Forces and trends in business

The business environment is characterized by a number of variables: competition, dynamics, turbulence, complexity and change. All organizations must develop the ability to continuously and consciously transform themselves and their contexts. Such contexts include restructuring for optimal efficiency, reengineering of key processes, and streamlining capabilities capable of providing a source of competitive advantage. The goal is to adapt, regenerate and most importantly survive. (McLean, 2006).

For a business to thrive today, strategists need to find ways to increase the organization’s ability to read and respond to industry and market changes. They need to know their goals to increase the company’s strategic flexibility by recognizing disruptions earlier and responding more quickly.

Strategic flexibility or adaptability can be defined as the organization’s capacity to identify major changes in its external environments, quickly commit resources to new courses of action in response to such changes, and to recognize and act quickly when it is time to stop or reverse existing resource commitments. Being adaptable means that leaders must not be stuck in an overly rigid way of looking at the world. The organization must see change as an inevitable and essential part of an organization’s growth to achieve this adaptability.

When there is uncertainty or unpredictability in the environment, managers tend to focus almost all their energy on the successful implementation of the current strategy. What they should also do is prepare for an unknown future. Flexibility stems from the ability to learn; Leaders tend to overlook the negative and emphasize the positive. They need to understand not only what led to the positive results, but also what led to the negative. This optimizes their learning experience. According to Ford (2004), four points to foster and maintain adaptability include challenging complacency, giving all employees a voice, encouraging participatory work, and driving fear out of your group.

The companies selected for this task vary by industry: a famous automaker (Ford), a bank undergoing a merger (Compass) and a start-up software company (DawningStreams). Ford and Compass have been in business for a long time; it is likely that they have changed their strategic plan based on changing forces and trends. DawningStreams is new (established in 2005 and incorporated in 2007). Although they have not had their first sale and have no staff, the owners have devised several iterations of their strategy.

There are a number of different stakeholders all interested in the activities of business organizations. Emphasis should be placed on their adaptability in strategic analysis and their adaptability in strategic management of business organizations. The organization must have a strategic management model.

Each company can scan the same areas, but for different reasons. Given technological advances, Ford would prepare to lead the market by having various electronic equipment in their vehicles as well as robotic equipment that they can build them, and supply chain technology to keep everything in check. Compass Bank is undergoing a merger and is expanding globally; therefore, they will have to keep up with communication technology. DawningStreams is a software company; They will have to monitor the companies that would be their competition to make sure their product offers better functionality. All three companies would make sure potential customers would be able to get good information from internet sites and advertising that includes yet another area of ​​technology that organizations may need / want to scan. In this case, many members of the organization need to be enrolled: top management and finances that determine budgetary factors; The IT department that will be responsible for implementing and maintaining some of the technology; the staff to be trained to use the technology; a sales force that will sell the technology.

For the outside observer, it may seem unnecessary for anyone other than Ford to scan the (actual) environment when it comes to issues like emissions control, fuel efficiency and hybrid vehicles. However, it is true; Compass Bank and DawningStreams can plan a strategy that will be friendlier to the environment (and their wallets) by practicing paper reduction (through the above technology). Eventually DawningStreams & # 146; product can be useful as file sharing service for environmental groups.

Regarding the legal environment, all three must be acutely aware of laws that affect their respective industry, among other things. For Ford, legal applies among other areas of environmental protection laws and the Department of Transportation Safety Laws. For Compass Bank, they would comply with the rules of the Federal Reserve (www.federalreserve.gov) and the Federal Insurance and Deposit Corporation (www.fdic.gov). DawningStreams must follow laws as they relate to the transfer of intellectual property files and also the export of products that have algorithms. All three companies are global and must monitor these laws in other countries, which can affect strategic planning.

In one company after another – from Sears to IBM to Hewlett-Packard to Searle, strategy is again a major focus in the search for higher revenue and profits. With the help of a new generation of business strategists, companies are pursuing new ways to tap new products, expand existing businesses and create tomorrow’s markets. Some companies are even recreating full-fledged strategic planning groups. United Parcel Service expects to spin off a new strategy group from its marketing department, where strategic plans are now hatched. Explains President Kent C. Nelson: “ Because we are investing more heavily in technology investments, we cannot afford to spend a whole lot of money in one direction and then find that five years later it was the wrong direction. ”

In such a world, we need a planning model that allows us to predict the future and use that expectation in analyzing our organization – its culture, mission, strengths and weaknesses – to define strategic issues, to map our direction by developing strategic vision and plans, defining how to implement these plans, and specifying how we will evaluate how well we are implementing these plans. The fact that the world is changing as we move forward in the future requires that the process is an iterative one.

Ford Motor Company & # 150; sociocultural

The Ford Motor Company embraces the sociocultural changes that are taking place to allow the company to move in the right direction in terms of attitudes in the community. Two areas that stand out in terms of socio-cultural attitudes would be fuel economy and smaller cars. The growing concern of the public for better fuel economy has affected the company’s introduction of the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The organization is committed to hybrid in improving fuel economy as a global strategy to meet customer requirements. The increased demand in the community for such environmental history has contributed to the decision by Ford Motor Company to look forward to adding the hybrid feature to Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan and to continue in such strategic planning direction.

The customers who use these vehicles get a significant break on their insurance in many states and a tax deduction as well as enjoying the increased mileage for a gasoline-powered vehicle and 100 percent electric power capabilities. Ford Motor Company’s environmental scan has enabled the company to know that the people of the United States are buying more small cars today than any other type of vehicle segment. The lifestyle changes have been monitored and there is good data showing that such a trend will continue in this direction and the expected growth in this segment will continue. The company has redesigned the inside and outside of the Ford Focus to separate the car from its competitors in the small car segment while increasing upgrades and features to experience positive results. The direction the company takes is based on a competitive advantage and being a leader in the industry. The vehicle line has both a sedan and a coupe to attract targeted markets, including younger buyers at an entry level to build on brand loyalty and customer inventory. The Ford Motor Company will continue to use the socio-cultural factors to drive the business and enjoy future success.

Ford Motor Company & # 150; Legal & # 150;

Ford Motor Company with regard to the Environmental Protection Agency complies with the legal aspect of environmental scanning. Ford Motor Company accepted an award in March 2007 from the Environmental Protection Agency called the Energy Star 2007 Partner of the Year Award in energy management. The company is the first car manufacturer to ever receive the award for two consecutive years. The award has been awarded because of the company’s commitment to increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all the facilities in the company.

The organization is committed to responsible use of resources and energy efficiency. The management recognizes that environmental protection laws are of great importance and uses the environmental scan to move in the right direction to achieve future success in the company. In 2006 alone, the company improved its energy efficiency in the United States by five percent and saved approx. $ 25 million with enough energy saved to equal 220,000 homes. Effective energy management protects the environment and reduces greenhouse emissions. Some of the company’s activities include replacing light fixtures that use 40 percent less energy and using various low-energy, long-lasting compact fluorescent lamps in its properties to include plants, corporate offices, distribution centers, and research and development campuses. Due to the environmental scan taking place at Ford Motor Company, the company will use the information collected and continue in this direction. New projects for the company include Fumes-to-Fuel, a system that converts paint fumes into electricity conducted with Detroit Edison along with attempts to consolidate the use of paint applications for base, base and clearcoat for a single application to eliminate the need for separate applications and ovens. In addition to the paint booth emissions, the Ford Motor Company will continue to rely on alternative energy sources such as landfill gas and wind and solar technologies to operate their production facilities.

Ford Motor Company & # 150; Technology & # 150;

Another environmental scanning tool that the Ford Motor Company monitors and uses would be the technology part. The company has invested $ 1 billion in the latest technology for flexible manufacturing. The technology involved is in many forms to include wireless technology installed on the delivery vehicles with supplies to the plant as a monitoring status and improved efficiency to reduce inventory. The flexibility of products in the same system allows the organization to use the same machines and process for all areas from bodywork, paint and final assembly. The improved efficiency of the production facility allows multiple vehicle platforms to be built on the same line to produce multiple models and quickly change vehicle mix, volume and options based on customer demand.

The technological changes encompassed by the Ford Motor Company through environmental scanning allow the company to experience huge cost savings through new product launches and 50 percent reductions in cycle shifts along with waste reduction. Robots are among the technological changes experienced in the organization, so they include 400 from the project used to weld and assemble the vehicle’s metal body for stamping and mounting. Artificial intelligence in the form of advanced vision systems and laser tracking systems is used to ensure quality through accuracy and design capabilities. A multi-million dollar training facility is used to ensure that the workforce has the knowledge, skills and ability to reap the benefits of the new technology used by the company. The training being administered includes the new servo-electric welding gun system, which identifies the perfect center for welding that has replaced the older and high-air powered system that used a less sophisticated spring system. The environmental scan of technology performed by Ford Motor Company has enabled the company to have positive results in efficiency while remaining a competitive business in the industry through cost savings and continuous improvement.

Compass Bank – Political –

On February 16, 2007, Compass Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Compass Bank, announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (NYSE: BBV Madrid: BBVA) (“BBVA”) will acquire Compass for a combination of cash and shares. Compass will become a wholly owned US company subsidiary of BBVA and will continue to operate under the Compass name. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2007, pending customary closing conditions, including necessary U.S. banking regulatory approvals. and Spain and the approval of the shareholders of both Compass and BBVA.

BBVA, which operates in 35 countries, is based in Spain and has significant banking interests in America. The transaction will facilitate BBVA’s continued growth in Texas and will create the largest regional bank across the Sunbelt. Upon completion of the transaction, Compass will be among the top 25 banks in the United States with approximately $ 47 billion in total assets, $ 32 billion in total loans and $ 33 billion in total deposits. In addition, the overall company ranks fourth in the Texas deposit market share with $ 19.6 billion in total deposits and 326 full-service banking offices.

Compass is a $ 34 billion Southwest financial holding company that operates 415 full-service banking centers in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. Compass provides a wide range of products and services through three primary business areas & # 150; Corporate Banking, Retail Banking and Wealth Management. Compass is among the top 30 US. bank holding companies by asset size and rank among the top revenues in its size based on return on equity.

In accordance with the terms of the final agreement approved by the Board of Directors of Compass and the relevant bodies of BBVA, Compass becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA. Following closure, BBVA intends to merge its U.S. based banking companies & # 150; including the previous operations in Texas Regional Bancshares, State National Bancshares, and Laredo National Bancshares & # 150; with compass.

The total consideration is composed of a fixed number of approximately 196 million shares of BBVA common stock and approx. $ 4.6 billion in cash. The merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including necessary U.S. banking regulatory approvals. and Spain and the approval of the shareholders of both Compass and BBVA. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2007.

The merger between both companies will be determined by the political factors ranging from the consequences of laws and regulations to the state of world politics, including the consideration of wars that can take place in different parts of the world. New laws, regulations, tax programs and public policy create forces and trends that can present challenges and barriers or opportunities for any business or organization.

Compass Bank & # 150; Technology & # 150;

Ford is in the process of implementing a laser marking system on its production line to ensure the highest standard of each transmission overall. The system checks for quality at various points on the assembly line. Ford is partnering with a company called MECCO to implement this process and a trial run of the new system will last for 3 months. MECCO is a leader in its industry when it comes to laser technology. The decision to implement this new laser marking system came because it is more cost effective and safer than previous ways of marking quality control points.

Although this process at Ford is not officially implemented yet, Compass Bank can learn a few different things. It may be a good idea for Compass Bank to do a short trial of online mobile phone banking to see how popular it is and whether it’s worth the time and effort to get it launched. Compass Bank should also consider investing in a company that is best at what they do, is in the same time zone and can meet their requirements in a timely manner, not simply because they may be cheaper. Finally, Compass Bank can learn that they need to consider what will be most cost-effective and in the best interests of the company over time. Organizing a timeline and a list of costs and potential risks would also be beneficial for Compass Bank so they know what to expect and when with the implementation of online mobile phone banking.

As you complete the global scan, you look for new technologies that can impact any business in any industry. At one point, the advent of the Internet was a technology that is becoming a growing trend across all industries. Today, very new technologies are used to develop information systems at a fraction of the cost and timing of processes used five years ago. Wireless is a telecommunications technology that may have shifted from a trend to a strength that is revolutionizing the way information is stored, accessed and used across all industries across the world. Some, if leveraged by a company within an industry before competitors use it, may even provide a competitive edge.

Compass Bank & # 150; Competition & # 150;

While mergers can be expensive and rather difficult, the value it creates in the end is the desired outcome that companies seek. Ever after merging is based on multiple beliefs, these beliefs are that performance gains are greater, expenses are reduced, market power is increased, and shareholder wealth is also greater than before. The value of a merger improves when the overall benefit is more valuable than the aggregate of two separate pre-merger companies.

Ultimately, both John and Bernard should consider this before finalizing a decision. When Zion bought Stockmans, its total value increased by 43 branches. These branches will help with performance and bring much more power to the financial market. In the article Journal of Money, Pilloff says & # 147; Businesses are more willing to acquire others to avoid being acquired. & # 148; Keeping this in mind, companies need to come up with a cross-border strategy.

As part of the broad environmental scan, identifying the organization’s internal capabilities is important. There are different models for defining capabilities. Most focus on the broad set of intangible assets such as brand, human capital, organizational capital and even relational capital. Others include the more concrete assets such as available capital, organizational structure, current technologies and information technology infrastructure. In addition to making a broad environmental trend, Compass Bank needs to perform a more detailed capacity assessment using one of the available models.

DawningStreams – Competitors & # 150;

Business activities are becoming more and more complex to manage due to distance, time zones, number of parties involved in projects, number of tasks to be performed, multiple priorities, lack of general synchronization, inadequate secure and confidential communication channels and growing complexity of IT infrastructures. The use of managers on to-do lists has become very common. It becomes more difficult to keep teams in sync, to follow and implement new business processes and to exchange sensitive information confidentially. The DawningStreams software program aims to increase the practicality of daily executive activities. The types of companies likely to be interested in our product are design (network size), consulting (need for synchronization), pharmaceutical research (secure information exchange) and the software industry (complexity of manufacturing).

Many companies have already developed software applications that enable secure communication and file sharing. However, most, if not all, rely on Microsoft technologies that prevent them from expanding to Mac or Unix users. DawningStreams is developed in Java, which can be used on any platform, including Mac and Unix. Microsoft has acquired the Groove Company and released a new version of the product that can perform many of the features of DawningStreams, but not generic activities (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/groove/default.aspx). This is by far the closest competitor. Recently, just by accident, we found a company called Shinkuro (www.shinkuro.com) that offers the file-sharing aspects of DawningStreams, but lacks other capabilities.

Although DawningStreams faces competition from many existing players, the fact that it combines a super-set of functionalities into one application, at a very reasonable price, will give it a head start over other competitors. If the US patent is granted, DawningStreams’ position will become a niche. Even if the patent was not granted, it would require an in-depth architectural redesign by Groove (or other competitors) to include generic activities and match the offer from DawningStreams. As a strategy, we will monitor the activities of these companies & # 146; websites and understand what they offer in terms of similar functionality, and try to make sure we match or best match those features to the best of our ability and resources

DawningStreams & # 150; Political –

Maintaining the secrecy of information is the basic function of the encryption elements. Individuals abroad may use such items to damage U.S. law enforcement efforts as well as U.S. foreign policy and national security interests. The US government has a critical interest in ensuring that, unlike the United States, individuals are unable to hide hostile or criminal activity and that the legitimate need to protect important and sensitive public and private information is met. Since 2000, US encryption export policy has been guided by three basic approaches: technical review of pre-sale encryption products, streamlined post-export reporting, and licensing of proposed transactions involving strong encryption to certain foreign government end users and countries concerned. . US encryption policy also seeks to ensure that US companies are not disadvantaged by the European Union’s & # 147; license-free zone. & # 148; (Bureau of Industry and Security, 2007).

DawningStreams will contain cryptographic features. Any reliable and efficient cryptographic system requires a central authority to avoid identity theft. Cryptography is a key feature of DawningStreams. All specialists insist on designing systems using well-studied algorithms and fully tested protocols; novelty is considered a source of risk. The cryptographic layer of DawningStreams will rely on a dual public-private key system. The private key encryption system implements Rijndael, Advanced Encryption Standard (http://csrc.nist.gov/CryptoToolkit/aes/rijndael/), the public key system implements RSA (www.rsa.com), and the hashing feature implements the 256-bit version of the Secure Hash algorithm (http://secure-hash-algorithm-md5-sha-1.co.uk/ ).

Encryption products can be used to hide the communications of terrorists, drug traffickers, and others who intend to harm the U.S. interests. Cryptographic products and software also have military and intelligence applications that, in the hands of hostile nations, may pose a threat to the U.S. national security. The United States national security, foreign policy and law enforcement interests are protected by encryption export control. These checks are in compliance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13026, issued on November 15, 1996, and the President’s Memorandum of the same date. (Bureau of Industry and Security, 2007).

DawningStreams also plans to be an international company, as there are offices in the Netherlands and the US. As part of the strategy, we want to ensure that we remain compliant by registering our product with any necessary agency and giving those agencies access to the processes if they feel there is a threat. We are responsible for monitoring (as best we can) our customer base and putting the right word in our contracts that illegal activities are not tolerated. We will continue to monitor the BIS site mentioned in previous sections, as well as sites in the European Union, e.g. Crypto Law website for legal expert Bert-Jaap Koops (http://rechten.uvt.nl/koops/)

DawningStreams – Technology / Intellectual Property & # 150;

Organizational strategy management requires a comprehensive assessment of the company’s macro environment. Intellectual property (IP) refers to the original ideas and innovations developed by an organization to retrieve its systems and processes. Creating ideas requires big investments. This requires IP protection. Benchmarking is the continuous process for measuring products, processes and systems in an organization against those that are best rated in the industry. It helps to uncover weaknesses and shortcomings in organizational systems, processes and products. (Watson, 2003)

The study of the global research conducted by McAfee Inc. and MessageLabs Ltd. on security threat in small businesses in the U.S. reveals that 80 percent of SMEs believe that an IT security flaw would hurt their business priorities. Still, only a few are bravely taking steps to combat violations due to resource constraints from other business-related priorities. The research implies that company size plays a significant role in the way senior management looks at security. Among the challenges that SMBs face are keeping abreast of security solutions and keeping costs low. Small to Medium Businesses & # 146; behavior toward security is very tactical and meets only immediate requirements. (unknown, 2007)

DawningStreams & # 146; the relevance of these forces is twofold. We are a software company & # 151; there is an opportunity for us to lose the intellectual property of those who will download and try to change the code. We have competitors that offer functionality similar to ours, but we offer an extra functionality the others do not. It’s this & # 145; special functionality & # 146; as we applied for a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If the patent is granted, there is less likelihood of software piracy or loss of our IP. Environmental scans should show us if there are other companies trying to do this.

The functionality most similar to our competitors & # 146; is the ability to share files. It raises another concern with intellectual property – the possibility that another IP address could be passed from one of our users to another, as this could seriously damage our reputation, like what happened to Napster. (Www.napster.com).

conclusion

In one company after another – from Sears to IBM to Hewlett-Packard to Searle, strategy is again a major focus in the search for higher revenue and profits. With the help of a new generation of business strategists, companies are pursuing new ways to tap new products, expand existing businesses and create tomorrow’s markets. Some companies are even recreating full-fledged strategic planning groups. United Parcel Service expects to spin off a new strategy group from its marketing department, where strategic plans are now hatched. Explains President Kent C. Nelson: “ Because we are investing more heavily in technology investments, we cannot afford to spend a whole lot of money in one direction and then find that five years later it was the wrong direction. ”

In such a world, we need a planning model that allows us to predict the future and use that expectation in analyzing our organization – its culture, mission, strengths and weaknesses – to define strategic issues, to map our direction by developing strategic vision and plans, defining how to implement these plans, and specifying how we will evaluate how well we are implementing these plans. The fact that the world is changing as we move forward in the future requires that the process is an iterative one.

references

Bilek, E. (n.d.) Compass Bankshares to be Acquired by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.,

Investor Relations. Retrieved from the Internet on March 31, 2007 at

http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/77/77589/bbvarelease.pdf

Cole, Jim. Zions is doing little trading, citing growing Arizona market. American Banker, 171 (175), 1-1. Retrieved March 31, 2007, from the Proquest database.

Ford Motor Company (2006). Ford Motor Company. Retrieved March 2007,

from the World Wide Web site: [https://ford.com]

Ford, S. (2004) Adapted from 13 Qualifying Leaders Need to Succeed, Harvard Business School

Press. Retrieved March 31, 2007 from EBSCOHost database.

Hockenberry, Todd. (2006). Ford implements advanced laser marking. Industrial Laser Solutions, 21 (4), 6-7. Hentet 31. marts 2007 fra EBSCOhost-database

Jacobs, P. (2005) Fem trin til at trives i tider med usikkerhed. Forhandling (s.3) Hentet

1. april 2007 fra EBSCOHost-database.

McLean, J. (2006) Vi gennemgår ændringer! British Journal of Administrative Management

54. Hentet 30. marts 2007 fra EBSCOHost-database.

Pearce, J. & Robinson, R, (2004). Strategisk styring: Formulering, implementering og kontrol. [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. McGraw-Hill-selskaberne. Hentet marts 2007 fra University of Phoenix, Resource, MBA 580-Strategies for Competitive Advantage Course Websted: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp

Forfatter Ukendt, strategisk planlægning, Efter et årti med grusom nedbrydning er Big Thinkers tilbage i virksomhedens mode. (2006) Hentet fra Internettet kl http://www.businessweek.com/1996/35/b34901.htm

Ukendt (2007) 80% af små og mellemstore virksomheder frygter en sikkerhedstrussel. Computersikkerhedsopdatering 8 (4). Hentet 30. marts 2007 fra EBSCOHost-databasen.

Unknown (2006) Strategic Planning, After a decade of gritty downsizing, Big Thinkers are back

in corporate vogue. Retrieved from the Internet at

http://www.businessweek.com/1996/35/b34901.htm

US Department of Commerce (2007), Encryption (ch.10, section 742.15). Retrieved March 27, 2007 from the Bureau of Industry and Security Website at http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2007/foreignpolicyreport/fprchap10_encryption.html

Watson, G. (2003) Business Environmental Scans for Intellectual Property Strategy (PowerPoint Presentation). Retrieved March 28, 2007 from the Oklahoma State University website at http://www.okstate.edu/ceat/msetm/courses/etm5111/CourseMaterials/ETM5111Session3Part2.ppt#260,1,Business Environmental Scans for Intellectual Property Strategy