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Analysis of Strategic Factors

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Research the Microsoft site (http://www.microsoft.com/msft/default.mspx).

1. Analysis of Strategic Factors. Since you are aware that your analysis of strategic factors or SFAS (Strategic Factor Analysis Summary) is based on IFAS and EFAS tables, and since we will need to understand your choices, you are required to submit the three tables in Excel format in one separate file from your written Word assignment. No comments are needed on the IFAS and the EFAS tables, but comments are needed on the SFAS table, which is the foundation for this assignment (You will submit one Excel file that will include three separate sheets, one for the IFAS, one for the EFAS and one for the SFAS). As a reminder, two files are to be submitted: One Excel file (counting for three pages) and one Word file (five to seven pages double-spaced).

2. Strategic Alternatives and Recommended Strategy- Here you will be graded on your ability to analyze economic, socio-cultural, political-legal, technological, and financial data to justify your available strategies and the one(s) you recommend.

3. Implementation: Describe the implementation of the strategy(ies) you recommended.

4. Evaluation and Control How do you evaluate the performance of your implemented strategy(ies)? hide problem

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Strategic Audit for American Express, IFAS, EFAS and SFAS

For your project, consider American Express (http://home3.americanexpress.com/corp/?source=cmhp_inav-aboutus). Using the guidelines in the attached document produce Strategic Audit for American Express in those areas I have outlined in the attachment.

IFAS, EFAS, and SFAS tables are to be presented in Excel format,

You will be graded on your knowledge of the software in building the MS Excel tables, and on your ability to communicate in writing and present your arguments. You will also be graded on your ability to analyze socio-cultural, political-legal, technological, and financial data to justify your available strategies and the one(s) you recommend, and finally on your critical thinking and problem solving abilities in justifying your set of strategies.

About the company
American Express Company, a bank holding company, is a leading global payments and travel company. The Company's principal products and services are charge and credit payment
card products and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. The Company's businesses are organized into two customer-focused groups, the Global
Consumer Group and the Global Business-to-Business Group. (Annual report, 2009)
American express started its corporate journey in 1850, and it has conducted business according to several guiding principles that over the years have become inextricably linked with the company's brand, products, services and - perhaps most notably - its people. American Express employees across the organization were demonstrating the same core principles upheld by the company today:

Customer Commitment

? Quality

? Integrity

? Teamwork

? Respect for People

? Good Citizenship

? A Will to Win

? Personal Accountability

(Americanexpress, 2009)

Environmental Analysis
SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment. It is the first stage of planning and helps marketers to focus on key issues. (Marketingteacher, 2009)
SWOT Analysis is a powerful technique for understanding the Strengths and weaknesses, and for looking at the Opportunities and Threats. (Mindtools, 2009)Hence it helps in understanding the company's core competences, limitations and also helps in dissecting the environmental opportunities and challenges. Simple rules of SWOT analysis
? Be realistic
? It should distinguish between the present and future
? It should always be specific.
? Comparison to competitor
? It should be short and simple.
? SWOT is subjective.
(Marketingteacher, 2009)

SWOT/SFAS of American Express

Opportunities are as follows:
? Growth in Developing economies
? Changing lifestyle
? Opportunity of Consolidation
? Advancement in technology

Threats are as follows:
? Poor liquidity situation
? Global recession
? Volatility in Markets
? Decline in demand

Internal Environment of Company
Values of American express are clearly given in this link.

It is elaborated here:
"We're committed to making a positive contribution to our customers' lives by delivering outstanding products and premier service.

Our employees work together as a team to meet the needs of American Express customers and grow our business. In turn, we value our employees, encourage their career development and reward their performance.

People from many backgrounds and cultures have joined together to become our talented team ...

Solution Summary

Response provides guidance regarding analysis of Strategic Factors