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Competitive analysis is defined as "benchmarking a key competitor with respect to important areas of performance". I have already done competitive analysis in my 4th assignment and now I am using same my 4th assignment for this question 3 a company used in 2nd assignment, I would like to discuss about my company which deal chemical fertilizer named Dawood Hercules has the privilege of being the first fertilizer manufacturing company in Pakistan.Â The company strategy is aimed at developing and maintaining long term competitive advantage. For this, it constantly strives to develop systems which are not only consistent with its current needs but are also enablers of a futuristic culture. It wants to make the best use of its resources and turn every challenge into an opportunity. While building upon its core strengths, it always explores new avenues for further growth. "Value addition" and "sustainable development" are the most significant aspects of its corporate strategic objectives. It goal is to add value to whatever it do and whoever it deal with. This is achieved through consistent focus on the concepts of continuous improvement and customer-orientation. The impact created in this way is not only profound but self-sustaining (dh Co. Annual Report, 2009), so I will discuss the competitor analysis of fertilizer manufacturer company,
"Conducting a competitor analysis helps a business understand its competitive position in a given market. A complete competitor profile, including information obtained by intelligence gathering, enables a business to see its key strengths and weaknesses"(Best J.R. 2010, pp. 221)
What competitor information and intelligence would be crucial to track?
The following competitor information and intelligence would be crucial to track competitive analysis.
The competitive analysis is broken down into two categories:
Market- based performance and
Each area is further broken down into more specific performance metrics that are applied for the business and a benchmark competitor.
Market based performance includes
relative product quality,
relative service quality,
numbers of distributors,
advertising and administrative et,c.
Operating performance includes measures of
cost of goods,
return on assets,
return on sales,
account receivable and
sales per employee
(Best J. R., 2010, pp. 224).
What measures and metrics would be appropriate for base-line comparisons?
When we talk about our competitors in fertilizer market, the following measure and metrics would be appropriate for base line comparison.
The product cost is very important since it determine the market price of the product including its manufacturing cost and profit margins.
What price is company charging relative to its competitor? It should always attempt to maintain competitive price.
Relative Product Quality and Services
It's also very important for the company to maintain its product quality and services for market existence.
It is also very important for the company to maintain its share in the market to keep its value as compared to its competitor.
No. of distributors and their location and sales force coverage also have its importance.
How would this likely influence your pricing strategy?
Above discussed measures are most important which affect pricing strategy of the fertilizer company, if they have lower raw material cost it will be beneficial to them over their competitors, as they can earn more profit. Similarly number of distributors, number of distributor locations, and sales force coverage market share also affect the pricing strategy of the company.
Q1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Concerning your relaunched business in assignment three, which of the following strategic positionings would you choose to emphasize: variety-based, needs-based, and/or access-based.Â Please explain and justify your market-oriented focus.Â Â How would you accomplish this positioning effort?Â Â What metrics or measures would you use?
In assignment three, I chose H. Karim Buksh (HKB) Lahore, Pakistan for this particular study. It was established in 1952 with the pioneer department store of the city, H Karim Buksh (Pvt) Ltd., the owning company of HKB stores consists of two large departmental stores located in Pakistan. The stores feature the departments like cosmetics, fabrics, garments, household linen, crockery, travelling goods, groceries, toys and gifts (hkbstores.com, 2011). Traditional companies like HKB, Pakistan should adopt the corresponding strategies taking into the online business.
As far as the strategic positioning is concerned, I will advise the Company H. Karim Bukhsh to select the 'need-based' positioning. Since the strategic positioning which I recommended for the company is needs based as discussed by the Best 2010, "the purpose of needs based segmentation is to offer product benefits that satisfy the needs, including price, of different sets of target customers or with a multi product segment strategy. Various products are designed for the needs of different segments, each of which has target customers, who differ meaningfully in the product benefits they desire and can afford" (Best, 2010, pp.178)
The H. Karim Buksh (HKB) 's market-oriented focus will allow the website to be designed properly in a way that its structure and content will be
Customer focused and
Will aim towards targeting customers
Customer belonging to a particular business segment.
Q4. What kind of CRM system would you institute for your 3rd assignment case?Â Â What would be the main objectives of such a system?Â Â Chart the basic elements of the system, including touch points, and then explain value you would hope to create for your customers or clients.
There are two types of CRM which are
Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Marketing
I prefer customer relationship marketing for my 3rd assignment because
I can more focus on customer requirement.
To build a long term customer relationship that benefits both the customer and company.
The main purpose of relation Customer relationship Marketing is to build a unique company asset known as Marketing Network. While Marketers has long viewed brands as assets, the real asset is brand loyalty (Best, R. J. 2010, pp. 193)
Relationship Marketing Objectives:
The relationship marketing is to build and maintain a group of committed customers like,
To search out the group of new customers,
which hold better promises than the other.
b) To understand the good & loyal customer can be even better customer if they buy more product and services
i. To enhancement of customer relationship
ii. Always require a higher level of marketing effort and expense, which must be warranted for customer and company.
iii. To achieve this company will focus on attraction and retention of the customer
iv. Customer attention with proper feedback (Best, R. J. 2010, pp. 195)
Chart the basic elements of the system, including touch points:
Three basic element in Relationship Marketing.
These three factors will help to achieve a total customer satisfaction and long relationship.
It is important to search out the role of each factor in Relationship Marketing.
Relationship marketing places emphasis on building and maintaining a good workforce.
Service quality depends to a very great extent on people and
developing long-term relationships with internal customers
There should be an "integrated marketing system to build relationship with customers, suppliers, dealers and other parties. As customer loyalty grows and customer retention increases, the lifetime value of the customer relationship also increase. Highly Satisfied loyal customers have been shown to be more profitable" (Best, R. J. 2010, p. 194)
Explain value to create for your customers?
I think some major values for the company to maintain customer values due to which company can get long term good relations,
Increase quality of products
Decrease cost level
Improve delivery service.
Use quality brand products
Increase level of confidence
Enhance overall performance.
Company's experts and technical staff should provide solutions to the problem
Q. 2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Compare and contrast von Hipple's and Eisenhardt's approach to strategy.Â Â Which approach is better suited to the company analyzed in your 4th assignment?Â Â Please explain.
Stefan Thomke and Eric von Hippel in a Harvard Business Review article titled "Customers as Innovators: A New Way to Create Value" write that,
"Research and development (R&D) has long been a costly and inexact process. Now some companies are trying to a radically new approach, giving customers the tools to design and develop their own products."
For example, in the media, a sales department could ask customers to design their own packages, promotions, or events, which might be a source for some significant innovations.
The Eric von Hippel used four following concepts to frame strategy approach:
Analyzing customer requirements and major trends
It is also very important to focus on the demand of the customer. The customer demand may differ in different countries. For example Dawood Hercules from my assignment, inorganic fertilizers manufacturers may do business successfully in underdeveloped countries like Pakistan as compared to Sweden and other advanced countries where use of inorganic fertilizer is prohibited.
Identify lead opportunities.
It is very important to identify the major users of the product and region for your products. As Dawood Hercules fertilizers producers target Pakistan farmer community mostly.
Develop approach and collect ideas.
In innovation it is very essential to keep eyes on current and future trends and their usefulness development for the market. According to market demand it is necessary to develop new services and business models.
It is very important to establish cross functional teams for the development of product from different department likes production and marketing departments.
Strategy As Simple Rules
Eisenhardt in his article strategy as simple rules lays out guidelines his approach to the strategy as the following
Designing straightforward, hard-and-fast rules that will define strategic direction in organizations without confining it.Â
The strategic logic behind simple rules is one of pursuing opportunities.Â
This is contrasted with position and resources, which follow logics to establish position or leverage resources, respectively.Â
Managers who use simple rules are advised to pick a small number of strategically significant processes and craft a few simple rules to guide decisions regarding these processes.Â
Such processes might include product innovation, spinout creation, or new-market entry.
The authors recommend organizations set for themselves rules in the following categories to guide large and small strategic decisions:
Spell out key features of how a process is executed - "What makes our process unique?"
Focus managers on which opportunities can be pursued and which are outside the pale.
Help managers rank the accepted opportunities.
Synchronize managers with the pace of emerging opportunities and other parts of the company.
Help managers decide when to pull out of yesterday's opportunities.
Which Strategy Is Best Suited
According to me simple rules as strategy is more suited to Dawood Hercules as compared to Hipple customers as innovators since,
Simples are not broad, are not vague, are not mindless and are not stale.Â
Since no one in Dawood Hercules can precisely predict how long a competitive advantage will last, it is important to have a simple strategy disseminated through the organization.Â
Simple rules provide a way for strategy to reach all members of the organization and equip all members to follow strategic direction in decisions large and small.