All businesses including service provision businesses manage to achieve specified organizational goals; they have what they regard as their core business activities and such, all other activities and functions in the organization appear in line with organizational goal. Production and operations are essential functions in services business, which aim at attaining the business goal in a cost-effective processwhile giving regard to time limits and quality of service (Shi Yong, & Yi Peng, 2001). Service provision businesses undertake a number of processes in a bid to attain competitive advantage while serving their customers. Of great importance to them, is ensuring customer satisfaction because satisfied customers most often purchase again and tell other people about it. The processes range from communicating to the prospective markets about the services offered and getting the target customer interested, approaching them and presenting on what the business offers, answering questions and handling customer objections, making sales and providing after sale service.
Looking at TESCO PLC, being an old company, it has expanded its production since 1919 through operating 14 markets across Europe, Asia, and North America and achieved an 8.8 percent growth rise in 2011 Group Sales. As a PR person, there is a need to identify the commercial and competitive context of TESCO PLC. The commercial context of importance in this firm is related to the market nature and the availability of other firms offering the same services as TESCO PLC. The developed world markets are increasingly becoming saturated forcing multinational corporations to turn to the emerging economies as key locations for future market growth. In an effort to achieve such dreams, most firms focus on the wealth at the top of the economic pyramid, forming products and business model similar to those used by upgraded firms in the developed world (Arnold and Quelch, 1998: 7-20). As such, TESCO PLC commercial context plan will be focused on developing a good competitive strategy that targets international markets and mostly on developed nations in order to achieve a good competitive advantage. Some of the commercial strategies of the firm in 1997 are: to be an outstanding retailer in stores and online; to be as strong in all their food sales, and grow retail services in all the 14 markets.
The firm’s strategy concerns static and dynamic competition. Static competition is concerned with competing for the present while dynamic involves competing for the future. According to American Productivity and Quality Council (APQC) (2000), competition in a business occurs in many different forms developing form a variety of competitors, thus increasing challenges. The successful positioning of an enterprise, good allocation of resources, and making a decision on the appropriate level of performance in a competitive environment are the key factors to consider while designing a PR strategy for TESCO PLC. On the other hand, a skillful business and competitive analysis is needed in order to determine the competition nature of the firm in relation to delivering value to its stakeholders. For static competition, the firm should have knowledge of current competitors, product market scope, geographical scope, and vertical scope.
The firm is composed of two types of stakeholders, the internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. The internal stakeholders are employees, investors, and shareholders, while the external stakeholders are suppliers, customers, government, media, community, bankers, pressures groups, and competitors. Different stakeholders have different issues within the firm and, unless these issues are dealt with perfectly, the firm will not achieve its strategic goals.
Employees in a firm assist in ensuring all operations in a company are running as speculated. The main issues concerning employees are the nature of work they engage in and their compensation. The strategy that will aid in achieving the desire of employee performance will be that of posing a query. The question will be what was done to get the current performance? In addition, what has to be done to improve on the performance? Potential identification will involve changing job responsibilities for various employees while matching their personal competencies with the jobs (Wernerfelt, 1984).
Investors also bring resources to a firm through ensuring the company is running accordingly and bring about more returns from their investments. In TESCO PLC, investors are facing liquidity challenges and have different degrees of interest in the firm assets. The main role of the investor is thrown into cash for start-up companies, but investors are different from other forms of financing. Investors are so-called equity financing. Investors do not just invest money in business is investing time and experience of running a business. Investors are often hands-on approach, in which the role of an advisor or consultant for the company. They expect to turn a profit by being part of your business. When you are an investor should bring benefits to business and this fact should have plans to offer companies a reasonable return on their money. Profit in money for five to seven years is considered normal (Christina, 2011). In the current business environment, investors are keenly observing the effects of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors on investment sector. EIRIS argues that social matters have assisted in identification of the sub-prime financial crisis and that; issues on governance have affected risk management in banks (2009). Further, CFA Institute claims that, a successful investment is correlated to one’s ability of understanding and evaluating the factors influencing market valuation in a given company. Analysts have the capability to discern financial metrics of factors that contribute to corporate value and offer reliable interpretation of the complex accounting data (CFA Institute, 2008).
In addition, the firm is experiencing severe external factors brought about by the competitive nature of the market. Some of the customers are being absorbed by the upcoming retail shops leaving the firm with fewer buyers. All efforts and activities in a business should have unity and focus on giving customers what they demand. If customers prefer to have constancy in service, the business should ensure that, if the customers are price sensitive, the businesses should offer fair prices, if customers focus, or are delighted more on reliability and variety, then the businesses should unify its efforts and resources toward delivering that. Businesses operate to attain growth through profits; thus, the operations should be cost effective (Lewis, & Slack, 2003). The government is on the fore front asking for revenue from the firm. The corporate governance and financial performance bring about various issues in the implementation of the PR strategy. Corporate governance and financial performance are two inseparable factors. This is due to the fact that, a well established corporate governance in a firm enhances its value, and the related operation performance. This is achieved via effective management, well established resource allocation means, and handling of stakeholders in a better way. To cope with these issues, TESCO PLC management has to ensure that the set strategies are come up with enough output to cater for the government needs and leave good sum for other activities.
Suppliers also as stakeholders have great influence in the operations within the firm. Suppliers are concerned with the delivery of food stuff in the firm following the orders made by the marketing managers. On the other hand, media assist in enabling customers from all over the globe learn about the business activities in a firm. Media are very strong body that every organization should consider while planning their market entry strategies. TESCO PLC should fully utilize the media through advertising their product and offering promotions so as to reach as many customers possible. There is an essential need for a product to be promoted so that it is known in the market. Promotion is done in ways that the market reaches the product and then patronizes it. As a way to promote their products, it is essential for the company to advertise through the newspaper, particularly those that have majority readers. This can be best practice for the company to promote their food products, especially considering the stiff competition faced. The Product advertising allows some significant contact between customers and the marketer. The design should be such that more sales takes place when the amount of time on face-to-face contact is more. It is clear that sales and production efficiency both compete for resource. Concentrating too much on production efficiency may lead to low sales opportunities while, on the other hand, giving so much focus on the sales opportunities may mean neglecting production efficiency (Gale Bradley & Wood Robert, 1994; Reynolds, 2009.).
The company should streamline issues with the bank and other money lending institutions in order to ensure that the marketing activities go as planned. The issues brought about by this stakeholders concerns payment of loans and other debts owed by the firm. There is need for transparency and accountability in the firm. Transparency and accountability have great influence in a firm’s performance. This happens because; these two find application in auditing and disclosure of a firm’s standard. This call for firms to ensure that financial information are available to all potential individuals with interest on the firm, so that they can make wise decisions (Viney, 2009). TESCO PLC should open an account with a reliable bank that can offer loans at a considerable rate. This ensures three things. First the firm pays for the loan and at the same time, it is able to manage its internal expenses, and make profits.
Development of a correct PR strategy is essential for every business. This assists a firm to concentrate and utilize the available resources and opportunities to realize profits and become competitive in the market (Armstrong and Kotler, 2008). In developing appropriate HR strategies, proper assessment of the internal and external environments of the business is essential. The internal environment includes type and nature of product, marketing mix and the distribution constraints. On the other hand, the external environment may include the nature, type and distribution of customers and competition in the market. Other external environmental factors could include technology, cultural, politics, legal and the economic environment. Assessment of the environmental factors helps in the development of appropriate strategic distribution plans. A proper PR strategy is required to execute the communication plans within an organization in order to realize the marketing objectives.
A well planned PR is a more effective tool of marketing compared to advertising. In designing a perfect PR plan, the following factors are considered. To start with the firm should set out some objectives for publicity or media plan in question. This is done through identifying the experienced people to carry out the activities, building goodwill among customers, and creating favorable perception regarding the company services. The next step in formulating a PR plan is a definition of goals that are to be achieved. The goals are to be specific, measurable, and result oriented (Lake, 2011). TESCO PLC has set out 7 goals to aid in discovering their communication strategies. These are; to grow the UK core, to become an international retailer in store, achieve strong growth in all their sales, grow retail services in all their markets, to put up responsibilities in the communities they serve, to create high valuable brands, and building a strong team in order to create more value.
The third step involves determining the target audience. This takes into account the specific customers that the firm wishes to meet. The company marketing team has the responsibility of coming into contact with different customers all over the UK and internationally. This will be achieved through efficient communication, advertisements, promotions and making use of Information and Communication Technology. According to the startupnation, formulating a perfect PR plan involves researching the media venues, development of story angles, making contact with customers, getting involved, and being persistent (2011). Fourthly, there is a need to develop a schedule for the PR campaigns through conceding the event with other marketing and sales plans. In achieving this, TESCO PLC has to plan its events in such a manner that sales promotions coincide with sale of other important food products so that the consumers may get a variety of products. The firm has five forces which are; threat of new entrants, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, threats of substitute products and services, and rivalry among existing competitors (Datamonitor, 2010). The fifth step involves developing the attack plan by designing the communication vehicles to use in order to make the public know of the products and services offered in the company. This will be achieved through the use of press release, articles, and customer success stories, letters to editors, radio, television, seminars, and event sponsorships (Lake, 2011).
In order to achieve these goals, the firm has to come up with a plan including tactics and timeline for making the strategy yield good results. Arguments in favor of PR exist. Improvement of the reputation of a business is one of these benefits. Being a respectable outfit sets a business apart from its competition. Customers want to be associated with a business that has built a good name over time by showing consideration for the environment, its stakeholders, as well as the unfortunate in society. As Gallagher (2005) postulates, improved employee-employer relations forms a benefit of communication in a firm. Employees have been noted to stay longer on companies that have effective PR strategies. Arguments against the PR concept also abound. One of these is the competitive disadvantage. Companies, which do not invest resources into its environment and communities, are at a disadvantage against those that do. Loss of focus is another disadvantage. Most companies have long drifted from their main goal of making the customer happy and the companies have taken up PR without liking it. The lasting impact of PR on corporate governance is also a major concern and has been used as an argument against it (Spender, 1996).
A firm must always balance the ethical traditions and notions with what is good for the firm. This means striking a balance between what is good for the stakeholders and what is good for the shareholders. Keeping this balance will ensure that one does not suffer due to over-emphasis on the other. Enlightened self-interest concept should play a role in guiding this process. In this case, Anna should be able to determine which of the two actions she is likely to take will influence either the shareholders or the stakeholders and whose interests she should forfeit. The government will also play a great role in achieving the above goals. The relationship between the government and business has intensified due to dynamics in economic situations of different nations. The business environment has also been faced with many dynamics. As such, the government formulates and implements policies that aid in providing an equal business operation environment. The government may limit business behavior through several means such restricting export and import volumes of the business. In addition, the government may introduce a total burn measure on business products and services. This affects the business negatively. To influence the regulation process, businesses form organizations that aid in protecting business operations influence from the government. The businesses may also adopt the regulations into their process operation chain in order to eliminate any possibility of negative influence from government.
An issue management process is a set of procedures that aid an individual in managing issues as they arise. In operational team or project, issues occur regularly and affect the ability to meet team goals. At this point, an issue process cannot be avoided. This process helps in the recording of each issue and identifying actions needed to correct it. Issue management steps include monitoring, identification, prioritization, analysis, strategy decision, and implementation. Monitoring involves analyzing the business environment, scanning what the public, government, media, interest groups and general opinion leaders are saying. Identification is the assessment of the important elements and arising patterns from aspects that might be overlooked by others. Identification of where the issue lies in the company’s life cycle is done. Emphasis is also placed on issues that are gaining widespread support and impact on the company either positively or negatively.
Prioritization is a determination of how far-reaching the impact of a given issue will be. Knowing what is at stake is also important. Probability of the issue occurring again and the urgency of the issue find handling in this stage. Analysis forms the crucial step of considering the issue in depth. Support teams are also established, and the ranking of stakeholders is done. Strategy decision involves the creation of a strategic response and definition of the content of the message and identification of target groups. Strategic options available to the company are determined as well as the resources needed to implement them. Implementation is the final stage where the programs and policies approved by the management are implemented, and a response is effectively communicated to each target group in a credible form.
In conclusion, TESCO PLC is in a position to achieve all its goals if it follows the above mentioned strategies. Service provision businesses undertake a number of processes in a bid to attain competitive advantage while serving their customers. Of great importance to them, is ensuring customer satisfaction because satisfied customers most often purchase again and tell other people about it. The processes range from communicating to the prospective markets about the services offered and getting the target customer interested, approaching them and presenting on what the business offers, answering questions and handling customer objections, making sales and providing after sale service.
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