Toolscorp’s Strategic Management
Toolscorp is a company that deals with a number of power tools that are basic to every household. The main purpose of the company is thus to provide tools that are reliable, durable and easy to use. The success that the company has had in the markets in the US and Canada is testament to the quality of the products it manufactures. The company aims to reach as many customers as possible in order to increase its sales beyond these domestic markets into the global market. It is prudent for the Toolscorp executives to note that there are many power tools’ manufacturers in the market with nearly identical products to theirs. Therefore, Toolscorp products must be a cut above the rest. The company should be defined by production of efficient, easy to handle and long lasting tools in order to strike a rapport with the customers and improve on sales.
Toolscorp mission statement is: to provide households with quality power tools that offer good value for money while giving good returns to the company and continuously inspiring employees. This statement defines the target clientele, highlights the general product range, identifies the target market, addresses profitability, outlines the philosophy of the company in provision of quality products, and also illustrates its desire to please the shareholders by having good returns and addressing employee motivation. This is a strong mission statement that meets majority of the nine criteria that such a statement should.
Toolscorp is an already established company with a sizeable market share. It builds power tools that are already in major stores like Sears, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. The major source of information regarding the company would be the clientele that flock into these stores and continuously purchase its products. They would give firsthand accounts on the efficiency, durability and handling of the tools. This information would be sourced by directly interviewing them or by using surveys. Another source of information would be store attendants and the sales figures of the company in comparison to other competitors.
Primary information regarding the company would be sourced from the management and employees. The goals and objectives of the company, together with the mission and vision are best communicated by those that are directly responsible for their execution. This information may also be available in a number of documented sources including the internet or other companies that are in partnership with Toolscorp. They may include non-governmental organizations that form part of the company’s corporate social responsibility network or others that they have sponsorship deals with. Tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Authority in the US and the Canada Revenue Agency can also form part of the information required to analyze the company.
There are several principles that Toolscorp should consider while prioritizing the implementation of its strategic objectives. The main purpose of objectives is to connect ideas into realistic actions (Khazanchi, 2005). Toolscorp must be fully committed to its laid out plans. Commitment to a plan ensures that envisaged real world scenarios are actualized after careful and comprehensive planning. The resources and time required for actualization of objectives can be efficiently used if there is commitment and adherence to a plan. At the onset, there must be adequate resources since they ultimately determine the extent of commitment to a plan. These resources include operational capacity, time, finances, sales, marketing and human resources. Commitment should not only help in implementation but also in evaluating whether objectives are being met.
Toolscorp is at a unique position as it already commands a sizeable market share. The fact that the company wants to expand into new markets should be based on its domestic strengths. These strengths must be incorporated in the planning and implementation stages to ensure that objectives are being met. This principle is regarded as leading with the ‘best foot forward’. The advantage is that the company already has momentum in the form of an already existing market that is key to venturing into new markets. Focusing on strengths will lead to a gain in experience, expertise, knowledge and skills (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). These new acquisitions can be invaluable in meeting objectives if they are integrated into the overall strategic plan.
Implementation of plans should be incorporated into a theme of achieving tangible results. This is a very fundamental principle as Toolscorp can be in a position to prioritize its anticipated results. These results can range from having high sales versus establishing a formidable customer base or having high profits in terms of money against establishing a large market share. Here, time is an important component as it is the ultimate determinant of which results are to be achieved where. The most effective method of achieving result-based implementation systems is by having flawless communication methods and channels that link company processes and strategic plans (Lock, 2007). Toolscorp management should be aware that the actualization of objectives is day to day activity and should ensure that every component of the processes is aimed at achieving a specified result.
The completion of a process does not in any way indicate that the management process is over (Hamilton, 2004). Having a process in place is not the same as achieving the goals and objectives expressed in strategic plans. This is where post implementation and feedback mechanisms are important in determining which areas of a plan need improvement after the implementation process. Toolscorp management should ensure that after the implementation of a project, they sit down with project stakeholders and do a review of the entire process when the information is still fresh in their minds. The following measures should be considered when reviewing a strategic plan after the implementation stage: a gap analysis to determine the difference between actual results and envisaged objectives, achievement of overall goals, stakeholder satisfaction, implementation costs and benefits, lessons learnt and areas for further development.
In order to have accurate measures, the scope of post implementation review must be defined. Since the implementation process is multi-stakeholder, it is important to make sure that politics do not arise where certain parties feel they are being victimized for problems that occurred during implementation (Kerzner, 2003). All key documents must be reviewed preferably using the expertise of independent reviewers who will do unclouded appraisals on the processes involved in implementation. The data collection modes must be appropriate where firsthand information should be sought; preferably by conducting interviews and surveys. Eventually, comprehensive reports and recommendations must be created detailing the processes and areas of weakness. The post implementation process should not be at the expense of massive resources and time. It must be conducted in a short period to ensure that any adjustments to the original plan are made as soon as possible.
Management of people and processes is complex (Gomez-Mejia et al, 2008). This is one fundamental principle that Toolscorp managers must always bear in mind. Advancing any goals that will have negative effects on the stakeholders can lead to ethical and legal issues. The most common ethical issues are fraud and corruption where a manager or a group of managers implement strategic plans while individually benefiting from processes. Self gain is a major source of ethical and legal issues and should be checked at all stages of implementation and post implementation to ensure that stakeholders do not conduct themselves in a manner that compromises overall achievement of goals. Such occurrences are minimized by adherence to company code of ethics.
Social issues might also arise when managers attempt to cut costs in the course of implementing plans. Toolscorp desire to expand to foreign markets might be informed by the presence of cheap labor in other countries compared to both the US and Canada. In Asia and Africa, labor is very cheap but is also sometimes at the expense of workers’ health and remuneration. It is therefore prudent that the company familiarize itself with the laws and regulations in the countries it aims to set up in. This simply requires that it show social responsibility in its dealing with local communities that ultimately provide the human resources required for successful implementation of the strategic plans (Dinsmore et al, 2005). Legal issues inevitably occur when a company sets up in a foreign market but does not adhere to the laws and regulations of that host country.
People today are very conscious of the environment. Already, global warming has taken a toll on some areas changing the lifestyle of entire communities. Toolscorp must ensure that it incorporates green initiatives in order to conserve the environment. Worker safety and health and environmental protection must be at the fore in production and distribution of products. This means that harmful byproducts of manufacturing must be disposed off in the correct manner, recycling must be incorporated into the company’s core values and environmental protection must always be considered in every undertaking.
Toolscorp is a model of success as is evidenced in its performance in the domestic markets of the US and Canada. These strengths are important if the company is to replicate this success in other foreign markets. However, the company must be aware of the numerous laws and regulations that are distinct in different markets. It must ensure that it avoids ethical and legal issues in the implementation and post implementation phases of its strategic plans.
Dinsmore, P.C. et al (2005). The right projects done right! New York: John Wiley and Sons
Gomez-Mejia, L.R. et al (2008). Management: People, Performance, Change, 3rd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Hamilton, A. (2004). Handbook of Project Management Procedures. Harrogate: TTL Publishing, Ltd.
Kerzner, H. (2003). Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling (8th Ed.). New York: Wiley.
Khazanchi, D. (2005). Patterns of Effective Project Management in Virtual Projects: An Exploratory Study. Project Management Institute.
Kotter, J.P. & Cohen, D.S. (2002). The Heart of Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing..
Lock, D. (2007). Project Management (9th ed.). Aldershot: Gower Publishing, Ltd
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