DAVID JONES LTD KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
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David Jones is an Australian department store organisation that is owned by South Africa’s
multinational group of companies known as Woolworths. The company is commonly referred to
as DJs by most Australians. It got founded in 1838 by a Welsh immigrant named David Jones. It
is currently the second largest retailer in Australia coming after its main competitor Myer. The
company is the oldest organisation in the world today in the retail department stores industry that
is still operating under its original name. The organisation operates over 43 stores located all
across Australia and expanded its operations in the country of New Zealand by setting up shop in
Wellington in 2016 (Jones,2017)
During its inauguration over 50 years ago David Jones limited had a mission to “sell the
best and most exclusive goods” and to carry “stock that embraces the everyday wants of
mankind at large”. The entity offered the best brands in home appliances, fashion and beauty.
Being one of the oldest department store in Australia the company has grown over the years to
be the best in the world. Its vision is to be a well-defined and brand oriented retail department
store that delivers strong, steady and consistent yield.
Once the following issues are addressed the organisation can then create their needed
knowledge management strategies by using different approaches
One of the major objective of David Jones limited its main objective is to strengthen
relationship with the shareholders through by increasing the value of their returns, The Company
also has a goal to improve service delivery through innovation so as to enhance efficiency. In a
bid to widen its market coverage the organisation has a goal to collaborate with other key
industry players. The organisation has the goal to exploit its vast knowledge and capital strength to gain a competitive advantage. The company also has an objective to improve employee
efficiency through and development.
The company currently employs over seven thousand and two hundred employees as of
2014.It deals in the sale of food, furniture, electronics, beverages, clothing’s, cosmetics and
much more. The current Chief executive officer of the business is known as John Dixon, the
chairman is known as Gordon Cains, and the chief of operation is known as David Thomas. As
of 2016 the company had an operating income of $170 million and saw its annual revenues rise
by $2.2 million. The main headquarter of the company gets located in Richmond, Victoria
having been shifted from Sydney in 2016 due to cost related to renting and appeal from the
The company’s founder began the business in 1838 after having entered into a partnership
agreement with Charles Appleton who had already opened a retail store in Sydney known as
Appleton and Jones. The business survived many economic issues such as the depression of
1980’S.the Company had become a public company by 1906. Through the leadership of David
Jones, the company acquired many upcoming stores throughout Australia in a bid to expand its
operations. However, most of the stores have since closed due to insufficient funds to carry out
their activities. An example of the acquired companies includes Wyper Bros, Stuparts, John
Martins, GJ Coles and many more others. The company also acquired stores in the US which
also later closed. Following the acquisition of a substantial share in the business the organisation
by Adelaide Limited the company performed poorly throughout the 80’s and 90’s and got floated
in the Australian Stock Exchange (Jones,2017)
After a review of its strategies, the company has been able to revitalize itself and has been
operating efficiently over the past 17 years. It was set to merge with Myer in 2013, but the
merger did not fall through. The company was then acquired by South Africa’s Woolworth firm
after approval by the Australian federal court (. The store's slogan has changed over the years,
and its current slogan is ‘living an extraordinary life.' The company often uses known
personalities to market its brand most notably models. The food halls of the organisation are its
most outstanding brand and its primary source of income (Productivity Commission,2014). The
company introduced the payment of goods and services offered by all its store thought the use of
the American Express credit card. The use of credit cards has contributed immensely to growing
the business revenues by about 30%.
Overview of Approach and Methods used in Developing the KM Strategy
Knowledge management gets defined as the process by which information and knowledge
get created, shared and used within an organisation. The term was conceived in the 1990’s to
replace the conventional strategic management strategies. KM has a great improvement on the
organisation in that it enhances efficiency and effectiveness. Through application of KM, the
organisation can be placed in a better position in competition with the industry. The traditional
strategic management strategies in David Jones involved the creation of goals and objective
which an organisations employee could work towards. It limited the employees to only the tasks
that they were assigned to and thus hindered creativity and innovations within organisations
(Avison 2004). The traditional approaches mainly focused on the external environmental factors
and neglected the internal factors.
A look into company’s structures before knowledge management will show that the internal
structures were inferior and employees interviewed said that they were forced to work like robots and they were never involved in decision-making processes at any time. Although many
organisations are moving into modern ways of management, tradition approach is also important
in enhancing Knowledge management. The rise of knowledge management can get attributed to
the growth of company’s such as Google and Microsoft. For example, Google corporate strategy
has led to the extensive development of the technological industry. The company’s employee
rate as the happiest within multinational firms due to their involvement in the decision-making
process of the organisation. By use of knowledge management strategies within Google and
giving employees the freedom to explore and use their skills it has maintained its position as a
leading innovative giant (Wong, 2015)
Knowledge management strategies have defined the process by which an organisation
Determines its mode of operations and goals through the use of specific management principles
And approaches. The strategies are vital in ensuring that a firm or business can use all its
Available resources efficiently and minimizes wastage of the resources. The use of the resources
Is bound to bring the most productive results in a company. It enhances effectiveness and
efficiency hence the organisation is able to achieve the goals and objective precisely.
A gap analysis is meant to look at the current state of a business and its desired state of the firm.
The method of gap analysis got pioneered by Zack. He was a great advocate of the use of SWOT
Analysis in the creation of knowledge management within organisations. SWOT requires the
organisation to analyse its Strengths, minimize its Weaknesses, be alert on the Opportunities
and minimizing the threat that are posed to the organisation. The gap analysis helps
To show how the relationship between the existing companies can get used with the information
available and information that is yet to be taught (Siemens, 2014). Besides, when conducting a gap analysis, an assessment of knowledge must be carried. An organisation should look at the
existing knowledge within it and establish what needs to be added to achieve maximum
productivity. The outcome of a gap analysis should achieve the following:
• Existing collaboration with other organisations to manage knowledge
• Restrictions to knowledge management implementation (Nespor,
• Why there could be lack of cooperation within a firm
• Risk analysis of factors that cause knowledge loss.
• Knowledge creation mechanisms
• Comparison of knowledge strength to that of other firms. For instance, David jones has to
learn about the strategies used by its main rival Myer to gain a competitive advantage
Types of knowledge strategies
The types of knowledge strategies include;
1. Internal vs. external knowledge – the plan mainly involves looking at all the information
that an organisation has about both its internal factors. A business can combine the
information it gathers about both environment and uses it to improve its operations thus
meeting its set goals and objectives (Wong,2015). External knowledge is the information
awareness of the organisation to the external factor such as customers and competitors.
2. The transfer of knowledge- The strategy is essential in knowing how knowledge can get
passed on from employee to employee. Through the transfer of knowledge, each
employee can have a better understanding of the organisation's goals and can thus use
them to increase productivity and bring total customer satisfaction
3. Customer focused knowledge- the strategy involves building customer relations among a
group. The approach would be beneficial for marketing and insurance companies that
usually require one on one interaction with their clients. By focusing on buyers, an
organisation's revenues are bound to rise. For example, David Jones has to learn about
the needs of their consumers to improve on knowledge management.
4. Personal responsibility in knowledge creation- each within a firm is encouraged to gain
more experience. It can get done through training seminars or fund an employee’s
education. Incentives can also get offered to the most innovative employees who will
encourage other to think critically leading to favourable competition among the
5. Knowledge access approach- The organisation can provide all the available resources
for which employees can use as a reference when carrying out their different tasks
Knowledge databases on various topics can get created on a company’s data platform
and made readily available to any employee that needs to access (Liebowitz,2016)
Effect of Organisational Structure on KM
David jones is managed by an executive committee headed by the chief executive officer in
charge of the whole organisation and another chief executive in charge of the branch this
ensure there is great co-ordination and constant flow of information. The structure is
divided to have several managers in charge of operations, marketing, finance,
merchandise, food, digital and human resource departments. This structure enhances
centralisation and integration dimensions this distribution of company goals and
objectives is easy. Knowledge management boosts organisation core competencies and
competitive advantage. Also, knowledge management is useful in training and development of employees to meet organisational objectives.
Analysis: Strategic Gap Analysis/Knowledge Gap
A Chief executive officer heads David Jones. The CEO has department heads that works
under him. Each of the managers is responsible for the daily running of the business. The
management of the organisation is centralized and a decision made has to be approved by the top
management. A board of directors also exists within the organisation and whose primary role is
an oversight (Productivity Commission, 2014). The company has a large number of employees
who are essential in the making sure that the daily operations of the company continue
effectively. The company is a publically traded corporation has shareholders. They hold an
annual general meeting where they inform the shareholder about the performance of the
enterprise. Payment to shareholders is made through dividends annually.
The company has a developed technical support. It has a primary website that it uses to
advertise all the products it intends to sell. The website www.davidjones.com contains
information about the organisation as well as the location of its stores. The company introduced
the use of electronic means of payment, especially the American express card that has helped it
earn more revenue. The company uses Oracle system introduced by Woolworths to ensure that
its supply chain gets well managed and the inventory is well recorded.
The organisation is culture oriented. It runs an art gallery that showcases the diversity in
the Australian nation. It uses Australian born celebrities to promote its brand which appeals to a
majority of its customer base. The company is also involved in funding community development programs. For example, the company has been a major donor to the national breast cancer
foundation from 1994 which has been important in reducing the number of deaths due to breast
cancer infection. The company has begun the implementation of a five-year community
development strategy whose primary goal is to deliver greater social impact to the Australian
community as a whole (Bondy, 2014).
Desired state of David Jones
David Jones has been undergoing a lot of changes in its organisational structure. The
company has started investing more in the food industry which in the next few years is expected
to be a major player in the retail business. A gap currently exists in then organisation where it
has no outstanding branding something that it wants to achieve by focusing more on the food
industry. The company should also move from its traditional approach of retail stores and
transform into sociality retail stores where they can provide one product in bulk. The Australian
market is also opening up to the purchase of private labels. The company should seek to produce
their products instead of relying on international brands (Fam, 2015). DJs should also reduce the
number of stores and instead try to sell their products online and thus lower costs involved in
paying rent and other bills. The firm can also invest more in its employee infrastructure through
training programs. Employees should get given more freedom to make decisions which will help
bring about innovation.
The company is looking to grow its e-commerce business. It started selling its products
through the internet, but it has been slow to develop. Australia’s main retail stores have no
known e-commerce platforms which is the trend today when it comes to shopping. The owners have set aside nearly $100 million to be used to develop its online sale platform further to reach
the standards of a company such as Alibaba. It is also pushing its credit card systems further by
entering into more partnerships with credit card companies such as MasterCard and visa
David Jones is seeking to promote more Australian brands by stocking them in their
stores. Its food stores will be cooking foods from over the world to appeal to people from all
walks of life. The company has a four-year diversity inclusion strategy. The company has to
develop its values to meet those of the growing Australian population. The approach involves the
integration of peoples of different races, genders, sexual orientation and generations when hiring
employees. The company also wants to enter more programs aimed at raising funds for charities.
The company should strive to make its operations decentralized. By delegation, the
persons who will be in charge of the stores in different regions will be able to make decisions
that are favourable due to their knowledge of their target market. It helps to create innovation
and increase productivity in the company. Also, it can also focus on the growing fascination of
Australian with international brands. The company can agree with foreign businesses and act a
link between the two. The company should continue investing more in its food stores and close
down their clothing stores as many companies have already filled the market (Booth, 2014)
The company should continue investing more in e-commerce. A majority of
Australians now have access to internet connectivity, and they should thus capitalize on it. The e-
commerce platform should be easy to navigate and be appealing to consumers. They should also
DAVID JONES LTD KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES 11
use the latest supply and inventory management tools such as those that are employed by Apple
(Bhakoo, 2015). The systems will ensure that the store is not understocked or overstocked with
an individual product reducing costs incurred in transportation.
The company can achieve cultural growth by investing more in the community.
Having been in the industry, for a long time, the organisation can give back to the community by
establishing a nationwide program that offers scholarships to the university for poor children
(Najjaran, 2014). The company can also provide employment opportunities to graduate students
from the forty-three areas that it operates. David Jones should also have a themed sale at
different times of the year where it celebrates the different cultures across the world and
Australia by selling a certain cultures goods.
In conclusion, businesses need to harness knowledge management skills. The world is
evolving at a fast rate and organisations do not just require people with skills nowadays but
individuals who can use their abilities and are flexible. Individuals seeking to gain employment
should focus more on gaining experience by working in different industries to learn more.
Companies can create the knowledge management strategies, but if not properly implemented
they will be useless. The importance of knowledge management should be taught in Universities
and thus create job seekers who have the information reducing costs companies have to incur in
learning the skills
DAVID JONES LTD KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES 12
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