History of Agora
Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd. (RSL) launched Agora the first ever retail chain in Bangladesh in 2001. Agora promises a valuable shopping experience that provides quality and fresh products at the right price. It aims to consistently provide a remarkably satisfying and valuable shopping experience through a business that improves the quality of life for customers and team members. With outlets in major locations throughout Dhaka, and many more being planned in Dhaka and other major cities, Agora is endeavoring to fulfill the everyday needs of its customers by providing the right quality, assortment and price through stores of various forms and sizes. While Agora mainly focuses on food items – ranging from a wide variety of fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, bakery, dairy, and grocery – it also carries a vast array of other grocery, personal care, and various other consumer goods and household utensils. Agora‘s interior is similar to most supermarkets in design and layout due to trends in marketing. It produce tends to be near the entrance of the store. Various kinds of products and services are sold (at least 2500 products and services).
Milk, bread, and other essential items are located in the rear and other out of the way places. This is purposely done to ensure maximum time spent in the store, strolling past other items and capitalizing on impulse buying. The front of the store or Front-End is where one might find point of sale machines or cash registers. Agora has plans to implement self-checkout devices in their stores in an attempt to reduce labor costs as well as bringing complete customer satisfaction. Understanding the historical context from which some of today’s organizational structures have developed helps to explain why some structures is the way they are but Agora using a structured which is more horizontally capitalizing on the innovativeness of their employees. Part of the reason, as this section discusses, is that organizational structure of Agora that has a certain inertia.
Supply Chain Management of Agora
As we have seen in the history Agora has very diversified products ranging from kitchen market to consumer goods and cosmetics. Some of the products they sell are import oriented. So designing a supply chain for their wide product variety was not easy for them and moreover maintaining this huge network is very costly too. They have different types of supply chain for their different types of products.
Supply Chain for Agricultural Products
As we can see from diagram above they procured the products from the local supplier then store it in their warehouses and then send the products to the retail outlet when it is necessary. They try to send the degradable products to the retail outlet as early as possible. They use inbound logistics and outbound logistics to transport the goods.
Supply Chain for Consumer Products
As we can see they procure their consumer products from different manufacturer and store them in their warehouse and distribution center, they use inventory management system to maintain the inventory and requirement order from the retail outlet. After storing the products they send them to the retail outlet according to their requirement. In the outlet they arrange the products according to their values. Price tags are given to the product in the warehouse and distribution center. Procuring consumer products are not easy as different manufacturer produce same valued products.
Supply Chain for Imported Goods
Agora use two type’s product procurement approach to procure imported goods they are given below: Direct Import: Agora directly imports some products from the manufacturer abroad. The main objective of this is to reduce the cost of imported goods. Procure from the Importer: Agora procures the goods sometimes from the importers as importing the goods directly sometimes have some difficulty.
Overall Supply Chain Activities
As we can see from the cycle above it starts from the supplier and it ends in the supplier as supply chain is a never ending process. Every step here is very important. Agora tries to procure the products directly from the supplier and try to run their entire operation by their inbound logistics but at some points they need to hire other means of transportation. They operate several advertisement campaigns to attract the customers and try to rearrange their pricing strategy.
They have pretty good customer service to encourage the employees more customer friendly they have designed attractive remuneration packages.
Financial Performance of Agora
Supply Chain Performance Metrics Framework of Agora
We had some difficulty to collect financial data from Agora as they have said that financial data is strictly confidential. We tried our best to collect the financial data. Information showed above was stated by one of the employee of Agora who happened to be in its management committee. So we presumed it is credible.
1. http://www.rahimafrooz.com/OurBusinesses/Companies/RahimafroozSuperstoresLtd/tabid/112/Default.aspx. 2. Mr. Jahid Uddin Ahmed, Executive Member of Rahimafrooz Management Committee. 3. Operations Management process and Supply Chain, Krajewski, Bitzman, Mlahotra and Srivastava.