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Background of company

Discuss About The Marketing Management Reliance Worldwide?

The term strategic marketing includes the sales, marketing strategy and sustainable competitive advantage for both the short and long-term goals of a business for differentiating the brand effectively (Alexis, 2012). The strategic marketing enhances the opportunity of providing consistent values to customers comparing with other competitors. The goal of strategic marketing is to maximise the prospects and potential of the business over all of its competitors. The concept of strategic marketing is different than that of operational marketing as marketing strategy helps to excel a company over its competitors by defining the current and future needs (Bate et al. 2012). The strategic marketing has key three roles for providing direction to the management regarding the business – target market, the basis of competitive advantage and timing to enter the market.

Reliance Worldwide Corporation is an Australian company that manufactures materials for plumbing solutions and water control systems. The company has a presence in the USA, the UK and in another part of Europe. Further, the plumbing products are exported to some of the Asian countries (RWC.com. 2016). The company offers a range of valves for controlling pressure, thermostatic, temperature, isolating water for domestic and industrial pipelines. The company has more than 700 patents on plumbing solution as well as has experience in this industry of more than 100 years (RWC.com 2017). The business of this company provides other ancillary and traditional plumbing fittings to its Australian customers.

Strength

Weaknesses

·         More than 700 patents in plumbing products

·         Has the presence of more than 67 years

·         The business is well established in Australia

·         Strong sales and manufacturing team

·         Provides sustainable solution to the customers regarding plumbing fittings

·         Diverse product range in controlling valve for plumbing

·         Strong growth in revenue and production capacity due to 11 plants in all over the world

·         High debt to equity

·         Low cash flow

·         60% scrap (Macquarieresearch.com. 2017)

·         Dependency on copper

·          

Opportunity

Threats

·         Strong winter weather in the USA

·         Revision of distribution policy with Lowe’s Companies Inc

·          Improving cash flow

·         The business growth in new regions like Europe

·         The company can start manufacturing plant in emerging Asian countries to acquire new market

·         New tax system in the USA

·         Uncertainties with contract of Home Depot (Morgans.com.au. 2017)

·         Price volatility of raw materials

·         Appreciation of AUD compared to USD

The SWOT analysis provides two distinct situations of the business of a company by investigating on internal and external conditions. In this context, the SWOT analysis of Reliance Worldwide Corporation is presented in the above. The evaluation of RWIC on basis of SWOT analysis is explained in details in the following section:

The main strength of Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (RWC) is its own design and product’s patents. The company has strong R&D division, which has accumulated more than 700 patents in the valve, plumbing products. Thus, the company can place its product with unique features differentiating its business from its competitors. The product portfolio of this company shows innovative product like push-to-connect fittings, backflow prevention valves and others. The vast portfolio of the products has a range of flex pipes, controlling valves for both hot and cold water simultaneously, electronic tapware, tempering valves and water conservation. Further, the company has the presence of its business in Australia for more than 67 years. The market share of the company in Australia and New Zealand is strong as well as the growth of the business is solid too. The company has the strong human capital to retain the existing market in this continent as the sales team is experienced to place the sales operation. RWC has 11 different manufacturing plants in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to serve the customers. Further, the sales distribution channel of the company has a strong network in throughout the country.

SWOT analysis

The main weakness of the business is the high debt-equity ratio (67:1), which has increased the cost interest too high. Additionally, the company has the operational challenge of producing 60% scrap of copper during manufacturing valves.

There are various opportunities to grow its business in several places. However, the main opportunity for the company is to grow its business North America due to contracting with a new distribution partnership with Lowe’s Companies Inc. RWC has eyed to increase its business in European countries so that the business of plumbing fittings can be increased throughout the continent.

The main threat to the business of RWC is a change in taxation system in the USA as the government has proposed to implement a higher tax rate for the foreign-produced goods. Further, the company has the threat of increasing price of copper, which has adversely affected the profitability of the company. The appreciation of AUD has also reduced the profitability of the company recently. The latest threat to this business is spinning of its contract to distribute products through Home Depot.

The competitive advantage of RWC is its huge product range in controlling valve, innovation in plumbing fittings such as push-to-connect fittings and traditional products in plumbing fittings. This business has provided plumbing solution to Australian people for more than 67 years with different types of pipe fittings as well as a valve. The company provides a range of products like controlling valve for both – cold and hot water. Further, instant fittings of the socket for flex, copper and other pipes has generated a unique competitive advantage over the competitors for RWC. This product creates the value to the customers (both domestic and industrial) by reducing the time of installation and labour cost of fittings two pipes. This product is capable of providing a solution for reducing the cost of installation as in this way of connecting two pipes do not need any solvent, Teflon or range. The retail customers can fittings the water pipeline in their home with their bare hands by using push-to-connect fittings.  Further, the company has a strong distribution channel in the USA with a long-term contract with Lowe’s Companies Inc. The company has started to enter the European market due to uncertainties of new taxation rules in the USA. The marketing strategy of the company to enter a new rich community is well timed for enhancing the overall market share. The company provides integrated solution to its customers by selling backflow valves, meters and mains. Further, RWC has to manufacture of traditional brass plumbing fittings in Australia with the capillary, screwed and compression design. The industrial solution (B2B) of RWC has accumulated the marketing strategy of selling the products through Titon (in New Zealand) and Tubefit (in Australia) brands.

Competitive advantages

Segmentation is a part of marketing strategy for every business as it helps the manager to target the customers as well as the market (Dean et al. 2015). Further, the author has described segmentation of market as a strategy to place the product with adequate features. Busch et al. (2007) have argued that market segmentation is a process to divide and subdivide the market or consumers into several groups. Thus, this process helps the management to specify the target customers with the right product for better revenue generation. In this context, RWC has managed its marketing strategy by segmenting the market in all over the world with specific targets. The management of the company is able to segregate the specific target market through the process of segmentation. In theoretical concept, prior is a commonly used technique to segmenting the market. However, Chakravorti (2010) has observed that prior does not produce a good result for targeting specific customers. Therefore, the managements have to apply Pareto analysis for compiling the usage segmentation to specify the target consumers. However, the companies can conduct a cluster analysis or need based segmentation for penetrating the new markets in different countries. Chan et al. (2009) have observed that the management has used the segmentation process in accordance to the product or service would be sold in the market. The segmentation process is initiated by checking the demography of the market. According to Charan (2012), demographic analysis can be conducted on basis of different metrics such as age, gender, income and others. In this context, RWC has the concerned issue of income status of the target customers as the innovative and high valued plumbing fitting products need strong buying capacity of the consumers. Thereby, this company has targeted European and North American markets where high valued plumbing products are in demand. Further, in some of the geographic regions of these two continents face the extreme cold weather during some months of the year. Thereby, the management of RWC has segmented its target customers by demography as well as geographical characteristics.

However, the geographical segmentation has a high level of uncertainties for the plumbing fitting business as North America has not undergone extreme winter in the last year. Further, geographical segmentation decreases the scale of economy in production due to increase in numbers of plants. Therefore, the company has to segment its business on need basis for increasing the market share. The management has conducted market research on several places to place their products with an industrial solution. The industrial products on plumbing fittings are mainly in demand from the commercial building owners of shopping malls and office buildings (Cho and Kim, 2013). Hence, the RWC has targeted the largest mansion building companies in Australia, New Zealand, USA and UK with its innovative product, push-to-connect fitting.  The need basis segmentation is known as evaluation of customers' behaviour in theoretical context (Cook, 2008). According to the author, examining the consumer behaviour is important in segmentation process as it provides the specific target customers to the companies

Segmentation analysis

                                                                          Figure 1: Need-based segmentation

                                                                                  (Source: Dibb et al. 2010).

The marketing mix of RWC is definitely the diversification of products in plumbing fittings. The company has more than seven types of different plumbing fittings and pipes. Further, the company provides a custom range of plumbing solution to its customers through customs forging facility. The company also provides custom extrusion products Watsford Tubex in New Zealand and Australia. The company also provides traditional brass plumbing fittings in Australia (Ryemetal). The highly diversified product portfolio of RWC has increased the market share of the company with upside potential for future. The marketing strategy of the company can be evaluated with respect to marketing mix model of four Ps. According to this model, a company must incorporate 4 P’s model for successfully implement the sales target. This model allows the management to enhance the business through developing the product at an affordable price at the right place by promoting the same in the target market (Eapen and Annamalai, 2014). As Eapen and Annamalai (2014) have argued that 4 P’s model is a strategic marketing tool for the managers to find the process of implementing the strategy of marketing. RWC has created a vast level of product range in the valve, backflow controller, innovative plumbing fittings and traditional brass fittings for the customers. Further, this company has provided a custom range of solution to its customers for creating special value. The price of the product is affordable for the middle-class people as the main target of the company is the retail customers in Australia and New Zealand. The management of RWC has concentrated on manufacturing and designing of plumbing fittings mainly as the management has a different industrial solution with the dedicated distribution channel. The business of RWC has placed its business in a strategic way by entering the new market of Europe. The region is strong from an economic viewpoint, which can bring strong revenue growth to the company. Additionally, the company has placed its product through dedicated online distribution channel Lowes ( the previous distributor was Home Depot). The business promotion of plumbing fitting is provided with dedicated video learning in YouTube and company’s website. However, the international business promotion has been assigned to the concerned distributors of the country to promote the products.

                                                                                                 Figure 2: P’s of RWC

                                                                                         (Source: Dibb et al. 2010)

RWC has four major stakeholders in its business – customers, people, distributors and suppliers. In this context, the business activities of the company have witnessed that the company generates the maximum value to the customers by providing innovative product ranges in plumbing fitting category. Further, the business must maintain the relationship with the distributors and suppliers seriously as RWC does not sell its product directly in every market. The business has witnessed to maintain a strong relationship with the distributors as the management has terminated its long-term partnership with Home Depot (after 15 years). Further, the government is crucial in the business of RWC, especially in the foreign market. The management has ensured to keep the tax rate low by incorporating plants in major countries where it has a large volume of the market.

The manufacturing facilities of RWC have no significant impact on the environmental pollution as per the standard regulation of environmental laws. According to Epaminonda (2009), the manufacturing company must control the solid waste from the operation for meeting the standard guidelines of environmental protection. RWC has 60% copper scrap due to the manufacturing of plumbing fittings related to copper valves and brass fittings. However, the management has started to recycle the copper-based products by supplying the scrap to its suppliers. Such activity has reduced the cost of production as well as lowering the cost of raw materials. The company has supplied a scrap of the plastic mould to the recycling plants for reducing the solid waste.

The management of RWC must think to apply new marketing strategy as the existing strategy has not increased its market share in the Australian region. The first strategy is to reduce the dependency on the distributors to increase the profitability of the business with a current market share (on a volume basis). The company used to supply some of the companies such as Reece Ltd for selling the plumbing fitting products in Australia and New Zealand. However, these companies are in the business of trading of plumbing products only as they do not have any manufacturing plant or any patents of design. The management must consider creating its own distribution channel to enhance the profit margin by selling the products directly in the market. Further, RWC must consider for not supplying its products to these types of trading companies in the domestic market. Moreover, the business of customised plumbing fitting solution must be reached to the USA and European market as the needs of products are different in these regions than that of Australia. In addition to this, the management of RWC must consider entering the emerging economies of Asia by starting new manufacturing plants due to the flow of income as well as high growth in these economies. The policy of exporting plumbing fittings in Asian countries do not provide many solutions to the company to enhance its market share in these countries due to the high difference in price affordability issue. The strategy of manufacturing and marketing in Emerging economies through the new plant in any of this region would provide the opportunity to place the product with competitive price.

The company must start to investigate the potential opportunity (ies) in the emerging market at the first stage before decision-making stage. The second stage of activity is to find the feasibility testing of new market from a financial viewpoint. In this stage, the company has to check the regulation of the government of all the emerging countries to test the financial as well as operational feasibility. The company has to check the IPR protection law to protect the sustainability of business in all the countries separately. The third stage is to initiate the application through proper channel to the target country for setting up the new manufacturing plant. The final stage is to find a new distribution partner for marketing the products in the new region.

Activity

1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

4th quarter

5th quarter

Decision-making

ü   

Investigate the potential opportunity

ü   

Feasibility testing

ü   

Application of approval

ü   

ü   

Setting up new plant

ü   

ü   

ü   

Finding new distribution partner

ü   

The monitoring and control of a strategy are important for the business for implementing the new strategy in perfect condition. In this context, the management of RWC has to control the expansion strategy by setting up a new committee with having a high level of power. Additionally, this committee must have the authority for making every kind of decision in expanding the business in emerging economies. The monitoring committee must recognise a project manager for setting up the new plant in the new region. This person would be responsible for controlling the expansion program majorly.

Conclusion

The report has provided with the brief information regarding strategic marketing and RWC. The company has applied specific marketing strategy for developing a market for the plumbing fittings in different regions of the world. Further, this report has evaluated the current marketing strategy with the competitive advantage of the business. The report has indicated that geographical segmentation, as well as need based segmentation of market, have provided a lot of sales of RWC. However, the financial position of the company shows high debt on its balance sheet. Additionally, this report has watched the threat (risk) to this business in future due to change in taxation law in the USA. The report has provided a solution to overcome this issue by starting a new plant in emerging economy and developing a new market.

References

Alexis, M. (2012) ‘Marketing laws and marketing strategy’, Journal of Marketing, 26(4), pp. 67–70.

Bate, R., Jin, G., and Mathur, A. (2012). Counterfeit or substandard?. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Busch, R., Seidenspinner, M., and Unger, F. (2007). Marketing communication policies. Berlin: Springer.

Chakravorti, B. (2010). Stakeholder Marketing 2.0. Journal Of Public Policy & Marketing,29(1), pp. 97-102.

Chan, K. C., Fung, H.-G. and Yau, J. (2009). ‘Business ethics research: A global perspective’, Journal of Business Ethics, 95(1), pp.39–53.

Charan, P. (2012) ‘Supply chain performance issues in an automobile company: A SAP?LAP analysis’, Measuring Business Excellence, 16(1), pp. 67–86.

Cho, I., and Kim, H. (2013). Assessing welfare impact of entry into power market. Energy Policy, 61, pp. 1046-1054.

Cook, V.J. (2008) ‘Understanding marketing strategy and differential advantage’, Journal of Marketing, 49(2), pp. 137–148.

Dean, T., Griffith, D., and Calantone, R. (2015). New Product Creativity: Understanding Contract Specificity in New Product Introductions. Journal Of Marketing, 39(2), pp. 78-89

Dibb, S., Stern, P., and Wensley, R. (2010). “Marketing Knowledge and the Value of Segmentation”. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 20(2). pp. 113-119

Eapen, M. and Annamalai, S. (2014) ‘A study on job satisfaction among employees in an automobile sales and service company’, Prabandhan: Indian Journal of Management, 7(1), pp. 15–22.

Eapen, M. and Annamalai, S. (2014) ‘A study on job satisfaction among employees in an automobile sales and service company’, Prabandhan: Indian Journal of Management, 7(1), pp. 15–22.

Epaminonda, C. (2009) ‘Volkswagen factory hall at Ravenna’, Informes de la Construcción, 18(7), pp. 113–116.

Macquarieresearch.com. (2017). Reliance Worldwide Corp. [online] Available at: https://www.macquarieresearch.com/ideas/api/static/file/publications/7313311/RWC090217xe265239.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Morgans.com.au. (2017). RELIANCE WORLDWIDE CORPORATION LIMITED. [online] Available at: https://www.morgans.com.au/morgans-assets/PDFs/RWC%20Replacement%20Prospectus%20-%20(2016).pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

RWC.com (2017). About RWC Australia: SharkBite & RMC Water Valves History. [online] Available at: https://www.rwc.com/au/us/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

RWC.com. (2016). RWC 2016 Annual Report. [online] Available at: https://www.rwc.com/wp-content/themes/RWC_Global/assets/files/RWC%202016%20Annual%20Report%20release%20version.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

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