Can you please revise the paper you wrote for me based on the following content it still needs to be 7 pages but the paper you wrote had too much of a focus on employees. My part is on:
- Learning & Growth Perspective
Company B Mission and Vision
Company B is focused on creating high-quality vehicles targeted towards customers seeking a safe and affordable vehicle. We seek to become the premier manufacturer for customers looking for an affordable and trustworthy vehicle. Our mission and vision statements below reflect these goals:
To inspire every Company B driver to go the extra mile – safe, secure, and empowered.
Company B’s vision is to become the most trusted manufacturer of high-quality and affordable vehicles.
As a company, our organization’s mission and vision shape our goals, core values, culture, and, most importantly, strategy. As stated above, we are an organization focused on quality, safety, and affordability. Our goal is to lead the industry as a provider of high quality vehicles at a competitive, yet affordable, price. To accomplish these objectives, we emphasize the formulation, development, implementation, and execution of effective strategies. As an overview, our main strategies are: know our consumer wants and needs through targeted research, drive sales of high-quality safety vehicles through advertising and marketing, gain competitive advantage in the market through…, and, lastly, …
Industry Analysis – AH
Our company acknowledges the importance of analyzing and understanding the automotive industry in which we compete. We recognize the impact industry characteristics and trends, as well as competition and consumers, have on our overall success and ability to gain competitive advantage through market share. As a company, we invest in various market and consumer studies to better inform our strategic decisions about our products, consumers, and competitors. Additionally, we leverage the knowledge gained through research to identify opportunities and threats in our market. In the sections to follow, outline the way our company conducts industry analysis and how we align the industry data collected to formulate our strategies to gain competitive advantage, market share, and stakeholder loyalty. Additionally, we focus on how our company evaluates the industry, and how we formulate and implement strategies, based on knowledge gained from market, competitor, and consumer analysis.
Our company competes in an extremely lucrative and opportunistic, yet competitive, market; in which you must have strong leadership and strategy to survive. Company B’s strategy evolves and grows according to the current and forecasted industry environment; therefore, we invest our time and resources to learn and effectively identify opportunities and threats within our market. As leaders of our company, our goal is to acquire the necessary skills and resources, the key success factors (KSF), to successfully compete in our industry’s environment. Some of these key factors include, the production differentiated products; the ability to meet competitive pricing; extensive low-cost, high-quality manufacturing; marketing skills to increase consumer awareness; and, well-positioned dealerships (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008). To better understand the skills and resources needed to implement and execute our strategies, we preform industry analysis to gain better understanding of industry environment. When preforming industry analysis, we rely on the five-forces model as our “framework for evaluating industry structure according to the effects of rivalry, threat of new entry, supplier power, buyer power, and the threat of substitutes” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008, p. 104).
Degree of Rivalry
Throughout the history of our company, we have made competitor analysis a top priority. Within our specific market, we contest with three main competitors – each unique in their own way. The top contender is Company C, who holds 50.7% of the market share. Companies A and D, although potentially competitive, are currently low performers and less of a threat to us in the market. The main source of rivalry in our industry is price competition. Each company in the market has one or more vehicles competing in the same microsegments, therefore, we are all competing for the same consumers in some regard. This leads to high degrees of rivalry where our companies engage in price wars to offer the lowest price in the market; however, we have also observed that the more capital gain a company has, the more power they have to increase product attributes, lower production cost, and increase sales price (within range of the consumer price sensitivities), which results in higher performance within the industry. Additionally, our industry is unique in that each competitor has a strategic interest in the market. Each company only competes in the automotive industry; therefore, the price competition is fiercer because this industry is a key business for our company and our competitors (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008). Currently, the degree of rivalry, however, is stable. Company C holds half of the market share, while the rest of the companies attempt to increase competitive advantage through product diversification and cost reduction strategies. In addition, our strategy is to compete in specific vehicles classes and customer segments by making incremental improvements to our corporate infrastructure and vehicle offerings. In our industry, we recognize Company C’s ability to achieve diversification through new products and technology. Our strategy in the future is to follow suit and expand our product line with the launch of a new vehicle, so that our company can increase our value and position in the industry. We understand that “price competition is reduced when firms are able to create the impression that their products are different from those of competitors” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008, p. 104). We recognize the potential gains associated with product differentiation, and have experienced the positive benefits of developing and enhancing products to meet consumer demands. This strategy proves to be one that gives competitive advantage to the highest performer in the industry.
Another important factor of industry analysis is the assessment of supplier power in our markets. Supplier power is the “degree to which firms in the supply industry are able to dictate terms to contracts and thereby extract some of the profit that would otherwise go to competitors in the focal industry” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008, p. 107). As a strong competitor in our markets, we strategize to keep our costs down as much as possible. In our industry, cost of supplies, labor, and manufacturing impact are ability to sell product at affordable prices. Our company pursues opportunities to drive down costs and deliver high-quality, affordable vehicles to our consumers. The industry environment plays a huge part in dictating costs – market conditions determine the price of materials and labor; therefore, our company prioritizes the negotiation of supplier costs including, labor unions. Our strategy is to reasonably negotiate and agree upon a balance that equates to fair wages for laborers (to avoid strikes) and effective spending for our company (to ensure profit). There are factors that are out of our control; therefore, we often lean towards conservative spending in case there is a sudden change in market conditions.
Accurately assessing our consumers and their buyer power is an important analysis for our company. We have witnessed the changes in consumer trends and how they impact industry conditions and company strategy. As a company, one of our goals is to deliver products that meet consumer demands. Our consumers vary in their need structure and price sensitivity. “Buyers who are more price sensitive and who have more vehicles to choose from will exert this power and drive the market toward commoditization” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008, p. 110).
Threat of New Entrants
Threat of Substitutes
Industry Life Cycle
Marketing Plan -MP
- Customer/External Perspective
Morgan’s sections below. See some questions I have.
Are we in-text citing SSM?
Is anything additional needed for a Marketing Plan?
Is the present tense accurage?
Should I discuss objectives, measures/metrics, targets, and initiatives further?
To achieve our vision and mission, we must communicate with our customers that our vehicles are high-quality and affordable. More than that, however, we must be trusted. This requires creating a trustworthy vehicle with desired features and a focused strategy. ”Trusted brands are seen as genuine, sincere, ‘one of us,’” (Di Somma, 2015, para. 2). Our objective for our brands is to be the most trusted car in its class.
To accomplish this, Company B has focused on our image with our brands, our product and service attributes like price, quality, availability, selection and availability, and our relationship with the customer and other valuable stakeholders through service. These are discussed further below.
The most critical element of the way our customers view us is our brand image. Company B has focused on our concentrated brand image as providing safe and quality vehicle at a reasonable cost as a valuable resource.
To accomplish this, Company B has utilized microsegment studies to identify our target audiences. We have marketed to our target audience of families, value seekers and enterprisers through advertising focused on safety, promotions, and increasing our technical capabilities to provide the highest quality. Unique in our competition set, we have chosen to attract and service these markets through only three models: Boffo, a sedan, Boss, a truck, and Buzzy, our economy sedan.
To remain a trusted firm, we have decided to limit classes manufactured by our company at this time. This decision has resulted in not expanding by launching new products, and forgoing other improvements that would have weakened our brand image. This ensures that our strategy and resources are not spread too thin, and that we can act agilely in responding to any upgrades needed on our three current product lines. This has allowed us to craft a strong and focused brand concept, which is very helpful in contributing to our sales and market share.
To measure our objective of producing trusted vehicles, Company B will measure our “trustworthiness.” This objective is intangible, and therefore will be measured by other metrics. This includes high sales, price insensitivity, and customer awareness. To initiate these, we will continue to focus on crafting highly reliable vehicles that are worth their cost to the consumer and communicating our advantages through marketing.
This discussion leads naturally into our external perception of quality. Our vision and mission, as mentioned above, charges us with the objective of creating quality vehicles. One method we have used to accomplish this is by focusing on our three classes only. This allows for time for quality control and streamlining. In this, we seek to differentiate ourselves from companies like Toyota, which is now known for its safety and quality issues in 2011. Cole identifies doing too much too quickly as a factor in the recall and issues. “Toyoda…acknowledges that the strategic focus on growth warped the ‘order of Toyota’s traditional priorities.’ In other words, growth had taken priority over the company’s traditional focus on quality” (Cole, 2011, para. 21).
Other targets we have utilized to ensure quality include high technological capabilities and advertising centered on communicating an image of a safe vehicle. We made many upgrades to our three classes of vehicle to ensure that they were a quality product. This included minor upgrades, such as size changes, and cost reductions. Furthermore, we have advertised our upgrades through heavy advertising and promotional costs, and increasing marketing by 10-20 percent each period. A future initiative to meet this objective includes further upgrades to ensure that Company B manufactures the highest quality technology in each of our vehicles, especially as compared with the market competition.
Our objective for our price range is to be as financially viable as possible, and minimize our cost of goods sold. Additionally, it is also our goal to create affordable vehicles attractive to a large target market. To accomplish both of these goals, our vehicles are priced at a mid-range level and are predicated on the preferences of our target markets. Our strategy was to price each vehicle to take advantage of as many segments of our target markets as possible. For example, our economy vehicle Buzzy is priced at a low price point of $14,000 in period eight. This was strategically decided to allow us to be within the preferences of both economy segments, 1E and 2E. Our price initiatives include lowering the cost of production for our vehicles, so that our profit is as high as possible on these. This strategy also includes
The functionality of our vehicles is critical in attracting a wide range of consumers looking for quality vehicles. To meet the needs of these markets, our vehicles are large and geared towards family markets. In this way, our vehicles are meant to be functional to a wide range of consumers, and provide a quality driving experience. Company B increased the functionality of our vehicles by increasing size and ensuring that our horsepower was in line with consumer preferences. For instance, our vehicles were crafted to be both powerful enough, but also efficient. This involved minimizing horsepower to stay away from the perception of our vehicles as “gas guzzlers.” By positioning ourselves strategically in this manner, we increased the functionality of our models. To measure our functionality, we utilize market studies, especially focus on microsegments, sales metrics, and the changes in our market share. For instance, our truck, Boss, has led in market share in that class largely due to size, and is therefore perceived as functional for our target market (are we in text citing SSM?)
Availability and Service
The availability of our vehicles and the service provided to our consumers are both linked to our dealerships. Our objective for our dealerships is to have high coverage without oversaturation. At the time of period 71 percent coverage spread over the four regions of North, South, East and West. Our highest coverage is in the region of the East with an approximate 84 percent coverage. Currently, Company B has the second lowest number of dealerships and is spending the lowest in training. These metrics illustrate that, while low costs in period eight was strategic, Company B should increase dealerships and the funds for training employees in future periods (are we citing SSM?)
Much of the perception of our firm’s vehicles depends upon the very critical experience of the consumer at our dealerships. As the car industry is changing, many agree that the dealership process needs to evolve with it. One example is the long process time of closing a sale, even with the technological advances available to the industry. One solution Company B values is increasing showroom technology for a speedier check out process. This allows salespeople to have more time for additional sales in a day, and additionally helps eliminate the perception of car buying as a hassle. Other solutions include better training to build consumer relationships and more time spent on informing the sales staff of product features. “So much right now is riding on the salesperson…And that’s often the least trained, least educated, least motivated person in the industry” (Verde, as quoted in Chappell, 2014, para. 7). Company B seeks to initiate greater training programs, such as these described, and increased technology involved in the sales process. The initiatives of increasing dealerships and funds allocated for training will increase our service level, and help maintain a trusted position. Our name will be further trusted with honest and hassle-free sales processes.
Cole, R. (2011). What Really Happened to Toyota? MIT Sloan Management Review.
Di Somma, M. (2015). 6 Sure Signs of a Truly Trusted Brand. Branding Strategy Insider. Retrieved on December 5, 2016 from http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2015/03/6-s…
StratSim Management. Company B. Retrieved on December 7, 2016 from http://schools.interpretive.com/fsui2/index.php?to….
Operations & Management – AH
- Internal Perspective
Financial Overview -SK
The Balanced Scorecard System was developed to reduce dependence on short-term financial-performance metrics as the sole measurement of a firm’s performance, and to incorporate a balanced measurement approach in which several critical dimensions are taken into account (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008). Financial performance is still one of the critical dimensions taken into account, but involves analyzing an entire ‘financial perspective’ rather than just short-term metrics. “The financial perspective involves strategy for growth, profitability, and risk when viewed from the shareholder’s or owner’s perspective” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008, p. 248). The whole goal in measuring a firm’s performance is to identify and act on opportunities to increase long-term shareholder value. Shareholder value is defined as “the value delivered to shareholders because of the management’s ability to grow sales, earnings and free cash flow over time” and it is important to understand that “a company’s shareholder value depends on strategic decision made by senior management, including the ability to make wise investments and generate a healthy return on invested capital” (Investopedia.com, n.d., n.p.) In hopes of improving long- term shareholder value, we must strive for operating efficiency, which includes improving our cost structure, increasing our asset utilization, expanding revenue opportunities, and ultimately enhancing customer value.
Improving our cost structure is an important financial component that will aid in our ability to achieve sustainable shareholder value. When discussing our cost structure, we are referring to the fixed and variable costs that our business incurs. Many financial metrics aid in our ability to identify our cost structure performance. In our StratSim exercise we rely on our cost of goods sold (COGS) figures as well as our product contribution figures. Our COGS report details the costs directly attributable to the production of vehicles sold in each period, and the report is “…a good place to start in evaluating the efficiency production in the company” (Deighan, et al., 2016, p. 24). Costs include our labor, materials, plant maintenance, and over-capacity charges. Throughout the StratSim exercise Company B’s COGS figure has fluctuated, but has ultimately decreased slightly. We started with the cost of goods sold being 85%, have been as high as 88%, and are at 82% (2nd best relative to competitors) following period seven. Company B hopes to improve our COGS figure by reducing costs associated with plant maintenance and overcapacity production. “Lower plant maintenance costs are likely when the factory is updated”, thus, Company B plans to update the factory in future periods (Deighan, et al., 2016, p. 19). In hopes of decreasing over-capacity charges, Company B will continue to forecast production and increasing capacity as needed. In addition to improving our COGS figure and decreasing our over-capacity charges, Company B will be reducing the cost of producing all of our vehicles in the product development center. After reviewing the aforementioned approaches the improving our cost structure, Company B is confident our efforts will positively impact our financial well being, and will ultimately increase our ability to provide long-term shareholder value.
In hopes of achieving operational excellence, it is important to continuously improve our financial performance, which includes improving our asset utilization. Metrics that aid in our ability to analyze our asset utilization primarily include or return on asset (ROA) figure, which is our net income divided by our assets. Our assets include our cash, receivables, inventory, as well as our plant & equipment. Company B’s ROA figure started at 11%, has dipped as low as 2.8%, and is at just over 11% (2nd best relative to competitors) following period seven. In hopes of improving our ROA, Company B must strive to reduce asset costs, increase revenues, and reduce expenses (Johnston, n.d.). One way that we can reduce asset costs is to decrease our excess inventory, as excess inventory raises asset costs without producing more income. In order to reduce our inventory, Company B must improve production forecasting, which can be accomplished by utilizing tools, as well as by evaluating industry news and outlooks. While 5% is often considered a “good” ROA figure, it is really necessary to compare the figure to competitors in the industry to gauge performance (Johnston, n.d.). As previously mentioned, and identified in the figure above, our firm has barely improved our ROA from the beginning periods. By focusing on reducing our assets costs, Company B is confident we can improve our return on asset figure, and thus, improve upon our efforts to provide sustainable value to our shareholders.
Expanding revenue opportunities is a great way to improve Company B’s financial situation. Our strategy has been based upon conservative, yet steady growth. As we look toward the ninth year of business, it is clear Company B’s financial strength will allow for an expansion of revenue opportunities. By introducing new vehicles to the marketplace, and by entering more B2B partnerships, revenue growth is identified as being inevitable.
A company’s ability to innovate, improve, and learn ties directly to the company’s value. That is, only through the ability to launch new products, create more value for customers, and improve operating efficiencies continually can a company penetrate new markets and increase revenues and margins—in short, grow and thereby increase shareholder value (Kaplan, et al., 1992).
In hopes of achieving sustainable growth, Company B must continue to enhance customer value. In order to enhance customer value, Company B must continue to focus on their primary concerns: time, quality, performance and service, and cost (Kaplan, et al., 1992). Time has been problematic for company B, as the introduction of new product offerings has been delayed. This is something the Company hopes to change come year nine, as we hope to introduce new product offerings. In hopes of maintaining alignment with our strategy, Company B will continue to focus on quality and safety attributes in the family-oriented marketplace. Furthermore, the Company will continue to improve upon our affordability as well as our dealership service.
In summarizing the financial perspective set forth in this section, productivity strategy includes improving our cost structure and increasing our asset utilization. Our growth strategy includes expanding revenue opportunities and enhancing customer value. Implementing the aforementioned operational improvements is not feasible without applying the internal, customer, and learning & growth perspectives. All of the perspectives are interdependent. The financial activities mentioned in this section merely tell a story of the direction the firm is heading in. “Financial performance measures indicate whether the company’s strategy, implementation, and execution are contributing to bottom-line improvement” (Kaplan, et al., 1992). In order to take full advantage of the Balanced Scorecard, it is necessary not only to evaluate past performance, but to set goals for the future as we have discussed in this section.
The Financial Perspective represents the long-term strategic objectives of the organization and thus it incorporates the tangible outcomes of the strategy in traditional financial terms. The Financial performance is a lag indicator and provides the ultimate definition of an organization’s success and describes how to create growth in the shareholder value (Clci.com, n.d.).