INTERNET TECHNOLOGY, MARKETING & SECURITY
Internet Technology, Marketing, and Security
Internet technology, marketing and security
In the modern society, technological advancements have made access to all type of information very easy. The internet business has enabled government agencies as well as corporation to have an online sites for organizational and product information, communication, customer loyalty and marketing sales. A major challenge occurs when these organizations try to balance effective marketing, communication and sales with security. In any organizational web site, it must have a security policy and use program tools premeditated to guard those who visit the site and give details of their information during the event of finding information or purchasing a product. Each year however, numerous accounts report cases ranging from minor to serious security breaches whereby an authorized party gains access to the customer’s personal information Jin, 2010.
In this paper, Sony Corporation is the selected organization that has faced security breach in the past three years.
Sony Corporation is a multinational firm that operates its business in the global market and belongs to Japan with its headquarters in Tokyo. It produces electronic products, consumer and professional markets. The company is uniquely positioned as one of the world’s leading digital entertainment brands as it offers an outstanding portfolio of exciting multimedia content with its music, pictures, games and online businesses making billions of sales and employing thousands of people worldwide Kim et al., 2011()
The Corporations website provides relevant information about its products, services and purchasing details to the customer. Sony Corporation has developed its website effectively to attract its customers to purchase its products. All relevant information regarding the products is provided and in addition to the list of the products offered are the various categories of the available products. The products attributes including brand name, functionality, safety, packaging, repairs, warranty, accessories and services help in product decision and can always be manipulated depending on what the target market wants. It is in the nature of the customers to always look for new and improved products, hence the reason for Sony marketers improving existing products, developing new ones and discontinuing the old ones that are no longer required by the customer Jin, 2010()
The firm has also ensured that relevant information regarding contact details about its stores and company is provided for easier connection of the customers to the firm. Customers are given the opportunity to ask selected questions or to give their opinions. The website also has attractive and valuable information on provision of information on the appropriate website of any given region in the world. Details regarding providing help to the issues affecting customers whether technical or interactive are clearly outlined and specific location of the corporation’s offices where customers can visit or address their mails.
The marketing strategy of Sony Corporation is such that it influences the customer’s perception about its products and services so that the consumer and organizational objectives are met. It has diversified its products, place for distribution, price range and the internet promotional strategy is quite competitive as it’s a controllable means to create awareness about the organizations products and services and their features, influence the customer’s attitudes favorably and allows the group to have the largest market share. Sony Corporation has both physical and online shopping venues Kim, et al., 2011.
The online shopping experience is easy and convenient. The marketing environment involves factors that are beyond the control of the company and should therefore adapt its strategies appropriately. In facing competition from other Corporations such as Samsung and Sanyo, that threatens to take away markets in the global scope, the customers have a wide variety to choose from but the marketing strategy of Sony Corporation has invested in product development to increase awareness of its brand among consumers.
The internet marketing strategies include a website loaded with adequate information on the company’s products, services and a range of shopping alternatives. It has established a network of services tailored to the needs of the consumers and initiated training of the employees to enable them respond to the queries of the customers. Secondly, the focus on research and development has helped the company come up with technologically innovative products in the market enabling the group revive its products base as needs are indicated by customers. The other strategy involves branding whereby products are placed along with the corporate name so that the product assumes its own identity and positioning and also draws the strength of the corporate brand. This boosts customer confidence in the product and this strategy has been used to launch new products in the market Boone & Kurtz, 2011.
Recently Sony corporate has a competitive advantage over its competitors as it launched the first online tutorial that provides tips and information about its products in the market and this not only motivate the buyers to buy the item they have learnt about, but more specifically buy a Sony product. Other advantages of the website as a marketing strategy is that consumers can provide feedback in research and development and the corporate will know what to alter to fit the consumer needs.
This calls for the customers to closely monitor bank accounts and credit cards because a third party out there has information that can give them access into these accounts Boone & Kurtz, 2011()
Due to the relaxed security posture of many large scale security companies it becomes a motivation for group to individuals to find a way in thereby causing the security breach trend getting worse. Until the companies make an effort, the trend can only grow due to the potential of gaining huge amount of valuable information especially the consumer’s personal information. As customers we should be conscious of the fact that we cannot fully trust business companies who we give our information to. We should clearly observe which companies are well-known and carry out the internet business effectively. We should also prepare a list of institutions to contact in the event that personal data is stolen so they can take action to protect our information from the cybercriminals who want to steal from us. We should also not provide non-essential information that can be used to steal our identity by means of tracking for example by providing a family name that is directly linked to us and finally we should use a different password for each online account to make it difficult to access other accounts in the event that data gets to the wrong hands Boone & Kurtz, 2011()
Boone, L.E., & Kurtz, D.L. (2011). Contemporary Marketing. Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Jin, D.Y. (2010). Global Media Convergence and Cultural Transformation: Emerging Social Patterns and Characteristics. Hershey: Igi Global.
Kim, T., Adeli, H., Fang, W.C., Villalba, J.G., Arnett, K.P., & Khan, M.K. (2011). Security Technology: International Conference, SecTech 2011, Held as Part of the Future Generation Information Technology Conference, FGIT 2011, in Conjunction with GDC 2011, Jeju Island, Korea, December 8-10, 2011. Proceedings. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Chabros International Group Case Analysis african history assignment help: african history assignment help
exist for wood and veneer manufacturer Chabros International. The company is located in Lebanon which could cause problems due to the new political unrest which has plagued the country over the past four years. However, Chabros has positioned itself well by diversifying its business to other countries in the region. The business has grown in the past two decades, largely due to its emphasis on growth outside of Lebanon and its focus on the veneer industry. This report use Porter’s five forces, a PEST analysis and a SWOT analysis to determine the advantages of moving to other areas of world. The issue at hand is that the companies sales have been greatly affected by the economic downturn which stopped many projects in its largest area of growth, Dubai. Because the economic situation has been tenuous for the past three years, Chabros has had to study its situation and try to determine what would be the best course of action to maintain its financial integrity until the global wood and veneer markets start to recover. Recommendations of different solutions to this problem are given at the end of the paper after the analysis has been completed.
Case Analysis: Chabros International Group
Introduction: Chabros International Group
Chabros International Group was originally just a small lumber and veneer supplier from Lebanon that operated in a country in which instability was common. The company was incorporated in the 1960’s by father of the firm’s current owner and the father’s brothers. The name of the company comes from a combination of the words Chami and Brothers. The present owner took over the reins of the company in 1987 when his father died, and he had to deal with a country that was in the midst of a long civil war. After the war ended in 1991, the company still had to contend with unrest and the nation’s financial difficulties.
However, a plan developed that positioned the company as an industry leader in its region. Chami learned, quite accidentally, that the local international market (within the circle of the Middle East) was ripe for a new entry. The company began by sending a representative to Dubai to conduct business, then they opened a warehouse in Dubai. After that success they began opening international offices in other Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Chami also opened a subsidiary in Egypt to sell his lower quality veneers which would normally have been discarded. As of 2009, the company was in many of the major countries in the Middle East, and seeking to expand their operations even further.
Chabros competes in the hardwood/softwood arena and with sales of veneers. The company has competitors in each of these products who are on the local, regional and international levels. Chabros is the largest of the regional companies, but since they are also now have operations in Europe, their competitors in that region are far larger and better established.
Chabros’ environment needs to be analyzed to see where they can go from this point. The discussion is this paper regards the external market environment within which Chabros operates, their internal climate, the overall competitive market, and then the author gives recommendations for further growth. Analysis of all of these areas is crucial to the conclusion which the author reaches.
The external environment in which any company operates is complicated by the forces that exist in that environment. For example, if the political situation in the base country is not stable, then the company may have difficulty with any plans it has for further growth. This analysis looks at the political, economic, social, and technological outlooks that concern the firm.
Lebanon has long been a country that has had difficulties in the political arena. The reason for this is not the political parties that exist within the country as much as it is the fact that the country is divided religiously. Christians and Muslims are given equal representation in the parliament and the executive branches of government, and the 26 regions in the country have equal representation. The government itself is formed as a representative republic, but it has special laws governing it because of the split religious nature of the country.
The two religious factions fought a long civil war to determine who would control the country from the 1970’s until 1991. The war was concluded by the sides reaching an accord in which equal representation was given to both religions. The problem is that since 2006 there have been constant skirmishes between the different political factions in the country. The primary opposition comes from the radical Islamist terrorist organization, the Hezbollah. They have been instigating conflict, and they have gained a majority control over the parliament which meant that they could name the prime minister. This political unrest does not bode well for businesses within the nation.
The economic structure of the country has been relatively strong despite having many periods in which the country has been at war, or had some level of internal conflict. The reason for this is that there is a lot of foreign direct investment, especially from Asia. Lebanon became the banking center, in the Middle East, for many Asian countries, and that has not changed despite the unrest in the country. However, this economic stability is greatly threatened by political turmoil.
If the government can gain control and stabilize the political situation, there is a lot of positive economic action taking place in and around the country. Although Lebanon is not one of the large oil producers in the region, they have the potential to be. Just off the coast, on the seabed that connects Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon, a very large pocket of natural gas and crude oil has been discovered. Egypt and Cyprus are currently in negotiations with hopes of exploiting the field. Lebanon and Israel could enter the negotiations at any time to determine their part. Lebanon’s economy could receive a large boost from this oil production, but it is already relatively strong because of its banking and tourism sectors. Many citizens also operate small, local companies and there is some small amount of agriculture that includes fishing, farming, and lumber.
The country has a complicated social structure that plays into the political situation. Again, the population is divided between Christians and Muslims, and the government was structured so that each religious faction would have equal say in ruling the country. The social structure means that their always some tension in the country, especially now that the ruling Islamist faction is Hezbollah. The Muslim population has increased over the past twenty years until it holds a strong majority of the country’s population. This is due to Christians leaving the country, and more Muslims immigrating to Lebanon.
Technology in the industry is always being upgraded, as new methods of both extracting wood and creating the products that Chabros sells are designed. The government in Lebanon is very aware of the part that they play in maintaining the technological base of the country, and the law supports growth in this area. Most of the population has access to advanced technology, and a majority also have access to the internet. The issues in this area also stem from the government which could impose regulations on the use of the existing technology.
It is also necessary to look at how the company is positioned to deal with the external environment in the industry. This type of analysis is best done with Porter’s Five Forces Model. This model looks at threats of new competition, threats from new products and services, the bargaining power of consumers, the bargaining power of competitors, and the intensity of the competition.
Threat from New Competition
There is always a possibility that new competition will arise, especially as the company explores expansion into new areas. In Europe and the Americas, there would be a great threat of competition, but the company is planning to stay a little closer to home and expand to Morocco. Local competition is not a large concern, but Chabros does only control five percent of the market in Lebanon.
Threats from Duplicate Products
Many companies around the world sell basically the same products that Chabros does. But, because of the nature of the industry, the products that Chabros sells are easily duplicated. It is difficult, in the lumber industry, to devise new products to sell. Unless a niche market is found such as the B. level veneer sold to Egypt.
Consumer Bargaining Power
Consumers in the industry in which Chabros operates are manufacturers of finished products. Because there is a great deal of competition, the consumers have a great deal of power to influence the business of the company. Since sellers of lumber and veneer are plentiful, this could be a major source of frustration for Chabros.
Supplier Bargaining Power
A large portion of the product that Chabros deals with is supplied by their own mills. They recently bought a mill in Serbia to make sure that they had the production needed for the customers that they already have. This makes it easier for them to deal with other suppliers, and gives Chabros more bargaining power. Also, because Chabros acts as a middle man between its suppliers and the ultimate customer, they have more power than the original supplier.
Since the economic downturn there is actually a greater amount of this than there was previously because of the lack of jobs globally. This means that the customer has the power to make the different suppliers compete for the jobs that are available. Rivalries are not a large part of the problem, but there is a lot of competition worldwide.
A company’s internal environment is more than just its financial statement. The company relies on a vision and values to energize its people, and they have strategies for growth that are specific for the company. This section talks about how the company operates internally.
Mission, Values, Vision
The main vision of the company is growth in the markets it is a part of. The company believes that because they have superior products to its competitors in the region, they can compete with any on an equal basis. Also, the company’s mission is to introduce quality veneers as an alternative to the solid wood products that others are selling. Although only about one-third of its sales are in veneers, the company hopes to grow this section of the product line even greater. One of the reasons for this is that the company believes that it is more environmentally responsible for them to take this path.
Resources and Capabilities
The resources that the firm has developed over the last fifteen years have given it the ability to get past some of the political upheaval in its home country. Because the company has had the foresight to move into different countries in the region, and because they bought their own large mill in Serbia, Chabros is positioned for continued growth. The firm has also shown the ability to grow also by its use of products that others considered waste.
The primary goal of the company is growth in the region, and then to expand beyond their region. The way that they have made this happen in the past is to open a simple warehouse in a densely populated area of the country and then continue this by working into other areas of that country, or expanding to close neighbors. This growth strategy has worked so far, and the only way that they can improve on it is by further saturating areas in some of the markets that they already occupy.
Overall Competitive Environment for Chabros International
This section of the paper will discuss how Chabros is positioned to compete in the wood and veneers markets. A SWOT analysis of the firm will be the primary means of completing this analysis.
The main strength of the company is in its that it has known quality standards because it products have been certified by the European Union. Because if this relationship and the fact that Chabros already has a large mill in Serbia, means that the products Chabros makes are highly valued by its customers. Chabros has a high quality rating and continues to build on this because of the company’s desire to achieve status in the WTO.
The company has not yet dealt with many other consumers outside of its immediate region. Although, Chabros would like to see if it can market its products to Morocco, there is a danger that they will fail in that market because the company is not known the way it is in the Middle East. Another issue that Chabros faces is its general unfamiliarity with other markets.
The primary opportunity that Chabros is looking at is the possibility of moving into new markets, specifically Morocco. The company has built a great reputation for itself, but needs to expand in order to continue its revenue. The opportunity is there because there are very few local competitors in the region, and customers are begging a company like Chabros to come in. The people of Morocco apparently want the veneers from the tree species Chabros is able to obtain from it Serbian supply, and there is a large market for other products as well.
Chabros is spread out enough that political unrest in the home country means less than it once did, but that could still spell problems for commerce in general. The advent of the “Arab Spring” last year meant that the entire region was in turmoil. This does not bode well for a company like Chabros whose main business is currently centered on the region.
The first recommendation that has to be made is that the company needs to pursue its expansion into Morocco. The reason for this is that the market is wide open because there are very few local competitors, and there are very few competitors from Muslim states. This means that Chabros should be able to use the advantage they have in the placement of their company in relation to Morocco, as well as fuel the desire that seems to exist for its Serbian products. The company will have to examine how its customers would conduct business (as that could be much different from how Chabros normally conducts business and financial matters) before they dive into the country. A SWOT analysis has already been conducted, and the results seem promising.
The company could also stand pat and simply expand in the regions that they already serve. One of the discrepancies that the case study revealed is that Chabros has only been locating its warehouses in one or two large population centers in the countries where it operates. Since the company only owns a small amount of the market share in wood products in many of these countries, they could easily expand to other large towns in these countries, thus expanding their market share.
Another possibility is to expand to other regions. Lebanon has a very large banking sector, and they deal with a lot of money from Asian investors. Chabros could work with this industry in Lebanon to expand eastward, or they could use their foothold in Eastern Europe to expand westward. The company would have to conduct SWOT assessments of the different areas they wish to expand to, in order to see if this is a viable option for them.
The company could also use the fact that they have a large portion of the veneer business in a lot of countries to just expand that part of their business. Veneer seems to be the most desired of its products, so the company could focus its attentions on selling more of that product while continuing to conduct the wood business also. The main advantage to this is that they are not committing their entire operation to one country or one region. Since their hardwood and softwood products are selling well in the regions they are already in, and they account for about two-thirds of all sales, the company could use its veneers to open the door in places like Morocco, and then add products as the customers in the country or region become more familiar with its quality. The SWOT of Morocco said that one of the weaknesses for Chabros was that no one knows who they are in Morocco. Chabros can change this by just following a more gradual product introduction curve than it has at other times.
The reality is that the company has positioned itself well by using a time of relative political calm to grow it business beyond the borders of Lebanon. With the war small war that took place between Hezbollah who occupied the Lebanon side of the border and Israel in 2008, and the subsequent unrest caused by Hezbollah, it is good that the company has diversified to other countries as well as Lebanon. It is also good that the company has succeeded in establishing itself in Eastern Europe, but they may also do well by expanding to areas in Asia. The opportunities seem to exist if Chabros pushes its competitive advantage, especially with its veneer lines, and continues to expand its business beyond the confines of Lebanon.
Action training for supervisors Essay do my history assignment
Human Resource Management
HRM (Human Resource Management) is the advancement and management of workers of an organization. It includes recruitment processes, representation and classification of positions at work. For these to be accomplished, laws governing human capital should be followed, and appropriate strategies should be kept in place including paying attention to the employees. Good Management of human capital, determines the success of many organizations
Action training for supervisors
Disciplinary training is a case for supervisors with multiple employees, which requires laws; this will prevent employees from taking advantage of their positions or employers causing difficulties in the workplace. The law requires that the employer complies with labor laws, which include approval of agreement, between the employer, supervisor and employee while working together. They are required to identify various laws like how to handle employers, their complaints at the work place while providing safety at work. The law requires that supervisors identify the areas they do and the risks involved in those areas. This knowledge helps to handle complex tasks of the personnel in the organization. Supervisors required to provide and to know inter-personnel management skills which are approved.
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is laws which require supervisors to consider the disabled people in their working environments. The organizations provide facilities to ensure the disabled meet their needs, and it is the work of the supervisor to ensure the organizations cater adequately for those needs. The ADA laws require that the supervisors establish a supply for any special needs for the disabled. FMLA laws do not require the needy to cater for themselves. FMLA laws also govern the wages and working hours of employees. It ensures that employees and supervisors assign leaves to employers while they still earn, and their working hours can be reduced without affecting their salaries. Supervisors and employees should be thoroughly acquainted with these laws because noncompliance can get them get sued.
The supervisors need to know about sexual harassment laws in the place of work. This includes discrimination on the basis of sex and age as found in Age discrimination ACT. Company policies and federal laws both cover this act. These laws prohibit discrimination on the ground of hiring, performance, firing and promotion. There are also ethics which affect different businesses. Non-compliance with these ethics, could cause the company a poor reputation, because, it may take one employer to injure the reputation and the whole company will be liable. At their positions, supervisors are least required to be at fault, it is worse if a supervisor is at fault. Some ethics laws for supervisors of multiple employers include holding different jobs, how to handle worker confidential information, bribery, and how to use a different company funds. The most serious could be how to cope when there is a conflict of interest while working for a company which is in conflict with the company.
NLRA (national labor related laws) is also recommended preventing supervisors from forcing employees to work when they think they are working under dangerous conditions. They also include nondisclosure for the employee’s income and wages for the time work was done. There are also OSHA (occupational safety and health administration) policies, which govern the working conditions. Supervisors should know these conditions. This ensures protection of employees while working within the confines of the law. They include first aid requirements when injured at the work place, compensation and protection when working under dangerous conditions like wearing protective equipment or noisy environments.
How to handle the HRM situation
Employers can achieve disciplinary action training for supervisors by putting orientation as a requirement of additional supervisors, this will ensure they get the bearings and are familiar with all aspects of the job and avoid ignorance of law or some rules. This avoids unnecessary lawsuits which are long and costly. Refresher training is always necessary even for experienced supervisors. It ensures that they develop their skills in the new areas of work. This also helps them to make contributions that make the best out of employees, as with the essential skills they become more effective and productive. New employees should be given the necessary documents concerning their wages, identification and how to manage time. Establishing programs in compliance with ethics can reduce liability in courts when there is a violation of ethics. Monitoring and inspection ensures that employees and supervisors comply with ethics policies.
The best plan for a company toaddress the situation, within the framework of the law, is by providing a policy manual. This should be given to allsupervisors when they are employed. This keeps them on track as it reminds them of the policy requirements. The manual can be used to achieve different system requirements that new or promoted supervisors may need to achieve.it could include; training schedule, the roles and services the supervisor will provide, problems they might encounter and how they will handle the situations.
When making these policies supervisors should be allowed to contribute. Their contribution is beneficial because they are the ones supposed to effectuate the policies, so they should see them better than other employees. The policies should not be a surprise to them, involving them would help to improve coordination within the organization. These manuals should be updated to address all upcoming issues from time to time. There could be custom handbooks for employees as well so that they can understand how to collaborate with their supervisors thus improving their workload. These manuals should be made available through emails, bulletin boards and meetings to ensure everyone has access. This reduces confusions and misunderstandings.
Justifying this approach
Training makes employees make the best out of the situations they encounter as they are equipped with the required skills, and, guidance from well trained supervisors. This increases efficiency so that there are fewer accidents. Team work is improved and strengthened. This iscost effective and less, tiring. Orientation of supervisors avoids unnecessary risks by companies like non-compliance with ethics which could cause harmful status. It ensures that supervisors are aware of their working conditions and know everything to be performed at the work place. They will supervise employees to ensure that they can comply with laws which affect them like ADA laws.
Policy manuals simplify complex operations of an organization. Processes like training and training can be included in the policy manual simplifying the organizations work. It ensures s consistency because of a working method which can be followed. This process is also costly effective, that it saves more time and is less hectic compared to holding extended training programs. Policies improve communication within the company as it has views of employers and employees in regards to policies thus improve top management. Most of the data collected is surveyed, therefore, has gathered views from the top to the employees. It is essential as it ensures that of every person’s needs are catered for, therefore, a sense of satisfaction. What is implemented in turn promotes proper coordination as it has the support of everyone.
The policies are effective, because, some have predictions of potential problems due to past experiences, hence will help to solve the problems when they occur in the future. When employers are aware of what Actions the Company intends to engage in regards to problems and general issues, it reduces a lot of misunderstandings and confusions. All areas of mutual interests are addressed through this policy enactment, because everyone knows each others views. Every time policy questions arise, the management can make improvements and address key issues, this re educates supervisors on policies, which require revision, or, are not necessary, hence should beremoved.
Some companies and businesses cannot achieve without these policy manual. Because, the nature of some businesses requires understanding, which if ignored, could lead to costly mistakes. This is experienced in health care and rules on privacy issues relating to protection of consumers and disclosure of information.
Advantages of compliance
Compliance of HRM practices gives the competitive advantage to those who do not follow. This is because they are not sued, and their reputation is not spoiled, so they are more advantaged to those whose business reputation has been undermined in gaining more clients. When non-compliant companies get suspension, those who follow keep working; this gives them the competitive advantage of gaining more due to less competition.
Breaking of ADM and FMLA causes losses, because, a lot of money is used in compensating complainants. This happens when employees sue the employers and supervisors which would otherwise be avoided by the above processes. Supervisors and employees should be thoroughly acquainted with these laws because noncompliance can make them get sued.
Non-compliance with laws on ethics could cause the company a poor reputation. The company is blamed for an individual’s fault. When an employer has put measures to ensure ethics are followed, it can be a defense to them, when they are asked by the commission concerning their policies. This could also help the company to face a minimum sentence and no chances of being reported. An employer who does not formulate policies regarding ethics runs the risk of losing a lawsuit due to no defense. This could lead to a fine, where the company pays for the mistake done to their client or the courts. Probation of a company is also a possibility where the companies’ activities are suspended leading to losses which could otherwise be avoided. A person who commits an offence in relation to ethics can also be charged for a crime, this could lead to serving a prison term.
Employment by one or many employers demands compliance with many laws. This requires them to comply, in order to prevent them from lawsuits, which are expensive and lengthy processes. This also prevents the companies from unwarranted lawsuits.
Inc, B. a. (2010). 5 Tips for Holding HR Policies That Hold. New York: Bussines and Legal Reports In.
Lastroner, R.A. (2001). The Nonprofit Managers Resource Director. New York: John Willis and Sons.
Shannon, K. (2011). The Complete Guide to Successfill Planning Event. Atlanta: Atlantic Publishing Company.
Decoding DNA Toyota Production System online history assignment help: online history assignment help
Decoding DNA Toyota Production System
Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System
In the article Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System (Spear, Bowen, 1999) (NOTE: this is OK per Harvard citing conventions to put this citation here, after the article) the authors provide a thorough analysis of what differentiates Toyota from other auto manufacturers specifically, and all manufacturers in general terms. The analysis includes key findings with regard to the Toyota Production System (TPS) lean manufacturing best practices including the findings from Black (2007, p. 3663 which states “lean manufacturing calls for redesigning the mass production system” which is exactly what Toyota did in the development of their TPS. Toyota was also able to instill a very strong reliance on the scientific method of learning and instruction as part of the leadership process while also defining an innate ability of this production system to support the foundational elements of mass customization. In analyzing this article, its research, and the surrounding research of the TPS and its effectiveness from a manufacturing standpoint, the following two questions are answered. First, the unspoken rules that give Toyota its competitive advantage are analyzed. Second, how do these unspoken rules make it possible for the company to continually change and improve performance without major disruption.
Analysis of the Unspoken Rules That Give Toyota Its Competitive Edge
The article Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System (Spear, Bowen, 1999) illustrates how Toyota has successfully created and continues to improve a global learning and knowledge sharing network predicated on the translation of explicit and tacit knowledge into taxonomies that are used for improving and fine-tuning production processes, procedures and strategies. This is evident on how much reliance is placed on the scientific method of analysis as it relates to the development of process, procedure and entire production frameworks for better ensuring consistency and reducing variability of production. This is one of the most critically important unspoken rules of the Toyota Production System, which is the rigorous use of experimentation as a means to gain greater insights into how production processes can improve over time. Both managers and subordinates share in the learning experience. According to Spear & Bowen (1999, p. 9) “By inculcating the scientific method at all levels of the workforce, Toyota ensures that people will clearly state the expectations they will be testing when they implement the changes they have planned.” With the scientific method being used for tacit and explicit knowedlge capture, the second significant unspoken rule of the TPS is defined. It is the assiduous creation and continual improvement of taxonomies of product, process and people knowledge to each phase of production. This is seen in how the company continually uses design rules not as constraints but as a means to further scientific examination and explanation of why variations happen in specific processes.
The third unspoken rule of the TPS is that every tacit, explicit, experiential and derived element of information will be used to create a knowledge-sharing network that will span outside Toyota throughout the entire value chain, encompassing suppliers, partners and key stakeholders. As Dyer and Nobeoka explain (2000, p. 364) “Toyota’s ability to effectively create and manage network-level knowledge-sharing processes at least partially explains the relative productivity advantages enjoyed by Toyota and its suppliers.” Further, Wilhelm & Kohlbacher (2011, p. 69) state “Toyota has succeeded in creating a dense network with a strong identity and co-operative ‘knowledge-sharing’ routines.”
This is the unspoken rule most visible to the outside world, and the most imitated or emulated one often with mixed results because companies don’t see the other two in great detail. As Towill states (2007, p. 3619) “Apparently well documented in both Japanese and American literature, TPS is much emulated throughout Western and Eastern hemispheres. Despite this frenzy of activity, the overall success rate is relatively low.” This is also the one unspoken rule that many manufacturing experts attribute to the Toyota culture, yet fail to see just how intricate and complex these interrelationships are that enable the results the TPS delivers daily in terms of improvement. Taken together these factors have over time formed the underlying assumptions, processes, procedures and frameworks that serve as the foundation for the TPS.
How Toyota Changes & Improves Its Performance without Major Disruption
The three unspoken rules that vive Toyota its competitive edge have over time re-ordered the flow of information, intelligence and knowledge throughout the entire value chain of the company. In so doing, it has also completely re-architected the extent and depth of trust between and among suppliers, a dynamic very unique to the TPS framework globally. Liao states (2008, p. 199) that “supply chain integration is the most important source for logistics performance.” This finding further supports the contention that knowledge sharing networks do in fact deliver greater performance from a supply chain, sourcing and procurement perspective. It is common for example to hear of suppliers coordinating and collaborating with one another to accomplish shared quality targets and programs, including brainstorming hwo to reduce errors together. Where in American auto manufacturer suppliers would be pitted against each other in price wars, TPS create a high-performance knowledge sharing network that propagates data globally. The accumulated insight and intelligence of these efforts also lead to the development of best practice sin supplier on-boarding, product and process quality assurance development and the development of share definition of what optimal or perfect performance is in very granular, specific terms. Because Toyota has created a culture of continuous improvement based on knowledge, shared accountability and trust, continual learning and improvement are accomplished as the company continues producing vehicles.
Black, J.T. 2007, “Design rules for implementing the Toyota Production System,” International Journal of Production Research, vol. 45, no. 16, pp. 3639.
Dyer, J.H. & Nobeoka, K. 2000, “Creating and managing a high-performance knowledge-sharing network: The Toyota case,” Strategic Management Journal, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 345-367.
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Integrated Marketing Communication university history essay help
Integrated Marketing Communication
With customers facing serious information overload and with more and more choices being made available to them, it is only natural for companies to seek out a better and more comprehensive communication strategy to reach their target market. In order to reach the most number of people in a highly effective manner without placing serious financial burden on company’s resources, many marketing experts now combine the power of more than one communication channel to effectively reach their audience and this is known as Integrated Marketing communications strategy.
History of IMC:
IMC as a major concept went through many stages of growth and as it gained greater acceptance, its definition also evolved from a rudimentary view to a more technically sound description. According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies in 1989, IMC was
concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added values of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines-general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations — and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact. (Schultz, 1993, p. 17)
Three years later however, the concept had become a more widely used strategy and hence a more customer-driven definition was developed. It only focused on the available sources of information and advertising channels but also incorporated the concept of brand loyalty. This new definition stated:
The process of managing all sources of information about products/services to which a customer or prospect is exposed which behaviorally moves the customer toward a sale and maintains customer loyalty. (Duncan & Caywood, 1996, p. 18)
One year after than in 1992, Duncan broadened the definition when wrote that IMC was the “strategic coordination of all messages and media used by an organization to collectively influence its perceived brand value. (Duncan & Caywood, 1996, p. 18)
In 1993, Schultz who had presented his definition two years earlier refined it even further and in a much more comprehensive and persuasive definition, he also included the selected audiences that were the main target of IMC strategy:
IMC is the process of developing and implementing various forms of persuasive communications programs with customers and prospects over time. The goal of IMC is to influence or directly affect the behavior of the selected communications audiences. IMC considers all sources of brand or company contacts which a customer or prospect has with the product or service as potential delivery channels for future messages. Further, IMC makes use of all forms of communication which are relevant to the customer and prospects, and to which they might be receptive. In sum, the IMC process starts with the customer or prospect and then works back to determine and define the forms and methods through which persuasive communications programs should be developed. (Schultz, 1993, p. 17)
Interestingly the very next year in 1994, Duncan also revised his earlier definition and this time his refined version included the common stakeholders as well:
[IMC is] the process of strategically controlling or influencing all messages and encouraging purposeful dialogue to create and nourish profitable relationships with customers and other stockholders, (p. 18)
Gronstedt proposed a definition from the public relations viewpoint, with emphases on stockholders and different types of communications tools:
Integrated communications uses an appropriate combination of sending, receiving, and interactive tools drawn from a wide range of communication disciplines to create and maintain mutually beneficial relations between the organization and its key stockholders, including the customers. (Gronstedt, 1996, p. 292)
WHY IS IMC IMPORTANT?
Anyone who understands the complicated marketing experience of today’s rapidly changing world knows why it has become increasingly important to have more than a few channels of communication. In old days with fewer sources of information available to the public, companies would either use television or newspapers for advertising and could very effectively reach their audience. But that is no longer the scenario. For one audiences are now more in touch with the latest technology like social networking sites and the Internet in general than they had ever been before and secondly, they have information sources so varied that it is impossible to get their attention without creating a more powerful and more consistent message that would truly appeal to the new audience. Companies now really need to fight for audience’s attention and for this reason, it is important to make sure of an integrated communication strategy that would combine the power of the Internet with more traditional sources.
From mass marketing, companies made a quick shift to customer-centered marketing approach and that has given rise to an increased interest in understanding the strategic ramifications of an integrated marketing approach. It is no longer possible to reach the target audience by using the old mass marketing method where selling to everyone at the same time was the main idea. Things have changed dramatically and that has been primarily due to the exponential growth of “new electronic media” which has forever alerted the way marketing was done. (Bezjian-Avery et al., 1998; Hoffman and Novak, 1996).
First it was the World Wide Web that alone was impressive in its power to reach the audience and to provide customers with information on the chosen products and services. But then with the advent of social networking sites, advertising and marketing took a new turn. Even though it may be a relatively new phenomenon but which had taken the world by storm and have provided marketers with even greater challenges and better opportunities as well.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE MARKETING
Competitive advantage refers to that only feature of a company that gives it significant edge over the competitor. With information overload, having a competitive advantage strategy has now become even more critical since this is what helps a customer make his decision in favor of a product or service. In other words, it answers the million dollar question: “why should I buy from you?” Cole Emhkse defines competitive advantage as, “an advantage gained over competitors by offering customers greater value, either through lower prices or by providing additional benefits and service that justify similar, or possibly higher, prices. For growers and producers involved in niche marketing, finding and nurturing a competitive advantage can mean increased profit and a venture that is sustainable and successful over the long-term.”
In order to develop a strategy around competitive advantage, it is important for a firm to discover its unique strengths against the competition and to connect them to the needs and demands of the customer. While competitive advantage tends to work in company’s favor, it can be absolutely useless if it’s not relevant to customer’s needs. Barone and DeCarlo (2003) thus explain:
“Building sustainable competitive advantages revolve around differentiating a product from the competition along attributes that are important and relevant to customers.”
Michael Porter was one of the pioneers in the field of competitive advantage strategy. In his book, Competitive advantage of Nations, he first explained how nations can get an edge over their rivals in much the same way as individual companies do. Porter was among the first few to see the long-term effects of information technology. Back in 1985, he argued that information technology played a vital role in altering competitive advantage strategies in today’s world. He identifies three ways in which information technology has changed the competitive advantage scenario:
“First, advances in information technology are changing the industry structure. Second, information technology is an increasingly important lever that companies can use to create competitive advantageFinally the information revolution is spawning completely new businesses.” (Porter, 1985, p.7)
There have been several theories regarding what helps in creating competitive advantage. Some believe lower costs can translate into lower prices which place a company ahead of its rivals on customer’s mind. Others have believed in greater product differentiation and enhancing value offered to the customer. The bottom line has however been the same throughout i.e. companies must seek sustainable competitive advantage. In other words, to have an edge for a limited period should not be the aim of any company. It must always strive to create advantage that can be sustained over a long period of time.
Barney (1991) offered a formal early definition of sustainable competitive advantage when he said: “A firm is said to have a sustained competitive advantage when it is implementing a value creating strategy not simultaneously being implemented by any current or potential competitors and when these other firms are unable to duplicate the benefits of this strategy” (p. 102).
Competitive advantage strategy is however not the main aim of any company. Once it is develop, the main objective is to successfully execute it and that is when marketing comes in. A competitive advantage strategy needs to be executed with the help of a well developed marketing plan that would communicate company’s advantage to potential customers.
In today’s world, we cannot overlook the role played by the Internet and other modern media for transmission and execute of marketing strategy. Once a competitive advantage has been create, we must understand that marketing strategy and its successful execution in itself can offer significant competitive advantage. Companies must utilize all available resources and channels to successfully communicate their competitive advantage and some of these channels include the following:
1. Advertising through company’s website
2. Direct Marketing-sending solicited emails to target audience
3. Traditional methods like television advertisements
4. Blogs and social networking media
5. Aligning company to a well-known cause
Over the years, we have seen the transformation of media right before our eyes. From marketing in its infancy to marketing in its maturity, things have changed dramatically and firms today understand that competitive advantage alone is not important, it must be communicated successfully through effective marketing and hence most organizations would invest heavily in marketing efforts to reach the target audience in the most cost effective manner.
Relationship Marketing is not exactly a new concept in marketing. It has been present in its more rudimentary form for ages but it is only now that we have been able to fully comprehend the meaning and scope of relationship marketing. Relationship marketing refers to a strategy by means of which a company develops a close on-going connection with its customers, suppliers and other people in the value chain. The focus is on the word “on-going” which means that relationship doesn’t end with a transaction. It is more consistent and continuous whereby companies try to reach the same people over and over again and they in return prefer the company’s products and services over rivals’ offerings.
“Relationship marketing refers to the development, growth, maintenance of long- term, cost- effective exchange relationship with individual customers, suppliers, employees, and other partner for mutual benefit. ” (Boone and Kurtz, 2007)
Relationship marketing can sometimes backfire or prove fruitless with customers complaining of because pestered or companies sending them offers through unsolicited mails or telephone calls but marketing experts still maintain that it is more beneficial to a firm in the long run than simply transactional marketing.
There are various ways in which relationship marketing exists. Companies would ask for your email or phone number when you purchase an item and this is their way of staying in touch with you because they know you have once been their customer. Companies like Bloomingdales, Kohl’s, Sears etc. would have customers sign up for their membership cards or charge cards which automatically connect the customer to the firm for the long run.
Relationship marketing doesn’t only focus on the customers. It also takes into account every single important unit in the value chain such as the suppliers and manufacturers etc. The company will maintain good relations with its suppliers but in most cases it will not be as friendly as with customers because that can cause problems. Suppliers can become complacent which is not healthy for the firm. Dell thus practices “tough love” policy with its suppliers while maintaining positive relations:
“Michael Dell describes the relationships to the suppliers as a kind of friendship, in fact, they are not. Michael Dell himself says that DELL wants to be a tough customer. This is mainly to avoid complacency among suppliers, that Brennan (1997, p.771) describes as one of the downsides of partnering. Using, for example, a ‘supplier report card’, a tool to 360-degree evaluate a suppliers performance also in comparison to other suppliers, DELL ensures that e.g., cost, defect tolerance, availability of technology, inventory velocity, etc. are always up to its expectations. Otherwise, a supplier is dropped. (Dell 1999). These measures help to secure that DELL avoids ‘backing the wrong horse’ (Brennan 1997).” [Schmid et al. 2003]
EFFECTIVE MARKETING COMMUNICATION AS SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
As companies try to discover their sustainable competitive advantage (SCA), they also need new and better ways to communicate the same. The study and power of integrated marketing communication has made it clear that in today’s competitive world, it is the communication strategy and marketing capabilities that will determine whose competitive advantage is most sustainable.
Marketing communication has been impressive in its growth and scope. The role of marketing capabilities indicate that marketing done effective can serve as single most important factor in determining a company’s success. Effective marketing initiatives including development of a high-functioning distribution network, conducting good market research and promoting it to the right target audience result in the success of a product which is very much the same thing as having competitive advantage which also means making right products available to the right people at the right time. Thus we can safely announce that marketing capabilities lead to sustainable competitive advantage.
(Weerawardena 2003, 22).
Over the long-term sustainable comp advantage refers not only to an edge over the competitor but can be narrowed down to two important factors namely highly value attached to the product and low cost of development and distribution. If a company can produce high value products at lower costs consistently, then it can safely stay ahead of competitive and gain SCA. This is what the customer will then use to determine the place of a product in his or her mind as against the rival products. (Adcock 2001, 182).
CA in other words can be viewed as having consistently higher position in consumer’s mind. We already know that when consumers are bombarded with excessive variety and choices, they tend to assign a position to each product and service according to his or her own criterion. When a company and its products are consistently high on consumer’s mind ladder that shows that the product or company has been able to achieve SCA. It is believed that a company that has higher SCA and consistently performs better than rivals has access to knowledge bases hitherto unknown to others. They are not only able to tap into these resources but can also manage them to their advantage. (Tsai and Shih 2004, 524).
The transformation of a company’s key process into strong capabilities that not only are relevant to customer’s needs but also provide him with better value for money is what becomes CA for the company. It is all about paying closer attention to the core inner strengths of a firm and these strengths can be given various terms like “resources,” “invisible assets,” strategic assets,” “firm resources,” “capabilities,” “competency” and “core competencies” (Juttner and Wehrli 1994, 43).
It is important to understand that resources are not the same thing as capabilities. A firm has resources which are its productive factors while capability is the power to “deploy these resourcesto affect the desire end.” (Dutta, Narasimhan and Rajiv 1999, 550) Thus if a firm wants to enjoy consistent advantage over others, it must have strong capabilities to fully use its resources in its favor.
BARRIERS TO IMC
Integrated marketing communication sounds like the most perfect strategy any company could develop for connecting with its target market. But that may not always be the case. When applied effectively, it certainly brings in many much desired rewards in terms of higher revenues and more customers but when allowed to become the sole means of communication, it can actually have some serious downsides. These are some of the barriers of IMC or barriers to implementation of IMC.
For one, there may actually be the usual resistance to implementation of IMC because of general fear of the new and the unknown. Resistance is very common in companies and when employees have not been properly educated about change, they can in most cases become highly resistant to change which may also include the use of different and new methods for communicating with the public.
Even if the company is able to overcome the initial obstacle, it can then face the challenge of effectively harnessing the power of so many varied channels of communication. It is easier said than done and communicating through variety of channels such as the Internet, the social networking sites, newspapers, television, radio, direct marketing etc. can be very overwhelming and can prove counterproductive if not done correctly.
Smith and Taylor (2004) identify some of the key barriers to IMC. According to them, these common barriers include, “Functional Silos; Stifled Creativity; Time Scale Conflicts and a lack of Management know-how.” (p. 17)
“Functional silos” is the organizational structure that makes it impossible to implement new ideas due to either budget constraints or power politics. There are cases where firms would maintain very tight control over how things work and when a new idea like IMC is introduced, they tend to become very more restrictive in their approach as adopting a new idea is equated with relinquishing control.
“this can be aggravated by turf wars or internal power battles where specific managers resist having some of their decisions (and budgets) determined or even influenced by someone from another department.” (p.17)
IMC is also believed to stifle creativity. In a more traditional world, a new idea has a better chance of fruition than in the modern wired world. This is because if a new idea is presented, company directors would first want to test it through various channels and if feedback seems negative, they may drop the whole idea even before it has seen the light of the day.
Despite its barriers and downside, IMC is still the desired way of communicating in today’s highly competitive and intensely wired world. In other words in order to get sustain competitive advantage, firms now need to depend more on their marketing capabilities than anything else. It is true that in today’s world, it is not the actual differentiation that matters but the way it is communicated to the public. This trend of focusing more on marketing and communication strategy is likely to continue for a long time in the future because with overload of information, what truly matters is getting the message across to the customer in the most effective manner. This can only be achieved with the help of an integrated marketing communication strategy that would incorporate relationship marketing, competitive advantage marketing and related strategies.
Corporate Image plays a vital role in how potential customers view a firm and its products and services. How a corporate image is developed depends mainly on how it wants to be seen by the people but at the end, the corporate image that finally emerges is not based solely on company’s strategies but also on customer experience. When customers consistently get poor service, they would undoubtedly view the company as sluggish and not worth a second chance.
This is what was happening to El Al airlines, Israel’s national carrier. For 56 years it was under government control and showed significant losses each year. People viewed it as a “second-rate” airline that was nowhere close to some other International airlines in terms of service and customer care.
However after 56 years, the government decided to privatize the airline and a new management took over. The challenge in front of the new management was monumental. They had to seek a new corporate image and also communicate it effectively to the public. For this reason, they decided to undergo a serious image change through effective marketing and communicating strategy.
They found out that it was important to communicate on four levels to develop a very well constructed marketing strategy. These four levels include formal, informal, internal and external.
The first started out by studying the current image of the company. This was done through variety of surveys where customers were asked to review, view and rate and rank the airline. It was discovered that people considered the company as being poor in customer service and were no longer ready to tolerate sub-standard service. They did not see El Al as an exclusive airline though wished it to become one as to effectively represent the nation as its one of its oldest carriers.
The nest step was to develop a new corporate image which was basically the image that the company desired. It was then checked against desires of the customers to make sure it corresponded well with customer wishes.
The third step was communication both within the organization and outside. On the internal level, it needed to communicate formally and informally with its employees to inform them of all the changes that were in the pipeline. On the external level, it had to communicate with the public through advertisements, slogans and other media to show them that El Al had changed and was now more service oriented as opposed to production oriented.
On the external front too, it communicated both formally and informally. Informal channels meant word of mouth and feedback. While formal was more sophisticated with the use of Internet, customer support center and television advertising. The company now has a new slogan “Taking off to new heights” and its new logo is also highly visible now. This visibility shows command of the situation and superiority. The company is not scared to be number 1 and is trying its level best to meet people’s expectations.
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