Master's Thesis from the year 2012 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, University of New England, course: Strategic Management, language: English, abstract: The purpose of the report is to provide a detailed analysis of Costco industry external environment, critically analyse the company and provide a detailed analysis of resource and competitive position, identify the generic strategy Costco is using to achieve a source of competitive advantage and finally, develop a new five-year strategy for Costco. Costco Wholesale Corporation operates a chain of membership warehouses and with 592 warehouses across the globe; it is the largest and most profitable chain of its kind. Costco is partially vertically integrated with backward integration with Kirkland Signature Brand. External environment analysis using Porter’s five forces model identifies that the industry faces low threats of new entrants, supplier and buyer bargaining power with moderate rivalry among competitors along with high threat of substitutes. Industry faces new challenges because of shifting demographics, household downsizing, more educated consumers and new channel formats. A comparative analysis of rival’s market position shows that among its competitors, Costco possesses considerable market share. The generic competitive strategy adopted by Costco is that of the best-cost provider with low pricing, limited product selection and “treasure-hunt” merchandising being the three key elements of the company’s business strategy. Low prices, very low employee’s turnover, low overhead cost, loyal and affluent customer base, high inventory turnover, superb return policy, strong brand and scale of operations are found to be some of the key strengths of Costco. Some of the weaknesses identified as: less attractive store décor, inconsistent profit margins, unattractive location, not having self-checkout, primary focus on business customers, slow growth of its private label, and limited choice for customers. Online sales, increasing house remodelling expenditure and increased demand for technological products are some of the potential areas that Costco can tap. Threats are stemming mainly from slow economy due to financial crisis. To develop sustainable competitive advantage Costco can cut cost through operating excellence, innovation, speed, adopt triple bottom line accounting and has to successfully manage complexity arising from environment and its own operation. It can be hoped that Costco will continue its success as long as it keeps following its well thought out ideas and strategies.
Essay from the year 2012 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, University of New England, course: Project Management, language: English, abstract: Leadership has long been considered as an essential success factor in business, government, and military environments. However, the optimal style of leadership in a particular organizational setting still remains unclear. Increasing public scrutiny of leaders has also raised the question of what leadership style is to be put in action that can guarantee success. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to identify and analyse in what key ways leadership is important to delivering successful projects and also what leadership theories, methods and concepts are most helpful in understanding effective project leadership. With a view to achieving these objectives, this report at first spots some key factors of effective leadership and then discusses few concepts that are momentous in delivering present day views of leadership. The periphery of such undertaking is enormous and it is quite complex to capture an instant snap shot across a number of leadership strategies. In order to react to the changing global environment, leaders consistently modify their strategies and behaviours. Therefore, the paper has attempted to limit the depth of investigation across the various measurement criteria because of time and resource constraints. Nonetheless, these can be satisfactorily used for high level evaluation.
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject Business economics - Company formation, Business Plans, University of New England, course: Marketing Management, language: English, abstract: The purpose of the report is to develop a marketing plan for Virgin Australia based on the business analysis report prepared before by creating ideas for how the company can best conduct their marketing activities. Virgin can undertake market penetration strategy by a combination of competitive pricing strategies, advertising, promotion and perhaps more resources dedicated to personal selling. It can also expand its destinations to tap Qantas market share and can introduce new service dedicated to business travellers. To achieve its objective Virgin could improve in-flight services, introduce frequent flyer miles programme and tailor packages for young families, adventurers and students. Peak and off-peak pricing, student discounts, stand-by fares, early booking discounts could also be introduced as part of its pricing strategy. Advertising activity could include direct mail, TV, press, magazines, outdoor posters etc. A customer connection database can be used to information to send birthday greetings or information about the quality of customer service. Virgin has to extend its operations two fold if it wants to compete with Qantas. High quality first class private lounges with premium class private suite could be introduced for business customers. To position itself in the mind of business customers, it has to develop a two-brand strategy, targeting both the segments of leisure and business customer market. Attributes which may not be so important for leisure travellers have to given top priority to attract business customers. In order to facilitate an integrated approach for managing marketing resources different softwares could be used organization-wide such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Material Requirements Planning (MRP), and Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) systems etc. Integrated marketing communications (IMC) approach can be used to estimate the value of marketing mix executions based on the changes in customer behaviour these executions generate. The marketing strategy has to be divided into bits and pieces so that it could be handled easily. Communication channels have to be open to discuss new ideas, issues, challenges and opportunities. Additionally, any achievement has to be rewarded while repetitive failures have to be penalized.
Essay from the year 2012 in the subject Business economics - Trade and Distribution, University of New England, course: International Business, language: English, abstract: The term “free trade” has different meaning to different interest groups. It is because of the different lenses through which people view events around them, the free trade debate is so complex. Although the economists have a notorious reputation for disagreeing about everything, one thing that almost all economists have always agreed is the desirability of free trade. However, it is a well-known fact that when it comes to matters of trade policy, it is all about politics and not about proven economic benefits of free trade, mainly due to political blindness and serving the needs of well-organized special-interest groups. The purpose of this paper is therefore to shed light on the reasons for which government might restrict free trade and then analyse why these reasons are not valid in the 21st century.