The Bata Heritage
“Our success is built on our legacy of values and beliefs”
“Thomas G. Bata,
Chairman and Grandson of Founder”
Every legacy of success begins somewhere. For the Bata Shoe Company, that place was the small riverside town of Zlin, Czechoslovakia, where three Bata siblings gathered a small inheritance from their mother, and officially established the T. & A. Bata Shoe Company. It was the year 1894 and a remarkable tale of enterprise had begun.
Founder Tomas Bata was a visionary dedicated to serving the needs of the people. In 1904, Bata introduced mechanization and mass production to shoemaking and created the “Batovka” – a working class shoe remarkable in its simplicity and style, yet lightweight and affordable. The Bata name quickly became synonymous with quality and value, and in just over two decades Bata was selling 2 million pairs of shoes a year, and exports skyrocketed.
Throughout the early 1900s, even as world war, the Great Depression and Communism loomed, Bata continued to prosper. In 1931 it began to build factories, and entire towns, outside of Czechoslovakia. It wasn’t long before Bata was recognized as an international brand known for its unmatched selection of styles. By the end of the 1930s, Bata operated in over three dozen countries.
Just as the 20th century progressed, so did Bata’s international reach. When Communist governments nationalized all Bata companies in Eastern Europe, Bata persevered by rebuilding itself from the remaining entities located outside Eastern Europe.
Further expanding the company’s international umbrella, Thomas J. Bata, the founder’s son, moved from Czechoslovakia to Canada with over 100 families and established the Bata Shoe Company of Canada. Families around the globe relied on Bata to supply them with sensibly priced shoes that met their needs and exceeded their wishes. By mid-century, Bata’s superior product earned the trust and confidence of millions and Bata was positioned as the world’s leading footwear exporter.
As the 20th century came to a close, Bata had been building relationships with generations of families for over 100 years. Thomas G. Bata, the founder’s grandson, remained committed to that tradition in the emerging global marketplace. In a bold move, he replaced large, centralized factories with regional production facilities guided by four “meaningful business units” (MBUs), each having the flexibility and independence to produce footwear that responds to the unique needs of its region. As a result, Bata is honored to be a local company in every country it serves. It is with pride that the Bata Company of today maintains close to 5,000 international retail locations and services over one million customers per day. From its simple start over 118 years ago, Bata has grown into a trusted global company that offers fashionable and affordable footwear to every member of the family.
We will grow through the 21st century by investing our resources in innovative comfort technology, remaining on the cutting edge of style, and ensuring quality and affordability. Now as then, we believe our success is a result of our commitment to our customers, and we’ll continue to look to the future by reading our past.
Bata Shoe Company is the market leader in the footwear industry since its operation in Bangladesh. The name Bata achieved such a position in the customers’ mind that whenever they heard the name of Bata, a footwear with high quality comes into their mind. Bata has been serving its customers with wide assortments of products for about five decades and doing it successfully. It is very difficult to identify the customers’ class of Bata Shoe Company. Bata touches almost every social class possible. Bata meets the footwear demands of the higher class and lower class simultaneously. However to stay closer to the customers, Bata shoe company undertakes an assessment of the customers at a regular interval.
Bata desires to fulfill the ever changing customer’s needs, and to do so the outcome of the customer assessment plays a significant role. Here the similar study undertaken with a permission of Bata Shoe Company to get the feedback from regular customers. The questionnaire is taken from Bata shoe company Bangladesh ltd to conduct the survey among the regular customers. This study is the analysis of customer satisfaction of Bata Shoe Company which will help to analyze the customers’ level of satisfaction with Bata products and stores. This study will try to compare Bata with other competitors in footwear industry. It will help to get the knowledge of customers’ overall shopping experience at Bata shoe stores.
Footwear industry in Bangladesh
The Footwear Industry in Bangladesh has started since the colonial era, although its modernization took place only in the late 1980s. During the British period, there was no footwear manufacturing firm producing on a mass scale in East Bengal. However, a traditional cottage type footwear industry with limited production facilities existed in a skeleton form in the district towns during that time. Various types of footwear were imported, mainly from Calcutta. After the partition of Bengal in 1947, foot wears were imported from West Pakistan.
When Bata Shoe Company established its manufacturing plant at Tongi in 1962, it was the first manufacturing plant to produce shoes on a large scale in East Pakistan. In 1967, Eastern Progressive Shoe Industries (EPSI) established its production plant. It began exporting footwear to USSR, Czechoslovakia and England. Both Bata and EPSI held major shares in the local footwear market. The footwear industry suffered a major setback during the war of liberation but was rehabilitated after independence. New footwear manufacturing units have recently been established. Among them are Apex Footwear, Excelsior Shoes, and Paragon Leather and Footwear Industries.
Japan and Germany are now the biggest markets for Bangladeshi footwear but US buyers are increasingly showing interest in sourcing from Bangladesh. Bangladesh could have a billion dollar footwear export sector by 2013, claim local shoe manufacturers on the basis of both the current growth in shipments and the increased production capacity in factories under construction. If their assessment is correct, in a three-year period the level of exports can increase five-fold from the $205 million worth of shoes that were exported in the last fiscal year that ended in June 2010.
Multitude of products
Bangladesh has a host of potential products that can earn substantially large amounts of foreign exchange, if only the necessary patronage from the overseas buyers is given for the sake of expanding the country’s export base and thereby reach a sustainable status for the country’s export trade.
Recently, a new opportunity has opened up to further diversify the range of Bangladesh’s export base by including footwear and other leather goods in the list of exports particularly to the European Union (EU) market.
However, the country has already been exporting finished leather and different kinds of leather products to the overseas markets. These products also enjoyed considerable demand because of their high quality. The main reason for this was the natural advantage of leather that Bangladesh produces. Despite the high quality of local animal hides both in raw and finished form, Bangladesh was still trailing behind Vietnam and China in the export of footwear and other leather products in the European and other markets.
Bangladesh is set to emerge as the next manufacturing hub for the global footwear industry. The cheap labor is prompting top manufacturers to relocate their factories in the country. The good news is that a number of foreign investors as well as buyers have already shown interest in Bangladesh’s leather and footwear sector.
Recently, the president of the Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLGFEA) informed all concerned that three large investors in the footwear sector from Taiwan would set up footwear factories in the Dhaka and Chittagong Exporting zones. The buyers from EU, as well as other very highly developed industrial nations like Japan have reportedly been showing importance in Bangladeshi leather products. All these developments look promising for the local footwear industry.
The Export Processing Zones at present have 18 shoe and leather goods factories but there are at least seven large factories under construction, mostly owned by big manufacturers in the shoe world. The factories under construction include Korean company Young one’s footwear complex which is said to be the largest in Asia. The company started construction of its mega shoe complex in Chittagong six months back. The first part of the complex will go into production by the middle of next year, and the company’s executives said they would be able to manufacture about 30 million pairs of shoes by 2013.
In addition, Taiwanese shoe manufacturer Pau Chen, which employs about 4,00,000 workers in its factories in China and 50,000 in Vietnam, is also building a large manufacturing facility in Chittagong. Australian manufacturer Bonbon Shoe, a supplier to Hugo Boss, and Xen Chen and Genford of Taiwan., are also building footwear factories in Bangladesh. Apex-Adeichi also has a new factory that will soon start production. With an annual turnover of about $100 million, the Bangladesh-Italy joint venture is now the largest exporter of footwear. However, with a new joint venture factory, Blue Ocean Footwear, due to go into production by February 2011, Apex will get involved with a turnover of nearly $200 million of footwear export by 2013.
The local footwear industry is experiencing an annual growth rate of 21 percent, according to a spokesman from another apex organization, Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LGFMEAB). However, to continue the trend, the present level of growth has not only to be attained; it also has to be taken to a still higher level, if Bangladesh is to match the success of its immediate competitor, Vietnam.
According to a newly released statistics from the Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh, footwear exports from the country grew from US$61 million in the period of July-November 2007 to $85 million in the same period of 2008, recording a growth of 39 percent. In the first four months of the 2010 fiscal year there has been $98 million worth of exports, a 65 per cent increase from the same period last year. Taking this rate of growth into account, shoe industry executives estimate that the current fiscal year’s footwear export is likely to cross $300 million. Though in the next two years the existing factories are likely to export more shoes, it is the new capacity that will come on stream from early 2011 that is expected to cause the huge spurt in growth.
Growth in exports is due to the low production cost in Bangladesh compared to its neighboring countries: China, India and Vietnam, who also have a very well entrenched leather and footwear export industry. Orders which earlier used to be given to China or India are now being handed out to footwear manufacturers in Bangladesh because they are able to produce low-priced but quality shoes, which have now found its way in to key markets in EU and Japan.
This growth in footwear exports has come as a blessing in disguise at a time when leather exports have fallen by a massive 18 percent in the period under review. Experts attribute the growth in footwear exports, thanks to machineries imported from Italy that is trusted for its quality output. In recessionary trends, high-priced products tend to register a negative growth, as consumers tend to shy away from them in preference for value for money items. In this scenario, it is a golden opportunity for the leather and footwear sector to increase its global market share.
Brief History of Bata Shoe Company
Bata Shoe Company was founded by the famous entrepreneur Mr. Tomas Bata who blew the wind of change in the footwear industry in 1894. The company was started from Zlin, Czechoslovakia, now known as the CzechRepublic. From that day onwards Bata Shoe Company has been the largest manufacturer and marketer of footwear in the world. The global business of Bata comprises of shoe factories, tanneries, engineering plants, quality control laboratories, product development and research centers.
Bata has developed a strong distribution channel all over the world through the establishment approximately 6,300 retail outlets, 10,000 franchise and thousands of depots and dealers. More than 50,000 people are directly involved in the production and selling of over 300 million pairs of shoes each year. Bata Shoe Company manages a retail presence in 55 countries, and runs 40 production facilities across 26 countries. Bata international headquarter is located in Switzerland which was previously located at Toronto, in Canada.
Bata Shoe Organization companies are involved in every facet of the business of shoes. Throughout the world, Bata services customers from the store sales floor to the factory floor.
Bata Shoe Organization companies have built successful retail store concepts to satisfy changing consumer tastes and needs. Each store features merchandise targeted to different lifestyles and people. The merchandise ranges from footwear to clothing and goods complementing shoe offerings. Sensitivity to and satisfaction of customer wants and needs has allowed the Bata Shoe Organization (BSO) to become a world leader in footwear.
Tomas Bata’s revolutionary business concept was to industrialize the shoemaking process of that day. That type of thinking has been the driving force behind the Bata Shoe Organization success. The Bata Shoe Organization has been an innovator in the manufacturing of shoes over the years. Bata personnel have made important advances in DVP (Direct Vulcanization Process), PVC, athletic footwear production and slush-molded footwear production.
The Bata Shoe Organization [BSO] enjoys a unique position in the wholesale marketplace. Global economies of scale enable BSO plants to offer quality products at local prices, with many are operating at ISO standards. Bata Shoe Organization production facilities are world renowned for their commitment to quality and customers, and have attracted production contracts from many international footwear brands.
Brands & Product Development
Throughout the world, the Bata ® brand distinguishes well-made and well-priced footwear. Many core articles for Bata ® branded collections are designed in product development centers in Italy, the Far East and Canada. Designers and merchandisers in Bata Shoe Organization companies broaden the collections by developing complementary styles to reflect tastes, budgets and climates within their own market. Strict quality controls govern the selection of materials and all production stages.
Business Units of Bata Shoe Company worldwide
Bata is operating business in five business units such as Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America, and Africa. Bata announces its worldwide presence through these five business units.
Worldwide Coverage of Bata Shoe Company
Red zones have already been entered by Bata Shoe Organization.
Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.
Bata Shoe Organization started its operation in Bangladesh in 1962. The company was incorporated in 1972. The company is affiliated to the Bata Shoe Company, the largest footwear manufacturing and marketing organization.
According to Bata Bangladesh website (2010) it is mentioned that currently, Bata Bangladesh operates 2 manufacturing plants at Tongi and Dhamrai, have production capacity of around 110000 pairs of shoes daily. It has a modem tannery with the latest technological facilities to process 5 million square feet of leather yearly. The Tannery is equipped with a high-tech effluent treatment plant ensuring a pollution free environment for both workers and the environment. Bangladesh’s regional headquarter is located in Singapore.
Bata is playing a pivotal role in developing the leather industry of the country. Bata has a firm commitment to eco-friendly business and a state of the art Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) has been set up to provide a pollution free environment for both workers and the locality.
Fashion would never be complete without a well designed pair of shoes. This marketing insight has prompted Bata to introduce a number of designers’ collections for men, women and children. Internationally renowned brands such as Bata Comfit, Marie Claire, Hush Puppies, Scholl, Nike, Bubblegummers, Sandak, Weinbrenner and B’first are a few names that testify to the momentous change towards branded shoe marketing in Bangladesh. Specialized shoe categories such as athletic shoes have been targeted through development of the Power brand. Uncompromising quality with striking designs have put Bata shoes in a key position to appeal to different segments of consumers.
Another major change in the Bata business policy is the segmentation of retail outlets according to profiles of different market segments and the introduction of novel concepts such as Bata City Stores. These selective outlets, in conjunction with other types of outlets such as Bata Bazar and Bata Family Stores, are adding a new level of consumer satisfaction. The City Stores incorporate spacious floor space allowing a comfortable shopping experience, modem interior decor enriched with novel shelving systems, fittings, fixtures and lighting that can be found in the large retail shops in the Far East and Europe. Bata has a network of 242 retail outlets located strategically in different parts of the country. These retail outlets are an integral part of our brand marketing. This extensive retail network is supplemented by an equally extensive network of depots and dealers. Bata has 13 Wholesale depots covering Bangladesh. Under these depots 390 RWD (Registered Wholesale Dealers) and 553 DSP (Dealer Support Program) stores are operating. Bata Bangladesh has already developed its vision up to 2013 showing significant business growth as well as increased market share.
One of the critical areas associated with external shareholders and the community at large is the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the company. From supporting nationwide sports sponsorships and disabled persons to addressing environmental concerns, scholarship programs, charity contributions etc — Bata has always supported individuals and communities in need. Partnerships with other voluntary and charitable organizations are another prominent feature of Bata’s corporate social responsibility. Bata, in partnership with CARE, extends assistance to over two thousand rural women in order to become independent entrepreneurs in the Rajshahi, Comilla and Chittagong division selling shoes from door to door under its Rural Sales Program.
Since its inception, Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd. has strived towards one goal — customer satisfaction. With the vision of building a worldwide family of satisfied customers and dedicated workers the legacy of Tomas Bata continues strong and unabated to this day — the tradition is safe. Bata Bangladesh has about 1500 regular and efficient employees and workers, who are highly committed to uplift the company’s performance with high productivity and sales through maintaining the quality. In recent times Bata Bangladesh has launched more than 180 new designs for different brands in their men, women, children and infant categories. Eventually they have received excellent responses from their various target groups on the new designs.
- Personalized service: Qualified and enthusiastic sales associates are engaged who take customers’ satisfaction to heart. In many countries customer service goes beyond the stores with home deliveries, orders made possible via catalogues, the web or even call centers.
- Guaranteed customer satisfaction. In any Bata store in the world they repair, exchange or refund any products with defects. They also exchange or refund on unworn merchandise if one changes one’s mind. Proof of purchase is required for refunds.
- Customer service center. Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd has a customer service centre and the contact address is: Phone: +8802 9800501-5 Ext: 209
Mission & Vision
Bata Shoe Company has been successfully running for years with a mission and vision at the heart of all its operations.
“Introduction of a strong shoe line targeted to various market segments to maintain leadership through increased market share.”
“To provide good quality shoes at an affordable price by keeping in mind the comfort that needs to be there and providing new designs with it.”
Organogram of Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.
Bata Business Types
Bata business policy is the segmentation of retail outlets according to profiles of different market segments and the introduction of novel concepts. Bata retail store are categorized into four types:
Bata city stores offer the urban customers a wide variety of current fashion footwear and accessories. There are 25 city stores in Bangladesh, 16 in Dhaka Metropolitan area, others in
Chittagong, Sylhet, and in Mymensingh metropolitan area. These stores are established in prime locations, and provide a high level of customer service, exclusive shoe lines with complementary accessories and contemporary shopping environments are to discerning shoppers.
Bata Shoe Company is undoubtedly the world’s leading family footwear chain. The company offers a wide assortment of everyday’s fashion footwear. The products are primarily of the brand Bata. Nevertheless very carefully selected articles from both local and international brands are also marketed by the company. There are 60 family stores till date that has been successfully operated all over the Bangladesh.
Bata Bazar is the largest display of Bata’s products among all others store concepts. It provides the customers with broadest range of products and accessories possible. This concept was introduced in 2003. They are ideally located in power centers commercial parks and outlet centers with easy parking facilities. There are 73 Bata Bazars being operated.
There are 3 Clearance outlets of Bata Shoe Company where discounted shoes are sold.
SWOT Analysis of Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.
Current Marketing Mix
Bata offers a number of product lines to the prospective consumers in the existing market, Bata has a truly international team whose diversity of ideas to develop new style foot wear, shocks, sneakers, etc. Bata has introduced huge product line of men footwear- shoes, sandal, sneakers, shocks, women footwear, kid’s footwear and many other types of footwear line the company is operating in the market. About half line of product the company imports and sells under the franchising. Bata also sell ten international brands footwear at their retail shop.
4ta has been delivering hand-crafted quality footwear over 100 years to maintain and build on heritage of creating high quality, comfortable and stylish shoes.
Bata stores carry following shoe brands:
- Babby Bubble
- Bata Light and Easy
- Hush Puppies
- Marie Claire
- Bata Industrial
- Bata and I
- Bata Comfit
- Bubble Gummers
- Pata Pata
Hush Puppies is the international brand, Bata uses the franchising power to supply the product in the Bangladeshi market. The target customers of this model are rich people. Basically it is an American brand
The weinbrenner shoe line is made up of leather shoes and boots, style in low, mid, and high cut. Cuts or design are directly fashion, but can include materials which help to feel comfort in doing outdoor strong works. The shoes are casual in style closures generally with laces and eyelets, sometimes supplemented with hooks, D-rings and straps with buckles.
Nike is a worldwide famous and popular athletic shoe brand. Bata carries this brand as a licensing. This brand is for a different segment of customers in Bangladesh. Though it is an athlete shoe but in Bangladesh young generation wear it as a fashionable product. The target customer of this product is higher income group people.
Power is also an athlete shoe which is considered as the alternative of Nike. Power shoes are cheaper than Nike shoes. The target customer of this shoe is middle class people.
North-Star is a trendy shoe focused to the young customer group. This shoe is cheaper than Nike and Power. This is considered as a seasonal product as the demand increase in winter.
Comfit has an important feature in design and assembly of all the comfit shoes. This brand is focused on both comfort and style of shoes. Unit rubber, PVC, PU or TRR sole are commonly used in this brand. “Get comfortable today” is a tagline commonly associated with this range of shoes.
Sandak is plastic made bata product for lower income people to use in every season of the year. This shoe is also made for rough use for all level of customers.
Bubblegummers is the leading children’s footwear brand in Latin America and has developed an extensive presence in Asia and in Europe. Bubblegummers offers quality, comfortable, funny and colorful shoes for the 0 to 9 old that assure the healthy growth of a child’s foot.
Bata is the old and own brand of Bata Shoe Company. But by the time being this brand is updated to fulfill the customers demand.
Marie Claire shoes are for women with an active lifestyle who seek contemporary modern styles. Marie Claire shoe stores successfully opened in Latin America and Asia. Bata Brands is the trademark owner of Marie Claire for shoes worldwide (except in Japan and Korea).
Footwear beyond Safety Bata Industrials is a specialized division of the Bata Group producing industrial and work-related footwear, hosiery and accessories.
Scholl is a female brand which is focused for the school going girls.
Bata has a network of 242 retail outlets located strategically in different parts of the country this extensive retail network is also supplemented by an equally extensive network of depots and dealers. The retail outlets are segmented according to the profile of customer and different market segments. According to the segmentation the three different types of outlets are:
Bata City: The City Stores incorporate spacious floor space allowing a comfortable shopping experience, modern interior decor enriched with novel shelving systems, fittings, fixtures and lighting. The city stores are established in prime location of metropolitan city. Among the 25 city stores 16 are established in Dhaka and others in major business area.
Bata Bazar: Bata Bazar holds the largest display of Bata’s products consisting wide range of assortment. It provides the customers with broadest range of products and accessories in a different price range possible. But exclusive brands and products are not been sold here. This concept was introduced in 2003.
Bata family: It is more a like a clearance outlet. Most of the products which are been sold here are in sale.
These three types of stores are serving different segment of target market and adding a new value in customer satisfaction.
Bata use Price-Quality Leadership approach. They set the price based on value. In some country they target high quality niche and in some country price sensitive segment. Everywhere they set the price based on value they delivered.
Bata follow geocentric pricing techniques. According to the demographic features the local pricing for Bata shoes for men, women and children is given bellow:
Bata has put less effort in promoting their products. They think the 242 retail outlet throughout the country helps Bata to do integral brand marketing. Other than that they are the official clothing sponsor of Bangladesh Cricket team. However Bangladesh, Bata has done many promotional activities like:
- Electronic & Print Media.
- Fashion show and several contest
- Social Media like Face book , Twitter etc
- Web based E-flyer , E-mail
- Banners, Show cards , X- banners ,
Among all those promotional activities they have emphasized on outdoor advertising in Bangladesh.
Footwear Industry is one of the promising sectors in Bangladesh. However, the country has already been exporting finished leather and different kinds of leather products to the overseas markets. These products also enjoyed considerable demand because of their high quality. The main reason for this was the natural advantage of leather that Bangladesh produces. Recently, a new opportunity has opened up to further diversify the range of Bangladesh’s export base by including footwear and other leather goods in the list of exports particularly to the European Union (EU) market. At Present, Bata is dominating in the footwear industry in Bangladesh. Bata Bangladesh is affiliated to the Bata Shoe Organization, the world’s largest footwear manufacturing and marketing organization. Bata Shoe Company Started its operation in Bangladesh in 1962, Incorporation in Bangladesh in 1972. Currently, Bata Bangladesh operates 2 manufacturing plant Tongi and Dhamrai, Bata Bangladesh is producing around 110,000 pairs of shoes daily.
Bata’s strength lies in its worldwide presence. While local companies are self-governing, each one benefits from its link to the international organization for back-office systems, product innovations and sourcing. Although Bata operates in a wide variety of markets, climates and buying power Bata companies share the same leadership points. Two important ones are product concept development and constant improvement of business processes in order to offer customers great value and the best possible service. Bata strives to supply the right products, at the right time, at the right price, and in a manner that fulfils its service commitments to both retail and wholesale customers. Historical strong presence in many developing countries provides them with a deep understanding of the local cultures and needs. Therefore their position entices them tackle concerns in priority with local initiatives in close partnership with specialists on the field. However to stay closer to the customers and to fulfill the ever changing customer’s needs, the customer assessment plays a significant role. So, the research is on customer satisfaction assessment in footwear industry in Bangladesh based on Bata shoe company Bangladesh ltd.
Background of the Study
Bata Shoe Company is the market leader in the footwear industry since its operation in Bangladesh. The name Bata achieved such a position in the customers’ mind that whenever they heard the name of Bata, a footwear with high quality comes into their mind. Bata has been serving its customers with wide assortments of products for about five decades and doing it successfully. It is very difficult to identify the customers’ class of Bata Shoe Company. Bata touches almost every social class possible. Bata meets the footwear demands of the higher class and lower class simultaneously. However to stay closer to the customers Bata shoe company undertakes an assessment of the customers at a regular interval. Bata desires to fulfill the ever changing customer’s needs, and to do so the outcome of the customer assessment plays a significant role. Here the similar study undertaken with a permission of Bata Shoe Company to get the feedback from regular customers. The questionnaire is taken from Bata shoe company Bangladesh ltd to conduct the survey among the regular customers. This study is the analysis of customer satisfaction of Bata Shoe Company which will help to analyze the customers’ level of satisfaction with Bata products and stores. This study will try to compare Bata with other competitors in footwear industry. It will help to get the knowledge of customers’ overall shopping experience at Bata shoe stores.
Origin of the Report
Customer satisfaction analysis evaluates customers’ attitude and perception towards product of a company. Bata Shoe Company, the largest footwear manufacturer and marketer in Bangladesh conducts an assessment of customers’ satisfaction in a regular interval. The purpose of this study is to measure the satisfaction level of the customers of the company. Due to the entrance of new competitors, this assessment program has become an important tool to know the market condition, customer’s attitude towards competitors” products, customer shopping behavior and experience at Bata store. In this research researcher try to analyze the customer satisfaction level and give necessary recommendations.
Satisfying customers are the only way to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. The balancing act between what customers want and what company can provide must be optimized in order to maximize company’s long-term profits. Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd already is in a good position in the consumer mind but by understanding the customer satisfaction level; it will help the company to exceed the present level of customer satisfaction. The management currently wants to have aspiration of knowledge of the customer satisfaction level of Bata footwear users, and how to improve the level of customer satisfaction. That is why the researcher is intended to conduct the research on customer satisfaction assessment of footwear industry in Bangladesh based on Bata Shoe Company (BD) Ltd.
To stay closer to the customers Bata Shoe Company (BD) Ltd undertakes an assessment of the customers at a regular interval. Bata desires to fulfill the ever changing customer’s needs, and to do so the outcome of the customer satisfaction assessment plays an important part. To analyze the impact of Bata’s marketing tactics have on its customers and whether these tactics are effective or not are the major concerns. To assess what level of customer satisfaction, loyalty and awareness they have can help to design future strategies to retain existing customers or to attract and obtain new ones. For this study the research problems are as follows:
- To find out the market prospect or potential of Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.
- To determine the customer satisfaction level of Bata Shoe’s Customers.
- To identify the problem and give necessary recommendation to ensure the customer satisfaction in order to retain existing customer and to attract new customer.
To survive in an ever growing industry, it is very important for any company to know its customers level of satisfaction to the products and service provided by the company. The company can take immediate action if customers needs identify clearly. Though Bata Shoe Company has been running successfully over the years, as a member of an ever growing footwear industry, it also has to understand the customers’ mind to take corrective measures to improve the satisfaction level toward Bata shoe stores and Bata products. To stay at top in this competitive market, continually shifting customer’s needs and requirements are required to address and the problems related to customer satisfaction is necessary to assess. The statement of the problem is “Customer Satisfaction Assessment of Footwear Industry in Bangladesh: A Study Based on Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.”
The broad objective of the research is to assess the Customer Satisfaction of footwear Industry in Bangladesh focusing on Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd. This has been broken into following specific objectives:
- To examine the current state of Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) ltd in the market.
- To analyze the current state of Bata shoe company (BD) Ltd and Bata Brands in customers’ mind (TOM).
- To analyze the impact of Convenient Store Location in customers’ mind.
- To analyze the impact of Quality of shoes in customers’ mind.
- To analyze the impact of Comfort of shoes in customers’ mind.
- To analyze the impact of Knowledge of the staff in customers’ mind.
- To analyze the impact of Fashionable style offered by the store in customers’ mind.
- To analyze the impact of Brands of shoe offered by the store in customers’ mind
- To analyze the impact of Selection of colors, style and sizes of shoes and handbags in customers’ mind.
- To analyze the impact of Advertising in customers’ mind
- To analyze the impact of Layout and design of store in customers’ mind
- To identify customer satisfaction level of Bata and compare Bata with other store.
To achieve the objective it is needed to collect data from customers within the country. But for time, cost, and other limitations only the Dhaka city and is surroundings are considered for collecting data. For achieving the objectives, the study will be focused on the quality, price, comfort ability, and other criteria of Bata shoes as well as the competitive position with Apex, Jennys, Bay and other competitors. While doing so it will also identify the limitations and the weaknesses of the issue.
Adequate efforts have been taken to accomplish the research according to the objectives. But as the research is both time and cost consuming therefore it was not possible to cover more additional areas, which would obviously give better result.
- The type of the study required a detail interview of consumer at market place. Thereby a tremendous difficulty was faced in getting access to them as they are very busy. Many times the respondents were found after answering few questions left the interview, which resulted in discontinuity in interview and the wastage of time and effort. Also, the interview was conducted only on the footwear customers of Dhaka city for the time limits of internship periods.
- The respondents’ lack of understanding of the purpose of the study was a major limitation when conducting the questionnaire survey. It had to explain the nature of the study and the purpose of a number of questions several times to a number of customers.
In spite of prior sincerity, some mistakes can be occurred. The responsibilities are admitted for those inadvertent mistakes, if there will any. Also adequate efforts have been taken to accomplish the project according to the objectives.
Benefits of the Study
To survive in an ever growing industry, it is very important for any company to know its customers level of satisfaction to the products and service provided by the company. This research will facilitate Bata Shoe Company to know the present market situation and what customers want from company. It will provide information about customer perception about Bata’s quality, price, customer service etc. This study can help Bata understand what level of consumer satisfaction and awareness they have. This information can help to design future strategies to retain existing customers or to attract and obtain new ones. Finally, this research study can be considered a general guideline for other organizations in the industry who hope to do research on customer satisfaction and factors that affect customer satisfaction.
“Everyone knows what satisfaction is, until asked to give a definition. Then, it seems, nobody knows.” This quote from Richard L. Oliver (1977), respected expert and long time writer and researcher on the topic of customer satisfaction, expresses the challenge of defining this most basic of customer concept. Building from previous definitions, Oliver offers his own formal definition: Satisfaction is the consumer’s fulfillment response. It is a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provides a pleasurable level of consumption related fulfillment.
The word satisfaction first appeared in English during the thirteenth century. The word satisfaction itself is derived from the Latin satis (meaning enough) and the Latin ending – faction (from the Latin facere – to do/make). Early usage centered on satisfaction being some sort of release from wrong doing. Later citing of the word emphasis satisfaction as a “release from uncertainty” (The Oxford Library of Words and Phrases, 1993). Modern usage of the word has tended to be much broader, and satisfaction is clearly related to other words such as satisfactory (adequate), satisfy (make pleased or contented) and satiation (enough). The difficulty faced when trying to define any word is that the meaning often depends on the context in which the word is used. In a marketing context, satisfaction is used to have a more “specific” meaning. It appears that there are two basic approaches adopted in attempting to define the concept of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction can be viewed as an outcome of a consumption activity or experience; however, it is also represented as a process.
Currently, the most widely adopted description of customer satisfaction is that of a process; an evaluation between what was received and what was expected (Oliver, 1977, 1981; Olson and Dover, 1979; Tse and Wilton, 1988). By looking at satisfaction as a process, these definitions concentrate on the antecedents to satisfaction rather than satisfaction itself. Consequently, much research effort has been directed at understanding the cognitive processes involved in satisfaction evaluations. This strand of theory appears to have origins in discrepancy theory (Porter, 1961) and a number of authors have, over the years, used some form of comparison to model satisfaction. Early contributions include Contrast Theory (Cardozo, 1965; Howard and Sheth, 1969), which supposed that consumers would exaggerate any contrasts between expectations and product evaluations. This was developed into assimilation-contrast theory (Anderson, 1973).
Many studies support the occurrence of assimilation (Olshavsky and Miller, 1972; Olson and Dover, 1979). Customer satisfaction, a business term, is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meets or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business and is part of the four perspectives of a Balanced Scorecard. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. There is a substantial body of empirical literature that establishes the benefits of customer satisfaction for firms.
A further point concerns expectations that are defined differently in the satisfaction and quality literature. In the satisfaction literature “expectations reflect anticipated performance” (Churchill and Suprenant, 1982, p. 492) made by the customer about the levels of performance during a transaction. On the other hand, in the service quality literature, expectations are conceptualized as a normative standard of future wants (Boulding, Kaira, Staelin & Zeithami, 1993). These normative or ideal standards represent enduring wants and needs that remain unaffected by the full range of marketing and competitive factors. Normative expectations are therefore more stable and can be thought of as representing the service the market oriented provider must constantly strive to offer (ZeIthaml, Berry & Parasurama, 1993).
Assuming that the customer is capable of evaluating the service performance, the result is compared to expectation prior to purchase or consumption (Oliver, 1980). In the past, corporation did not pay much attention to customer satisfaction but were focused more on attracting new customers to expand their market share. Now, due to lower sales resulting from product maturity, corporations are turning around to stabilizing their existing customers to ensure their market share (Dhabolkar & Thorpe, 1994). Thus the concept of customer satisfaction is under further scrutiny. For the current study, the definition put forward by Oliver will be the construct, as it is the most appropriate for the selected study.
“It’s not good enough to go to your customer after you have sold them the product and ask them how satisfied they were. What you need to do is go to your customers before you develop the product or service and find out what is important to them.” (Arnold Weimerskirch, November 1997) As this comment illustrates, satisfying customers begins the moment an organization decides to market a product, a service, or a product and service bundle. This article describes a measurement process for assessing and predicting customer reactions to the features included in the product/service bundle. Efforts to improve customer satisfaction often lead companies to the conclusion that products or services need to be redesigned, because no lesser action truly satisfies. Further, companies are motivated to introduce new products and services by changes in available technology, by competitor initiatives, and by the classic business desire to reap the profits of an effective differentiation strategy.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction:
Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting on new customers; measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace.
Customer satisfaction is an ambiguous and abstract concept and the actual manifestation of the state of satisfaction will vary from person to person and product/service to product/service. The stat of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables which correlate with satisfaction behaviors such as return and recommend rate. The level of satisfaction can also vary depending on other options the customer may have and other products against which the customer can compare the organization’s products.
Because satisfaction is basically a psychological state, care should be taken in the effort of quantitative measurement, although a large quantity of research in this area has recently been developed. Work done by Berry, Brodeur between 1900 and 1998 defined ten ‘Quality Values’ which influence satisfaction behavior, further expanded by Berry in 2002 and know as the ten domains of satisfaction. These ten domains of satisfaction include:
- Ease of Access
- Front line Service Behaviors and
- Commitment to the Customer and Innovation.
Customer satisfaction survey is a widely used method in footwear industry (Cohen et al. 2008, Lombarts et al. 2009). Customer satisfaction measurement is fundamental to effective delivery of services (Atila and Mike, 2009). Bata Shoe Company conducts this assessment package internationally to ensure the better service to the customers. Basically this assessment package has been conducting in Bangladesh for the last few years using the same process which is conducted internationally. Customer assessment package measures the customer satisfaction on Bata products. The end-user of Bata products are mainly the respondents of this research.
Types of Research
This research is a quantitative exploratory research, as it is an initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem. It is qualitative as the results of this research focuses on words and observations, instead of numbers and mathematical analysis. At first an exploratory research has been conducted to define the nature of the problem. Then conclusive research through qualitative methods has been carried out.
Basic Research Method
This section has described the basic research plan of the study. It has specified all the procedure necessary to solve the research questions and hypothesis. The basic research method in this research will be survey method with a formatted online questionnaire provided from Bata Regional Head office. An observation method will not produce expected result. As experiment study is costly so it will not be undertaken.
Customer assessment package is conducted by Bata considering some factors relevant to customer satisfaction. These are considered as independent variables whereas customer satisfaction is dependent variable. The independent variables are product price, product quality, product design, store design, salesmen behavior, advertisement, competitors marketing policy, seasonal variation, product availability, brand loyalty etc. These factors influence the satisfaction level of customers at Bata and Bata products. From the comparison of different attributes or features the customer satisfaction towards Bata will be assessed.
Type of data
This research will not be focusing on any secondary data, as no such preview research has been conducted in context of Customer Satisfaction Assessment of Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd. This research will work with only primary data based on exit interview.
Data Collection Procedure
Data is collected through survey method. For the survey method, personal interview was conducted. A questionnaire is kept in hand of the interviewer to aid the interview process. A personal interview is a form of direct communication in which an interviewer asks respondents questions in a face-to-face situation. Verbal explanations were provided to the respondents who faced any problems answering the questionnaires. Informal interviews were also held with Customers. After collecting primary data we uploaded the real time data into the customer satisfaction assessment software to generate the analysis.
Sampling Plan for the Research
Sampling is an important component for a research design. It is the process of using a small number of parts of a larger population to make conclusions about the total population. For this research the following steps in the sampling design process was followed:
- Target population
- Sampling frame
- Sampling Technique
- Sample size and
The target population of this research is Footwear customers of Bata. Population is a collection of all possible individuals, objects, or measurements of interest. It is a set of entities concerning which statistical inferences are to be drawn, often based on a random sampling taken from the population. All consumers in the country are the concern population. But due to time and resource constraints the consumers in Dhaka city are considered as the population.
There is no such sample frame is available for this research. Bata customers of all ages and sexes were considered.
The study consists of footwear customers of Dhaka city and its surroundings. Simple random sampling technique was used for sampling.
The sample size of a statistical sample is the number of observations that constitute it. It is typically denoted by n, a positive integer (natural number). Typically, all else being equal, a larger sample size leads to increased precision in estimates of various properties of the population. Here in this research the sample size is n = 269 but for some limitations (time, recourses, etc.) and convenience, total number of 269 respondents’ data was collected. The survey was conducted from 11 stores of Bata outlets in Dhaka city and its surroundings.
Questionnaire survey according to sampling plan through personal interviews with randomly selected sampling units was conducted. However verbal explanations were provided to the respondents who faced any problems answering some questions from the questionnaires. Later Data were uploaded into the customer satisfaction assessment software through real time data uploading. This was connected through real time online connection with regional head office of Bata Shoe Organization.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
After collection all the primary data, those are analyzed following ways:
Statistical Analysis: The primary data from the questionnaire is placed in the customer assessment software through real time data inputting. The analysis was produced automatically through Chi Square test, Correlation analysis, Frequency distribution, pie chart, bar graph are used to analyze data. All this analysis is done through the use of SPSS for Windows software. These analysis is done through the customer satisfaction assessment software from the regional headquarter based on the exit interview. The software is connected with the regional head office through real time data input from the different city and family stores in Bangladesh.
FINDINGS OF THE ANALYSIS, CONCLUSION AND RECCOMENDATIONS
- The name Bata achieved such a position in the customers’ mind that whenever they heard the name of Bata, a footwear with high quality comes into their mind. From the survey it is found that when people are asked about Bata they refer to the quality of shoes those they are using from childhood.
- Why Bata is the first brand that comes to potential customers’ minds when they think of purchasing footwear is because of Bata has a huge brand presence in Bangladesh due to its long time operations and its quality is seemed to be reliable. These combine to form the reason. This high TOMA level helps to maintain customer loyalty as the customers prefer to fall back on the brand they know.
- Value for Price offered by the store is an important factors to the respondents those was surveyed. Value for money offered by the store has impact on Customer satisfaction. Based on the quality of Bata most of the people said Bata’s price is fair reasonable than the others. Although there are some shoes which are highly priced by Bata, but those are of posh quality. To maintain the higher quality prices are little high.
- Convenient store location is an important factor to the customer for purchasing shoes and for this case Bata obtains more remarks than others. From the study it has found that there is a significant relationship between Store location and Customer Satisfaction. Bata is the largest retail footwear company in Bangladesh as well as in the world. There is a strong network of retail outlets in everywhere of the country, which is a positive aspect of Bata.
- Bata is in a leadership position in the footwear industry for providing quality products, the findings suggest that, Quality of shoes is an important factor to the respondents those were surveyed. Almost 97% respondents were agreed with the fact that Quality of Shoes has impact on customer satisfaction and they are more or less satisfied with the quality of Bata.
- The findings suggest that, comfort of shoes is an important factor to the respondents those were surveyed. Respondents were strongly agreed with the fact that Comfort of Shoes has impact on customer satisfaction. Bata has a strong team who always work for the development of the products.
- Fashionable Style is an important factors to the respondents those were surveyed. Now a day’s people are more fashion concern that is why they agreed with the fact that Fashionable Style has impact on customer satisfaction. From the comparison it is found that Bata is lacking in this very criteria than the competitors.
- Selection of colors, styles and sizes is an important factors to the respondents those were surveyed. Respondent were more or less agreed with the fact that Selection of colors, styles and sizes has impact on customer satisfaction. From the analysis it has found that Selection of colors, style and sizes and Customer satisfaction are positively related.
- Brands of Shoes offered by the Store is an important factors to the respondents those were surveyed. Respondent were more or less agreed with the fact that availability of Brand shoes is important to them and has a positive impact on customer satisfaction. Bata serves to the customers with rich collection of brand shoes.
- Advertising is a communication tool used to promote the product to the customers; it has a positive impact on customer satisfaction. Bata advertises its products through different media like electronic & print media, television commercials, new arrivals, fashion shows, social networking facebook, twitter etc. Bata Bangladesh is maintaining modern strategies to ensure mass marketing as well as huge brand awareness. Bata shoe company (BD) Ltd is increasing its number of seasonal TVC.
- Layout and design of store is an important factors to the respondents those were surveyed. Layout and design of store has impact on customer satisfaction. Bata renovation department works to design the stores layout. Customers are satisfied with Bata stores’ layout and design. That is admirable. Bata displays posters, pictures, and pop in the retail outlets.
- Finally, from the analysis it has found that Bata provides superior value to the customers in quality of shoes store’s location, comfort ability of shoes, promptness of service from salespeople, friendliness of service from salespeople, salespeople’s product knowledge, promptness of service at cash register, display of shoes at window/front of the store, display of shoes in the interior, cleanliness and orderliness of the store, and layout and design of the store. All of these bring Bata close to the customer with desired satisfaction.
Here the study tried to find out customers satisfaction of Bata store and other shopping stores. There are some emerging shoe stores in Bangladesh which have already gained customers loyalty in footwear products. The study compared the Bata shoe company with other emerging shoe brands such as Apex, Bay Emporium, Jennys, Pegasas, and many unorganized shoe stores like at Elephant road. Bata Shoe Company compared with these other shoe stores on some factors. .The finding of the study is that Bata Shoe Company is in a better position in the market place than the competitor except serving customers up to date stylish and trendy shoes. Bata has loyal customers group who buy Bata only for its quality. From the research it can be definitely surmised that the hypotheses were largely accurate. The results from the questionnaire survey and the statistical analysis both support the theory that the consumer base of Bata is composed of customers who are more or less satisfied. However, Bata does need some modifications in its marketing tactics regarding attracting new customers and service offerings to the older ones. Bata should not take the brand loyalty for granted and should take specific steps to ensure that they can hold on to the lucrative customer base they have while focusing on a few informational tactics to inform potential customers. Bata is in a secure position right now regarding customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the strategy they follow seems to be effective. They do not need to go through any major overhauls, but, a few tweaks here and there can improve upon their current position and secure them as the market leader in times to come.
From the research it is evident that Bata has a large loyal customer base throughout Dhaka city who are more or less satisfied with Bata’s products and services. For now it seems that word of mouth and brand recognition are in a quite secure position. However Bata can take some steps to improve their customer relationship and to attract new, potential customers.
- Bata fails to reflect up to date fashion shoes for its customers. Customers think that other competitors always bring fashion shoes for the customers. If Bata can bring up to date products in the market place, the sales return of the company undoubtedly increase into double. It is also recommended that Bata’s market share will increase by up to date fashion shoes.
- Bata can introduce an after sale service program where customers are allowed to provide feedback on their purchasing and consuming experience. For this Bata can introduce a claim settlement department where each and every customer can register complains and frequent customer service monitoring by the Store manager.
- Bata should have focused more on customer services. Bata has good brand awareness but their lack of promotional activity causes many of the new offering unnoticed. To overcome this difficulty Bata can introduce brochures (direct mail), news paper ad regarding their new arrivals and price discount scheme.
- Bata should initiate their loyalty program where the customer who will join the loyalty program will get loyalty card and will enjoy certain privileges. Facilities such as advance online booking, special after sale service and longer guarantee period than the usual one etc can be included on the loyalty card.