The Ansoff Matrix is a tool which can help a firm to identify the growth opportunities and the risks associated with it. It has four quadrants of which a brief description is provided. Market penetration is the safest choice as the company focuses on increasing their sales by selling new existing products in the existing markets. They follow aggressive pricing strategies to penetrate deeper into the market. The next is product development, it is little risky as the firm tries to bring in new products in the existing markets. The next one is market development, where the marketer gets the existing products into the totally new markets. The most risky quadrant is diversification where, the company gets new products into a new market. Here the uncertainty is high and risk of failure is also quite high.
The matrix above reflects the Sterling Office suppliers’s Ansoff analysis. The company is currently in the product development quadrant. The Sterling Design and Print have well established itself in its core business of billboards and promotional material printing. They already have gained competitive advantage over its competitor and have acquired strong brand recognition due their high quality and excellent services. They have integrated their operations to reduce costs. They do not export or import their products and earn revenues by catering to the national market basically. They have a strong presence and enhanced brand awareness in the existing markets and they are very well known for its superior products. Although diversification is the most risky strategy and the firm might face a lot of unanticipated challenges but given the strategic advantages available with Sterling Office suppliers, they can easily diversify into new markets. This is exactly what Sterling Office suppliers has been doing by introducing new products under new subsidiaries. The Sterling Office Supplies offers the entire range of stationeries required by offices. Now, the Sterling Office suppliers wants to diversify into new markets with the STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS products so that they can further increase their sales and boos their profits. Since the company already has many strategic advantages available with them, they can easily diversify. They have strategically located their STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS unit and positioned themselves as a complete solution provider for office supplies. The Sterling Office suppliers has already started planning for diversification and they want to go one step further in being a complete solution provider for office supplies by supplying talented and skilled office personnel which is very crucial for organizations these days. The Sterling Office suppliers has effectively implemented their marketing policies and with its quick and reliable and excellent quality services they have managed to retain the loyalty among its customers. They have an efficient supply chain management and they adopt a plus pricing strategy, which has yielded improved results for the group. Thus, with persistent efforts the Sterling Office suppliers is likely to achieve its objective of diversifying into new markets.
Figure 2: BCG matrix for Sterling Office suppliers
(Source: Doyle and Stern, 2010)
Boston Consultancy Group’s is a tool which can uses by a company to group its businesses portfolio that helps the company to prioritize their marketing efforts to boost their sales and revenues. The matrix classifies all the products into four categories namely, cash cows, dogs, question marks and stars. The matrix enables the company to arrange its product portfolio as per their ability to generate revenue and investment required by them to succeed. It helps a business to identify the position of each of its business unit to in light of attractiveness of the industry and the market share of the company in the industry. The BCG matrix for Sterling Office suppliers is mentioned above and why each of the products falls under the mentioned category is discussed below.
- Stars: The products and business of organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS that falls under this category means that they are the churning out the large amount of cash as they hold large market share in a growing industry. However, since they operate in a growing industry these businesses need high amount of investment also to maintain its position in the market. These businesses have the potential to generate revenue when the industry enters into the maturity stage. Therefore, a company likes Sterling Office suppliers which have a diversified portfolio; they must maintain few stars in their portfolio that can become the next cash cows for their company. As we can see in the matrix, the Sterling Office suppliers does have few of its products like cartridge ink, furniture supplies and computer supplies in the star category (Adair, 2011)
- Question marks: These are those products and business that does not hold a large market share but is growing rapidly. Since these businesses are operating in rapidly growing industry, they require considerable investment to be able to sustain in the market but does not produce a large amount of cash. These products do hold the potential of becoming the star and cash cows when the industry matures, if the appropriate strategy is pursued. The build strategy can be used for question marks where the company seeks to increase the market share of that business to build up its position if it has that potential. Alternatively, harvest strategy can also be pursued if the chances of turning them into stars are low. IF the products and business under the question mark strategy do not have the potential to become a star, then company might also opt for Divest strategy so as to use their resources somewhere else than draining its profit for a weak product or business. The question marks for Sterling Office suppliers is laser printers, scanners and photo papers as these materials are not required on a regular basis and the future of this market is very uncertain (Baker,2007).
- Cash Cows: These business and products are the major revenue generators for the company and has become a leader in the mature industry. These products do not require large investment to maintain its position in the market. Businesses milk such units to increase their profits while keeping their costs minimum. These units create ample amount of cash to be used by the businesses to invest on other categories to improve the overall business performance. The cash cows stabilize the cash flow within the company and allow the firm to make the operational expenditures and to pay to its shareholders. The companies generally opt for hold strategies to be able to generate huge amount of cash continuously by maintaining the current market position of the cash cows. The cash cows for Sterling Office suppliers are regular, day to day products which are required by every office and whose demand will continue to grow. The company has already developed loyalty among its customers due to its high quality products and excellent services, thus these products are going to be the cash cows for them for a longer period of time.
- Dogs: These businesses have the lowest market share in a mature industry and they do not have the ability to generate huge amount of cash. They act as a cash trap for the companies thus companies follow the divest strategy to close down their sick units and utilize their energy and resources into another area. Telephones, CDs and DVDs, cable wire has turned into dogs for Sterling Office suppliers as technological advancements have replaced the need of such products.
The organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS needs to focus and maximize the level of those products with come under Cash cows and Stars. The organization may also use effective means of strategies to nullify the impact of Dogs.
3.3 PLC (Product Life cycle)
Figure 3: Product life cycle
(Source: Fifeld, 2007)
The organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS lies in the segment of growth in the product life cycle. The products of SOS like Computer equipment, Cartridge Ink, Furniture supplies falls under the category of growth segment as they are considered to be stars in terms of its competitors. In addition to this, since the organization is a growing firm, therefore, it is of great essence for the organization to implement tools of strategic change management in terms of its competitors. Apart from this, the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS needs to opt for product diversification and product development to sustain the level of direct and indirect competition in the market. This is mainly because of the fact that the next stage of this product life cycle curve is maturity and decline. Therefore, if the organization fails to implements all the tools and strategies of marketing and strategic management, then, they will fail to sustain in the long run in terms of its competitors. This is the reason why, all the tools of strategic management is essential of the business firm to sustain in the market in terms of its competitors.
Perceived market gap:
With the help of the gap analysis , it has been found that company goals and where its and where it wanted to be is some of the important question for the Sterling Office suppliers.
Figure 4: Market perceived gap
(Source: Mauborgne et al. 2005)
The expected market gap is based on the customer expectations from the company and the company supplies as per its demand. Market gap is one of the major step which will help the company to gain the large market share. Apart from that, Sterling Office suppliers has been playing fairly and is been changing its tactics from general office supplies to hardcore office supplies in order to gain the large customer base. The market gap of the Sterling Office suppliers is because of the limited supplies and limited market are of south London which is one of the major concern for the people. Company is not even able to cater the whole UK which is why the competitors giants like Amazon and Viking are been capturing the large market base in UK and London because of its large geographical covering.
The perceived market gap is the basic disparity in between the original service and the one that is offered by the company and the one that is expected. In order to minimize the risk in the company and the market it is essential to analyze the gap that is mentioned above. Apart from this, the company cannot measure the importance of the strategy. It may be said that in case of Sterling group it is the analysis of the current market penetration that would help in validating the potential of the company. In case of demand greater than supply it is understood that the perceived quality of product is as per the commitments of the company. In case of Sterling group, this is the case as the company has improved its productivity and the efficiency over the years with the help of new age technique (Todnem, 2010).
However, in this regard the major aspect of understanding is that the company has been effective in dealing with the perceived quality of the customers. The company is this regard has been effective in dealing with the understanding the perception. As per the marketing strategy and the survey that is conducted by the company, from time to time it may be said that the company has been effective is dealing with the key understanding of the market scenario. However, in case of Sterling group the major understanding has been the effective fulfillment of the perception of the customers (Gray, 2010). The technology and the research that is carried by the company in order to carry out the competition are important strategies. Hence, the perceived market gap is not an issue for the company. It is the perception of the customers and the delivery of the company that has been effective in the company for over the years.
Perceived product gap
Perceived quality is often referred to as the expectation that the customers have from a particular product. The public image is the most important aspect in the present case apart from the actual proficiency of the product. It is one of the most important aspects of the company that, helps in dealing with the experience of the customers. In case of sterling group, this company has the effective presence for a long period of time. In such case, the public image of the company has been efficient in dealing with the communication of the customers (Hayes, 2010). Hence, it might be said that Sterling Office supplies is the organization that has been effective in dealing with the perceived product gap of the company. Most of the customers are attracted to the image that has been produced by the company along with the maintenance of the product. In order to receive the service the company has been striving to offer the products in the most competitive price. Sterling Office supplies with the use of empirical observation have analyzed the total related cost of the products. This has made the study effective along with the present scenario of the group in the competitive market (Keitsch, 2010). The understanding of the gap model with respect to the perceived product gap of the company is an effective tool of analysis. The major issues of the company are related to the price and the quality of product. This is one of the most important aspects that is managed by the management. This makes the company effective in dealing with the major issues.
This ensures a clear framework for Sterling Office supplies with respect to the perception and the demands of the customers. The distinctive understanding of the shortfalls is the basic need of the company (Todnem, 2010). Sterling Office supplies along with the analysis of the shortfalls apply this major strategic aspect. The information collected by the group may be fragmented but can be helpful in dealing with the structure of the business. The major aspect of the perceived quality of products can be in the line of following:-
- Cost index
- Benefit index
- Identifying the gaps in the competition
- Developing the focus plan with special identification of the issues
- Analyzing CPV (Customer perceived value)
- Product attributes
The above points are the aspects that is used and channeled by any company including, Sterling Office supplies in order to enhance the value of the products in the market. This also helps in attracting the prospective customers to understand the issues of the company along with the perception of the company cost. Sterling Office supplies are the company that analyses the issues along with the benefit or the profit index of the company (Keitsch, 2010). Sterling Office supplies made use of the customer perceived value or the attributes of the product that is effective. The product attributes are at times nit maintained by the company. However, the company has been successful in dealing with the wants of the customers with effective office supplies.
Perceived operational gap
It is one of the most important aspects for a company like Sterling Office supplies to make use of the operations in the most effective way. This makes the company appropriate in dealing with the competitive market. Apart from this, the company uses the management and the strategic techniques that help in gaining the appropriate marketing methods. The company has made their own branding methods that help in filling up the gaps that the company is facing over the years (Rothwell, 2010). Apart from this the operational methods that is used by the company is the use of below the line activity. This is one of the aspects, which will help in the operational strategy of the company. The major strategy of the company is no media messages for advertisement. This has given the desired reputation to the company along with the implementation of the e-commerce site that is the dominant support of the company. The company has made use of the effective operational strategy like the appropriate representation of sales by the company. Another aspect of the operation and the analysis includes the sales policy that help the company is receiving the desired customers (Hayes, 2010). Data mining has been effective for the company along with the understanding of the growth perspective of the company. Along with this, the company has been dealing with the employees and made use of the knowledge that they have in order to be the best in the competitive market. This strategy in the operations has been to achieve the maximization in the sales. The strategic management of Sterling Office supplies has made use of the adaptation of the change that helps in receiving the best from the market.
The above-mentioned aspects are the ones that help in developing the best office supplies in the competitive market. The well-planned business future has been helpful in receiving the desired amount of benefit in future. Marketing strategy is the new development in the company that delves in finding the basic area of marketing (Thiry, 2010). There are number of strategies that have been implemented by the company based on the formal organization of the structure. The company is trying to implement new information system. This would help to be at par with the new age technology. This is linked to the future growth of the company. The operations of the company are well monitored. The monitoring process of the company is to know about the flaws and the loopholes of the company. Based on the same the company tries to implement the important strategies. This is the important aspect of the company as it is the operational strategy that, helps in the marketing management and the strategic management. Sterling Office supplies have been effective in dealing with the operations management. The perception of the company and the customers over the years has helped in getting the prospective customer base. Apart from this, the company needs to implement the above-mentioned strategy with the help of monitoring that would ensure the productivity of the company.
As discussed by Mauborgne et al. (2005), the effective purpose of strategy canvas is to identify the opportunity of blue ocean. Strategy canvas helps to capture the existing state of business operation within the scenario of existing market. Strategy canvas helps to identify the factors of competing within the competitive sector of the market. The action of different companies and the competitors can be evaluated by the blue ocean strategy within the competitive sector of the particular industry of the market. Within the blue ocean strategy framework, strategy canvas can be used as the most important basic tools. The first step of a strategy canvas is to locate the factors of competition within the existing sector of the market.
However, Kim and Mauborgne (2015) argued that, strategy canvas has involved within four action framework. Those are elimination, reduction, increase and creation. Strategy canvas has several objectives. Strategy canvas serves the purpose of defining the strategy for sustaining within the sector of the industry. Strategy canvas also helps to define effective business models for the company. In case of the organization SOS, the strategic canvas can be determined and developed through the analysis of effective change management and effective process of strategic management. Therefore, the process of strategic management and strategic canvas can be proved to be efficient for the respective organization.
Strategy canvas can be of two types; those are Red Ocean and blue ocean strategy canvas. There are differences within the Red Ocean and blue ocean approach of strategy canvas. Blue ocean approach of strategy canvas can be considered as an effective strategic tool (Kim et al. 2008). This tool helps to assess the current as well as future states of innovative strategies. However, the red ocean strategy deals with the current state.
Effectiveness of Blue Ocean:
- This strategy is involved within divergent method of visualization and positioning strategy
- In this strategy, the boundaries are unknown as well as undefined
- Here, any type of competition is irrelevant, as the industry has not been defined
- The elements of value are also not identified
- The services as well as products have been chosen as unique set of characteristics of value
This is the reason why then organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS needs to adopt the strategy of Blue Ocean in order to maximize the impact of profitability and resources. In addition to this, the organization also requires to create a niche market strategy to overcome the effect of competition from the current market scenario. Apart from this, this kind of strategy will further help the organization to increase their respective market share and customer base.
Principles of Blue Ocean:
The blue ocean approach has different principles as well as assumptions. The strategy of Blue Ocean helps to create sustaining as well as differentiating strategies. The principles of Blue Ocean are as follows:
- Reconstruction of the boundaries of market as well as the aspect of competitive industry
- This strategy has focused upon the big picture
- It can reach beyond the limit of existing demand
- It helps to create paradigm of new demand (Palmer, 2009)
However, the assumptions of Blue Ocean are as follows:
- The boundaries of market can be changed in accordance with the requirement
- The structure of the industry can also be changed, as the structure has not given
- It can be able to design new as well as uncontested market place
- It has focused on the competition (Fifeld, 2007)
Blue Ocean helps to examine the value creation, opportunity and value capture of the particular company within the competitive sector of the market industry. Strategy canvas helps to illustrate the position of the particular company and the competitors as well as elements of value. It also suggests the areas of opportunity for eliminating the level of competition. It helps to capture the current and future activity within the particular marketplace. This strategy also helps to identify the current competitive investment. It also helps to document the current level of investment. Strategy canvas provides the big picture of current and future investment opportunity within the competitive sector of the market (Johnson et al. 2009).
As stated by Otto Scharmer and Kaeufer (2010), value elements are very important components for an organization. Value elements are also very effective for the aspect of strategy canvas within the organisation. Value element refers to the effective component that helps to generate value within the operation of organisation. Value generating components are included within several resources, capabilities and processes.
On the other hand, Loftin et al. (2011) argued that, several elements of value can be derived from direct as well as indirect analysis of the particular organisation. Value elements also help to form the basis of competition and differentiation. Value elements can be considered as the graphical depiction that can be used for communicating the strategic intent. Value elements also require deliberate choice in order to allocate the resources within the activities of the particular organisation of the competitive sector of the market. On the other hand, several types of value elements can be changed over the period with the strategy and proposition of value. A company needs to choose effective value elements for the unique canvas of strategy with the relation of selected major competitor.
However, Osterwalder (2012) discussed that, many strategists use the four key action frameworks for building effective strategy canvas of the particular company. These four action frameworks help to identify the value elements those can be created as well as increased or decreased and eliminated for the effectiveness of the organisation. This framework is very helpful for the tool for the future effectiveness of the company.
Figure: Four-action framework of blue ocean strategy
(Source: Lindic and Marques da Silva, 2011, pp-1696)
Reduction: It refers to the process of reduction of several factors in relation with the standard of the particular industry.
Creation: It refers to the process of creating some factors those have never been created by the particular industry.
Raising some factors: It also refer to the process of raising the factors in accordance with the standard of the industry. There are some factors those should be raised or increased in accordance with the particular standard of industry.
Elimination: However, it also refers to the process of elimination of several factors of the industry. There are some factors those have been taken by the industry should be eliminated for the requirements of the industry (Saloner and Shepard, 2008).
This given model will further help the organization to strategize its vision as per the current situation in the market. In addition to this, it is of great essence for the organization to ensure effective means of minimizing the impact of competition.
However, all these activities affect the future value curve of the company STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS. It also helps the company in order to gain competitive advantage within the competitive sector of the market. However, several strategic innovators also utilize Four-action framework with the help of other supplementary tool, ERRC grid. Several strategic innovators use this process in order to examine several value elements for the process of investment. This process helps to gain competitive advantage within the competitive sector of the market (DeLine and Rowan, 2010).
The strengths of this company are strong and effective management as well as good reputation in several activities of trade. This company has served professionalism within all levels. The relation between staffs is effective within this company. The structure of the organisation is adaptable to everyone. The growth of this company is positioned with effective structure within the five years of future.
On the other hand, Garciaâ€Pont et al. (2009) argued that, this company has many weaknesses that can be analyzed with the blue ocean strategy of strategy canvas. The growth cannot be controlled by the constraints of resources within the organisation. Global marketing condition as well as the movements of competitive industry can be treated as the threat of this company STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS while dealing with effective activities of business.
However, the four-action framework for this company STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS is as follows:
- This company within the competitive sector of the market should eliminate the immense competition.
- Ineffectiveness of human resource department
- Internal management issues of organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS.
- Sterling group should reduce the costs of warehousing and transportation
- The company should also be reduced the cost
- Sterling group should measure the level of Profit within the organisation
- The activity of communication between the management and employees
- The opportunity of additional resources should be increased
- Growth in the Northern part should be raised
- The company should increase level of professional market research
- Rate of advertising, program of public relation activities
- Information system needs proper review
- The company should also increase the range of products
- Incentive and reward should be increased for motivating the employee
- Sterling group should increase the package of basic remuneration
- Sterling group should increase the basic activities of marketing.
- The organization can also increase the effectiveness of their products and services by improving and nullifying the issues of internal work environment
- The organization needs to develop new products and services to minimize the level of competition in the market and effectively minimize the level of variances (Doole and Low, 2008)
- The company STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS should create a management information system
- The company should create knowledge management system this can be helpful for establishing effective relationship between the sale and marketing team of the organisation
- Development of new product is also very useful and important task for the organisation
- Sterling group should create effective technology enabled aspect
- The company should deliver motivational efforts to the employees
- Sterling company should provide bonus to the employees in order to maintain the performance of sales throughout the whole period
- The organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS needs to create demand for its new products and services in order to minimize the impact of competition and maximize the level of sustainability in the organization.
- Sterling group should provide team bonus in order to achieve total target of turnover
- Sterling group should increase the effort of marketing initiatives. Therefore, this company can be able to promote its marketing effectiveness towards the targeted audience of the competitive sector of the market
As discussed by Sharma (2014), this four-action framework helps to deal with the aspect of reducing and eliminating the level of competition as well as rivalry within the competitive sector of the market. On the other hand, this four-action framework helps to increase the database of customers by the strategic activities of the particular company. However, Sterling Group should focus on the management information system of the company. This company should be focused upon the process of enhancement of the product. This company should enhance the quality of product within the competitive sector of the market (Wilson, 2009).
Change management is the basic change that is required in the company in terms of teams, future analysis and the management. Apart from this, the company needs to make sure of the fact that the project management of the company has to be effective (Lies, 2010). Technology is most important aspect that is required by any organization most of the time. In case of change management, the most important part that is fulfilled by SOS implies to the fact of using the technology in the most specific way. Technology helps in dealing with not only the customers but also the internal stakeholders. The monitoring process of the employees and the service that is offered by the company play a pivotal role in dealing with the employees. Apart from this, the company is effective in channeling the methods of tackling the external stakeholders. The people or the manufacturers who help in getting the raw materials for the company get the needed help from the technological advancement of the company.
In case of SOS, it may be said that the major issue in the company is to advertise in the effective way. The change management that is allowed by the company includes it to amend the necessary changes along with the implementation of the right methods (Rothwell, 2010). In case of marketing strategy, the company has been effective in dealing with the profit of the company. Apart from this, the organizational management is one of the basic criteria with the experience and knowledge of the employees. The company has used this over the years to gain the required profit. The measurement of the company has been effective along with the organizational change that is required with time.
The recognition of the problem in Sterling Office supplies has been few of the issues with respect to the pricing strategy. Apart from this the internal and the external analysis of sterling group makes it evident that the issues of the company is resolved with needed management process. However, the issue relating to the quality of product is judged from time to time in order to lessen the problem. Data mining of the company has been effective in understanding the loopholes of SOS.
The understanding of the loopholes has made the company efficient in dealing with the customers. The wide customer base of the company is due to the attention and the decision making support of the company. The high percentage of accounts is the understanding of the company along with the positive profit contribution of the company (Keitsch, 2010). This has ensured the repeat purchase of the customers. This has given the company the zeal to make better the changes. The reputation of the customers is enhanced with the help of the company to management strategies that is taken by the company over the years. The policy of the company has been to retain the customers for long period of time along with the perfect maintenance of quality of the products.
The proposed solution of the company has been to elaborately deal with the strategic management. Sterling Office supplies have used this over the years. The solution of the company is to know about the demands of the customers. Apart from this, the company has dealt with the implementation of the surveillance process. This has made SOS a part of the solution that is both attainable and can be achieved easily (Hayes, 2010).
The relationship of the company has been important with not only the customers but with all the other stakeholders. This has made the company effective in dealing with the issues of the all the internal and external stakeholders. Apart from this, the company has been referring to the maintenance of the quality of the products and the service. This is the proposed solution for the company as, this is the aspect that has helped the company over the years. The employees of the company have been trained efficiently that has been part of the strategy for the company. This has made the company more effective in dealing with all the issues (Heath and Heath, 2010).
Change implementation challenges
The major challenge that is faced by the company is to deal with the competition. The major issue has been to compete in the market, as there are similar companies in the market. In such case, the effort of the company is to produce the services that is applicable to the company and the market. This has helped in maintaining the customer base (Hayes, 2010).
On the contrary, the production and the quality of service within competitive price has been another issue. This has resulted in gaining the customers. However, this has been a major challenge of the company along with the integration of the company with the customer and the service. This is one of the major challenges as with the increase in the price of the raw materials this has been one of the major issues. This has made the issue more prominent in the company. As with the suppliers, the company needs to maintain a relation and needs to satisfy the customers with the pricing strategy (Gray, 2010).
The implementation of the change is through the process of management. In case of the management, the company has been effective in understanding the needs of the customers and the way to tailor the market (Enserink, 2010). In such case, the company has amended the problem of the company in dealing with the pricing method. Apart from this, the implementation also includes the range of product and the inclusion of modern technology.
This has helped the company in all the major levels along with the understanding of the perception of the customers. However, Burnes (2010) opines with respect to the implementation of the change sterling group must be effective in bringing more interesting and identifiable techniques. Apart from this, the implementation of the change is one of the major issues of the company. The implementation of the change is with respect to the range of product and the pricing strategy of the company. The product line of the company has been one of the major aspects that have been tried by the company. In such case it may be said that the implementation of the change with effective settlement of discounts.
The major sustainable practice that is carried out by the company includes the fact of using the originality of the brand. The company tried to implement the strategy of its own brand. This has been ensured by the company with the with all the major stationery items. There are certain lines of pricing strategy that is under the liquidators that help in analyzing the critical situation of the market (Blevis, 2010). In this regard, it may be said that the company delves in maintenance of the loyalty. The company with respect to the sustainable practices has tried this major aspect.
However, the company tries to understand the issues along with the change of the range of product and the pricing line. It is due to the new amendments in the service that the company has retained the customers over the time. In such case, the issue of the company has been to deal with the market and understand the threat in the competition. Sterling group implemented the major issues with the help of design and print ventures. This is effective in attracting most of the customers (Alder, 2010).
5 years forecasting
The company is now in growing rapidly and it is in cash cow situation. So, there is huge opportunity for the company to expand the business and the sales distribution channel. The vision of the company is to expand the sales distribution network throughout the UK market and also globally with better quality of product and service. The can become leading company of office supplies in UK without compromising of quality in products and services. The focus of the company would to understand the demand of the customers and perform accordingly to the commitment done. Another vision of the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS can be in the form of providing innovative and new form of products to its respective customers. Therefore, it is of great essence for the given business firm in order to segment their vision I accordance to short term and long term prospective. Such kind of vision will further assist the organization to develop an effective position and attain a level of core competency in the current market scenario. In addition to this, the organization also requires to focus on the activities of their human resource department. This will further assist the organization to improve the productivity and efficiency of their respective employees. The vision of the organization is required to be aligned to their proposed strategic goals and objectives in terms of its 5 year vision and mission (Enis, 2009).
The company may have to face challenges in terms of internal management. The internal management of the company is not so well. Conflict can arise between management and staff. The second challenge of the company is technology. Others competitors are adopting new technology to sustain in the market. So, it will be very tough to compete by the company in the competitive environment. The company can also face the challenge regarding the pricing of the products. The company is not yet ready to accept the effective marketing strategies especially pricing strategy. So, the sales revenue of the company may start to fall. In addition to this, another potential challenge that the organization can face is in terms of implementation of effective process of change management in the overall growth process. Apart from this, since the level of competition of the organization is on the higher side, therefore, it is of crucial importance for the organization to maintain a higher level of competency in comparison with its competitors. If the current implementation process goes wrong, then it will of great difficulty for the organization to ensure its sustainability in terms of its competitors.
There is huge opportunity for the growth of the company but they need to take some measures for the growth. The company may have to face any kind of difficult situation in any moment. So, it is required to prepare some contingency plans to sustain in the market. There is tough competition in the market and possibility of new entrants. So, the company needs to competitors analysis periodically. Continuous industry analysis and environmental analysis are also essential for the sustainability in the industry. The company needs to establish the standards for each and every aspect of the business. According to the basis of standard and past performance, they can prepare the budget periodically. Then, it is required to identify the unsatisfactory performance or weak areas comparing between the standard performance and actual performance. There, the company can take necessary action for the weak areas. Apart from this, several competencies can be identified for the given organization. Therefore, it is of great essence for the organization to identify those several competencies and develop these competencies effectively. However, the given controls measures will further help the organization to meet the needs of all its stakeholders and minimize the impact of the internal and external variances of the environment (Foxall, 2008).
At first, the company needs to action on the internal management. The good relation should be build between the management and workers to improve performance. The communication process is vital for the company. The company needs to take effective communication strategy to improve the internal management. It is required to adopt the innovative management style for the internal management of the organization. The company should adopt the new technology to compete with the competitors and to sustain in the market. The pricing of the products should be set comparing with the competitors. The company should also go for new product development to maintain the demand of the customer. In the present world, it is very difficult to continue the business operation and to sustain in the industry without accepting of modern concept and tolls of marketing. An organization cannot perform the sales without taking effective marketing strategies. Therefore, the company needs to accept the advance tools and techniques to cope up with the environment and to take effective marketing strategies for better performance and sustainability. All the given current action of the organization has been designed in accordance to the given challenges faced by the organization. To overcome the given challenges, all the given current actions has been designed for the given organization.
There are several perceived gaps that has been estimated for the given business organization. The various types of perceived gaps include in terms of human resource management, internal and external change management, given operational tools and competency analysis. It is of great essence for the organization to minimize the perceived gaps in their internal and external management. If the organization is able to minimize the perceived gaps, then they can also easily minimize their challenges which are expected in their 5 year vision effectively. There are several perceived gaps in their operational and technological systems. These gaps can add up to the challenges in their 5-year vision strategy. In addition to these gaps, other gaps include resource gaps and competitors’ gap. All these gaps interpret about the laggard position of the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS in comparison with the given competitors. Therefore, it is of crucial importance for the organization to minimize these perceived gaps and act accordingly as per the needs and demands of the current market situation (Hall and Rosenberg, 2009).
More than a few possible solutions can be given to the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS in order to minimize the impact of their perceived gaps. One of the proposed solutions given to the management of the organization can be in terms of maximization of productivity of human resources and implementation of effective change management in terms of technology to manage their operational activities to attain a level of core competency and competitive advantage. In addition to this, it of great essence for the organization to improve their effectiveness of human resources and operational resources in terms of updated version of technology. In addition to this, since the organization is a growing organization, therefore, it is of great essence of the organization to implement all the tools of change management within their system. Another solution that can be given to the organization can be in terms of increase of product variety and product diversification process. These will further help the organization to compete with the given competitors (Hollensen, 2010).
There are several potential threats of the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS. The major potential threats will come from the competitors present in the market. The competitors can impose a great threat from the indirect and direct competitors present in the market. These competitors impose a great challenge to the organization SOS. In addition to this, other potential threats of the organization can be in the form of effective utilization of resources in terms of innovative technology. Apart from this, if the process of change management goes wrong, then, the organization will suffer in terms of their respective sustainability. Ineffective process of change management can be considered as a major potential threat of the organization (Loudon, 2011)
The challenges faced by the organization can be in the form internal and external management. Several conflicts may arise between the employees and stuff. Apart from this, the organization may face several challenges from their respective competitors in the market. In addition to this, the organization may face problems in adoption of the process of change management within their internal management system. This will further help the other competitors in the market to capture a higher market share in the market. For this reason, it is crucial for the organization to implement tools of strategic change management to attain a higher level of core competency in the market. These are the potential threats and potential challenges that the organization can face (Luther, 2011)
There are several action plans that the organization SOS can implement. These action plans can be in the form of effective process of strategic management and change management. Apart from this, the organization needs to implement several strategies in accordance to their given variances in their internal management system. Another action plan which can be designed for the respective organization is in terms of effective utilization of resources and lowering down the prices of products to cater into new segment of products and services. This will further help the organization to maximize its customer base and market share of the organization.
Multiple amounts of control measures can be evaluated for the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS in order to control measures of challenges and negative impacts of the internal management of the organization. In addition to this, a proper and effective contingency plan will further assist the organization to minimize the variances of challenges faced by the organization (McLeish, 2010).
The aims of the report are to identify the possible variances of the report and to minimize the impact of possible changes and growth of the organization. Apart from this, it is also aimed to minimize the impact of possible change management within the given organization.
The main motivations can be considered as the possible findings and analysis of the given report. The organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS is on the growing organizations, therefore, it is of great learning for the learner as a marketing consultant for the given firm.
The major findings can be in the proper of effectiveness and importance of marketing tools and strategies for the given organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS. The importance of corporate appraisal and competitive analysis has been justified in an effective manner. Apart from this, there are several perceived market gap and perceived product gap for the given organization.
The main contribution that can be evaluated from the given report is regarding the future and expected strategies of the organization with regards to the future forecasted approach. In addition to this, another biggest contribution can be in the form of several analyses of marketing strategies in order to sustain in the long run. Apart from this, the contribution of the report can be in the form of effectiveness of theories and practical nature of the given theories.
There are several limitations that have been faced by the organization SOS in terms of sustaining in the long run of business environment. In addition to this, perceived market gap and perceived operational gap is extremely difficult to analyze due to lack of information and time. In addition to this, the implication for the marketing models and future forecasting of the organization is of extreme difficult nature to judge in terms of its competitors. Another limitation may be lack of information of financial and capital status of the organization. Due to lack of knowledge of financial status of the organization, therefore, it can be of great difficulty for marketing consultants to strategize the future strategies of the organization.
Several recommendations can be given to the organization STERLING OFFICE SUPPLIERS. These recommendations can be in the form of effective process of change management, implementation of strategic tools to develop the status of internal management, effective pricing strategies and minimizing the impact of competition as per the current status of the market. However, in addition to this, the organization can also implement new innovative strategies in terms of diversification of products and services and new form of development of products. Apart from this, the organization can be given several recommendations with respect to improvement of resources of the organization. These recommendations will further help the organization to make effective forecasting strategies as per their requirements of the current market scenario in terms of its competitors.
Learning during MBA journey
During my MBA journey I have learned a lot about practical management in business as well as policy taken for running a business in depth. The main thing in this course duration is mainly the managing of certain situation which is not desirable in business for success. The main theme of MBA is to provide the people a learning environment which simulates the real life scenario in business (Albert and Steinberg, 2011). As usual the changes made in the course are depended on the different views from every pupil. From my point of view, MBA has provided me with deep insight of business as well as understanding an organization culture. It is desirable for any employees to understand the culture of firm to cope up with the environment which effectively influences the team working environment of company. Due to having a small time frame of completing the course, it is a great place for me to achieve the desire outcome from the courses during classes. The speed learning process is the main specialty of this course as it makes a learner to become fast learner. Another major learning from the course is to drive through adverse situation in business is a plus point for me as it will help me throughout my career. The business always runs with some constraints which need to be faced by the managers to overcome and look forward for making profit from the actions taken to overcome those obstacles. Another great learning through this course is to engage the stakeholders of a company in main strategic partnership which helps business to attain sustainability due to loyal customers, employees and shareholders. The business needs to attain sustainability which is quite vulnerable till date with available business models (Attardi, Bonifazi and Torre, 2012). I have learned that attaining sustainability is the key challenges for the ‘business pundit during this period. In addition to this, the great learning was about the relationship management in this regard which might help a business organization to develop a sustainable model for a long retained business from the point of view of customers. The course was helpful for me in learning the pricing, supply chain, effective financial management, competition, branding all from the strategic pint of view. The said topics are really helpful in running a business as it provides me to understand the strategic movement of business during a particular phase of the business. The journey of MBA provides me an overall complete lesson for conducting through the significant areas of business in developing me an entrepreneurial person.
Learning during ICS journey’
The journey through integrated case study has helped me to learn a lot of managerial skills required in a firm for doing business. As requirement stated by Koroneos and Rokos, (2012), a manager needs to be well versed about overall business process due to integrated effect on business where he/she can effectively shows personal efficiency. The ICS was helpful in delivering me integrated knowledge on business of a supply and distribution company which is engaged in business of supplying office materials such as printing, furniture, stationery items, papers and electronic products. From the case study, it was also found the activities those are required to develop the business in a ‘cash cow’ position. Due to the fact that the business cycle go through a decline position after a certain maturity level, to sustain that position as well as to grow more becomes difficult unless a strategic changes are being made within business (Skowron-Mielnik, 2011). The ICS also provided me an added advantage of sharing my ideas on retail business as well as to learn more on the strategic changes in a business. The case study was helpful in learning the requirement of supply chain management for a distribution company as it is main backbone for running the business. The case was more evaluative in learning the relationship management as a tool for developing and sustaining business in future. The study also helps me to understand the three evaluation techniques mainly used for product development (Ansoff), generation of cash (BCG) and business sustainability (PLC) during the course of study. There was the requirement to do a gap analysis for assessing market, product as well as operational gap from the point of view of company which helps me to learn the change in strategy happens due to presence of gap in business despite good performance in business (Kang, 2013). From the case study, the business development was understood by projecting the demand of the customers as well as the shareholders which taught me how to tackle this trade-off in practice. It is desirable that customers will like low price with high quality which differs from return of investment – the major challenges for the management of the company. It is also provided that I learn many aspects regarding human resources as well as managing in a business perspective which will help me in doing business in future. The debt management and supplier management is a key learning space for me while the case of Sterling Office Supply shows how their management have made it possible in retaining their profit despite higher inventory holding charges. The ‘just in time ‘approach is possible in some cases which is explained in the case – it is a strategy of reducing cost of company. Changes made in strategy takes time in implementing in practice of business as the people attached with it need time – which can be seen in this case study – a great learning for me during the journey through case study. The earlier section of the case shows that human resource development is a major issue as retaining more employees which helps business to grow more as well as retain the existing customers. The course is helpful in understanding the challenge of implementing the new strategy in a firm and the role of human resource management which might help me throughout the career to take required steps in business while overcoming this type of challenge in real life. From the cases study, I understand the forecasting of business for future which might provide a target for firm to attain sustainability in business (Leadership Beyond Management™: A Powerful Journey in Leadership Development, 2011).
The challenges encountered during the journey through this cases study were many as it was associated with vast as well as diverse subjects of management. The main challenge was to understand the required numbers of warehouse for business of Sterling Office Supply as the numbers were not much high during the time with respect to covering area. Only one warehouse was accounted for supplying 80% revenue generation in Southern part of England which is risky in terms of business perspective of uninterrupted supply. Another challenge was to understand the product gap which was really difficult to understand. The product gap as described in the case study was on basis of price of product and affordability of the customers. It was difficult for me to understand as purchasing power of customers was not discussed in the case and it is a complicated topic in this case. The gap between perceived market was not also understandable due to unavailability of proper data in the case study. From my point of view, gap analysis was almost disaster as there was many loopholes were present in data provided in the study. Further, there was confusion of requirement of the gap analysis as product gap was only termed as the purchasing power of customers while company used to sell the branded products apart from own products (Sun and Li, 2013) – the price of own products was not disclosed in this study which also limited progress of case. At last, the major problem was encountered during the study was to understand the proposed solution by the management of company. As the solution was said to make the employees happy – however, the case did not say about the process of making happy. The type of processes which will be applied in the firm to make a sustainable practice of satisfying employees, customers and shareholders – were not disclosed in this term. It was really difficult to understand the tactics would be considered by the management of company for reducing any conflict among the stakeholders during changes except training of the employees (Taylor, 2014).
Actions taken to overcome the encounter
I tried to overcome the problems on my own. The major difficulty was to overcome the problem of understand the regional advantage of warehouses of the company which I overcome studying the map of England by separating the region in three parts – North, Middle and South. The next problem was to understand the market perceived gap which was reduced using the customer perceived value model. This model is helpful in understanding the perception of customers in drawing them towards the firm due to some factors inherent in business. The low pricing strategy of own products was a sorted reason for drawing the attention of opportunist customers towards the customers. The product gap of the company was recovered by applying the average purchasing power of the customers in country for the small and medium offices in country from statistical data present in official website of government (Missonier and Loufrani-Fedida, 2014). The cost related to office supply was the main reason in this case as no innovation was necessary in manufacturing new products in this case. The satisfaction of employees were assessed through the employee retention ratio which was a bit odd to understand the issue as there was different policy regarding higher level employees to junior level employees in the firm. Therefore, retention numbers do not reflect the real numbers regarding the happiness of employees; however, it reflects the mere satisfaction with job due to their concentration and dedication towards the firm (Schneider and Hadani, 2014).
Help from ICS for employment purpose
The ICS will help me a lot to get a job in the market as it helps to understand the overall supplying business as well as distribution management business in retail sector. As stated by (), the employment for a manager is possible if he/she learns the practical management and business from their school which is necessary to implement in practice whenever necessary actions to be taken. Therefore, the lessons learned in this case study will help me to convince the recruiter that I will be able to apply these lessons learned through the course. The lessons such as conducting business and scanning the same in an integrated manner which helps the management to recover the old glory as well as sustain the brand value of a company during the business process – is a vital one for getting the job in market. I also will be able to assure the employer that I have the ability to implement any change in firm due to change in policy of company which is valuable lessons learned during the process. In addition to this, the learning module from the case study was many as to think and do business in an integrated way which will help me to convince a recruiter my applicability largely in business as well as my effort of adaptability with new environment. It is a short and simple process for a job seeker to convince the recruitment officer about his/her skills during the assessment process. I will be able to show the recruitment manager my knowledge as well as skill regarding the retail sector business from point of view of relationship with customers. The case will help me to build a career in retail, relationship management, supply chain management, strategic developer and analyst. The real help comes through the integrated approach of the case study which helps me to understand the financial as well as marketing by bridging two with flourishing human resource management in a line. I will also be able to get a job of leadership management due to covering real world understanding of requirement of human capital as the lessons have learnt for potential divisibility in helping the colleagues.
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