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Unit Description

This is a solution of Regent College Business Strategy Assignment . It discuss the process of strategic planning, and key issues issues faced in management strategic planning.

Introduction

Sony Mobile Corporation organization headquartered at many places as the research and development work takes place at multiple places namely, Tokyo, Japan etc. The company Sony Ericsson was renamed as Sony Mobile Communication (SMC) on 16th Feb, 2012 with Sony buying Ericsson’s stake in the venture. The mobile seller has been also ranked as the fourth largest organization to sell mobiles in terms of shipping. Today SMC sells its mobiles in more than 100 countries and has an employee base of around 7500 employees. (Carsrud, Brännback, & Brännba, 2007)

a) Sony Mobile Communication Future Strategy

The future strategy for Sony Mobile Communication or SMC could be:-

Market Entry: – In terms of market entry SMC should try and enter newer markets and segments as well, as Asian markets have the highest potential as they are ones who change their gadgets frequently thus entering newer markets like Nepal etc. could be a great boost also in markets like India, China increasing the market penetration and entering newer market segments could also be a great plan for the organization.
Substantive Growth:- Substantive growth means gaining larger market share even if small expenses’ can be made to gain it, like promotional expenses etc., (Carsrud, Brännback, & Brännba, 2007) in case of SMC though this can be of great help as it will help SMC in exploring newer and high potential market segments in the already developed and existing markets.
Limited Growth: – In the marketing strategy, limited growth is less relevant to an organization like SMC which caters to the mobile field which has high potential, however still in countries like UA etc. where the market is already developed and where the bulk sale comes from the organization can have limited growth with lower expenses.
Retrenchment: – Retrenchment means cutting down or reducing expenses and thereby reducing or lowering efforts to improve, this strategy would again be of lesser use however for already well developed countries this can be used but that too in a limited approach only.
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b) Reason of Selection of Strategies

 
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SMC should try and use Market entry and Substantive growth strategy more as compared to Limited growth and retrenchment, the reason for the selection are:-

Industry:- As SMC is a part of the industry that needs regular growth and also suffers regular change thus to keep itself with the pace of the change and also to run efficiently SMC will have to use expansion strategies more and lesser use of limited growth strategy is recommended.
Current Position of the organization: – As SMC is currently facing financial pressure with huge losses in 2013, also with a low market share that SMC has, the plans and policies to be selected must be of growth and thus substantive growth scores more in case of Sony Mobile Communication than retrenchment strategy.
c) Role of SMC’s Employees for Strategic Implementation

Retain current customers and attract new ones : The basic role of the SMC’s employees for the purpose of strategic implementation is to hold on the current customers and also attract new customers by providing them with what they exactly need keeping in mind their buying habits , location , purchasing power etc. .(Jeffs, 2008)
Reviewing marketing principles: This includes looking over , studying and examining the activities of the market with the management through the analysis of sales of the company , coming up with new innovative plans for the purpose of promoting the products by decision making .
Job Impact: For making the process change successful, the job duties and responsibilities of the SMC’s employees are affected either directly or indirectly, which they need to understand. For example, if there is a change in the requirements of reporting in one department, the SMC’s employees may have to offer those data in a different style. Therefore, the SMC’s employees have to meet the new requirements during the process of implementation as well as after it finishes. (Sims, 2007)

 
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Investigating and trialling new products: The SMC’s employees at SMC must keep an eye on the new products by having a thorough knowledge about the needs and wants of the customers. They must be innovative with the new products and also try ones which are launched in the market.
Knowledge of the goods on sales: The SMC’s employees must have a deep knowledge about the goods which they are selling because without having a thorough knowledge about their products, they cannot make the sales effective. Therefore, knowledge of the goods on sales is a pre – requisite for the strategic implementation. (Jeffs, 2008)
Communication: The most important role of the SMC’s employees in the process of implementation is communication. They must take out time to raise voice against the concerned issues, find out the solutions to the difficulties which come across during the change. The SMC’s employees must also keep in touch with the management and help their colleagues for making the implementation process simpler and efficient. (Sims, 2007)
Considerations: The change leaders must be appointed for the successful implementation of the strategies. In case of any difficulty or concern, the change leaders serve as a point of contact for the SMC’s employees. This enables the SMC’s employees to seek help from a reliable source which will help the management in getting invaluable feedback regarding the difficulties and concerns which the organization has to come across in the implementation of the changes.
To increase the volume of sales: The efforts on increasing the volume of sales must be made continuously by the SMC’s employees by analysing the demands of the customers.
Prospecting new locations: The SMC’s employees must search for and explore new locations for premises and for reporting on some regions or cities and their population, transport facilities and layout.
Developing annual marketing planning: The marketing planning must be developed with the individual departments annually by the SMC’s employees so as to make the process of implementation more effective.
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d) Approaches to Implement Strategies

Balanced Scorecard Approach

Earlier the performance of the organizations were checked by looking into the internal or process performance and factors by the federal agencies , like the number of programs that the company has conducted , the size of the budget of the fiscal year or the number of full- time equivalents allotted . Whereas the private sector industries used to check their performance by looking into their bottom line financial measures such as earnings – per – share , market share and return – on – investment . But none of these techniques provide the full and correct perspective of the performance of an organization that is required by the manager to effectively manage his job, when used separately. But when used together, they can give correct and reliable reports. Therefore by keeping a balance of both internal and process measures and financial measures, managers will get a better result and will know where they need to improve. This is known as balanced scorecard approach. (Gross 2009) (Read more about: Business Strategy Assignment)

Characteristics

A list of measures has been set by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton which have been referred to as “a balanced scorecard “. These measures help the managers in providing a swift but a broad picture of the performance of the organization comprising of both process and results measures. (Gross 2009)

How to use a balance scorecard –The balanced scorecard has been compared to the dials and indicators in an airplane cockpit by Kaplan and Norton. Pilots require information’s such as fuel, speed of the air, height at which he has to fly, bearing and other indicators for flying an aircraft that would give them the detailed summary of the current and predicted environment.

Four perspectives –

According to Kaplan and Norton, managers collect information from the following four perspectives: (Gross 2009)

The customer’s perspective: The managers must be aware of whether their customers are satisfied or not. The needs of the customers must be fulfilled by any means because unless the customer is not satisfied and happy, an organization can never be successful. Therefore, the managers must always ask this question to themselves that “how do customers see us?” And they must seek for the answer as well. If the answer is negative, they must put efforts to improve their services and quality of products. And if the answer is positive, even then they must not stop their efforts but should make one to innovate and investigate new and better ways of doing work.
The internal business perspective: An organization must keep a check on the areas where they lack efficiency. They must find ways to improve themselves in those critical areas which stop them from satisfying customer needs. The managers must always ask themselves “what must we excel at?” and find out the answer to this question. Whatever stops them from fulfilling the needs and desires of the customers must be checked. They should be very careful about the obstacles that come in their way of achieving excellence. (Sadler, 2003)
The innovation and learning perspective: The ability of an organization to innovate, improve and learn is directly related to its success. The organization must always look for the answer to this question “can we continue to improve and create value for our services?” for the better working.
The financial perspective: The financial perspective looks into the finances of the company, such as its profits and share in the market. The manager must always question that “how do we look to the president and other stakeholders?” and also seek for the answer for the better understanding of the financial perspective of the company.
Relevance to SMC

Objectives like market share gain etc. can be determined from the blanked view of resources made under the balanced scorecard,
Also the objectives so set will also have the SMART version attached to it as the specific, measurable, reliable, accurate and time bound plans and goals will be set under this approach.
Business Management

The term “Business management” was for the first time brought into use by Peter Ducker in his book “The Practice of Management” which was published in the year 1954. Management by objectives is also referred to as management by results, which is a system of explaining the objectives of an organization so that both the SMC’s employees and the management have full consent with the objectives and they become aware of their duties and responsibilities towards the organization for achieving them. The main purpose of management by objectives or management by results is setting goals, selecting course of action and decision making. It also compares the actual performance of the SMC’s employees with the standard set. (Gross 2009)

Domains and Levels

One can set objectives in all domains of activities , such as services , marketing , sales , production , human resources , information systems , finance , research and development etc. . There are both collective and individualized objectives. The collective objectives are for the whole department or company. The strategic goals and the mission of the enterprise must be determined by the managers.

Practice

Quantifying and monitoring are required by the objectives. For the purpose of establishing pertinent objectives and have a check on their reach ratio in an objective, reliable management information system is required. The pay incentives depend upon the achievement of the objectives.

Relevance to SMC

Using Business management by, SMC could have strategic plans and objectives where in right objective is prepared for the right time instead of using the same and monotonous objectives for each time.

Conclusion

Sony Mobile Communication is an organization which is in the business of manufacturing and selling mobile phones in over 40 countries with an employee base of 7500 employees. The roles and responsibility of employees in strategy formulation and strategy implementation defines the success or failure of a strategy.

Also strategy formulation at Sony Mobile Communication will depend upon various pillars which would be the inputs needed for preparing the strategies like market entry, growth, limited growth etc., in case of SMC which needs more growth and market share the use and need of strategies like market entry and substantive growth will be of more importance than the strategies of limited growth.

Finally using various approaches like balanced scorecard approach and management by objectives approach and finding their relevance on SMC and its model we will also be able to define the objectives that SMC would have in the future and how the organization would run in future.

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References

Carsrud, A. L., Brännback, M. E., & Brännba, M. (2007). Entrepreneurship. (A. L. Carsrud, Ed.) Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Gross, J. (2009). Dimensions of Organisation Development. (J. Gross, Ed.) Western Australia: Wordclay.

Jeffs, C. (2008). Strategic Management. London: SAGE.

Sadler, P. (2003). Strategic Management. London: Kogan Page Publishers.

Sims, R. R. (2007). Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities. (R. R. Sims, Ed.) New York: IAP.

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