The second phase in the strategic management is strategic choice, to identify and select the most suitable option that focuses on the company's goal. The General Manager or Strategists of the company should overview the organization structure. Thus analyzing the threats and weakness in different department of the company and choose an appropriate theory that suits the department in order to achieve company's goal. A sustainable competitive advantage can be achieved if lower price is maintained while maintaining quality of service which other contractors are unable to do so.
For a contracting company, it is very important to analyze and make a choice for supply chain management, managing machines and manpower at site and successfully handing over the projects in time with in the estimated budget with required quality. Supply of cement, steel, electrical & mechanical equipments and manpower are the basic input for any construction process. With the numerous huge projects announced and in progress in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, the contracting companies are facing shortage of approved materials, manpower suppliers and sub contractors and this is effecting the schedule of projects.
Most of the projects going on now in U. A. E. are behind schedule & this will negatively affect the international image of the country. Moreover if you are not able to deliver the products in time (apartments & infrastructure) customer confidence is lost. So in such an unpredictable situation, the main strategy of any contracting company should be towards maintaining better, trustable relationships with suppliers and sub contractors by timely payments.
When the company is looking for extended credit facilities from vendors care should be taken that they just don't jack up the price exorbitantly which affects the profit margin of the company (this price hike should be compared with the interest rate on overdraft facilities). Human resource plays a very important role in the development of contracting company. Because (1) almost 50% of the cost of a project is for the manpower (2) Good human relationship is important to keep the employees satisfied (3) Satisfied & secured employees can better focus on work & can create energized creative teams of employees focused on increased production.
So a strategy should be formulated giving due consideration to health and safety of labour, living accommodations, overtime, recreational facilities, due vacations, traveling expenses to home town etc. motivational lecture sessions should be conducted at least once in a month. Al Futtaim Carillon is one of the handful contracting companies in Dubai that give due emphasis to the above. Due to billions of dollar's projects announced in Middle East, the strategists of the contracting companies should concentrate on making the company competitive in the market by considering possible joint ventures, consortia and mergers.
Market segmentation for a contracting company is useful to gain competitive advantage. M/s Halcrow & M/s Parsons are concentrating on the government projects as due to construction boom in UAE, most of the design consultants are moving towards private sector, thus paying less attention to government projects. The feedback/monitoring are very important for a contracting company. The strategic performance of the company can be measured by carrying out strategic audit and evaluate the areas affected by strategic management process either negatively or positively.
The contracting company should design and implement its own audit to meet its own unique needs. After measuring the company's performance, it must be compared with company's goals, objectives and targets. If the performance measurements do not reach required level, then corrective action must be taken by strategists. CONCLUSION: The success of contracting companies lies by adapting a good strategy and implementing it properly.
Strategies are intellectually simple, their execution is not said Lawrence Bossidy, CEO, Allied Signal, A 1999 Fortune Feature on prominent CEO failures, revealed that, in majority of cases, failure occur not because of bad strategy, but poor deployment, but right framework can correct it. Adaptability and flexibility are the keys of success for a contracting company. By proper adaptation of theories and thinking the strategists can establish a difference from competitors and position themselves better than competitors.
As the implementation phase is too complex, strategists should place themselves in a position to make judgment on time & take corrective measures rather than following ready made solution made by some management companies.
1. Angela Giuffirida, Editor Construction week Magazine (October 2007) – ITP Publications. 2. Brinkerhoff, Derick W. 1994 "Looking out, looking in, looking ahead", PA Times Vol. 17. 3. Chandler, A. D. (1962) Strategy and Structure, MIT Press. 4. Charles, YJ Cheah and David A. S. 2005, Dynamic of Strategic Management in Chinese Construction Industry Management Decision, Vol. 43, No. 4.