Strategic Management – Sample

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Sample of Strategic Management Assignment

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Introduction

In the new era of globalization, few strategic initiatives are considered as more global than the firm’s supply chain. The word “chain” is comprised of several methods as well as rife with risks that no longer give justice. The organization always needs to maintain strategic management to avoid the issues due to the changes in the marketplace. The strategic planning is all about identification, description, and ability to carry forward the decisions to achieve better performance, competitive advantage as well as the efficiency of the organization. The organization is said to have a competitive advantage if it has maximum productivity than the average profitability for the sectors running under the organization. The management is also defined as the bundle of decisions and acts which a manager takes and that decides the firm’s performance (Managementstudyguide.com, 2017).

Strategic Management - Sample

Smiling graduates hugging outdoors

The performance of the company depends upon the range of factors that are associated with a different set of people. When a particular group of people didn’t perform well in the organization, then it automatically affects the rest of the team, and gradually the performance decreases. For example, the supply chain management strategy of a Casey’s General Stores, Inc. decreases due to many reasons, and that affects the productivity of the organization. Therefore, it is necessary to manage the strategic planning efficiently as it is nothing but planning for the unfeasible and predictable contingencies. It applies to both small as well as the large-scale organization. The report contains the necessary details about the failures observed in the supply chain management, some effective steps will be recommended to resolve those issues, and alternative methods will be advised to improve the performance of the organization. Some future directions will also be mentioned to deal properly with the problems in leading a secure organization.

Introduction to the company

Casey’s General Stores, Inc. is one of the leading general stores that was established in the year 1959 and founded by Don Lamberti. Don Lamberti has leased the store from his father on Broadway in Des Moines as well as in East 14th. He has operated the store for nine years in this old country, which later remodeled into a convenience store called as Don’s gas supplier and friend (Caseys.com, 2017). Kurvin. C. Fish has suggested him to buy the Square Deal Oil Company, and Mr. Lamberti followed his advice, and later purchased the three-bay garage in Boone, Lowa. Using his strategies and methods, Don Lamberti has converted the store and named it as the Casey’s General Stores, Inc.

Another small was established in a small country with a population of 1,500 Waukee, Iowa. It is the first Casey’s built store that got huge appreciation and proved to be the best one.  After the success of the small store, Don Lamberti decides to establish the store in the community of more people and later he made a store with a population of 5,000 or less (Caseys.com, 2017).

The Casey’s General Stores, Inc. is well known for the best customer service that has been highly attributed to clean stores as well as for friendly employees. The employees of Casey are well recognized for the wide selection of freshly prepared food items, clean store and for the helpful employee who is providing the best services to the customers.

The mission of the store is to provide the product at a competitive price with the best of the quality and value. It will also provide the work surroundings where employees will be treated equally with all respect, honesty, and dignity, and the best performer will be rewarded. The main motto of the organization is to provide shareowners with a fair return on the investment.  The company stores offer pizza, donuts, sandwiches, beauty aids, tobacco, health products, beverages, automotive products, pet suppliers as well as other food items. The store also offers the fuel on sale as per the service basis> apart from this, the company operates under the Tobacco city selling the tobacco products and has one grocery store.

Business case

Casey’s General Stores, Inc. is the reputed store, but sometimes it has faced many problems regarding the productivity of the company. According to the sources, the company has seen a shortfall of 9 percent decline (Caseys.com, 2017). The problems are related to the stock that seems optimistic, but the real reasons are hidden inside and recognized as risks to the organization. The stock is not cheap even after the Wednesday fall, but, these issues are needed to be resolved in a particular period, otherwise, there are chances it may lead to some other issues.  The risks seem to exceed upside reward, and the scenario is not good which could take a reasonable turn after disappointing the investors. One of the notable segments of Casey is the cigarette sales that increased late as well and have seen many ups and downs. The problems arise due to several reasons in the supply chain management of the company that demands a higher price for the brand name.

The issues of the supply chain managers are based on the regular factors that require direct attention as well as a quick response. The supply chain of the Casey is the core of the business operations, and these issues can directly substantially affect the company. One of the common reasons for Casey is the management of inventory. The managing of the inventories goes beyond the expectation that includes the methods that are used to count the number of materials present in the warehouse and what is the total number required to fulfill the demand (Zigiaris, 2017). It is important to keep the relationship in hand to improve the bond between the client and customers so that the expectations are met. Casey’s General Stores, Inc. fails in maintaining that relationship at a particular period and that leads to the downfall of the sales in cigarette production. The company fails to manage the period properly and couldn’t maintain the delays. It is necessary to manage the delays in time as it has the maximum number of chances to reduce the profit when the inventories are insufficient (Stewart, 1997).

Apart from managing the inventories, the importance of the suppliers also plays a significant role. Managing the inventories is directly linked to the suppliers. When the inventories are managed properly, then the burden of suppliers decreases. The supply chain managers are responsible for knowing how many supplies are needed during the production period as well as in case of an emergency, and how to receive the orders. Each of the steps requires a thought process that should suit the business. The initial step of the Casey’s General Stores, Inc. was excellent, but later, due to the introduction of the new business into the store, the previous consistency decreases. Therefore, it is essential to manage the suppliers as they are responsible for managing the entire reliability as well as the consistency of the service at a price that doesn’t hurt the bottom line (Apics.org, 2017).

Maintaining quality and safety is another essential aspect of the business. The globalization of supply chain management has brought concerns regarding the quality of the products that are made in the country. The components of particular products need to meet the regulatory standards (Apics.org, 2017). Otherwise, when the companies are focusing on the maintenance and quality standards, then it might lead to some danger or risks. Therefore, the supply chain managers are mainly responsible for ensuring the supplies and safety of the product before delivery. Sometimes due to the lack of safety measures, the reputation of the company gets affected like the cash flow (Apics.org, 2017).

Casey’s General Stores, Inc. fails to meet the demand of the customers at a particular period. The supplies of the company couldn’t satisfy the desires of the customers, so gradually the sale decreases (Caseys.com, 2017). The company took much time to analyze the factors for the decreases in sales. The supply chain managers are responsible for mitigating the risks that are on the part of the accounts. Sometimes, due to the lack of the analysis procedure, the companies face the situation of bankruptcy, and this directly affects the supply chain as well as the productivity of the company. The jobs of the supply chain managers are difficult as the process of the management in the supply chain is too complex. The chances of risks are associated with each phase and need some immediate solutions to resolve the issues. When the supply chain management of a company works smoothly, then nothing can hamper the productivity, sales, as well as to the reputation. But, once the supply chain gets to decrease or affected by any means, then it will be too much difficult to manage the situation in a better direction. It will take much time if the existing strategies are not worthy and effective. Backups are necessary to maintain at every stage (Biz.uiowa.edu, 2017).

Literature review

The best companies across the world have found a powerful new source of competitive advantage, and that is known as the supply chain management, according to the author Sotiris Zigiaris (Zigiaris, 2017). It comprises of various activities that are responsible for meeting the demands as well as to satisfy the customers. The supply chain management program integrates several topics like the manufacturing of the operations, transportation, physical distribution of materials into the unified area, purchasing as well as the successful implementation of the strategies (Zigiaris, 2017). The successful implementation of the methods depends on the coordination, integration, chain management and various activities that are combined to perform the activities smoothly. It links and embraces all the partners in a chain, and in addition to that, it combines all the departments working together within the organization. It includes partners like the carriers, vendors, third-party, system providers, information providers and much more. Within the firm, the supply chain management refers to the wide range of functional area that is related to the activities such as the outbound and inbound transportation, sourcing, controlling, monitoring, procurement, warehousing, inventory, and the supply management. The planning, forecasting, scheduling, processing, customer service as well as the other processes are also included in the supply chain management and embody the information systems so that necessary activities can be monitored easily and efficiently (Zigiaris, 2017).

The presence of the supply chain networks has almost compulsory where companies have to deliver more value if different ways; to be significant in the marketplace, to become more flexible and reliable in providing the services, responding to the changes occurring in the market as well as to provide the products at lower prices. These aspects are considered as the necessary factors of the supply chain market that provides a competitive advantage for the industrial developments of the organization (Hill,  Jones & Schilling, 2014). The network of the supply chain becomes compulsory in every business sector, but there are maximum chances of risks related to the product design, implementation of the strategies, logistics management, and customer service as well as programs related to the general and specific issues. The issues that are related to the supply chain are the distribution of network configuration, inventory control, supply contracts, distribution strategies, and customer value. Some of the approaches that are used to solve the issues are the network optimization technique, global optimization, managing risks, payoff tradeoff and decision support systems, statistical process control, total quality management, and service level maximization (Lundvall & Gullberg, 2004).

Every supply chain management takes into consideration that every activity that is implementing on the organization should have an impact on the cost analysis and plays a role in making for product confirmation to customer requirements; from suppliers to the manufactures’ activities through the warehouse, retailers and distribution centers. The second objective of supply chain management is to be cost-effective across the entire systems (Morschett, Schramm-Klein & Zentes, 2015). It is essential to consider the distribution of the inventories, transportation, raw materials, work in progress and finished goods. The supply management revolves around the chain management or efficient integration of the suppliers, warehouses, manufacturers, and stores.  It encompasses the firm’s activities at many levels, starting from the strategic level to the tactical level.

Analysis or Restructure

Casey’s General Store has been continually striving towards making the operation of its supply chain management more effective. It has been making strategies regarding making its operations completely sustainable in order to reduce wastage of finances and other resources. It has been facing unprecedented issues that have encompassed all aspects of formats of merchandise right from the formats of merchandise, enhanced focus on price and quality, an overabundance of the choice of the consumer, rapidly changing technology and difficult climate of the economy. The challenges that Casey’s General Store has faced in its supply chain management has been varying. Slipping the margins of profits has been one of the most prominent issues that Casey’s General Store has been facing. Improving the margins of profits has been one of the prime objectives of the company (Managementstudyguide.com, 2017). The ever-changing preferences of the customers and the sensitivity of the company to the price has been one of the leading causes that have resulted in improper management of the supply chain management. The company has faced issues to keep the prices of the products as low as possible which had negative implications on supply chain management.  The costs of the raw materials and other aspects of the merchandise are under constant increase which is making it very hard to keep the business profitable.  The operational inefficiency has been dominating the supply chain management of the company.  Regulating supply chain management with rapid changes in the market is the most difficult thing that the company had to do.  Lack of collaboration, consistency, and collaboration across the supply chain unit and the vendors has been an issue that the company has to deal with.  Reduction in visibility across the functions of the supply chain management unit of Casey’s General Store has been a prime issue that exists in the company. The company had to realize that compliance with the regulations and policies of the government of the United States of America (Peppard & Ward, 2016).  Moreover, it was difficult for the company to accept the fact that dissociation and complexity result from the variety. Gaining proper control over the supply chain processes, inventory management, streamline order, consistency over the multiple operation programs are the key aspects that Casey’s General Store has to take care of.

In the context of the issues in the supply chain management unit of Porter’s five forces model, the application of Porter’s Five Forces is very much suitable.  The five forces of Porter that assist in the evaluation of the issues and the external environment that is affecting the operation of the supply chain management are internal rivalry in the market which is generating more choices for the buyers. The supply chain management of Casey’s General Stores, Inc. includes the speed of the growth of the retail and merchandise industry with which the company has to maintain the pace (Rothaermel,  2015).  The capacity of the company to utilize its resources in the most effective way is another aspect that has to be evaluated by the company. The exit barriers have to be recognized so that effective strategies can be identified in order to eradicate them from the business operations in the supply chain management unit of Casey’s General Stores, Inc.  The differences in the product ranges are another factor that plays into a scenario in the control of inventory of the supply chain management of the company.  Due to the uncertainty and fluctuations in the market, the company has to switch costs of the products that it offers.  The switching of the costs poses significant implications on the supply chain management of the company.

The threat of the entrants has been playing a significant role in having negative implications on the supply chain management of Casey’s General Stores, Inc. The alterations in the capital markets pose significant threats to the conduction of business operations through the supply chain management unit of the company. Further, the unavailability of skilled laborers becomes an issue for the proper operation of the business in the supply chain management of the company (Stewart, 1997). The lack of access to the unit of supply chain management of the company to the critical technologies, distribution or inputs has been hampering the effective regulation of supply chain management of the merchandiser. The company has to impose significant control over the product life cycle which is an integral part of the supply chain management of the company. Casey’s General Stores, Inc. has diverted its focus from the loyalty of the customers and brand equity towards which the company needs to orient its operations.  The company has not been effectively abiding by the regulations of the government due to which the unit of supply chain management has to face litigation (Caseys.com, 2017). These have resulted in an increase in the risk of switching. This further contributes to the unbalancing of the economies of scale.

The threat of substitute services and products also plays a very significant role in the obtainment of products that are demanded by the customers.  In this case, the relative performance of the competitors and the substitutes are also posing significant implications on the operations of the supply chain management of the company. The relative price of the products, as well as the services that are offered by the rival companies, has dominating influence over the supply chain management of the company. Switching costs contribute a lot to the competition for Casey’s General Stores, Inc. Moreover; the propensity of the buyer to the substitute of the company threatens the business operations through the supply chain management unit (Wheelen & Hunger, 2017).

The power of buyers alters with changes with the change in demands and requirements of the customers and the market. This has a huge impact on the power of the company regarding its purchase which is reflected in the conduction of business operations through the supply chain management of the company.  The aspect of the power of buyers that has significant effects on the supply chain management includes a concentration of buyers in the market and the buyer volume.  The switching costs of the global buyers results in frequent alteration of the costs for the purchase of the company.  These further, result in increased sensitivity of the prices at which the company buys merchandise from the suppliers. Eventually, these implications have a lot of negative implications in the identity of the brand. This has significant implications on the performance and quality of the products that Casey’s General Stores, Inc. deals with in the market. There are considerable negative effects on the profits that the company desired to obtain from the business operations. The market is filled with substitutes which make the business operations more vulnerable to be subjected to competition (Zigiaris, 2017).

The power of the suppliers has a dominating role in the conduction of supply chain management operations. The supply of high-quality products is limited to a few suppliers in the market. In this scenario, there is a greater power of the suppliers over the supply chain management of Casey’s General Stores, Inc.  This is relevant to the fact that the suppliers will have the upper hand in fixing the pricing of the products. The unit of supply chain management of Casey’s General Stores, Inc. is affected by the fluctuations of the prices of key inputs and the ability or the flexibility of the company to buy and sell the products at increased prices.  There is an ever lingering threat of backward integration for the company which plays a significant role in the supply chain management (Wheelen & Hunger, 2017). The capacity utilization of the industry, as well as the company, makes the operations more complex as the company has to match up with the functioning of the industry. The concentration of the suppliers affects the feasibility of the buying of the company as it has to concentrate on limited suppliers and products.  Casey’s General Stores, Inc will not be able to offer a variety of merchandise products to its customers. This will make the customers seek other merchandise providers which will have a wide variety of merchandise products. The ability to integrate key resources which include technologies has significant dominance over the conduction of business through the supply chain management unit of the company. The incorporation of technology in the regulation of the unit enhances productivity as business operations can be conducted in lesser time and with decreased efforts (Rothaermel,  2015). In this regard, the threat of backward integration also exists for the company. The company’s capacity utilization is affected by the changes in the market and the demands of the customers.  The emphasis of volume to the Casey’s General Stores, Inc cannot be ignored in this case.

Strategic Management - Sample

Monitoring the supply chain management denotes to the simple fact that the company has to deal with diversified and more risks. With a more diversified supply chain of the company, the increase in the length, frequency, and a number of supplier audits and evaluations is required.  The company has to make wider assessments of the supplier’s broadened scope which will assist the company in having effective conduction of business.  The company needs to have a strategic relationship with the suppliers in regards to the products and the range of service that it provides to the customers. Establishing clear programs for the measurement of the performance of the supply chain partners of the company has to be materialized. These measurements are required to be conducted in the elements like delivery time, quality of the products that are delivered to the company (Managementstudyguide.com, 2017). The price at which the company is receiving products from the suppliers has to be regulated at the same time.  The total costs of the products and the services that are offered to the company by the suppliers have to be considered while making the purchase decision.  The compliance with the contract and the responsiveness of the suppliers to Casey’s General Stores, Inc has to be considered while making the decision. Casey’s General Stores, Inc has to make a proper investment in the infrastructure of the supply chain management unit in order to have effective business operations.  Avery important aspect of ensuring acquiring high-quality products through effective functioning of the supply chain management is to have effective communication with the suppliers.

Conclusion

Casey’s General Stores, Inc has to make efforts in connecting the business orientation towards the ecosystem of the suppliers and the automation of the manual processes.  The processes that are currently used in the supply chain management of the company have to be based on effective communication. The approvals and the escalations along with the workflows of the company have to be automated.  Casey’s General Stores, Inc has to make increased efforts in enhancing the visibility of the company in the global market which will be materialized with enhanced supply chain management. The issues that were arising earlier in the business frameworks of the company have to be identified and these initiatives have to be taken much before they turn into high costing incidents of quality.  The management of the supply chain unit has to understand the key cause of the issues and the source from which the problems in the quality of the supply chain management are arising. Regular and effective traceability of the issues has to be inculcated in the business frameworks of the company. Casey’s General Stores, Inc also needs to understand the significance of accountability in order to ensure that the suppliers and the partners understand the issues as well as the resolution of the product requirements in an effective manner. Further, the company needs to make increased efforts for the mitigation of the financial risks associated with the quality and supply chain management. This will increase the efficiency of the company as well as enhance the profitability of the company. The company has to focus on the standardization of the processes and workflows in order to support the quality of the products and efficiency of the company in providing high-quality products to its customers. This way Casey’s General Stores, Inc will be able to centralize its position in the global market.

References

Apics.org. (2017). SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES: WHAT’S KEEPING SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGERS AWAKE AT NIGHT?. [online] Available at: http://www.apics.org/docs/default-source/scc-non-research/supply-chain-issues.pdf?sfvrsn=2 [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].

Biz.uiowa.edu. (2017). Casey’s General Store (CASY). [online] Available at: https://www.biz.uiowa.edu/henry/download/research/CASY_s17.pdf [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].

Caseys.com. (2017). About Us | Casey’s General Store. [online] Available at: https://www.caseys.com/about-us [Accessed 12 Dec. 2019].

Hill, C.W., Jones, G.R. and Schilling, M.A., 2014. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning.

Lundvall, P. and Gullberg, M., 2004. Retail Supply Chain Management-A case study of the relationship between retail value propositions and supply chains. rapport nr.: Masters Thesis, (2003).

Morschett, D., Schramm-Klein, H. and Zentes, J., 2015. Strategic international management. Springer.

Managementstudyguide.com. (2017). Strategic Management – Meaning and Important Concepts. [online] Available at: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/strategic-management.htm [Accessed 12 Dec. 2019].

Peppard, J. and Ward, J., 2016. The strategic management of information systems: Building a digital strategy. John Wiley & Sons.

Rothaermel, F.T., 2015. Strategic management. McGraw-Hill Education.

Stewart, G., 1997. Supply-chain operations reference model (SCOR): the first cross-industry framework for integrated supply-chain management. Logistics information management, 10(2), pp.62-67.

Wheelen, T.L. and Hunger, J.D., 2017. Strategic management and business policy. Pearson.

Zigiaris, S. (2017). Supply Change Management. [online] Adi.pt. Available at: http://www.adi.pt/docs/innoregio_supp_management.pdf [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].

 

 

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