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    Strategic Choices - Official company website of Southwest Airlines

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    refer to attachment one

    Visit the official company website of Southwest Airlines

    Step One: Differentiation Strategies

    If a company positions itself as offering a product or service that is different from its competitors in a way that customers value, it is following a differentiation strategy.

    Quality Strategy. In this type of differentiation, a company tries to set it's product/service appart on the basis of superior quality It is probably the most widely used method of attaining sustained competitive advantage. Usually, quality means superior performance, and a primium brand as opposed to discount or economy brands. These top of the line offerings command a high price tag. However, quality does not always mean pricey. Both Mercedes and VW connote high quality German engineering.

    Niche Focus Strategies

    Niche or Focus strategies are really variations of a cost or differentiation (or both!) strategy, only concentrating the company's efforts on a single or limited product or market. By focusing its efforts, the firm is able to realize the following advantages:

    Preemptive Strategy

    By being the first entrant into a new market or business area, a firm can establish competencies or assets that competitors are not able to copy or develop on their own. The first-mover advantage can create high switching costs for customers, erect high barriers to entrance for competitors, and tie up contracts with suppliers. Thus, a pre-emptive strategy can confer SCA's from both internal and external sources.

    Which of the four strategies discussed does Southwest Airlines follow? How do you know?

    Step Two: Using the process you learned in the attachment, integrate this strategy with the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This should give you some specific actions the company is taking relative to their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These actions are referred to as "strategic choices." Do Southwest Airlinesâ?? strategic choices align with the firm's generic strategy? If not, what are the points of disconnect? You need to think critically about this step, no company achieves perfect alignment of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with its chosen strategy. It is your job to uncover the discrepancies and problems.

    Step Three: Identify any specific sustained competitive advantages conferred on Southwest Airlines by virtue of its strategic choices.
    1) Discuss the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines' strategy in the light of its internal strengths and weaknesses, and external threats and opportunities.

    2) Has the company created any sustained competitive advantages?

    3) Identify any unaddressed threats or missed opportunities.

    4) What can Southwest Airlines do to build on its strengths and shore up its weaknesses by altering its strategic choices?

    5) Complete the paper by commenting on how your view of Southwest Airlinesâ?? vision and mission has changed or has been reconfirmed by this process of strategic analysis. Would you make any suggestions to revise the strategy, mission or vision?

    Step Four: Consider the Case as a formal business report that you are developing for the Board of Directors and CEO as Southwest Airline's company consultant. This is a professional document. Follow the format below:
    Executive summary: a synopsis of the main points, conclusions and recommendations made in the longer report.
    Introduction: State the main purpose of the paper (thesis statement), what you hope to accomplish, and how you will go about doing it.
    Main Body: The "meat" of the paper. Emphasize analysis, not just description. Delineate separate topics or sections with headings.
    Conclusion: Summarize your paper in light of your thesis statement.

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    Solution Preview


    Southwest Airlines Strategic Analysis

    Touro University International
    James D. Lichlyter
    MGT 599: Strategic Management
    Dr. Jan Jones
    Module 4 SLP

    Executive summary
    This paper presents a strategic analysis of Southwest Airlines aligning their generic strategy with their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and their vision and mission and identifying the competitive advantages conferred upon the airline due to its strategic choices. Conclusively SWA generic strategies are aligned with their strategic choices and this has been the main reason behind the success of the company in a highly competitive industry. The company knows who its customers are and configures their service level to provide them with exactly what they expect at a very low price.

    Southwest Airlines is one of the most profitable airlines in America. It has been able to sustain its profitability in an industry marred in "red ink" since deregulation. This implies that the success of the company is not because of the industry but because of the strategy it follows. The company's mission and vision clearly shows that it is dedicated to providing the highest quality to customers while keeping costs low (Southwest Airlines, 2011). The company has been able to succeed due to the various strategic choices that it has made over the years, effective leadership and remaining aligned to its mission. The company has struggled through the effects of 9/11 and the 2007/2008 global recession, and has been able to get through such tough times due the strategy they employed. This paper presents a strategic analysis of Southwest Airlines, aligning their generic strategy with their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and their vision and mission and identifying the competitive advantages conferred upon the airline due to its strategic choices.
    Southwest Airlines generic Strategy
    Southwest Airlines follows Niche Focus Strategies combining varied forms of differentiation and low cost strategy in their focus market. The company focuses on underserved markets by focusing on specific geographic locations and offers low price to its customers. Firstly, the company does not use any paperwork in collection procedure and ticket reservation; the tickets are served less than 20 seconds by automatic ticket dispensers which can also process credit cards. Secondly the company only uses 737s Boeing, offering coach seats and cutting, and not ...

    Solution Summary

    The strategic choices in official company website for Southwest Airlines are examined.