Strategic Management SWOT Essay Examples & Outline
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A strategic plan is an essential ingredient in the creation of the best institution or even in the personal success (Birkinshaw, 2004). Leadership and good management intuition are not the heuristic for the successful management of the organization. Strategic management is concerned with the identification and execution of the organizational goals with the market demands. A standard strategic management plan follows a certain sequence which makes up the heuristic of organizing a strategic plan (David, 2005).
The first step of strategic management is the definition of the current level of business and the mission. This step seeks to look at how far the organization is at as far as the mission is concerned. The next step is carrying out the external and internal audits. Both audits facilitate the situational analysis whereby the organization seeks to find out the actual scenarios that surround it. It also helps in the creation of the right approach to the issues that face the organization (Birkinshaw, 2004). The third step is the formulation of new mission and vision statement of the organization. The mission is a generalized objective and there is no way of ensuring implementing the mission (Sadler, 2003). This leads to the fourth step which is the translation of the mission into measureable and attainable goals.
Goal formulation has a more focused approach than the mission statement formulation. The fifth step in the strategic management process is the formulation so the strategies that are to be applied in the attainment of the strategic goals. Strategies assess the most effective approaches that an organization can employ in the attainment of the already formulated goals (Sadler, 2003). The sixth step in the strategic management process is the implementation of the strategies, the final step is the performance evaluation on the effectiveness of the strategic plan. Strategic management unlike processes like inventory management process is important in that it leads to the creation of the right approach to the issues that face the organization.
Ford has been facing a lot of challenges from the competition and market dynamics. Toyota and Nissan have proven themselves to be worthy competition for Ford Company since they are able to produce their vehicles with the market in focus. Japanese car manufacturers also have the advantage of cost efficient production processes. Ford vehicles are highly priced hence not appealing to the low-income earners (Birkinshaw, 2004).
The above issue proved that the company needed to place more focus on the final user of the product and come up with a sustainable business model. With a view of change in mind Ford came up with a strategic plan dubbed The Way Forward. The plan involved downsizing the number of employees, closing up numerous plants and automation of most of the production process (David, 2005). The steps followed in the creation of the strategic plan included; performance of the external and internal audits, formulation of the new mission, formulation of strategic goals, formulation of strategies, implementation of the laid strategies and finally, evaluating the performance of the new strategy
Birkinshaw, J. (2004). Strategic management (1st ed.). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub.
David, F. (2005). Strategic management (1st ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Sadler, P. (2003). Strategic management (1st ed.). Sterling, VA: Kogan Page.
In the strategic management analysis below, three companies that are global leaders in their respective fields will be used. These are KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Shell and Anwell technologies. The core industries in which these three companies deal are extremely competitive and it is mandatory that every company constantly puts its best foot forward if it is to remain at the top of the food chain.
Internal and External Environments
The environment in which a business finds itself is arguably the most important factor insofar as its success is concerned. Believing that charity begins at home, these three companies strive to ensure that their internal factors are at the most favorable they can be to favor profitability. Some of the key factors that Shell, Anwell Technologies and KFC critically consider include raw material availability, labor availability and industry specific laws. Once all these factors are catered to, then these companies are primed to succeed a great deal, and especially so when the external factors are at optimum (Hill & Jones, 2012). For example, KFC and Shell have numerous offices in different parts of the world. However, all their locations are capable of providing affordable labor, raw materials in abundance are favor the adherence of industry-specific laws even in foreign nations (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008).
External factors such as political, social, economic and technological factors also play a central part in the strategic planning of these companies (Sadler & Craig, 2003). They ensure that they set up shop in locations that are politically stable, socially favorable (preferably with a population having high purchasing power), economically viable and technologically supportive. Anwell Technologies, for instance, has set up oversees offices in Delhi and Sao Paolo that are surrounded by all these favorable macro factors that support business prosperity.
Competitive Advantages and Strategies
In their quests to remain at the top, competitive advantage has been a key ingredient in the soup of success that these companies enjoy. The ability to remain ahead of the competition, whether in terms of products or services, allows these companies to thrive when their counterparts continue to experience declining business figures at the end of every financial year (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008). KFC has maintained its competitive advantage in the fcat that it offers, arguably, the best fried chicken in the world. The use of a secret recipe in the production of the chicken has been a strong selling point for this company, with many customers flocking to their outlets all over the world to enjoy pieces of “the world’s best chicken”. This strategy allows KFC to lure plenty of customers that are then turned into loyalists once they enjoy the tasty fried chicken.
Anwell Technologies, on the other hand, has also managed to remain afloat of the competition, despite the high levels of competition in this industry. The manufacture of photovoltaic cells and OLEDs is a fairly crowded business due to the many investors all over the world looking to earn their livings from this industry. However, Anwell has managed to position itself as a global player insofar as photovoltaic cell and OLED manufacture are concerned. The key strength of Anwell is that it is able to position itself extremely well, providing limitless opportunities for the manufacturing giant. Choosing to market itself in cities such as Delhi, Sao Paolo, Hamburg and Sydney allow Anwell to market itself to a large population that is also coincidentally made up of a large number of youths. This allows Anwell to market itself as a global leader in the manufacture of OLEDs and photovoltaic cells, as well as secure possible future loyalists from the youngest age possible. The diversity and dynamism of Shell is its key selling point. The fact that it is entirely capable of adjusting its range of products to suit local standards, makes clients feel more “at home” with Shell, making it the number one choice for many motorists.
Value Creation and Sustaining Competitive Advantage
The need to increase product value within the demand and supply chain has long been taken as a route to sustainability and value creation. The ability of these organizations to increase the value of their products through the adoption of regular steps ensures that these organizations are able to increase profits while creating value (Hill & Jones, 2012). For instance, the introduction of local accompaniments with a foreign twist as accompaniments to basic KFC dishes has enabled the franchisees to increase the value of their business. This is because their businesses are able to resonate with the locals. In the matter of Shell, localizing the international products to fit local conditions, rather than just mounting an international commercial or strategy that is expected to work in all parts of the world. The ability to be foreign, with a touch of locality, adaptability and uniqueness has enabled companies such as KFC, Anwell and Shell to remain sustainable, while simultaneously increasing the value of these companies-much to the liking of investors.
Verifying Strategic Effectiveness
Inasmuch as employing a strategy is essential it is not an outright guarantee of success. For success to be realized, it is mandatory that appropriate measures are employed to ensure that the guidelines set to realize maximum profitability are strictly adhered to. In addition to this, self analysis by the company has often proven to be one of the most vital tools towards realizing strategic effectiveness. In order to realize this, measurement guidelines are drawn up based on financial projections, future targets, SWOT analyses, critical analyses and environmental factors (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008). These measurement guidelines are drawn to guide companies such as Shell, Anwell and KFC towards realizing the future in the best, and most profitable, way possible. Being able to stick to the targets has been instrumental to the success that these companies have enjoyed. This is because even when things were tough, these businesses were able to remain afloat. The fact that these businesses were wired to follow the strategic management plan has proved essential to their successes.
Unlike many companies, these ones carry out tests such as SWOT analyses to primarily to find their strengths and focus on them, but instead focus on improving rather than eliminating the threats to the business (Sadler & Craig, 2003). This combination, has helped a great deal to shape the courses chartered by these institutions towards success. Working to improve on the weaknesses, rather than avoiding them, has played an integral part in the success stories of these institutions. The use of such data in the course of making major decisions concerning the company could prove to an essential tool that fosters the making of clear judgment and business-wise decisions even under intense pressure. This helps to avoid possible catastrophes in terms of management, thereby preventing losses.
In the matter of determining the effectiveness of any management strategy in an organization, there are essentially three parameters that are considered. The first, and most important parameter, is profitability. For any business to rank in the same category as Anwell, KFC and Shell, it must be profitable for its size, whether large, medium or small. Profitability serves as the direct representation of strategic management effectiveness because it is essentially a translation of more clients joining the company fold. Because it favors rise in profitability, a properly designed and implemented strategic management plan will result in profitability.
The second parameter in the matter of testing the effectiveness of the guidelines lies in quality maintenance. Inasmuch as many people love having a full plate of food, ensuring the food is of impeccable quality at the price is essential. This is because quality is what keeps the clients coming back. A good strategic management plan will favor the maintenance of quality of the product or service being offered (Sadler & Craig, 2003).
The last parameter is customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are happy customers, and that results in the development of loyalists. Ensuring that the clients are served in a way that makes them feel cherished is one of the methods applied by Shell, KFC and Anwell. By putting their customers above all else, these institutions are essentially working to test to effectiveness of their strategic management plan, as well as have the opportunity to obtain critical feedback from the customers. Since feedback is a crucial process of the strategic management plan, then it is undisputed that a good strategic management plan pays close attention to all the factors that could or do have any bearing on the strategic management plan of the organization in question.
Hill, C. W. L., & Jones, G. R. (2012). Strategic Management. Cengage Learning.
Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2008). Strategic management: Competitiveness and globalization. Mason, Ohio: South-Western.
Sadler, P., & Craig, J. C. (2003). Strategic management. London: Kogan Page.
In the recent past, the field of business has been experiencing immense growth. Consequently, the faculty of business management has been expanded to accommodate the new needs in the field of business. There are numerous courses offered under the faculty of business and it is upon the interested scholars to choose a course that suits their interests. Foundations in management is a basic course that offers core skills required to run a small or large business enterprise. Although the field has several opportunities, they are not entirely free. The cost comes in form competitiveness and meritocracy. Precisely, business owners look for hardworking, goal oriented and aggressive employees for their management needs. A scholar enrolled for a course in foundations of management could make use of the SWOT technique to make plans on how to best gain from his or her career.
Quality education is one of the major strengths and a core requirement for any career. Under the foundations of management, scholars receive basic training on how management tasks should be handled. This equips the scholars with crucial skills that are relevant in the career field. In addition, scholars are exposed to additional training in communication teamwork and leadership skills. The institution organizes various forums that allow scholars to learn through interaction with professionals in the field of business management. Also, the interaction yields future business partners or associates owing to the relationship established during learning.
Most employers in the field of business today are looking for competent and experienced employees. Unfortunately, most of the grandaunts lack work experience, which becomes a major challenge when they are applying for job opportunities. In addition, lack of focus while learning is a major weakness that affects scholars. Lack of focus leads to poor performance and a low GPA score. A low GPA limits the competitiveness of a person because companies and business owners eliminate the applicants on the basis of merit. Failure to set specific goals is also a major weakness in academics. Most scholars set goals but do not set specific time limits for those goals. In most cases, they do not realize that they are running out of time. They end up being overwhelmed because they have several pending goals to achieve in a very short time. There are some personal characteristics that may hinder a scholar from securing a job opportunity. Some of these characteristic are learnt from other students or acquired during the learning process. If a scholar acquires negative characteristics such as shyness or negativity, he or she experiences difficulties in adapting to the work environment.
The field of the business is experiencing rapid growth owing to the increasing number of investors. As a result, there is increased the need for experts in business management. Credible scholars taking course in foundations of management stand a better chance of securing job opportunities. However, scholars with more qualification are highly preferred. Fortunately, enrolment for further education is open to all students as long they meet the minimum requirements set by the institution.
The number of scholars pursuing management courses has increased recently. Consequently, competition is higher and only the best scholars secure job positions in the field. In addition, there is great competition from senior employees who are currently working to further their education. Employers prefer the experienced job seekers to those who share the same qualifications but lack experience. While new graduates enter the labor market, companies and organizations continue to rely on labor from the old employees. The systems used by most organizations are not flexible to change and the process of replacing a certain manager takes several years. This leaves several competent young grandaunts without jobs.