Staffing Issues

Developing an online business may cause concerns for staff. This is because most of it depends on the type of operation, the size and the way the changes are managed. This may cause concerns to staff because this may change their job titles or may even result as them not having a job.

Potential outsourcing of key functions: This means that a specialist is paid to provide certain services rather than doing them in- house for example;

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* Hiring an agency: this is for them to create or develop the company’s website.

* Paying a specialist hosting company: This is so that the website is secure, and that the specialist can undertake routine maintenance.

* Using e- marketing experts: To promote the site, by advertising it and to associate marketing campaigns.

It will be cost effective if a large organisation has a specialist web team that works in- house.

Use of call centre

Large businesses such as Tesco, Marks and Spencers- have a popular websites. They use a call centre to answer customer queries. This is when staff are employed for an external operation where they respond to customer calls. They have access to customer and product databases so that they can see appropriate information on screen during the call.

Organisations that provide computer supplies and ISP services online such as BT, AOL, Yahoo and Dell these services help operate facilities through a call centre. This helps trained staff to talk on the phone to customers that are experiencing faults or connecting problems, they do this through procedures.

Lack of personal contact with customers

Staff may find that as a result of having a website they may have less of a personal contact with their customers, as they may now place orders online, email any information they need or contact a call centre if they have a query.

Unfamiliarity with technology

Staff may need special training, so that they feel comfortable using/ working with new technology. This is important this is because staff may struggle to understand the new technology and may not work effectively.

Breakdowns in service

If a breakdown occurs to either a hardware or software staff may be under pressure due to the fact that they may not be able to do their job if there is a major system crash and may even have to deal with angry customers. Businesses that do online business should consider this and should try and have some sort of pop- up to let customers know when the website will be up and running again.

Financial issues

Setting up a small information website may be done cheap but can also cost up to �2000 – �6000 if the business doesn’t have the key skills to set up one, they may have to employee a specialist to set/ develop the website. There are more costs involved for firms that want to carry out a large amount of business online or if they want the website to promote their business. This may not benefit the business because they may get a few or no customers at all, if this is the case the business will lose a lot of money because their online business set up is expensive.

Initial investment cost of hardware, software and program adaptation

This depends on whether the developments are being done by a specialist or are done in- house. The most typical categories of expenses are likely to include are the following:

* Additional hardware requirements: This includes all hardware equipment such as computers, servers, printers, scanners etc.

* Software requirements: This includes the operating systems, application programs such as Microsoft Office), web authoring software, graphics packages.

* Program adaptations: This means adapting the customer or product database to link with a web store.

Expenses to set- up will also include registering the name of the business, arranging for an Internet Service Provider to host the site if it is not being done in- house, paying agency specialists to design the site, staff training if any required marketing and promoting costs (so that the customers know the site exists).

Set- up expenses offset against uncertain future revenue streams

It is important that a budget is agreed at the start which is taken to account the main aims and the benefits of doing business online regardless of the type of site being planned.

It is harder to predict future running and development costs once the site is running it is even harder to forecast potential income. This depends on if the site is successful and achieves its aims and objectives and how quickly they meet them.

Ability to cope with massively increased market interest

All businesses that go online need to consider if there are problems that are going to occur such as huge rush of interest which the company cannot handle. This can result to the site crashing because too many people are trying to use the site all at the same time; this means that enquires may not be answered quickly or orders cannot be filled in or there may be less stock. Employing more staff and buying more stock may cause problems in the cash flow. This also may cause the business to lose customers due to the fact that it cannot cope with the orders.

Tax liabilities for international transactions

International transactions are frequently subject to both customs duties and Value Added Tax (VAT). This can considerably increase the price of goods bought from oversees that, at first glance, seem to be a bargain.

Goods bought from within the EU are not subject to import duty, but those from other parts of the world are. The payment depends upon the type of goods, their value and country of origin.

VAT is also charged on imports, normally at the same rate it would be charged if the goods were bought in UK. It may be reclaimed for goods that a firm buys to use itself in the business (such as a computer) but not for goods it will resell in the UK (such as towels imported from Egypt by a retailer). Concerns about finance can include the costs of IT hardware and Software, set-up expenses and tax liabilities for international transactions.

Distribution Issues

Setting up a website, promoting goods for sale and receiving orders, it is hard if the products are from overseas. This may be tricky this is because if the business sells fragile or heavy items such as cars of piano it may be difficult to keep them safe.

Scale of the business

This means that how big the business is. One that operates within the UK has a few problems with distribution and just needs to make sure that the goods are packed securely, correctly addressed and in the appropriate method. Businesses that sell globally have other concerns such as:

* Special documents: This must be completed to observe with custom conduct and other shipping regulations.

* Special labelling or packaging: This is needed for some items that are fragile or that are hazardous goods.

* The best method of transport: This depends on the type of good it is and its destination and the cost.

* Insurance: This protects the sender in case the goods are damaged or lost.

Cost of distribution of physical goods

This depends on how the products are sent to its destination if they are overseas. It is cheaper to send goods by sea but this is also slow, than it is to send by air but can be expensive. When distributing goods the most important aspect to consider is the type of good and the speed at which they must be transported. Goods that weigh very little are cheaper that the heavy goods.

Special requirements

Different types of goods need different requirements such as:

* Fragile goods: These goods need to have a label labelled ‘fragile’ and may also have handling instruction such as ‘this way up’. It also needs to be packed carefully using material like bubble wrap.

* Perishable goods: These goods need to be delivered on time due to the fact that they may go out of date such as milk. These goods will be labelled so that the person delivering them can transport them as soon as possible. These may be transported in refrigerated lorries.

* Hazardous goods: These goods may need special paper work such as a dangerous goods note.

Ease of distribution of services

Providing services on a global basis is usually easier this is because it is simple because there is no need to physically move anything. There will be costs but only relating to the costs of managing and administrating the service, but there still may be charges on VAT. Examples include:

* Online insurance quotes for houses, cars etc

* Booking flights with airlines

* Booking hotel rooms

* Downloading music/ ring tones

* Job application through an online recruitment site.

Job for employees

It is vital that the right employees are selected for the right jobs at the Bullring Shopping Centre. This is a staffing issue this is because the employer that is going to employ needs to make sure that the job is going to suit the person and also to see their qualifications. For example at the Bullring Debenhams may need staff to do the make up section, this job title can be given to male or female just as long as that they have some knowledge and skills on applying make up.

It is also a financial issue this is because the staff needs to get their wages for all the work that they have done within the job role. They usually use a system that pays per hour.

Staffing, financial and distribution issues that Bullring need to consider:

* Staff for call centres

* Security

* Marketing and advertising

Extra staff will be needed for the call centres this is because the business is online and needs to employ staff for answering phone calls etc.

This is also a financial issue this is because the extra staff will need to get paid for their work and also the equipment that is needed is going to cost. The security will also cost this is a staffing and financial issue because Bullring is going to have to pay for staff and for the equipment it will be a distribution issues for the CCTVs. Bullring also have to plan for the marketing and advertising this is to advertise the shops in the bullring and bring customers coming. Bullring has got a marketing and advertising team this is a staffing issue. The financial issue for Bullring maybe advertising the shops in it. The distribution issues Bullring may need to consider is where to advertise, they may need to think about tourist information as it is a tourist attraction.

They also may distribute by advertising on newspapers, leaflets, poster or maybe even TV. Bullring also needs to consider location access it’s just coincidence that the train station is just next to Bullring but other access for example the bus route had to be thought about. They Bullring had to speak to the City Council organisers for the development of a bus stop to the Bullring this is a distribution issue that the Bullring had to consider. The Bullring also had to think about putting a car park this is a distribution and financial issue. It is a financial issue because it would cost to build the car park; it was a distribution issue because of where the car park was going to be situated whether the car park was going to be on top of the building, below the building or beside the building.

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