MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
The following report is a consultancy report, which states the issues faced by the Unilever Company in the UK. It also explains the future possible issues, which will be faced by the company because of poor management as well as various cultural barriers.
The business project targets to address all the issues faced by Unilever Company and its impact on the stakeholders greatly. Unilever Company is a renowned company; however, its management faces economic, financial as well as cultural issues greatly inside the organisation.
The rationale of this research project is to present the organisational issues before the stakeholders, customers. This would make the company aware of such challenges and take effective steps to mitigate such problems.
The vision of Unilever is to develop “sustainable living commonplace” all across the world. Unilever’s mission is to make a “Customer development community” as well as enhance financial growth by inspiring leaders as well as retailers (Unilever.co.uk, 2021). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
In this report, various issues have been identified and it is noted that Unilever is facing human rights issues, which include “discrimination”, “harassment”, ‘longer work hours” and many more. Apart from this, Unilever is facing economic issues because of the rise in production costs in the UK (Unilever.co.uk, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
Supply chain disruption is quite common in retailing companies, and this decreases the productivity of an organisation effectively. Unilever is expecting technological issues to arise in the future; hence, innovative ideas are to be taken to mitigate such issues.
The “B2B marketing” will be quite challenging for Unilever and it must take effective measures to mitigate such challenges.
The report is structured in a proper way, where the purpose of the report is properly explained.
The impact of the challenges on the stakeholders is thoroughly described and evaluation, as well as analysis, is done with the current challenges. Apart from all this, theories are provided to support justifications and recommendations as well as conclusions are provided.
Unilever Plc is a company that is headquartered in London deals with consumer goods such as personal care, beauty products, toothpaste, pet food, air purifier, water, ice cream, condiments, food and many more.
Despite so much well being of the company, it has faced many challenges in regulating its affairs (Unilever.com, 2020).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample There are some issues that may be faced in the future, which are also described in the section. The challenges that are being faced by the company and the challenges that may be faced in the future are as follows:
Supply chain disruption
Unilever is the largest producer of soaps in the world, and they have a significant brand image regarding the same. However, the company is facing issues regarding the proliferation of the brand portfolio in different segments of their business.
The output of the profit in various segments is not touching the requirements that the company assumed (Ipl.org, 2020).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample The disruption in the supply chain had a strong power on Unilever, but due to the pandemic, the supply chain has been disrupted to a large extent.
As the company is a multi-national company and deals with over 190 countries in the world, the disruption of the supply chain caused a significant impact on the cost-efficiency of the company.
According to Gadhi (2017), the company is forced to increase its prices in order to meet suppliers’ demand, and thus the company faces the issue regarding competitive pricing.
B2B marketplace issue
Unilever is a company that always wants to expand its business through the implementation of many strategies, and this helps the company in spreading its brand image.
The company has recently started to start a business planning in Spain by B2B marketplace expansion that needs to create new forms of the marketplace such as Compre Ahora (Shaikat, 2020). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment SampleThis expansion of the marketplace is in partnership with VTEX.
The importance of “Compre Ahora” is that the company will be able to get the offerings from other manufacturers, and this would create possibilities for Unilever in implementing its products.
However, there are some issues that may be faced by introducing this B2B marketplace in Spain. As per the view of Sikder (2019), the first issue may be to digitalize the project of an existing company’s product and to create lean structures. Distributors’ relationship with the customers is another issue that may be faced by the company in the future.
Human Right issues
In order to maintain sustainability in the business, Unilever faced some issues regarding human rights violations in the workplace. The issues such as discrimination, fair wages, forced labour, freedom of association, harassment, safety & health, land rights and working hours of the employees are considered to be the problems that the employees of Unilever faced (Rao and Bernaz, 2020).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
This is to note that these issues have been faced by theemployees of Unilever, and recently the company has been working on it.
Unilever focuses on material issues and their impact on the growth of its business. The expansion of the business is dependent on the quality of the product and its variation.
Thus, it is to take note that the company is facing certain issues that are creating problems in its growth (Kpoku, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample The multi-polar world is the issue that is being faced by the company as the world is facing volatility and slow growth in the marketplace.
According to Khan (2020), climate change and water scarcity are the environmental issues that create problems in preparing the products for the company. Technology and the digital revolution is needed to evaluate the product management by the company, which has not been improved to up to the mark by the company.
The purpose of the report is to provide a brief idea to the stakeholders as well as customers of Unilever about the current issues the company is facing. The UK is facing a high inflation rate and it is almost 2.19 % in 2021 (Statista.com, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
Figure 1: Inflation rate of UK
(Source: Statista.com, 2021)
Hence, the production cost, as well as input cost of Unilever, is rising. Identification of this would help the company to take sufficient steps so that they could lower down the input costs and profitability is attained.
Identification of various impacts on stakeholders is important to maintain the productivity of Unilever. The recommendations which are provided in this report would enable the company to take efficient steps and mitigate economic, “supply chain disruption” issues as well as “human rights issues” greatly.
The report would also help the company to identify future issues such as “B2B marketing” as well as “technological issues” so that the company is aware of them and takes effective steps.
4. Impact on stakeholders
|● Employees||The employees are an “integral part” of an organisation and they strive to increase the company’s productivity. According to Osborne and Hammoud (2017), employee motivation, as well as satisfaction, is important to enhance the profitability of a company. It is noted that Unilever is facing a human rights issue such as discrimination and this has been presented successfully in this research report. The human rights issue includes discrimination among the employees, which decreases employee satisfaction greatly. Hence, the research on human rights issues including salary and wages as well as long work hours harms the employees’ well-being as well as decreases their motivation. In addition to this, employees are facing safety issues at work mainly during the covid times, and Unilever is striving hard to mitigate the issues by maintaining safety protocols effectively. This report would help the employees to identify the challenges faced by the company and its steps to eradicate the challenges.|
|● Managers||It is observed that the managers are responsible for tackling the administrative systems as well as various financial activities within the organisation. However, the issues described in this report would help the managers to develop their leadership qualities as well as managerial functions effectively. According to Prause and Atari (2017), budget control capability of a manager decides the productivity as well as profitability of an organisation. It is noted that because of the high inflation rate in the UK, Unilever is experiencing high input costs. This issue is highlighted in this report and it would help the managers to take sufficient decisions regarding the budget as well as financial control.|
|● Board of directors||Unilever has an efficient board of directors and the economic pressure of the country is forcing the Board of directors to increase the production cost of the company. Decisions taken by the audit committee depend upon the productivity and profitability of Unilever. However, it is analysed in the report that the rise in input cost has decreased the turnover of Unilever to about “2.4%” (Unilever.co.uk, 2021). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment SampleHence, the functionality of the board of directors would suffer greatly.|
|● Customers||“Supply chain disruption” and high prices on the products would decrease customer satisfaction. According to Feng et al. (2019), a “decrease in customer satisfaction” decreases the profitability of the company. The issues identified in this report would enable customers to change their buying behaviour and switch over to other companies.|
|● Investors||Monetary issues would affect investors if Unilever were infested with various challenges as mentioned in this report. In addition, the investors will be aware of the technological as well as B2B marketing issues that the company is expected to face in the future.|
|● Suppliers||Supplier power will be high if the economical, human rights issues are not mitigated. The supply chain will be disrupted more and low switching costs would decrease customer’s profitability.|
|● Governments||Unilever has a strengthened relationship with the government. Unilever develops “rules, regulations” of the organisational structures through proper discussion (Unilever.com, 2021)).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample The human rights issues, which have been discussed in this report, would help the company as well as government to frame the “code of conduct” effectively and would take sufficient steps to mitigate such issues.|
|● Communities||Inflation issues, rise in prices as well as supply chain disruption decreases the productivity as well as turnover rate of the organisation. Hence, the impact would fall upon the “direct as well as indirect employment” as well as paying taxes in the community (Unilever.com, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample Business decisions on high production costs because of the high inflation rate affect the community of Unilever greatly.|
|● Trade associations||The current, as well as future challenges mentioned in this report, would enable Unilever as well as its trade associations to provide a standard framework for mitigating the issues. This would help the company and its trade associations to undergo best practices as well as “engage on policy topics” (Unilever.com, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample The organisation’s profitability would be increased through these measures.|
Table 1: Stakeholders identification and impact
(Source: Created by learner)
5. Analysis and Evaluation of secondary data
Analysis of the issues faced by Unilever
The supply chain of the Unilever
The management in the supply chain of Unilever is to be analysed by its selling and purchasing power.
The company has a strong supply management chain across the world, and this helps the company to expand its business in the long term (Karki, 2021). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
The management of the company deals as the complete differentiator for Unilever in its growth and thus create a competitive advantage for the company. In 2017, the composite score of the company was 6.39 that made the company stand in rank 1 in the world in its management of supply chain.
Figure 2: Supply Chain of Unilever
(Source: Trinh, 2018)
The company focuses on the management of the supply chain by introducing the powers of the strategies. The strategy that the company follows is the seven functions that are shown in the above figure.
It shows that 58% of the management in the supply chain comes from the source, while 54% of the supply chain deals with the making facilities of the company (Trinh, 2018).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
It is to take note that the company has been dealing with an organisation for the supply chain for over 15 years and the company maintain a strict rule of reporting their hierarchies for certain supply chain issues or difficulties. 31% of this management is dealing with the supply chain of Unilever by its Chief Officer in the supply chain.
Figure 3: Supply Chain in North America and Europe
(Source: Sodhi and Tang, 2019)
There are three phases that help the company in contributing their management system of the supply chain. Though the figure shows the model that Unilever use in North America and Europe, it is to take note that the company follows the same model in maintaining the management of the supply chain (Gichuki, 2017).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
In addition, the company in its first phase evaluates the manufacturing process and the second phase deals with the warehousing abilities of the company. The third phase deals with the retail and distributing process that directly hit the customers.
Unilever may take the strategies by influencing the “Resource-based view theory” in its system. Evaluation of certain data from the above discussion shows that the company does not have any major issues regarding the management in the supply chain.
However, resource-based view theory can be considered by Unilever in a critical way so that the resource of the organisation may be utilised in the process, and this can help the company in growth further (Davis and DeWitt, 2021). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
The evaluation of the data shows that the company had increased their management system by practising in the same field for years, and this helped the company in the development, and this allows them to maintain their brand image as well.
Nevertheless, the company is dealing with certain possibilities, but pandemic has caused certain changes in their supply chain, and this disruption must be evaluated by the company following resource-based view.
According to Davisn and DeWitt (2021), this theory shows the wide range to sustain in the competitive market by increasing the resources of the company.
B2B marketplace by Unilever
Unilever deals with over 190 countries and boasts of 400 brands, and is a company that have 2.5 billion customers per day. Therefore, it is pertinent to mention that the expansion and image of the brand are worldwide, and the brand expands mostly all over the world (Sluyterman, 2017). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
However, the data shows that the company do not restrict their expansion in a fixed place and has started a partnership with VTEX in order to expand their business in the marketplace of Spain.
In order to start the marketplace in Spain, the company needs to create certain new forms in the marketplace, such as Compre Ahora that offers different company advantages.
The company focuses on creating Compre Ahora, as the same would help the company in expanding its business. The manufactures of other companies may get to enter the platform, and this would have helped Unilever in evaluating their strategies by creating and offerings of their products to them.
It can be seen from the report that the company has a significant marketplace across the globe and a report shows that the company has different products to be segmented by the company.
(Source: Ecommerceiq.asia, 2020)
It can be seen from the report that certain brands such as dove and Rexona had given their reviews on Unilever. These reviews of the different brands help the company to evaluate their growth to a large extent.
However, the company deals with certain differences and these positive sentiments of other companies help the company to maintain their sustainability in the competitive market (Ecommerceiq.asia, 2020). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
It has been stated that Unilever is the largest soap producer in the world, and this allows the company in distributing its soaps in the market in this pandemic situation (Hossain, 2017).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
The marketplace in this pandemic regarding soap may be evaluated to a large extent.
Based on the data, it may be stated that Unilever deals with a variety of products, and this helps them in expanding their business in different marketplaces. However, the recent expansion decision that has been made by the company is expanding the business to Spain by creating Compre Ahora may create some issues in the marketplace of B2B (Todorov and Akbar, 2018).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
As Compre Ahora focuses on digitalization in producing and manufacturing process, it is to keep in mind by Unilever that they have to change their systems thoroughly. It becomes difficult for a company to evaluate their strategies in a completely new way for a particular place when they already have a popular branding name across the world.
Thus it may be stated by evaluating the data from the above discussion that the company may face certain difficulties in starting its business in Spain (Henderson, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample It can be argued that the customer and the distributors’ relationship matters a lot in the B2B marketplace.
Hence, another problem that may be faced by the company is expanding the business in Spain is to create a relationship with the customers.
Human rights violations of employees
Unilever faced many challenges regarding human rights violations by employees. It is to note that in order to maintain sustainability in the marketplace; the company do not deal with utmost facilities for the employees. With this non-
compliance of the human rights facilities to the customers, the company faces many problems regarding the motivation of the employees (Wilshaw, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
The report shows that the company faces some factors in complying with the employee’s facilities are discrimination, fair wages, forced labour, freedom of association, harassment, safety & health, land rights and working hours.
These are the major factors that are being faced by the employees of Unilever, and the company does not focus on certain facilities as the company only focuses on growth.
Figure 5: Human Rights violation factors
(Source: Wilshaw, 2021)
It is pertinent to mention that the company aimed to mitigate these factors recently so that the employees get motivated in the long run.
As the company is a multi-national company, the employees must do hard work to maintain the sustainability of the company.
Thus, it is essential for the company to look after the employees demand by executing certain factors. However, it has been seen that the company took some initiatives recently in evaluating their human rights violations and to look after the demands of the employees from the company (Lawrence et al. 2019).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
This is to take note that the company, therefore, needs to maintain specific theory to cope up with the situation.
Expectancy theory may be taken into consideration in order to maintain the violations of the human rights of the employees.
Unilever took certain strategies, but expectancy theory may help the company more in deliberating for the employees’ expectations.
This theory deals with the concept that expectations such as fair wages, working hours, rewards and appraisal of the employees must be implemented in different sectors of the company.
According to Marx et al. (2019), there are different designations in the company where the job is different, and those employees must get motivated to stay in the company.
The company must help the employees in increasing the motivation that can help the company indirectly in their growth.
However, it is to maintain by the management as to implement certain laws and rules which helps the employees not to get discriminated by others as well.
The above data shows that the employees of Unilever faced many challenges, and the employees get dissatisfied (Lloyd and Mertens, 2018).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
A critical evaluation of the same states that the company has taken certain strategies to maintain the violations, but the company may follow the theory of Expectancy that helps in the motivation of the employees.
Material sources of Unilever
The changing world demands alternatives in every moment of sustainability and thus with the organisations as well. Unilever is no exception that requires changing its materiality in order to maintain sustainability in the global market and increase the competitive advantages.
Therefore, the company focuses on changing its aspect and identifies certain factors that are creating issues in recent days (Raj and Aithal, 2018).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
These factors may affect the stakeholders and the business at large, and thus the company focuses strongly on combating these factors.
The report shows that there are many factors that are materially affecting the growth of a company, but certain factors are major ones that need to evaluate more.
(Source: Birahim, 2020)
Multi-polar world, environmental issues and technical problems are the major factors that are creating problems for Unilever in respect of material sources. The company deals with these factors as well as focuses on animal welfares, talent development, responsible marketing and many more (Birahim, 2020). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
This is to take note that the company faces major issues as the volatility and growth have been slowed down in recent days for the pandemic. Political leadership and international growth has been fragmented by these slow processes in growth that forced Unilever in entering to the multi-polar world. As per the view of Raj and Aithal (2018), the change in the climate and water also forces the company in deliberating the visible facts of the materials.
These factors caused a great impact on the story of Unilever that need to be combated by them. However, the evaluation of these data shows that the organisation may face these challenges in accordance with following the specific theories that help to evaluate the structure of the organisation.
Unilever may follow the “Classical Scientific Management theory” in increasing its growth in the competitive market. The theory describes the concept that follows the company to maintain sustainability by introducing science in their working process, and this may help the country to introduce material sources in a proper manner.
The work process may be developed by the company in creating specialised processes that include science in their technology. Special skills in the workforce may also help the company in dealing with these above factors of material issues (Khorasani and Almasifard, 2017). http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
Thus, it is evaluated from the data that “Classical Scientific Management theory” may help the company to deal with material issues, and this helps the company to maintain sustainability in their growth. These skills and work processes that may the company introduce increase the efficiency of the tasks by the employees.
6. Recommendation and conclusion
The issues, which have been identified in the selection of the challenge, are “supply chain disruption risks”, “material risks”, “human rights issues” as well as “B2B marketing issues.
Recommendations are given based on these issues so that the company can mitigate as well as eradicate identified challenges effectively.
Maintaining the operations of supply chain
Unilever must “mobilise” its initial action plans so that new plans are developed regarding the control of supply chain disruption. According to Koberg and Longoni (2019), effective supply chain management enables an organisation to flow “the goods as well as services” effectively as well as successfully.
Transparent flow of services enhances the productivity as well as profitability of an organisation and enables organizations to drive competitive advantage. Unilever must invest in development of employees so that track of consumer goods is maintained well within the organisation.
It is noted that the company must “proliferate the portfolio of the brands” to minimise supply chain risks as well as increase the competitive advantage. Supply chain disruption has enabled Unilever to raise its prices so that suppliers’ demands are fulfilled (Gadhi, 2017).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
Unilever must set effective operating rules so that the activities of the suppliers inside the supply chain are tracked as well as managed properly. It has been observed that the organisation should “configure as well as tailor” the supply chain network to identify supply chain issues.
Unilever should develop a “balanced scorecard” so that the efforts they would undertake, in mitigating the supply chain issues, can be measured properly.
Strategies to improve B2B marketing
Organisations mainly face issues with B2B marketing and they fail to keep “the target prospects engaged”. Unilever is expecting to face this soon; hence, suggestions are given to the organisation so that they could mitigate the issues.
Unilever must keep the prospects engaged through “lead generation efforts” and must “rank the prospects” accord to their preferences as well as needs. “Web retargeting” process enables an organisation to keep the prospects of the companies engaged and facilitates B2B marketing effectively (Das, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample
Unilever must follow the “web retargeting” process so that through ads “based on their previous purchasing behaviour”.
Unilever is recommended to know its KPI effectively so that the measurement costs could be easily determined and its productivity is increased. According to Røge and Lennon (2018), effective KPI measurement increases the efficiency to measure “costs associated with every business activity”
. Unilever must measure as well as predict the budget, cost of every business activity so that it becomes “financially accountable” and profitability is increased. Unilever must take actions in strengthening the “distributor’s relationships with customers” by promoting integrity, strong communication as well as high product development, purchasing activities among them.
Managing the human rights issues
Human rights issue in Unilever includes issues against discrimination, safety, long working hours, and many more. The managers, as well as leaders of the company, must respect the cultural races as well as religious beliefs of the workers so that discrimination is reduced.
As stated by Villegas et al. (2019), racial discrimination or workplace discrimination decreases an organisation’s profitability as well as ruins its brand image effectively.
Unilever must provide equal wages to its workers so that the workers do not feel discriminated against in their status as well as positions. This would increase employee engagement as well as enable the organisation to attain a competitive advantage effectively.
Unilever must be very “professional in conduct as well as speech” and motivate every employee based on their activities as well as preferences.
Unilever must undertake a “Respect, Dignity and Fair Treatment Code policy” so that abuse, as well as harassment, is mitigated as well as ignored. Apart from this, safety protocols must be provided to the employees and ensure their safety properly.
Unilever must provide effective “insurance policies” to the employees for their safety and appoint employees from all cultures as per “The Employment Act, 1996” (Lexisnexis.co.uk, 2021).http://MSc Management with Project Management Business Project Assignment Sample In addition, Unilever must work for employees’ rights and provide them with proper vacations, effective salaries as well as maintain their dignity inside the workplace.
Mitigating the material issues
Unilever must “redesigned their materiality process” and take effective steps to mitigate the technical issues. It is noted that the technological innovation must be implemented by Unilever to mitigate the “data privacy issues”.
Data must be “encrypted” properly between the users as well as senders. Apart from this, employee-training programs must be implemented so that the administrative, as well as technological issues are mitigated. According to Osborne and Hammoud (2017), efficient employees enable an organisation to increase its productivity as well as profitability greatly.
A “Responsible Sourcing policy” is required to be incorporated to trace the sources of suppliers’ activities. Proper recycling of products, as well as effective use of water, would help Unilever to maintain environmental sustainability effectively. Apart from this, Unilever can incorporate “Big data” technology in storing as well as collecting data, following the Amazon Company. It would help Unilever to mitigate technological as well as data insecurity effects.
It can be concluded that this business consultancy report is effective in bringing out the challenges faced by Unilever in this business world. The purpose of this report is well explained to the readers as they can effectively compare the rationale with the given challenges and recommendations.
Supply chain disruption is a common problem and Unilever is putting forth effective operation rules to mitigate them.
In addition, human rights issues would harm the reputation of Unilever and hence, the organization must formulate effective policies to eradicate such issues. It has been observed in this report that Unilever’s challenges put a great impact on the stakeholders and the customer satisfaction level has decreased greatly.
Investors, Governments are related to the Unilever’s effective business decision, and hence, a decrease in productivity would decline the growth rate effectively. Unilever is expected to have B2B marketing issues and hence, it must target its business clients as well as activities properly.
It is noted that Unilever must maintain environmental sustainability so that competitive advantage is attained. At last, it can be argued that this report has been successful in bringing the client’s attention to the challenges as well as proposed recommendations.
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