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Understanding the dynamics of the business environment is the first step towards success. There are many factors that have to be considered in the operations of the business which were brought out in the course of the study both internally and externally. The core focus of the course was to understand the operations of business entities and how they need to invest in research to understand how they can effectively utilize their internal strengths to cub external competition. It provides an avenue for businesses to stay aware of what is going on their environment in order to take advantage of new opportunities and to protect themselves against unprecedented threats. It calls for businesses to stay on top of their game and to keep discovering themselves and their competition. The course shows that businesses are not in existent just to buy and sell but to make a profit and grow ahead of their competition.
The one factor that came out strongly is Porter's five-factor model that provides the opportunity for the business to form strategies to handle the environment and the industry that it is operating. Studies have shown that businesses have the opportunity take advantage of its strengths while minimizing their weaknesses in order to remain profitable and sustainable. It means that companies are able to look at more than just the actions of the competitors but other forces including the buyers, the sellers, threats of substitution and threat of new entrants. The VRIO (Value, Rarity, imitability, and Organization) analysis also came in handy as providing an opportunity for organizations to evaluate the resources available to them that provide an opportunity to have a competitive advantage.
The two models are related in the context that they are providing an opportunity to understand the resources available and the manner in which organizations can utilize them to stay competitive. The industry analysis of Panera gives the opportunity to understand the organization relative to the competitors. They all drill down to the importance of strategic planning which provides an opportunity to give the organization a sense of direction. It is through such approaches that an organization is able to have measurable goals that guide their day to day operations and thus enhancing the chances of success. It means that organizations have a benchmark to evaluate the progress they are making on a daily basis.
The study topic entailed the study of two organizations the Panera bread and Netflix Case Analysis. The study of the two organizations provided an opportunity to understand the services industry based on the Porters Model. Provision of services is deemed more difficult given that there is no tangible item that the organization provides and value is derived from the experiences of the consumers. It is interesting to however note that the challenges experienced would be similar to those in the goods industry. There is competition in both markets, there is the risk of new entrants and issues with buyers and sellers. Panera read, for example, has to acquire raw materials from the suppliers who have little power over their activities. Netflix is also not the original producer of movies and for them, their work is reliant on suppliers on a higher percentage.
The case study of Walt Disney was an enlighting study that gave an opportunity to understand how an organization can diversify to ensure they attract as a huge market as possible. Disney was seen as an amusement park for children but they have managed to incorporate facilities that attract people from all walks of life. They have added resorts and cruises that attract the market that needs vacations. Panera and Netflix though in an industry with a high number of possible entrants could explore such an avenue of diversification.
The point that was an eye opener in the course of the study is the aggressiveness of the business community today. Organizations are always trying to be the innovators and to be the first in the market. Management strategies revolve around understanding the consumer and how to provide services that exceed their expectations while at the same time minimizing the operational costs and enhancing efficiency. Whichever the industry that businesses are operating, market research is no longer a luxury that organizations can afford to ignore. For Disney, they are consistently looking at better entertainment strategies that have enabled them to not only attract the local market but the international market.
Organizations are additionally always trying to be better than their competition. Panera Bread is seen to offer loyalty programs to increase customer loyalty. Netflix is in the market trying to penetrate and gain as a wide market coverage as possible despite aggressive rivalry in the film industry. Walt Disney has been trying to manage competition by acquiring entities in the industry that would pose a threat to their operations. Competition and rivalry in the market can be a hindrance to the growth of an organization and understanding how to handle such strategically opens doors to acquiring a wider market share and thus generating higher incomes for sustainability purposes. Competition is however key especially for consumers who will keep enjoying high-quality services as organizations try to retain their brand.
Another key lesson learnt in the study is that market analysis is critical before entering an industry and it never stops even on the establishment of an organization. There is always something new to learn and opportunities to take advantage. Positive analysis of the market before entrance is not a guarantee that an organization will be successful in the unforeseeable future. The market is rapidly changing and failure to keep learning could cause the downfall of a well-established organization. Additionally, one model is not adequate to analyze the functional capabilities of an organization. It is key to explore various techniques such as PESTEL, VRIO, SWOT analysis, industry analysis and Porters model in combination as each is likely to bring in a new dimension that another model may have missed.
The concepts of the course are applicable in making future business decisions. The industry analysis of brought in the concept of understanding the financial position of the business. It is through such finances that companies understand how much they have in debt, how much they are making in profits and the areas of operations that could be deemed inefficient and need improvement. Management of a business requires proper strategic analysis whether it is a personally owned business or one is in employment. It means that I am in a position to advise on strategic business management through various models and thus understanding how new businesses should approach a new market or existing businesses can remain sustainable.
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