TOPIC 3: BUILDING CAPABILITY (activity 3c)
I chose this piece of my portfolio in order to demonstrate my academic development on competitive advantage and core competencies that an organization should utilize in order to compete effectively and differentiate its product category. The piece was important in providing critique analysis of Rolls Royce competitive advantage, identification of Rolls Royce core competencies and mechanism through which an organization could replicate Rolls Royce core competencies in creating brand differentiation and building strong brand image through promotion, effective management of supply chains which could result into decreased costs and higher quality offering, analysis of Rolls Royce supplier architecture, Rolls Royce innovation architecture and mechanism Rolls Royce has reinforced her brand reputation into the market through advertising.
Through the piece, I learned competitive advantage is instrumental in an organization’s ability to maintain market share, maintain healthy relationship with stakeholders including customers and supply chain, respond to market demands for products subject to technological innovation and provide opportunity for an organization to manage employee loyalty and motivation which is fundamental in decreasing employee turnover.
In the process of doing this piece of my portfolio, I learned that an organization has to create value to the customers and stakeholders through product innovation, keeping track of competitor market positioning, have ongoing analysis of changing customer preferences for the product and innovating timely and conduct ongoing benchmarking of her market performance with respect to what competitors are doing and offering into the target market. I learned that for an organization to maintain healthy internal and external relationships with key stakeholders in order to win their commitment, the organization has to balance her organizational, financial, psychological and human capital which is vital in sustainability of core competencies.
In analyzing the piece, I conducted analysis of Rolls Royce brand loyalty, mechanism Rolls Royce develops and sustains customer loyalty, employee engagement, Rolls Royce Research and Development initiatives, ongoing measurement of Rolls Royce competitor market positioning, and mechanism Rolls Royce conducts her market positioning by maintaining her innovation architecture, brand reputation, advertising and promotions and relationships with her supply and distribution channel.
My piece of portfolio didn’t determine Rolls Royce leadership to identify whether Rolls Royce utilized transactional or transformational, or type of Rolls Royce organizational pyramid and how the Rolls Royce organizational pyramid affects decision making in a decentralized communication systems. The piece, though it covered employee motivations, it didn’t address Rolls Royce employee reward scheme to determine how it contributes into innovation and whether the same could be replicated in another organization in the same product category.
If I was to redo this piece of my portfolio, I would apply Balanced ScoreCard into determination of sustainability of Rolls Royce core competencies in order to evaluate how financial, internal, external and developmental perspectives are integrated to create environment for learning, innovation and growth and identify how Balanced ScoreCard attributes contributes into Rolls Royce people management.
My interests and aspirations in core competencies and competitive advantage development lies in mechanism through which an organization could sustain capability through improving learning thus establishment of a learning organization whose communication systems efficiencies are not undermined by threat of power distance, decentralization of the systems, increasing the number of iterations, developing organizational culture that rewards creativity and innovation, identifying employee leverage and satisfaction strategies in order to reduce turnover and managing customer satisfaction through management of customer compliments and complaints and ensuring supply chain and distribution chain conforms to green logistics and lean process.
DE Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2004) Strategy – process, content, context, 3rd Ed., London, Thomson
Prahalad, C.K. and Hamel, G. (1990). The core competence of the corporation, Harvard Business Review, 6(3), May-June, pp.79-91
TOPIC 4: GLOBALIZATION (activity 4a)
I chose this piece of my portfolio in order to demonstrate my academic development in Super market and retail store management strategies during economic downturns, mechanism through which retail stores could initiate new management strategies that are built on profit-driven product selection and customer targeting. The piece is important in providing retail stores with opportunities for pulling unprofitable products from shelves, avoiding high volume but low profit customer segments which is advised by the approach to managing retail store through economic slowdown for instance taking an offensive approach or defensive approach.
Through this piece of portfolio, I gained new knowledge for managing economic slowdown in retail stores subject to conducting measurements to determine the health of the retail store balance sheet, managing work groups and conducting ongoing overall operating performance in order to identify risk factors to retail management, profitability and future sustainability and competitive advantage. I learned retail stores that have reasonable cash reserves and access to credit facilities can invest more during economic slowdown as opposed to retail stores who may engage in reducing operating costs through shutting down some of their stores, restructuring retail store support functions and overhauling promotions which has disadvantage of decreasing market share and giving customer base to competitors.
Through the piece, I learned importance of preparedness for risks and uncertainties hence demand for a plan that is competent to address retail risk factors or conducting ongoing review of risks that could affect the retail operations. I learned mechanisms through which different retail risks present themselves in economic slowdowns and scope they affect reputation, and failures that affect distribution and supply channels during economic slowdown. I learned that effective risk mitigation and management depends on personal intuition, subject to informed and insightful timely decision making which ought to be supported by dependable quality data on market characteristics and informed interpretation of the data and how it might affect consumption.
In developing this piece, I took the risk of determining mix of actions that could have highest impact on retail performance during economic slowdown with aim of determining how different mix of approaches to economic slowdown affect business operations and mechanism through which it could result into increased returns on investment, expansion into new markets.
If I was to redo this piece of my portfolio, I could have determine management strategies that impact on retail business ability to maximize profits by determining how retail store could expand into new markets, how the retail store could improve her product mix to create diversity, mechanisms through which the retail store could sustain earning growths after the new markets become saturated and how the retail business could identify the product mix plateau phase in order to stimulate shift in promotion activities, change in advertising and merchandizing strategies which would ensure the retail store is positioned to respond to local market product-mix preferences.
My interests and aspirations in the retail stores would be oriented towards determining mechanism through which I could introduce financial discipline into marketing processes in order to determine equilibrium cost for deriving maximum benefit of brand consumption during economic slowdown. As an executive in the retail stores, I would invest in retail bloging which would ensure I tap social marketing, and social media networks to create product awareness, invest in online shopping which would contribute into increased consumption through reduction of consumer use of fuel to do shopping. This would ensure I am my retail store gains brand voice and is positioned to measure consumption through web analytics.
Sahir Anand, (2009) Retailers Facing a Tough Road in Current Economic Climate, Retrieved April 22nd 2010 from http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/retail/90-retail-insights/420-retailers-facing-a-tough-road-in-current-economic-climate
Ashish A. Kotecha, Josh Leibowitz, and Ian MacKenzie, (2008) How retailers can make the best of a slowdown: Moving quickly to improve performance can help retailers to recover faster. Retail Practice, Retrieved April 22nd 2010 from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/How_retailers_can_make_the_best_of_a_slowdown_2188
Ashish A. Kotecha, Josh Leibowitz and Ian MacKenzie,(2008) How Retailers Can Make The Best Of A Slowdown: Moving quickly to improve performance can help retailers to recover faster, McKinsey Quarterly, retrieved April 21st 2010 from http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/02/retailers-slowdown-downturn-lead-cx_1002mckinsey.html
TOPIC 5: INFLUENCES ON CORPORATE OBJECTIVES (activity 5)
I chose this piece of my portfolio in order to illustrate my academic development in influences on corporate objective with regard to Tesco PLC. I chose Tesco PLC in order to determine mechanism Tesco PLC strategic objectives directly influence on Tesco Corporate objectives, widen my understanding on stakeholders and their influence on corporate objectives and mechanism employee Balanced ScoreCard influences achievement of corporate objectives. This piece of my portfolio shows degree corporate objectives impact directly or indirectly on the direction of marketing, mechanism business strategies are structured to realize corporate objectives which is instrumental in identification of market and activities that the business should be involved in, its market positioning to get market positioning it projects and mechanism of realizing projected market positioning.
Through this piece of my portfolio, I learned that Tesco PLC corporate objectives are structured to satisfy and create value to customers and develop core competencies that are vital for beating competition. The new knowledge I acquired through Tesco PLC influences on corporate objectives would help in measurement of profit in terms of value and margin, determination of returns on investment, determination of economic growth measured in terms of profitability and earnings per share, determination of market share, cash flow analysis, sales revenue, shareholder value and its sustainability, sustainability of corporate image and reputation and alignment and mapping of strategic or corporate objectives into tactical or functional objectives.
The processes that I went through as I worked on this piece of my portfolio included analysis of media audits, identification of contributing metrics to Tesco PLC corporate objectives, that were instrumental in benchmarking Tesco communication activities and marketing and business objectives and strategies, assessment of Tesco performance against tactical or functional objectives and strategic or corporate objectives followed by benchmarking which involved monthly, quarterly and yearly analysis of Tesco outputs and outcomes which were achieved via utilization of both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
In order to gain insights into influences on corporate objectives, I took risk to contact Tesco PLC communication manager who helped in definition and identification of Tesco PLC justification of their contribution to the bottom line. The communication manager helped in determination of mechanism through which Tesco PLC increases her customer retention and customer loyalty, mechanism Tesco PLC drives her sales leads and revenue and how she tracks her market activity in order to identify emerging trends that could influence on her corporate objectives.
In this piece of my portfolio, I didn’t conduct tracking and measurement of Tesco PLC marketing programs because this is time consuming and applicable measurement techniques are not adequate to provide conclusive results.
If I was to redo this piece of my portfolio, I would conduct Tesco PLC benchmarking in order to assess her trends in audience perception, corporate or brand reputation and tangible results of her campaigns which I would measure against cost factors.
My interests in influence on corporate objectives lies in organizational measurements and accountability with aim of understanding mechanism economic constraints and trends towards corporate wide accountability can be sustained and how it could be used to contribute into driving sales leads and revenue. My aspirations also lie in mechanism of improving operating performance within an organization and how I could be able to roll out new methods of communicating to the target market, building company image through message communication to meet demands for external and internal business environments.
Tesco.com (n.d.) Tesco Corporate Objectives, retrieved April 22nd 2010 from http://www.tesco.com/investorInformation/report95/corpobj.html
Tesco.com (2005) Tesco corporate responsibility review 2005, retrieved April 22nd 2010 from http://www.tesco.com/csr/g/g.html
Tescoplc.com (2009) financial review, retrieved April 22nd 2010 from http://www.tescoplc.com/annualreport09/businessreview/financial_review/
Investis.com (2009) Tesco PLC corporate Responsibility re[port 2009, Retrieved April 22nd from http://www.investis.com/plc/cr09/crr09.pdf
TOPIC 6: NETWORK LEVEL STRATEGY (activity 6b)
I chose the piece on Rolls Royce Alliances in order to demonstrate my network level strategy development, identify processes through which Rolls Royce network alliances conduct production and manufacturing and how they affect performance of Rolls Royce through diffusion of technology, new market entry capabilities, and entry of local markets and mechanism localization is managed and driven. It shows the level of my understanding on the economic value of networks and alliances and strategies that should be implemented in order for the companies involved to be able to collaborate, work together and create economic value through alignment of their business to shared goals.
The new knowledge that I learned in Rolls Royce alliances is that collaborations achieve economic value if they are driven by the element of trusting and contracting as opposed to amity and enmity which is brought about by need for one firm to demonstrate independence. I learned business network theory could be used to conduct SWOT analysis on performance of business network strategies and help to identify their sustainability through identification of existing competition and cooperation, co-evaluation outcomes and cooperation and degree of existing trusting and contracting between or amongst the involved companies.
In order to deliver the task of evaluation of Rolls Royce Alliances, I conducted SWOT analysis of Rolls Royce Alliances in order to identify the healthiness of the Rolls Royce Alliances business relationships, degree of cultural leadership and shared imaginations, perspectives for organizational embedment with references to collaboration subject to possibility of existence of contract based, preferred position of the Rolls Royce as a function of dependence or independence, foundations of Rolls Royce collaborations subject to trust and reciprocity and source of Rolls Royce competitive advantage with regard to bargaining power which I used to compare with similar attributes from Rolls Royce main competitor Platt & Whitney (USA).
The piece however didn’t identify tactical errors that are made by Rolls Royce management and degree they affect Rolls Royce performance of her business alliances. The piece didn’t identify competitive advantage that Rolls Royce has realized through possible first mover advantage which would ensure the target market gets started around Rolls Royce unique approach to the market which would mean competitors would imitate her core competencies and how Rolls Royce unique approach for first mover advantage could be evaluated on basis of industry dynamics perspectives, industry leadership perspectives, industry creation perspectives and industry evolution perspectives.
If I was to redo this piece, I could add information regarding direction that Rolls Royce takes after entering new market through existing companies in order to determine if Rolls Royce would utilize expansion-contraction technique, convergence-divergence technique, vertical integration–fragmentation technique or concentration–fragmentation technique.
As a Rolls Royce internationalization manager, I would help to create core competencies in network level strategy by utilizing Rolls Royce industrial evolution which would be a function of innovation processes towards increase of quality offering and pricing strategy that is targeted at my target market and reduction of cost of supply which would be instrumental in changing the structure of the industry. This would have an impact of making it difficult for suppliers outside Rolls Royce alliance to respond effectively to increasing demand which would result into their exit from the market hence sustaining competitive advantage through increasing heterogeneity of product-service offering, ensuring suppliers integrate forward into the industry which would make them effective competitors, creation of environment where buyers attain a large market share and nurture condition where it is easier for manufactures to increase their stability of manufacturing processes by meeting lean manufacturing, green technology and six sigma matrix business models which are vital in implementation of Theory of Constraint.
Benson-Rea, Maureen, (2005) Network strategy in the New Zealand wine industry: how firms in an industry understand and use their business relationships, thesis (PhD--Marketing)--University of Auckland, 2005
Elmuti, D and Kathawala, Y. (2001). Management Decision, London, 39(3), pp.205