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1. Identify the problems faced by Thomson, using the following headings:
The problems that Thomson Holidays might be facing mainly originate from the following aspects: human resources, operations and marketing.
As a division of the largest tourism and services group-TUI UK Ltd, with the increasing expansion of the whole corporation, it is reasonable to assume that Thomson might meet such problems as falling behind with the head office's development in human resources. As a matter of fact, the training of employees, especially new and junior employees is an indispensable part of the primary tasks in HR department. Generally, when the parent company make certain policy or strategy adjustment, in order to keep up with the integrated pace of the group, Thomson need to make the subsequent changes in these areas. However, giving the related training to employees apparently is not an issue that can be handled immediately; on the contrary, it is a process which requires some time to ensure that the leaders of Thomson have grasped the core of the innovation accurately and have configured the training pattern appropriately. Therefore, during the process mentioned above, we can not deny the fact that there could be some danger hidden behind.
Since the majority of Thomson's employees work overseas, apart from the HR matters, another problem it might face is the high costs on staff training. In other words, compare with the companies whose employees primarily work in a certain area, Thomson might spend far more time and capital on training staff all over the branches.
Further and even more importantly, ensuring all the employees to carry out the policies and rules of the company uniformly is undoubtedly a difficulty due to the situation that the staff work dispersedly. For instance, it is mentioned that “to be Number One” is the essential corporation culture in Thomson, while how to guarantee this philosophy to be fully implemented among staff might be an issue deserved more attention and efforts. As a consequence, strong operation management, regular staff training and good communication between different departments and branches are required for the actualization for this aim.
Although Thomson shares approximately one-third of the UK market and thus owns an honor as the leader in this holiday field, it is still not difficult to find that the main market of Thomson is oriented in Europe. In the last decade, manifest is the fact that the tourism industry in many developing countries has experienced significant growth, as a result, the potential of non-Europe holiday market such as China, Japan and India can not be ignored. Therefore, if Thomson will not set about the assessment and development of new markets, it might meet the bottleneck in future development.
2. Thomson is a very customer-focused company which aims to provide excellent customer service at all times.
a) Explain how a business such as Thomson can use marketing as a means to attract new customers and maintain its reputation.
b) Define the term ‘market segmentation' and explain how this would work for a company such as Thomson Holidays.
Today, marketing is far more customer-oriented and the section of customer service has gained the status that exerts considerable influence on the whole economic activities. Thomson adapted itself into this trend by the rebranding campaigns mentioned in the article, which is one kind of efficient methods as using the present market image to acquire new customers and retain existed customers as well. In additionally, a wide variety of products serving all age and taste customers as another means can attract customers and maintain its reputation effectively.
The term ‘market segmentation' describes the phenomenon that separating a market into distinct groups of potential consumers who share common characteristics and interests and who are likely to be attracted to particular products or services. Market segmentation works in almost every field of the modern economic activities and enables such companies as Thomson Holidays who account for a large proportion of market to enjoy the benefits generated by the market segmentation.
3. Thomson has diversified into many other business areas. Give two examples of this and explain the reasons why Thomson may have adopted this strategy.
Thomson has diversified into many other areas such as leisure travel retail and teletext and internet specialist. One of the benefits this strategy has brought to Thomson is reducing the risk of running single business, therefore ensuring a better protection system within the group. The other benefit to be mentioned is generating more profits that come along with these related business fields.
4. Managing a company as large as Thomson involves a considerable amount of joint effort on the part of executive managers, with regular contact across all units.
a) Briefly describe the likely roles and responsibilities of senior management in the operation of a multinational organisation such as Thomson.
b) What are the challenges typically faced by an organisation like Thomson in managing its international workforce effectively? Suggest ways in which they could overcome these challenges.
The main responsibilities of senior management in such multinational organisation as Thomson are deciding the principal direction of the group, establishing uniquely valuable corporation culture and improving the integrated management structure.
One of the challenges Thomson might be confronted is the retention of the market shares and competitive status. Because of the domination of customer service section in the whole holiday market, Thomson should set about the analysis of present and potential market, establish corresponding strategy against the typical competitors, improve the customer service system and thus maintain the reputation and profit in the holiday market.
What's more, as I mentioned above, with the expansion of the integrated group, Thomson need to pay more attention to the management system and reduce the potential risk in the personnel management area. In other words, the senior managers need to shoulder the responsibility to guarantee a unanimous development in all the branches and a smooth communication between different departments and branches.
This requires reasonable management structure, strong operation management, regular staff training and efficient cooperation and communication in different departments and branches.