Strategic management is commonly used large multinational corporations and SMEs. The popularity of strategic management points out that it is likely to have value. However, the real advantage is not always clear in strategic management. Business owner, managers and management personnel should understand the advantages of strategy management and that can make company become more and more competitive (Robinson, 2005). Each of these strategies is a key component to gaining a competitive advantage in a particular industry.
This assignment is to discuss and analysis the critical review of the topic chosen and offer opinion on its applicability. Firstly, I will summary the article of my chosen, and then discuss the critical review, after that I will complete the personal evaluation.
2. Summary of the article
Strategic management is composed of various business strategies, it can be combined to utilize and achieve profits and advantages, standing in the business world's summit finally. The article points out that competitive advantage include four major components, following by quality, customer responsiveness, innovation, and efficiency. High quality is including design, reliability, durability and image. Every customers think about whether buy a product, they always think in these conditions.
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There are three international strategies to consider: market, entry of mode and expand/location strategies. Market decisions are based on the strategists' views of main foreign markets about product, price, distribution and promotion. In considering international market moves, management and marketing personnel must consider to the types of adaptations that will need to be made in order to compete successfully in that particular culture.
Each of these strategies can play important role in the success of a company. Choose a strategy that is not congruent with the ideals and values of the company maybe lead to financial and disaster of management. The manager must consider carefully choosing what aspects of their company deserve the most attention.
3. Critical reviews
* Jules (2009) states that “Competitive advantage includes four major components, following by quality, customer responsiveness, innovation, and efficiency. High quality is including design, reliability, durability and image. When people think of a product or services, they think in these terms.”
As a customer, I totally agree this point. For example, in China, when we want to buy an automobile in the market, many of us would like to choose a Toyota or Nissan over a car from local industry. Because Toyota or other foreign automobile typically have a reputation of a high quality, up-to-data design, they always run on the road, so that they must be high quality, better guarantee in people's impression. High quality is a strategic way to get success.
Jules (2009) point that “Superior efficiency refers to the cost to the market via materials, production, logistics, and overhead. Superior customer responsiveness is the importance of anticipating and meeting customer needs.”
An organization need to put customers first. We always heard that “The customer comes first”, “The customer is king”, and “we are all about the customer”. But a lot of companies did not actually do it. Now days, Many companies initiatives for improving customer responsiveness can vary greatly, according to Apple computer, it is a very good example of customer responsiveness. When you order a product from Apple, you can choose to any types of their phones you like through their website. Order process is very easy, only a few minutes. Fast delivery, accurate, and there is 800 number that can call to get assistance after sales or, they can also use the Internet to find a solution. Their sales representative and marketing representatives visit customers regularly assess the needs of the market. By understanding their customers what they want, need to function efficiently and effectively, Apple can creatively innovation. The company is continually creating new products, such as ipad, iphone, iPod series.
Jules (2009) states that “Creating an environment that encourages creativity, new and innovative idea is a difficult but necessary task that managers must embrace. By encouraging a learning organization, companies can avoid the same, repeated cycles that limit the ability of that organization's success.”
Employees are the most valuable asset to your company. They can make many positive contributions to your company. Creating an environment that encourages creativity, trust, respect and team thinking will ensure these types of contributions, which will ultimately benefit the company. Whenever possible offer that training and career development opportunities to employees. Encourage them to develop their strengths and talents. By doing so they can continue to grow and advance in the company. Whenever possible give your staff assignments that challenge and stimulate them. This will help them to continue to be productive and efficient in their work. When a mistake or error is made by a staff member, don't just point it out, help them to find ways of correcting the problem so it does not happen again (Businessknowledgesource.com, 2011).
Jules (2009) states that “Core competencies are key elements in developing an effective corporate strategy and are defined by Prahalad and Hamel as the "collective learning in the organization especially how to coordinate diverse production skills and integrated multiple streams of technologies."
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Core competencies are those capabilities that are critical to a business achieving competitive advantage. The starting point for analyzing core competencies is recognizing that competition between businesses is as much a race for competence mastery as it is for market position and market power. Senior management cannot focus on all activities of a business and the competencies required undertaking them. So the goal is for management to focus attention on competencies that really affect competitive advantage.
4. Personal evaluation (suggestion/recommendation)
Quality products and services give the company a spotless reputation in the industry. This reputation allows the company to gain new customers and sell additional products and services to existing customers. A quality management program also removes inefficient processes within the system. By removing unnecessary processes, employee productivity increases. The employee is spending less time on activities that do not contribute to the product's quality. As a result, the employee is producing more work in less time while the company has not increased the salary. Quality management programs help to recapture lost monies due to inefficiencies (Taylor, 2010).
Quality management ensures customer satisfaction. Conduct customer satisfaction surveys to understand the qualities of the product important to the customer. Also conduct surveys with those who are not the company's customers. This will also provide insight into why these businesses use the services of the competitor. Use customer surveys to target those features of a product or service that need improvement. The quality management program provides a methodology to use to create the type of product the customer desires (Taylor, 2010).
The purpose of customer responsiveness is to develop customer loyalty preference of customers for an organization's products and services so that they continue using them. When an organization is successful at creating customer loyalty it can charge a premium price that the customers are willing to pay for that something extra they get and that they do not get elsewhere (maxizip.com, 2010).
Organizations that provide superior customer responsiveness pay attention to several aspects such as customer response time, superior design, superior service, and superior after sales support. Customer response time is the time it takes for the product to be delivered to the customer. An organization that takes less time to respond to its customers reaches them earlier than its competitors. In this manner, that organization gains on time beating its competitors and gaining competitive advantage. Superior design and service backed by superior after sales support is another way organizations try to serve their customers better than their competitors do. For example, mobile phones have evolved from being simple communication device to becoming sophisticated, multiple feature gadgets, responding to customers' needs as time went by. Those mobile phone companies that have succeeded in offering better mobile phones with more features have consistently outrivaled their competitors. As they did so, they were able to charge a premium price that their customers are happy to pay (maxizip.com, 2010).
1. Culture of FUN!
Make it a policy for your office environment to be a fun place to work with. The concept of fun at work promotes creativity, lowers stress level and highly likely to increase productivity because your employees, your colleagues enjoys working there. Set agreements on no judgments, that we are all here to enjoy each other's greatness and fun while working. Agreements on balance of playing and seriousness of work, a balance of fun and delivering results. For some, fun can also be stated as a core values. Which I know for certain several of my teams and companies that I work with do have that as our core values (Chang, 2010).
2. Creating the Environment!
Post up fun pictures, happy pictures and most importantly colorful picture. Vibrant and colourful visual reminders create a sense of liveliness in the environment. Some of the possible pictures that you can post up are mascot that represents each core values individually. For example, one of the company's core values is loyalty, what animal would come into your mind when you think of loyalty? The image that comes to mind maybe dogs and so you can post pictures of a cartoon dog by the side of your core value. Print your core values out big along with the pictures! This will also act as your reminder for all your core values along with the associations. People tend to remember better with pictures and associations (Chang, 2010).
3. Toys Zone!
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Put some squeeze-able toys like squidgy balls around for you to squeeze on every now and then. Squeeze it when you are thinking or when you feel bored. Bring it in meetings. It will help stimulate your senses that may be very useful to help you stay awake and present. Have some other toys that you can find in toy shops, possibly toys that can be played with several people. Something like low powered toy guns with soft bullets around. Take it out and play with your colleagues or family every time the cheekiness seeps out. This would help to de-stress as playing most of the time lead to laughter which after about 10 minutes would produce happy hormones. Some toys that makes funny sounds helps too. Especially in a overtly quiet situation, a sudden shock of a funny sound highly like to turn into a burst of laughter (Chang, 2010).
According to (Bain.com, 2011), to develop Core Competencies a company must:
- Isolate its key abilities and hone them into organization wide strengths;
- Compare itself with other companies with the same skills, to ensure that it is developing unique capabilities;
- Develop an understanding of what capabilities its customers truly value, and invest accordingly to develop and sustain valued strengths;
- Create an organizational road map that sets goals for competence building;
- Pursue alliances, acquisitions and licensing arrangements that will further build the organization's strengths in core areas;
- Encourage communication and involvement in core capability development across the organization;
- Preserve core strengths even as management expands and redefines the business;
- Outsource or divest noncore capabilities to free up resources that can be used to deepen core capabilities.
In conclusion, through discussions of this chosen topic, I analysis that these points about strategic management. Each of these strategies can play an important role in the success of a company. Choosing a strategy that is not congruent with the ideals and values of the firm can lead to financial and managerial disaster. Managers must take careful consideration when choosing what areas of their company deserve the most attention. Companies will become stagnant without continuous evolvement and learning, leading to financial distress and, possibly, the extinction of the company. As managers, it is our job to ensure that our company survives among the rest.