I am the Sales & Marketing Manager of a sportswear and sports goods retailing store named “Sports Authority”. My key responsibilities include managing sales of the store including supply chain and customer support. Furthermore, I am responsible for developing marketing strategies for the store and ensure their implementation. I have to keep consistent sales growth along with meeting the supply chain requirements of the sales. In my business I need a comprehensive setup of supply chain for sports goods management including IT infrastructure for e-business to maintain a website (http://www.sportsauthority.com) in order to get online orders. Furthermore I need to have an organized warehouse which must be linked to my online website and outlet of my store to present real time state of my stock. The supply chain of this store must also include a fast courier service in order to deliver the sports goods to customers within the deadline.
The most challenging marketing function of the supply chain of Sports Authority is “buying” sports goods from the suppliers while choosing from dozens of quality suppliers available in the global market. The reason behind the challenging nature of buying is that the number of suppliers of one single type of good is very high and choosing the most suitable supplier from so many is a hard task. Furthermore, in current era of fast changing world, it becomes very difficult to determine the style and fashion which public will follow and hence makes it even more difficult to locate the best supplier of the associated product. It becomes more challenging when there are many suppliers available and less information is available from the prospective customers.
The least challenging function of marketing in the supply chain of Sports Authority is sorting of sports goods in the warehouse as well as in the shelves of outlet store. This also includes sorting of sports goods in the company’s website. The reason behind this task being so easy is that it can be carried out easily through utilizing the store’s IT based infrastructure and skilled manpower which can easily identify the product from their RFIDs hence making it very easy to sort the products for storage or selling.
In Sports Authority, the code of ethics for pricing will be as following:
Offering competitive prices in the market
Justifying price with quality of product
Sale discounts to be put on the obsolete products
Standardization of pricing for each similar category of product
No charges like taxes, duties and customs be hidden from customers
In Sports Authority, the code of ethics for product will be as following:
Only top quality brand product be offered to customers
Product quality must justifying the price charged to customer
Offering only current fashion based products
Standardization of quality of products in each category
Exchange of products applicable to unused ones only (on the basis of any irregularity only)
The legal promotional activity of Sports Authority is sign up bonus as 10% discount on the website. This promotional activity not only offers the customers to get 10% discount on the products but also helps the website to grow and attract people to buy online from it. This promotional activity is legal in the sense that this is fine to offer discount to specific kind of customers by distinguishing them from others. There has been no significant illegal promotional activity of Sports Authority except that the store has named the month of October, 2012 to be “Breast Cancer Awareness month” and used breast cancer awareness logo in its product promotions ad without prior approval from the relevant organization. This illegal use of a logo may put the company in trouble despite the fact that the purpose of this logo is not only promoting good image of Sports Authority but also brings awareness of breast cancer to general public.
The text of Help Wanted ad is as following:
“Wanted for immediate employment in an online sports store, an MBA with energetic sense of work. Must be honest, loyal, punctual, dependable and meticulous. Must be able to perform under stressful conditions. Fresh graduates may also apply.”
Employees are constantly coming late, what will you do to make them come on time?
There is a conflict between warehouse and outlet staff about missing products, how will you resolve the issue?
Some computer data has been lost due to equipment failure, you need to meet the delivery deadlines, how can you do that without the records?
Have you ever gotten into heated argument with anyone? If so then explain the situation. If not then are you an easy go person?
There is a manufacturing fault reported by a customer about a product, when you get to see it you have figured out that it is not a manufacturing fault but the customer has mishandled the product. How will you handle this customer?
If you are asked to sit late for work due to increased orders from customers, will you be willing for that?
If a customer offers you some tip to exchange a product with a better one, will you accommodate this customer?
At the end of the day you have found that, there is some extra cash in your cash machine after deducting the total price of sold products. What will be your course of action in this case?
A supplier of product has delivered some products in the store and you have found one of these products to be defective, what will you do?7.
Firstly the trainee will be given a brief orientation including the various functions performed by the departments of Sports Authority. This orientation program will build up good background knowledge of the trainee to understand the functions of sales department of the store. After the orientation program the trainee will be taken to the sales department for further training as following:
Training on overall supply chain and sales functions of the store outlet
Developing an understanding of various options available on website of Sports Authority for selling the sports goods
Developing an understanding of receiving orders from website through internet and on call through company’s customer service
Familiarization with company’s products in shelves as well as in warehouse
Training on communicating the received orders to store for timely delivery of the product to customer
Getting familiar with the track keeping of sports goods which are under delivery status till they get delivered
Finally a comprehensive customer support service training to deal with customers during their order placement, delivery of the good and after sales services
Types of evaluation to be used in Sports Authority are feedback from customers, responsiveness of employees, sales volumes, defected and returned products, punctuality, honesty, and standardization. These evaluations will be obtained throughout the course of business by carefully observing the employees and the direction in which the business is heading. These evaluations will show a comprehensive performance overview of the business and will also help in determining the performance appraisals and the variable component of compensations for each employee. Being the manager of Marketing and Sales Department of Sports Authority, I will conduct these evaluations and make sure that no bogus results are put up to higher management. I will also try to get feedback of employees on their satisfaction on the job they are employed. The results will be in points form by assigning weightage to each evaluation factor. These points will help in determining the efficiency of each employee as well as the effectiveness of each product type. These evaluations will be the key factors in determining the future course of action for the company. The results of these evaluations will also be stored as the company’s progress.
The compensation plan of Sports Authority will have two major components in it. One will be the fixed pay which will be based on qualifications and experience of an employee. The second component will be variable and will depend on the sales volume of the store. This variable component will motivate the employees to work in effective way so as to increase sales volume, whereas the fixed component will assure a certain level of income to employees to keep them relaxed on job security. Another component may also be added as support to employees including medical coverage and insurance packages.
Motivation is the inner instinct which drives the person to willingly do some work. For me the motivation to keep this business running is the desire to achieve excellence in the field of business through applying my utmost efforts and skills. I will organize guest lectures and presentations aside from the hectic work to bring awareness in the employees about the importance of their role in the organization. I will ensure that all the employees get their proper compensations especially in case of variable component of their pay package which depends on their performance. Free gift will also be given including some sport goods and sportswear from Sports Authority to its employees.