The Strategic Challenges Facing The Firm Commerce Essay

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The merit for developing an idea of Manpower Inc goes to Aaron Scheinfeld, who was a quite successful lawyer. It all started when Mr. Scheinfeld represented an insurance company in a dispute against a stevedoring company. He won the case for the insurance company. After this success, the owners of the stevedoring company met him and told him that they could accomplish much more if they joined hands. He then became a strategist of the stevedoring company. As the II world war ended, the US government did not need much of the equipment used for the war and began storing them for future use. The government entered into contracts with labor contracting agencies to do this. The stevedoring company of which Scheinfeld was a part was one of those companies. They employed temporary workforce at the storage sites and moved on to the next sites after the work was done. These temporary employment contracts instilled the idea of Manpower Inc. Mr. Scheinfeld observed that the demand for workforce varied with time. There were periods when there was high demand and periods with low demands. This made him think of establishing a company which could meet these demands of the markets and provide temporary, skilled workers to organizations which needed them. He wanted to provide the required employees to the organizations on a temporary basis and charge them for the services of these employees. The employees, however, were on the payroll of Manpower. The company was to make profits from the difference between what was charged for the services and what was paid to the workers. The owners of the stevedoring company did not show much interest in the idea and Mr. Scheinfeld eventually sold his stake in this company to establish Manpower Inc along with Elmer Winter.

The company was among the first of its kind during the initial years of its establishment. Hence, the threat of competition was considerably low or almost non existent during these years. But, the company did not have only advantages during these initial periods as it had to venture into a rather alien terrain of employment services. However, in the years to follow, there were many such enterprises with similar functions as Manpower Inc, some of which were inspired by the success of Manpower Inc. The success of Manpower influenced many others to establish similar organizations as the demand and supply gap was considerably huge in the sector of employment agencies. As the number of competitors increased in the years to come, the company had to resort to change of strategic management to handle this new competition. This was done by the implementation of innovative workforce solutions for the clients and employment of fewer yet effective and skilled individuals. The company's experience in the industry as well as in the markets helped in this aspect.

3. An evaluation of the current external environmental conditions facing the firm including the Macro and Industry environments.

Considering the current macroeconomic conditions, one would say that the demand for the services of Manpower would be reduced in the wake of a global economic meltdown. But, in contrast to this view, the demand for highly skilled labor has increased drastically in the recent years in almost all the sectors. This is due to the increase in general demand as well as decrease in the percentage of skilled personnel. However, due to the global economic meltdown, organizations have become apprehensive when it comes to matters related to recruitment and compensation to the employees. This has led to a decrease in the global recruitment trends. But, the recent recovery trends of the economies have led to an increase in demand for skilled labor that can get the job done for the organizations at an optimal cost. Thus, the current demand for temporary employment services is on the rise. Manpower is one of the earliest companies of its kind which gives it the unique advantage of experience. This has helped the company in understanding and adapting quickly to the various legislations and regulations related to organizations of its kind. The company operates in 82 countries and territories which makes it challenging for it to cope with the varied societal values and traditions. The company has been able to counter this challenge so far by employing most of the people from the local geographies. This has led to a decrease in the amount of cultural shock that may affect the company as well as the employees of the company. The industry situation in the employment services sector is marked by the high availability of resources, the unemployed people who are located in the geographies in which the company is operating. There are a higher percentage of unemployed individuals in the recent times than there were a few years ago. Due to this, the company can now choose from a larger number of individuals which may increase the probability of finding the right kind of individual required for a specific job. This is because higher competition among the individuals will bring out the best in each of the individual during the recruitment. This adds to the opportunities segment of the company. Also, in view of the recent experiences, most of the firms are increasing the process of outsourcing the recruitment needs. This allows the organizations to concentrate on the core competencies. They are, therefore, communicating their need in terms of the quality and quantity of human resources to external employment services organizations and are ready to pay considerable amounts in exchange for these services. Thus, the company can make good impact in terms of revenue as well as brand image if it can continue or also raise the quality of its workforce. The number of new firms requiring workforce is also ever increasing, which also adds up to the opportunities for Manpower. These new firms, due to their inexperience in terms of recruitment prefer outsourcing their needs in terms of personnel. The threat of new entrants in this sector of employment services has been comparatively low, but may increase in the coming years as the demand supply gap for skilled labor is increasing. This can be countered by delivering efficient yet cost effective solutions to its clients. The existing rival firms of Manpower include the world's largest employment agency, Adecco, serving 150,000 clients from 6,600 offices, Kelly Services Inc, providing 750,000 employees from 2,500 offices and Westaff with over 60 years of experience. These rival firms have achieved this status through the volumes of trade with the clients.

4. Company resource audit - identifying the company's assets, resources and competencies.

The most important resources of Manpower are the employees of Manpower, because, a reference to the efficiency of the people is constantly made in the organization. The organization operates in over 4,000 offices with just 30,000 staff. This is an evidence of the company's might in terms of efficient workforce. This quality of the employees of Manpower has always been a distinguishing feature when compared to the rivals in the industry. Manpower also provides franchising opportunities in addition to company owned offices. This will help the company to reduce its time and other valuable resources to find associates in a relatively new geographical area. It will also help the company to identify the right individuals in the area for a job without having to know much about the area. Manpower is the leader in terms of innovation in the sector of employment services. The company makes constant efforts to identify creativity in the local markets and reproduce it in the international markets. This creativity may be in terms of process flow or quality standards. This will help the company in more ways than one as it will also get a chance to improve its own measures in terms of quantity and quality of the work done effectively thereby improving international benchmarking. The company also constantly focuses on what may be the next requirement to its clients. This has been possible only with the help of constant supervision and up gradation of its current methods of operation. The company, due to its experience has so far succeeded in identifying these future needs of the market accurately. This has helped it to stay ahead of its competitors. The company's experienced leadership is also one of its important assets. They help by contributing to the estimation of future requirement as well as shaping the organization towards achieving those requirements. The management of the company has played a key role in communicating the requirements to its employees as well as influencing them to achieve the solutions. Another key asset of the company is its research center, focusing on the constantly changing quality and quantity of the employment and labor market. Most of the surveys and researches carried out by the research center of the company are closely followed by journalists, economists and other think tanks. Manpower Employment Outlook Survey which was launched in 1962 is one of the company's very famous research reports. The report consists of the forecasts of employment aims throughout regions and sectors of the industry. The report is published every quarter. The various training and assessment platforms provided by the company to the prospective employees are also a distinguishing factor when compared with other firms in the industry. They help in communicating the needs of the industry as well as improving the individuals' capabilities to match those needs. The vast size and global presence of the company is one of its main advantages as it will provide the company with varied environments and markets from which new ideas can be derived. The company also focuses on Social Responsibility by supporting and bettering the capacities of individuals in order to improve their employability. Manpower Foundation which was launched as early as 1953 is a good example of this endeavor. This foundation has been dedicated to confirming education and employment training initiatives and is active even today.

The company's vision is to create and deliver innovative solutions in terms of workforce to help its clients to win in the changing and challenging environment. This, the company wishes to achieve through increased focus in the sections of revenue, efficiency, innovation and thought leadership. Increasing the revenues means developing the client base as well as the amount of work done for the clients. This has to be done by assessing the needs and goals of the clients and continuously measuring the difference made to the client in order to try and improve it. The efficiency on the other hand can be improved by increasing the focus on achieving speed in terms of delivering the solutions, quality of the service provided and the effective use of the resources which can also help in reducing the costs. The continued focus on innovation means that the company has to constantly make efforts in order to identify innovative process flows in the local markets to improvise and redo them on the global front. Also, the company has to constantly expand its capabilities to create services and solutions targeted to reduce the confusion and burden from the clients, in terms of manpower management. The thought leadership of the company has to continue the assessment of the future trends of the market requirements and study the market dynamics. This will help in contributing to the creative design of the employment and other human resource systems throughout the world. Apart from these, the company has to focus on the expansion front in order to explore new markets which bring in variety as well as innovative experiences, both of which can help in the further development of the firm. The expansion has to be in terms of geographical areas as well as different types of economies which are based on different fundamentals as well as going through different phases. The company has been quick in identifying the needs of the market when it started Salespower, a division which provided people such as salesmen, merchandisers, shoppers, samplers, interviewers and survey takers, all of whom could be used in the field of market research. This shows its response to the stimuli provided by the market as it was done as early as 1958. The company also launched the 'White Glove Girl' marketing campaign in order to improve the employability of women for vacation jobs. Other such campaigns include Youthpower, for student volunteers. These examples show the company's dedication to improve the quality of the general level of training among the individuals.

5. An identification and evaluation of the firm's current strategy (corporate, business unit, and global).

Manpower Inc is currently on an expansion mode on the global, business unit as well as corporate front when it comes to the strategy of the company. The corporate strategy of the company has been to acquire as many efficient external institutions as possible. With 5 major global acquisitions in the last 6 years, the company is clearly seeking to expand its reach in different markets. The company acquired Right Management Consultants in 2004 for USD488 million. RMC is an organizational consulting firm. It also offers career transition services. After the acquisition, Manpower has increased its service locations by 300. This acquisition has also brought in new expertise to the company in terms of the services like organizational development consulting. The company then acquired ABC Consultants in India in the year 2005. ABC Consultants provides professional and executive recruitment services in India. This acquisition has doubled the presence of Manpower in India. Also, it had helped Manpower to be the market leader in the provision of permanent placement services in India. In 2008, the company acquired Clarendon Parker which helped it to be the market leader in the Middle East market. The countries included in Manpower's operations, post this acquisition were Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar. Thus the company has made its presence felt in the Middle East market on a grand scale and brought in new territories and varied talent into its operations. In the same year, the company continued its acquisition spree by taking over Vitae of the Netherlands and CRI of USA. Vitae was the leading professional placement services firm in Netherlands when it was taken over. CRI was the leading RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) services provider situated in Los Angeles. The company with the current experience of over 6 decades is clearly seeking comprehension of all the services related to personnel sourcing. The company is also looking to extend its services to new markets in order to increase its revenues as well as learn new things from these markets. Business wise, the company is looking to venture into new partnerships, as is evident from its joint venture with governments like that of China and the United States of America. The company was the first international office to setup partnership with the Chinese government. This association was to develop strategies to support human resource requirements for the country's rapidly growing infrastructure needs. The company has also been associated with the United States government in its various endeavors to develop the skills of unemployed and underemployed individuals throughout the years. The company has increased its operations in the financial services sector which is growing at a phenomenal rate during the recent years in many of the countries. Its subsidiary in this sector is Jefferson Wells International. The company began Financial Services operations in the UK in the year2004 and is ever expanding. The use of technology has also been very relevant and effective in the success of Manpower Inc. The company has used many online learning platforms to deliver services to associates who are in distant places. It has also developed various learning modules for the betterment of the skills and industrial aptitude of individuals across various sectors. The global strategy of the company has been to be present in as many countries as possible in order to make a difference in the job markets of those countries as well as to standardize its own operations. The company is now present in more than 80 countries worldwide and is constantly looking for new markets to expand its reach.

6. An analysis of strategic implementation, organizational structure, use of power and control, Where relevant, consideration of the company's philosophy and strategic approach to the global management of its operations.

The company has increased its revenues considerably as a part of strategic decisions which has also helped it to increase the client base as well as the reach. The company is now a USD 22 billion organization. The efficiency of the company in terms of delivering the precise requirements to the clients at the right time has been a positive point for the company but it should concentrate further on increasing it, considering the varied markets and thus newer client requirements. The company has to make good efforts in order to keep up with its reputation in this regard. The innovation and thought leadership strategies of the company have to continue at the current pace and periodic evaluations have to be done to check if they are producing results. The organizational structure of the company is a hybrid structure which has both functional as well as customer based departmentalization. This will be very helpful to the company as it will enable the management to exhibit control over both the functions of the company as well as the client requirements. The company's philosophy and vision has been to deliver what the clients need and also to be the first to know the next in the world of employment services. The company has so far been successful in delivering its client's requirements and forecasting the future requirements of the global market. The company is now expanding into the developing markets in the Asia-Pacific region as well as other potential markets such as South American countries. This will help the country in studying the markets from the nascent stage as these markets are projected to be the ideal markets in future.

7. Based on your analyses, what are the most urgent issues that need attention through the company's global strategy? Recommend a course of action.

The current expansion strategy of the company has to continue in order to make it the world leader in its domain of employment services. But the company has to be cautious in picking up companies and choosing new markets so that the differences in these markets would not affect the company in a negative way. The company should also concentrate more on vertical integration of its services. It can be done by integrating more of the HR services in order to give its clients a comprehensive solution and standardize the processes. It can extend these solutions to other sections of the HR value chain such as employee appraisal, compensation management and make efforts to develop its domain knowledge in these sections. The company should also concentrate more on increasing the usage of web based services to its clients. This will help the processes to be cost effective. Considering the aggressive acquisitions in the last few years, the company has to now concentrate on developing the already existing units and increasing the brand value globally. The company has to also increase its presence in the permanent employment services sector which is projected to have huge requirements in the coming years. It should also increase its current levels of efficiency as it can help the company to stand distinguished from its rivals and also reduce the costs. The company should also increase its focus on delivering the custom requirements to the clients by analyzing the needs and demands of the clients and by developing individuals to deliver to the clients. The research reports of the company form a part of the strengths of the company. The company has to therefore focus its concentration on these reports and develop more reliable and comprehensive reports.