Introduction to Business Strategy in Hospitality Industry

In this report, it is considered that business strategy of an hospitality organization reflects the success and failure in achieving business objectives. The business strategy is a planning or concept on which basis the multiple operational functions and practices are dependent. This report is based on the leading hospitality organization of UK which is named as Thomas Cook. The business environment of Thomas Cook is discussed along with strategic practices in this travel and tourism business firm (Bitzenis and Nito, 2005). The competitive advantages and various business strategic options are discussed in reference to current business conditions in Thomas Cook along with recommendations for a strategic plan to be implemented. In the report, it is discussed that what is the impact of operational plan in business strategy of Thomas Cook. The use of budgeting and targeting is understood along with a communication plan of strategic plan implementation.

TASK 1

Critical analysis of internal business environment in Thomas cook

Internal business analysis is also known as micro business environment which represents the organizational behavior, culture and structure of business functions and operations in a firm. It is observed that there are various business operations which can reduce the challenges and issues in achieving planned business objectives along with efficiency of business system (Klapper and Parker, 2011). The critical analysis of internal business environment of Thomas Cook is discussed as following.

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Strengths:

  • It is observed that planning and control system of Thomas Cook is well managed for all the business operations.
  • The marketing techniques and campaigns are attractive to grab more market share.
  • The decision making process is influenced from democratic leadership style which has greater impact on brand value.
  • Leading the market in all products and services from traveling, tourism and hospitality.

Weaknesses:

  • The staffing is an issues for  Thomas Cook to be managed in all the business locations.
  • Strategic planning is infected from the ineffective business environment of the organization.
  • There is loop holes in managing multiple business branches and managing customers of different segments.
  • Optimum resource allocation and access is missing in strategic operations of Thomas Cook.

Opportunities:

  • The business E-commerce strategy can be better than current operational practices.
  • Effective strategic development plan is required for overcoming business issues.
  • Staffing policies requires suitable planning and implementation through human resource management

Threats:

  • The competitors are always a threat for Thomas Cook due to complexity in business operations.
  • The internal environment is influenced from various ineffective strategic plan which can reduce the business consistency.
  • Customers satisfaction in all the business conditions is a threat for  Thomas Cook.
  • Critical analysis of external business environment in Thomas cook

Through PESTLE analysis of Thomas Cook, the external environment can be understand as followings.

Political: Thomas Cook are imposed that they get charged in different countries for hospitality, restaurant services, food processing and serving, accommodation etc. In the same way, Different countries where Thomas Cook have business uses different pricing strategies. The government policies & guidelines for air traffic also affect the overall operations of Thomas Cook (Lewis and Gates, 2005). Along with that political parties of target market also affects strategic decision making in various hospitality services and products like holiday packages and hotel tariffs.

Economic: Economic factors in form of interest rate affect long-term program of Thomas Cook. If the economic performance of Thomas Cook is compared to the market sector then it can be concluded that UK economy has crucial role in financial planning. The cost of resources like oil prices, food ingredients, infrastructure, human work force etc. are reflects from the business economy system of different countries. The pricing policy adopted by government is to make hospitality services affordable to all kind of people which could be able to access such services (Palmer and Hartley, 2008). Along with these aspects, the income of customers and people affects the service rate of Thomas Cook.

Social: The health and safety measures of Thomas Cook are related to employee and customers who provide or access these services. The growth of potential customers and rate of population has greater impact on market share and profitability in hospitality business of Thomas Cook. The other social issues are changing trends, caliber of society, cultures and changing level of people expectations from hospitality firms like Thomas Cook.

Technological: As things improve technology becomes stronger to stringent business operations and practices. Thomas Cook needs to implementing such activities and mechanisms which can increase the efficiency of business operations (Yu and Ramanathan, 2012). Thomas Cook  has already started to adapt technological changes in their business operations. It is understood that adoption of a technology makes things more comfortable and economical for Thomas Cook which can increase their working capacities and productivity.

Legal: The different legalities of different countries affects the business firms to act upon the guidelines. Every country had their own polices and legislative rules through which they can monitor and control business system. It is understood that Thomas Cook need to negotiate with all the legal policies (Lewis and Gates, 2005), Acts and regulations of hospitality business in the target market. All the ethical and moral duties must be followed by Thomas Cook to serve its employees and customers.

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Environment: There are number of roles and responsibilities of hospitality firms like Thomas Cook in managing different pollution like air & noise which affects the environment and value of business. It is the corporate social responsibility of different business environments and organizations like air, water & noise etc. to manage all issues related to environment. It is required to fulfill duties regarding making a Eco-system for human beings from all the hospitality business firms.

TASK 2

Critical evaluation of options for strategic growth in Thomas cook

Through the research and study of strategic operational decisions and policies of Thomas Cook, it is observed that this business organization is emphasized to innovative and creative planning of products and service in hospitality services to target customers (Lewis and Gates, 2005). The various products are designed and served on the basis of evaluation of customers demands and expectations. It includes the holiday packages, effective and lucrative implementation of infrastructure developments and other facilities to customer. The other creation are done in product quality, pricing, advanced technology etc.

To entertain the online customers, Thomas Cook affects the customers management through single gateway option. It is a customers attention strategy which can manage different customers of Thomas Cook in a single customers relationship management system with effective attention on every client (Stackelberg, 2010). It is focused to give better solutions to all the customers through effective online services and advertisements for marketing their products and services. Through this strategic option,  Thomas Cook can increase the efficiency of all its marketing functions and operations through adequate planning and developments. It includes corporate websites, associate business partners websites and internet for making a stringent customers service system for hospitality services.

It is understood that strategic planning of Thomas Cook is reflected from advancement of technology and increasing brand equity of its business assets. The hospitality business firms are focusing in improvements of existing and lacking business operations through organizational change management through effective digital and information technology. Different groups of management and stakeholders services are attained through effective communication channel which requires advance technology.

There are multiple marketing strategies of Thomas Cook which are focused to give attention on target customers. It includes effective targeting, segmentation and positioning strategy of Thomas Cook to develop satisfactory marketing portfolio. The social media marketing resources, different communication resources and information technology mediums are accessed for making a better products and service management. Customers segmentation and targeting is accessed on the basis of marketing research and development work through effective planning and control operations. So on whole these are the business strategic options of Thomas Cook has great impact on its business development process.

Identification and evaluation of competitive advantages strategies of Thomas cook

The competitive advantages of a hospitality business firm like Thomas Cook is accessed from the management efficiency and effectiveness of business operations through which firm can compete or lead the market. There are multiple business rivalries of Thomas Cook which are keen to grab the market share from Thomas Cook. It is understood that the skills, experience and  other capabilities of employees of Thomas Cook has increased potential to attain all the set targets within deadlines while maintaining the service quality (Sohal and Perry, 2006). The competitive advantage of  Thomas Cook is market share and profitability rate which has increased level of business efficiency. It is operating in various countries through effective business operations management. There are multiple resources and functions which are directed through optimal technologies and methods of business economy. It is considered that all the business functions of Thomas Cook are managed by the operational departments in different countries which are govern through central business hub or headquarter. Thomas Cook is a big group which is providing hospitality services along with airlines, restaurants, cruise, exchange and traveling services to its customers. It also provide the tourism services to the all customers segments through effective holiday packages and offers (Tours and Travels | Holiday Packages from Thomas Cook India, 2014). It consists of management decisions which are taken from contribution of all the stakeholders of its business group for attainment of business objectives. During the strategic decision making, all the relevant employees and management executives are involved for discussion on issues and solutions. The business diversification and expansion is dependent on various management tactics and policies which are designed and implemented by top management of Thomas Cook. It is responsible for strategic policy formation and controlling through monitoring and supporting orations system of hospitality and other services of Thomas Cook. All the changes and improvements are processed through effective research and development work of marketing and management team in Thomas Cook. The assessment of all associated risks are taken care from analysis of the customers behaviors and marketing conditions. The supply chain of Thomas Cook is well managed by meeting the expectation of customers and suppliers for managing all the activities. It is considered that all the procedures and functions are followed by an effective channel of working system. It is understood that business activities will have positive and negative impact on business strategies. All the positive imp0acts makes a better communication system and all the negative aspects of its business reduces the profitability and productivity. Thomas Cook has managed the competitive advantages through effective planning and controlling system. The new product development and launch is managed by various business tactics. There are business organizations which are supporting the society and economy of a country through hospitality services and Thomas Cook is one of the leading one among them (Lewis and Gates, 2005). The one place complete service mechanism of Thomas Cook is affecting the business worth of country and whole business industry of hospitality. On whole the competitive advantages are managed through a business strategy which is including employees, competitors, customers etc. for planning and controlling hospitality business. 

Recommendations to strategic direction for Thomas cook

In case of hospitality business strategy, the strategic plan on the basis of strategic options and environment in Thomas cook should be planned and developed according to the demand and expectations of employees and customers. It is understood that business of all the branches and locations should be well managed by Thomas Cook. There should be equal coordination of all the stakeholders which has positive impact of managing business services and implementation of assigned roles (Lihitkar, 2013).  It is concluded that there should  be effective planning and controlling over new product designing and developing a;ll the phases of a product or service with effective monitoring and control system. As per the identified issues and problems in Thomas cook, it should be focus on the staffing management for the various business locations. The training and development programs should be conducted for all the employees get better services and providing effective quality to business organizations. The training and development program should be focused to specific requirements of all the individual employees which can assess better improvement through effective performance. It is asked to manage all the business services and practices according to the service lengths and responsibilities of employees through which an efficient human resource management system can be implement. It is suggested to use the positive response from all the stakeholders to manage the challenges and issues related to hospitality services from Thomas cook (Tours and Travels | Holiday Packages from Thomas Cook India, 2014). There are information technology services and electronics systems which are making efficient management of customers and employees in hospitality firms. It is suggested that there should be effective control over the customers relationship management through which all the business stakeholder can be connected and managed to use quality services and solutions to problems. Along with the customers satisfaction systems, Thomas cook should focus to strategic developments of business operations through effective designing and control over resource management. The optimal use of resources and all available technology can retain service quality as consistent as before. For the development time of business processes and system in Thomas cook, it is suggested that all the decisions maker should provide their best for strategic decision making (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). It is observed that effective planning and control over business activities can provide positive outcomes as per the expectations of costumers and management. The internal business environment of  Thomas cook can be improved through effective leadership and motivational practices which will encourage employees to act according the assignments of their job. The business environment is consists of the organizational culture and stricture. The groups of different individuals makes culture to be followed by business organization. There are multiple business services which are promoting and affecting all the business operations in either rights or inappropriate direction. It can be made through effective control and monitoring of on going business processes. It is suggested that customers should  be treated according to the best possible services which can improve service quality and management of business functions.

Strategic plan on the basis of strategic options and environment in Thomas cook

A strategic plan is consists of all the options and environment of business. It is understood that effective planning and controlling requires effective operational management. In this plan, it is included that all the products and services of Thomas cook should be focused in all relevant aspects of business. There should be effective control over designing and controlling functions of management (Tours and Travels | Holiday Packages from Thomas Cook India, 2014). The strategic options as discussed above are information technology advancement for making effective control over management orations and employees performance. In this plan, all the business factors will have positive impact on implementation of operational procedure for expected results. It will cover the E-commerce maintenance as best as possible for all the branch location of business in Thomas cook. The effective control over business system can provide efficiency to product and service delivery to customers as per business rules and objectives. The external forces will be managed through effective implementation of business principles and legal policies. The PESTLE can be controlled and managed by effective operational management of business practices. Economy of business can be managed through quality services and profitability through customers satisfaction in this strategic business plan. Every technology related to hospitality industry which can help in betterment of Thomas cook should be consider for effective operational plan and its implementation in well controlled way. It is considered that all the services will be reaming constant for all type of business customers (Northcraft and et.al, 2011). The business presentations are integrated according to strategic plans and objectives of Thomas cook which will affect the whole outcomes of business organization. It is concluded that a operational plan should be implemented according to demand of all stakeholders for betterment of expected results from business organization like Thomas cook. It is concluded in the strategic planning of operational plan that all the activities and environment should be integrated for attaining common goals of business organization (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). Operation management in hospitality management always affects the planning and maintenance of products and services from Thomas cook.

TASK 3

The role of integrated operational plan in business strategy of Thomas cook

The business strategy of Thomas cook has greater impact of its operational plan. It is understood that all the business practices are designed as served to its target customers according to requirements of customers and the other stakeholders. A operational plan is consists of business planning and development of implementation of various products and services offered by Thomas cook. It is asked by the management to support the lower level employees so that they can perform better as per the expectation of company (Tours and Travels | Holiday Packages from Thomas Cook India, 2014). Various business practices and operations should be managed with considerations of all the strategic options and environment of business in Thomas cook for its hospitality services.

Evaluate the factors in business strategy of Thomas cook

Strategy implementation is an important aspect for the management of business corporation. According to the selected organization, Thomas Cook, it becomes more significant to ensure appropriate implementation of strategy because of its exiting target market. Operating in such a competitive market it is essential for senior authorities to ensure that developed strategies and tactics are implemented in effective and efficient manner. There are several factors that may play significant role in implementing strategy. These are as follows:

Human resource – It is the integral part of the company and are most valuable assets to the firm. In particular to implement the strategy it is important for employees to work adequately (Kemp and Vinke,  2012). The main purpose of implement a strategy is to enhance the level of business operations. Therefore, management of Thomas Cook has to make optimum utilization of human resource in implementing the strategy and attaining desired results.

Finance – It is the responsibility of top level management to ensure that Thomas Cook have adequate amount of fund which can be used at the time of implementing the strategy (Jones and Vagliasindi, 2013). Allocation appropriate funding will ensure each of department to undertake the implications of new strategy in much better manner and minimize the risks and uncertainties associated with it.

Appropriate forecasting – This is one of the major factor because having appropriate planning will allow front line manager of each department of Thomas Cook to understand the need and want of new strategy as well as support the implementation of tactics in positive manner to generate positive results and outcomes (Iqbal and Strong, 2010).

Therefore, the above present are some of the major factors that play significant role in implementing newly framed strategy and tactics. Operating in such a competitive market it is important for senior authority of Thomas Cook to ensure that all above stated factors are working in coordination to implement the strategy in appropriate manner.

Communication plan:

Communication in an significant approach by the means of which, management can share each and every aspect of their functioning to different people associated with the firm. In the present given scenario, it is the responsibility of top level management of Thomas Cook to ensure that they communicate each aspect of the new strategy framed to its stakeholders so that they can change or modify their functioning accordingly (Grontoft, 2011). There are two types of people associated with Thomas Cook, internal and external. However for each of the type it is important to undertake appropriate communication plan so that they can clearly understand the need and wants of change in strategic approach and contribute positively in the operations of Thomas Cook.

For the external stakeholders such as: investors and lenders, management has to organize meetings in order to make them understand about the effectiveness of undertaking the new strategy. Operating in such competitive market it is important for Thomas Cook to undertake strategies as per the needs and wants and it has involve most of the people so that overall business approach can be changed effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, for internal stakeholders, top level authorities can communicate information regarding implementation of new strategy by mailing (Ruff, 2006). Further, management has to communicate on the appropriate platform so that each of the department's front line managers can understand and make modification accordingly.

Therefore, having appropriate communication plan helps in creating awareness about the steps and tactics that Thomas Cook is going to undertake in regards to achieve its desired goals and objectives.

Monitoring and control system for operational strategic plan in Thomas cook

Budgets play significant role in overall business functioning. However, budgets are considered as important aspect but often overlooked during operational excellence. The main purpose behind preparing budget is to compare actual performance from desired. In the present given scenario, Thomas Cook management is implementing a new strategy and in order to evaluate the implications of its tactics it is important to prepare appropriate budget so that feasible results and outcome can be generated (Northcraft and et.al, 2011). However, it is one of the major aspect of any business enterprise, managers has to develop appropriate platform to execute the strategy developed so that desire competitive advantage can be achieved as well as long term sustainability.

Furthermore, by the means of budgeting, Thomas Cook can evaluate all the risks and uncertainties associated with the financial aspect after the implementation strategy so that finance manager can undertake potential measure to minimize the risks in order to ensure better outcomes through new implemented strategy (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004.). According to the present given scenario, management of Thomas Cook have to ensure that developed budget meet the different criteria such as: better sync between objectives and forecasting, Setting of realistic goals so that they can be achieved and monitoring each of the activity to ensure better functioning of Thomas Cook in near future (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). Furthermore, while implementation the strategy, all the department should set different targets so that implementation can be done accordingly and results can be attain smartly. However, it is not easy to generate desired results directly from the new strategy, in this regards all the people working within firm should perform in coordination so that small targets and objectives of each department can be achieved in appropriate manner and Thomas Cook can attain future sustainability (Bhatnagar, 2007).

CONCLUSION

It is concluded that there should be a stringent plan for managing all the business activities associated to a business firm. It is considered that  in business strategy of Thomas cook is a leading hospitality business firm which has planned and managed roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholder within all the business standards. The strategic plan is able to resolve all the issues associated to product quality and services for global growth of Thomas cook. It is observed that Thomas cook should focus on planning and development of strategic plan while initializing a new services to target customers.

REFERENCES

  • Bhatnagar, J., 2007. Talent management strategy of employee engagement in Indian ITES employees: key to retention. Employee relations. 29(6).
  • Blyton, P. R., and Turnbull, P. J., 2004.  The dynamics of employee relations. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Northcraft, B. G. and et.al, 2011. Concluding Remarks Setting the Scene: The Calculus of Agreement in Group Negotiation. Negotiation and Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 14(1).
  • Ruff, F., 2006. Corporate foresight: integrating the future business environment into innovation and strategy. International Journal of Technology Management. 34(3).
  • Grontoft, T., 2011. Climate change impact on building surfaces and façades, International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management. 3(4).
  • Iqbal, A. and Strong, S., 2010. The effect of corporate governance on earnings management around UK rights issues. International Journal of Managerial Finance. 6(3).
  • Jones, B. J. and Vagliasindi, M., 2013. Power Market Structure: Revisiting Policy Options. World Bank Publications.
  • Kemp, J. L. and Vinke, J., 2012. CSR reporting: a review of the Pakistani aviation industry. South Asian Journal of Global Business Research. 1(2).
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