Stage 1: Situation Mapping
The first stage of SSM involves situation mapping. The primary tool used is “rich picturing.” The situation is expressed pictorially on a whiteboard, flipchart, or large sheet of paper. Participants are encouraged to create a freehand representation of the situation in order to capture the main elements of the situation (such as basic structure, stakeholder views, and environmental constraints) and to identify key issues.
The mapping process gives participants the opportunity to step back from the situation, surface different points of view, and develop a holistic view of the situation. The drawing process is not simply analytical and cognitive—for example, in real-world projects, the group is often getting to know each other, letting off steam, and building a working dialogue. The focus of the picture is on the here and now rather than on the future.
The picture constitutes a situation summary and can be augmented by using “analyses 1, 2, and 3” from SSM. These are analyses of the intervention itself, the culture of the situation, and the political system. There is not space to cover analyses1, 2, and 3 in this paper. It is important that a mapping session, which generally lasts two-three hours, is terminated by generating a list of issues on a flipchart. This is to ensure the thinking of the participants accurately documented for future reference.
Using the specific operations performance objectives it can be argued that LIDL UK is focused on satisfying its customers’ requirements for fast and dependable services at a reasonable market price, through strategic partnerships that assist its customers to improve the services they offer (value for customers).
Specifically, you should:
- Outline the essential components for ‘effective business operations management’ (creating value for the customer) for LIDL’s operation within the UK.
- Use a soft systems methodology to evaluate the issues LIDL UK might face if they decide to introduce hybrid facilities to allow their customers to continue shopping in-store, as well as ‘order goods online and have these delivered to the door’ to compete in the market place. Support your discussion with appropriate business operations and business process models (i.e. the five operation objectives and the Four Vs (volume, variety, variation, and visibility), customer value, the service gap model, etc.).
- You should compare and contrast different models used by the sector in which LIDL UK operates and recommend appropriate solutions to continue being competitive in the market, make easier for customers to select and buy their products (issues to consider centralized/decentralized inventory and delivery chain, customer value chain, cost implications, sustainability, etc.).
- Comparison of different solutions with costing and choose one solution to take forward with reasoning. Business process issues to consider: What are the main elements of the service concept, and are these of equal importance to all customers? What trade-offs have had to be made in the design to deliver a quality service package to all of LIDL’s customers?
- With reference to the parcel conundrum recommend how LIDL UK should respond to this conundrum (keeping in mind the possible)
- You should start with what LIDL UK is doing well compared to the sector (why customers shop at LIDL UK).
- Research the problems they may face changing their business model (going hybrid – the change) using Soft Systems Methodology (critical analysis of need/problem to be solved).
- Support your discussions with appropriate operations models (quality/depth).
- Your academic inquiry should lead to the synthesis of important issues around the problem and solution.
- Critical analysis and evaluation of the customer’s digital experience, how the new model will enhance the customer’s experience.
- Innovative ways to serve their customers better.
- Consider the services which are unique and beneficial to LIDL UK.
- Consider customer value for shopping online and in-store (which market sector are they chasing by changing the business model.
- Comparison of the different solutions with costing and choose one solution to take forward with reasoning.
- Following models not to be included in here Porter or Swot you may use these for your own research.