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Introduction: Emerging technologies and digital leadership
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Emerging technology and digital leadership are the two main perspectives on the growth of the organisation. These technologies help in better analysing the workflow as well as transforming the workflow process into a simpler and way easier process. This helps in identifying the work's drawbacks and makes every possible method to analyse and make a better approach to improve the drawback process. Digital leadership helps in analysing the business potential with the help of technologies and constructs a modern approach towards the qualities. This process helps in analysing the opportunities and strengths of the business as well as the market to develop a better option for generating revenue with fewer efforts. Woolworth is an organisation in Australia that provides service in providing grocery, fresh and healthier food. Woolworth is a retail store and uses different techniques and technologies in the field of leadership as well as business processes. The technologies include blockchain, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and machine learning.
Woolworth is one of the largest retail businesses in Australia and was established on 22 September 1924. The annual turnover of the organisation is $40 billion with a workforce of 210,067 and provides the best consumer service in Australia and the world. The sales graph of food in Woolworth is been provided in Appendix 1. Woolworth is not only performing well in consumer service but also follows social responsibility by attaining sustainability and speeding positive impact on the environment. Woolworth provides healthy and fresh food and grocery for humans as well as pets. “Woolworths’ Australian Food & Liquor division delivered a strong third-quarter sales result as this division continues to take market share” (Woolworths.com, 2022). The growth rate of food and liquor has increased sales up to 4.4% which is higher than the population growth of Australia. Woolworths provides effective market segmentation for increasing market competence as well as improving market position. It uses Artificial intelligence for analysing the consumers and knowing the desire as well as needs of the consumers. Some of the competitors include home.co.za, mrphome.com, capeunionmart.co.za and loot.co.za. Woolworth's “supermarket giant, in partnership with Tiliter, is making it easier for customers to budget and plan their shop with upgraded food and vegetable scales” (7news.com, 2022). The changes included by Woolworth are including new features for storage in Australia.
Part 1: Opportunity for investment
Woolworths is an Australian-based retail supermarket to provide effective convenience range, value and quality to its customer zones. This organisation was established on 22 September 1924 and its headquarter is located at Bella Vista in Australia. This organisation provides quality service to approx 24 million customers every week through its business network. The annual revenue of this organisation is 6367 crores AUD in 2020 and the share price is 35.02 AUD. The size of Woolworths's team members is more than 190000 across Australia and New Zealand and the shareholder number is a total of approx 372,000 and entire business follows a single vision to lead the retail business in the Southern hemisphere. This organisation listed its brand as the largest retailer supermarket in Australia by delivering exceptional, products, prices and services to its valuable customers (Woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2022). In addition, most of the shareholders of this organisation are investors in this business and the entire team members followed the launching of "the Better Together Recognition Award" in 2020.
This organisation consider B2C and B2B food business in Australia and New Zealand and the B2C approach consider delivering quality food in a suitable price range to satisfy customer needs (Woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2022). The B2B food approach includes a quality food service process and wholesale markets through delivering quality food services and values to its effective clients and customers. This organisation delivers core products of groceries such as vegetables, meat, fruit, packaged foods, and liquor. In addition, this organisation also continues its marketing by selling health and beauty products, pet supplies, baby supplies, DVDs, magazines, household products and stationery to meet various customer needs. A total of approx over 20000 products are available on almost every store of this organisation and delivering various offer to develop purchase attention of effective customers of this business. Woolworths considers functional and divisional strategies to create value for its customers and continues its sustainable approach in the business process. Value proposition also considers employee-centric value proposition EVP and this focus on attraction, retaining talent and development approach to continue diversity in staff complement to continue business strategy and to deliver extraordinary employee experiences (Woolworthsholdings.co.za, 2022). The value strategy considers various focuses for different years such as Horizon 1, Horizon 2 and Horizon 3 in financial years 22, 23 and 24 respectively.
Figure 1: Competitors of Woolworths in Australia
(Source: Statista.com, 2022)
Woolworths also have key competitors in its business process as Coles, Aldi and IGA compete with Woolworths in the retail supermarket business in Australia. This company has a strong key competitor named Coles Group as the above-mentioned figure shows that Coles Group captures 28.4% marketing share in 2021 and is listed in 2nd position in the top Australian retailer business in Australia (Statista.com, 2022). In addition, Woolworths captures the top position by having a 37.4% market share and along with it Aldi, IGA and others capture 10.5%, 7% and 16.7% market shares respectively. Therefore, the close market share values of these grocery retailers show a larger market competition present in Woolworths' business process. Woolworths includes interesting events such as everyday rewards, insurance, healthy life and pet culture and PFD food services to influence its customer zones. In addition, consideration of facilities such as Woolworths’ International, primary connects cartology, quantum and wpay to deliver effective service to compete with other market giants. The major success of this business comes from food services in Australia and New Zealand, endeavour drinks, hotels and BigW. Endeavour Drinks includes drinks sources to include reselling opportunities to its New-Zealand based customers. The BIGW considers providing offers and discounts in merchandise products to complete resale to its customers in the dominant business market in Australia. In addition, Woolworths introduced "the origin labelling of the country" as a program of product sampling and this program focused on the needed labelling of important products in its business process (Kasanagottu and Bhattacharya, 2018).
According to Ansari (2019), Woolworths faced issues in employment parts and the payment process of employees as the inconsistency presents in payment. This also included that vulnerable conditions present in Woolworths' HR management process. The payment issue occurred due to considering new agreements with the enterprise of its business. Incomplete pay records were also present in various stores of this organisation. This created issue of workplace violations in Woolworths. The employee also faced issues due to considering hardware business in this business process and the huge loss delivered insecurity and scarcity to employees. The decrement in their job role delivered issues in this business process and disappointment and dissatisfaction present in entire employment parts of this business. The organisation also faced issues of redundancy liability in its products and services and this created issues in employment and customer zones of this business process.
Investment in digital tools and technologies
The above-mentioned discussion shows that Woolworths faced issues of employment, payment process, strategic issues and redundancy liability in its business process. This organisation also faces issues in supply chain issues, operational issues, integration issues, information issues, and sustainability issues. According to Du (2022), Woolworths faces issues with HR costs and remote distribution issues in the supply chain process. Therefore, overall issues can be resolved by implementing digital tools and technologies in its business process. The emerging technologies can be AI technology, automation, machine learning for data systems, block chain and IoT technology for supply chain processes and social media and digital technologies to develop the business market of Woolworths. These all technologies can provide effective support in maintaining business processes and various issues of this organisation can get solutions to rectify business gaps. The supply chain process can get effective solutions by considering block chain technology and IoT in Woolworths' business process. The payment issues can get solutions by considering machine learning and automation technology to follow a systematic payment process. AI technology can deliver options to identify proper value processes to satisfy customers more to compete with the business market. Social media and digital technology can deliver options for identifying customer needs and business promotion to develop the business market. Every tool and technology has various facilities and can contribute to various aspects of the organisational process. Starting from the contribution of AI technology in handling large systems in business processes, this technology considers the processing of a large data set of consumers and this measurement has wider application in completing customer behaviour analytics in the business process. This analytic considers 48% usage of big data analysis in the business process to maintain data accessing, calculating and storing of sales and marketing data in the business process. Content creation is another advantage of AI as this includes contributions to identifying the pReferences of humans in the business process (Dwivedi et al. 2021). Every customer does not consider the same choices and therefore, identification of their individual and various needs can provide support in maintaining innovativeness and creativity in the business process. Therefore, a variety of products and quality of products can get developed and can deliver effective support in maintaining customer satisfaction to develop customer zones in the organisational process. Data from WEF 2018 shows that AI technologies are planning to contribute to China's GDP by 20% and expanses in AI technology develop by more than 49% in Europe in 2019. AI also can provide effective support in understanding customers' internet in a non-intrusive way through providing service of identification customer information such as location, devices, demographics and interaction and support in the customer engagement process in the business. Varieties can be present in displaying offers for appropriate customers of an organisation. AI includes options for automatic bidding in inventory advertising on a real-time basis.
However, challenges can occur due to unwillingness of sharing data with customers and AI algorithms can face issues of lack of resources. Therefore, accurate outcomes can be lacking in that cases. The company cannot get enough suggestions or recommendations for this case and the customer engagement process can face issues. The AI implementation requires a large cost and therefore financial issues can be present for the organisation. The development of AI can deliver issues to employees as a lack of skills can provide result in incompleteness in AI processing. Trust issues can deliver another factor in the AI process due to fear factors of people can present. As opined by Tsoumakas (2019), machine learning can deliver opportunities in the prediction of food sales. This tool includes forecasting time series activities and classical ARMA techniques. This flexible and powerful activity provides information on learning algorithms to complete the reversal of vector machines and model trees. This also includes the addition of various effective input variables and external factors of time series to predict food sales in the retail supermarket business. Machine learning includes the opportunity to have temporal granularity prediction on food items and provide support in keeping shelf products for a long time.
Block chain technology also includes effective support of financial services and e-commerce for retail businesses. Wide data breaching-related issues can get solutions through this technology and the use of this technology can provide information on customer databases that can be decentralised in various positions and users get authority over their information. The transportation process can get an extension from this as this delivers authority to set individual price and transaction terms and conditions to meet business financial objectives and this avoids dependency on third-party payment applications. This technology includes support in the supply chain process as this application includes import and export tracking facilities and provides safety in the food supply process. In addition, tracing raw products and resource components can get advantages from this technology. A transparent and immutable process of supply chain delivers support in achieving innovativeness in the upcoming business process and real-time information on business products can be available to every part of the business. However, block chain technology can face issues with human resources as block chain engineering captures 2nd place in the top demanded skills list. Therefore, the lack of availability of quality HR and skilful employees can provide issues in the business process.
The issue is the lack of human resources and skills in the organisation to carry forward proper applications of these technologies.
The current issue is a lack of trust and financial support in the organisation.
This issue has been initiated due to various data breaching cases that occur in the organisational practices.
The issues might shed light on the business performance and the supply chain process of the organisation.
Opportunities and challenges of Woolworths
Woolworths can get benefits in using those above-mentioned technologies as AI can provide support in developing the competition power of this company with various market giants in Australia. AI can deliver information on customer preferences for business products and services and innovativeness can get suggestions to develop products and services for this business. Therefore, customer satisfaction can develop through this and can get extra power in maintaining race with various market giants such as Coles Group and Aldi in Australia. Big data analysis of Woolworths can get an extension as this analysis will consider a large business data set to maintain financial activities in the business process. As per the above discussion, Woolworths faced an issue of employee dissatisfaction due to disturbances in the payment process therefore; AI can deliver strategies to mitigate this issue and can satisfy employees. Machine learning also can deliver opportunities in the food sales process of Woolworths by maintaining its product shelf and providing granularity prediction on food items. Block chain technology and IoT can provide a positive impact on the financial processes and supply chain process of this business. Tracing facilities can deliver real-time information on the supply chain process and food supply process and also can get safety and traceability facilities through this technology.
Recommended investment in emerging technologies
Woolworths can include AI technology to enhance its value proposition and identification of customer preferences. For example, China and the US both invested a lot of money in this technology. Data shows that the race for investment in AI continues between China and the US as China invested $12 billion in 2017 and planned to invest $20 billion in 2020. Trump invests a total of $2 billion in the defence sector to continue the AI projects. China also includes funds for 25% of worldwide output and focuses to capture the top position in AI by 2030. Other information shows that the AI systems of Walmart IRL include sensor technology and camera to transmit data of 1.6 TB per second to complete its supply chain process (Dwivedi et al. 2021). Data from Juniper research shows that global investment in AI technologies will consider $12 billion by 2030. In addition, Amazon also includes its investment in AI to develop the supply chain processes and demand forecasting process. Therefore, this shows the need for modern tools and technology and delivers the investment requirements of AI in the business process. Crypto currency includes block chain technology and this provides effectiveness in the business process (Duy et al. 2018). Various countries such as Europe mainly London, China and the US consider this technology to develop supply chain processes or the organisation.
Expected outcomes of investment
The investment in AI and block chain technology can deliver support in business audit and accounting processes as this can deliver options such as analytical review process, classification, decisions of concern principles and bankruptcy prediction by considering AI in the audit process. The modern version of AI such as genetic algorithms, fuzzy systems and robotic automation processes can deliver a positive impact on business. For example, Deloitte includes Kira systems to form an alliance in 2016 to develop machine learning and innovativeness in its business process. This organisation also includes a cognitive application named Argus to enhance the audit process. In addition, Deloitte also includes the GRAPA application to complete effective comparisons of business activities to develop strategies to reduce risks in the business process (Zemánková, 2019). Therefore, this shows that Woolworths also can get an effective machine learning process and innovativeness to compete with various market giants to develop customer zones and sales of this business process. The supply chain process can get facility thorugh block chain technology and time management and cost-effectiveness both factors can get developed through this process.
Potential barriers and effectiveness of investment
Potential barriers can present in the form of cost factors as the technology requires a high cost to perform the human intelligence of a system. In addition, lack of creativity delivers barriers as the machine continues the entire process and humans get subtracts from the systems. Human effectiveness also gets reduced and ethical barriers can present in the business processes. However, apart from barriers, AI and block chain technology can deliver support in the audit trail, data security, meeting customer satisfaction, innovativeness, creativity and supply chain process of business.
Part 2: Change management
Challenges of technology
Emerging technologies such as AI and block chain technology can face issues of computing power as cloud computing can be available at cheaper prices and the demand for AI can get segmented due to this. Trust deficits can present in the business processes due to including AI and block chain technology. Limited skills of people in AI can deliver issues in completing business processes through AI technology. Data privacy and security part can face issues due to this technology and ethical risks can occur in the business processes. Bias problems can be present in AI systems as algorithm-based processes consider specification while performing an activity. Technical issues can provide a negative impact on business processes as data scarcity issues can present in this technology. Fragility issues can present in block chain technology can present as the crypto currency part of this technology is available for multi-users and delivers data security issues in the business process.
The agile leadership approach can deliver effective support in the change management process of Woolworths. According to Fachrunnisa et al. (2020), agile leadership delivers effective support in the analysis of strategies and implementation of digital transformation in the business process. Digital transformation includes strategic flexibility, dynamic capability and transformation in various SMEs. The agile approach considers customer focus as its vision to develop values to customer zones to increase popularity through developing customer satisfaction in the business process. Leadership agility includes developing strategies for people and continuing effective transformational processes in the business. Therefore, agile leadership develops the strength of the relationship between digital transformation and strategic flexibility in the business process. Therefore, this transformational approach can implement effective technologies such as AI, machine learning, block chain, and IoT in Woolworth's business process.
Recommendation of change management plans
- Woolworths can include training facilities to develop AI and IT skills of employees to continue effective processes.
- Woolworths can consider social networking digitalisation through automation processes to develop customer satisfaction.
- Machine learning technology can include the development of the in-store experience for customers of Woolworths.
- Woolworth can include a digital leadership approach to continue with effective data management process to mitigate payment issues from its business.
- The innovation leadership approach can deliver support in continuing innovativeness by considering AI technology in the business process.
The business can be improved by implementing effective technologies for business transformation as well as increasing the investment in technologies. The investment in technologies will provide a large impact on the long-term process. Investing in technology will be observed as a one-time investment but it last forever. The process of automating is also an important aspect of the operation process which consumers an effective time when the business could rich its height. Implementing IT in Woolworth will lead to effective business flow as it would track the supply chain process and also help in digital marketing. Woolworth needs to analyse the market as it has provided an effective application for consumers to operate at home (Itnews.com, 2022). The business needs to be improved by providing an effective service in application driving. The application needs to be containerised and handled with effective software such as docker and Kubernetes. This will not only improve the performance but also control the traffic in the application with better support, especially during the festive seasons.
The retail business continuation needs effective change in the market process, operation process, finance and supply chain process. Business change needs effective and efficient business leadership in the emerging technologies world digital leadership plays an important role in sustainable development. Digital leadership must use the latest technologies in the market to have successive development. The latest technologies in the development of the business are blockchain technology used in the business supply chain management system. Woolworth used the blockchain technology system for the development of the supply chain system as well as logistic improvement. Blockchain technology helps with cost-effectiveness and manages finance. The marketing process can be changed with the help of Artificial Intelligence Which enables to target of individual customers and implies marketing strategies to make a sale. The increase in sales will improve the revenue of the organisation. Machine learning is used for data collection and also helps to analyse the consumer's buying behaviour or pattern of buying. Woolworth needs to develop an effective service in providing a traffic control process in the e-commerce launched in recent years. E-commerce needs to be improved by providing effective automation tools for an ideal running of the application.
- Ansari, M.F., 2019. Critical Analysis and Evaluation of HRM issue within. https://www.academia.edu/download/62971823/Critical_Analysis_and_Evaluation_of_HRM_issue_within_Woolworths20200415-98116-1x9n0zu.pdf
- Du, W., 2022. The Feasibility of the Drone Delivery System for Woolworths. Intelligent Information Management, 14(4), pp.119-132. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4236/iim.2022.144009
- Duy, P.T., Hien, D.T.T., Hien, D.H. and Pham, V.H., 2018, December. A survey on opportunities and challenges of Blockchain technology adoption for revolutionary innovation. In Proceedings of the ninth international symposium on information and communication technology (pp. 200-207). https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3287921.3287978
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Appendix 1: food sales of Woolworths
Appendix 2: Agile leadership strategy
Appendix 3: Share of Woolworths sales