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School of Business and Computer Science (SBCS)

Executive Summary

This report looks at an internal and external analysis of the factors affecting the provision of Tertiary Level Institution (TLI) educational services in Trinidad and Tobago, along with the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Trinidad and Tobago on the formation of policies and procedures at the School of Business and Computer Science (SBCS) Ltd to take advantage of these capital inflows.

The findings of the internal analysis, created using Mckinseys' 7S formula are identified and compared to SBCS' stated strategy for sustainable competitive advantage for the purpose of justification of this strategy.

The findings of the external analysis, created using the PESTLE-C formula created by…….. looks at the macro environmental forces at work in the Trinidad and Tobago market and the effectiveness of SBCS' strategy in this market.

Introduction

The School of Business and Computer Science Limited [SBCS] was established by its' Executive Director, Dr. Robin Rabindranath Maraj in 1987.

On board at SBCS, there are more than one hundred and fifty-[150] qualified lecturers and over one hundred and seventy [170] full time members of staff.

There are four [4] Campuses with locations as follows:

1. 53-54 Sagan Drive, Champs Fleurs, established February 13th 1987.

2. 46-50 Picton Street, Port-of-Spain, established May 5th 2003.

3. 27-31 Fran Street, Cocoyea Village, San Fernando, established February 26th 2006.

4. Corner of Beaulieu Avenue and Dinsley Boulevard, Trincity, established 2009.

SBCS' Vision Statement “…To be the premier provider of globally recognized and industry-relevant tertiary education and training in the region”.

SBCS' Mission Statement “…To deliver industry-relevant tertiary education and training, using a student centric approach, with staff, facilities and courseware of the highest quality, in the transformation of our human resource into the region's most valuable natural resource”.

The organisations' core competencies consist of skilled personnel, technological adoption and adaptability, quality service and facilities and industry relevant products.

Internal Analysis

The Mckinsey 7-S Framework

This is a management model, used to describe the 7 factors needed to organise any company in a holistic and effective way. Together these factors determine the way in which an organisation operates. Managers should take into account all seven of these factors, to be sure of a successful strategy implementation. They are all interdependent, but the relative importance of each factor may vary over time.12MANAGE The Executive Fast Track.2009.[online][Accessed 9th March 2009]. Available from the World Wide Web<http://www.12manage.com/methods_7S.html

1. Strategy is the planning in advance or the response to changes in the external environment and determining what resources need to be employed to meet the changes to achieve the stated goals.

SBCS' strategy is based on focused differentiation and organic growth. These strategies evolved from a situational analysis of the competitive environment and the answering of the questions, “Where are we now?”, and “Where are we going?”

This focused differentiation strategy, put forth by Michael Porter in his theory on Competitive Advantage which, at its' core, deals with sustainable competitive advantage over the longer term, works best because of the Industry Competitiveness among Tertiary Level Institutions (TLI) in Trinidad and Tobago and the fact. The positioning of the SBCS products and services in the minds of consumers with regard to the image, reputation and perception of the company relative to competitors, is achieved through a differentiation from competitors products and the arrangement of the marketing mix, including print, electronic and e-marketing tools, that is unmatched by competitors. Hollensen. S.,[2003]Marketing Management, A Relationship Approach, England, Prentice Hall.

With this strategy, SBCS' students are the primary reason for its' existence and with the organisations' core competencies of skilled personnel, technological adoption and adaptability, quality service and industry relevant products are being kept viable, through continued training, organisational learning and personnel development, so as to continue to service the needs of existing as well as potential customers, making them “lost for good” to the alternative TLI choices.

This strategy will also assist SBCS to continue to meet and exceed the criteria that allows the organisation to remain the preferred partner for the providing of recognized United Kingdom (UK) Universities products and services to the local, regional and southern hemispheric markets.

1.1 Structure refers to the shape of the organisation and the levels of responsibility and accountability that allows the organisation to function efficiently and effectively.

SBCS is an example Mintzberg's Machine Bureaucracy. This means that the organisation has a “tall” structure with many levels of bureaucracy defined by proliferation of rules, regulations and formalized communication throughout the organisation. All strategic decisions are centralized and guided by an elaborate administrative structure with sharp distinctions between line and staff. 12MANAGE The Executive Fast Track.2009.[online][Accessed 2nd April 2009]. Available from the WorldWideWeb<http://www.12manage.com/methods_mintzberg_configurations.html>

Each SBCS campus operates as a strategic business unit (sbu)/profit centres, with responsibility for their day to day operations, such as, branch administrative duties (including the collecting of marketing intelligence through the use of evaluation forms), facilities management and customer service functions.

1.2 Systems are the policies and procedures developed and used by an organisation to accomplish its' goals and objectives.

The internet is vital to SBCS' ability to communicate with lecturers and oversees university contacts via email as well as video conferencing systems.

This is also used to keep students up to date via the SBCS website, www.sbcs.edu.tt, as well as via social networking sites such as Twitter, http://twitter.com/sbcs and Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50919814068 .

The intranet allows for staff to communicate quickly and securely with each other as well as allowing for new information on organisational goals and objects to be more effectively communicated to all staff.

1.3 Shared Values are the stated or implied core beliefs of the orgnaisation and is a guide to all stakeholders as to the course the organisation has set.

SBCS' Corporate Mantra:

“At SBCS we promise to deliver an excellent service

At a profit if we can

At a loss if we must

But always excellence!”

This is the fundamental value the company was built on and continues to drive the orgnaisation today. These values are reinforced through training and personnel development plans for employees to keep them aware of the companys' core beliefs.

The aligning of organisational strategy and employee development strategy, endorsed and supported by senior management, enables the organisation to gain as well as maintain its competitive advantage. Trainees and experienced employees should be encouraged and expected to use their newfound expertise on the job so as to achieve stated organisational objectives.

Unfortunately, in most cases, support from senior management is not always given to the newfound expertise of employees and as such it is very difficult to achieve stated organisational objectives.

A poll was taken of 40 participants one month after a two day training and development seminar and the most common complaint was that they have not been allowed to use the new skills acquired and the reason given has been lack of managerial support.

1.4 Style describes how managers achieve organisational goals through the employees.

Varied styles are used at SBCS and according to Tannenbaum and Schmidts' leadership continuum which all managers use, moving between the dictator role to the laissez-faire role on a daily basis, depending on the type of subordinates being supervised.

1.5 Staff looks at the type and number of personnel within the organisation.

On board at SBCS, there are more than one hundred and fifty-[150] qualified lecturers and over one hundred and seventy [170] full time members of staff. Lecturers possess both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees as well as valuable years of practical experience that allow them to link theoretical concepts to real work applications.

Approximately 60 percent of the SBCS non-lecturer workforce has taken advantage of one or more of the courses offered at their respective campuses. This is seen as a motivational force by all staff and helps to engender the SBCS philosophy of “the transformation of our human resource into the region's most valuable natural resource”.

1.6 Skill takes into account the talents and innovation of the personnel within the organisation.

At SBCS the diverse staff brings with them experience from fields such as security, telephone service representatives, managers at all levels in retail organisations as well as young persons with no work experience at all.

On-the-job training and classroom training sessions along with role playing sessions allow for all these diverse skills and experiences to be shared among staff and by extension helps to motivate and inculcate the organisations goals and objectives throughout the work force.

External Analysis

2. Political

Trinidad and Tobago firstly has a very stable political structure allowing for free and fair elections and it is the leading financial centre for the southern caribbean. With that in mind on January 1st 2006, Prime Minister, The Honourable Patrick Manning, stated that TLI fees would be funded by the government in the form of the Assistance for Tertiary Expenses Programme, Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) and Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) managed by the Funding and Grants Administration Unit of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education [online][Accessed 6th June 2009]. Available from the World Wide Web <http://www.stte.gov.tt/GATEHome.aspx?id=10>

Due to the global economic downturn, government spending, on infrastructural and development projects, have to be closely monitored and the possibility of state funding for the GATE and HELP programmes to TLIs being reduced or removed are concerns not only for these organisations but the general public who wish to elevate their status in life through education.

2.1 Economic

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) actively encourages foreign direct investment in almost all sectors.

Generally speaking, there are no restrictions or disincentives to investment. As on indicator of a favourable investment climate, the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom for 2009 ranks Trinidad and Tobago sixth in the Western Hemisphere and #29 worldwide out of 162 countries.

The global economic crisis which started in February of 2007, in the US subprime mortgage industry, has resulted in the Trinidad and Tobago government re-assessing the national budget, which was pegged at US$70.00 per barrel, due to the price of oil dropping to under US$ 40.00 per barrel.

The expected shortfall of TT$ 5.3 billion dollars has required serious cuts, and a reduction in recurrent expenditure by TT$ 3.6 billion dollars, a cut of 6.5 percent, and a cut in capital expenditure by TT$1.4 billion dollars, a reduction of 16.1 percent.

The budget surplus of TT$10.4 billion dollars has ensured that the Trinidad and Tobago economy is not in recession at this time.

In fact, not withstanding the slowdown and loss of revenue, the International Monetary Fund has projected that the Trinidad and Tobago economy would have grown by 3.5 percent in fiscal year 2008 and should grow by 2 percent in 2009.

Trinidad and Tobago Government News-Address to the Nation by The Honourable Patrick Manning, Prime Minister [online] [Accessed on 6th June 2009] Available from the WorldWideWeb<http://www.news.gov.tt/index.php?news=797&print>

2.2 Social

The citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago is a consumer based population that wants to earn and spend more. The current global economic crisis has focused the collective mindset of the population with the need for education and the benefit of the lifted status in life gained from this. Mature students have taken advantage of the governments' HELP and GATE programmes, which were not opportunities previously available to them to secure a better financial and social position for themselves, specifically, when the cyclical upturn of the global economy arrives.

2.3 Technological

At SBCS, technology is used extensively from administrative purposes such as the internet and intranet, email and also video conferencing. In the classroom, the use of 3M 850 wall mounted projectors with features that allow lectures notes written on the white board to be saved by the unit and turned into pdf files for later use and distribution to students as course handouts.

Students are also provided free wireless internet access at all campuses on a twenty four hour a day basis. The students request that their systems be added to the network via their course administrators who then forward this request to the Information Technology (I.T.) department at which point the students information is input on the network and they are able to access the system. This has added value to the organisation by affording students the flexibility of safe and secure environment in which to research and study with out the distraction of family commitments and or lack of discipline.

Technology has also assisted SBCS with its' e-marketing campaigns in particular the organisations use of the internet to upload its' presence on both Twitter and Facebook social networking sites, with weekly updates of all activities at SBCS.

The SBCS website also updates students on class information, time changes and cancellations, as well as new courses available.

2.4 Ecological

SBCS adheres to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Act No. 3 (1995), regarding water, noise, air pollution and waste management.

SBCS does not have a large carbon foot print as 80 percent of the waste produced is paper based and, 15 percent of waste is generated by outdated computer equipment. The components of which are recycled internally. The remaining 5 percent is made up of fluorescent light bulbs and electronic ballast. Unfortunately, there are no facilities in Trinidad and Tobago that recycles these materials.

Electricity consumption is also monitored by the Facilities Management teams at each campus. This involves, in most cases, simply turning off lights and air conditioning units when not in use, along with following a detailed preventative maintenance schedule.

Environmental Management Authority [online] [Accessed on 6th June 2009] Available from the World Wide Web< http://ema.co.tt/cms/>

2.5 Legal

The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) was established by an act of Parliament, Act no. 16 of 2004, as the principal body in Trinidad and Tobago for conducting and advising on the accreditation and recognition of post-secondary and tertiary educational training institutions, programmes and awards, whether local or foreign for the promotion of quality and standards for post-secondary and tertiary education and training in Trinidad and Tobago.

Parliament subsequently amended the act, Act no. 16 of 2007, to extend the grace period from two (2) to four (4) years, by which time institutions must be registered with ACTT.

Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago 2009 [online] [Accessed 20th April 2009] Available from the WorldWideWeb< http://www.actt.org.tt/about/article.aspx?id=5694>

SBCS to date has met all accreditation criteria and continues to be the leading TLI in the region.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act 2004 (OSHA) is also an important piece of legislation as it was setup to assure the safety and health of all workers at risk in Trinidad and Tobago by providing the regulatory and legal framework for setting and enforcing standards as described in the Act.

The Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development 2009[online] [Accessed 27th April 2009] Available from the WorldWideWeb<http://www.labour.gov.tt/>

SBCS has formed a Health Safety Security and the Environment (HSSE) committee that deals with policy formulation governing both employees, contractors and contracted labour. The committee also conducts fire drills on a quarterly basis at all campuses and evacuation procedure information is distributed to all students at the beginning of each semester as well posted on all notice boards, classrooms and common areas at each campus.

2.6 Competition

The establishment of the ACTT has created significant barriers to new TLI's entering the market as the guidelines established detail items such as type and size of facilities offered, the type of programmes offered and the qualification of the lecturers as well as the University supporting the programmes are all vetted prior to and continuing throughout the accreditation cycle.

The other key players within the industry include the University of the West Indies [UWI], The University of Trinidad and Tobago [UTT], both of which are owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and as such are exempt from ACTT review, giving them a decided advantage in the market place.

The School of Accounting and Management [SAM] and finally, SITAL College of Tertiary Education Ltd., like SBCS are privately funded TLI's trying to either maintain or improve upon their market share.

The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on SBCS

3. History of FDI to Trinidad and Tobago, Latin America and the Caribbean

Economic reform and trade liberalization have led to substantial foreign investment inflows. The United States (U.S.) continues to be the single largest source of foreign investment in Trinidad and Tobago. Other large foreign investors include the United Kingdom (petroleum and financial services), Canada (petroleum, petrochemicals and financial services), Germany (petrochemicals), India (iron/steel), Norway (petrochemicals), Australia (petroleum), and Spain (petroleum).

The bulk of FDI is in the country's lucrative energy-based sectors. However, there is evidence of growing interest among investors in the non-oil sectors of the economy, in areas such as information technology, wood and wood products and the entertainment industry.

The year-end 2006 total FDI stock in Trinidad and Tobago amounted to US$ 12.4 billion, equivalent to 62.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 2006 FDI inflows totaled US$ 788 million, equivalent to 28 percent of GDP. (Source: UNDP World Investment Report 2007)

The year-end 2006 stock of U.S. direct investment in Trinidad and Tobago on a historical cost basis totaled US$ 3.85 billion dollars. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Survey of Current Business, September 2006)

U.S. energy companies Chevron and EOG Resources have significant investments in oil and gas exploration and production. Other U.S. companies in the upstream energy sector include Anadarko/Kerr McGee and Fluor. Among non-American oil companies are British Petroleum (BP), Repsol YPF, Talisman, Petro-Canada, BHPBilliton and British Gas (BG). U.S. Department of State 2008 Investment Climate Statement - Trinidad and Tobago [online] [Accessed 25th May 2009] Available from the World Wide Web< http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/2008/101020.htm>

In 2008 FDI to Latin America and the Caribbean reached US$128.3 billion dollars, a historical record, considering the current economic difficulties. Several investments that contributed to the 2008 figures were accorded before the financial crisis hit. The economic conditions that led to this result have changed since then, and accordingly, FDI flows to the region are expected to fall between 35 percent and 45 percent during 2009.

FDI flows to the region were 13 percent higher in 2008 than during the pervious year. Although this is a steep drop from the 52 percent increase in FDI in 2007, the result is nevertheless significant when compared to the 15 percent contraction in global FDI flows.

Developing countries increased their participation as recipients of overall FDI form 31 percent in 2007 to 39 percent in 2008. The main recipients were Asia and Oceania (21 percent) and Latin America and the Caribbean (8 percent). FDI towards the Caribbean went up 42 percent, although this was due specifically to investments in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago, which compensated falling FDI elsewhere in the area.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), uncertainty regarding the length and depth of the crisis makes it difficult to predict future volumes of FDI. Although it is expected to drop in 2009, investment would nevertheless be higher than the flows to the region from the period 2001-2006.

Barcena, A. Drop expected in foreign direct investment to Caribbean. 2009. Guardian, 29th May, p. A21.

Over the past five years, Trinidad and Tobago's information Communication Technology (ICT) subscriber base increased by 288.4 percent. Gross revenue from this sector comprises approximately 4 percent GDP. A secure location - climate, geographical and political - makes Trinidad and Tobago an ideal location for offshore data storage and management, as business disruptions are rare.

ICT companies in Trinidad and Tobago, who have supporting the energy industry for years, are well suited to provide outsourced services to that sector internationally. The nearshoring advantages of Trinidad and Tobago as a centre of Business Process Operations (BPO) in healthcare - cultural affinities with customers, time zone overlap and English - makes it ideal for high value BPO centres.

White, D. Information on FDI for T&T from FDI Questionnaire.doc. [online]. Message to Marcus Goring. 9th June 2009. [Accessed 9th June 2009]. Personal Communication

3.1 FDI influence on policy and decision-making at SBCS

SBCS in November 2006 entered into an agreement with the University of Dundee to offer to students in Trinidad and Tobago an MBA in Oil and Gas Management. This initiative was spearheaded by Dr. Maraj who saw the need for qualified “local” personnel at the senior levels of foreign owned and operated petroleum giants such as British Gas (BG), Petro-Canada and Repsol YPF.

The banking and finance sectors, tourism and development sectors and the entertainment industry are all non-oil sectors that are also benefiting from the level of inflows of FDI and at SBCS this trend was planned for and is reflected by the following programmes.

This has added to the stock of other degree options offered at SBCS, such as the University of Sunderland BA in Business management, University of London degrees in management and Business Administration as well as the MBA and DBA degrees from Heriot Watt University.

Information Technology degrees are also offered from the University of Greenwich School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences for both BSc. and MSc. qualification in Computing and Information Systems management which are also recognized by the British Computer Society.

The University of London also offers a BCs. (Hons) Computing and Information Systems.

The engineering degrees offered also cover a wide range of industry applications offering specialization such as the University of Baths' MSc. in Electrical Power Systems and Microsoft Certified Application Specialist.

Financial Management degrees are also offered from the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts.

School of Business and Computer Science Ltd.2009.[online][Accessed 6rth June 2009]. Available for the World Wide Web: <http;//www.sbcs.edu.tt/mainMenu.html>

The level of FDI in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean has ensured the need for skilled personnel from the region and SBCS has placed itself at the forefront of this drive to provide the most industry relevant programmes to satisfy individual and organisational demands.

3.2 Effectiveness of SBCS' response to FDI in Trinidad and Tobago

The energy sector has been the main driving force behind Trinidad and Tobago's average annual growth rate of 7.5 percent over the past 5 years. Currently a number of Downstream Energy plants are in various stages of development, totaling over US$ 6 billion dollars in FDI within the next 3 years.

The financial sector in Trinidad and Tobago is the fastest growing non-petroleum sector, contributing 13.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2007. Trinidad and Tobago is the regional leader in debt capital markets. Trinidad and Tobago is developing an International Financial Centre, to be the major transaction point between North and South American financial sectors. It will focus on capital markets expansion, credit card collections centres and insurance, bank and middle office services. It will contribute 5-7 percent of real GDP and 7000 new jobs by 2020.

International film producers are allowed cash rebates of 12.5 percent - 30 percent for expenditures accrued from rental of local equipment, supplies; payment to the Police, Fire, Ambulance for services; wardrobe, props related items; location fees; employment of local cast and crew; accommodation, food; and local travel, transportation costs. Additionally, the Revolving Investment Arrangement programme provides financial assistance of up to 70 percent of any project.

White, D. Information on FDI for T&T from FDI Questionnaire.doc.[online].Message to Marcus Goring. 9th June 2009.[Accessed 9th June 2009].Personal Communication

The range of general and specialist degree programmes including general management, human resource management, BTEC media studies, security and management of information systems programmes offered at SBCS, ensures that individuals and organisations can be satisfied that both existing and new vacancies can be supplied from local talent within Trinidad and Tobago.

3.3 Areas for SBCS to improve in the response to FDI in Trinidad and Tobago

SBCS in the short term must improve in areas of physical infrastructure, in particular the parking facilities, at all campuses so as to adequately accommodate the number of student vehicles and subsequently their state of mind, safely and securely.

Additional car park space has been secured adjacent to both the Champs Fleurs and Trincity campuses and provision of a student shuttle at both the campuses assists with the problem of not having sufficient car park space onsite.

The number of technical degrees offered at SBCS should be increased as the majority of vacancies on offer at the petroleum companies are in the engineering and project management fields.

Maritime degrees should also be looked into as the port of Port-of-Spain is a vital transshipment hub for goods and services entering and leaving South America and North America for Europe and the pacific region.

Qualified specialists in coastal engineering and in particular, wave mechanics, loads on structures, surf zone dynamics and sediment transport and morphology, are very relevant firstly for the maintenance of the port facilities and secondly, the ongoing process of land reclamation used for new industrial estates and housing complexes.

Reference List

Barcena, A. Drop expected in foreign direct investment to Caribbean. 2009. Guardian, 29th May, p. A21.

Hollensen. S.,[2003]Marketing Management, A Relationship Approach, England, Prentice Hall.

White, D. Information on FDI for T&T from FDI Questionnaire.doc.[online].Message to Marcus Goring. 9th June 2009.[Accessed 9th June 2009].Personal Communication

Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago 2009 [online] [Accessed 20th April 2009] Available from the WorldWideWeb< http://www.actt.org.tt/about/article.aspx?id=5694>

Environmental Management Authority [online] [Accessed on 6th June 2009] Available from the World Wide Web< http://ema.co.tt/cms/>

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education [online][Accessed 6th June 2009]. Available from the World Wide Web <http://www.stte.gov.tt/GATEHome.aspx?id=10>

School of Business and Computer Science Ltd.2009.[online][Accessed 6rth June 2009]. Available for the World Wide Web: <http;//www.sbcs.edu.tt/mainMenu.html>

Trinidad and Tobago Government News - Address to the Nation by The Honourable Patrick Manning, Prime Minister [online] [Accessed on 6th June 2009] Available from the WorldWideWeb<http://www.news.gov.tt/index.php?news=797&print>

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Survey of Current Business, September 2006)

U.S. Department of State 2008 Investment Climate Statement - Trinidad and Tobago [online] [Accessed 25th May 2009] Available from the WorldWideWeb< http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/2008/101020.htm>

(Source: UNDP World Investment Report 2007)

12MANAGE The Executive Fast Track.2009.[online][Accessed 9th March 2009]. Available from the World Wide Web<http://www.12manage.com/methods_7S.html>

12MANAGE The Executive Fast Track.2009.[online][Accessed 2nd April 2009]. Available from the WorldWideWeb<http://www.12manage.com/methods_mintzberg_configurations.html>

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