MANAGEMENT

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Executive Summary

Present report has shed light on the aspect of a business game concerning of two rounds. This report is directed towards the strategic management in order to gain competitiveadvantage in the market of UK. This report includes discussions related to companyperformance, critical reflection and team performance. Company performance section of this study has discussed about the aspects of key performance measures and forecasting operations present in round 2 and round 2 of the business game. Critical reflection has discussed about the factors of team performance which are focused on the financial and marketing operationsalong with human resource management. Team performance section of this study discusses about the aspects of individual contribution in the business game.

1. Introduction

The company“Felidae Car Manufacturing Company” hasactively participated in business simulation exercise and business game. All the business performances of the company have been performed based on the guidelines and advice of the European Car markets. The objectives of performances have been successfully met and managed by the company in the team roles and team performance process.

Total sale105000
Total unsold stock12868
Shareholder fund2,463.56
Closing bank balance1,299.86
Outstanding loans0.00

Moreover, the company has positively focused in the developing innovative car designs in order to give tough competition in the European markets.The three major design developed by the organisation are FL Lux, Feel One, Feel Two and Feel Three. In the business game, Felidae hadinvested approximately£36000000in the development of new model. In addition to this, all the functional areas of the business game have been divided within the team member in a proper manner.

2. Company Performance

2.1. Round 1 forecast of KPMs

Forecast operations of the modules in the business game did not go as planned as the original values were fluctuating heavily while implementation in Round 1.

FactorsOriginal Value (£)Forecasted Value (£)
Investment of New Model360000000320000000
Change Loan factor950000000890000000
Customer Days to pay3527
Skill training cost8000009500000
Management of Training Cost64000005754100
Automation cost500000456980

Table 1: Difference in Factors

(Source: Learner)

In case of Model costs

FactorsOriginal Value (Unit) / £Forecasted Value (£)
Model Size (Small)68037000
Model Size (Medium)931610000
Model Size (Large)13535190000
Model Size (Luxury)27429300000

Table 2: Difference in Model Cars

(Source: Learner)

2.2. Comparison

Major KPM indicators that are identified in this business are Financial Performance, Human Resource Performance, IT operations and Customer Insights. Based on Sila (2018), KPIs are significant in case of company and individual performance as it helps in effective monitoring of the entire team’s performance. As mentioned by Ante et al., (2018), these indicators are mostly used in case of evaluation of an entire team. KPMs are identified with the help of indicators that are used by performance evaluators. Several indicators include quantitative, qualitative, leading and lagging indicators. These four indicators are extensively used in case of comparison of original and forecasted results. As cited by Singh et al., (2016), these indicators help in mapping of a particular work which is related to the internal business and manufacturing process.

From the above table, it can be identified that there is a significant amount of difference between each value. The difference between the original and forecasted values can be used for future evaluations. Since it is a part of a business game, KPMs are relatively easier to measure since these values are not related to original market value (Akdeniz and Calantone, 2017). It can be seen that investment models and change in loan factors are largely different from the forecasted values. This particularly happened due to wrong measurement of the planners which is directly related to the financial performance measures.

The IT operations are another major part in this section as creation of cars requires extensive effort in relation to installation of IT equipment. It can be seen in the above table that the Automation cost has not been calculated efficiently as there is a difference of more than £44000. As mentioned by Ante et al., (2018), this has happened due to the lack of knowledge relating to ordering fulfilment cycle time. In order to get faster automation installation, the company has not primarily focused on the complete cycle time required to do such operations.

2.3. Rationale for Round 2 Decisions

Round 2 has been entirely focused on the fact related to marketing and advertising. Round 1 was entirely focused on manufacturing costs, Round 2 of the business game reports related to human resource activities along with marketing. As per the team decision, it can be identified that investments on new models along with change loans have no particular quantitative value. This is due to the completion of such operations which are already done in the first round of this game. According to the collected data, it can be seen that Round 2 has increased the number of days for customers to pay for the actual product. Supplier days to pay have even increased. As stated by Ferreira et al., (2017), increasing the number of customers pays is directed towards the advancement of product launch. Pre-booking of a product is generally started in such circumstances.

FactorsCost / Actions
New Model Investment0
Market ResearchTrue
Rival / Competition dataTrue
Change Loan0
Customer Days to Pay60
Supplier days to Pay95
Skill training4000000
Management Training3000000
Automation2000000000

Table 3: Round 2 Decision Analysis

(Source: Learner)

From the above table, it can be seen that the skill training and management training cost has gone by a large margin when compared to Round 1 costs. It can be analysed from the above-given fact that manufacturing of the cars has been done and marketing plans have been initiated. It has been seen that skill training costs have been increased; this is done in order to practice car delivery and service procedures which will be essential in case of after-sales operations. The market research criteria and gathering of rival data have been turned true.

This is mostly done in case of a decision that will be taken in the next round for product costs. As cited by Sabbagha et al., (2016), determination of a product cost is largely dependent upon the current market situation. This even involves research related to rival companies. Since the company is coming up with a new product in the market, price and positioning of the car must be done in a competitive manner. As mentioned by Ante et al., (2018), finding out the correct price of the upcoming product which can challenge the rival companies along with gaining the trust and interest of the customers are the main focus of Round 2.

2.4. Rationale for round 3

ModelWorkforceProduced carSelling priceTotal Sales income
Fl Lux96018100£71799 

 

 

£5054.63

Feel one600124800£22888
Feel two180101000£28444

Table 4: Round 3 analysis

In the round 3 of the business game, the workforce and car model has been improved and the total sale income has been increased in a significant way. In addition, the number of car produces has been increased by the team in order to improve the existing market competition areas associated with the European Stock Exchanges. According to the perspective of Han et al., (2018), focus in improving the quality has greatly contributes in the process of improving the net income of the organization.

2.5. Forecasted for round 4

ModelWorkforceProduced carSelling priceTotal Sales income
Fl Lux120016000£71499 

 

 

 

£7010.61

Feel one1000105000£22499
Feel two80090000£27999
Feel three100060000£25999

Table 5: Round 4 analysis

In the round 4 of the business game, a new model has been implemented “Feel Three” and the introducing of the new model has greatly contributes in the process of increasing the total sales income of the game. From the above table, it can be observed that, the income has been increased by £1956 million in the round 4 as compared to the round 3.

2.6. Trends of KPM

KPMs or key performance measures are used in case of the calculation of business metrics. Knowledge related to business metrics is significant in case of evaluation and correcting faulty business functions. As mentioned by Han et al., (2018), there are several KP indicators that are used in case of businesses assessment. Basic indicators of KPMs are process, output, practical and directional indicators. Process indicators are directed towards the representation of efficiency and productivity of a particular process. Output indicators are related to the reflection on the results of desired business operations.

Project management indicator

Practical indicators are directed towards the interface of existing companies. Based on the study by Jetter et al., (2018), directional indicators are related to the specification of positive and negative impacts that business processes have on an organisation. As mentioned by Ante et al., (2018), these KPIs are used in case of performance evaluation. Among the popular trends related to KPH, actionable indicators are such which are used in case of controlling the organization’s changes. These indicators are the main factors which are responsible in case of driving changes. As mentioned by Dörnhöfer et al., (2016), financial indicators are such which are used to measure performance based on the results of operating index.

Recent trends in case of KPMs are measured with the help of several factors such as production rate, sales margin, unsold stock, gross margin, net cash position, market share and post-tax profit. However, in the case of each factor, there are different KPIs which help in the identification of such. Project Management KPIs are directed towards several actions that hover around all the above-mentioned factors. As mentioned by Vosoughiet al., (2020), calculations regarding actual cost of work done, percentage of milestones missed and cost related to managing processes are all calculated under these criteria.

Unsold stock factor is directly related to this KPM trend since it is the duty of a project manager to manage and deliver all the produced goods in the market. Management process costs are even related to gross margin. As seen in round 2, gross margin costs have diminished in the case of manufacturing operations however; human resource costs have gone up by a huge margin.8

Financial Performance

As seen in the case of financial performance, it can be found out that the marketing cost and manufacturing cost were all calculated wrong. Each of the forecasted costs in the business had gone up by a large margin. Net cash position and amount of sales is directly related to this factor of KPM. Financial performance of this business game is among the key trends in KPMs as ration on investment and operating margin costs are required in case of gaining extensive profit from these operations. As mentioned by Ante et al., (2018), it has been widely identified that in the case of a KPM calculator one of the major factors in the financial aspect is the return on investment or asset. It is of utmost importance that the key performance is calculated based on the amount of investment the cars bring in. Each and every car in the business game is divided according to the three sizes and nature.

Tabular Representation of Trends and factors:

Factors / TrendsProject managementFinancial PerformanceCustomer and Marketing InsightsIT operations
Minimum ProductionXX
SalesXX
Gross MarginXX
Unsold StockXXX
Post Tax profitX
Net Case positionXXX
Market ShareXX

Table 6: Key Trends in KPM based on factors

(Source: Learner)

Marketing and Consumer Insights

This is directed towards the calculator and integration of market growth rate and customer satisfaction index. The increase in market share factor is directly connected to this trend of KPM. As per the study by Yucheng et al., (2016), consumer insights and marketing operations of an organisation are directly aligned with the amount of profit and market that the company gains while the product is in the market. Brand equity and customer lifetime values are seen in this case. In round 2 of the business game, it has been seen that major focus has been towards the marketing and product value decision making aspect.

ITS Operations

As mentioned earlier is a major aspect in the case of this business game. There is automation operations involved in the manufacturing process which is even included in the second round. As per the study by Al-Doori (2019), IT operations are related to the calculation of the ratio of project overhead, estimation of completion, amount of money spent in case of operations and initial response time calculation of the option.

2.7. Effective Comparison with competitors

This business game is focused on the creation and selling of those products. Major criteria involved in this business game are to gain profit from such operations. Market research and study is among the most significant operations that are required by a company in order to efficiently price their product. Market positioning and pricing are significant for gaining appropriate amounts of money. This will even help in getting the appropriate return on an invested sum of money. Competitor analysis in Round 2 has been done in order to effectively understand the position of goods and choice preference of customers. Competitive pricing of the product is among the key reasons.

3. Critical reflection

3.1. Responsible Business Decision affecting internal stakeholders group

The considered internal stakeholder groups for the analysis responsible business decision are employees. The major internal stakeholder group is the employee’s company.

3.1.1. Financial Management

The major financial resources of the team are the budget, financial policy, shareholder funds, assets and closing bank balances of the company. The major contribution of the financial resources in the process of responsible decision making and to manage the employees is the offering of a good salary to the employees. As per the view of Shujahat et al., (2017), providing good salary and wages to the workers of the organization has greatly helped in the process of achieving success in car manufacturing. In addition, employees have positively performed in the production process and operation management process of the Business Simulation Exercise by European Car Market. The followings are the major financial aspects that have been used to manage the internal stakeholder’s groups of the team:

Financial control

Financial control has been strongly implemented by the company for managing different relationships with their internal stakeholders, especially the employees. As per the view of Minbaeva (2018), financial control is associated with the process of managing employee salary by implementing different insurances and retirement policies.

Financial planning

The organisation and team have focused on the financial planning process in order to manage different relationships with employees. The major components of the financial planning are the management of profit margin, return on investment and stakeholder funds. Felidae has also focused on the process of developing effective strategies and approaches for enhancing their capital in order to ensure the effective management of employees (Sigalas and Papadakis, 2018).

3.1.2. Marketing Management

Marketing resources of “Felidae Car Manufacturing Company” has a great contribution to the process of managing internal stakeholder of the Business game. The most significant marketing resources are the market predictions, investment news, information associated with market competition and market margins. As per the view of Brem et al., (2016), market predictions have been used to understand the effectiveness and market labour cost. In addition, the market prediction process has influenced the employees hiring and management strategy for the team. Information in news associated with the investment process has also been used to manage the internal stakeholders of the team in an effective manner. On the other hand, the data and information about market competition have helped to develop effective internal stakeholder management processes in order to enhance employee retention. Market margin has been used to encourage internal stakeholders to perform effectively in the functional areas (Manello and Calabrese, 2019).

Market strategy

Felidae Car Manufacturing Company has adopted a branding marketing strategy for launching two new products in the European Car Markets. As per the Kher et al., (2017), the considered marketing strategy has been used in the decision-making process to manage the performance of internal stakeholders.

Market segmentation

Figure 1: Considered market segmentation

(Source: Kher et al., 2017)

Market segmentation is associated with the process of targeting the most potential customers of the European market by the organisation. The two considered categories under the market segmentation process of Felidae Car Manufacturing Company are demographic and psychographic segmentation. As per the view of Godlewska-Majkowska and Komor (2017), demographic segmentation has helped the internal stakeholder to develop innovative car design based on the demographic demand and circumstances. In addition, psychographic segmentation has helped the internal stakeholders to understand different emotional attachments and desires of the potential customers towards the car manufacturing industry.

3.1.3. Operation Management

Operational Management process of the team is associated with control and monitoring the process of manufacturing, the impact of the external environment, maintenance of global competition and providing effective customer service. The major focus area is operation management of Felidae Car Manufacturing Company control and design of the production process. Operational management strategy and process has greatly contributed to the process of becoming responsible business decisions to influence the internal stakeholders especially the employees in a significant manner. Operation management has helped in the process of establishing a good organisational structure and it has helped to provide a comfortable and convenient work environment to the employees. In addition, this process has helped to manage the relationship of the team with employees from different perspectives (Pavlínek, 2020).

Figure 2: Operational management areas

(Source: Pavlínek, 2020)

Global competition

One of the most significant performances and focus areas of the operational management of the team is global competition control. As per the view of Nicolini et al., (2017), product differentiation strategy has been implemented by Felidae Car Manufacturing Company for better performance in different rounds of the business game. Product differentiation strategy has helped to develop creative and innovative card designs with the most effective diesel and petrol engines.

Customer service

Providing greater customer service by ensuring efficiency, potential, quality and longevity of the car is one of the major aspects of operational management of the team. As per the view of Gracia and Paz (2017), offering better customer service processes has helped the employees to ensure personal development by attending different training and decision-making processes in the organisational structure. In addition, this process has positively contributed to the way of managing internal stakeholders of the team in a significant manner.

3.1.4. Human Resource Management

Human resource management strategy and approaches of the organisation greatly contributed to the process of making responsible business decisions for influencing internal stakeholders. As per the view of Adăscăliței and Guga (2020), major performance associated with human resource management of the team is hiring potential employees and providing effective training for ensuring better development of cars. The hiring of most potential employees for the car manufacturing process and managing competition in the European Markets has helped the Felidae Car Manufacturing Company to establish good relationships with the employees. On the other hand, the process of giving effective learning opportunities by providing potential training and guidance has reflected positively in the game performance of Business Simulation Exercise.

3.2. Responsible business decisions affecting external stakeholders group

In order to evaluate the effective utilization of the different resources, the considered external stakeholder group are the customers and investors.

3.2.1. Financial Management

The financial management aspect in the Felidae Car Manufacturing Company is the maintenance of budget in the car manufacturing process, shares of the stakeholders, maintenance of profit margin and debt of the organisation and financial control and management process. Financial management strategies and approaches of the team have a great contribution to the process of making responsible business decisions that affect the external stakeholder’s groups especially the investors and customers. Responsible business decisions of the organisation greatly influence the most potential investors and customers by helping in achieving great scores in different rounds of the business game (Schmid, 2020).

Figure 3: Element of Financial management

(Source: Schmid, 2020)

Utilization of financial resources

Felidae Car Manufacturing Company has focused on the maximum utilisation of available financial resources to develop effective and innovative cars for managing customers and investors effectively. As per the view of Hon et al., (2016), utilisation of financial resources of the organisation in an innovative way has helped in the process increase annual revenue by dominating the European Car Market. In addition, the increasing trend of the annual revenue of 1,299.86 has provided high returns on the investment to the investors and this process has helped to get more investment opportunities for the existing company. However, the improvement in financial resources has reflected in the business performance and practices of the theme in 4 different rounds effectively. Therefore, this process has helped to impress global customers in a significant manner by offering the most potential and efficient product (Olleros, 2017).

Management of the cash flow

The management of cash flow in the European market place and organisational structure is one of the major focus areas of financial management of the team. The management of cash flow of the team is associated with monitoring of the cash transaction process in supply networks and production process associated with the car manufacturing process (Kim et al., 2018). However, concentration on cash flow by analysing debit score, credit score, investors funds, operational cost and supply cost greatly contributed to the process of making responsible decisions in the external stakeholder management process.

3.2.2. Operation Management

The operational management process of the team associated with external stakeholders especially customers and investors have focussed in the policymaking process and product assurance process. According to the view of Grigolon et al., (2018), policymaking methods and techniques of the organisation are associated with different functional areas and existing market circumstances. The major aspects of policymaking are investor’s management strategy, improvement of customer services and efforts on the high return of the investment. On the other hand, product assurance policy of operation management is associated with improving the efficiency of the car design and engine.

Figure 4: Elements of the operational management

(Source: Dvir and Strasser, 2018)

Investors Management process

For effective management of the existing investors of Felidae Car Manufacturing Company, the team has focused on proper utilisation of financial assets and human resources in the car manufacturing process. According to the view of Grigolon et al., (2019), this process has greatly contributed to extending investors involvement in different organisational functions in the four rounds of the business game. In addition, these aspects of operational management have helped to score good rank in the business game organised by European Car Markets

Better customer service

In order to ensure responsible decision towards participation in the business game, Felidae team has focused on improving their customer service process by implementing different innovative strategies. The team has introduced customer feedback opportunities and a review process for understanding the desire and need of the customer in the respect of designs and performance of the cars (Noton, 2016).

High return on investment

Implementing product differentiation strategy and low-cost strategy by minimising production cost has contributed to the process of ensuring high returns on investment. Maximization of investment returns has helped to manage different external stakeholders of the team including investors and customers in a significant way. In addition, high return on investment has helped the team to establish a great place in a business game on the European car market by impressing different investors in the marketplace.

The efficiency of design and engine

The development of impressive design and potential engines for cars is one of the most significant aspects of operational management of the team in order to manage their external stakeholders. The designs of the cars are based on comfortability and desire of the customers and the engine is based on giving the best pickups and good driving experience.

3.2.3. Marketing Management

In the business game, the learning outcome of marketing management has been utilised in an effective manner to manage the external stakeholder’s groups including customers and investors in a significant way. As per the view of Dvir and Strasser (2018), the marketing areas have been managed by using low-cost strategy and product differentiation strategy for increasing the annual sales and returns on investment. This process has played a great role in managing both the external stakeholders in the most potential way.

Figure 5: Elements of marketing management

(Source: Noton, 2016)

Marketposition

Market positioning is one of the major components of marketing management of the team for ensuring their performances in European Car Markets. Market positioning strategy of the organisation is based on a marketing mix that includes luxury, prestige, convenience and economy.

Targetmarket

The target market of the team is the European car market including the entire marketplace mainly retailing. As per the view of Dvir and Strasser (2018), the consideration of targeted markets has helped to manage customers by identifying the most potential buyers in the existing market areas.

3.2.4. Human Resource Management

Figure 6: Component of HRM

(Source: Dvir and Strasser, 2018)

Human resource management aspects and components have been positively utilised in the process of making responsible decisions towards managing external stakeholders. The most significant elements of the human resource management of the team are the consideration of potential employees and providing effective training for giving better services to the customers. Human resource management has greatly helped the inter-process of managing customers associated with European marketing areas and international markets for increasing the sales of the company.

 4. Conclusion

From the above discussion and analysis, it can be concluded that the key strategic objectives of the course work and business game have been met by the organisation “Felidae- Car Manufacturing Company” in an effective way. The key strategic objectives of this study are the management of operational areas, finance, Human Resource Management and marketing areas of the company. In addition, from the major evidence of introduction, company performance and critical reflection, it can be stated that key objectives have been met in the business simulation exercise. The analysis and discussion of the total sale, total unsold stock, shareholders fund, closing balance and outstanding loan of the company can be supported as evidence.

 

5. Team Performance

Team performances are associated with the procedure of providing combined efforts by all the team members in the context of achieving a particular goal. The coursework of business game and business simulation exercise is based on team performance in order to achieve a good score in four different rounds of the game. The provided task for team performance is to develop two innovative cars in order to represent in the seminar by participating in different rounds. In the process of car manufacturing and marketing, all the members have actively participated in the game. In my team, we have 5 members and all the functions have been divided equally for ensuring the development of the car in order to participate in the Business game in a significant manner. The performances of the first, third and fourth round of the team are good and the performances of the second round are average. The 5 different roles in the game are the production manager, operations manager, human resources manager, marketing manager and finance manager.

Figure 7: Elements of team performances

(Source: Minbaeva, 2018)

7.1. Contribution of production manager in team performance

The role of the production manager in the team performance is associated with the process of identifying and selecting effective car designs for the car manufacturing process. The most significant functional areas managed by production manager the team performance are the doors of the car, design of door hatchback, small, large and alternative fuel engine. According to the view of Grigolon et al., (2019), the design of the car manufacturing process has been identified based on learning experiences and observation of different marketing and functional areas associated with European Car market. On the other hand, the production manager is focused on the process of managing all the required materials for the manufacturing process.

7.2. Contribution of operation manager in team performance

The operation manager of the team has a focus on the process of managing and controlling different phases of the car development process. The major functions and team role of the operation manager are management of productivity, quality and efficiency of cars. The productivity capabilities of cars have been monitored and tested under the guidance of the operation manager in a significant way in order to represent impressive performance in the business game (Sigalas and Papadakis, 2018). However, the quality of the cars has been managed and controlled by observing different development processes and testing procedures. In addition, the operation manager has also focused on the process of evaluating and understanding the efficiency of different designs on the basis of the potential of a petrol engine and diesel engine of the car.

7.3. Contribution of human resource manager in team performance

Human resource managers have focused on the process of managing associated stakeholders of the car manufacturing process and business game. The major performance of a human resource manager is related to hiring potential engineers and skilled employees for developing most potential and effective cars in order to participate in the business game (Brem et al., 2016).

7.4. Contribution of marketing manager in team performance

Marketing managers have to focus on market research and potential areas in order to understand associated threats and competitive advantage. According to the view of Grigolon et al., (2019), the major contribution of market managers in the team performances are market prediction, investment news, expenditure news and product news. Market prediction and information data have greatly contributed to the process of developing a strategy to participate in the game in a convenient way. In addition, investment news of European Car Market has helped to understand different investment policies and circumstances. On the other hand, the news associated with expenditure and product has helped to maintain the budget of the car manufacturing process in a significant way.

7.5. Contribution of finance manager in team performance

My role in the team performances for participating in business games is as a finance manager. The most significant roles and tasks performed by finance manager understand of financial indicators, management of budget and investment, analysis about profit and loss data and analysis of profit and loss breakdown. The process of financial indicators included the management of outstanding debt, returns of the assets, gross margin of the company, return on shareholders’ fund and maintenance of liquidity ratio (Schmid, 2020).

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