The effect of change in strategy

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The name of the company is Thomas cook. The star of its career took place on july 5th 1841, it was the first of its kind to travel between Leicester and Loughborough, it used to cover distance of 12 miles with 500 passengers onboard. In 1865 Fleet street London was the street where the first shop was opened in 1865. It was the 1872 when the first world tour was introduced by the Thomas cook, which was first of its kind to provide rail travel of approximately 2500 miles for 222 days. Another milestone was achieved in 1873 when Thomas cook published the time table of trains and tourists handbook, which is now known as the European rail timetable. And in 1919 Thomas cook became the first travel agency to offer the tourists the trip for pleasures by air. The headquarters of Thomas cook were opened at Thorpe wood in Peterborough in 1977. Buying of travel tickets and foreign currencies online was introduced by Thomas cook in 1997. In 2001 Thomas cook purchased C&N touristic AG and changed the logo to Thomas cook AG. 2003 was the year when Thomas cook launched its own airline in the United Kingdom with its own logo. Then in 2007 a merger took place Thomas cook merged with the MyTravel group plc and formed a group as Thomas cook AG PLC. The year 2008 saw the expansion in the share market of Thomas cook AG which issued 74.9% shares in India and in Egypt the 100% of the Thomas cook's branded businesses and moreover issued the licenses for 15 Middle East countries. In 2010 another boost was achieved by the Thomas cook which purchased the 100% shares of two big companies, first was a company named Think W3 and other was a German travel packaging company known as Ogre Tour.

Thomas cook's Group Strategy

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The group strategy of Thomas cook was multi-dimensioned, which mainly focused on building the base of current business and at the same time the take over and investment in future growth businesses was also there. The take over and investment was made in mostly in independent travel or travel related financial services providing companies and the strategy was to either acquire, merge or make partnership with these companies to ensure the growth.

Aims and Objectives

Holidays are considered to be the best part of the year by most of the working people because they want to enjoy these moments and make the memorable, this is the reason why our customer have strong bond with us and they expect a lot from us. So here our objective is to live up to their expectations and even go beyond their dreams by providing the services upto the standards. The strategy that was established in 2007 when the Thomas cook formed a group by merging with MyTravel group was quite opposite to our vision, so what we did was that we reviewed our strategy and develop the one which was essential for our stability in the marketplace and its changes.4 principles of our strategy are provided by the shared value of our team and their desire to work together, our collection of travel brands our technology and our services are the authorizers which assist our growth base..

Recommendation critical analysis

I have already mentioned above the Thomas cook's group strategy and its aims and objectives now I will present my critical thought on it. Their group strategy was confined to aim at investing in the well growing businesses and acquisitions, mergers and taking over.

There is key division can be seen in the Thomas cook UK and Ireland from the parent company. It constitutes of more than half of overall employees of Thomas cook and moreover it serves not less than 6.3 million passengers. Thomas cook UK and Ireland was already the number one travel company of United Kingdom even before the merger that took place between Thomas Cook AG and MyTravel, so this merger was totally unnecessary. Accenture was the integration expert which helped in designing and developing the integrated solution to provide a same technology base and financial structure in 2006. The one SAP platform individually produced huge productivity in terms of visibility and crystal clarity across the organization; this was stated by the Chief Information Officer of Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, Carl Dawson. It was the first time when we developed the ability to monitor and evaluate the business performance and the single view of UK and Ireland group's transactions processed was gained. We became able gain one version of the truth. We were aware of the fact that we were generating the money or losing it because we have vanished the use of 13 different financial systems to analyse the progress. Moreover by customizing the SAP system to eventually support the three core areas of business i.e. HR, IT and Finance, industrial strength interfaces between the back office functions and important front office applications were built by the team such as the tour operations, sales and reservations. Another milestone was also achieved by the team by motivating the Accenture's change management professionals to develop an communications portal which was SAP-enabled, which was used to assist the Thomas Cook UK and Ireland to channelize all of their communications to the entire organization. It was reported by the division that the revenues from the sales were €2.5 billion ( it was approximately equal to US$3.69 billion) or it was equivalent to one-third of Thomas Cook AG's sales of the year..

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It is a fact that the lady luck has not always shined upon the fate of Thomas Cook UK and Ireland. The company has a quite good reputation in the market, due to its service and its Brand name, but the company is a part of industry which is known for low margins and high competitiveness. In this situation the top agenda of top management most of the time remains to develop innovative ways to cut the costs and save money, it was 2001 when the need to streamline the operations was felt. It was the same year in which 9/11 attacks took place and mesmerized the travel sector all over the world and created a worldwide economic meltdown. Huge losses were faced by the Travel companies that over the period of time had a good financial performance.

Sales, Tour operations and the airline were the three business units of Thomas Cook UK which needed integration to perform well and it was the complicating matter which needed to be resolved. The main problem was that all the three units had their own management board and infrastructure, financial processes and information technology (IT) systems. Decentralization was part and parcel of everything at the same time each business unit also had its own back office in effect. In a an industry which changes with the blink of an eye, in the form of discount airlines and state of the art online travel service provisions, low cost structures etc., in this scenario the existence of the back-office posed a threat to the company's practicability .

Launching a Total Transformation

as these challenges were face by the Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, they took a brave step towards transforming its business upside down, by cutting operating costs, enhancing margins and focusing on its competitive advantage. The main part of the transformation resulted in the step towards integrating operations and single center was created for back-office processes in the domains of HR, finance and Accounting, Payroll and IT. It was common practice of other companies to optimize the back-office operations which was not adopted by the Thomas Cook UK and Ireland they went a step ahead by showing no interest in simply developing a lower-cost way of accomplishing the same business processes. For the achievement for common objectives, organizations develop strategic relationships with each other. In this process those organizations are involved that trust each other at high level and this relationship was for the purpose of investment and share the related risks.

They become joint companies. Thomas Cook chose to be Accenture due to few causes, in those causes experience and in depth knowledge, capability of adopting change very quickly, it wants to continuous changes and carry on changes in order to make their business successful, are included. It was because of the good recorded kept by Accenture through out its career of delivering high quality products and services. It was stated by Martin Alley he is the director of purchasing and shared services at Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, by making alliance with Accenture, we were expecting to get more benefits and we trust that we would get our desired results.

TASK2: Use modeling tools to develop strategic options for your chosen organization and propose a suitable structure for a strategy plan that ensures appropriate participation from all stakeholders.

Make a strategy which will beneficial to stakeholders

Use making strategy models online.

In 2007, Thomas Cook UK and Ireland was able to reduce cost and deliver high quality products and services on the continuous basis. This was occurred due to out sourcing program and that program assists it to attain all these benefits. When merger took place between Thomas Cook merged and My Travel in June 2007, that outsourcing again played a vital role and contributed lot of value in the organization of Thomas Cook that was converted in Thomas Cook Group plc.

This decision of merger between Thomas Cook's and MyTravel Group plc was made. The logic behind that merger was that Thomas Cook thought that they can better perform combine and provide services at low cost to the millions of passenger of Europe that alone was not possible. It is well said that when two companies merge each other they get benefit of synergy, in order to get benefit of synergy they joined their UK operations it increased their market value. They only integrated their operations in UK because in UK they have same type of organizational structure and business plan. And it was stated by Juergen Bueser, "There was extreme need to integrate it.

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They both took it seriously to integrate their operations in short span of time and they became successful and only four months they integrated with each other. In the beginning of the year winter travel time they almost finished their integration process and started business jointly. This gave lot of benefits to both of the organizations because each company has its employees, customer and whole operating system when they integrated they became double and that was done in a very short span of time. It was agreed by both side that Thomas Cook would deal front-office systems and processes; on the other hand MyTravel will deal back-office functions. It was because of expertise of Thomas Cook because they were expert in dealing this front operations but My Travel was expert to perform back door tasks easily. It was capability of Accenture that created trust by Thomas Cook he is intelligent person and can understand things easily. He focused on ten years outsourcing programs and Thomas Cook carried out their decisions because it trusted on the basis of past performance that he could be able to do what ever he was planning.

It was tremendous success of Thomas Cook's history that it made as successful merger decisions. It was stated by Manny Fontenla-Novoa, he is the chief executive of the Thomas Cook Group, that this merger will give almost US$300 million synergy. Because both business uses their capability combine Thomas Cook would deal in front line and MyTravel deal in back line to perform their tasks jointly. This merger would assist them to reduce their costs by 30 to 40 percent. In the very short time approximately in six months Thomas Cook was able to take place in the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 for the first time in the life of the company and that showed this was the company among 100 companies that has highest market capitalization in UK stock exchange.

Creating a Culture of High Performance

It has been proved by Accenture's research that organization should continuously make changes according to environmental changes in order to meet current requirements and avail opportunities of tomorrow. This all can only be possible when organizations keep update their workforce and infra structure. The decision of outsourcing that was taken by Thomas Cook, it became successful due to careful consideration by management and true spirit to make it successful.

It was initial effort made by both Accenture and Thomas Cook that they not only focus to bring change but to achieve desired results from it and this would be actual success. And at the end they developed an outsourcing plan and develop a new culture to make this program successful. In that culture they promoted strong relationships, governance was focused, innovation was encouraged and most importantly they focused on continuous improvement.

Conclusion:

The name of the company is Thomas cook. The star of its career took place on july 5th 1841, it was the first of its kind to travel between Leicester and Loughborough, it used to cover distance of 12 miles with 500 passengers onboard.

The group strategy of Thomas cook was multi-dimensioned, which mainly focused on building the base of current business and at the same time the take over and investment in future growth businesses was also there. There is key division can be seen in the Thomas cook UK and Ireland from the parent company. It constitutes of more than half of overall employees of Thomas cook and moreover it serves not less than 6.3 million passengers.

It is a fact that the lady luck has not always shined upon the fate of Thomas Cook UK and Ireland. The company has a quite good reputation in the market, due to its service and its Brand name, but the company is a part of industry which is known for low margins and high competitiveness.

In 2007, Thomas Cook UK and Ireland was able to reduce cost and deliver high quality products and services on the continuous basis. This was occurred due to out sourcing program and that program assists it to attain all these benefits. They both took it seriously to integrate their operations in short span of time and they became successful and only four months they integrated with each other. It has been proved by Accenture's research that organization should continuously make changes according to environmental changes in order to meet current requirements and avail opportunities of tomorrow.