Functional areas in a business refer to different departments or sections that perform specific tasks, such as marketing, finance, operations, and human resources. Each functional area has a unique role in achieving the overall business objectives, and they need to work in cooperation to ensure that the company operates smoothly and effectively.
For instance, finance provides the necessary resources to other functional areas, marketing promotes the products developed by operations, and HR ensures that the employees are trained and motivated to carry out their duties. Effective communication and collaboration between functional areas are essential for the success of the business.
Responsible for all aspects of managing the people in a business.
Responsible for transforming process that turns inputs into outputs.
Responsible for the financial resources, position, and performance of a business.
Responsible for understanding the needs and wants of consumers.
Operations involve managing the processes and resources that create goods and services in a business. It is responsible for ensuring efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness in production, distribution, and delivery to meet customer demand and achieve organisational objectives.
The main activities for an operations department may include:
- Production Planning and Control
- Inventory Management
- Quality Control and Assurance
- Supply Chain Management
- Logistics and Distribution
- Facility Management
- Equipment Maintenance
- Process Improvement and Innovation
- Safety and Environmental Management
- Customer Service and Support.
The specific activities and focus may vary depending on the nature of the business and its objectives.
This is the engine room and it must function properly. The key to good operations is EFFICIENCY.
Human Resources manage an organisation’s workforce. They are responsible for recruiting and hiring new employees, administering employee benefits and compensation, managing performance evaluations, handling employee relations issues, and ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations. HR’s goal is to support employees and the business to achieve strategic objectives.
Human resources are responsible for the incoming, ongoing, and outgoing of staff.
Despite the significant advancements in technology, raw materials, processes and automated expertise a company’s human resources are still the most valuable assets.
Get the right people into the right place in the business, then ensure everything runs smoothly from a human perspective
Acquisition is the process of human resource management concerned with hiring the workers that are needed to meet business objectives.
The business will have established its goals and the human resource department will examine whether it has the appropriate staff to meet the business needs
Acquisition is the HR function that is concerned with getting the right employees to fill vacant positions.
Effective acquisition requires substantial planning before actually looking to attract potential employees and making decisions about who to hire.
Analyse existing workforce
Identify staffing needs
Human resources are also concerned with improving the skills and capabilities of employees in order to better achieve business objectives and maintain a competitive edge.
Each business operates differently and there is a requirement for different skills, so training is an integral part of the HR function.
After training has been completed and staff have been working for a while, managers would then do a performance appraisal
This is a formal assessment of a person’s work. It provides a basis for deciding future training needs, pay rises, promotions, and possible further development.
This must be a systematic, transparent, and fair process of performance appraisal for it to be credible and effective.
Maintenance is the process of human resource management concerned with motivation and retention of employees.
Businesses invest considerable amounts of time and resources into recruiting, selecting, developing and enhancing the skills of appropriate personnel.
Therefore, employers aim to attract and retain staff for as long as necessary to achieve the company’s strategic long-term objectives, as it is counterproductive for companies to have a high staff turnover.
Benefits of motivated staff
- Good productivity levels
- Good level of morale
- Effective communication between management and staff
- Low level of absenteeism
- Lower staff turnover.
This covers the process of ending an employment relationship through retirement, resignation, redundancy or dismissal.
Separation is the termination of the employment contract between employer and employee and it can be voluntary or involuntary.
Human resources must aim to conduct the separation process fairly and with an appropriate degree of transparency to reduce disruptions to the business and personal conflicts that can damage morale, productivity, and the business reputation or even lead to legal action.
- Voluntary redundancy
- Involuntary redundancy
Role of the HR Manager
Human Resource (HR) managers must follow systematic processes to ensure that HR is carried out efficiently, effectively, consistently, fairly, and with an appropriate degree of transparency.
- Personnel planning
- Staff allocation
- Staff transfers
- Staff care
- Staff training
- Performance appraisal
- Staff reduction
- HR company policy
- HR organisation
- Personnel management
- HR communication
- Workforce legislation
The financial functional area of a business is responsible for managing the company’s financial resources, including budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, cash flow management, and investment decisions. Its role is to ensure the financial stability and growth of the organisation by optimising financial performance and minimising risks.
The main activities for a financial department may include:
- Creating and managing budgets and financial forecasts
- Recording and tracking financial transactions and maintaining accurate financial records
- Managing cash flow and ensuring adequate liquidity to meet financial obligations
- Conducting financial analysis and providing reports to support decision-making
- Managing accounts payable and receivable
- Supervising payroll processing and ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations
- Developing and implementing financial policies and procedures
- Managing relationships with financial institutions and external stakeholders, such as auditors and tax authorities
- Ensuring compliance with accounting principles and regulations
- Monitoring financial performance and identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Estimating capital requirements
- Determining capital structure
- Estimating cash flow
- Investment decisions
- Allocation of surplus
- Deciding additional finance
- Negotiating for additional finance
- Checking financial performance
Marketing plays a crucial role in a business by helping to identify, create, and satisfy customer needs and wants through the promotion of products or services. Effective marketing strategies can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors, build brand awareness and loyalty, increase sales and revenue, and ultimately, achieve their business goals. Marketing also involves market research, analysis of consumer behaviour, and adaptation to changing market conditions.
The process of identifying and cultivating potential customers or clients for a business’s products or services.
Targeting new customers to increase a customer base, can expand market share, increase sales and revenue, and achieve long-term growth and profitability.
Retaining existing customers helps ensure repeat sales and loyalty. Marketing can maintain customer relationships through effective communication and personalised strategies.
Brand loyalty is important because it increases customer retention, reduces customer acquisition costs, and generates positive reviews and referrals, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.
Building brand awareness is important because it helps a business differentiate itself from competitors, establish credibility and recognition, and attract and retain customers.
Developing an industry reputation is important for a business to establish credibility and trust. Marketing can enhance reputation through thought leadership, PR, and positive publicity.
The marketing department translates a business’s mission, products, and services into a message that resonates with the target audience. They conduct market research, create messaging strategies, and use various channels to deliver the message. The goal is to build brand awareness and loyalty, which then drive sales and revenue growth.