Background of Silver Fern Farms
Discuss About The Markets Prioritized SFF And Justification.
The management of Silver Fern Farms are the key stakeholders when it comes to setting of business objectives and the company strategy. The management are responsible for leading the company into success by coming up with different strategic initiatives and analysing and resolving any underlying issues. They would like to see all projects succeed. As demonstrated in the case, through management, the company has been able to regain its position in the market by coming up with various initiatives. One such initiative is debt repayment (Slack,2015). The management have been able to come up with ways of SFF being able to sell more hence increasing profits and being able to repay the debts that were pulling the company down. Further to this, management have been able to improve the organization’s operational efficiency through staff training and adoption of lean methods of manufacturing hence leading to better processes and customer service.
The management expects staff to perform well and have their goals aligned to that of the company. Silver Fern Farm has more than 7000 staff across its branches and the management has created cutting edge processing plants which it considers to be its innovation centres. Information retrieved from the market is used in ensuring that the staff are producing quality foods in line with the demands of the market. Management ensure that the staff are always improving on their skills so that they master their craft and perfect their skills (Rothaermel,2015). The management further ensures that the staff take approved training courses from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority so that they achieve their full potential and leverage SFF into achieving its business objectives and strategy.
The other expectation of management as stakeholders is to ensure that SFF maintains a strategic position in its industry. To do this, the management has ensured that it has a team of talented staff who use their skills to produce the best lamb, beef and venison, drawn from New Zealand’s best livestock. Production of quality enables the company to attract and retain a myriad of customers. SFF also invests in state of the art technology to be able to provide the best to its consumers. The x-ray systems enable the company to get much needed information on animal perfomance hence improving the decision-making process to cut what is best suited to customer needs. SFF also focuses on the ‘plate’ first through identification of customer needs.
Initiatives to Increase Profit and Efficiency
Suppliers are very important in the SFF stakeholder list. SFF’s major suppliers are the farmers and they determine the quality of products that finally reach the consumer. SFF together with farmers has built a programme that has been tailored to New Zealand’s farming conditions while leveraging on international best practice. This has led to suppliers being trained on lifting standards in animal husbandry and farm management. The SFF programme ensures that farmers achieve farm assured status by ensuring the farm is trained by an SFF livestock representative and then audited by a recommended farm auditor (Rothaermel,2015). While auditing, the audit covers animal health, animal husbandry and welfare, stock, animal nutrition, environment and facilities. This has ensured that the suppliers meet very high standards that have enabled SFF achieve its business objectives and strategy by producing quality meat products. SFF has also put in place the farm IQ system that is aimed at helping farmers to manage their animals, land and perfomance of their farm employees. The result of this is farmers being able to record, analyse and report efficiently.
Customers are very vital since the business exists because of them. Silver Fern Farms strives to ensure that the customers get the best quality meat. The company strives to ensure its customers are taken care of in terms of providing a robust customer care system that ensures there is adequate feedback provision and that customer queries and concerns are taken care of. One of the programmes that SFF has put in place is the Eating Quality System (EQ). This is a process which is science backed and allow consumers to have a better beef eating experience. This quality system rates beef using seven scientific criteria which have been proven to highly contribute to the eating of quality red meat (Slack,2015). The customer gets high quality of taste, tenderness and juiciness. The cuts are chosen by a master grader who then ages them with care for 21 days and enables the beef to have a quality master grade.
The Government is an important stakeholder since it makes the rules and regulations. Rules and regulations differ greatly in different countries. Whatever rules and regulations that have been set up enable a SFF to be able to penetrate the business environment. Government rules and regulations either favor a business or make it difficult for the company to do business. Various governments have supported SFF and enabled the company to be able to successfully set up and further export to different countries.
Expectations of Stakeholders
Organizations must engage in both social and environmental responsibility is they are to gain acceptance by the community. It is now a requirement that businesses engage in sustainable practices that do not cause harm to communities in any way. It is paramount that businesses try and follow the United Nations Sustainable business goals so that they are in line with what is required in terms of meeting social and environmental goals (Rothaermel,2015). SF engages in various activities that enable it to give back to the community. One of these activities is offering of scholarships to the youth. The company gives scholarships each year that enable the youth to advance their careers. The company in partnership with farmers also developed the Te Aroha events center charitable trust. Further to this, SFF has a feed drive that helps farmers to manage during times of drought.
Social an environmental responsibility is important to SFF since it improves the public image. Since the company has demonstrated its commitment to different initiatives, they are perceived as philanthropic and consumers would like to be associated with such companies. Consumers feel good when they purchase the products or services of a company that has been relevant in their midst. SFF can also further improve their public image by supporting different events through their staff volunteering or them making donations. The more activities that the company engages in, the more it becomes favorable in the eyes of consumers and this is significant when it comes to increasing and sustaining customer numbers.
SFF engages in social and environmental responsibilities since it also gives them a chance to increase media coverage on the company. This is a chance to get free publicity and make consumers aware of the company’s existence. It will make non-customers get curious about the company hence leading to more awareness (Slack,2015). When organisations like SFF carry out certain responsibilities, the media covers them hence enabling them to also form relationships with local media stations. The more activities the company engages in, the more the media coverage that is received by the company hence the better the benefits. Media will enable SFF to shed a light of positivity on the organization.
SFF can boost engagement of its employees through social and environmental responsibility. The company will be able to attract and retain good employees since employees prefer working for a company that has a good public image. This leads to better productivity for the company. Research shows that about 60% of employees who bear pride in the company’s social and environmental responsibility are engaged at work hence translating to better results for the company. Employee retention is also higher in a company that has a good corporate image especially through social and environmental responsibility. The company does not have to incur unnecessary costs by constantly having to replace employees. On the contrary, there will be a lot of costs saved as employees tend to stay in such organizations for a long period.
Importance of Social and Environmental Responsibility
SFF will be able to attract and retain investors if it maintains a good image of a company that is socially and environmentally responsible. Investors are only willing to place their money where they know it is being used well. An organization that volunteers its time and that of its employees to serving the community shows an investor that they are not only interested in profits but also in doing the right thing and helping their communities to thrive.
The cultural web is an important aspect of any organization as it defines the organizational culture that has been adopted. It is an important way that organizations can use to build their brand and stand out in whatever industry they are operating. The cultural web in SFF is depicted by three factors which are symbols, power structures and organizational structures. When it comes to symbols, an organization like SFF displays this in terms of logos, offices and jargon. It can also reflect the culture that has been adopted by senior executives that are working for the organization. SFF is characterized by a flat structure that enables employees and their executives to work in open spaces and at times address each other in an informal way. The company’s logo is outstanding, represented by a fern logo inside a circle.
Power structure is another element of the cultural web that is used by SFF. The company’s power structures affect the core assumptions. SFF is characterized by leaders who influence the employees in a positive manner. Power is distributed within the organization as the leaders have allowed all employees to display their potential and influence each other in a positive manner. The leadership believes that for the employees to be innovative, they need to be given a positive environment and space where they can express themselves (Rothaermel,2015). These beliefs are strong such that innovative employees are rewarded. Thanks to innovation, SFF has been able to grow and come up with unique ideas for its business.
Organizational structure is the third element that represents SFF. The company has been able to maintain a flat structure which encourages team work and competition. There is teamwork between staff and various departments, hence leading to work being enjoyable for the employees. Employees also practice healthy competition since those who perform well are recognized and rewarded by the company. Team work and competition have led to efficiency in processes.
Benefits of Positive Corporate Image
The above three elements, symbols, power structure and organizational structure are interlinked. Power structure is usually a reflection of the type of structure that an organization has developed. In this case, the positive power structure reflects the flat structure that has been adopted by SFF. Power and organizational structure have also enabled the company to come up with a strong symbol that is a representation of the overall brand.
Value chain analysis is a tool that is very important as it is used to analyse the internal activities of an organization. The aim of this is to recognize the activities that are most valuable to the company and the ones that still require further improvement so that they can lead to a competitive advantage. In SFF, just like in any other organization, the value chain is made up of primary and secondary activities (Rothaermel,2015). The primary activities in this case include inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and marketing and service. These are the core internal activities for SFF. Inbound logistics involve how the raw material will be sources and get to the factory. Operations are all the activities done within SFF to ensure that the company efficiently and effectively produces a product that is in line with consumer standards. It deals with the processes used to ensure that SFF products are produced and supplied appropriately. Sales and marketing activities are those used by the company to attract customers so that they are aware of the availability product and where can purchase the same. The sales and marketing activities are aimed at ensuring the company optimizes sales. Service involves the type of customer service that SFF consumers receive. It is how consumers are sold to the product and whether their complaints are resolved and feedback taken into consideration. The secondary activities carried out by SFF are those which support the company to ensure that the primary activities are effectively carried out. These include infrastructure, human resources, procurement and technology. In SFF, the company has laid out infrastructure that enables processes to be carried out smoothly. There is efficient communication within the company that supports the infrastructure (Slack,2015). The company has also invested in qualified human resources, who are further trained to ensure that the company has knowledgeable and innovative staff. The company has also put in a robust procurement department that ensures all supplies matters are handle efficiently. The technology used by the company is the latest so that the customers can get the best out of the organization.
Cultural Web at Silver Fern Farms
Value chain analysis is important in SFF because it leads to a reduction in delivery times. Through value chain analysis SFF has been able to reduce the days taken to get supplies from farmers and male deliveries to the consumer (Rothaermel,2015). This has led to more customer retention since SFF exceeds their expectations when it comes to delivery of products.
Value chain analysis has enabled SFF to optimize its inventory. The company has been able to work closely with farmers to reduce the delivery times and therefore coordinate all the outbound processes with the inbound logistics (Slack,2015). There is no excess inventory hence no waste. The company has also set up its system in such a way that no shortages are experienced.
Value chain analysis has enabled SFF to improve its customer relationships. The company has improved its response times and minimized costs of customers. Customer relationships have been greatly improved with the current value chain activities that the company carries out. Further to this, the company has been able to enhance revenues and profit since value chain processes have been streamlined.
SFF has engaged itself in the differentiation strategy. This involves a company making products or services offered unique and more attractive than those of the competitors. In this case, SFF has come up with meat products that are unique and appealing to its customers. The company has been able to do this by engaging in good research and innovation. This has enabled it to come up with products that are highly favorable to customer needs. Further to this, the company can deliver high products and this has been made possible by the company ensuring that it focuses on quality from the farm to the time the product reaches the customer’s plate. SFF has also been able to differentiate itself by putting in place a unique sales and marketing team that engages in high quality advertising hence enabling the company to attract several consumers (Slack,2015). SFF has stayed on top of its new product development process, hence enabling the company to stay ahead of competition when it comes to meat products.
Apart from the above, SFF has used the focus strategy in concentrating on niche markets that mostly love beef, lamb, venison, mutton and offal products. The company has been able to understand the dynamics of the market hence develop products that are tailored to niches. Due to this, SFF has been able to build a strong brand following among its customers.
The differentiation and focus strategy has been pivotal for the company when compared to its competitors. The major competitor for SFF is AFCO and is the second largest meat producer after SFF. The competitor has strong Japanese support when it comes to sausages and seafood processing. The differentiation and focus strategy has enabled SFF to maintain its number one position in the market. The company has been able to successfully do this by looking at the market gaps and filling in gaps using their products. This has been done by ensuring employees handling the company products receive proper training and certification and are able to fully focus on giving the customers quality. The company has been able to produce an array of products under each category, hence giving consumers a wide variety to choose from. The company has also been able to use latest technologies that have enabled it to achieve a competitive advantage. SFF can give the best cuts due to technology, hence making consumers to love the organization’s products. Further to this, SFF has been able to maintain a good relationship with suppliers by supporting them through various programs and enabling them rear animals in the best way possible. This has enables the farmers to be committed to quality hence supply the best animals which translate into great sales for SFF.
With the status quo that SFF has maintained, the company has been able to face various opportunities and threats. The first opportunity is that the company has an opportunity of penetrating further global markets. With the current quality that is being produced, the company will be able to attract and maintain an array of customers. SFF has an opportunity of extending its product range. The company with its innovative nature can be able to come up with more creative products that will enable it to attract more consumers (Rothaermel,2015). The company also has an opportunity of attracting and retaining more customers, through its marketing and sales strategies. The market is still large hence the company can attract more customers. The threat that faces SFF is the rules and regulations set in different countries that may not be favorable to SFF. This can affect the supply of products to such countries. Another threat faced by SFF is competition. There is increasing competition in the market where SFF operates hence the company must keep being innovative to maintain its top position.
When it comes to the Ansoff matrix, SFF is under the market penetration stage, where it can focus on selling the already existing products to the existing markets. SFF aims to increase the market share of its current products and this is done by offering prices which are competitive and carrying out sales promotion. SFF also wants to secure dominance of its markets, considering the growth of various competitors. The company wants to retain the customers that had already been acquired. The company also wants to increase product usage by customers hence it has differentiated its products to offer wider variety
The company is looking at product development, where it is considering developing new markets for its retail cuts. The company has long been relying on frozen cut. There is a lot of growth since the industry has become stable hence meaning that there is an opportunity for more competitors to enter the market. To maintain the number one position, SFF must continue being innovative and developing products further, so that new markets are attracted by the company.
SFF uses several key drivers to maintain its current international strategy. The first one consideration of local situations. The company adapts to local price structures and customers hence enabling it to penetrate foreign markets effectively (Rothaermel,2015). The company also makes considerations in terms of cultural factors hence selling only products that appeal to the specific country where they are operating.
SFF also has tailored its structure according to its operations. The company has established offices in key markets hence ensuring that the structure used favors certain markets. The main office can influence the activities that are carried out in other smaller offices all over the globe. SFF also manages risk actively. The company protects is intellectual property and ensures that it legally complies to any regulations laid out by various governments.
SFF has ensured that it has the financial resources needed to maintain all its international businesses. This has enabled the company to effectively invest and beat competition in the international business scene. It has also ensured that it employs skilled and experienced staff. The company employs locals in whatever countries they are launching the business. The locals have key knowledge when it comes to legal frameworks and how to penetrate the market. SFF also have studied the market characteristics well. Before they invest anywhere, they do market research and determine the potential of that market. They also come up with the most effective strategies that are suitable for penetrating different international markets.
SFF has prioritized markets in the United States, Middle East, Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. This is because the company has been able to successfully set up and grow in these markets. Further, these markets still present opportunities for the company in terms of coming up with new products and attraction of new customer segments (Slack,2015). These markets have also been favorable in terms of legislation and government support. Due to this, SFF has been able to set up regional offices that enable them to monitor key markets.
SFF uses the partnering up strategy to penetrate new markets. This is demonstrated by the Shanghai Maling partnership. Further, SFF operates like a farmers’ cooperative where customers are given shares based on their supplies to the company. The company has been able to use this strategy whenever it gets into international markets. Partnering with local farmers and other organizations has enabled the company to successfully gain a foothold in international markets.
Slack, N. (2015). Operations strategy. NY, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Rothaermel, F. T. (2015). Strategic management. LA, McGraw-Hill Education.
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