Planning and strategy
Posted: Mar 20, 2019
One example of a successful business is McDonald organization. The mission statement of Mac Donald Inc is "McDonald's brand mission is to be our customers' favorite place and a way to eat." In the restaurant industry, the business is known for high-quality foods and services evident in the number of customers they serve. The creation of a uniform and consistent product in the minds of customers is one of the most important aspects of business’s success. No matter where customers are, once they see the ubiquitous "golden arches" they know exactly they are going to get. Especially when a customer is in a hurry, they do not take the chances with some other place. The organization’s Mission Statement has helped it focus on what really matters--to itself and to its stakeholders. The mission statement of ac Donald company has acted as a guide to strategic and day-to-day, operational decisions. Additionally, it represents the glue that binds organizations together all the franchises under the organization.
An example of a nonprofit organization is World Vision established in 1950. The NGO’s mission statement is "working with the poor to promote human transformation" The mission statement describes the organization’s fundamental purpose. In simple yet powerful terms, this mission statement proclaims corporate purpose and reflects the philosophical premises that are to guide actions. The Mission statement has allowed the NGO to operate in more than one hundred countries in the world. It intends to provide general direction, motivation, an image of the organization’s character, and a set of attitudes, through which actions are guided.
A strategic plan focuses on the whole organization and begins with the organization’s mission. Accordingly, my mission is to gain a college education. The strategic plan to gain college education would include how I would achieve the goals to gain college education
The tactical plan would include the actions that will be taken to ensure that I gain my college education such as fee payment and passing my examinations.
My college education plan would focus on how the tactical and operation plan would actually be carried out. It would include deadlines and information that detail what, when and how I would do my part to acquire the college education.
A contingency plan is very important as no one can predict the future or control the impact of forces beyond one's control. My personal experience relates to an operating system failure that occurred resulting in loss of data and important information. Luckily, I had a database backup and recovery strategy that ensured that I got my data and information back. Similarly, events beyond an organization’s control can affect its ability to continue with normal operations. But with a contingency plan, businesses can prepare for events beyond their control by first identifying unknown scenarios that may affect their operations and how they can respond to each scenario. It is wise to make plans to act as precautionary measures to prevent failures. It is important for businesses to make contingency planning a normal part of the way their planning process.
I would like to work for a company that uses Management by objectives. First, the idea of being involved in decision making or having a say in organization’s goals would ensure better participation and commitment. Additionally, Management by objectives can act as a motivation factor towards achieving the company goals that I was involved in setting. The practice also ensures better communication between employees and management given that it requires managers and employees to reach an agreement on performance objectives. Effective communication in an organization ensures a good working environment. Also, in such an organization, managers and employees have a better understanding of the broader objectives of the organization. Rewards are given to employees hence you are not likely to give up until you attain the goal. Having a specific goal will urge you to move forward thus providing a challenge. When people are involved in goals setting, they feel a sense of accomplishment.
One of the barriers that I have encountered in most of my planning processes is the inability to plan. It has had a negative effect on the achievement of my goals. The first impact is the inability to concentrate more effort on the most important task rather wasting time on the lesser important tasks. The second impact is that becomes difficult to adopt and adjust accordingly to the changes that take place in between the execution of the plan. Also, without a plan, there lacks a sense of direction and the assurance that efforts are put to useful purpose rather than being wasted.
An example of a grand strategy is an organization’s growth strategy. A grand strategy of this nature would seek to increase business by expansion into new markets and products. The growth strategy may be of diversification or horizontal integration.
Functional level strategies spell out ways that a functional area can strengthen the business level strategy. In a product differentiation strategy, the functional level strategy of the R&D department may be to accelerate an innovation process to ensure the company produces new and unique products. A competitive strategy is an approach and initiative that a business would take to attract customers, strengthen market position or withstand competitive pressure. An example of a competitive strategy is a low-cost leadership strategy. With this strategy, a business strives to sell goods or services at the lowest cost below its competitors in order to appeal to customers.
It is possible to apply a SWOT analysis to my strategic plan for gaining my college education by evaluating the strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in gaining my college education. The strengths of gaining a college education are greater employment benefits, better quality of life and networking. The opportunities include more job opportunities and opportunities for career advancements. The weakness of having a college degree is the lack of job opportunities. The threats include lack of funds to finance the education.
One of the organizations that capitalize on their distinctive competitive advantage is Apple Company. Its distinctive competitive advantage is its employees. Competitors find it harder to beat Apple due to its business of innovativeness. Apple is the most innovative company in the world. The firm’s innovation strategy involves terrific new products and innovative business models. It delivers its customers with a succession of great software. Apple also initiates new business spaces and creates new market niches through its innovative products. The company invented game-changing innovations such as the iTunes, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Competitors that chase the company’s products find themselves behind when the firm introduces latest and greatest products. The company’s source of competitive advantage is great innovators whom the business hires to make innovative products.
The company does not just focus on building innovative and beautiful products; it builds innovative business models too. The firm’s commitment to innovation is culturally driven with most successful products starting with only a few people. Apple has built an effective innovation system that harnesses creativity in its people and stimulate new ideas. Another example of an organization that capitalizes on distinctive competitive advantage is Wal-Mart. The business engages in strategic shipping, purchasing, retail marketing and warehousing activities to stand out by consistently giving customers precisely what they want at a lower cost. The company has developed integrated systems for ordering, shipping and delivering which enable it to maintain low prices. Its competitive advantage is its gigantic size.
One of my best customer experiences that I have had is shopping at a Wal-mart store. It was the first time to shop at any of the company’s store. The store offered considerable lower prices compared to most of the stores I had ever been. I saved much by shopping at Wal-mart. The business offers lower prices compared to its competitors. The business is able to offer these prices, as a result of its huge volume of sales, a supply chain management system, minimization of overhead and operational costs, and leveraging of its bargaining power to compel suppliers to lower prices:
Suppliers can affect a company’s profit through control operating details such as product prices, how products will be distributed when payments are due or the even selection of products or service offerings. Through these activities, the profit margins generated by the company through purchasing activities can be determined by the supplier. When suppliers reduce the quality of goods, or raw materials supplied, the final product is also of low quality. When suppliers fail to conform to specifications, they affect the productivity of the company.
Outsourcing creates changes for the business and the firm providing the services. As the business focuses on the core activities of the company, it becomes necessary to deal with your non-core functions efficiently. The practice of Outsourcing is a tried-and-tested model and has been recognized as a long-term competitive strategy for success by some businesses. One of the changes that the business is outsourcing the services is that it helps individuals to you focus back on the core business activities. Outsourcing different business processes frees energies and enable individuals in the business to focus on building the brand, continue providing higher value added services and invest in research and development.
One of the most obvious benefits that accrue to the business is Cost advantage. Outsourcing can bring down costs and at better quality as well. The business, therefore, will benefit from a cost saving since the job can be done at a fraction of the cost. Even if the services received are of a higher quality, low-cost does not mean low-quality. The business will also see an improvement in efficiency. Additionally, when a business outsources its business needs to an outsourcing partner, they bring years of expertise and experience in business practices in delivering complex outsourcing projects. Thus, they can do the job better with the understanding and knowledge of the domain.
The business can, therefore, achieve an increase in productivity and efficiency in the process hence contributing to the bottom-line of the company. The business can Save on infrastructure and technology by Outsourcing thus eliminating the need for investment in infrastructure since the outsourcing partner assumes the responsibility of the core business processes thus developing infrastructure for the same. The business can have access to skilled resources as they no longer need to invest in recruiting and training human resources for the business. Provides the services take care of the resourcing needs of their pool of highly skilled resources.
The company can have the benefit of round the clock business operations as or time zone advantage is they outsource from a different country or location. The time zone difference between the two parties can allow the company to get its job done while they are closed for the day. This unique advantage gives the business the benefit of round-the-clock business operations. Outsourcing can enable the business to provide faster and better services by decreasing the lead time for the product to reach the market. Therefore, the business can be faster in getting ideas transformed into products and better at providing the value-added proposition.
However, negative impacts might also be felt by the business as it has to put up measures to protect confidential data that might be required by the service provider. Where the business fails to choose a right partner for the outsourcing services, it might experience problems such as stretched delivery time frames, inappropriate categorization of responsibilities and sub-standard quality output. The business may also incur some hidden costs such as those costs involved in signing a contract while signing contracts.
The company providing the outsourcing services will also experience some changes in terms of increased income. The amount of data handled by the company may also increase considerably with the increase of clients. Additionally, a company may require some form of agreements requiring restrictions of activities provided by the service provider to safeguard its business interests. Costs may also increase if additional employees are required to cater for the increase of work.
The sentence means that quality improvement is an ongoing process for a business. The same can be said to productivity. The effort to improve productivity is also a continuous journey. All business process improved ultimately increase productivity by lowering input costs, increasing output and improving customer satisfaction. Lead times, rejects, inventory, waste, rework, labor content and space required can all be reduced by eliminating and reducing activities that do not translate to customer’s value. Continuous improvement necessitates never-ending effort to fine-tune processes and challenge the status quo. There is an importance for the use of continuous improvement tools and information and techniques to ascertain and get rid of the root cause of problems. Increasing productivity requires a work culture of on-going continuous improvement where each individual is engaged in making incremental improvements and problem solving. The buildup of everyone’s incremental improvements ultimately improves the productivity of the business.
My viewpoint is that businesses should focus on quality, In fact, a natural outcome of quality thinking. Some people have regarded innovation as the quality for tomorrow. Innovations are based on the needs of the customer to have higher quality products although innovation sometimes involves thinking and behaviors that run counter to some practices in quality. The twenty-first-century innovations have as enabled businesses to deliver quality more easily and more consistently. Thus, the focus has shifted to marketplace differentiation through better support and service. In the past, many businesses have survived with very limited amounts of innovation.
They focused on the provision of quality products and simply updated them to a level that maintained their competitiveness in the marketplace. The method continues to apply to some products with few opportunities for innovation and long lifecycles. Recently, however, different trends that drive the innovation process have emerged. As a result of different factors such as outsourcing and globalization, there has been an increasing push to improve effectiveness and efficiency of businesses. Organizations require more than good products to survive, they need innovative processes that can drive down costs, improve quality and improve productivity. When businesses focus on quality, they enhance the use of innovations in their operations.
I have used the seven step decision making process in when making various decisions. One of the decisions I had to make was the most appropriate college to join. The problem was selecting the best college. The limiting factors were finances, location, and qualifications. I chose one college and developed seven potential alternatives that were suited my qualifications. The next step involved selecting the best alternative taking into consideration financial factors, location, and qualification. The next step as in the decision making process was to enroll in the selected college. The last step involved establishing a control and evaluation system by setting a pass mark on my assessments from the beginning to the completion of my course.
I have developed a personal approach to decision making. The process begins with an understanding of the problem or subjects to be evaluated. The second steps involve identifying the issues, assumptions and information surrounding the problem. The final stage is the evaluation of alternatives and reaching a conclusion. The use of a decision-making model, it is easier to have a systematic approach that encourages me to define their problem, gather necessary information, apply ethical standards and values and identify and evaluate alternative courses of action, and to ultimately follow through on the decision. Developing a personal approach to decision-making is the foundation from which all decisions should be made. The understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the framework is essential to sound decision-making skills. The Decision-making approach incorporates preconceived experiences, intuitions and emotions and as well as conscience reasoning to ensure better-structured decisions.
When setting criteria, I use different methods depending on the type of decision and parties involved. However, I use a process known as multi-criteria decision analysis to describe and compare available options. The process involves selecting a meaningful criterion to make comparisons across available options. It also involves applying weights to those criteria and scoring each alternative under consideration based on its performance. There is a common set of steps involved in the process.
Write down a set the criteria to be used in the priority setting process
Take into Consideration the relative significance of different criteria
Synthesize information by writing the options of possible solutions across the criteria
Score each possible solutions option against each criterion
Compute the total weighted value score
The priority setting begins when there is a list of ideas or options. The ideas and options arise during a situation assessment. The step also involves determining the number of people involved; the decision required and the priority setting process. There may be situations in which judgment is necessary, required. Therefore, it is critical to outline, the roles and expectations of all involved are before beginning a prioritizing process
The most common organizations with queuing models are banks and fast food restaurant. Queuing can sometimes be an unpleasant an extremely frustrating for both the customer and the employees. Keeping in mind the intensity of competition today, a customer who waits for too long in line is potentially a lost customer. Banks and restaurant understand the nature of lines and learning how to manage them as areas in operations management.
The banks consider various issues in setting up a queuing model. They first determine the efficacy of the servers and possible number of service facility. They then determine customers’ arrival time and the amount of time a customer spends in the queue. They then determine the waiting line or the length of the queue and calculate the optimal number of counters to improve the operation efficiency. Another essential aspect considered when designing a queuing model in the servicing system is the line structure. Queues are basic to both external and internal business processes, which include scheduling, staffing and inventory levels. Banks utilize queuing theory as a competitive advantage over other banks. Through knowledge of process mapping, probability distributions, and basic process improvement techniques, these organizations design and implement robust queuing models to create a competitive advantage.
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