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M046002 BTEC National: Supporting Business

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Effective and efficient support from the functional areas of an organisation is crucial for its growth and development in the competitive business environment. The tasks performed as a part of supporting roles is the basis for action in management positions. I have selected Tesco PLC and RSPCA to evaluate various supporting roles as required by this assignment.


LO1 (1): Know the purpose of supporting organisational activities
P1 (1.1):  Describe the tasks that support the functional areas in Tesco PLC

The functional areas in an organisation consisting of several studies. Below is an illustration of these supporting tasks of the functional regions of Tesco PLC (Tesco plc, 2016):

  • Sales: The mission of the sales teams is to execute orders of the customers and deal with them. As a retailer company with a large number of supermarkets, the sales teams of Tesco PLC have to deal with a tremendous amount of sales.
  • Purchase: The company’s purchasing department determines the necessary stock and products to buy from suppliers.
  • Manufacturing: Though Tesco PLC is a retailer, the company is currently manufacturing 13,000 different products.
  • Marketing: The marketing department works with the sales department to promote and advertise the products and services of the company.
  • Finance: The finance department ensures the company’s daily transactions and cash flow to maintain the company’s financial stability.
  • Human Resource: Human resource department recruits the right people to the right place and provides them guidance, training and motivation to keep their productivity up to the level.
D1 (1.1.1): Evaluate how efficient support contributes to Tesco PLC

The efficient support from the company’s functional areas has been the key to the success of the company’s success in recent years. The company can understand and reach their customer with the help of the sales and marketing department (Fleming, 2003). So the company can deliver the best possible offer to their customers. A £69.7bn deal in the last indicates that the sales and marketing department performs well to attract more customers.

The company’s purchasing department efficiently maintains channels and relationships with suppliers to bring the best products for the customers.  Efficient support from the purchasing department is also helping the company to reduce food wastage by determining the exact amount of stock and purchase. As a result, there have been 1,180 tonnes of reduction of food waste in the previous year. 

The manufacturing department of the company is producing quality products for the customers. The support from the finance department helps the company to have balanced financial conditions. The Role of the HR department is also crucial for the company. The HR department increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s operation by managing its employees properly (Tesco plc, 2016). 

P2 (1.2): Outline factors involved when working in an international support role

To perform an international supporting role efficiently, The Company should consider several factors. For example, the International supporting role includes understanding other people’s language, etiquettes and cultures, etc. Below is an illustration of the factors involved in an international supporting role:

Intercultural Barriers: Showing respect, courtesy and tolerance are essential when working in an international supporting role. Cultural taboos should be appropriately handled. Otherwise, it may offend (Fleming, 2003).

Potential Communication Problems: To avoid potential communication problems, the company can use written instruction and graph charts. The international supporting role provided should be flexible. The use of simple language is preferred to avoid communication problems.

M1 (1.2.1): Compare and contrast roles supporting organisational structures and functional areas in organisations

Supporting roles in organisation structure:  Supporting roles in the organisational structure include roles of managers, supervisors’ roles, and operators’ roles. The managers in an organisation plan and organise their department and are responsible for the efficiency and improvement of the upper-level management. Supervisors ensure that the operators work with standard procedures. The roles of the operators are to perform the day-to-day operations of the organisation (Bevan, 2010).

A supporting role in functional areas:  The roles supporting the functional areas of an organisation consists of operating positions. These roles include finance, HR, sales, purchase, etc. Functional areas also include marketing, IT service, etc. The function areas of an organisation are based on a flat structure—the task of an organisation mainly performed through the roles of the functional areas.


LO2 (2): Understand the support role in the structure of organisations
P3 (2.1):  Explain how to support roles vary in different organisations

The supporting roles can vary significantly in different types of organisations. For example, a retailer company like Tesco PLC has functional areas that help the company earn a profit. There is a sales and marketing department, HR department, finance department, purchase department in a retailer. The objective of these supporting roles is to enable organisation efficiency to earn a profit for the company. 

On the other hand, the supporting roles in charitable trusts are significantly different from profit-earning companies. For example, RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) supporting roles are based on non-profit activities. The functional areas of Charitable Trust are also unconventional(, 2016).

D2 (2.1.1): Justify any improvements that could be made to an HR department

Tesco PLC has a large number of supermarkets and convenience stores in the UK. To operate these supermarkets and convenience stores, the company’s HR department has to recruit significant numbers of staff in the different places of the company. The recruitment process needs a tremendous amount of effort from the HR department. The HR department can use recruitment software to make the recruitment process easier and faster(Carysforth, 2006). In addition, the use of recruitment software can enable The HR department to monitor the performance of the employees. The recruitment process mistakes can also be minimised, and the data management of the employees can be more accessible.


LO3 (3): Know the requirements for reviewing support services
P4 (3.1): describe the effectiveness of support roles in Tesco PLC
M2 (4.1.1): review the effectiveness of different support roles in Tesco PLC

The effectiveness of supporting roles in Tesco PLC’s development and growth is beyond question. The company is currently holding a 28% market share in the retail industry of the UK. The marketing share indicates that the supporting roles in different functional areas are doing well. The finance department of the company is handling the financial aspects of the company. So the company can be more cost-effective to compete with significant retailer companies in the UK, i.e. ASDA, Sainsbury’s, etc. The supporting roles of the purchasing department are also very effective. The reduction in food wastage is 1,180 tonnes in the last year. This result indicates the effectiveness of supporting roles in this functional area. The supporting parts of the sales and marketing are very effectively managing the enormous numbers of customers of the company and attracting the company’(Tesco plc, 2016).


LO4 (4): Be able to plan work and carry out a support role
P5 (4.1): Plan time and resources for support tasks 

Planning time for support tasks: 

To plan time for the supporting tasks, Tesco PLC can follow three basic steps. These steps are illustrated below:

    1. Setting Goals:  At first, the goals of supporting tasks have to be identified. Keeping functions of the functional areas can have short-term, intermediate-term and long-term goals. SMART goals can be set for supporting jobs.
    2. Prioritisation: The second step for planning time for supporting tasks is prioritisation. So the essential supporting duties can be listed. Over-commitment to perform less important supportive tasks can be minimised by using prioritisation.
  • Set manageable tasks: After prioritisation, the final planning of supporting jobs can be done. Splitting the duties into manageable to perform within time is set in this step.

Planning Resources for support tasks: 

Resource planning is essential for support tasks. For example, business Resources include financial resources, physical resources, technological resources, and human resources. Planning resource for support tasks of the functional areas can consist of the following steps:

  1. Identify the existing  and  necessary resources for support tasks,
  2. Develop a functional area-based plan to use these resources for support tasks.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the plan (Atkin and Brooks, 2005).
P6 (4.2): Adopt suitable procedures and policies in providing support for HR

Some well-defined procedures and policies are essential to provide efficient support for business activity(Gleeson, 2004). Below are some guidelines and methods for providing support to the HR department:

  1. Create a suitable work environment
  2. Proper process and structure in the workplace
  3. Provide an opportunity for every employee
  4. Facilitate working across team
M3: analyse policies, procedures, and techniques used in the HR department

The HR department of Tesco PLC has implemented its policies, procedures and techniques effectively. The performance of their employees in different functional areas is very satisfactory(Carysforth, 2006). The guidelines, procedures and techniques of HR ensure that the right people are in the right place. So the overall support role in different areas in the company increased significantly. For example, facilitating work across teams can help the employees to mitigate their problems very quickly.



In the end, I can say that every organisation needs the efficient support of its different functional areas to run successfully. In the first part of this paper, I have discussed supporting activities and their effectiveness in the organisation’s functions. In the second part of this paper, I have compared support activities in different types of organisations. In the third part of this paper, I have scrutinised support activities in the HR department of Tesco PLC. In the final piece of this paper, I have illustrated some plans to carry out support activities.







References and bibliography
  1. Carysforth, C. (2006). Business & Administration. Oxford: Heinemann.
  2. Fleming, I. (2003). The time management pocketbook. Alresford: Management Pocketbooks.
  3. Gleeson, K. (2004). The personal efficiency programme. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
  4. Atkin, B. and Brooks, A. (2005). Total facilities management. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.
  5. Bevan, J. (2010). BTEC level 3 business. London: Edexcel.
  6. Carysforth, C. (2006). Business & Administration. Oxford: Heinemann.
  7. (2016). RSPCA – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2016].
  8. Tesco plc. (2016). Tesco plc. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].


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