Senior business executives’ time is precious. In line with this you are to produce a short (500 word) briefing paper addressing one of the following strategic issues.
The briefing paper should take the form of a memo to the board of the relevant organisation, and should draw upon your understanding of Strategy course material and any other relevant topics from your degree.
Start out with (1) a short introduction of the company’s current situation (approx. 100w), then provide the executives with (2) an analysis of the industry and relevant competition (approx. 200w), and (3) present your conclusions about the strategic positioning and the potential of the company (approx. 200w).
Your work should be up-to-date, reflect your research skills and include appropriate citations and references to strategic tools and frameworks you are using.
a) The supermarket Wm Morrison has recently committed itself to an ambitious cost-advantage strategy in an effort to defeat more recent entrants to the market such as Lidl and Aldi. Evaluate this approach and discuss whether an established supermarket such as Morrison can be successful by following this approach.
b) In Western Europe the car industry is stagnating due to market saturation and overproduction. Like many other car manufacturers Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen AG) owns a portfolio of car brands. Many of them are produced in the same plants and are targeting similar customer groups (e.g. Seat and Skoda). Discuss whether this strategy makes sense and how Volkswagen Group should position itself in the future.
c) Euro Disney, despite being Europe’s most visited tourist attraction, has faced significant financial problems since its opening in 1992, and it has recently been announced that the company is facing a bailout by Walt Disney, its biggest shareholder. Discuss the company’s position in the market and propose recommendations about how it may position itself to improve its competitiveness and financial position.
d) The privatisation of Royal Mail was argued to be crucial to maintaining the financial viability of the service, given high levels of competition in its industry. The challenge facing the company now is the need to develop and exploit new revenue streams from its value chain whilst maintaining required levels of service. Discuss how the privatised Royal Mail may maintain its competitiveness.