Innovation refers to the process of converting an idea into reality which creates value for customers. It includes deliberately applying information, imagination and bringing greater value from resources. This report is about ASDA which is a leading British supermarket retailer, headquartered in England. It deal in number of products such as food, grocery items, clothing, financial and mobile services. ASDA is known for its innovational practices and is now planning for new innovational approaches to introduce by year 2020 and beyond that time (Tidd and Bessant, 2014). As it is very essential for company to bring new methods or technologies within their business operations so that it can achieve market sustainability. Timely adoption of changes reduce competition from market place and support in capturing larger market share. The main aim of this project is to identify various approaches and actions to be performed for better implementation of innovational practices. This project also help in identifying the major factors which are need to be consider while future innovation planning and implementing these ideas.
This report elaborates about the future of retail industry in term of innovational practices by year 2020 and beyond. This further explains about requirement of implementation of introducing new innovation for upcoming period and its benefit. Apart from this it also explains about the methods of building future innovation capabilities within an organisation. In addition this it also explains about various barriers that may be faced by ASDA while developing and implementing the innovational capabilities. It also defines the importance of leadership in managing innovation in business operations.
Future of retail industry 2020 and beyond
The retail sector is consider as an fastest growing industry which brings on regular development and new innovation for providing their customer best shopping experience. Retail players keep on bringing new innovation and technologies in order to deal with dynamic environment and changing need of customers (Brunswicker and Vanhaverbeke, 2015). Adaptation of new technologies bring competition within the industry which make it necessary or other player to adopt these technologies or bring new one, for achieving market sustainability.
ASDA stores limited is a British Supermarket retailer which deals in food & grocery item and it also provide general merchandise as well as financial services. ASDA is more focused toward providing better shopping experience to its customers. Therefore, it constantly tries to bring new technologies and innovative practices to their operations for serving the need of end user. ASDA was also the first retailer that bring new check out system to the store known as rapid scan which has an ability to to scan more than 100 product in a minute.
As the retail industry is continuously growing, innovation brings ample number of opportunities for firms which deals in this sector. It completely transforms the way in which firms serve its customers. With the increasing demand of customers and prevailing competition in industry, it become necessary for players of this sector to adopt new technologies (THE FUTURE HOLD FOR RETAIL, 2018). Various new innovative approaches that can be seen in near future by 2020 or beyond are parcel vending machine, advanced customer support system, virtual reality, visual search, facial recognition, 3D mirrors and personalised marketing.
These upcoming future technologies and innovations have to capabilities that can change the scenario of retail industries. From these upcoming technologies it can be ascertain that the future of retail store will be more focused toward providing experience rather than just selling their stock for earning profit. For future practices main aim of retailers is to demonstrate a showroom concept where stores act as a front face for customers to feel, see and experience the product. These new technologies will help in delivering better shopping experience to customer. By taking the advantage of new technologies like Automated parcel vending machine, retailers can offer its customers an option to collect orders online using smartphones. They can take their ordered commodity through this machine and can return it back by simply putting it into vending machine.
Apart from this various other innovative techniques such as voice controlled robot assistant will also help in transforming the customer experience. By using this a retail company can offer customized services to their customers. It also help in simplifying the buying process as well as save their time (Saebi and Foss, 2015). Due to increase in competition and trend for introducing new technologies to appeal their customers, many retailers are now opting for or planning to adopt various new technologies of digital assistance. These approaches will help in sorting out the need of customers and providing them better satisfaction.
The organisations innovation requirements 2020 and beyond
ASDA is known for its innovative practices which it used while serving to its customers. It constantly work toward introducing and developing new techniques to perform their operations more effectively and achieve higher customer satisfaction. As it is very essential to bring changes in business practices in order to survive in dynamic and competitive environment. In order to deal with changing environment in retail industry, ASDA continuously tries to adopt innovative practices for avoiding outdated technologies.
With the increasing competition in retail industry and changing demand of customers it become very essential for ASDA to plan for future innovation requirements i.e. for 2020 or beyond. Following points describe the requirement of ASDA for organisational innovation that help in achieving sustainability in market place for future practices:
- Innovative approach to manage business cost:-ASDA is planning for employing an innovative LED light in their grower stores. These lights help in extending the season of producing vegetables like tomatoes. LED lights will provide the illusion of sun by providing the supplement which sunlight provides. This help in keeping the vegetables to be fresh and delicious that can be supplied to ASDA customers through out the year. It also support in minimizing the ventilation and heating energy up-to 35% (ASDA is Cooking Up a Storm to Bring Fresh Products to Market, 2018). This technology will help in maintaining the productivity and in achieving competitive edge in marketplace.
- Parcel vending machine:- For providing advance services and better shopping experience to its customers, ASDA is now planning for installing parcel vending machine. It is about 16ft tall and 8ft wider which has a capacity to hold around 500 parcels at a time. This machine help customers of ASDA to order their product just by scanning by barcode provided to them over their smartphones at Parcel Tower. This will take 60 seconds to complete an order (Asda: putting the customer first, 2018). This help ASDA in increasing their customer base and also provide higher competitive advantage. Company generally aims to increase its customer up-to 40 million visitors per day by year 2019.
- 3D software platform:- With the increasing traffic of retailers over online platform to sell their clothes, ASDA is now planning to introduce new innovative technique for offering their product. By using 3D software platform, ASDA can present their cloth categories and designs in an effective way. This technology help in delivering the accurate 3D rendering of apparel and clothes on customized body model using web, mobile or AR (Ferreira and et. al., 2015). This develop an illusion of digital garments which reproduce their real world equivalents. Introduction of this technology will help in increasing the customer traffic over the online clothing site of ASDA. Increase in customer base will further help in maximizing the revenue and goodwill of the company as well as develop higher sustainability in marketplace.
Building future innovation capabilities
Innovation is very essential factor for an organisation as it help in achieving competitive edge as well as market sustainability. Global competition, increasing demand of customers and minimization of product life cycle are creating significant pressure for introducing innovation and new technologies in organisational practices (Frow and et. al., 2015). Therefore, ability to develop innovations and new ideas are the top most priority of ASDA. It is an mechanism through which company can produce new product, system and process which is very essential for being adaptable to changing market, mode of competition and technologies. But being adaptable to these challenges it is very important for ASDA to assess and develop the capabilities for future innovation.
Following are the factors which are to be consider for developing future innovation capabilities:
Organisational knowledge:- One of the major factor that contribute toward building future innovation capabilities is knowledge that an organisation have about market. It is very essential for ASDA to have complete knowledge about the market trend, demand of their customers and prevailing competition. ASDA must put more efforts toward market research that further support in identifying the current need of customer. Using this information they can develop capabilities to predict the future demand and new ideas as well as innovative methods to satisfy that demand (Winterhalter, Zeschky and Gassmann, 2016). By using this market knowledge ASDA can serve their customers with some augmented product or services that are beyond their expectation which are harder to imitate. By using information regarding market demand and competition, ASDA can also predict the success of its future plan of installing 'Parcel Vending Machine'. This also help in identifying the changes that they are required to add in their future plans which bring maximum output of their efforts.
Cross-functional cooperation:- Apart from organisational knowledge another factor that help in building innovation capability is cross-functional cooperation. It refers to group of people with different functional expertise come together to form a group for accomplishing a particular goal. Cross-functional cooperation plays an important role in innovation process and in generating new ideas for offering unique product or services. By creating its Cross functional team, ASDA can develop innovative capabilities as this team consists of individuals specialised in different field and their synergy will enable knowledge sharing.
This help ASDA in developing new concepts and can implement those ideas into its organisational practices that further help in maintaining its goodwill as an offerer of innovating services (Schaltegger and Wagner, 2017). By using cross-functional approach company can evaluate the each negative and positive aspects of their future innovation plan using 360 degree approach. It also help in determining the various barriers that may hinder the progress of their plan.
Assessment of existing capabilities:- In order to develop the innovation capabilities in organisation for future practices it is very essential for ASDA to assess the current potentiality that it have. This assessment will help getting knowledge about the current capabilities of its workforce and availability of resources which are required for adapting the changing demand in market place. It also help ASDA in identifying the area where they need improvement and changes that are essential for developing innovation capabilities (Forsgren and Johanson, 2014). Assessment of existing capabilities will identify the requirement of ASDA for developing future capabilities. It includes finance, skilled workforces, advanced physical resources and latest technologies.
By evaluating the current capabilities and skills ASDA will be able to estimate the fund which is required to introduce and operate its new technologies such as Parcel vending machine, 3D platform software and LED lights for its vegetable growers. It also help in identifying the availability of skills and resources as well as capabilities that are required to develop.
These all factor that are very essential for ASDA in building their potentiality and capabilities for implementing future innovation to their organisational process (Carlborg, Kindström and Kowalkowski, 2014). But apart from this there are various barriers that are present in business environment which act as a barrier and restrict company to implement or adopt innovative approaches. Following points describe about barrier that may be face by ASDA while implementing its innovation and unique ideas in future:
- Lack of employee acceptance:- It refers to a situation where employees refuse to accept changes in current working environment and processes. Employees generally don't adopt the changes in their work and processes as they find it difficult to perform tasks by adopting new technologies. This is consider as one of major barrier that may affect the future plans of ASDA regarding their innovational activities. Leadership is a solution to this problem, as a leader can encourage employees of ASDA to adopt new and innovative approaches to perform their tasks which is beneficial for both company as well as employees (Love, Roper and Vahter, 2014). This can be done by communicate about the benefits of implementing innovation and by sharing about the new technologies that they are planning to implement. Attractiveness of these future plans of ASDA and personal growth opportunities will help in encouraging employees to work hard for brining changes in current process.
- Lack of motivation:-In execution of any business activity, motivation plays a very crucial role in developing an environment of cooperation. As it help in encouraging a person to perform certain task and building a trust among each other which inspire them for working as a team. Lack of motivation lead to wastage of resources which in turn will increase the cost of company. ASDA can overcome from this barrier with leadership activities (Altuna and et. al., 2015). A leaders plays an essential role in developing a trust within an individual and motivating them toward performing their tasks effectively as well as accepting new challenges. A leader can motivate employees of ASDA by setting up some monetary benefits or appraisal opportunities over individual performance. This help in encouraging workforces to work hard so that they can achieve financial benefit or appraisal by performing their operations effectively.
- Cultural barrier:- Another major factor that may restrict ASDA in building innovation capabilities is cultural barrier. It generally refers to a rule or expectation which impedes an employee from getting involve in various activities. Cultural barrier is generally depend over the organisational structure, its size, policies and various norms (Wei and et. al., 2014). The practices which ASDA adopt in operating its workforce highly affect the working style of their employees in term of flexibility and adaptability to changing demand.
In order to resolve this barrier and building up innovation capability in its organisation, it is very essential for ASDA to develop a culture of innovation. This culture involve innovation habit such as understanding customer, creating cross-functional group for bringing innovative solution, sharing of ideas or knowledge. This automatically will promote innovation thinking among employees. It can only be develop through leadership activity, as a leader help in motivating employees to share their suggestion or innovative ideas for performing a task effectively. Leader can also involve its workforce in decision making process which further help in identifying unique ideas and in motivating employees toward their work.
- Inadequate skills and knowledge:- For implementing changes to organisation operations, capabilities and knowledge of employees are consider as a very essential factor. Lack of skill may act as a barrier and lead to failure in implementing innovational approaches (Scarborough, 2016). In order to implement its future innovational plans such as Parcel vending machine, 3D software platform etc. it is very essential for ASDA to overcome this barrier. Company is required to develop appropriate skills and knowledge among its workforce so that they can easily adopt changes and bring positive outcomes.
With the help of an effective leader, ASDA can organise various training and educational program to develop skills and capabilities of their workforce. Through these programs a leader can create awareness among employees about the importance of innovational activities. They can also explain about the technologies such as Innovative approach to manage business cost and how to use it effectively (Jansen, 2017). This information help in developing a skills and knowledge among employees regarding use of technology which further motivate them and develop self confidence. Another method to enhance the skills and knowledge of employees is to create a cross-functional group. This group consists of number of individuals with different skills and capabilities that work together which further support in developing capabilities among individuals.
- Climate:- It generally refers to the business environment of a company and how much it is capable of adopting changes in its practices. The ability to identify and implement changes is also sometimes act as a barrier. In order to develop future innovative capabilities it is very essential for leader of ASDA to organise induction program for its employees to communicate about the importance of innovation in running business (Gassmann and Schweitzer, 2014). They must communicate with their employees to make them aware about ASDA's involvement in innovative practices. Apart from this organisation knowledge is also very essential factor that help in removing climate barrier. As with the proper utilisation of internal and external environmental knowledge, ASDA can identify various methods to remove barriers.
These all are the factors which act as a barrier for ASDA in building future innovational capabilities. Leaders play an essential role in removing these barriers and help organisation in planning for future innovation without worrying about these barriers. A leader can motivate their employees to boost up their confidence and can provide adequate training as well as learning opportunities. This help in building innovative capabilities among workforce which further support in implement new technologies and innovation by 2020 or beyond.
From the above given report it can be concluded that innovation plays an very essential role for an organisation to develop competitive edge and in achieving market sustainability. But for implementing innovation in business practices, company is required to have adequate knowledge regarding the market demand. Retail industry has a very wide scope in term of innovation and new technologies. ASDA is one of the biggest player of retail industry and it become essential for company to implement innovational approach in order to deal with market competitions. For being adaptable to changes and building future capabilities, ASDA is required to consider various factors such as assessment of existing capabilities, organisational knowledge, cross-functional cooperation. Apart from these various barriers faced by company while implementing its future innovational plan such as inadequate skills and knowledge, cultural barrier, lack of motivation, lack of employee acceptance and climate. But leadership activities is consider as an most effective factor of an organisation which help in removing these barriers and implementing their future plan effectively.
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