Introduction to Strategic Planning

The management of every company needs strategic planning for furthering its growth. For creating any organizational strategies, the company’s management is required to define their goals and target. Most of the firms are concentrating on future planning which is the most useful for increasing their growth rate (Kogan and Bobchek, 2007).

In this report, the strategic planning of Just-Eat has been discussed and different aspects that can affect the organizational behavior, i.e. the environment, business plans, modeling tools for strategic planning, factors that impact the organizational strategies have also been examined. Just-Eat is an online food supply services operating in around 13 countries. This is a local take-away restaurant where customers can place their order online.

ACTIVITY 1

Review of current position of the company in the market

Through BCG matrix, Just-Eat has to describe their long-term planning and the basic idea behind the use of this strategy is to get bigger market share with faster growth rate.

According to BCG Matrix, the firm is currently at the cash cow position where it has a high-market share but it is not able to get similarly great growth in the business. The organization generates cash which fulfills the needs to maintain the business. Low investment will not help them to get higher growth rate (Beekun, 2006).

1.1. Importance of external factors that have an impact on organizations

External factors which have an impact on the organization are as follows.

Political: this factor deals with the government interference in Just Eat economic and different development policies in regards of tax, environmental issues, labor law or trade restrictions. Political stability and predictable political environment are also a crucial issue for companies/Just Eat when choosing on which markets to operate in. As the company is doing its business virtually, hence there is not much interference of the government in its business (Wallace, 2006).

Economic: this factor includes economic growth, interest rates and exchange rates. This factor has a major influence on the company’s operation and decision-making

Social: this factor includes cultural and health consciousness aspects. Currently, online shopping is increasing, therefore, this aspect presents a major opportunity to the company.

Technological: Just-Eat has to introduce different technical machines and software to maintain the standard of their products (Wallace, 2006).

Legal: the laws, especially laws regarding online businesses, need to be followed by the company.

Environmental: JUST EAT needs to take into account that its operations and activities do not have a negative impact on the environment.

1.2. Analysis the main stakeholder and their need and expectation

The main stakeholders of Just-Eat are its investor, supplier, society and customers. Supply chain management function uses these factors in planning their strategies for the organization. These all can have a huge impact on the development of the organization.

  • Investors: they are the initial suppliers of the industry. There are different investors that help the company in financial factors such as a bank loan, financial institution and partners. The investors are interested in knowing the financial position and credibility of the corporation before investing their money in it (Matthews, 2005).
  • Suppliers: they are the distributors of raw materials which are used in manufacturing company goods. Suppliers are connected to different retailers from where they obtain resources for the company. Suppliers expect the company to adopt a fair credit and purchase policy.
  • Society: in ideal cases the company conducts a research on the society’s needs and designs its product line accordingly. The society needs to know whether or not the firm’s products and services are having any negative impact on the societal functions.
  • Customer: these are the main stakeholders of the company. The customers demand good quality products with proper information at competitive prices from the organization (Matthews, 2005).

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Their needs and expectations

Organizations have to identify their stakeholders and their importance for the growth of their business. The needs and expectations of stakeholders are very high in the company. Just-Eat has to fulfill the expectations of their stakeholder by trying to take into account each and every need of the different stakeholder groups. However, this is not possible and, therefore, the use of shareholder matrix needs to do.

1.3 & 3.2-Understanding development taking place within similar organizations and analysis of the changes of organization

There are many factors due to which the internal environment of the company is going through several changes. These external factors, the economic, social, management, ecological and graphical factors, affect the internal operations of the company. Analysis of different changes in the organization reflects some particular areas such as social-political changes, technological changes, development changes, customer analysis and competitor analysis (May, 2010). This factor is directly or indirectly based on the evolution of new customers in the society. For getting advantages of these aspects, they have to get better efficiency and productivity. Ecological aspects are used to get different resources that are used in manufacturing their products, and this will define the valuation of their products. Technical changes are very necessary for the development of the company due to that they are able to serve better meal to their consumers (Cassidy, 2005).

In today's scenario markets are expanding globally, and competitors are increasing in numbers as compared to earlier times, and this is the reason

Just-Eat needs to develop its products with new and different taste. For this, the company used benchmarking and portfolio. Benchmarking is a method to identify and to import the different resources to improve their performance. Portfolio is used to analyze groups according to their environment. These are used to ensure growth and development of business in changing times (Simerson, 2011).

PESTLE analysis is the great option for measuring the external environment factors. PESTLE stands for political, economical, social, technological, legal and environmental. These factors are uncontrollable factors, these are beyond the control of management. The external factors are:

Political Factor: These factors help in determining the extend to which government or regulatory body influences the industry. Political factor include import export rate, tariff rates, tax rate etc. this will highly influences the strategic plan framed by the organization (Kogan and Bobchek, 2007). for example, if UK government may enforce the new tax rate to the industry, or organization this will directly influences the revenue generating structure of the company. Hence, organization might change the structure as per the new enforce rate.

Economical Factor: These factors also contribute in the external environment that directly influences the organization's strategic plan. These factors include interest rates, inflation rate, foreign exchange rate etc. Just eat need to determine their strategic policies according to the Economic factor.

Social Factor: These factors examine the changing environment of the UK market. Change occurs due to change in taste, preferences, demographics etc. For example, There are wide range of different foods are available online (Nelson, 2008). Just eat company should caters all different type of food items to attract the demographic customers.

Technological Factor: The continuous innovation in the technology also directly influences and changes the organizational policies and procedure. As, Just food company with the advanced technology serve different countries customers at the faster rate and with the technology company will also adopt the new supply chain management to quickly serve their customers.

Legal Factor: Legal factors include the various enforced law by the governing body that every organization have to follow while operating their operation. The framed legislation like labor laws, health and safety law, consumer law etc.

ACTIVITY 2

2.1. Appropriate tools to analyze the effects of current business plans

Just Eat Company operates in the food and beverage industry in the UK. It has been working at a small level in the industry. SWOT analysis of the company has been carried out to identify its current state of affairs.

Strength:

  1. labor costs are low in comparison to other companies,
  2. good distribution and sales networks (Cassidy, 2005),
  3. barriers of market entry for new competitors.

Weakness:

  1. operational costs are too high,
  2. future competition,
  3. huge investment in research and development (Kaufman and et. al, 2003).

Opportunities:

  1. capture more customers because income level is increasing day by day,
  2. demand will be increasing in the future,
  3. try to establish new markets (Cassidy, 2005).

Threats:

  1. financial capacity,
  2. external risks,
  3. changes in taste and preferences of the customers

Just Eat company can also use the porters five force model to measure the current business plan. This model also help the company in determining the position in UK market. This model benefit the company by measuring and monitoring the effectiveness of their strategies. The five forces are:

  • Threat of new entrants: As now a days customers are choosing to buy food items online. Customers also order the type of food that they want to eat and order at the home. Hence the threat of new entrants is high,  because of highly profitable market (Malphurs, 2013).    
  • Bargaining power of customers: With this type of company, focusing on selling their food through online and also cater the take away food service. Hence, buyers have low  bargaining power in the food industry.      
  • Threat of substitute: As per the analysis it has been concluded that in the contemporary market Just Food company will face the high competition due to changing preferences of the customers. Substitute food items is inferior have no quality (Al-Turki, 2011).  
  • Bargaining power of suppliers: Bargaining power of suppliers are also low in the market. As, there is high competition among the various suppliers.  
  • Competitive rivalries: There is high threat of competitive rivalries in the UK market as the competitors selling the equal quality food products then the Just food company will have little power in the situation.

2.3. The competitive strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s current business strategies Resource analysis

The company operates in a small market enterprises sector. The firm is using various resources to increase its production and to try to provide the customers with the best service. Some resources are as follow:

a. Human Resources: human resources are the basic need of the organization for running business effectively. This firm has been recruiting skilled and qualified people because it aims to serve best products and services in the market. Human resources contribute with new creativity and ideas to the expansion of the business and managing responsibilities in an efficient manner (Nelson, 2008).

b.Financial resources: financial resources have been used to develop business in new markets and are also helpful in introducing new products and services in the market. Company took loans from banks in order to finance business expansions. Many small financial institutions and investors have been connected with the company for support in terms of finance. Financial conditions of the firm are good as compared to their competitors (Kerzner, 2002).

c.Technological resources: the organization has been using various new machinery and equipments for making food. The firm will be using new technologies in sales and promotion of the products in the market. These include various new technologies in payment system like online order, payment with debit card/credit card, and membership cards for regular customers (Bryson, 2011).

d.Skills and competencies audit: With the skills and competencies audit, company will determine the skills and various competencies its human resource have. These audit will benefit the Just Eat by determining the skills there manpower possess to achieve the goals. With the help of skill and competencies audit company will also identify the actual areas where training and development is needed to enhance the skills so that they should effectively contribute in accomplishing the targets.

5.1. Core organizational values with the current business objectives of an organization

Core organizational values pertain to the vision and mission of the firm. They cover ethical, social, environmental and business aspects for the future. Some core values are as follow as:

  1. selling natural, organic and quality products to customers,
  2. providing higher satisfaction to the customers,
  3. supporting team and provide rewards and incentives on the basis of their performances,
  4. generating wealth through profit and growth in the business (Barksdale and Lund, 2006),
  5. providing better products to the community,
  6. producing environmental-friendly products,
  7. involving and understanding the society needs and expectations,
  8. managing suppliers effectively,
  9. adopting ideas from stakeholders in decision-making.

There are certain cultural values that will directly affect the Just Eat company in achieving the objectives and mission. Cultural values within the organization will benefit the company in attaining the stated goals and objectives that is to cater the quality food services to their customers. Vision framed by the Just Eat company will influences the objectives and goals. As vision and objectives are linked up with each other.

3.1. Modeling tools to develop strategic options for an organization

Ansoff’s model is best for development of new strategies in the business. It gives better options to handle upcoming risks and market share effectively. Some options of Ansoff’s model are as follows as for making useful strategy during the expansion of the business.

i. Market Penetration: this is helpful when the corporation is facing problem in selling its current products. It provides a new path to attract competitor’s customers and new customers from the market. Company will be focusing on advertising and promotions for gaining advantages from the market in terms of increasing the number of customers. This option is less risky for the company in establishing a new strategy for growth (Malphurs, 2013).

ii.Product development: development of new products attracts existing and new customers in the market. The organization has been developing new products according to needs and expectations of the customers. In the present scenario customers want variety in the food so Just Eat tries to develop new products on the basis of taste and preferences of the customers (Linn, 2008).

iii. Market Development: it is also a great option for making useful strategy in the business because it helps in enhancing the profit of the business through covering new market. The enterprise has been managing new branches at various places in the market for creating a good image (Elbanna, 2010).

iv.Diversification: this is a very costly option for the corporation because it involves making new products and choosing new markets for serving the products and services. Diversification is risky for Just Eat because this strategy not neccesarilly triggers growth as at times it might also have a huge negative impact on the financial position of the firm (Al-Turki, 2011).

The company can also adopt the various other plans like Mintzberg, gap analysis, Competitiveness strategies etc. these tools will help in developing the strategic options for the organization. Gap analysis is technique that is being used by the Just Eat company to identify  the steps that will help the company to move from the actual state to the desired upcoming state (Dameron and Durand, 2013). It will help the company in determining the actual finance, manpower inventory or time needed to achieve the goals. The process for conducting gap analysis include three steps:

  • The first step to identify the current state of business that is accomplishing the stated objectives and goals.
  • Then second step is to determine the gap by proper analyzing the gap and providing solution to fill the gap so that Just Eat company can achieve the objectives.   
  • The last step will determine the desired position where they want to move forward.

3.3. Options to form the basis of future organizational strategy

Mergers and acquisitions: mergers and acquisitions options will help in improving the status of the firm. It will provide various advantages to the organization in expansion of its business with the support of other firms. It will be helpful in improving the financial conditions of the enterprises, and market share will also be increased in the future scenario of the industry. It is useful in attaining competitive advantage as it increases the size and sales volume of the firm in the market (Germano and Stephenson, 2012).

Corporate expansions: this option provides better opportunities to the firm in expansion of business through new projects and assignments in the business. The company will be covering various areas of the market through various products and services. A corporate expansion takes huge investments and taking loans from financial institutions. So the firm will be using finance systematically in the suitable projects (McLarney, 2001).

Control of distribution channels: the organization has been using different techniques in distribution of goods and services. It will be helping in proper management of distribution according to market needs and demands. The corporation is selling and distributing their products where the demand is high and when demand is low in the market the company diversifies its distribution in other market with the help of proper channels.

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4.2. Criteria for reviewing potential options for a strategy plan

Balance scorecard is the best option for assessments of the individual performances in the organization. It measures and controls the potential of the strategies in a better manner. Balanced scorecard is a technique that help the company in converting their vision and mission into the strategic goals and they also help in monitoring the performance that is financial performance, human resource performance in terms of achieving goals. It indicates the future results of the strategy on business with the use of the analysis of the activities of the strategies. The company has been setting targets to managers and employees for achieving the objectives of the firm (Tsiakkiros and Pashiardis, 2002). Organization has been disclosed the benefits if employees achieved the target in given time, so it creates positive direction for the employees, and they will give full efforts for gaining objectives. Most of the time enterprise is using success matrices in evaluating the strategy and performance of the employees. After this evaluation, the company will be trying to make changes according to the needs of the company for growth in profit and sales.

While, Just Eat company can also review the strategy plan by setting the targets to achieve the goals. Goals and objective should be transformed into the different set targets that need to be accomplish by the company to review the strategy plan.

4.1. Suitable structure for a strategy plan that ensures appropriate participation from all stakeholders of an organization

The matrix organizational structure is most suitable for strategy planning because it facilitates proper interaction between members and fosters the generation of new ideas and creativity. Matrix Structure can provide  Just Eat with the following advantages:

  1. it is helpful in minimizing the costs of the firm,
  2. reduces the conflicts between managers and employees,
  3. proper management of time, cost and performances (Wacker and Lummus, 2002),
  4. roles and responsibilities are shared among employees,
  5. reduces the stress between teams,
  6. proper utilization of resources,
  7. expansion in global projects,
  8. effective analysis of customers’ needs and expectations.

CONCLUSION

Hence it has been concluded that strategic planning is the process of implementation of business operations for attaining growth by systematic use of resources. Above discussion concluded that good strategic planning provides unique advantages to the organization in the market, and it increases the competitor advantages in terms of growth and expansion of new projects in future activities. The firm has analyzed its own and its competitors’ strengths and weaknesses for implementation in the production and operations of the business. Company will be monitoring and evaluating the implementation steps because it gives a huge impact on brand image of the company.

REFERENCES

  • Allison, M. and Kaye, J. (2011): Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide and Workbook, 2nd edition. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Al-Turki, U. (2011): A framework for strategic planning in maintenance. In: Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering. 17(2). pp.150–162.
  • Ashill, J. N., Frederikson, M. and Davies, J. (2003): Strategic marketing planning: a grounded investigation. In: European Journal of Marketing. 37(3/4). pp.430–460.
  • Barksdale, S. and Lund, T. (2006):  10 Steps to Successful Strategic Planning. American Society for Training and Development.
  • Beekun, I. R. (2006): Strategic Planning and Implementation for Islamic Organizations. IIIT.
  • Bryson, M. J. (2011): Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. 4th edition. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cassidy, A. (2005): A Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning, 2nd edition. CRC Press.
  • Crowley, D. J. (2004): Developing a Vision: Strategic Planning and the Library Media Specialist. Libraries Unlimited.
  • Dameron, S., and Durand, T. (2013): Strategies for business schools in a multi-polar world. Education + Training. 55(4/5). pp.323 – 335.
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