The use of innovative marketing and product concepts
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Innovative marketing and product concepts made OSIM International Ltd a leader in the industry of Home Health-care products. Franchise agreements among most of the cross border operations are implemented to ensure capitalization of local marketing expertise and practices of the franchisees. OSIM International Ltd are now employing expressive marketing and distribution system which enables the management to analyze customer needs and preferences both on the regional and local market bases and customize product designs to exceed customer expectations and also in order to address the company weakness. Despite of this effort of the company, the current financial situation of the company is quite unusual, thus a need for financial situational analysis is a must. For most businesses today, the progress and development they created are recorded as basis of their success. These records also serve as essential thing in making decision in business and of course as a benchmark for measuring the firm’s performance for the period under scrutiny (Ali, A 1993 and Pike, R & Neale, B 1999). A financial situation analysis is one such gauge that documents current and future financial situation in an attempt to determine a financial strategy to help achieve organisational goals.
The objective of this paper of evaluates and analyses the business performance of OSIM by reviewing the financial information for the past 3 years. Actually, it attempts to examine the financial statements of the company by using tools such as Ratio Analysis and also to see what might be the other factors that can influence the company’s growth and its decision making and than to see the limitations of the financial analysis. These performance indicators are better known as ratios and constitute the main tools of conventional financial analysis. This serves as a proof that more and more organisations are realising the importance the analysis of their financial situation in order to keep up with the demands of the business world. Basically, this paper will be discussing the financial status of OSIM holdings Ltd. in accordance to their financial ratios in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Corporate Profile of OSIM
OSIM International Ltd was believed a global leader in healthy lifestyle products. The company was originally founded by Ron Sim in Singapore in 1980. During that time OSIM was under the name of R Sim Trading, an electrical and household appliance company. Using their small start-up capital, the company engages with the promotion of household products such as knife sharpeners, knife and mobile clothes drying rods. Apparently, in 1989, the company listed with the name “Health Check and Care”, and later on shifted their main focus to healthy lifestyle products. The time following this created great development for the company, and it manages to produce outlets in Indonesia and Malaysia.
In 1993, the company officially introduced the OSIM brand name and its distribution network grown up to 60 point-of-sale outlets in Asia. By the year 2002, OSIM formed its global business headquarters in Singapore at 65 Ubi Avenue 1. The Business Headquarters Status (BHQ) was awarded to OSIM by The Economic Development Board. In 1993, the company opened its first concept shop in Shanghai, in the People’s Republic of China. Currently, OSIM operates about 1,100 outlets in more 30 countries worldwide.
Figure 1. 2007 to 2009 Business Performance of OSIM
As seen in figure 1, the performance of OSIM is at its peak in the 2nd quarter of 2007. But suffers from continues decline in year 2008 up to the 1st quarter of 2009 due the global recession experienced not only by OSIM but of most businesses around the globe. Despite of the recession, OSIM still devices some strategy that will enhance their business performance. As seen in the presentation, there is also a slight revival of business performance in 2009 and it seems that this trend will continue up to the end of 2010. As recorded in ft.com, OSIM International Ltd (O23:SES) set a new 52-week high during today’s trading session when it reached 0.615. Over this period, the share price is up 692.04%. Over the last week OSIM International Ltd (O23:SES) outperformed the Straits Times index..
As indicated in the company report of OSIM, their primary markets are located in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan and currently no company poses a significant threat to them as a major competitor (Osim International Ltd. 2009). The company believed that they have the have a competitive edge over their competitors in their primary markets as their extensive distribution network of outlets is dedicated to home health-care products. As part of the business development of the company, they currently exercise the full control over their point-of-sales network and dictate to their distribution chain ‘how’ to sell and not only ‘what’ to sell (Osim International Ltd. 2009). Furthermore, OSIM also control their supply chain, from the design of the products up to the distribution and marketing of the products. In general, the company considers Sanyo and Omron as their competitors.
Actually, Sanyo is a major electronics company and member of the Fortune 500 whose headquarters is located in Moriguchi, Osaka prefecture, Japan. Sanyo targets the middle of the market and has over 324 offices and plants worldwide. On the other hand, Omron is an old company which was established in 1933 and incorporated in 1948 by Kazuma Tateishi. Similar to Sanyo, Omron’s core expertise is the manufacture and sale of automation components, equipment and systems, but it is generally known for medical equipment such as digital thermometers, blood pressure monitors and nebulizers. As seen, these competitors are not directly targeting the market of OSIM which are mostly home health-care products.
However, in response to the competitors and in order to handle competitive pressures from manufacturers of low-priced products in the PRC market, the company have developed ”NORO” as a secondary brand to sell lower-priced massage chairs and kneading massagers to the segment of the consumer market which are more sensitive to pricing (Osim International Ltd. 2009).
While the barriers to entry into the home health-care products industry are not exorbitant, new entrants may possibly face high start-up costs and needed to compete against established brands. New entrants may also be short of the knowledge of ‘how’ to sell and ‘where’ to sell. Thus, the company is convinced that in this industry, strategic marketing and branding are crucial. Furthermore, new entrants might find it more complicated to set up a distribution network. For example, owners of strategic departmental stores and suburban shopping malls usually prefer the more well-established names. In addition, the comparison of financial values can will be discussed in the next secrtion.
Characteristically, financial measures as well as the affiliations employed in performance depth are designed to stress outcomes with least or no consideration of the decision processes of the manager. The usual or conventional way of performance was based on episodic profitability gauges without the concern to particular variables that drive these measures (Daroca & Nourayi, 2002). Performance in the past is mainly based on conventional accounting and measures based on market performance. In particular, these measures include the evaluation on net income, return on equity/capital employed, earnings per share as well as share-price return. Some financial outrages have put corporate governance in the business spotlight. Basically, the issues and interest in the subject corporate finance can be traced back at least to the eighteenth century and economists such as Adam Smith. Certainly, there is probably little new in the existing debate involving to financial negligence, except for the range of the financial and economic consequences which replicate the greater importance of finance in the current economy. As stated previously, the aim of this presentation is to scrutinize the economic and financial context of corporate governance of a home health-care products company i.e. OSIM. It attempts to evaluate the past, current and future situation of this business in terms of the financial reports. Basically, corporate governance has significant impact for the performance of the financial sector and, by addition, the economy as whole. Well-organised resource allocation is supported by strapping shareholder control rights, which assists investment in fresh development actions and confines the scope for corporate over-investment.
Actually, investment decisions are further correlated to corporate governance insofar as investors prefer to invest in suitably supervised businesses and be fitting to avoid investing in uncertain environments. In this manner, the investor assertion created by sound corporate governance stipulations and the security of marginal shareholders encourages the financial market progress by encouraging share ownership and capable capital allocation across firms. Transparent financial reporting is necessary to sending efficient corporate governance.
For the last several years, the home health-care products industries in Singapore have seen the rapid growth of the number of firms offering financial situation analysis services. This serves as a proof that more and more organisations are realising the importance the analysis of their financial situation in order to keep up with the demands of the business world.
Analysis of Information
As seen in figure 1, the Osim International Ltd’s 2009 revenues grew revenues 4.40% from 456.66m to 476.77m. This along with an increase in selling, general and administrative costs has contributed to a reduction in net income from a gain of 99.44m to a gain of 23.33m. From the record for 2009, the company actually suffers from profit decline due to the effect of global recession. As seen, their 2007 performance is expressive compared in 2008 or even in 2009. From these results, we can deviate that OSIM was not performing well in 2009 and 2008 as compared to their expressive 2007. Despite of some downturns in 2008 and 2009 due to the global business crisis, the year 2010 shows interesting trend. From the gathered information, it is expected that in 2010 both the revenue and net income of OSIM will be constantly moving upward.
Figure 2. Summary of Profitability Ratios
(Prices are in SGD)
From the given situation and results of revenue and net income of OSIM, the company not only needs to evaluate their business strategies but also the political, economic, and cultural factors of their host country i.e. Singapore. It is not whether the business is in a market oriented status or not. The business norms in Singapore have been changing and are becoming more compatible with international codes and norms after a series of economic reforms (Barton, D., Newell, R. & Wilson. G. 2002). Given the nature of the Singapore economy and the large potential of the market, doing business with Singapore requires a continuous process of learning, caution for instability, and flexibility to catch opportunities. In terms of gross margin, OSIM surpasses both Sanyo and Omron. Despite of the large market of Sanyo and Omron, OSIM was still performing expressively.
Liquidity and Debt Ratios
In financial analysis, the balance sheets of company reports conform to the financial ratios (see Appendix for the complete details of balance sheets of OSIM). The purpose of ratios is to find out how profitable the company is, we can calculate if company has enough liquid resources to pay its creditors, employees and finance charges. It is a useful to shareholders to find out their value of shares. Ratios are most powerful and simplest tool to evaluate company’s performance and its validity (Riahi-Belkaoui, A 1998).
Atril & Mclaney (2004) stated that by calculating a relatively small number of ratios, it is often possible to build up a reasonably good picture of the position and performance of a business. Ratios help to highlight the financial strengths and weaknesses of a business, but they can not, by themselves, explain why certain strengths or weaknesses exist, or why certain changes occurred. Just by details investigation will find the reasons. Ratios can be grouped into certain categories; each of them identifies a particular aspect of financial performance or, position. In this part of the paper, we’ll be considering the liquidity ratios and debt ratio of OSIM.
Liquidity ratios show how quickly the company can meet its short-term obligations using its current assets (Riahi-Belkaoui, A 1998). The following ratios are needed to determine the status of liquidity of the firm under analysis:
Current Ratio; and
Each of them are calculated for OSIM as follows:
The current ratio shows the ability of the company to pay its liabilities, i.e. debts and payables during the period (Pike, R & Neale, B 1999). It is expressed as:
As an alternative to the use of the current ratio, which may include financial statement items that are not easily liquidated and have uncertain liquidation values, the quick ratio does not include inventory in the computation of liquidity (Pike, R & Neale, B 1999). In formula:
Figure 3. Summary of Liquidity and Debt Ratios
It is evident in the computations that OSIM was always in good position to meet its short-term debt for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 compared to 2005 despite of the global crisis. This means that OSIM is always bale to meet their current liabilities using their current assets (cash, inventory, receivables) as compared to both Sanyo and Omron. The figures are not high so as to make the shareholders fear that the assets of the company are not working to grow the business, and not low so as to drive creditors away with respect to the level of risk present. Since quick ratios are perceived as a sign of the company’s financial strength or weakness, the figures in the previous table shows the relative stability of the financial strength of OSIM. A higher number would indicate stronger financial performance, and a lower one means weaker performance.
Apparently, the high financial leverage ratios of OSIM provide an implication that the organisation is solvent in the long-term. With this regard, the debt ratio shows the OSIM’s position to meet its long-term obligation or liabilities. Debt ratios are dependent of the company’s classification of long-term leases and other items as long-term debt (Pike, R & Neale, B 1999). Pike, R & Neale, B 1999, stated that this is the gauge with which the financial strength of a company is a sign of the ratio of capital that has been funded by liability, counting preference shares.
A higher debt ratio (which means the company has low equity ratio) does not give the firm’s creditors the security they require from an organisation (Pike, R & Neale, B 1999). The firm would, as a result, find difficulty in raising supplementary financial support coming from outside sources if the firm wishes to take such action. Therefore it reveals that the higher the debt ratio, the harder it is for the company to raise funds from the outside.
For the recorded 2007-2009 business performance of OSIM Holdings Limited, the company generated a worldwide group turnover of around SGD 477 million. This is an expressive market share in global home health-care products business. In Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan which is OSIM’s largest markets, their combined domestic sales accounted for 85.6 per cent. of their Group’s revenues. In Singapore, IPS Brothers Enterprise Pte Ltd and Goh Joo Hin Pte Ltd market akin home health-care products under the brands of Oto and Lifestyle respectively (Osim International Ltd. 2009). In Hong Kong, National and Omron are OSIM’s competitors. In Taiwan, there are many retailers in the home health-care products industry and OSIM do not consider any company as a major competitor to them (Osim International Ltd. 2009).
Actually, the claim of OSIM is valid since there are no published statistics or official sources of information on companies engaged in the retail and distribution of home health-care products in their primary markets, thus, the company are unable to determine their market share. However, the company assumed that they are one of the leaders in Asia in this business based on 2 market surveys in 1999 which they had commissioned international survey firms, The Gallup Organisation and ACNielsen (China) Ltd (”ACNielsen”), to undertake to determine their market positions in Singapore and Hong Kong respectively. The Gallup Organisation’s survey revealed that in Singapore, OSIM is the number 1 brand for electronic home health-care products when compared to other brands like National, Omron, Oto and Lifestyle, in terms of the following (Osim International Ltd. 2009):
perceived image in terms of quality, trustworthiness, brand preference, technology, designs and
features, range of products, customer service and value for money.
On the other hand, the ACNielsen’s survey revealed that in Hong Kong, OSIM was also number 1 in terms of overall brand preference for massage chairs, foot reflexology rollers, pulse massagers and pulse monitors (Osim International Ltd. 2009). Actually, in the ACNielsen’s survey, OSIM was compared with brands like National, Oto, Sharp and Philips.
With respect to the given information in the company website, the following presentation will show the SWOT analysis of OSIM. Actually, SWOT analysis can provide a framework for identifying and analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threat. This can also provide an impetus to analyze a situation and develop suitable strategies and tactics, a basis for assessing core capabilities and competences. Moreover, this can provide the evidence for, and cultural key to change and a stimulus to participation in a group experience.
Wide experience in apparels market – as they have been in the business for almost 42 years now, their directors can consider their experience in operating venture as strength.
Reasonable price offerings of products and services- since they able to keep their overheads low, this allows them to have better control of their prices. This is considered strength because naturally, people would look for a reasonably-priced place to stay in that equally do not sacrifice service and product quality.
Already has developed a good reputation for value for money – since they have been operating for great number of years, they already have built a name for themselves, attracting a number of loyal customers along the way.
Good industry skills – the directors of different divisions of OSIM are natural for the business that they ventured into, both being outgoing and friendly, the most important public relation skills that clients look for.
Although, the company has seen much strength, OSIM also encompasses some weaknesses.
One of its weaknesses is the declining confidence of some of its shareholders. Even though the group was successful, some of the shareholders are not confident due to the current crisis. The company should create ways to address this weakness.
Another weakness of OSIM is their inability to have a system that will enhance their marketing and distribution processes. The advancement of technology nowadays is one of the weaknesses of OSIM. Although the company are now adopting different advance technologies, the room for improvement are still open. Thus, it is suggested for the group to have focus in their research and development department.
Actually, the group was expressively dominating in the market of Singapore but with regards to the current global financial crisis, OSIM are dragged by the current condition of the country as seen in their financial ratios. Thus, another form of their weakness is their mutual bond to the economy of Singapore. However, if economic growth grows at a rate greater than inflation, then the total of business earnings should be dragged along as well.
To increase profitability in the face of increased demand for their business offerings – this opportunity came from the social areas in the rise in the number of population and changes to consumer preferences.
To better improve business performance – due to the presence of more competitors, they have the opportunity to develop the business’ core competencies so that they can still get ahead of the game.
To expand business coverage – through excellent management and marketing activities, the OSIM could enlarge the business, not only increase the size of the physical facilities and improve offered amenities, but also to expand market scope, possibly to other countries.
Continued increase in the number of competitors. Increase in competition would mean tougher business development.
Inability to cope up with modern developments – this serves as a serious threat, as the competitors have shown that they have the capacity to include modern technology in their services and products offerings.
Aggressive competitors – as seen in the current environment of Singapore, there are numerous businesses that offer services and products similar to OSIM. This is, off the bat, the most aggressive competitor that the business has to face for the time being, aggressive with respect to the quality of product and services offerings.
Porter’s Five Forces
A Five-Force model (see Figure 4) was conducted in the context of the global cosmetic industry. Despite being a market leader, OSIM is not yet resting on its laurels of success, but instead, continuously innovating and developing their company in order to maintain what it has managed to achieve up to this time. Thus, they have constantly formulated competitive strategies in order to attain this. Forces outside the industry are significant primarily in a relative sense; since outside forces usually affect all firms in the industry, the key is found in the differing abilities of firms to deal with them. The most dominant strategic management paradigm in recent years is known as the strategies model (Fredrickson 1991). The state of competition in an industry, in this case the apparel industry, depends on five basic competitive forces, which will be here.
The strength of the competitive forces in an industry determines the degree to which the inflow of investment occurs and drives the return to the free market level, and thus the ability of firms to sustain above-average returns. ‘The underlying structure of an industry, reflected in the strength of the forces, should be distinguishable from the many short-run factors that can affect competition and profitability in a transient way’ (Porter 1998:3). For instance, variations in the economic environment over the business cycle manipulate the short-run productivity of the retailing industry, as can material deficiencies, strikes, and the like. Even though such factors may have strategic implications, the focal point of the analysis of industry structure is on categorising the basic, fundamental features of the industry rooted in its economics and technology that shape the arena in which competitive strategy must be set (Porter 1998).
The five competitive forces – suppliers, buyers, competitive rivalry among firms currently in the industry, product substitutes and potential entrants to the industry – reveal the fact that the competition in the home health-care goes well further than the already existing business (Davies & Lam 2001). Customers, suppliers, substitutes, and potential entrants are all ‘competitors’ to firms in the industry and may be more or less prominent depending on the particular circumstances (Porter 1998). All five competitive forces mutually establish the amount of industry rivalry and productivity, and the most influential forces are prevailing and becoming decisive in terms of strategy formulation. In OSIM’s case, even them who have a very well-built market leadership in the home health-care products industry where entrants have little or no threat will receive small returns on their profits if it has to face a superior quality and lower-cost alternative.
Figure 4. Porter’s Five Forces Model
Industry Competitors. In the global business industry, regulatory and technological changes are the main catalysts, making entrenched competitive structures obsolete and mandating the development of new products, new processes, new strategies, and new public policies toward the industry under analysis. Financial centres, in vigorous competition with each other, have undergone further regulatory change in their efforts to capture a greater share of international trade in financial services, even as common efforts at the regional and global level have tried to support safety and soundness and a reasonably level competitive playing field. Basically, there are numerous cosmetic players in the industry, included in the list is OSIM, who strive for market leadership in all their business aspects. As such, the level of industry competition is very stiff and very aggressive.
Potential Entrants. Natural barriers to entry in the global apparel industry include the need for capital investment, human resources, and technology and the importance of economies of scale. It also includes the role of contracting costs avoided by a close relationship between the vendor and its client, which in turn is related to the avoidance of opportunistic behaviour by either party. The competitive structure of the industry therefore depends on the degree of potential competition. This represents an application of the ‘contestable markets’ concept, which suggests that the existence of potential entrants causes existing players to act as if those entrants were already active in the market. Consequently, pricing margins, product quality, and the degree of innovation in this industry exhibits characteristics of intense competition even though the degree of market concentration is in fact quite high.
Buyers. Home health-care products have a long history–a history rich in product diversity, international scope, and, above all, continuous change and adaptation. These competitive changes have forced adaptations, and in general have improved the level and efficiency offer to clients, thereby increasing transactional volume. Coupled with these, the customers have become informed concerning clothing products that OSIM-like companies offer. They have required that service providers meet their very specific individual needs, therefore showing that clients to this industry have shaped what it is right now. This means, on an overall note, that buyers have a high influence on the workings of the global industry pertaining to home health-care products, as they have the ability to affect it.
Suppliers. The suppliers to this industry are mainly the providers of technology and materials in home health-care firms use in the conduct of their businesses. There is an enormous variety of new ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ technologies at work within the said industry. Hard technologies include advances in telecommunications, computers, analytics, software tools, and video communications, which are enabling participants to have better information at lower cost; to integrate this information with thinking, communication, and analysis; and, finally, to use the resulting knowledge along with other technologies to distribute services to clients more efficiently, effectively, and economically. Soft technologies, or financial innovation – things like, say, the use of derivative instruments such as interest rate and currency swaps – often use these hard technologies to rethink the delivery of services. Out of these hard and soft technologies have come the securitisation and globalisation movements so often talked about in the press. From the above enumeration, it could be said that suppliers significantly affect the cosmetic industry through their tools of trade.
Substitutes. There is a high level of substitutes for the healthy and lifestyle products industry, evidenced by the numerous numbers of major players in the global market. The cost to transfer to another beauty firm is also relatively low, so the substitution rate is pretty high.
The results of the analysis carried out on performance, financial and marketing indicated very significant effects on business sustainability, even amidst the threats of unrest. Therefore, we could conclude that the business strategies such financial and marketing could still be expected to improve business sustainability faster than average.
The review of financial capabilities and resources towards business sustainability revealed very little inconsistencies regarding its strategies. This is coherent with its traditional inside-out approach. However, the need to reconcile both the inside-out and outside-in approaches becomes imperative now for marketing.
Moreover, it can be said that OSIM is a company whose financial situation is stable and highly likely to improve in the years to follow. To sustain their development, the company should regularly assess the value of their portfolio of its business. They have to be positioned on fast-growing opportunities, whether geographically or by market segment through choosing to invest in businesses with long-term tail-wind profiles. If the current financial situation carries on consistently, OSIM would well achieve their vision of becoming the leader in their industry and a major player in each of their market segments and key geographical markets. The comparison of the past and present performance helped in bringing out pertinent bits of information which led to the conclusion that the Singapore offices adds value and contributes significantly to the progress of the firm as a whole.
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