Category: Business Essay
Management in Fashion Retail

Increased interest in trends has made the fashion industry one of the most influential in the world today. This essay will consider research and analysis of the fashion retail industry with regard to its management. In order to be particular and objective, Zara, one of the largest fashion retail companies in the world was chosen for analysis. This aided in the analysis of the company management, in relation to Mintzberg’s managerial role categories.

Managerial Roles

The three managerial roles, explained by Professor Henry Mintzberg can be applied to Zara, by reference to how they have applied in the company over the years. The first is an informational role. In this type of role, the management deals with the flow of information within the company. In Zara, the management has always ensured that information is adequately passed and presented between the relevant parties. The objective is achieved by the company monitoring all the changes that take place in the clothing industry. Although they are based in Spain, the company has its outlets in many countries of the world. For this reason, they have to keep track of changes that occur in tastes, preferences, fashion, as well as market prices which is done by means of internet monitoring, business seminars, and reports, etc. Such multilevel approach ensures the company always keeps up with time and reacts swiftly to new customer demands.

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Apart from the collection of information, there is a need to ensure that the information is communicated to the right parties in a timely manner. In Zara, information is conveyed by means of reports and memos which inform company workers on the discoveries that have been made during monitoring and the decisions that are made in the managerial positions. Therefore, the mode of transferring information ensures that all the regulations and changes are followed by all the company workers. Lastly, company management is the voice of the company to the public communicating to the world on behalf of their workers.

Another managerial role is the interpersonal role, where the management carries out its exclusive duties, which portray them as the leaders of a larger group. In Zara, the managers act as the figureheads of the company. For example, when they have visitors in the company, it is members of the managerial team that welcome them. They are, also, the ones who attend ceremonies on behalf of the company. Additionally, the managers are to establish and maintain effective communication and interaction with senior company workers. In the fashion industry, it is wise to have diversity, in terms of innovation and new ideas. This is best achieved when the management relates with the senior workers. Over the years, Amancio Ortega has tried to foster a healthy relationship between company management and employees. Such corporate culture ensured the company gained success in the fashion industry.

Lastly, there is the decisional role, which involves making all the major decisions in a company. Zara has empowered some of its senior employees to make decisions at their levels. However, the approach does not include global company decisions. For example, Zara has been involved in several acquisitions. The decision on whether to, or not to, merge with other companies has always been taken by the management. It is also the responsibility of the management to negotiate favorable deals for the company. The fashion industry is dynamic and requires constant decision making. Therefore, the allocation of company resources is always different. It is the management to decide on the areas in which resource allocation will be done and ensure that t returns on investment are sufficiently high.

Changes Taking the Place

Changes in company management are usually necessitated by various changes in relevant industries the company operates. Social media may serve as an example. At the present time, there are a lot of physical activities that have become irrelevant. For example, attending numerous meetings has been eliminated, as people can meet by means of social media. In terms of the fashion industry, it uses social media for advertising. Therefore, instead of the managers announcing their products to the public, they, just, have to employ people who can develop programs and software to perform the task. The other factor of changing management roles is sustainability. As mentioned in the decisional role, the managers are supposed to make decisions that are in the best interests of the company. However, nowadays, this role has been extended to ensuring that the management decisions are for the best of the future generations. This means that the decisions may fail to be, exclusively, for the best interests of the company and the management may choose to engage in activities that are suitable for generations to come.

Strategies Involved

One of the strategies applied by Zara is ensuring that they cut on the list of middlemen. In the beginning, the company involved some other parties in their supply. However, with time, they have taken overall control of their supply chain. Therefore, design, production, and distribution of the company products are the solemn duties of the company itself. Though, such strategy that has cut on the company costs. Engagement of middlemen increases the likelihood to lose money along the supply chain. The major goal of the company is to be the leader of an industry with fierce and able competitors. Zara has achieved the aim of massive and rapid advertising to ensure that its products are recognized all over the world. As a result, they have been able to beat most of their competitors and emerge as one of the most successful fashion retail companies in the world.

Óscar Pérez Marcote, the CEO of Zara, has his unique strategies, which he uses to ensure that Zara stays ahead of other companies. Óscar focuses on three key areas, which help the company to remain relevant and profitable in a highly competitive industry of today. First, he focuses on quality development. This is where he spends considerable resources looking for talents all over the world. He ensures that talented, endowed with creative people are hired by the company. Further, he allocates considerable resources in the development and maintenance of quality. Once the quality has been achieved, Óscar has come up with ways through which all goods are produced to standard quality. This way, Zara does not have complaining customers for the sale of substandard goods. Finally, Marcote focuses on quality improvement. Even though efforts are made to maintain quality, the CEO ensures that there are constant research and adjustment to changing factors, in a bid to improve the quality of company goods and services. Over the years, the company has developed a sustainable image in the retail market, based on the quality of their products. They show more interest and emphasis on customer satisfaction than on the money they receive. In Zara, quality of clothes, as well as services to the customers are of an international scale. Reciprocating this, the customers make repeat purchases, which increase company market command.

Types of Capital

In terms of hiring, a successful company is to consider three major types of capital. First, is the intellectual capital where they employ people who have a vast knowledge of the global market, with regards to the industry of the company operates in. Such employees are open-minded and able to work in a dynamic environment, - qualities needed in a modern company. Second is the psychological capital which entails employees that can handle huge adjustments and changes in their line of work. Instead of fighting change, these employees embrace it with a positive attitude. A management that has these employees can never be at the risk of obsolescence. The last is social capital. A company having this form of capital is able to effectively relate well with other companies. The above types of capital enhance building important connections which help the business to advance.

Constraints and Opportunities

Along with opportunities, retail companies are faced with a number of various problems. The issue will be explained through the example of Carrefour using Hofstede’s dimensions. First criteria are the power distance index. The index relates to the notion where less powerful people in a community believe and accept that they cannot be treated equally with those more influential. In this case, Carrefour has encountered various problems. Firstly, this causes a lack of empowerment, something that may hinder innovation. Second is the notion of collectivism. The company has the ability to come up with unique products for their customers. This can be done by coming up with ways to join all the people in the organization for producing quality foods. An uncertainty avoidance index is used for ensuring that the company retains its old customers, as long as they emphasize on quality management. Long term orientation is the factor that may be seen to exhaust resources of Carrefour as they struggle to keep up with their competitors. Lastly, indulgence represents the lack of fear of consumers to try new products. Expansion of the company to more suitable markets can be instrumental in ensuring that they get such customers, hence, provide an opportunity to succeed for the company.

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