La Fedex Essay

2684 WordsDec 3, 201111 Pages
2.0 STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL ISSUES 3 3.0 THE ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (ICTs) 4 4.0 THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF INTER-ORGANISATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS 5 5.0 CREATION OF ‘VALUE’ THROUGH LEVERAGING OF “CORE COMPETENCIES” 6 6.0 RECOMMENDATIONS AND RATIONALE REGARDING FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR Laura Ashley 8 7.0 SUMMARY OF POTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS 8 8.0 CONCLUSION 9 REFERENCES 10 1. INTRODUCTION Laura Ashley (LA), a global clothing and furnishings retailer based in the United Kingdom, identified a series of problems in its distribution and warehousing operation systems. To solve these problems, LA decided to form a strategic alliance with Business Logistics Service (“BLS”), which is created by logistics leader Federal Express. In the first section, strategic and operational issues are discussed. Then, the role of information and communication technologies is analyzed. In the third and fourth sections, the nature and scope of inter-organizational relationships and the creation of ‘value’ through leveraging of “core competencies’ are examined respectively. In the last section, we put forward some recommendations and rationale regarding the future directions for LA; also, we point out the potential ramifications. 2. UNDERLYING STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL ISSUES IDENTIFIED Strategic Issues From 1980 to 1991, four fundamental issues can be identified that thwarted LA’s development at strategic level: (1) overcomplicated management structure, (2) protruding financial problems, (3) LA’s weak branding maintenance, and (4) duplicated information system. Firstly, LA’s overcomplicated management structure was characterized by its excessive management layers and pyramidal reporting system. A series of vertical hierarchy in this system triplicated its functions and systems and blocked communications in different branches. Such structural weakness is

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