Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This
submit to reddit

The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Swot Analysis Information Technology Essay

This store which was known as Block Quayle, and was later abbreviated to BQ. This main store later developed and spread across the UK; by 1979 there were 26 stores in United Kingdom. During this period, the first of the co-founders already left the business. They both left the business in 1976 and 1982 respectively.

B&Q sprung up very well during this period through business combination methods which include mergers, acquisitions and expansions. In 1980, B&Q bought over the Scottish company Dodge City, and was itself acquired by F. W. Woolworth Company. F. W. Woolworth's UK subsidiary (Woolworth) and B&Q were bought, two years later, by Paternoster, who are now known as Kingfisher plc and are still B&Q's parent company.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this project is to produce a proposal on a new project that an organisation is about to start. The following are the objectives to be achieved:

The title and nature of the project.

The business case and tangible outcomes of the project.

Competitive advantage of the organisation.

1.1 THE TITLE AND NATURE OF THE PROJECT

B&Q is planning an expansionary project which is the establishment of five (5) more stores in the Republic of Ireland. This will bring the number of its stores in Ireland to fourteen (14). These stores as planned would be in the central areas and in the interior so as to meet the needs of its customers and also bringing the store closer to the customers.

This project would involve a huge finance base as it is a project expected to be completed within one (1) year. The management is looking into the various ways of getting finance to carry out this project in order to improve the services of the company.

THE BUSINESS CASE AND TANGIBLE OUTCOMES OF THE PROJECT

The start of project management starts from the construction industry. This day there are quite a lot of project management requirements which are even more outside the construction industry as project needs cut across every business segments. Current construction firms now uses a new model of project management, using visual equipments and software to help in managing the movement of materials delivery and consumption alongside equipment usage.

This project will bring about numerous benefits in addition to the existing benefits of and in the organisation. Amongst this includes:

Increase in profitability.

Shareholders wealth would increase and there would be more income to put in for more dividend and expansionary development in the company.

Value of shares may increase as there would be more sales.

Creation of job opportunities.

Achieving the objectives, goals and vision of the organisation.

A better local environment

An increase in access to quality local spaces

An increase in people actively involved in a practical environmental project

An improvement in partnership between support organisations, communities and authorities.

1.2 OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT PROPOSAL

B&Q is planning an expansionary project which is the establishment of five (5) more stores in the Republic of Ireland. This will bring the number of its stores in Ireland to fourteen (14). These stores as planned would be in the central areas and in the interior so as to meet the needs of its customers and also bringing the store closer to the customers.

To effectively analyze the viability of the project, B & Q need to examine its SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and also using PORTERS FIVE FORCES to examine the success of the project.

SWOT ANALYSIS OF B&Q

SWOT is a tool which is used in strategic and marketing analysis of a business. It can be used to confirm the level of readiness and conformity between the organisation's strategies and its business environment, and to find ways in which the organisation can utilize its strengths to checkmate its weaknesses while it uses its opportunities to checkmate its threats (Adams, 2005).

Strengths

Strength determines the capability of an organization. The strengths of B&Q lie in its ability to provide the desired goods of its customers at relatively cheap prices and at the same time quality goods. B&Q is widely known for the quality goods it sells to various customers.

Weaknesses

This determines a company’s weaknesses. This should be not only from its own point of view, but also more importantly, from those of the customers. B&Q has received quite a lot of complaints from customers about the prices of its goods which according to the company is as result of the quality of the materials used in the production. However, compared to some of its competitors it still has a better bargain price for its products.

Opportunities

Opportunities are everywhere, such as the changes in technology, government policy, social patterns, and so on. Opportunities for B&Q lie in the structure of the general market segment and its environment. The world market and individual with corporate needs enormous for B&Q to see and utilise the opportunities at its disposal. Having the financial strength and the backup of major stakeholders to open up more branches in strategic locations is an opportunity to the organisation is another sense of opportunity for B&Q.

Threats

Threats expresses the weaknesses and incapacitation of an organization. It entails those fears which the company may be nursing and which could affect the company haphazardly. Parts of B&Q’s threat is their competitors in the market that can win over some of their customers. Also here is the threat from suppliers and others.

PORTERS FIVE FORCES ANALYSIS

Five Forces Analysis will help B&Q to contrast a competitive environment. It has likeness with other tools for environmental analysis, such as PESTLE analysis, but tends to focus on the single, stand alone, business or SBU (Strategic Business Unit) rather than a single product or range of products.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

The term 'suppliers' include all sources for inputs that are required so as to provide goods or services. Supplier bargaining power is likely to be high in B&Q when:

In such situations, B&Q will face a high pressure on margins from their suppliers. The relationship to powerful suppliers can potentially reduce strategic options for the organization.

Bargaining Power of Customers

Customers of B&Q bargaining power is likely to be high when there are substitutes to the products in the market, much more when the substitutes are of more or same quality than that of B&Q.

Threat of New Entrants

B&Q will also keep up threat of new retailers in the store. Every moment in the market there comes in new set of sellers which definitely will share the market with the existing sellers in the market.

Threat of Substitutes

Consumers all have different taste and can change from the use of one item to the other. Substituted items definitely will cause a loophole in the market which have been dropped, therefore, B&Q may face the challenge of its products being substituted for another.

Competitive Rivalry between Existing Players

Michael Porter (2005) also explained that in a monopolistic or general open market where there exist many sellers especially of the same product there would exist rivalry which can affect the market sales and profitability at the other end.

1.3 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF THE ORGANISATION

This is seen as the benefit a company has over its rivals in the market which can be with its ability to outshine its competitors in the market/industry.

B&Q have a competitive advantage when it has the strength or ability to overturn its rivals in getting the face of customers. This applies to both services and products.

Michael Porter (Theory of Management) (1990) explains that, though not all nations are at the peak of competition, the home nation which shapes the competitive advantage is the starting point for a firm's competitive advantage and also from which it must be upheld. Therefore, B&Q has a lot of competitive advantages which made it a leader in the market. It should be take in account that competitive advantage can be checked to one of three forms: Superior resources, superior skills and superior positions.

TASK 2

2.0 INTRODUCTION

Project Management is about organising and managing resources in a form that they deliver the desired mind to complete a project within the agreed scope, quality, and time and cost constraints. It covers the planning, monitoring and control of the project as well as the motivation of those involved in order to achieve the project objectives as set.

Each project is expected to have a Project Manager to maintain project progress and integrate stakeholders to make sure that the risk of failure is reduced and also to intimate the m on the progress of the project. As a successful project manager you must be able to visualize the project from beginning to ending and to have the ability to ensure that this vision is achieved.

The following are the methodologies which can be used in common principles to manage a project development:

Define the project detail

Involve the right people

Estimate the resources, time and costs

Break the project into manageable sections

Define how change will be managed

Agree on performance/acceptance criteria

OBJECTIVES

This task is to cover some areas in this project which are as listed below:

To identify all resources required for the project and the benefits to the organisation.

To identify all costs associated with the project.

To set up a budget for the project.

To carryout costs benefit analysis for the project.

Staff development and training costs.

2.1 REPORT

FROM: Management Consultant

TO: Board of Directors/Management

DATE: 22nd July, 2010.

SUBJECT: RESOURCES REQUIRED FOR THE PROJECT – ESTABLISHMENT

INTRODUCTION

B&Q with its quest to satisfy all their customers by bringing services closer to them has decided to build more stores in the Republic of Ireland as this will also improve the profitability of the entire business.

This is a project which will definitely require the company to establish a technical committee on the work to be done as this will require a large sum of investment for the success of the project. The budget show that the total sum £15 million would be required. However, to furnish the stores with the items for sale would be handled by the procurement department and so the cost for this transaction is not included.

The analysis of the £15m cost plan (budget) is as follows:

£

Contract sum (£2.5m x 5 stores) 12,500,000

Planning service cost (for the 5 stores) 1,500,000

Training cost (recruitment & retraining of existing staff) 500,000

Other related cost 500,000

15,000,000

SOURCES OF RESOURCES

The resources that would be required as clearly stated above would be financed by partly bank borrowing and partly using part of the bank’s investment income from the reserve.

Noteworthy is the fact that the contract sum as mentioned above would be paid to a building contractor. The amount specified above represent the contract sum quoted by the building contractor.

The training cost would be paid to PWC consultants for the training which will be in two phases; one for the new recruits that would start work in the new stores after the completion and some of the present staffs that would be transferred to the new sites. The training cost is as follows:

£

Facilitators (one year contract) 400,000

Refreshments (1 week) 20,000

Training materials 10,000

Accommodation for trainees (Scheduled quarterly) 50,000

Transportation expenses 20,000

500,000

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS

A cost benefit analysis is done to determine how well, or how poorly, a planned action will turn out and how this would be applicable to B&Q. Although a cost benefit analysis can be used for almost anything, it is most commonly done on financial issues. Since the cost benefit analysis relies on the plus or minus of financial issues concerning a project to determine a net result.

A cost benefit analysis finds, quantifies, and adds all the positive factors. These are the benefits. Then it identifies, quantifies, and subtracts all the negatives, the costs. The difference between the two indicates whether the planned action is advisable. The real trick to doing a cost benefit analysis well is making sure you include all the costs and all the benefits and properly quantify them.

To achieve this, I will use the pay back period to check the time the project would pay back as there is a policy in the company that any investment that would not be recouped within the first five years of establishment will not be seen as being viable. The inflows are projected inflows for the new stores as a group i.e. the stores would be analysed collectively not individually.

Year Cash flow Balance

£ £

0 (15,000,000) (15,000,000)

1 2,500,000 (13,000,000)

2 3,175,000 (9,825,000)

3 5,220,000 (4,605,000)

4 6,725,000

5 6,875,000

3 + 4,605,000 = 3 + 0.685

6,725,000

= 3years, 7 months.

From the above, the project would have a pay back period of less than 4 years which according to the policy of the company, the project is seen to be viable as the pay back period is less than 5 years.

2.2 STAFF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Want to keep members of staff motivated about learning new ideas, the quality and variety of the employee training provided is major for motivation for consideration. Whatever the reason for conducting an employee training session, there is need to develop the employee training within the framework of a comprehensive, ongoing, and consistent employee training program. This quality employee training program is essential to keep the staff motivated about learning new concepts and your department profitable which definitely will help in the new outlets to be built by B&Q. This training will serve the new and existing members of staff.

Beneficial Components of Employee Training Skills

To make a complete training of employees either new or existing staffs, there need be a balance with the company’s expectation about the employer and the expectations of the employees. This training will give a detailed understanding on how and what the company is all about, individual and general expectation of both parties at the short and long run.

New Hire Training

This has to do with training of new recruits in the organization. They are new employees that need to understand the basis, rules and norms of the organization, either with or without previous experience in a related job exposure.

On the Job Training

Many organizations make good use of this system to train staffs. On the job training is so essential and can be seen as a continuous system of training for employees. During the course of the job, new styles of work are being learnt which help to progress more on the job being carried out. This involves the supervisory and the operational level of work. Managers go round during the course of work or work colleagues who are more experienced are used to train the especially the new recruits.

(http://humanresources.about.com/od/coachingmentorin1/a/trainmotivation.htm)

However, for this project, the type of training that would be used is contracted to PWC consultants. This is to prepare the staff ready for the new stores when they are completed in the Republic of Ireland. The training cost has been analysed above.

TASK 3

3.0 INTRODUCTION

Implementing strategy needs more strength and it requires effort for a lot of organizations, knowledge from emotional feedbacks on time during the implementation process, which shows the impact of any force placed alongside the quest for the use of strategy which would lead or give the basis for the realization of strategy for proper implementation. 

 

 

 

Many businesses fail to achieve strategic objectives of the organization as highlighted at the planning stage of the company because they do not successfully attach operations with goals. Effective communication among all stakeholders is critical in jumping this critical issue.

 

The performance gap drawn between strategy creation and benefit realization is frequently a company’s inability to put in place the strategies they define. Potential hazards may be grouped into four basic categories: Clarification, Communication, Alignment and Measurement.

 

The above mentioned issues would be discussed alongside the milestones to be put in place to achieve the implementation of this project by B&Q in the Republic of Ireland.

Thus must emphasis would also be laid on the involvement of stakeholders in the achievement of this project.

 

OBJECTIVES

Use suitable tools and techniques to plan the implementation of the chosen project:

Develop a milestone for the project.

Analyse the involvement of stakeholders in the implementation of the project.

Develop a set of measure that would enable you monitor and evaluate progress of the project and ensure relevant feedback procedures have been put in place to inform stakeholders of the project’s progress.

3.1 MILESTONE FORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF 5 STORES IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND BY B&Q.

Many managers during the course of project management would think projects would be near completion from information given to then by subordinates and or people working with then and only to find that project over-runs by weeks or even months more than expected. This is because the last part of the work takes longer than planned.

If you've ever been in this situation and have been affected by this disturbing situation, then, you'll know why experienced managers carefully monitor how actual completion dates checked against planned completion dates at certain "milestones" within projects. This gives the managers room to take corrective action, or manage people's expectations appropriately, and this is where Project Milestone Reporting becomes evidently important.

A real life milestone is a table that tells you how far you are from a certain point - so you know how far you have come, or how much effort you have to put so as to reach your realization goal.

Project Milestones perform exactly this role in a project plan. They mark significant events, deliverables or interdependencies that need to be monitored to keep the project on track. Project Milestone Reports show you what has been achieved and what else needs to be done to successfully complete your project.

The milestone for this project is reflected in the table below:

 

ISSUES

EXPLANATIONS

The project in focus

The project in focus is the construction of five (5) more stores for B&Q strategically in the Republic of Ireland.

Construction site.

Development plan has been received in respect of the construction from the government for the development which will be at strategic locations in the country.

Quality measures

The quality of materials to be used for the construction is standard checked and guaranteed materials for the building.

Target date

The project is expected to span through twelve months as it is handled by the same contractor and would be time effective during the construction.

 

The above represents the milestone that would serve as guide to the construction of the projects. However, the stakeholders of the company would also be involved in the development stage.

This can also be represented using the Gantt Chart.

ISSUE

EXPLANATIONS

2010

 

2011

 

 

 

JAN.- JUNE.

JUL.-DEC.

JAN.- JUNE.

JUL.-DEC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The project in focus

Construction of five (5) more stores

 

 

 

 

 

for in the Republic of Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

construction site

Development plan has been

 

 

 

 

 

received in respect of the

 

 

 

 

 

construction from the

 

 

 

 

 

government for the development

 

 

 

 

 

which will be at strategic

 

 

 

 

 

locations in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quality measure

The quality of materials to be used

 

 

 

 

 

 

for the construction is standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

checked and guaranteed materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

for the building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Target date

The project is expected to span

 

 

 

 

 

 

through twelve months as it is

 

 

 

 

 

 

handled by the same contractor

 

 

 

 

 

 

and would be time effective

 

 

 

 

 

 

during the construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROJECT

A stakeholder is someone who has something to gain or lose in the result of a planning of process or project or business. These are known as interest groups and which have a powerful bearing on the outcomes of business dealings. It finds normally beneficial for research projects to analyse the needs and concerns of different stakeholders, particularly when these projects are set out to achieve a particular goal.

Stakeholders, who have high interest and high power with the project, are the organisations or the people are generally fully engage with it. At the time of policy change or new campaign these people are target. Decision makers are on top of power list which are normally member of government. After that there are ‘opinion leader’ whose opinion matters. This creates pyramid which known as influence map.

Stakeholders with low power but high interest need to be updated all the time, and if they are properly organised they form coalition which can lobby for change. If these people are satisfied they are the main supporter at the time of policy change.

If time and resources permits, detailed analysis can be carried out which give detail knowledge of (i) the nature of the power and its position and (ii) the interests that give it that position. By doing this one can get the better t understanding of the project that why people take certain stands and how they can work together.

The final stage is to create a strategy for how to involve different stakeholders in a one project, how to distribute information which is useful to them, and maintaining a relationship with them. Identify who will make each contact and how, what message they will communicate and how they will do the follow-up and most importantly who will do that that how they will do.

 

The diagram above represents the level of the stakeholders of B&Q. The following are the major stakeholders of the company:

The investors (shareholders)

The customers

The suppliers

The creditors/debtors

The government

The competitors

These represent the summary or compressed version of the company’s stakeholders. All the stakeholders would be kept abreast of the happenings in the organisation so as to be able to achieve a successful implementation of the project.

3.3 PROJECT IMPLENTATION

Most projects share a common life cycle as seen in the project of B&Q.

Define

(1. Initiation)

2. PLAN

The project

IMPLEMENTATION

(3. Executing)

(4. Controlling)

MONITOR

ADJUST

EVALUATE

(5. Closing)

CELEBRATE

(Source:http://informationr.net/ir/8-1/paper144.html)

Monitoring

As the project managers of B&Q will start this project, they will need to develop a work schedule for the many activities that would be done and would be expected to monitor the project from the start i.e. the initiation period down to the completion of the project as this will aid the success of the project.

Managers of B&Q need to check the time table written or built for this project so as to have a good grip on the monitoring of the project. They also have to consider the budget and the resources available for the completion of the project.

In order to have a successful project monitoring the following should be considered:

The use of the set up note for the project to monitor the growth of the project.

Checking on the plan time table regularly.

Quality must be checked and emphasized on.

Progress should be checked on a regular basis.

The full involvement of managers and project supervisors.

The project time table should be followed regularly to avoid drift from the original plan.

Changes during the construction should be communicated to the members of the team.

Reasons why project should be monitored:

To check planned work to actual work done.

To know level of job completion.

To know the quality of work done.

Compare budgeted cost to actual spending.

To check on attitude of everyone involved in the project.

To know the level of commitment given in by team members.

Ways to express the project development events - Formal and informal

Formal:

Reports – Level of job completion form/reports should be completed by all those involved so that progress and problems that occurred during the project work can be identified on time. Audits are used mostly to identify these issues when they arise.

Project review meetings – Meetings should be carried out by the managers and the project managers with the management so that periodic review could be carried out on the project so as to know the level of job completed and the requirements needed by the rest of the area not completed in the building of the project.

Informal:

Interaction with the members involved in the building project.

Involvement of the other stakeholders of the company.

Strict observation during the project design.

Reports and guidelines for small and large projects to be used for the B&Q project:

Action

Daily

Weekly

Monthly

Quarterly

Informal interaction with members

Small

Large

Staff interaction with managers

Both

Meeting to review project

Small

Large

Level of work report

Small

Large

Project audit

Large

Team development practice

Both

Final report to the directors/mgt.

Both

SIMPLE FORMS TO CREATE USEFUL REPORTS – (THE FINAL REPORT)

The final report is a form of writing that deals on the whole history of the building work carried out during the designated period of time. This has to do with keeping of record of the initial stage build ups, every action that took place during the course of the project and the final report.

Schedule on informal meeting with key players is important as to know their opinions and ask them about the project and what they would do next time.

The final report of the project can be written using the form format written below:

Summary of the project to include revisions to the original project plan

Summary of major successes achieved.

Analysis of planned requirements to actual achieved.

Final financial analysis considering the difference that exists.

Evaluation of administrative and management issues.

Team performance should also be included in the report.

Any other issue that require further investigation

Recommendations on the project which can be used as a guide for the future.

Acknowledgement of all those involved in the project work.

CONCLUSION

Project development is important and requires the development of end-to-end concepts for

The construction of any project especially the construction of the stores for B&Q in the Republic of Ireland which is part of the developmental plans of the company and as this will improve the profitability stage of the company. The reason for asset management is to maintain a ful set of investments, properties and fund which will in turn help in maximising the wealth of the shareholder. In property management, the duty of improving the status of the company so as to achieve profits for the business which would be carried on in the building as expected to be done by the management of B&Q. This is a big organisation that has a great investment and any further investment that would be made would require the involvement of its major stakeholders. The extension would definitely call for an improvement in the state and status of B&Q in the Republic of Ireland and as well the profitability of the company as a whole.

Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This

Share This Essay

To share this essay on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ just click on the buttons below:

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay.


More from UK Essays

Doing your resits? We can help!