121
Karel, R. Operations and Supply Chain Management for the 21st Century. Cengage Learning, 2009 6th edn. Pp 421-425
Polkowski, L. Rough Sets and Knowledge Technology. Springer, 2009 3rd edn. Pp 61-64
. Lawrence, P. & Kimberg, R. Advances in Business and Management Forecasting. Emerald Group Publishing, 2009. 4th edn. Pp 72-76
Kotler, H. Marketing: An Introduction. Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2009 4th edn. Pp 158-166
Krishnan, R. Marketing Research, 2009. Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., 2009 7th edn. Pp 199-201
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