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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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What is a functional area?

A functional area is a group of individual/team with similar skills, working in a specific department.

For example, an expertise in laptops is going to work in the It department.

Types of functional areas

In a business, functional area is important to keep the business organized and running.

There are different types of functional areas in a business and each which one with different aims:

The finance department is one of the most important department because they need to make decisions according with sales and purchases of products that the company must buy to products the required products to ensure that the company makes profit over sales. If the manufacturing cost is too high the finance department as to inform the manufactures to reduce production costs. They will check the money spent in raw products and then set a maximum fixed price which can never be exceeded. They might contact the human resource to put manufacturing staff in small hour contracts, so staff can be dismissed when there is nothing to do, this will reduce salaries payments.

The human resource department its responsible to keep all employees legal right up to date within the company, staff recruitment, training of new staff and health and safety conditions

For example:

-they must check employees addresses and bank details to make sure all employees and paid properly.

-when they hire new staff, they will be responsible for new staff trainings.

The customer service department is responsible for providing costumer information, support while buying, after sales support and costumer advice. When a customer is purchasing a product (in-store or online), they will be the one responsible to help the costumer with any question and in case of complain, they are the one who listen and report to the administration department.

The marketing/sales department is responsible to communicate with existing customer and gain new ones for the business. They will research market opportunities, analyse the market before a product goes in to store, make market strategies to sell a product efficiently and of course make the sales for the business.

E.g.: If the business has an ongoing production line then sales will need to communicate with manufacturing to make sure the products are available to ship to the customer at the requested date.

The researching and development department is responsible for the development of new products, research new products, experiment new ideas and check if they are successful within the market and finally improving existing products.

After a product is launched in the market, they will be the one receiving the costumer's opinion, (trough customer service department) and with this improve the existing product.

The administration/ IT support is responsible for the clerical work, cleaning and maintenance, technical support, and security.

The will make sure the building where the business is located is clean and safe for staff to work in there.

The production/operations department is responsible for getting the right materials and equipment to produce a product, planning the productions, monitoring the production and budgets, providing services and monitoring quality.

While producing a product, they will make sure the produce I made according with the company quality standards.

Functional areas on Comicland.


The administration area at Comicland are the employees in charge of the paper work in the store and for answering all phone calls, emails and messages and guide the costumer with helpful advice. These employees are usually in the office or working from home.


The operation area at Comicland is the people who take care of the business. The store cleaner and sale staff are responsible for cleaning and organize the business. They usually come either in the early morning to make sure the business is nice and neat for the day of work ahead.


The It area at Comicland is ran by wired IT technicians and for minor problems sale staff will give a hand. They are responsible to make sure the online website is working and all other technological device are meeting the store standards.


the finance area at Comicland is ran by the store manager and the business owner. The owner is in charge of the major financial decision within the business. The store manager is in charge of the daily financial decision.


The marketing is at Comicland is run by the head of marketing and the owner. They are responsible for advertise the business to potential costumer. They will create 500 leaflet and hand them out to all those interested in Comics. They will also advertise the business online and add information If any discount or event is coming up.

Functional areas on Sainsbury


Administration workers are the ones answering phone calls and reading emails sent to the business. For example, at Sainsbury's they will receive complaints to them on a national level, so people will complain about prices or delivering companies. However, they also can complain on an individual level when they complain about a specific store.


The operation workers are the ones buying raw materials with the production operations to make products that the customers desire. They also give ideas to the business about how to make better the processes. So, in Sainsbury's case they will not create the products but they will buy them from department stores or straight away from the company, when they do this they are buying it in mass amounts, thousands of a single product at one time. This all process is ran by the operation direct who has all control in this functional area and he also have to make sure everyone is doing their job properly and meeting the company standards.


The IT area is responsible for all the technology in the business, create websites, set ready computers for meetings, fix any technological problems etc... in Sainsbury's case, since they are a developing and an expanding organisation their IT department will be increasing rapidly. The IT department for Tesco will have to deal with all things whether they are big or small, so linking all the computers from every single store back to the headquarters is a large job which takes a lot of time and effort. Whereas linking the microphone to the speaker is a reasonably small job but would still need to be completed across every single Tesco store. People involved in IT for Tesco will vary, there will be a director of IT which covers all of Tesco, he will most likely work at the headquarters, but there will also be a head of IT at each individual store, he will be the one who tells other IT employees what to do, but it is the director who tells the heads at each store what to do.


The finance department workers are responsible for controlling all business transactions, so, independently of incoming and outgoing money they must keep it in check.

Sainsbury's finance department, located at Holborn-London, will be dealing with the purchases for the stores, buying stock and cash flowing in and out of the business.

This functional area is quite big so it expected to have a big number of employees


The market department focus their aims on advertising the business so it can keep expanding.

They do this through social medias, national TV adverts, national radio adverts etc.…

Overall the marketing department controls all advertising and developing if the company. This department is one of the biggest in the company.

Job roles

Sales assistant responsibilities at Comicland:

At comicland the sale assistant assumes a big responsibility which is make customer happy and satisfied, he/she is also responsible for register and pay customer purchases. He is an attentive person to give customer help as soon as possible and of course to be aware of shoplifting.

He is the responsible of the opening and closing of the stores, working 9h a day 5 day a week. He helps cleaning the store during working time and keep costumers aware of sales and special offers, this give him a very important role in the business.

If the manager or owner is not in store in the end of the day, he is also responsible for closing the cashier.

Store manager responsibilities at Comicland

At Comicland a store manager is basically the principal worker in the store while the owner is not in. He assume the most important job role in the business. He is responsible for achieving the business target and make profits. He deals with all customer complaints and queries, organize the staff rotas and holidays, and recruit and interview new staff (if needed).

He is the person who count and register the money made in the end of the working days, and he is also responsible for buying stock for the business.

Store manager responsibilities at Sainsbury

A store manager at Sainsbury is basically in charge of the day to day running of the store. They will be the one who oversees the whole stores employees. So, they will make sure that every individual employee is doing the best possible job they can. They will make sure everyone is doing their job correctly, and meeting the company standards. They will make sure the team is achieving all aims and target. They will make sure the company make profits by making sales, advice customer to go into the store and he is also responsible for directing complaining customer to the customer services.

Payroll assistant responsibilities at Sainsbury

A payroll assistant at Sainsbury is basically responsible to give assistance to the payroll manager. In their duties, they are responsible for processing data (accurately and promptly) and ensure that corporate and statutory payroll procedures are maintained and operated correctly. They are responsible for ensure payments have been authorized and checked before being paid and that where necessary tax and National Insurance has correctly been accounted for and support other workers in other payroll teams and provide cover while any other worker is absent. They also ensure that high-quality costumer service is given to all customers.

Comicland store sales assistant Baker Sainsbury

Salary £16,000-19,000

Tasks Greeting costumers;

Be involved in the stock control and management;

Deal with customer discounts;

Deal with customer complains;

Answer to costumer's queries;

Give guidance is the products required by customers;

Register money in the cashier; Check and keep all stock;

Advice costumer;

Report costumers complains;

Buy and prepare ingredients;

Measure portions;

Package baked products;

Responsibilities Stock control;

Keep the business tidy and neat;

Report to a superior when stock finish;

Close the business;

Clean the business before opening time;

Responsible for any customer queries;

Meet quality standards.

Hours 25-30h 35-40h

Reporting to Store manager

Promotion opportunities Store manager or team leader Team leader or chef

Uniform Casual clothes (no special uniform) Chef jacket

Location Lambeth Wandsworth Road

Organisational Structures

An organisational structure is important for a business because it creates an environment whereby everyone has their job position and know what to do, this help to keep the business organized.

For example, in a big company like Sainsbury organisational structures help relieve responsibilities through staff.

If a business didn't have an organisational structure worker will not know what to do. The manager would not be able to know what their assistant must do and this will make difficult to give order because they don't have a specific role where they are skilled for. It will make difficult to estimate worker's salaries because you can't measure the responsibilities of the workers and it make difficult to pay them fairly.

For example, if you have a team and you don't create an organizational structure, the team member would not know what to do, and they would end up doing the same thing, and this means wasted time.

Without job roles workers, will be placed in the wrong positions, because every job roles are design to be taken by people with the right skills for it.

IG:  a store manager need to be skilled (have studies) for the job role, you can't put a cleaner as a store manager or a store manager as a cleaner because they would not know what to do.

With the right people doing the right job roles and a proper organisational structure you will be able to set smart target and aim easily, this because:

-responsibilities of the target can be divide equally trough workers with the specific skill for it;

-money can be allocated by department, and this will help the company to save money;

-target are achieved quicker because there is more people working on it;

-worker are happier because there is less responsibility in their shoulders.

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