Business strategy can be defined as the vehicle that can drive an organization to its desired goal – towards the successful completion of its goals and objectives, the achieving of its targets, meeting its environmental and social responsibilities and environmental responsibilities. In most cases, the managers, experts and decision makers of the company sits down and assesses market conditions, customer perceptions and draws a plan that would lead it in its path in the next few years. Companies base their strategies on its strengths, organizational competencies, market conditions and customer preferences. These strategic decisions become the most important plan that shows the business organization its targets that it needs to complete in order to succeed in its endeavour to becoming a successful company with a stable and loyal customer base.
Mulberry’s heritage is infused in the English leather craftsmanship. Today mulberry is the largest manufacturer of luxury leather goods in United Kingdom. Mulberry has established itself as a British lifestyle brand, widely known for its leather poacher bags including the binocular and dispatch bag. Mulberry Group Plc is listed in the London Stock Exchange and its shareholders with 250 or more shares are entitled to get a 20% discount in the Mulberry’s stores.
P3.1 Analyze possible alternative strategies relating to substantive growth, limited growth or retrenchment for Mulberry
Several strategies can be adopted by a brand like Mulberry to enhance its opportunities for growth and success.
Mergers- a commonly used strategy is the coming together of two different forms who share their capabilities, competencies, resources and strengths to work towards the common goal to achieve the desired success. Mulberry can merge with another company which could add their own strengths with the strengths of the former and work towards achieving the goals set by the company with coordination, mutual trust and mutual benefits. Take for example, the M&A transaction of Shell and the Royal Dutch Petroleum. This merger has brought both the companies in the top two slots of the London FTSE 100 and almost on the equitability of the oil giant BP.
Franchising- is the process through which companies can further illustrate the image of the brand to the customers and present before them the qualities and that would appeal to the customers. Franchises are useful in setting up chains and stores and Mulberry too can benefit from the same. Mulberry can extend its capabilities and core potential to its franchisors and set up franchisee stores to cater to a wider range of customers. (Wells, 1986) For example McDonalds has almost over 75% of its restaurants around the world owned independently. In order to become a franchise, a business owner can purchase a new or even an existing food chain with a down payment in the initial stage and the leftover amount can be financed for up to a limited time period, say for seven years. The agreement terms and conditions includes of the continuing fees that includes the rent and service fees.
Strategy evaluation provides extremely important information that is needed to increase the benefits in comparison to the capital invested. Strategic evaluation is a response to societal, governmental and conceptual demands which emphasizes a shift in current evaluation thinking. The different approaches to strategy evaluation and selection are:
Market Entry Strategy- There are various ways by which Mulberry can enter into new market segments which is an integral part of global market entry strategy for them. This will further have large impact on the product and marketing mix stratergy decisions, so, they need to critically analyze the requirements in the dynamic marketing environment.
Following are the key strategies that can be adopted:
- Selling directly into their chosen market segments using a strong distributor and supplier network.
- Engaging business partners by entering into license agreement.
- Opening franchises in the new market segments can give exposure to rapid market expansion.
- Going for joint venture partnership to share losses and profits equally.
- Arranging for business units mergers with partners who have large market share and growth in the new segments.
Turnaround Strategy- It is the recovery strategy to revive the financial resources of the company. They can identify their problem areas, analyze the changes in the market environment and subsequently develop and implement problem solving strategies.
Steps that can be undertaken by Mulberry are:
- Engaging new leadership managers to ensure better and improved use of technical expertise, better delegation of responsibilities, allocation of resources, better personnel management and effective conflict handling.
- Redefining the business strategies to properly filter the profitable strategies which are effective and functional for long term growth prospective and profitability.
- Liquidating unprofitable assets and unnecessary resources to eliminate unnecessary funds flow.
- Improving profitability by controlling resources and reducing overheads.
- Planning acquisitions carefully in relation to the core business operations.
The factors that can support strategy selection in Mulberry are:
- Evaluating market opportunities and threats to identify product market and segments of the market where the product or service can make entry.
- Pointing out the assets or skills that can determine the core competency in Mulberry.
- Developing functional area strategies that considers product outline, pricing structure, distributing network, process and personnel requirements. This will help in better resource allocation to support the strategy.
- Analyzing financial resources needs and allocating sufficient funds flow to strengthen the strategy implementation.
P3.2 Select an appropriate future strategy for Mulberry
It is important for any company to focus on its human resources to further add value to its goal and help it along its path to business success. The human resources in Mulberry need to work towards achieving organizational efficiency.
Mulberry needs to achieve the acceptability of its employees to earn their interests and commitment, which would contribute towards achieving greater results. Mulberry needs to focus on increasing its organizational efficiency since efficient operations can translate inputs into greater and more productive outputs. Another keen addition to the potential of the firm can be brought about by adding more value by minimization of wastes. Waste minimization will influence a more efficient utilization of resources and also help reduce costs. Promoting training of employees would also help achieve efficiency by imparting better and improved skills which would translate into better productive results. Mulberry can also adopt a strategy of organizational alignment of the employees, much like Sainsbury, which conducts an alignment program for its new employees to make them aware of the organization’s goals and practices, their responsibilities and targets. (Scott & Bruce, 1987).
The company needs to make its products desirable to the customers. A decisive and attractive advertising campaign could help Mulberry grab the attention of the customers. The designs, the materials and their presentation, from its packing to its market presentation needs to be elaborate to attract the focus of the customers it intends to target.
These strategies can add more value to the organizational efficiency of Mulberry and help it achieve better results in the market. Motivation and effective leadership also adds value by encouraging employees to put in their best efforts and help create a bond of mutual trust and cooperation which could form the basis of successfully completing several tasks and objectives(Ackoff, 1974).
Mulberry can implement the market entry strategies by using the following approaches:
- Taping the pool of expertise talents by working with local organizations and communities can create opportunities for Mulberry to develop the workforce and get access to the local talents. This can lead to new technological and environmental developments.
- Building and strengthening relationships with governments to ensure approvals for capital projects and regulatory controls for Mulberry’s new markets. This will help to extend collaborative support to build mutual understandings.
- Creating effective communication management to ensure transparency in the strategic objectives of Mulberry will help to build positive public perception in the new markets.
- Community involvement and investments in new research areas particularly in education will help exceed the standards for Mulberry in their operations. It will also ensure social and environmental performance in the new foreign markets.
- Developing a strong supplier network model in the new local markets will build relationship with the local suppliers and enhance qualitative factors in their supply chain. This will also help to build trust and compete at better price point.
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P4.1 Compare the roles and responsibilities for strategy implementation at Mulberry
The crucial management people who are responsible for strategic implementation at Mulberry are the C- level managers like the CEO’s. They communicate the vision of Mulberry and help to implement strategic plans. Even other mid level mangers contribute responsively to communicate the shared vision and purpose of the plans to other employees at the vertical level for effective execution. The execution tasks, jobs and responsibilities vary across all levels but they are all co related and critical at their functional levels.
The essential elements of strategy implementation at Mulberry are:
- Effective leadership role of the management at Mulberry which focuses on inclusive growth and performance, core competencies, customer satisfaction and quality delivery. They believe in their core objectives to motivate human dynamics and engage value based leadership.
- Creating step wise approach to execute the strategic planning into the business activities of Mulberry by evaluating performance factors, driving impulse to strategic projects and striving towards goal achievement.
- Aligning the operations at Mulberry in accordance with their strategic planning to reach higher growth, performance and seamless delivery. This will also help to ensure strong business relationships in their distribution and supply network which will help to maintain time based delivery to their customers.( Verweire, 2014)
The key roles that are needed for effective strategy implementation at Mulberry are:
- The managers at Mulberry help to identify focal points by detailing the action plan and showing the correlation between cause and effect of key components. Then it is further allocated and efforts are made to estimate the resources required to accomplish those action steps. Efforts are made to identify and map the critical components that are necessary for performance evaluation. This can lead to desired goal accomplishment, improvement in customer delivery, increase in market share and more effective supply chain network.
- Increased focus to align the strategic plans and their implementation at Mulberry will help to coordinate the workforce and give a clear understanding of the strategies by effective and transparent communication.
- The managers at Mulberry develop annual business plan to allocate funds in the planning process and to better manage the risk of uncertainties. They even engage their shareholders in the critical decision making process to smoothen the capital inflows and operation management
P4.2 Evaluate resource requirements to implement a new strategy for Mulberry
Resource allocation is one of the most important aspects min the process of implementing the planned strategy. Mulberry as a company needs to have a clear strategic meeting and discuss on the issues that it needs to strategize for achieving greater success in the near future. The company requires several resources to successfully carry out its planned strategy.
- Materials: of production are necessary to implement the planned strategy. One such resource is raw materials. Mulberry needs to assess its needs for materials, mostly good quality leather and forge a bond with its suppliers who could provide them the same at reasonable prices. The company must also keep in mind about sustainable practices and emphasize that the supplier too adopts similar environment friendly practices (Umble, Haft & Umble, 2003).
- Financial resources: are also very important to implement the planned strategy and so, companies like Mulberry needs to forge a bond with its investors and encourage their participation in the operations of the company. Mulberry needs to create a healthy channel of communication and initiate engagement programs for its investors.
- Human resource: is again a crucial resource for the successful implementation of a planned strategy. Once the company management has decided on a strategy, the tasks are broken down in smaller subtasks and allotted among the employees. The management needs to assess if the employees need to be trained in order to reach the desired results or whether the organization needs to recruit new and skilled employees who could handle the responsibility with greater efficiency, producing better results. Mulberry needs to put in place an intricate system of recruitment that would help it hire the services of the most capable applicant. It should also conduct training programs to increase the capabilities of the employees.
Restructuring the organization according to the new plan is essential for the smooth operations of the new strategy. The company’s organization needs to be restructured to lend it greater efficiency to carry out the tasks and responsibilities. The company may choose to have newer recruits to employ skilled individuals based on the responsibilities of the new strategy, or restructure individuals posted in different responsibilities according to the need. So, based on the priorities of the task, and the technical abilities required to successfully complete an allotted task, the organization can be restructured to fulfil the new planned strategy (Grimshaw, Thomas, MacLennan, Fraser, Ramsay, Vale & Donaldson, 2004).
Commitment and willingness to change: from the old strategy to the new strategy would hold the key for the organizational response to the new strategy. It is important for the management to communicate well with the employees and the organization and emphasizes their rights, securities and benefits would not be hampered due to the change in strategy. Since a strategic change brings in organizational change as well, it is natural for the employees to be apprehensive, so the management needs to lend them the support and give them the assurance that they need to continue their tasks with the confidence that is required.
P4.3 Discuss targets and timescales for achievement at Mulberry to monitor a given strategy
The targets and timescales that are required at Mulberry are:
- Setting and developing the vision statement of the company which can create guidance to the organizations critical strategic planning. Even, these mission objectives need to be periodically reviewed for better monitoring and controlling of plans.
- Identifying and clearly communicating the problem areas for which change in strategic plans are needed and encouraging everyone to understand the solutions for change.
- Clarification of guidelines that form the core cultural values at Mulberry will help in business growth.
- Developing short term goal plan to prioritize strategic planning target for the company will reduce over ambitious work plans and formulate realistic or more achievable goals that can act as foundation for long term business objectives.
The SMART objectives of Mulberry are:
- Expanding the network of their customer base by expanding the sales of their product or service through strengthening of their distribution network. Even better advertising and promotion strategies are adopted by use of digital markets.
- Offering better service and operation network to their customers by providing uninterrupted access to services. Even efforts are made to improve their customer’s browsing and telecom experience. For this the Mulberry group invests heavily in their resource development and R&D initiatives.
- Achieving market leadership in the global telecom industry in future years by balanced volume growth in the market. (Momoh, 2012)
SMART objectives and strategy implementation:
- SMART objectives make the strategies easier to implement by giving them direction and focus within a time frame.
- They make the strategies align with the business vision, mission and objectives. This improves core competitive edge making clear consequences of business outcomes.
- They help in advanced preparation and planning for the implementation of effective strategies through careful decision making and critical thinking process.
- They help to reduce potential business risks and uncertainties. This helps in better planning to meet the challenges in the changing market environment.
- They help in better evaluation and control of strategic implementation process to make them more functional and effective.
- They help in building support by creating conducive business environment. It also helps in improving employee satisfaction and contribution.
In Unit 7 Mulberry Business Strategy Assignment, one has come across the various aspects of business strategy, from the key aspects in its planning to the nitty-gritty’s in its implementation in an organization. These organizational strategies are achieved by the hard work put in by the management who have spent hour analysing, and evaluating the market trends, possible future trends and the potentials and competencies of the organization. These strategies are then communicated to the employees through their respective departments and the larger objective is broken down into smaller tasks which need to be successfully completed within the specified time. This paper also deals with the implementation of the strategy. Without implementation the tedious process of evaluating assessing, planning and strategizing would be rendered useless(Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart, 2010).
So, in this paper, one would come across the various processes of strategic planning, its essential features and aspects and a clear understanding of the importance of the same. This paper also touches upon the essential aspects of implementing the strategy and also highlights important aspects in implementing the same and achieving the goals and targets set in the new strategy.
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