Essay on 8 business functions

Essay on 8 Business Functions: What They Do And How They Work

Essay on 8 business function.

A business, in the simplest sense, is a group of people who work together to sell goods or services. The most basic function of a business is sales and marketing. Sales are an important part of any business because they generate money for the company while marketing helps create awareness about your product or service.

A business may perform numerous functions. We have limited out discussion to the extent of 8 important business functions.

To succeed in sales, the first thing that you need to understand is the difference between a customer and a prospect. Your prospects are the people who are interested in the product or service you offer. You need to create a lead list for your product or service and this will be a list of the people who are willing to listen to your sales pitch and make a decision about whether or not they want to buy.

The difference between a lead and a prospect is that a lead is someone who has already made up their mind about the product or service you are selling. A prospect is someone who is actively considering buying your product. When your prospects see a business advertisement, they will go online to see more information about your product or service.

#2 – Marketing

Marketing can be defined as the public and business promotion of products or services. There are many things that go into marketing; there is a place for a mix of traditional marketing methods and new technology such as social media.

Traditional methods such as the use of print and television, radio, outdoor advertising, direct mail and public relations can be used to promote a product.

Modern methods of marketing include direct sales and web-based marketing. Online marketing involves marketing a product or service online or through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There are many companies who offer various social media marketing services. Many businesses buy online marketing software such as Marketo and Big Commerce.

#3 – Operations

A business is also a living thing, and in order to run effectively it needs proper care and maintenance. One of the essential tasks of a business manager is to get the business running smoothly and efficiently.

If the management is unable to keep the business going, it will end up facing bankruptcy. A business must always look out for a bigger and better place to stay. It is essential to have a clear strategy which will help guide the management in making the right decisions and taking right actions to achieve success. A clear strategy guides the company through different phases of growth. Vision of a business does not stand still. It must continuously look to increase its size and sales.

#4 – HR and Recruitment

HR and recruitment come next. It includes personnel, benefits, and corporate culture. The big goal in HR is to produce a great customer experience. Since the average employee can be the most profitable part of the company, you want to make sure that your employees are the happiest in their work.

As for benefits, they can include flexible hours, healthcare plans, and other perks. Corporate culture can include different methods of training, different work environments, and many other perks and amenities for your employees.

#5 – Finance and Accounting

Since the finances and accounting function is in control of setting and approving the company’s cash flow, all the executives of the company must understand the basic concepts of it. The company must have a clear budget and know how to follow it. One area that can be important is managing cash flow.

The primary role of this function is to produce and keep records to prove that there is enough income for the company to keep running for the future. It is essential for any new company to have a business accountant who can help them get through the initial days of setting up.

#6 – Information Technology

IT plays a crucial role in running a business in the current scenario. The electronic trail of an organization is becoming the backbone of any company or individual. There is a growing trend of outsourcing IT work to external agencies because companies want to concentrate on their core competency.

The cost of IT solutions is a concern for many companies as well. The search for cost saving solutions of running an organization has forced many companies to leverage IT solutions to get the most out of their systems. With new technological advancements, the IT solutions can have a direct impact on company’s profit as well.

#7 – Logistics and Warehousing

Logistics is also a vital part of every business. Logistics covers the distribution of products throughout the business. The delivery of products will depend on the location of your business and the services it provides.

The business can be large or small; the purpose of logistics is to help you deliver your products and services to the customers who are interested in your products or services. If you have a large business, you need to create the proper infrastructure to facilitate the distribution of products. This will require you to hire help from the experts in the field. If you own a small business that provides a basic level of services, then logistics and warehousing is also important.

#8 – Customer Service

In a typical consumer purchase, the customer interface is the salesperson and the process of purchase. There is a direct tie between the salesperson and the consumer.

The salesperson is going to drive sales, create awareness, and ultimately sell to the consumer. And to do that, they need to make the experience as painless as possible. To do that, the business needs to service the customer.

Customer Support is the service aspect of the business. Having a business that sells products or services will mean that the company needs to make its product or service available to the consumer. Many businesses focus on customers at the end of the chain, such as the product, service, or both. But the business needs to service its customers at every stage of the sales and marketing process.

Essay on 8 business functions

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Table of Contents

Introduction to Business Functions

Business functions are the main activities that businesses need to perform in order to operate successfully. In a large company, each function may have its own department (such as the HR, Finance, or Marketing departments), but in a small business, the owner may handle all the duties, including hiring and firing employees, keeping track of company finances, conducting market research, and managing advertising campaigns.

In Business Studies, we learn that there are 8 business functions, namely:

General Management

Administration, human resources (hr), public relations (pr).

  • General management is responsible for supervising all business operations. They make the important decisions which ensure that all the various business functions work harmoniously together, so that the company can run as efficiently and profitably as possible.
  • Example : The CEO of a restaurant chain would form part of general management. They would decide things like opening new locations, creating new menu items, and ensuring that each restaurant is making a profit.
  • Administration carries out a variety of support tasks that help the business run smoothly. Administrative duties include tasks such as communication, both written and verbal, gathering and processing data, as well as storing and sharing information.
  • It includes typing documents, scheduling meetings, recording minutes, handling business inquiries, and greeting visitors at reception. IT also forms part of administration as it deals with data.
  • HR is responsible for finding the most suitable employees and keeping them in the business. It also manages leaves, payroll, skills training, and conflict resolution.
  • Example : In a software company, the HR would be responsible for posting job adverts when they need new software developers, ensuring employees get their salaries on time, and helping to resolve disagreements between coworkers.
  • Marketing involves identifying customer needs by conducting market research, and meeting those needs by deciding on a product that satisfies the need at an attainable price. It also includes promotion which creates public awareness of the product and a desire to buy it.
  • Activities include, using questionnaires and surveys to identify consumer needs and desires, ensuring that the prices are suitable for the target market and using adverts and other strategies to attract potential buyers.
  • Note : Advertising and promotion are only a component of marketing. There is more to marketing than just advertising.
  • The financial function is responsible for handling the money of the business. They acquire funds and manage the utilization thereof. This is includes keeping track of income, expenses, and profits, and ensuring that the various departments are sufficiently funded, and the business’s finances are healthy.
  • Example : In a clothing retailer, the finance team would monitor how much money is made through clothing sales, how much is spent on rent, salaries, and other expenses, and determine whether company is making a profit.
  • PR manages the company’s reputation. Their job is to create and maintain a positive image of the business, internally (with employees) and externally (with the public and other stakeholders). They do this by managing social media accounts, publishing press releases, responding to crises and customer feedback, as well as publishing internal newsletters.
  • Example : If a restaurant accidentally serves a spoiled dish and a customer complains online, the PR team would respond with an apology, explain how they’re fixing the issue, and reassure other customers that they take food safety seriously.
  • The purchasing function is responsible for getting the materials and supplies that a business needs to make its products or provide its services. They find the best deals and make sure everything arrives on time.
  • Activities include sourcing suppliers for raw materials, trading goods and office equipment, negotiating long-term contracts and maintaining healthy relationships with suppliers.
  • The production function is responsible for creating the products or services that a company sells. It is where inputs (labour, capital, resources) are turned into outputs (finished goods or services).
  • Example : In a toy factory, the production function would design, assemble, and package the toys. In a toy store, it would include displaying the shelves in an attractive way, helping customers find products, and completing transactions.

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Module 1: Role of Business

Functional areas of business, learning objectives.

  • Identify the primary functional areas within a business
  • Identify key people and explain the activities within each functional area

Sideview photo of eight floors of an office building, showing many people inside at their desks. Title of photo: Worker Bees.

One of the reasons for separating business operations into functional areas is to allow each to operate within its area of expertise, thus building efficiency and effectiveness across the business as a whole. Functional areas in a business vary according to the nature of the market and the size of the business. For example, manufacturing companies like Nike and Apple have significant Research and Development (R&D) departments in order to stay in the lead in their respective business segments. On the other hand, retail companies may have no R&D functional area per se, but will be heavily invested in Operations areas surrounding Supply Chain Management.

In general, the key functional areas of a business are the following:


  • Research and Development

Each of these functional areas is represented in the following organization chart.

Organization chart of the functional areas of business. Management is the first level. Underneath management are the following four categories: Operations (Production and Supply Chain), Finance (Accounting, Procurement, and HR), Marketing/Sales (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service), and R&D (Development IT).

The primary role of managers in business is to supervise other people’s performance. Most management activities fall into the following categories:

  • Planning : Managers plan by setting long-term goals for the business, as well as short-term strategies needed to execute those goals.
  • Organizing: Managers are responsible for organizing the operations of a business in the most efficient way—enabling the business to use its resources effectively.
  • Controlling: A large percentage of a manager’s time is spent controlling the activities within the business to ensure that it’s on track to achieve its goals. When people or processes stray from the path, managers are often the first ones to notice and take corrective action.
  • Leading : Managers serve as leaders for the organization, in practical as well as symbolic ways. The manager may lead work teams or groups through a new process or the development of a new product. The manager may also be seen as the leader of the organization when it interacts with the community, customers, and suppliers.

Operations is where inputs, or factors of production, are converted to outputs, which are goods and services. Operations is the heart of a business—providing goods and services in a quantity and of a quality that meets the needs of the customers. Operations controls the supply chain, including procurement and logistics.

Marketing  consists of all that a company does to identify customers’ needs and design products and services that meet those needs. The marketing function also includes promoting goods and services, determining how the goods and services will be delivered and developing a pricing strategy to capture market share while remaining competitive. In today’s technology-driven business environment, marketing is also responsible for building and overseeing a company’s Internet presence (e.g., the company website, blogs, social media campaigns, etc.). Today, social media marketing is one of the fastest growing sectors within the marketing function.

The goal of Sales is to close the revenue the company needs in order to operate profitably, especially in B2B businesses. Again, depending on the nature of the market and the company size, Sales functional areas can vary in structure and approach: inside/outside representation, vertical/horizontal focus, direct, etc. Sales works to exploit the leads created by Marketing and activities generated by the sales force itself.

The Finance  function involves planning for, obtaining, and managing a company’s funds. Finance managers plan for both short-term and long-term financial capital needs and analyze the impact that borrowing will have on the financial well-being of the business. A company’s finance department answers questions about how funds should be raised (loans vs. stocks), the long-term cost of borrowing funds, and the implications of financing decisions for the long-term health of the business.

Accounting is a crucial part of the Finance functional area. Accountants provide managers with information needed to make decisions about the allocation of company resources. This area is ultimately responsible for accurately representing the financial transactions of a business to internal and external parties, government agencies, and owners/investors. Financial accountants are primarily responsible for the preparation of financial statements to help entities both inside and outside the organization assess the financial strength of the company. Managerial accountants provide information regarding costs, budgets, asset allocation, and performance appraisal for internal use by management for the purpose of decision-making.

Key People Within Functional Areas

Here is an example of the functional areas of a large technology manufacturing corporation and the key functions and people within.

Organization chart showing the key people within functional areas of business. The first level is Management, represented by the CEO or President. The second level, underneath Management, includes Operations, Finance, Marketing/Sales, and Research and Development. Operations is represented by the COO. The level beneath Operations includes Production, Supply Chain Management, and Procurement; these areas are represented by the VP of Production, the Director of Supply Chain Management, and the Director of Procurement. Finance is represented by the CFO. The levels beneath Finance Accounting, Human Resources, and Legal; these areas are represented by the VP of Accounting, the VP of HR, and the General Counsel of Legal. Marketing/Sales is represented by the CRO. The levels beneath Marketing/Sales include Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service; these areas are represented by the VP of Marketing, the VP of Sales, and the Director of Customer Service. Finally, R&D is represented by the CTO. The levels beneath R&D include Development and IT; these areas are represented by the VP of Development and the Director of IT.

The Management functional area in most large corporations is led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Depending on company size, there may be a President in position as well.

The Operations functional area is managed by the Chief Operations Officer (COO). In this example, Operations consists of Production, led by a Vice President (VP), a Supply Chain department, and a Procurement area with Director-level people in charge.

The Finance functional area is led by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who is one of the most important “C-level” executives. In addition to running Finance and Accounting, the CFO is responsible for reporting company results to the financial community. Finance also contains Human Resources (HR) in many companies and the Legal department as well. It is common for the CFO to have VPs of HR, Accounting, and Legal as direct reports. HR contains functions like employee training, compensation and benefits, and recruiting. Accounting has multiple functions, such as Accounts Payable, Receivable, record-keeping, and cash flow. The Legal department is responsible for contracts, copyrights, and various negotiations on behalf of the company.

The Marketing/Sales functional area is managed by the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), which is a relatively new addition to C-level executives. The CRO may have a Sales VP and Marketing VP as direct reports, but in some cases, the CRO may act as VP of Sales or Marketing. This functional area may also contain Customer Service (and Support) with a Director-level manager in charge. Marketing has specialized functions, such as communications (press releases), social media, data science analysis, and product marketing. Customer Service is usually responsible for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and problem resolution and support.

Finally, the Research and Development functional area is the lifeblood of manufacturing businesses. R&D is staffed with scientists, thought leaders, subject matter experts, and industry analysts striving to provide the organization with knowledge and ideas to keep up with, and ahead of, the competition. R&D is led by the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), who manages a Development VP or similar title, depending on what technology products are being produced: semiconductors, software systems, or dental appliances. In many organizations, the Information Technology area (IT), responsible for providing internal technology tools to the company’s employees, is housed in the R&D organization.

Practice Questions

  • Reading: Functional Areas of Business. Authored by : Linda Williams and Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
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  • Practice Questions. Authored by : Robert Danielson. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Worker Bees. Authored by : Scott Kidder. Located at : https://www.flickr.com/photos/skidder/434622114/ . License : CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

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Better Knowledge. Your Insight Is Sharper

What are Core and Supporting Business Functions +Examples

May 7, 2024

For management, knowing which core and supporting business functions are important to prioritize decision-making and resource allocation. For stakeholders, such as stock investors, it also helps sharpen their insight in analyzing company performance.

Small companies might divide their business functions into four departments: operations, marketing, human resources, and finance, where operations are core business functions.

In some companies, their organizational structure may be more complex and consists not only of these four departments but is further broken down into several. Indeed, operations remain their core function, but they may categorize some departments into core functions because they are strategic, even if they do not generate revenue.

Examples of core business functions

A core business function refers to a company’s revenue-generating activities. It usually refers to an operating function related to producing goods or providing services. It is the main activity of the company.

In some other companies, core functions may also include a secondary activity but strategic activities supporting core functions. For example, a company offering a highly customized product might consider production and customer service functions as core functions. Finance, human resources, and marketing functions can also be considered core business functions because a company would not operate without them.

Examples of supporting business functions

Supporting business functions refer to business activities in which they only act to support the core functions in operation and do not generate revenue. Their output is not for sale to the market but rather for use by core functions. They can include:

Distribution and logistics

Sales and marketing, research and development, customer service, information technology, finance and accounting, corporate strategy, human resources, communication, procurement, quality management.

Note : Inbound logistics, research and development, procurement, and quality management may fall under the same department as the operations department, depending on how the company organizes its activities. In addition, some companies may also categorize one or two of the above functions as core business functions rather than as support functions because they are strategic for the company’s revenue stream.

Distribution and logistics handle transportation, warehousing, and order processing activities. Incoming logistics handles various goods that will enter the production facility or warehouse, such as raw materials and components. Outbound logistics delivers the company’s output to customers, including handling its warehousing.

Some companies may sell and ship their own products directly to customers. While others rely on intermediaries such as distributors and wholesalers.

Sales and marketing activities include market research, promotion, sales, and after-sales service. In addition, the team is involved in extracting information about the market, segmenting the market, identifying target market segments, creating consumer profiles, and developing the appropriate marketing mix.

Marketing mix development involves determining the right product (quality, features, and unique selling proposition), setting prices, carrying out promotions such as advertising and sales promotions, and establishing effective distribution channels.

If the company has an online channel, the marketing department is also responsible for handling it, including developing a website, running social media ads, and search engine optimization.

Note : Some marketing-related activities such as new product development and handling distribution channels may fall under other departments such as the research and development and distribution and logistics departments. It depends on the organizational structure built by management.

Research and development are responsible for innovation within the company, possibly related to products or business processes. If not separated, this function may fall under the operations department.

Assume research and development are separate departments. This department should be filled with open-minded individuals, have strong analytical experience, and have a deep understanding of the market and business processes. In developing product innovations, the team conducts market research, benchmarking, identifying trends, and conducting experiments to help determine the most profitable products to commercialize.

Customer service activities may fall under the marketing department. The team manages profitable long-term relationships with customers. They handle aspects such as customer complaints and inquiries, returns, and customer requirements. Therefore, they need skills in communication, handling conflicts, and patient dealing with customers.

Superior customer service keeps customers loyal to the company, thereby bringing money into the company in the long run. They can also p rovide support and positive reviews  about the company, strengthening the company’s brand position.

Information technology handles the flow of information within the company and outside the company, including the required software and hardware. The team is responsible for installing and maintaining information systems, digital networks, the internet, information security, etc. They also provide technical assistance to other departments to use technology tools or when they encounter problems.

The team may also work with teams from customers or suppliers to integrate the company’s information systems to help smooth the flow of information between the company, customers, and suppliers.

The finance and accounting functions deal with company money, including related aspects such as budgeting, funding, supervision, control, and financial reporting, both to internal and external users. In addition, the team processes various financial transactions within the company, such as paying suppliers, employee salaries, taxes, and collecting payments from customers.

The finance and accounting departments also deal with managerial accounting, which is concerned with providing management with financial information. It presents not only financial figures but also combined operational data. At the end of the year, the team prepares financial statements, which are mandatory to be released to the public for listed companies.

This department thinks about strategy at the top level. They are usually under executive management. This function is sometimes equated with the business and development department.

The team helps top management to achieve the company’s goals and objectives effectively. They help develop sound corporate planning and informed decision-making, considering the inherent risks. They plan how to achieve business goals and build a competitive advantage to stay ahead of the competition.

The human resources (HR) department handles aspects related to individuals within the company. Its responsibilities include recruiting new employees, organizing training and development, developing compensation systems, handling conflicts, termination, and dismissal within the company, fostering organizational culture, and handling industrial relations.

The communications department deals with aspects such as corporate communications, public relations, and crisis management. For example, they hold press releases and build good relations with journalists to promote and build a good company image in the public’s eyes. That includes how to handle negative issues about the company so as not to damage the company’s image.

The procurement department deals with aspects such as purchasing, logistics, and supply chain management. Its responsibilities include handling the purchase of materials and components for the production process. Apart from that, buying other items needed by the company such as office equipment is also under this department. This department is increasingly strategic for handling large purchases, where team expertise helps companies to lower costs.

Quality management activities usually fall under the operations department. The team ensures the company’s products meet the specifications or standards set. They carry out quality management procedures, including quality planning, quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement. They test products and review production processes to ensure the products sold meet company and customer requirements.

  • Operations Department: Roles and Relationships With Other Business Functions
  • Accounting and Finance Department: Roles and Links with Other Departments
  • Organizational Structure by Function: Advantages and Disadvantages
  • How are business functions interrelated?
  • Business Function: Definition, Importance, and Types
  • Human Resources Department: Roles and How it Works
  • Marketing department: Functions and Responsibilities

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Business Administrator Functions Essay

Thesis statement, my experience and its relation to the business administration domain, requirements, salary, and other characteristics: job analysis, from the saddleback college to the csu fullerton: the future journey, values table: what tops the list of a business administrator’s priorities, works cited.

Despite its complexity and the efforts that it demands from a student in terms of the domains that have to be mastered, the skills that have to be learned and the information that needs to be acquired, being a business administrator is one of the most interesting jobs that the present-day education has to offer in the field of economics and management.

Acquiring the knowledge that a business administrator must possess will help learn to not only manage a team of employees, but also monitor numerous business processes, use strategic planning efficiently and be a successful leader, especially when it comes to making a career in business development, be it managing a restaurant chain or a pharmaceutical company.

Being an average employee is much harder than it may seem; being a leader is even harder since the pressure of the responsibility is much heavier. However, being employed as a business administrator must be the most complicated and at the same time, the most exciting stage of one’s career.

Unlike a company leader, a business administrator is hardly noticeable –, clients may even be completely unaware of their existence – yet a truly irreplaceable element of any firm. Scheduling, arranging, checking, and carrying out several other and more specific tasks, a business administrator is an element that no corporate mechanism can work without.

I have had quite an impressive experience in management in general and business administration in particular. To start with, I have been assisting my father, who owns a small pharmacy company, in running the firm and have learned quite several crucial details concerning the major financial administration issues, information management and data analysis, operating processes, sustainability concerns and the means to address them, etc.

The emphasis, however, was still on the financial aspect and the related transactions. However, apart from the niceties of financial management, I have also learned quite a lot about sustainability, which is also often attributed to the range of responsibilities of a business administrator.

As it turned out, the process of chemical waste disposal was much more complicated than the disposal of industrial or domestic waste; as a result, it took me quite a while to define the safest and the cheapest methods of transporting the waste to the landfill sites. Thus, as a business administrator, I had to handle the issues related to the company’s internal and external processes, particularly, logistics, some of the financial transactions and the environmental issues associated with pharmacy.

My second experience, though not as exotic as the first one, was also of great use for me as future business management and administration expert. I have also assisted my father in developing his restaurant business and administering a chain of restaurants. The given experience appeared even more useful than the one concerning operating the pharmacy.

Though the latter also demanded impressive skills, particularly in communication with the business partners, dealing with the transportation issues and other logistics related concerns, working on the improvement of the organization processes, etc., it was the restaurant business that made me realize how important business administration is.

The promotion process alone was a real eye-opener on the specifics of a company’s functioning; it never occurred to me that, when arranging business processes, one must take every single stakeholder into account, including not only possible partners but also customers and staff.

Also, as soon as we started hiring people as the restaurant personnel, it occurred to me that a business administrator must also know the specifics of human resource management; more to the point, it is crucial for a business administrator to have leadership qualities and be able to coordinate the work of all employees.

Seeing how the profession that I have chosen involves contacting with people daily, it can be assumed that working as a restaurant administrator and, thus, being constantly involved into the communication process, either with clients or with the staff, was of huge significance for me.

Like any other job, working as a business administrator requires specific qualities, skills, and knowledge. Admittedly well paid, the job of my choice is still very exhaustive; more importantly, the competitive rates are very high in the given field. According to the recent analysis results, business, and management, in general, are listed among the top five popular interest areas ( Strong Interest Inventory: Profile with College Profile 3).

Speaking of the salary, which a person specializing in the given field can expect their company to pay them for, the current data looks rather promising. To be more exact, according to the information published in the recent report, the medium annual salary for a specialist in business administration makes $120,510.

The position of a sales manager brings $105,600, a finance manager is paid $109,740 a year, the annual wages of a human resource manager make around $99,720, an administrator in hospitality management earns $88,580 annually, and a marketing manager is paid $119,480 on average ( Business Administration Salary: What You’ll Earn para. 2).

As it has been stressed above, the services of a business administrator can be needed in a variety of areas, the requirements for the candidate changing correspondingly. However, there are certain general rules, which can be applied to any domain, whether it is human resource management, company leadership, financial transactions, or any other aspect of company management.

As a rule, a business administrator is required to have a Bachelor or Master Degree and the certificate showing that the candidate has attended training courses, where the latest information concerning the duties of a business administrator has been provided ( Business Administration Salary: What You’ll Earn para. 3).

When it comes to analyzing the job itself, one must mention that, despite the vagueness surrounding the very term “business administrator,” the given position is ranked among the most popular ones in the United States.

As Hammer’s report shows, the position of my choice belongs to the Business and Finance Family (Hammer 8), which means that it is the sixth most popular area of students’ and entrepreneurs’ interest. Apart from obvious benefits, the given career choice, however, has minor downsides, such as the demand for specialists with at least two years of experience ( Instructor – Business Administration – U.S. National Averages para. 1).

The choice of the field in which the author of this essay is going to achieve excellence shrinks the number of the available occupations considerably. Even though the job of a business administrator embraces several areas starting from entrepreneurship up to the employment in a hospitality industry, it still presupposes that the number of jobs to choose from will be reduced considerably. Thus, the amount of schools, which can be chosen to get the education required for these jobs, has also been reduced.

After the number of the existing options had been restricted to California schools, I decided to choose the California State University because of the highly professional staff and the fact that the University provides its students with the latest and the most important information concerning the subject matter.

Also, it is crucial to keep in mind that a successful student will have to undergo sufficient training before entering university. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider such courses as CSU Transferrable Courses, CSU GE-Breadth Certification Courses, CSU US History, Constitution and American Ideas Courses, IGETC for UC and CSU, UC Transferable Courses and UC Transfer and Admission Eligibility Courses (ASSIST para. 4).

The domain that has been chosen for my future evolution as a professional is admittedly broad. Indeed, the skills of a business administrator are required in practically any field, which means that a plethora of choices will be open for me as soon as I graduate with a degree in Business Administration. However, of all options available, the following ones seem the most enticing:

Picking one of the jobs suggested above is not an easy task – each of them seems to offer rather rosy prospects. However, I would, probably, consider the position of a general and operational manager. Since the given career option presupposes that the person taking it should be able to handle various tasks and use their assets and skills to the maximum, it will contribute to my evolution of a specialist.

Also, the given job will not bind me to any particular routine and, therefore, will allow for developing each of my qualities and training all my skills in an appropriate manner. By analyzing and scheduling various elements of an organization’s daily routine, I will be able to understand the very nature of a company’s operations. More to the point, the given job will help me develop communication skills, which are crucial for any leader. It is noteworthy, though, that the given job does not presuppose much autonomy.

However, for a person working for a company, the amount of autonomy is rather little, to begin with. Every single decision made by business administrators, no matter what issue they are responsible for, must be in chord with the rest of the company’s decisions; otherwise, a firm will be dysfunctional. Speaking of personal preferences, the fact that general operations managers have enough variety in their daily routine seems the most encouraging factor for me at the moment.

ASSIST. Saddleback College Courses Applicable for Transfer . Web.

Business Administration Salary : What You’ll Earn . Web.

Hammer, Allen L. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Career Report 2014. Web.

Instructor – Business Administration – U.S. National Averages 2014. Web.

Strong Interest Inventory: Profile with College Profile . 2014. Web.

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The Core Business Functions Business Essay

Published Date: 23 Mar 2015

Disclaimer: This essay has been written and submitted by students and is not an example of our work. Please click this link to view samples of our professional work witten by our professional essay writers . Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of EssayCompany.

1.1 Core function analysis is just a process whereby every part of functions are categorized, so that a plan can be developed to reduce asset in non-core or marginal functions in order to capitalize on efficiency and productivity in the core functions. Core business functions are activities of an enterprise yielding income: the production of final goods or services in dented for the market or for third parties. Generally the core business functions make up the key activity of the enterprise, but they may also comprise other (minor) activities if the enterprise considers these as part of its core functions. There are many types of core business function are Human Resources,Sales and Marketing,Research and Development ,Production/Operations,consumer Service,Finance and Accounts and Administration and IT (Brown, 2008).

Human Resources Management activities linked with recruiting, hiring, training, compensating, and dismissing personnel: provided that employee assistance, Hiring and firing personnel, managing human resources recruiting, contribution labor relations services, Training, Managing payroll and compensation.

Research and Development performance such as the following associated with bringing a new, enhanced, or redesigned product or service to market (many of these activities are research, marketing analysis, design, and engineering activities): Developing business plans, products or services, Analyzing markets Researching products or services ,Designing products or services Testing (Brown, 2008).

Production/Operations actions are those which transform inputs into final outputs, either goods or services. During most cases, business functions characterized as operations will liken with the manufacturing code of the establishment or the action most directly associated with that code. The precise function the production of a good or the provision of a service will relate to the specific industry. Assembling products, managing production, producing goods, managing services, providing services, Conducting quality assurance or quality control and fabricating components (Kissel, 2011).

Consumer Service Activities, including training, help desks, call centres, and customer support for guarantees and warranties, that provide support services to customers after purchase of the good or service, Offering call centre services Maintaining and repairing products, Providing customer relations, given that technical support, Providing customer service or support, Providing warranty support and Installing products.

Marketing, sales, and customer accounts behavior aimed at informing existing or potential buyers (many of these activities are promotion, advertising, telemarketing, selling, and retail management activities) are Advertising, Conducting market research, Managing accounts, Coordinating media relations, Billing, Merchandizing, Branding or managing products , Processing orders ,Collecting payments ,Selling Marketing and Telemarketing.

Administration and IT Activities related to maintenance, automation, design or redesign of equipment, hardware, software, procedures, and technical knowledge were Developing computer system, Providing Internet services, Maintaining or repairing computer systems Designing processes Managing data, Developing and testing software, Processing data, Providing software and information technology and Engineering services (Brown, 2008).

1.2 Sales and marketing is most important for cell phone Company in Kathmandu. Nepal has a young consumer market. It will be a prospective target market because youth in the Nepalese society want to be updated with new technology. They are more likely to spend money on technological things. Nepal will be marketing cheaper cell phones all over the nation so that more young people can have the funds for them based on their earnings. Among Nepal's increasing GDP and average income, younger people will promote from this growth and purchase more economical goods. Cell phone tendency is going to take off within the next couple of years all over Nepal. Rise in per-capita will allow people to use more on lavishness items. Phones will be less expensive (Mawri, 2012).

A market potential objective was how much volume and share are nearly boundless for the next few years. As there is such a huge market that needs the delivery of phones as long as you have a good brand image almost all, if not all of your stock should be purchased. However setting initial goal of 70 thousand phones is not unreasonable and not to cost problematical.

Cell phone will finally be considered a requirement. The objective of sales promotion is to induce purchase as well as to retain existing consumers by providing special incentives for Future Tech consumers. It is particularly encouraged that Future tech should tie -up with corporations to allow discounts for workers. This promotion move will prove to be highly effective as the primary target segment is the young working professionals. This is an ideal strategic tie-up as it will certainly generate sales volume as well as brand consciousness. There is no better advertising strategy than "word of mouth" advertising. In addition, there will be strategic tie-ups with TV, FM. For example, audience tuning to Kantipur TV programs answering questions correctly given after the end of the program can get Sony Ericsson mobile phones as prizes. In turn, KTV will in directly promote Sony Ericsson brand awareness by mentioning the Sony Ericsson as prize-givers. For music stores: customers purchasing CDs, VCDs, DVDs from music stores will get their points added in there (Mawri, 2012).

Ideally all stakeholders should to be dealt equally but in reality some are more important or influential than others so their influence is likely to be greater in the organization. Analyze the statement with valid examples. (1.2)(D1)

Stakeholder is a person who has something to gain or lose through the

outcomes of a planning process, program or project (Dialogue by Design, 2008).

Stakeholder Analysis is a technique used to identify and assess the influence and importance of key people, groups of people, or organizations that may significantly impact the success of your activity or project (Friedman and Miles, 2006).

Stakeholder Management is essentially stakeholder relationship management as it is the relationship and not the actual stakeholder groups that are managed (Friedman and Miles, 2006).

They can be divided into inside stakeholders and outside stakeholders. Inside stakeholders are people who are nearby to an organization and have the strongest or most direct claim on organizational resources: shareholders, executive employees, and non executive employees.

Shareholders are the owners of the organization, and, as such, their claim on organizational resources is often careful to the claims of other inside stakeholders. The shareholders' donation to the organization is to spend money in it by buying the organization's shares or stock. The shareholders' stimulus to invest is the potential money they can earn on their asset in the form of dividends and increases in the price of the stock they have purchased. Investment in stock is risky, on the other hand, because there is no agreement of a return. Shareholders who do not believe that the inducement (the possible return on their investment) is enough to warrant their donation (the money they have invested) sell their shares and withdraw their support from the organization.

Executive Employees Managers are the employees who are accountable for coordinating organizational resources and ensuring that an organization's goals are effectively met. Higher managers are responsible for investing shareholder money in various resources in order to maximize the future value of goods and services. Managers are, in effect, the agents or employees of shareholders and are appointed indirectly by shareholders through an organization's governance structure, such as a board of directors, to manage the organization's business. Managers' charities are the skills they use to direct the organization's response to pressures from within and outside the organization.

Non executive Employees an organization's labor force consists of non executive employees. These members of the labor force have responsibilities and duties (usually outlined in a job explanation) that they are responsible for performing. An employee's influence to the organization is the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities. How well an employee performs is, in some measure, within the employee's control. An employee's motivation to perform well relates to the rewards and punishments that the organization uses to influence job performance. Like managerial employees, other employees who do not feel that the inducements meet or exceed their influences are likely to withdraw their support for the organization by reducing their influences or the level of their performance, or by leaving the organization.

Outside stakeholders are people who do not own the organization (such as shareholders), are not employed by it, but do have some interest in it or its activities. Consumers, suppliers, the government, trade and other unions, local communities, special interest groups, and the general public are all outside stakeholders.

Consumers are usually an organization's largest outside stakeholder group. Consumers are induced to select a product or service (and thus an organization) from potentially many alternative products or services. They usually do this through an estimation of what they are getting relative to what they have to pay. The money they pay for the product or service represents their influence to the organization and reflects the value they feel they receive from the organization. As long as the organization produces a product or service whose price is equal to or less than the value consumers feel they are getting, they will continue to buy the product or service and sup-port the organization. If consumers refuse to pay the price the organization is asking, they usually will withdraw their support, and the organization loses a vital stakeholder.

Suppliers, another important outside stakeholder group, contribute to the organization by provided that reliable raw materials, element parts, or other services that allow the organization to reduce uncertainty in its technical or production operations, thus allowing for cost efficiencies. Suppliers therefore can have a direct effect on the organization's efficiency and an indirect effect on its ability to attract consumers.

Government traditionally, different governments have had a major influence upon both the markets and the operating environment of Nepalese business. This participation has been both proscriptive and prescriptive in nature. As business operates within, and contributes to, our society, governments have several claims on an organization. While it wants companies to compete in a fair manner and obey the rules of free competition, it also wants companies to obey agreed-upon rules and laws concerning the payment and treatment of employees, workers' health and workplace safety, fair hiring practices, and other social and economic issues.

Unionized Employees The relationship between a trade or other union and an organization can be one of conflict or cooperation. The nature of the relationship has a direct effect on the productivity and effectiveness of the organization, the union membership, and even other stakeholders. Cooperation between managers and the union can lead to positive long-term outcomes if both parties agree on an equitable division of the gains from an improvement in a company's fortunes. Managers and the union might agree.

Local Communities also have a stake in the performance of organizations because employment, housing, and the general economic well-being of a community are strongly affected by the success or failure of local businesses. This is of particular importance in Nepal due to the unique nature of the Nepalese geography and demographics.

Special Interest Groups and the General Public Nepal's public also wants its corporations and other businesses to act in a socially responsible way so that corporations generally refrain or are constrained from taking any actions that may injure or impose unreasonable or unjust costs on other stakeholders. As Nepal's social culture evolves, people become more aware of how business activity impacts the environment and social issues. Further than elections and government mandates, many of these issues become mainly important to different sub rudiments of the broader public or what are referred to as unique interest groups.

An organization is worn at the same time by different groups of stakeholders to each achieve or further their own goals. It is the collective influences of all stakeholders that are needed for an organization to be feasible and to achieve its mission of producing valued goods and services. Every stakeholder group is motivated to contribute to the organization by its own set of goals, and each group evaluates the efficiency of the organization by judging how well it meets the group's specific goals.

Shareholders assess an organization by the return they receive on their asset; consumers, by the reliability and value of its products relative to their price; and managers and employees, by their salaries, stock options, situation of employment, and career scenario. Frequently these goals conflict and stakeholder groups must bargain over the suitable balance between the inducements that they should receive and the charity that they should make. For this reason, organizations are often regarded as alliances or coalitions of stakeholder groups that directly (and indirectly) bargain with each other and use their power and influence to alter the balance of inducements and charity in their favor An organization is viable as long as a dominant coalition of stakeholders has control over sufficient inducements so that it can obtain the charity it needs from other stakeholder groups. Though, when stakeholders refuse to contribute, the organization is placed into peril. In the United States, the spectacular collapse of Enron and WorldCom occurred when their illegal actions became public and their stakeholders refused to contribute: Shareholders sold their stock, banks refused to lend money, and debtors called in their loans.

There is no reason to assume, however, that all stakeholders will be equally satisfied with the balance between inducements and charity. Indeed, the implications of the coalition view of organizations are that some stakeholder groups have priority over others. To be effective, however, an organization must at least minimally satisfy the interests of all the groups that have a stake in the organization. The claims of each group must be addressed; otherwise, a group might withdraw its support and injure the future performance of the organization, such as when banks refuse to lend company money, or a group of employees goes out on strike. When all stakeholder interests are minimally satisfied, the relative power of a stakeholder group to control the distribution of inducements determines how the organization will attempt to satisfy different stakeholder goals and what criteria stakeholders will use to judge the organization's effectiveness.

Evils that an organization faces as it tries to win stakeholders' approval include choosing which stakeholder goals to satisfy, deciding how to allocate organizational rewards to different stakeholder groups, and balancing short-term and long-term goals.

You are a marketing officer of a chocolate company, analyse the environment of your country to achieve the set goals and objects of your company. (1.3)(D2)

Ferrero S.p.A. Multinational manufacturing company specializing in sweets, founded in 1942 by Pietro Ferrero in Alba, Piedmont, Italy. Consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2009/2010 of the group were about 6.62 billion euro's. Around the world employed are over then 21,700 employees, with38 operating companies for the sale, and 15 establishments for the manufacture. Eight of these establishments are distributed in Europe and the remaining seven each in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Canada and the United States. At May 2009, the Reputation Institute, after having carried out a survey in 32 countries, interviewing more than60, 000 people, said Ferrero is the most trusted and has the best reputation in the world according to the customer, followed by the Swedish company IKEA and the U.S. Johnson &Johnson. The rankings also point toward Michele Ferrero (the recent largest shareholder) as the richest man in Italy. It isn't a significant data, but it is the formalization of the significance Ferrero Company. A unique company in the world, diverse from all others: for products and strategies, for thinking and history. In 2009 the company also earned the "Reputation Award", which is the most high-status international award that a company can receive. Customers are asked to rate 32 countries evaluated the 600 largest companies in the world based on criteria such as trust, respect, innovation, positive feelings and overall esteem. The award was given in Amsterdam at Ferrero, which in Italy has received the highest approval rates in the world (Humek, 2012).

Ferrero (2008) said that "its center is an asset of resources enabling the Group to surmount difficulties, while maintaining the course towards solid development for the future. These resources come from the power of its products and from the sense of belonging shared by all its employees. So, be convinced, persist to provide your best with the trustworthiness, professionalism and commitment that have always distinguished your work: inimitable values that assist us to be flourishing in the past and will be a key constituent to continue towards additional achievement in the future."

PESTLE analysis stands for "Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environment analysis" and describes a structure of macro-environmental aspects utilized in the environmental scanning component of strategic management. Also a part of the external analysis when performing a strategic analysis or doing market research, and provides an impression in different macro environmental factors that the company has to take into thought. In particular:

Political factors are how and to what degree a government intrudes in the nation economy is. Particularly, political factors contain areas such as tax rule, employment law, environmental law, trade restrictions, levy, and political constancy.

Economic factors consist of economic growth, interest tariff, trade rates and the increase rate. These aspects have major impacts on how businesses function and formulate decisions. For example, interest tariff affect a firm's capital cost and therefore to what level a business is raised and expands. Exchange rates affect the exporting good costs and the deliver and cost of imported goods in an economy.

Social factors contain the cultural aspects and include health awareness, population growth rate, age sharing, career outlook and importance on safety. Tendency in social factors affect the requirement for a company's products and how that company run;

Technological factors comprise of technical aspects such as research and development (R&D) activity, automation, technology enticements and the charge of technological change. They can determine barriers to entry, minimum proficient manufacture level and influence outsourcing decisions. Additionally, technological shifts can affect costs, features, and lead to innovation;

Environmental factors include natural and environmental aspects such as weather, climate, and climatic transform, which may particularly affect industries. Growing consciousness of the possible impacts of climate change is disturbing how companies function and the products they present, both creating new markets and diminishing or destroying existing ones; (Humek , 2012).

Ferrero is committed to using environmentally-friendly methods every one of over the world. To this end: they organize projects and operational programs that respect the environment in all the fields and operate in; they manage factories by using energy, materials and natural resources in an efficient manner, with the aim of reducing their environmental impact, reducing waste and refuse and, where possible, using renewable energy sources; company aware of the fact that the conservation of water quantity and quality is not just an environmental problem, but a challenge which faces the entire agricultural, economic and social system. Consequently company is committed to the responsible management of water resources; establish environmental objectives and undertake to measure the progress they have made; company is committed to educating partners so that the principles listed above will be followed everywhere and by all echelons of organization. In order to ensure that all this is methodically guaranteed, the company has implemented an Environmental Management System in line with ISO14001:2004.

According to our country Nepal we can found this chocolate everywhere some department store and we cannot found these chocolates everywhere because this chocolates price is very high cost. Everybody cannot efforts these chocolates in Nepal. We also found duplicate of feerero in Nepal. Market is also not good in Nepal due to government policies they have to charge tax and price will go high.

It is essential for business to recognize its stakeholders and their needs and requirements. Most of the organizations fail to concentrate on their entire stakeholder still Most of the company fails to address their entire stakeholder requirements still recognizing the value and help made by them because of which company fail.

Therefore, considering the needs of stakeholders, incorporate those needs into the strategy of company after careful consideration of ability of the company is essential.


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The CEO: Architect of the new operations agenda

After the historic disruptions of 2020 and early 2021, the exit from the COVID-19 pandemic is raising a host of critical operational questions for businesses. A rapid but bumpy recovery is putting short-term pressure on sales and margins, while urgent action is needed to stay ahead of longer-term disruptive change. This complex and uncertain environment presents heightened risks, but it is also creating spaces in many industries, opening opportunities for innovation and growth. Companies that can adapt faster and execute more efficiently than their competitors are set to reap benefits in both the short and long terms.

Following months of lockdowns and restrictions, economic activity is only slowly beginning to recover in some sectors. In others, skyrocketing demand has created significant supply-side challenges. Carmakers, for example, have been forced to temporarily shut down plants and cut production by up to 40 percent because of shortages of critical components, especially semiconductors.

Companies are struggling to find workers too. The US job-opening rate is around 50 percent higher than before the pandemic, while around four million people have left the civilian workforce. Shortages are particularly acute in key operational sectors, including truck drivers and frontline manufacturing or warehouse personnel.

Similar issues are rippling across many industries. With capacity constraints in production and logistics limiting the availability of products ranging from construction materials to bicycle components, an upward pricing spiral has been observed for some goods . Basic commodities such as steel, copper, and natural gas are trading at or close to historical highs (Exhibit 1). Container-shipping costs have risen tenfold or more on popular routes.

These higher costs might prove short lived if the entire global economy roars back to life. But they also raise concerns about a more prolonged period of inflation, which could negatively affect growth in the medium term. In October 2021, the International Monetary Fund warned that “ inflation risks are skewed to the upside ” and that central banks should be ready to act if high costs in specific sectors begin to drive up prices and wages more broadly. In financial markets, medium- and long-term inflation expectations are at an eight-year high.

While meeting today’s customer demand is difficult enough, many industries still lack a clear picture of what their customers will want tomorrow. The emergence or resurgence of COVID-19 hot spots around the world is leading governments to impose new restrictions, often at short notice, with knock-on effects on business activity and consumer confidence. Yet once restrictions are lifted for good, companies and individuals will need to decide how much they want to hang on to a range of pandemic-inspired behavior changes, from videoconferences and work from home to staycations and online food delivery.

Then there’s the day after tomorrow. Business faced diverse challenges, including the impact of rising geopolitical tension and growing pressure from customers, regulators, and investors to tackle environmental sustainability, social justice, and climate change, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The imperative to act on those challenges is now urgent.

If 2021’s extreme temperatures, floods, and forest fires weren’t enough to stir business leaders into action, then a tidal wave of regulatory change is likely to do so. There are 137 countries that have now pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of this century or a little after, for example, and many major economies are now backing up these high-level commitments with specific legislation. Some 23 countries have announced bans on the sale of fossil-fuel-powered cars over the next three decades, with Norway imposing the rule starting in 2025.

New rules are also forcing companies to take responsibility for the impact of their wider value chains. In Germany, for example, the Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, or Supply-Chain-Care Obligations Act, will require organizations to ensure that their direct and indirect suppliers meet a broad range of environmental and social standards in 2023. Similar regulations are in the pipeline, or already in place, in many other major economies.

The labor challenge is also set to become more acute. The pandemic has accelerated the automation and digitization ambitions of many organizations, with knock-on effects on their current and future skill needs. To keep labor supply and demand in balance, research by the McKinsey Global Institute  suggests that, across the world’s eight largest economies, more than 100 million people (one in every 16 workers) will need to transition to new roles by 2030. In advanced economies, that figure represents a 25 increase on prepandemic predictions.

Business operations in the spotlight

For CEOs, these trends raise tough questions that are operations-related at their core. “Can we meet customer demand, both today and tomorrow? Should we boost capacity to prepare for a prolonged period of rapid growth or reduce it, preparing for a slowdown and the threat of stagflation? Where will we get the skilled, digitally savvy workforce we will need in the coming years? How do we decarbonize, minimize regulatory risk, and still stay in business?” Too often, the answers reveal that a company’s operations are not fit for purpose in a such a complex, uncertain, and fast-changing environment.

Modern global supply chains and lean production systems were designed to deliver high-quality products and services at the lowest possible cost. They work best when supply and demand behavior are well understood and when every participant in the value chain is performing as expected. That’s proving to be a costly assumption. Modeling by the McKinsey Global Institute  suggests that, over a decade, the average large company can expect that supply-chain disruptions will cause losses equivalent to approximately 42 percent of one year’s earnings.

In a McKinsey survey of supply-chain leaders , 93 percent of respondents told us that the COVID-19 crisis had exposed problems with their global manufacturing and supply footprints. By the middle of this year, however, only 15 percent had begun to make structural changes, such as nearshoring of production and diversification of their supplier bases, in response (Exhibit 2).

Similar gaps between ambition and reality are visible across other aspects of business operations. Take the adoption of digital technologies. The mass shift to remote working  was a digital success story, and the pandemic encouraged some companies to dramatically accelerate the implementation of digital projects. But in other areas, such as the digitization of manufacturing operations, progress remains slow, even as companies reach the limits of established productivity-improvement methodologies such as lean management.

For example, over the past four years, experts from the Global Lighthouse Network  (GLN)—a World Economic Forum initiative in collaboration with McKinsey—have assessed more than 1,000 manufacturing companies around the world in the search for “lighthouse” examples of the application of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. As of 2021, 90 facilities had made the grade. And of those, only a minority can claim to have cracked the code on end-to-end process digitization.

And most companies admit that they have yet to fully understand the shape of their medium-term challenges, let alone how to fix them. For many products, 80 to 90 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions are scope 3: indirect emissions that occur across the company’s value chain, such as embedded emissions in purchased goods and services, employee travel and commuting, and the use and end-of-life treatment of sold products. Of these emissions, two-thirds are usually from the upstream supply chain . Tier-n suppliers are also more difficult to monitor, increasing the risk that poor environmental or labor practices go unnoticed. Supply-chain leaders in our recent survey think that they understand the key-risk exposure of about half their tier-one suppliers. At tier three, that number drops to only 2 percent.

Even once companies understand their suppliers’ risk exposure, they simply do not have operational solutions to some of their biggest upcoming challenges. Many of the technologies required for a net-zero economy are not yet technically or commercially viable or available at scale. When one carmaker mapped out the steps required to eliminate emissions from vehicle production, for example, it found that less than 25 percent of its path to zero emissions is net-present-value positive at current costs  (Exhibit 3). In a 2021 McKinsey survey of more than 1,000 senior manufacturing and supply-chain executives, only 3 percent of respondents say that they believe their companies can economically decarbonize their footprints by 2040.

Data from the same survey suggest that companies do at least recognize the need for change across their business operations. Some 70 percent of respondents think that the increased use of digital technologies will be critical to their productivity-improvement efforts over the next three years (Exhibit 4). And 66 percent of respondents in the consumer-packaged-goods sector say that they plan to decentralize their supply networks, moving warehouses and logistics centers closer to their customers.

Why, then, are so few companies succeeding in a transformation of their operations that they understand is necessary? We believe that most are aiming too low. Moves such as incremental adjustments to supply networks, digitizing fragments of existing processes, and reducing the use of a few environmentally harmful materials are useful—but they won’t deliver the step change in performance that industries need. Instead, the new business-operations agenda calls for a bold vision and large-scale, pan-organizational change. That makes it a CEO-level challenge.

Three business-operations imperatives for the CEO

The ability to execute in a complex, uncertain, and rapidly evolving environment is set to become a decisive competitive differentiator in the coming years. Companies will need both the resilience to ride out shocks and disruptions and the agility to exploit emerging opportunities. They will also need to master fast, effective, coordinated, and large-scale change.

These attributes can’t be bolted on to brittle, inflexible, slow-moving operating models. Instead, they must be built into the organization’s structures, processes, and people. The CEO is therefore the catalyst for the transformation, supporting the COO and engaging the full senior-leadership team. Leaders can set their organizations on the right path with a focus on three critical starting points:

  • setting up resilient, risk-tolerant supply-chain structures that abandon outdated ideas about centralization and scale
  • doubling down on digitization with bold investments designed to achieve a truly end-to-end vision of what the future promises
  • achieving real agility throughout the organization via better real-time visibility and systematic response to external developments

Do we have the right supply-chain structure and physical footprints?

It takes time to adapt the physical configuration of a value chain. Finding and qualifying alternative suppliers is difficult. In warehousing and logistics, networks and flows are tricky to set up, integrate, and optimize. Building new plants, or closing old ones, is a complex, costly exercise. As a result, the structure of the supply chain at many organizations tends to be set up to meet yesterday’s requirements rather than tomorrow’s.

The gap between the physical footprint an organization has now and the one it likely needs for the future is set to grow rapidly in the coming years. The shift will be driven by multiple forces, including the need to mitigate the risks of supply disruption; the push for localized supply chains that can respond faster to volatile demand; the search for resource-efficient, low-carbon materials; and a broader reevaluation of the right location and size for manufacturing sites and front offices.

To close that gap, companies can take a fresh look at their networks and supply-chain structures. That means revisiting fundamental considerations, such as make-or-buy decisions. From product design to final assembly, some activities that were once considered core to the organization might be done more efficiently, and with less risk, by external suppliers.

Some of the paradigms that have long driven footprint-design decisions are now ripe for reconsideration. McKinsey research in the automotive sector, for example, found that midsize supplier plants with 1,000 to 1,500 direct employees were almost twice as likely as their smaller or larger counterparts to achieve top-quartile productivity. Manufacturers that split production over several medium-size plants rather than one megafactory may also benefit from closer proximity to customers and reduced location risks, such as weather-induced shutdowns and energy price spikes.

Are we digitizing fast enough?

Over the past decade, digital-native players have grown from nothing into multibillion-dollar organizations, disrupting multiple industries along the way. Yet in that time, only a handful of established companies can claim that they have fully digitized their end-to-end operations.

Only a handful of established companies can claim that they have fully digitized their end-to-end operations.

Digitization’s success stories have shown that automation, advanced analytics, and machine learning can generate step changes in productivity, flexibility, and speed. At leading companies, digitization is driving significant improvements to key financial and operational metrics: 30 percent reductions in inventory and cost of goods sold, 50 percent reductions in cost of quality, and 30 percent improvements in cash and productivity. Right now, digital approaches offer the most feasible solution to the primary operational challenges faced by many companies and industries.

Digitization boosts sustainability too. A full 64 percent of the companies in the GLN say that Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies have helped them meet sustainability goals, often as a beneficial byproduct of efforts to address cost, productivity, or quality challenges.

The time for digital tinkering is over. If an organization has not yet embarked upon a full-scale digital transformation, it is probably behind the curve. The technical barriers to digitization are falling away thanks to the increasing maturity and rapid industrialization of critical technologies. Many advanced solutions can now be bought off the shelf or delivered as a tailored service by specialist vendors.

The remaining challenges are organizational and human. To exploit the opportunities presented by digital tools, companies need a clear view of the business priorities that digitization can address. They should be willing to take a cleansheet approach, reengineering their processes from end to end. And they need to build a workforce with the skills and mindsets the digital world requires (Exhibit 5).

Do we know what’s going on?

Too many companies still run their operations blindfolded. Limited information sharing and collaboration among functions, sites, and business units make optimal decision making slow and unwieldy—or impossible. And internal coordination is only a fraction of the challenge. Companies’ knowledge of the situation at their direct suppliers is usually patchy at best. Their picture of the deeper tier-n supply chain is practically nonexistent. When events take organizations by surprise, as they all too often do, many lack the systems and structures necessary to mount an effective and timely response.

Instead of lurching from operational crisis to operational crisis, CEOs naturally want the organizational muscle to navigate complexity and uncertainty. That requires four core capabilities: enhanced monitoring of the internal and external operational environment, a dedicated plan-ahead team, an effective escalation mechanism to manage the organization’s response to emerging situations, and the ability to stand up a full-blown nerve center  to handle the most disruptive events.

Digitization offers part of the solution to the transparency problem. Digital connections make it easier to share data within and between organizations, often in real time. New and emerging digital solutions are also giving companies unprecedented access to external information that could affect their business operations, from logistics disruptions to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and prospective changes to legislation. Leading organizations are already building operational control towers that act as central hubs for a wide range of operationally relevant data.

The value of that data is limited by the organization’s ability to analyze and act upon it, however. To facilitate this analysis and enable rapid, coordinated, and fact-based decision making, organizations need a plan-ahead team . This team is charged with collecting forward-looking intelligence, developing scenarios, and identifying the options and actions needed (Exhibit 6). Effective plan-ahead teams are modular in structure, with different cells looking at specific issues over a range of time frames, from the next few days to the coming years.

A company also needs an escalation mechanism to create a robust link between analysis and action. Working with senior leadership, the plan-ahead team can define appropriate actions for different scenarios and establish trigger points that determine when the organization should begin detailed planning and execution of those actions. Steep or sustained increases in the prices of key inputs, for example, might trigger a cross-functional effort to capture cost savings, find and approve alternative commodities and their sources, and develop deeper partnerships with key suppliers to generate additional sources of value. Getting these trigger points right can be a challenge, however. Set them too low, and the monitoring system can become a source of false alarms, leading to organizational fatigue.

As recent history has shown, some events are too large, too rapid, or too unexpected for playbooks or preexisting response plans. Companies need to plan for these, too, however. The crisis-management centers, or war rooms, established by many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic provide a template for a nerve center that serves as the eyes, ears, and brain of its wider business operations. Before the next big disruption, we believe that every organization can prepare by outlining how it will set up and run a nerve center as the final escalation of its response.

The COVID-19 crisis lifted operations-related issues to the top of the senior-leadership agenda. There’s good reason for them to stay there. The transition to the postpandemic economy is already testing the resilience of business-operations functions in multiple industries. The transition to a low-carbon economy is set to test them even further. And all this volatility is continually opening new value pools for companies with the agility to seize them. The challenge for today’s CEOs and top teams is to get their organizations onto the front foot, building the supply chains, digital skills and capabilities, and organizational muscle needed to thrive in a next normal that promises to be anything but “normal.”

Andreas Behrendt is a partner in McKinsey’s Cologne office, Axel Karlsson is a senior partner in the Stockholm office, Tarek Kasah is an associate partner in the Düsseldorf office, and Daniel Swan is a senior partner in the Stamford office.

The authors wish to thank Knut Alicke, Edward Barriball, Jörg Bromberger, Gabriela Hernandez, Daphne Luchtenberg, Mihir Mysore, Marta Rohr, Macar Stoianov, and Blair Warner for their contributions to this article.

This article was edited by Christian Johnson, a senior editor in the Hong Kong office.

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The new book of jobs: How India Inc. is navigating through a changing work environment

  • Byline: Krishna Gopalan
  • Producer: Arnav Das Sharma

Companies are scrambling to meet the demands of the disruptive post-pandemic business environment. They are creating new functions even as they confront a huge change in the composition of the workforce

essay about business functions

For the past two years, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has gone to business schools specifically looking for graduates inclined towards digital commerce. That’s nothing unusual, except that traditional sales and marketing functions have made way for new job descriptions. It indicates a changing India where many opportunities have forced companies regardless of size to look for talent but with a difference, and this comes forth in the BT -Taggd survey of The Best Companies to Work For in India this year. 

Just what is the change? Today’s talent—and there’s plenty of that in India—is looking for a new set of challenges and new-age roles. For them, a sales and marketing job is passé. For instance, HUL has created the position of e-commerce manager. Large FMCG companies see around 10% of their revenues in the digital age coming from e-commerce channels, and even the most conservative estimates suggest the number could touch 30% by the end of the decade. Besides, every company recognises the need to have a closer look at their business. That has led to the creation of new positions, with clear job descriptions.

“All this is in line with the change we are bringing about in each of our businesses,” says Anuradha Razdan, Executive Director (HR) and CHRO, HUL & Unilever South Asia. 

This process will test the mettle of the best companies as the workforce gets reoriented across levels.

essay about business functions

“ At senior management levels, we are seeing a greater focus on reskilling with a robust understanding of tech. It is pushing them to focus a lot more on cognitive, EQ and leadership skills ” DEEPTI SAGAR Chief People and Experience Officer Deloitte India

Redefining Roles

This change is recent. Around a decade ago, any large organisation had a defined set of positions. There was a CFO, a CHRO, a CMO, a COO and, of course, a CEO. “Today, a Chief Data Officer or a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) are realities,” says Aditya Narayan Mishra, MD & CEO of recruitment and staffing services firm CIEL HR. Apart from talent wanting new-age roles, they also see the need to specialise in one area, he adds. 

Earlier, only a CTO would suffice; but in several companies there is a need for a CISO as well. “In a lot of industries, data protection is an important piece and a part of the overall boardroom agenda. A generalist may not fit the bill here in an age of such a specialised need,” explains Mishra. 

Speaking of new-age sectors—such as companies in the tech space—finance is a key role. Mishra points out that these firms tend to have a Chief Accounting Officer as well as a CFO. “For these companies, fundraising is a big part of their overall business. A CFO may be very good with a treasury function, but this is a very different requirement.” 

Likewise, a CHRO is now complemented by a Chief Talent Officer, who looks after the employer brand and areas related to talent management but will not oversee, say, issues related to payroll.

Digitisation has expedited the extent to which technology dominates business functions in a post-pandemic world. The consensus among experts is that what would have taken a decade to change, has happened in less than two years. The thrust on AI and its impact on our lives has been profound and the stage is set for an extremely dynamic future. 

Deepti Sagar, Chief People and Experience Officer at consultancy Deloitte India, says job profiles across levels at her organisation are being driven by technological disruptions, economic advances, and a progressive business ecosystem. 

“There are also macro trends like a heightened focus on ESG and an increasing proportion of Gen Z at work. All this means there is a significant shift in client demands and requirements from professional services,” she says. The result of this is a greater focus on newer job families and skills. “In the last 12-18 months, this has further been accelerated by the advent of Gen AI.”

essay about business functions

“ For these [new-age tech] companies, fundraising is a big part of their overall business. A CFO may be very good with a treasury function, but this is a very different requirement ” ADITYA NARAYAN MISHRA MD & CEO CIEL HR

Time to Reorient

But one can’t just bet on tech disruption. For instance, in many industries it was believed that technology would supersede (and even replace) the conventional ways of doing business. But that has not been the case. For example, edtech flourished at one point, but once classrooms were back in vogue, its popularity waned. 

Mishra points out that large conglomerates like the Tata group, Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Group, and the likes of Asian Paints and HUL struck up a healthy combination of both new-age and conventional methods of doing business. “The Tatas, for instance, launched Cliq and Neu, and even reoriented some of their older businesses like automobiles. However, it has been marked by judiciousness in investment at all levels.”

A new-age organisation needs people across levels to have a better understanding of the business. Bhavishya Sharma, MD of Athena Executive Search & Consulting, says a CFO, for instance, must necessarily grasp what social media is all about and its impact, without operating in a silo. The new B2C companies run on these fundamentals and that, over time, helps the more conventional businesses become more agile, he explains. 

essay about business functions

“A large FMCG major today needs to look at its channel of distribution from the perspective of adding digitisation attributes. The reorientation is not only for the freshers off campus, but a reskilling across levels is the big theme.” He speaks of a large consumer company that his organisation works with where the requirement was to have a gamification of training for its blue-collar workers. “That was never the case before and it is an indication of how much things have changed.”

Deloitte’s Sagar highlights how at the entry level, jobs related to technology, AI, creativity, and sustainability are in demand. “At the mid- and senior management [levels], we are witnessing a greater focus on reskilling with a robust understanding of technology. It is pushing them to focus a lot more on cognitive, EQ (emotional quotient) and leadership skills to [get the] best out of the new generation and hone future leaders in an era of AI,” she explains.

For an organisation, a lot depends on where it is today and the industry it is in. While bifurcation of functions is very much the “done thing” today, a big development can radically change how the business is viewed. In that context, Sharma of Athena cites the example of, say, a conventional company on a steady growth path, being acquired by a private equity fund. “Suddenly, areas like cloud service and security become very critical. The company starts to invest in that and the composition of the workforce can look very different,” he says.

While the workforce is changing, where are we in terms of the change cycle? Ronesh Puri, MD of executive search firm Executive Access, says this is the beginning of a phase of much bigger changes. “The opportunities lie in the throes of multiple changes. In the next five years, we will see a transformation across businesses that will be more profound than what we saw over the last two decades.” 

That will happen because India is getting a lot of global attention and it being the fastest-growing major economy makes for a heady combination, he says. “The quantum of action has increased manifold across industries and we are still in second gear. For companies, the bet is on getting it right tomorrow and to make that possible, it needs to lay the foundation today.”

Puri says the need is for transformational leaders who have a clear vision of the future. “Companies are looking for talent with adaptability, humility, maturity, and confidence. The focus is on execution skills, people skills and the ability to look at the larger picture.” Much as strategy will be a key ingredient, a sound understanding of the market is necessary.

For recruiters, the FMCG sector was a happy hunting ground for talent. Executives from this space could easily move to industries like telecommunications and insurance, given their experience in sales, marketing and distribution. Sharma says this will not work anymore. People position themselves these days as growth experts with experience across sectors, he says. “Be it consumer or automobiles, they have the confidence to pull it off,” says Sharma. That is an indication of how things have changed and are likely to change in the times to come.

essay about business functions

“ Companies are looking for talent with adaptability, humility, maturity, and confidence. The focus is on execution skills, people skills and the ability to look at the larger picture ” Ronesh Puri  Managing Director Executive Access

Puri of Executive Access says the need for premium talent will always remain, and those candidates demonstrating a hunger for growth will command a higher premium. “Nomenclatures will change when it comes to job titles but the person who can effect change is the one you want to recruit,” he says. In the middle of this disruption, employees who have been with an organisation for a long time may not gain substantially if they are unable to be a part of the change, adds Puri. In the coming years, the ability to manage change will command even more premium. “New blood coming in means challenging the status quo. A leaner and hungrier organisation with a constant focus on reorientation is what we are going to see for many years.”

As a result of this transformation, functions like data entry and analytics-led jobs have already been replaced, says Deloitte’s Sagar. “We see a lot more demand for roles like tech architecture, green UI/UX, cloud engineering, business experience, and insights management,” she says. “For example, clients can deploy Gen AI to design a new-age intuitive dashboard but would need help from partners like us for deriving real-time insights and driving a value-accretive call to action.” It means her clients need to be served across the end-to-end transformation cycle as opposed to just “advise, implement or operate cycles”. 

These days, roles and job responsibilities are being aligned with global requirements specifically in the context where a sizeable portion of the tech delivery for global clients takes place out of India. “There could be minor variations to suit the local market, but overall, new-age job families and skills are aligned with global changes,” she says.

That only demonstrates how much India Inc. needs to do to get the best out of its talent. But to do that, companies themselves need to continuously go through the process of reorientation. There is no letting up on that.

In the pages that follow, read about how companies are coping with these trends.  

UI Developer : Pankaj Negi Creative Producer : Raj Verma Illustrations : Anirban Ghosh

The Dynamic Exploring the Versatile Functions of Muscles

This essay about the multifaceted functions of the muscular system, likening it to a symphony orchestrating movement, stability, metabolism, and expression. From enabling locomotion and maintaining posture to regulating metabolism and facilitating communication, muscles are the unsung heroes of human existence. Through their intricate choreography, muscles transform intention into action with grace and precision, embodying the essence of vitality and resilience. By exploring the dynamic interplay of muscles in various aspects of life, this essay highlights the remarkable capabilities of the human body and underscores the importance of nurturing muscular health for overall well-being.

How it works

Human anatomy is akin to a complex orchestra, with each system harmonizing to orchestrate the symphony of life. Among these, the muscular system stands out as a virtuoso, its multifaceted roles contributing to the seamless rhythm of existence. From the balletic grace of a dancer’s leap to the resolute strength of a weightlifter’s lift, muscles are the maestros of movement, stability, and physiological equilibrium.

One of the paramount functions of the muscular system is locomotion, the graceful ballet of motion that defines human activity.

This orchestration is directed by skeletal muscles, meticulously synchronized to contract and relax, propelling us through space and time. Consider the fluidity of a sprinter’s stride or the delicate precision of a pianist’s fingers; it is the symphony of muscle contractions that choreographs these movements, transforming intention into action with unparalleled finesse.

Yet, beyond its role in locomotion, the muscular system serves as the guardian of stability and posture, ensuring that the human form stands tall amidst the ebb and flow of existence. Postural muscles, steadfast sentinels along the spinal column and pelvis, bear the weight of the body with unwavering strength, defying the pull of gravity. Moreover, the dynamic interplay of muscles around joints serves as a stabilizing force, maintaining equilibrium and preventing injury as we navigate the complexities of everyday life. From the graceful poise of a ballerina en pointe to the unwavering balance of a tightrope walker, it is the muscular system that anchors us to the earth, providing a stable foundation upon which life’s adventures unfold.

In addition to its mechanical prowess, the muscular system is a metabolic powerhouse, fueling the fires of energy production and thermoregulation within the body. Skeletal muscles, with their voracious appetite for fuel, serve as metabolic furnaces, burning calories even at rest. This metabolic activity not only sustains life but also regulates body temperature, generating warmth to fend off the chill of winter’s embrace. Furthermore, through the alchemy of exercise, muscles undergo transformation, sculpting a physique that is both strong and resilient, a testament to the body’s adaptive potential and enduring vitality.

Moreover, the muscular system is a conduit for expression, a canvas upon which emotions are painted and thoughts are articulated. Facial muscles, with their intricate choreography of smiles and frowns, convey a spectrum of emotions that transcend language and culture. Similarly, the muscles of the larynx and tongue perform a delicate dance of phonetics, weaving together the tapestry of speech and communication. Whether through a hearty laugh, a tender embrace, or the eloquence of spoken word, it is the muscular system that enables us to connect, communicate, and express the essence of our being.

In conclusion, the muscular system is a masterpiece of biological engineering, its myriad functions weaving a tapestry of movement, stability, metabolism, and expression that defines the human experience. Like a symphony in motion, muscles orchestrate the dance of life, transforming intention into action with effortless grace and precision. By nurturing the health and vitality of our muscles, we honor the symphony of existence, embracing the rhythms of life with gratitude, resilience, and boundless potential.


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