J Sainsbury PLC

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J Sainsbury PLC


J Sainsbury PLC is one of the leading food retailers in the UK and

also has interests in financial services. It comprises of Sainsbury's

Supermarkets, Bells Stores, Jackson's Stores and Sainsbury's Bank.

There are currently 583 Sainsbury’s supermarkets throughout the UK

employing over 145,000 people, offering over 34,000 products and

serving over 11 million customers a week. It is for these reasons

that careful management of operations within each of the stores is

vital to ensure that all processes are kept running smoothly so that

customers can be served and products can be replenished.


Customers want a quality service when they shop. A quality service is

defined as ‘a service that consistently meets or exceeds a customers

expectations’. The supermarket needs to look at the current value of a

customer – how can they make this person spend as much money as

possible in the store. They also need to look at the future value of

the customer – how can they make sure that this person will return,

when they will spend more. The objectives of the supermarket need to

be looked at and worked towards very carefully.

The diagram below shows the main performance objectives that are

worked towards in the supermarket.

Things operations should do…


Provide error free goods and services


Minimise lead time


Keep delivery promises


Adapt to change in circumstances


Minimise cost


Dr Andi Smart, University of Exeter

For the customer to have a hassle free shopping experience then most,

if not all, of these objectives need to be met.

The first, and arguably the most important, objective in the store is

quality. It is important because it is the most visible part of what

operations do and therefore customers are easily able to make

judgements on quality. In real terms inside the supermarket this means

ensuring that products are in good condition, that the store is clean,

that the interior decorations are appropriate and of a good standard

and ensuring that staff are polite and friendly. Quality is managed

very carefully within the store. The floor manager is responsible for

overseeing the operation as a whole and controls the managers from

each section of the store. These managers in-turn oversee staff in

their own section and control stock rotation, cleanliness of the isles

and goods and ensure that all fixtures are maintained. This top-down

approach to the operation ensures that quality is maintained

successfully within the store.

The next objective is speed – ensuring a short transaction time at the

checkout and making products readily available is the only way that

speed can be managed within the supermarket. A checkout manager

controls the checkouts, increasing and reducing the number of staff on
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