CASE STUDY – AirSec Ltd
AirSec Ltd., is, of course, a business involved in the security industry. Below, you will read two examples of Mission Statements for real security companies. Make use of them to get ideas when you are writing the mission statement in your answer to Task 1.
Security companies Mission Statements:
1. G45 Plc (this is a well-known company in the security business)
Mission statement for G45:
Our vision is to be recognised as the leader in the provision of reliable and innovative Care & Justice Services always achieving the finest results.
Customer focus – we have close, open relationships with our customers that generate trust and we work in partnership for the mutual benefit of our organisations
Expertise – we develop and demonstrate our expertise through our innovative and leading edge approach to creating and delivering the right solution
Performance – we challenge ourselves to improve performance year-on-year and to create long-term sustainability
Best people – we always take care to employ the best people, develop their competence, provide opportunity and inspire them to live our values
Integrity – we can always be trusted to do the right thing
Collaboration & teamwork – we collaborate for the benefit of G4S as a whole
Care – we will always demonstrate the utmost care and respect for those people whose welfare and safety is entrusted to us
2. SELECT Management and Security Ltd
MISSION STATEMENT for SELECT:
In every area of our operations, we have developed our approach to business to benefit our customers and consumers and ensure their total protection. Our mission statement is broken down into key areas;
Our operational structure has been developed to ensure a bespoke approach to the needs of every client, whilst being able to ensure efficiency and competence in service delivery. We work to the international standards in every area of operations to demonstrate our ability to constantly better the services provided to clients and consumers.
We deliver our services through a team of loyal and dedicated staff who fully embrace our open door management structure and our company goals. All staff have a training and career progression plan to enhance our service delivery and offer them short and long term objectives to develop their skills.
We are committed to developing our company to constantly meet the ever changing needs of our customers, ranging from introduction of new technologies to additional training, we develop our entire area of operations with proven beneficial results to clients.
Select works with multiple partners in the community to make our operational areas a better place. We place emphasis on developing strategic links with local organisations, local Police and other stakeholders and aim to build safer communities.
To support the development of our brand we have established a clear identify that shows through our uniform, vehicles, website and associated branding. All staff are aware of how important our brand is to us and this also supports a professional and reassuring image to consumers.
These are the kinds of aims/objectives that AirSec could use. Use them as guidance for answering Task 1 (but make sure you do not copy them directly)
1. The company intends to become the market leader in the UK in the advanced security systems sector by 2017
2. We will enter the overseas market in India by 2018 and expect to break-even in that market by 2020
3. We aim to increase sales revenues over a five year period from its 2015 base by at least 10% whilst proportionately reducing costs by 5%
4. Our intention is to increase profits by a yearly average of 3% over the next five years
5. We will become a leading business in advanced security technology by increasing the staff training budget annually by 10%
6. By aiming to recycle 80% of our waste products by 2018, we intend to reduce our environmental impact
7. We will continue to increase our commitment to our local community by increasing our ‘Community Involvement Budget’ by 2% each year for a five year time horizon
Below is a possible Mission Statement that AirSec could use. Again, it is provided for your guidance
“We intend to lead the advanced security systems market by developing strong finances, a highly skilled workforce and a positive relationship with our clients both in the UK and in international markets. Local community relations will be strengthened by working more closely with our local stakeholders in charities, social enterprises, environmental groups, schools and hospitals.”
GUIDELINES FOR ANSWERING TASK 2
“Assess the merits and drawbacks of a range of pricing strategies and decide which would be appropriate for this business in its established market in the UK and its new venture in India. Explain why you think your choice would be appropriate for the business, its product and markets.”
Below are the pricing strategies listed in the lecture notes:
Low price in order to quickly gain a foothold in a market
Destruction or Predatory Pricing
Set a price that will push competitors out of the market
Charge similar price as competitors
Skimming the Market
Setting a high price for a new product in the knowledge that customers are willing to buy it. Launching of the product is preceded by a vigorous promotional campaign.
Charging different prices for different customers, or at different times of the day. Sometimes, this is called a Dual Pricing strategy.
Engaging in constant reduction of price to try to outdo rivals.
HOW TO ANSWER TASK 2
Start by writing generally about the above range of pricing strategies (make use of information from relevant textbooks and/or internet sources to add some relevant information). Try to relate your answer to the case study. For example, you may believe that because AirSec’s product isn’t a typical consumer item (such as, a new breakfast cereal) then Penetration Pricing is likely to be inappropriate. On the other hand, you may feel that it would be useful to consider Discrimination Pricing by setting different prices for AirSec’s business customers (B2B) and domestic customers (B2C).
Then go on to decide:
What will be the pricing strategy for AirSec’s UK market
What will be the pricing strategy for the new, proposed market in India
It is important you conclude this section with a good and detailed explanation of your choices.
Guidelines for case study AirSec Ltd (re. Task 3)
Benchmarking is to do with the identification of standards of performance and then using these standards to compare the actual performance of individual employees or working groups.
How are these standards identified?
It may be possible to get information from other, similar businesses on things like the productivity levels of shop floor workers (factory workers).
Industry-wide standards – in some industries there may be organisations or trade journals that publish figures, reports, etc., that could be useful.
A business can make good use of its own past data in areas such as, overall sales figures, sales achieved by individual sales-persons, production figures for sections in the factory, production figures for working groups, production figures for individual workers, levels of wastage for sections in the factory/individual workers, figures generated by the company’s Quality Assurance section, etc.
The standards achieved by recognised high-performing employees can be used as a benchmark to compare other employees’ work.
Benchmarking is an organizational tool to drive continuous improvements using best practices. This can translate into increased efficiency and create competitive advantages.
Employee benchmarking is usually used to assess the aptitude and abilities of a group involved in or performing a similar job. The actual performance of each and every individual is compared with the set benchmarks for the entire job description and tasks. The areas which are normally covered in employee benchmarking are:
Achievement of sales budgets
Achievement of plans
Ability to deliver effective customer service and care
Leadership and communication skills
Achieving set levels of production (in a manufacturing situation)
How to answer Task 3
These are the types of employee at AirSec Ltd:
Managerial and administrative, research, professional engineers, software engineers, shop-floor assembly workers and miscellaneous categories (including delivery drivers, maintenance workers, cleaners, etc).
Choose one of the categories of employee shown above and show how you would use benchmarking to measure their contribution to the work of the company and how it can be a useful tool in staff management.
Choose one of the categories of staff (for example, you may have chosen ‘Shop Floor Assembly Workers’ – they are the people who work in the factory and produce the company’s main product which is the UAV Drone).
Then explain how benchmarking can be used for this group of staff. You may say that the workers operate in working teams of 4/5 members and specialise in one stage of the production process (in the same way that car assembly workers are organised), for example, one working group may specialise in fitting the electrical circuits. Benchmarking may be used to:
set productivity targets and then measure the working group’s actual performance against the benchmark productivity figure
set quality performance standards (e.g. maximum number of products that can fail quality assurance checks) and measure the group’s performance
set stock wastage standards (the quantity of materials wasted/recycled) and measure the group’s stock wastage figures
Finally, explain how benchmarking can be a useful tool in staff management – the list below are some areas you can think about:
assess bonus payments for reaching or exceeding benchmark
help managers in staff appraisals
provide managers with relevant data for staff motivation
reveal areas where additional training is needed
identify problem groups/individuals where remedial action is needed
provide data to support possible disciplinary actions
Identify the main difficulties and barriers the company would face in its efforts to trade in the export market to India.
This task is related to the Week 19 Lecture “Barriers to Internationalisation” and you are advised to read this in your own time before writing your answer to this task.
The task is quite straightforward, you are required to do some relevant reading and then provide an essay-style answer to the question. Extracts are provided below from two websites to indicate the kind of research findings available. You can make use of them but should also carry out some of your own research.
1. From: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exporting-to-india/exporting-to-india
Challenges doing business in India
India is a price competitive market. Government contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder who meets the technical specifications. Consumers often prefer lower prices to quality or durability.
7 major religions and many minor ones
6 main ethnic groups
As a result there are countless holidays which change depending on the year. Plan your visit carefully so it doesn’t fall within a holiday period.
Other challenges include:
barriers to trade and investment in some sectors resulting from regulatory constraints, local sourcing requirements, and import tariffs
protecting your Intellectual Property (IP)
risk of bureaucratic delays
land acquisition can be difficult
risk of bribery and corruption
access to the right skills in the local workforce
poor infrastructure, including distribution and logistics as much of India remains rural
weather extremes with extremely hot weather in summer and wet weather in the monsoon season can affect business
You should ensure you take the necessary steps to comply with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act.
Standards and technical regulations
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is responsible for the development of national standards. These standards are generally in line with international norms and most are harmonised with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.
However, imports of some 109 products are subject to compliance with specified Indian quality standards. To remain compliant with the law, manufacturers of these products must obtain certification from BIS before exporting such goods to India. The list includes:
food preservatives and additives
certain electrical appliances
some types of gas cylinders
These products must be tested and certified by BIS in India although BIS does offer pre-certification subject to production inspections.
Check with BIS for full details of the 109 products and the procedure for applying for quality certification.
2. From: http://www.cppr.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Trade-Report.pdf
“India’s trade barriers; an analysis with reference to tariffs and customs procedures”
Table 4: Most problematic factors for importing in India Most problematic factors for importing in India Score
A. Burdensome import procedures 23.7
B. Tariffs 21.4
C. Corruption at the border 15.5
D. High cost or delay caused by domestic transportation 14.0
E. High cost or delay caused by international transportation 9.3
F. Domestic technical requirements and standards 7.1
G. Crime and theft 6.1
H. Inappropriate telecommunication infrastructure 2.9
GUIDELINES FOR TASK 5
Imagine that a number of the company’s important commercial customers have reported a problem with the product. It appears that in some instances the UAV’s operating at customers’ premises close to busy highways have developed a technical fault to do with the software. This causes the UAV to confuse fast moving vehicles as potential ‘targets’ and they will try to monitor movement over the highways. Drivers have been distracted and although there have been no major road accidents up to now there have been complaints to some of the businesses using the UAV’s and, in some cases; the local police authorities have been involved.
Identify the risks involved in this situation, the potential impact on the company and the actions that will be taken by the appropriate functional areas within AirSec.
Focus on the final sentence in the task:
“Identify the risks involved in this situation, the potential impact on the company and the actions that will be taken by the appropriate functional areas within AirSec.”
You can see the task is divided into three parts:
What are the risks?
What will be the impact?
What actions should the functional areas take?
(e.g. an obvious risk is that a driver will have a collision and individuals may suffer serious injury or death)
(The impact of the above risk may involve legal liability on the company’s part and the financial costs associated with that liability)
ACTIONS (taken by Functional Areas)
(The FINANCE DEPARTMENT/FUNCTION will have to budget for the additional costs if the legal action against the company is successful. They will also have to budget for the ongoing additional insurance premium payments that will be a consequence of this incident)
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