The aim of this report is to observe a business operation by recording relevant data, describing and examining processes through operations management implementation.

In this report, it will be taken into account the Co-op supermarket organization. It might be particularly interesting to analyze operations’ organization in the absence of competition. Furthermore, it will be analyzed the payment process because of the large familiarity that a Sussex student may have with it.



The Co-op supermarket is located in the center of Sussex University. It represents an incredibly busy location being the only supermarket within the campus. From the entrance, a constant flow of people going in and out the supermarket can be noted.

The payment process concerns individuals who might wait in the queue depending on the number of people aiming to purchase products in the supermarket. Customers at the end of the queue can progress to up to seven different check-out points depending on where the staff is located.


Table N.1: payment process’ ITO

(Source: Author)

In the ITO shown in the table above, the input is constituted by customers who are willing to buy a particular number of goods, which might be called transformed resources, and by the money and staff designated as transforming resources. The flow between resources appears to be sporadic because of different customers’ presence over periods of time. The transformation process might be described as the act of scanning customers’ items by the staff and as the following customer’s payment. The output could be considered as a customer who successfully went through the payment process of all his items.

The hierarchy of the process

The supply networks




Co-op’s supermarket payment process has high volume, low variety, high variation and high visibility as shown in the table above. Furthermore, for companies such as Co-op, which aim to keep their costs down, high volume and low variety would constitute an optimal structure (Perry, 2008).

High volume is determined by the elevated number of the supermarket customers who desire to purchase a product or products. Implications of co-op 4V’s volume are high process repeatability and specialization (Slack, et al., 2007). Indeed, the supermarket payment process is composed by systematic tasks which the staff has to perform over time, developing a certain degree of specialization.

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