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Woolworth Supply Chain Management

Company Background

Woolworths boasts of the biggest chain of supermarkets in Australia and owns

Woolworths Limited. The company was started in 1924. The very first store was situated in Imperial Arcade found within Sydney (Deshmukh, 2017). The advertisement for its launch said that every metropolitan required the Woolworths and hence everybody needed accessible locations where they could find goods at cheap prices. The following individuals are credited with starting the original first-floor Saloon within Queen Victoria markets, presently, the Queen

Victoria Building in the city of Sydney: Stanley Edward Chatterton, George William Percival

Creed, Ernest Robert Williams, Cecil Scott Wayne, and Harold Percival Christmas, Percy

Christmas, and Stanley Chatterton.

The Woolworths chain of supermarkets is popular for their grocery production model that caters to the domestic wants of their customers. It has always been important for the organization to enhance the quality of goods and services and meet the needs and desires of the targeted group of clients. It is revered as the Australian supermarket that comes up with 80 percent of the total market of Australia. The organization has around 3000 stores and is increasing more (Deshmukh, 2017). It has employed at least 201,000 members of its workforce who serve not less than 29 million clients across all their brands every week. It is a home ground company that is proud of its milestones. Besides, it is a reliable business partner to many local farmers as well as manufacturers. The yearly revenue for Woolworth according to the annual report of 2015 was

42.13 billion AUD (Deshmukh, 2017). There were prospects for annual growth moving forward.

Woolworth is known for its autocratic management style that is described as the group of management coming up with all the business decisions and will decree it to workers. This is a conventional style of management. The workers motivate one another to think first before they take any action and how an act can impact the organization (Deshmukh, 2017). What makes Woolworth execute that style of management is because the mode is important for them to maintain order in their business since many workers are still students as well as employees who work casually. Some workers possess a low level of skills and experience in specific areas. Hence, it is logical for the management that has more knowledge and experience to come up with crucial business decisions.

Several merits of the autocratic style of management have been noted, for instance, workers having little vagueness as regards the practices of the business as well as the responsibilities of the workers and what is expected from them perfectly described (Deshmukh, 2017). Nevertheless, this style of management has its associated demerits as well, for instance, job frustration. Dissatisfaction in the job is brought about by the dress code prescribed for the workers at Woolworth as well as the fact that inputs from the workers are normally ignored, and the workers at Woolworths will just undertake the mandates that management asked them to do.

The organization structure of the company features a flat hierarchy that is led by the board of directors at the top followed by the chief executive officers and diverse departments in that orders. These assist the organization to grow. The diverse departments encompass human resources and marketing departments that manage the recruitment function and offer necessary assistance to workers and the Accounts department that primarily deals with the accounts and finances for all that the company may need (Deshmukh, 2017). The information and technology department is similarly available that assists in the management of data necessary for the evaluation and performance of the organization in the future. Recruitment is done for a variety of diverse works in the organization, of instance, the sales department collaborates with others and incorporates different inputs from other departments as of the selling of the organizational products.

Supply Chain Structure

The supply chain at Woolworths handles distribution centers, primary freight, packaging, and barcode requirements to establish a well-functioning service between the partners in trade and the stores. The organization has for the objectives of the effective supply of their goods to the client, located warehouse in different parts of the country. This was a tactical decision for the organization’s system of the supply chain (Yun, Yalcin, Hales & Kwon, 2019). Intending to attain liquid flexibility of the goods and services, centers meant for distribution have been put up in different regions. A perfect facility for the transportation of its goods is an additional factor that assists in the success of the organization.

Presently, Woolworth has also employed a tactic that they call the differentiation strategy. To ensure that this plan works well, the product that is at the center of the operations of the business are greatly differentiated from what competitor offers, which assists in boosting the levels of sales for the organization. Woolworth is a forerunner of this tactic within the Australian and New Zealand markets (Yun, Yalcin, Hales & Kwon, 2019). The company gives priority to offering the clients the best and freshest food items at the best prices. Although Woolworths is not the only player in the market it has to cope with strict competition from three other main organizations such as Coles, Costco, and Aldi. As a counter for this notable trend, the organization has revived its campaign for the fresh foods and subsequently takes the largest share of the market within the supermarket sector.

Sourcing of Materials and Services

At Woolworths, among its core values is: I care deeply. That mantra stays at the core of the main sustainability plans and is specifically applicable in its approach to sourcing that is responsible and the rights of the workers are managed within the supply chain globally. In 2009, the organization launched its very first policy for sourcing that was ethical (Hepworth & Newman, 2019). From that time, retailers globally have had a major advancement towards matured best practice plans; regulation and lawmaking in instances such as the upcoming Australian Modern Slavery legislation which demands that organizations make reports regarding the steps they have taken regarding due diligence, and matters to do with sustainability feature most in the minds of clients as well as other stakeholders.

The sourcing program that is currently in use at Woolworths was launched in July 2018. In perfectly responds to this change in business and puts up the business perfectly towards social compliance (Hepworth & Newman, 2019). Aligned with the organization’s 2020 commitments on sustainability regarding doing the right thing for vulnerable workers as well as communities within its global upstream chains of supply, Woolworth's vision is to become the leading retailer within Australia concerning issues to do with responsible sourcing.

Woolworths responsible sourcing program shows that whereas its operations and chains of supply are intricate, the goal is to make sure that issues of human rights are well understood, honored, and adhered to. The organization anticipates that its partners will follow all the ethical business practices that are uniform to theirs, and are devoted to collaborating to achieve this mutual objective, and aggressively respond to issues of human rights (Hepworth & Newman, 2019). The approach of Woolworths to attaining that is founded on two primary documents known as Responsible sourcing policy and responsible sourcing standards. The former policy applies to all the direct suppliers of the organization while the latter applies to all the direct suppliers, but not those suppliers of goods and services that are branded. These policies are supported by the organization’s guidelines for the responsible sourcing program.

The responsible sourcing policy spells out the organization’s commitment to safeguarding the human rights of the employees within the chain of supply. The policy applies to all global suppliers and is part and parcel of conducting business with the company. This responsible sourcing policy is a replacement for the ethical sourcing policy earlier relied on.

The responsible sourcing standards are a major way that the organization implements its policy commitments. These encompass detailed criteria regarding the integrity of the business, labor rights, just and secure conditions of working, and environmental compliance. The standards are as follows: all suppliers have to comply with the local legislation, rules and guidelines in the nations in which they carry out their operations, incorporating those that relate to the integrity of the business, openness, suborning, and corruption (Yun, Yalcin, Hales & Kwon, 2019). Systems of management are crucial for the organization. In this regard, the organization considers that a robust system of management that includes hiring, disciplinary, and practices of termination are vital for the suppliers to create and develop to offer support to the compliance necessity and sustainability of objectives (Yun, Yalcin, Hales & Kwon, 2019). Suppliers are accountable for the establishment of these systems of management to anchor their operations.

According to the social and labor standards, all the employees have to be handled with honor and dignity. Suppliers are supposed to offer workers a secure place where they can work, and respect the rights of the workers to freely associate. The grievances of the employees must be heard, suitably examined, and any necessary course of action to correct it undertaken, besides developing the capacity and awareness around the social and labor applications (Thorlakson, 

Hainmueller & Lambin, 2018). Regarding the environmental standards, the suppliers have to comply with all the relevant environmental legislation as well as regulations and sustain an environmental system of management which recognizes and manages the impact on the environment. Some other standards state that where suitable, suppliers have to comply with all the standards about foreign migrant employees, permitted subcontracting as well as homeworkers, and responsible mineral sourcing. As an element within the rollout and continuing due diligence the organization is focused on offering support to suppliers using appropriate sessions of imparting knowledge using information, control documents, learning and development materials, and in categories posing higher risks, instituting communities of practice.

As an improvement suggestion, the organization should commit to adhere to its responsible sourcing standards to a yearly review so that it can make sure that it maintains the required standards vis a vis their standards, and the outlooks of their communities as well as clients. The 2019 review incorporates more detail concerning its verification and audit models, explanation on the function of its guidance notes, and the acknowledgment of its extended speak up plan for the handling of grievances.

Distribution system

Woolworth operates a Distribution Centre Replenishment as a department in its logistics group. This unit is mandated with the function of replenishing stock within the distribution centers. Those mandated with the role of replenishing stocks have to create many purchase orders for purposes of delivery in the entire country every day (Singh, Shukla & Mishra, 2018). The team is always in close collaboration with the Woolworths trade partners, the distribution centers, as well as the business units to make sure that the adequate level of stock is delivered to the centers of distribution.

Changes in delivery are always tracked. For purposes of rebooking a delivery, contact is supposed to be made with the replenisher who takes care of one’s products. Such rebookings can only be facilitated following a notification that is placed with the trade partner, and not the one providing transportation to make sure that the trade partner knows that the changes exist (Malik, Abdallah, Orr & Chaudhary, 2019). Anytime that the organization realizes that a delivery cannot attain its booking, contact with the replenisher is made with the cause of why that order was missed in the first place and plan for fresh booking.

Changes in purchase orders are also given due attention. Regarding the changes in quantity, the trade partner has to contact the replenisher immediately they become aware that a particular order cannot be fully supplied. This can be achieved using Electronic Data Interchange, Webforms, phone, or email. The following information has to be provided to the replenisher (Malik, Abdallah, Orr & Chaudhary,2019). The rationalization of why there is insufficient supply, the quantity that is going to be supplied, and when fresh stock is going to be available. It must be noted; however, that shortness in supply can impact the inbound service levels. Errors in the purchase orders are a common thing. The trade partner must make contact with the replenisher in the event the error concerns quantity issues. The trade partner must make contact with the business team in the event the errors are about the configuration of the carton boxes or pricing.

Demand Management and System of inventory management

The management of the supply chain is important in regulating demand by customers. Therefore, it needs precise and updated information regarding the constituents and products that are in that chain. There have been latest advances regarding the technologies used in the supply chain such as the use of electronic catalogs associated with tracking the movement of products using a blend of radio frequency identification (RFID) for the products as well as the location of the vehicles through technologies using wireless means for moving the vehicles and trains (Jie & Gengatharen, 2019). This capacity to track location gets to be very crucial. The logistics industry has been pushing for shippers to become fully in control of the door-to-door movements of product, to be able to control the details as well as the handoffs (Kasemsap,2020). This will assist in tracking the reduction levels of the inventories, fewer spaces within the warehouses, and improvement matching of the products to the points of demand that in return assists the logistics units to differentiate and make a margin.

Woolworth is doing the above and it has to leverage technologies that help it in automating its chain of supply. The resultant real-time network of information has been assisting in enhancing the handling of dollies, roll cages, as well as tote, and the safety of consumer products that are transported within the supply chain network of the organization. The information network assists in the shrinkage of the inventory while enhancing the operational efficacy, management of the inventory, and customer service.

A suggestion for improvement, in this case, is that Woolworths should stick to a lean mode of operation to assist in investing savings in all elements of the client offer. Similarly, it has to concentrate on enhancing the client experience of the supermarket by its enhanced services and creative offers. Portfolio benefits to be leveraged towards a change in productivity

In conclusion, Woolworths is the largest chain of supermarkets in Australian as well as the owner of Woolworths Limited. It was first launched in 1924. Its very first store was situated in Imperial Arcade found within Sydney. The advertisement for its launch said that every metropolitan required the Woolworths and hence everybody needed accessible locations where they could find goods at cheap prices. It offers its customers fresh food products. The supply

WOOLWORTH SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT chain at Woolworths handles distribution centers, primary freight, packaging, and barcode requirements to establish a well-functioning service between the partners in trade and the stores. I care deeply is a mantra that stays at the core of the main sustainability plans and is specifically applicable in its approach to sourcing that is responsible and the rights of the workers are managed within the supply chain globally. Woolworth operates a Distribution Centre

Replenishment as a department in its logistics group. This unit is mandated with the function of replenishing stock within the distribution centers. Demand management needs precise and updated information regarding the constituents and products that are in that chain. This is enabled using inventory management systems.

WOOLWORTH SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT References

Deshmukh, S. G. (2017). SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAINS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES:

SOME CONSIDERATIONS. INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL.

Hepworth, K., & Newman, F. (2019). Trade Unions v. Social Audits: Addressing Labour

Exploitation in Woolworths Domestic Food Supply Chain. Hum. Rts. Defender, 28, 14.

Jie, F., & Gengatharen, D. (2019). Australian food retail supply chain analysis. Business Process

Management Journal.

Kasemsap, K. (2020). Advocating sustainable supply chain management and sustainability in global supply chain. In Supply Chain and Logistics Management: Concepts,

Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 1462-1490). IGI Global.

Malik, M., Abdallah, S., Orr, S., & Chaudhary, U. (2019). The differences in agent effects on sustainable supply chain management: an activity theory construction. Supply Chain

Management: An International Journal.

Singh, A., Shukla, N., & Mishra, N. (2018). Social media data analytics to improve supply chain management in food industries. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and

Transportation Review, 114, 398-415.

Thorlakson, T., Hainmueller, J., & Lambin, E. F. (2018). Improving environmental practices in agricultural supply chains: The role of company-led standards. Global environmental change, 48, 32-42.

Yun, G., Yalcin, M. G., Hales, D. N., & Kwon, H. Y. (2019). Interactions in sustainable supply chain management: a framework review. The International Journal of Logistics Management.

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