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    Strategy and Business Analysis

    According to Michael Porter, a competitive strategy is concerned with how a company can gain a competitive advantage through a distinct way of competing. Porter suggests that all of the activities of the firm can be designed in a way that gives a company a unique competitive strategy. The more a company differentiates both the products and services it offers as well as the system of business activities that best delivers these products and services, the more a company will acquire a sustainable competitive advantage.

    Strategic Planning
    Strategic planning involves defining a company’s vision, mission, values and strategy. Strategic planning is used in drawing up the “business plan,” which often includes a vision statement or mission statement, and outlines a company’s goals and plan for reaching those goals (and importantly the resources the company will need to be successful). Performing a business and industry analysis is an important component of strategic planning. This includes using analytics tools such as performing a SWOT analysis, or analyzing the attractiveness of an industry using Porter’s Five Forces framework.

    Competitive Advantage
    Competitive advantage, or disadvantage, can come from any and all of the different activities a business performs in order to create, produce, sell and deliver their products and services. A company can gain a cost advantage by performing certain activities more efficiently than competitors; or a company can gain an advantage by differentiating the mix of products and services they deliver. Innovation strategies involve delivering new products or services that disrupt existing marketplaces; and advantages from operational effectiveness come from performing the same or similar activities as other companies, but in better ways.

    Management Tools and Techniques
    In the 1970s and 1980s, Japanese companies pioneered management tools and techniques such as TQM and lean manufacturing that could be implemented to improve operational effectiveness. The revolution changed how managers thought about strategy, pushing managers worldwide to focus on how their companies were going to compete on speed, quality and cost against their rivals. While these dimensions of operational effectiveness are important, best practices are easily copied, and the more that companies used the same management tools, and benchmarked against each other, the more they began to look alike. Competing on operational effectiveness allowed for major absolute productivity gains, but relative gains for now one. Gains were captured by customers or other members of the value chain, rather then retained as increased profitability.

    Strategic Positioning and Fit
    According to Michael Porter, in order to hold a sustainable competitive advantage, managers need to focus on strategic positioning and fit. They must understand how customers’ needs differ, and have a unique set of activities that satisfy these customers’ needs. If a company has a set of activities that best meet customers’ needs, the more that these activities differ from what other companies are currently doing, the chances that the entire system of activities can be copied are low.

    Strategic positioning and the fit of an organization’s activities are what lead to sustainable competitive advantage. The goal of strategic planning is to find a new strategic position (or evaluate a company’s current position), and evaluate the fit between the company's strategic position and its operations. A strategic plan should result in focus: a clear mission, vision, values and strategy that reinforce one another to allow the company to deliver a unique system of activities that best meet customers needs.

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    BrainMass Categories within Strategy and Business Analysis

    Value Chain

    Solutions: 130

    A value chain is a string of activities performed in an industry in order to deliver a product or service for the market.

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    Culture change at IBM

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    Amazon culture and strategy

    Explore Amazon's culture and determine the extent to which culture relates to the success of Amazon's strategic choices. After completing some research concerning the culture of Amazon, discuss and assess the extent to which Amazon's stated values and culture do - or do not - support the grand strategy of Amazon. A. Perform

    Gaylord Palms Case Study: Organizational Culture and its Impact

    Using the article "Strategically crafting a customer-focused culture: an inductive case study" by Robert C. Ford, Celeste P.M. Wilderom, John Caparella with references and citations addressing the following: Complete an in-depth, comprehensive analysis of the Gaylord Palms' organizational culture and values (see attached arti

    Amazon Grand Strategy Matrix

    Determine the grand strategy or strategies currently pursued by Amazon. After you have applied the Grand Strategy Matrix to Amazon, determine whether the strategy the company now follows is the most optimal one. A. Visit Amazon's website, and using the company's Annual Report and/or other additional research, determine the or

    Strategy for Barnes & Noble Case Study

    Using the Barnes & Noble, Inc: Maintaining A Competitive Edge In An Ever-changing Industry case study by Wendy Hall and Atul Gupta Apply the BCG Matrix and the Grand Strategy Matrix to decide the optimal grand strategy - or grand strategies - that Barnes and Noble should follow. A. After completing research, apply the Gran

    Environmental threats and opportunities

    Determine the most salient environmental threats and opportunities currently facing Amazon. Evaluate the external environment of Amazon, determining the extent to which opportunities exceed threats, or threats exceed opportunities. Keys Points: A: Define and discuss the most significant environmental threat or threats t

    Diversity and Inclusion Issue

    Joun, S. (2016). Implementing diversity & inclusion: Leaders and believers. Examine ways in which the external environment affects the choice of strategy (creation of threats and opportunities), and how the external environment affects an organization's chosen strategic direction, specifically through the lens of a diversity

    Comparisons of Schools of Business

    Rank USC Aiken School of Business (SOBA) relative to the top three rival schools in terms of the following six dimensions. If you were the dean with a limited budget, from a VRIO standpoint, where would you invest precious financial resources to make your school number one among rivals? Why? Note: You may compare SOBA to any

    Bias in Standardized Testing: Does it exist? Is it Unethical?

    Discussion Strategy Challenges and Legislation I need some help with the following scenario: Your teenage daughter is a senior at Hartfield High School. She is an honor roll student; however, she cannot pass the high school exit exam. The exit exam is a standardized test that is administered to all high school students acr

    SWOT Analysis of Coca-Cola

    1. Perform an assessment of Coca-Cola's external environment, identifying key opportunities and threats, by doing the following: a. Complete an analysis of Coca-Cola's external environment using Porter's Five Forces. 2. Using the Function Approach to Internal Analysis, identify key strengths and weaknesses at Coca-Cola by per

    Delta Airlines: Four Financial Goals

    Assume the airline Delta Airlines has just made you president. As the new president, create a report for the airline's stakeholders with the following: • Introduction: Briefly introduce the airline and the situation leading up to you being made president. ◦ Assume that you have been brought in to improve profitability a

    Customer Strategy Analysis

    Develop a customer strategy that could be used in the selling process for a product, service, or product solution in a business-to-business (B2B) scenario. You will be selling to an organization rather than an individual customer. Your task in this assessment is to choose a selling strategy that best aligns with the customer's b

    Operations Management: PERT

    The Crush-a-Matic is the name of the car being designed by Bobby and his friends for the local destruction derby next spring. They plan on working on this project after work and on weekends between now and the event. Bobby's friend Joe is the project planner and has come up with the following activities, times and sequences req

    Strategic Analysis of Bank of America

    Specific recommended strategy and long term objectives for Bank of America. Explain why you chose the strategy, and discuss how much the strategy will cost to implement and how much new revenue your strategy will create. Include your action timetable agenda for accomplishing your strategy.

    Healthcare management Washington state

    Position Essay Based on research from at least 3 authoritative outside sources, write a 3- to 5-page paper that does the following: • Distinguish which government program (Medicare, Medicaid - for Washington state, or Military/VA) is most/least effective and efficient within the context of: o Cost o Quality o Access for

    How Governments Influence Trade

    How do you feel governments influence trade when they place special duties or import tariffs on goods? Can you describe any situations where this has happened and what the impact has been on the country, community, or commodity?

    when shipping by air makes more sense

    In 2004, I took a carriage tour of the Kilohana Sugar Plantation, pulled by two Clydesdale horses. Following an informative ride through the sugar cane fields, I asked the guide how they got the horses to the island. Amazingly, he said they were sent via Federal Express on a jet, from Chicago to Honolulu. They were then trans

    Summary & Analysis

    Conduct several searches using any of the databases Select three scholarly, academic sources from the library search that support the topic you plan to present in your final paper. Write a complete summary of the information presented in each article, using your own words. Write your analysis of the best use of this info

    Working with Stakeholders for Kohl's Department Store Kiosks

    Kohl's, a nationwide chain of department stores, recently rolled out a new information system that integrates their store-based and online retailing operations. Kohl's installed kiosks in all of its stores that connect directly to its website. Shoppers who are unable to find an item that they want in the store can search for it

    Competitive Strategy of Starbucks Location Placement

    Let's look at Starbucks. As most people are aware, Starbucks regularly places multiple coffee shops in a close vicinity to one another, so you might see four Starbucks stores within a very narrow space (especially in downtown, city areas). One company in DC, that has multiple elevator stops, sports a Starbucks on four floors of

    Four Basic Company Strategies

    There are four basic strategies--international, global, multidomestic, and transnational. What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with each?

    Strategy Implementation and Strategic Controls

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