Assignment Sample on Written Analysis of an Industry and a Firm

Introduction

The modern corporate climate has been saturated with extravagant challenges thrown by a multitude of existing similar businesses and new market entrants. The business ought to self-assess its own merits and demerits to legitimize its performance in the current market. Study active is a UK-based gym service and personal fitness training courses provider despite operating with even less than 25 employees graciously managed to obtain a staggering 5 million dollars of profit in the year of 2019. Even in the time of pandemic the brand by launching 20 free online free and fast track courses continued its business and resisted economic turbulence.

The brand has widely been recognized as a leading fitness training courses provider accredited, affiliated by CIMSPA and REPs. the brand’s online and offline-based learning programs have been embraced and avail by numerous fitness enthusiasts who aspired to be gym instructors going forward. However, the brand confronts unfathomable competition from rivals like PT academy, TrainFitness, and HFE which ideally are breathing in its neck and if not authentic measures are taken, Study Active might start to lose its edge. Hence the study aspires to explore challenges persisted in the business by utilizing a multitude of management tools such as Ansoff matrix, Mckinsey’s, Bowman, and many more. It aimed to make the brand scrutinize its own merits and demerits which would help to devise possible countermeasures to bolster its overall sustainability and growth.

Main body

Study active is the phase where it is continuously facing daunting contrivances and disruptive strategic force of its rivals such as PT academy, TrainFitness and HFE have imposed great challenges for the brand to flourish in the UK market. As per the Ansoff matrix,

  • In the case of market penetration, brands aspire to penetrate the existing market with existing products. For instance, Study Active allows gym enthusiasts to enrol in AfN accredited nutrition courses and launch Fastrack courses to help aspirants streamline their main course with multiple other courses both only on an offline basis to bolster their knowledge and competence (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). In line with the same, PT academy allows guaranteed low payment high-quality course modules. Similarly, Training Fitness and HFE also bestow innovative blended learning programs to find an edge in the current market. Hence Study Active should be coming up with better marketing strategies to penetrate the existing market even more.
  • Product development is the phase where brands aspire to launch new products in the existing market. Considering the recent product portfolio of Study active and comparing it with the rest of the competitors, it undeniably has an edge over the other. PT academy offers a “zero to hero offer” with guaranteed low payment (ptacademy.com, 2021). Train Fitness allows a bunch of training and fitness courses to be employed as a personal trainer, gym instructor, and yoga trainer (train. fitness, 2021). HFE provides innovation blend multiple fitness and accredited training courses (hfe.co.uk, 2021). Study active compared to the rivals perceivably have more squeezed product portfolio but are high in value. It extends CIMSPA & REPs training certifications, AFN and online blended digital learning, and many more. Hence if Study Active continues to offer multiple products and launch new products from time to time it would continue to bolster the competitive edge even more as its competitors have limited product portfolios.
  • Market development is a prime element of the quadrant where existing products are introduced to the new market. Considering, present operational circumstances of Study Active, if it aspires to launch its product to other markets, it would not be able to execute the plan with fewer employees. Since the concurrent market is saturated, it’s better to tap opportunities embedded in an unknown market. However, considering the revenue it has generated in smaller duration and since it offers distance learning programs, the brand can gain traction if it transcends its value proposition in another market.
  • In product diversification, new products are launched in new markets which inevitably will be daunting for Study Active, as it ideally doesn’t have the strategic virtuosity to accentuate rigorous market experimentation, it should not be opting for diversification anytime sooner. The brand can apprehend the market performance of PT academy, TrainFitness, and HFE in case they opted for diversification and can mould their contrivances by the same.

2. Mckinsey Matrix

The particular matrix combines two variables such as industry attractiveness and competitive strengths of the units of ventures. The two variables in a combined way can dictate how where the business can invest or divest keeping the prospect in mind (Knop and Mikulová, 2019. Since Study active has highly valid and esteemed training courses that have even greater validation and recognition in the UK and beyond, it has a medium competitive edge over competitors like PT academy, TrainFitness, and HFE. Study active 0% option of financing and innovation-intensive and distance learning programs have been instrumental for organizational growth and accentuation of recognition (studyactive.co.uk, 202).

However, as the brand managed to earn 5 million in revenue in a single year delaying just 25 employee’s altogether, dictating the training and fitness industry accentuated great earning possibilities. The UK fitness industry has witnessed exponential growth in recent times where it stood at USD 6.17 billion with 3419 fitness establishments across the country (statista.com, 2021). People being confined in the home due to Covid lockdown have felt the significance of fitness even more which can surge up the demand for personal fitness trainers and instructors. Apprehending the fact, Industry is fairly attractive and study active needs to divulge more competence and resilience to internal market threats. Study Active is providing 20 free CPD courses and guaranteed arrangements for interviews along with a fairly easy financing scheme. It is meant to aid aspirants, would help the brand enhance operational periphery in the wonder market going forward. Having medium competitive strengths and as the brand is operational in a highly attractive industry in the UK, the brand must continue to invest and grow.

Brands like PT academy, TrainFitness, and HFE by divulging value propositions like easy financing scheme, comparatively wide product portfolio, innovation, and tech-intensive learning. They also provide advanced learning infrastructure, placements assistance, practical tech blended learning can adversely ramify the rise of Study active. However, considering the degree of industry attractiveness Study active must continue to invest extensively in its product portfolio, reinvigorate its physical and online infrastructure to be able to tap the unexplored market.

3. Bowman strategy clock

Bowman’s strategy clock is easy as well as comprehensive strategic tools that extend options to management to consolidate positions within the market based on perceived value and price. The first position is a low value-added and low price strategy making it the least competitive area of the strategy clock. However, Study Active’s products are neither low valued nor low priced (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). The concept of monopoly pricing is not applicable as there is a steep resurgence of other rivals. Since the brand does not set a very high pricing strategy in absence of shared value, the position named Risky high pricing is not applicable for the brand. Product of Study active may contain high value but pricing strategies do not reflect the same, hence the concept of focused differentiation does not apply here.

Considering the product’s value and pricing of the product the brand follows hybrid and differentiation strategies where price remains competitive in respect to the value it embeds within it. By following differentiation strategies, products of the brand weigh better compared to the portfolios of PT academy, TrainFitness, and HFE which led the students to imprint more employable skills, knowledge, and competence. For instance, no other rivals have accreditation from AfN, CIMSPA, PPN, and REPs; the structure of the course, such as personal training, an online diploma is comprehensive, strategically made to bolster competence and employability of the students. Considering the price lists of the product portfolio, the price of level of CIMSPA level 3 diplomas in personal training and Gym instructing is £1,248 (studyactive.co.uk, 2021).

As per the review and testimonial from the students, such a course has helped them gain depth insight and bestows a clear undertaking with a multitude of practical knowledge on the similar field which is worth the money they had invested. Comprehend the fact it can be enumerated that the product price of Study active is competitive and its value-packed training module never fails to build employable resonance for future fitness instructors (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). Moreover, since most of its courses are accredited by authorized organizations, prove Study Active follows differentiation as well. Considering the value proposition of PT academy, the price of the course is relatively cheap, which is available for just £19.99 per month and since it also claims to offer an internationally recognized training course, reflects a lowered pricing strategy of the bowman’s clock (ptacademy.com, 2021).

Comprehending the fact Study Active indeed has a threat from PT academy as it bestows a nearly similar value to fitness career aspirants however its internationally accredited programs might deem incompetent in front of Study Active. The competitive strengths of TrainFitness signify its comparably larger product portfolio compared to others. The brand bestows better value by allowing students to enrol in programs to be instructors for physically challenged clients, life coaching, pain management, and tap the aspects like yoga, Zumba, and strength training with moderate and easy payment options. The value proposition of TrainFitmess highly resembles Study active and they share a similar market segment. The regular median price of the training programs of TrainFitmess is £599 which seems almost similar to that of Study Active’s hence subsequent brand is in direct competition with TrainFitness (train. fitness, 2021). Considering the value and price of HFE, they also extend wider choices with competitive price brackets; however, Study active has an edge over the brand as its products are not accredited by multitudes of highly esteemed organizations like AfN, CIMSPA, PPN, and REPs.

4. Generic Strategy

As per the Generic strategies, Cost leadership refers to brands that managed to be the leader in the concurrent market. Brands that managed to recreate an economic edge, ensured product value is among the top-notch and price is fairly affordable to the wider market can opt for cost leadership. In such circumstances, brands enjoy alleviating revenue through a great number of product purchases. Considering the 4ps of Study active, it doesn’t follow cost leadership as products are highly-priced. However, in terms of PT academy, it is deemed to follow cost leadership as it offers courses with a minimum monthly rate of £19.99, and courses are internationally recognized (ptacademy.com, 2021).

Differentiation of generics strategies is another quadrant similar to an element of Bowman’s clock model where brands aspire to find an edge by extending products that are rare and not offered by the market rivals. Considering the fact Study Active extends training courses that are highly valued as these are affiliated and accredited by dedicated and widely recognized organizations. No other rival brands at least divulge such as the extent of differentiation; however as TrainFitness offers a multitude of training courses, their contrivances can also be fathomed as strategic differentiation.

The strategic contrivances, the value proposition of PT academy resembles the ideology of cost focus and since the median cost of its products is comparatively cheaper, the brand enjoys more sales and revenue generation. The product of PT academy is not only cheaper but carries values where aspirants will be hired from around the globe and such value proposition makes it unique compared to others. In the case of Train Fitness and HFE, they aspire to tap niche markets to gain and sustain market traction. For instance, TrainFitness provides training courses in precise niches such as joint and back pain management, life coaching whereas the subsequent one specializes in technology driven learning experiences.

5. Roger model

In 1997 Roger delivered a model to illustrate the managing behaviour which will assist the employees in any organisation to guide young people in the aim to manage and own their behaviour. Hence, the main aim of the model is not pausing the challenging behaviour from happening rather, when they happen, the model guides the young people to deal with the challenging behaviours. As stated by Oturakci and Yuregir (2018), this model also guides towards the positive development of the young person. On that content, the major interventions for the model are described to have behaviour ownership, self-discipline, relationship building, self-esteem and respect for mutual rights. On the other hand, Roger detects four major phases for the development of young people’s behaviour which includes preventing problems, correcting negative behaviour and encouraging positive responses, consequences and supportive- rebuilding and repairing relationships.

Phase 1: Preventing problems

This can be done through several steps or by ensuring certain aspects of the organisation.

  • Ensuring the awareness of young people and staff about their responsibilities and rights: Study Active ensures that everyone in their company is highly aware of the consequences when they are not able to uphold their responsibilities (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). This aspect is aimed to maintain not only in the initial phase of the recruitment but also goes through the connection with the young people in the company.
  • Illustrate the core work delivered by the service: Study Active is extremely involved to explain every employee’s work which assists the staff to understand their existing boundaries.
  • Increase the opportunities for employees to participate in the daily activities: The company includes all the members in consequences, actions and activities which gives ownership to them.

Phase 2: correcting negative behaviour and encouraging positive responses

Responding and encouraging positive behaviour enhances the morale of the employees and ultimately maximises productivity. Study Active highly focuses on this aspect as the company is aware of its employees’ needs and provides positive notes to motivate them (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). On the other hand, PT Academy responds to the positive behaviours of their employees by asking their employees for performance evaluation.

Phase 3: Consequences

This is the 3rd phase of Roger’s model that traces the avenues which are opened towards the frontline employees who deal with young people of the company.  Study Active tries to correct employee’s behaviour with this mode and discover the match between the interventions and behaviour.

Phase 4: Supportive-rebuilding and repairing a relationship

This phase completes the rogers’ model as it is essential to differentiate between behaviour and person. Moreover, it is evidenced that whenever any consequences arrived in the HFE, re-establishing the working relationships proved the best way to solve the consequences.

6. BCG matrix

BCG matrix was first proposed by Bruce D. Henderson in 1970 to guide the company to analyse their different business units as well as a product line. Moreover, this analysis leads the company to use resources in their appropriate place and guides them to use the outcomes in brand marketing, strategic management, product management and portfolio analysis. In addition to this, BCG matrices a planning tool to plot the organisation’s services and products which help the company to develop business decisions. This chart is further divided into four categories such as the unknown, the stars, the dogs and the cash cows. According to the analysis of the BCG matrix for Study, Active presented certain interesting factors. Study active is a small active IQ centre with nearly 25 employees (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). Moreover, the company is expected to generate more than 5 million dollars as revenue.

The unknown division includes a low market share along with high market growth. Products or services in this category need an influx of investment which can further capitalize on their potential segments. However, this investment is not likely to result in too much return investment. For instance, the skill hub department of Study active is under star quadrant. Services under this division includes a high share in the market with high market growth (Madsen, 2017). Study Actives’ training services are lined in this quadrant as this is the prime service by the company. This service needs investments that can maintain the company’s position as well as differentiate in both the emerging and mature markets. This quadrant includes the services and products from a company that has a low market share with a lower growth market. For instance, career support services are the low market share services that do not take away from the U.S. According to Chiu and Lin (2019), these types of products generate sufficient revenues that are sustainable for themselves but do have not much contribution in total revenue generation. Services lying under this quadrant are important due to their potential to generate more cash. Therefore, the services under this category have a high market share along with a slow-growth industry. In addition to this, very little investment is required in this type of service as the generated funds from these services are appraised as the fuel for the unknown stars category (Mohajan, 2017). As an example, all diploma courses that are available for students in Study active and Train fitness are categories in this quadrant.

Market share of Study Active is nearly $760m thus it appraised as one of the leading fitness organisations in the UK. Moreover, evaluation reveals that the market growth of fitness industry from where this organisation belongs refers to $96.7 billion (wellnesscreatives.com, 2021). Hence, the company lies under the star quadrant of BCG matrix. Hence, hold strategy of BCG matrix can be delivered for the company where Study Active do not have to invest more as they are already up to the market and hold their services in the already holding quadrant.

7. SAFe model

SAFe model is defined as the scaled agile framework model which is a bunch of workflows and organisational patterns to implement agile practices at an enterprise scale. This is a framework that includes a structured outline of responsibilities and roles, upheld values as well as the process to plan and control the work (Berkenkamp et al. 2017). The major principle of this model is to develop a company as a whole through inspiring their lean-agile decisions beneficial for organisational and functional boundaries. Consequently, the involvement of this framework guides the organisation to not only change the mindset of managers and leaders but also includes everyone that is linked with the organisation.

In addition to this, the SAFe model promotes collaboration, alignment and delivery among the huge number of agile team members. As stated by Cowen-Rivers et al. (2020), this model is further formed through three primary bodies such as system thinking, lean product development and SAFe software development. On that point, SAFe has four core values such as alignment, leadership, transparency, build-it-quality and programme execution.

Alignment- This core value of SAFe frameworks guides the organisation for planning and reflection. With this framework, Study active can understand their current business state, the goals and movements to achieve the goals (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). HFE synchronize the employees and their activities regularly with the help of the SAFe framework

Transparency- This framework induces trust-build behaviours as well as include planning tasks in smaller group size which make it easier to address the surfaced problem (Degueule et al. 2017). Through this core value, Study Active provides real-time visibility towards the backlog process as well as to adapt and insect the rituals.

Built-in-quality- According to this framework, there are five components of built-in-quality value such as flow, code quality, design and architecture quality, system quality and release quality. Incorporating this core value in the Study Active, they build a team based on the quality which can easily resolve consequences (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). Therefore, quality development in the team is encouraged by the SAFe framework which is evidenced not only in Study Active but also in HFE and Train Fitness.

Programme execution- This value is appraised as the heart of the SAFe framework as it powers every other core value of the framework. Through this core value Study, Active developed programs and teams that are involved to deliver business values, quality and working software on a regular basis.

Leadership- As leaders are responsible to bring change in the system and can create an environment that is essential to embrace all the core values, SAFe promotes lean-agile leadership (Lew et al. 2020). Therefore, with this leadership Study Active can promote effective leadership that influences their employees.

Conclusion

Considering the above section, it can be concluded that Study Active uses a variety of tools and techniques to address the challenges. In addition to this, the use of those tools provides a structural outline to the process of mitigating the challenges. Moreover, the uses of those tools are clarified before the learners, as well as the benefits of using those tools, are also transparent through this study. Diversified tools such as the Ansoff matrix, Bowman’s matrix, Mckinsey matrix, generic strategy, Roger model Safe framework and BCG matrix are used here to address the challenges. The main reason to implement this matrix is understood through this study along with the implementation process. Moreover, various dynamics for these tools are navigated through this study. Finally, the implementation of those tools helps to malaise the man in the company as well as its competitors internally and externally.

Recommendation

Study Active is a training and skill development centre where students are allowed for active learning. Though this organisation has performed very well, certain recommendations are also delivered to this company which can help them to compete with their competitors (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). Firstly, the company will be highly recommended to overcome their weaknesses which relate to limited services and smaller size. The company will suggest expanding themselves through increasing their provided services. Introducing more learning courses and skill development courses in PT will resolve their weaknesses. Secondly, the company will be advised to reduce the threats that are associated with data threats and threats from competitors. Therefore, the company will highly recommend ensuring data encryption and use tools for data confidentiality. In the end, the company will have to launch effective services that help them to compete with its rivals.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Summary and Recommendation

Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of rival companies such as HFE, train Fitness and PT academy it is obtained that PT academy is the leading organisation for personal training courses while Study active is considered to have distinct recognition. Additionally, the delivery of guaranteed low payments with assured job interviews after course completion makes PT academy a leading business organisation. Moreover, innovative personal training courses provided by Train Fitness makes them recognised by everyone. Apart from this, HFE is recognised and approved for its blended learning facilities in the UK. On the other hand, all of the personal training centres have limited service and are smaller in size which detects as their weaknesses.

Besides this, Study Active’s response strategy is quite different from their rivals as they provide online learning courses for their potential customers and students. The organisation also provided blended and online digital learning same as the HFE which added fair value to the company. Moreover, the company also delivers courses that are free of interest, the same as the PT academy. On the other hand, the marketing collateral of Study active is somehow found different from its rivals as the company majorly focuses on newsletters, blog posts, customer magazines, digital deports and event managing for service promotion. Study active’s social media strategy also differs from their rivals as they are majorly clogged with Active IQ to chat with their customers while HFE and Train Fitness use the chat box to solve customer’s queries. Study Active’s website is full of information about the skills and courses delivered by them while Train fitness has a video content website that attracts more customers to log in. The organisation significantly responded towards COVID-19 as they run all of their courses and facilities online to maintain social distance. Additionally, they cut off the interest of courses due to the harsh economic situation of their students.

Appendix 2: Recommendations

Considering the above findings certain recommendations are provided to the Study Active which make them more significant in the personal training business. The organisation will be recommended to promote their courses that are free of interest as well as introducing an effective blending leveraging process. They will be also suggested to offer instant job interviews after course completion which will deliver assurance of learning the courses in this organisation. Moreover, the company will be recommended to use effective marketing collateral such as branded content, presentations, product catalogue, infographics and corporate brochures which are usually used by their rivals. As the social media strategy Study active only uses Active IQ in the form of a chat box thus the company will be advised to use brand advocates as well as create a community for customers which will guide to address more consumers at a time.

Therefore, customer experience is enhanced which leads to further increment of productivity. The organisation is further recommended to organise their website which can attract more customers towards them. Hence, adding video content and more information about the organisation as well as the delivered courses will be suggested to Study Active which will engage more customers towards them (studyactive.co.uk, 2021). Though the company responds significantly on COVID-19, certain recommendations will also be delivered to them which relates to donating funds for the COVID charities and lowers the price for ongoing learning courses.

References

Journals

Bell, G.G., Dyck, B. and Neubert, M.J., 2017. Ethical Leadership, Virtue Theory, And Generic Strategies. Radical thoughts on ethical leadership, 113.

Berkenkamp, F., Turchetta, M., Schoellig, A.P. and Krause, A., 2017. Safe model-based reinforcement learning with stability guarantees. arXiv preprint arXiv:1705.08551.

Chiu, C.C. and Lin, K.S., 2019,.Rule-based BCG matrix for product portfolio analysis. In International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing (pp. 17-32). Springer, Cham.

Cowen-Rivers, A.I., Palenicek, D., Moens, V., Abdullah, M., Sootla, A., Wang, J. and Ammar, H., 2020. Samba: Safe model-based & active reinforcement learning. arXiv preprint arXiv:2006.09436.

Degueule, T., Combemale, B., Blouin, A., Barais, O. and Jézéquel, J.M., 2017. Safe model polymorphism for flexible modeling. Computer Languages, Systems & Structures49, pp.176-195.

Knop, K. and Mikulová, P., 2019. Evaluation of the level of work safety, advancement and efficiency of the use of machines and devices on labelling and packing line and an attempt to compare the results using the modified McKinsey matrix. System Safety: Human-Technical Facility-Environment, 1(1).

Lew, T., Sharma, A., Harrison, J. and Pavone, M., 2020. Safe model-based meta-reinforcement learning: A sequential exploration-exploitation framework. arXiv e-prints, pp.arXiv-2008.

Loredana, E.M., 2017. The use of the Ansoff matrix in the field of business. Annals-Economy Series, 2, pp.141-149.

Madsen, D.O., 2017. Not dead yet: the rise, fall and persistence of the BCG Matrix. Problems and Perspectives in Management15(1), pp.19-34.

Mohajan, H., 2017. An analysis on BCG growth sharing matrix.

Oturakci, M. and Yuregir, O.H., 2018. New approach to Rogers’ innovation characteristics and comparative implementation study. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management47, pp.53-67.

Websites

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