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3 pages/≈825 words
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Level:
Harvard
Subject:
Business & Marketing
Type:
Coursework
Language:
English (U.S.)
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Topic:

Strategic management (Coursework Sample)

Instructions:

The paper presents a comprehensive analysis of Amazon's strategic management.

source..
Content:
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT: CASE FOR AMAZON.COM
By
[Name]
[Course]
[Institution Affiliation]
[Date]
Introduction
The current business environment presents a number of challenges for firms, especially those in the IT industry such as Amazon.com. For this reason, such firms have been obligated to explore and adopt relevant strategies for gaining a competitive advantage over their competitors. One of the key tools of analysis that have been given weight is the application of value chain analysis. Ideally, this paper presents a unique approach to the analysis of Amazon.com’s value chain and thereafter, suggests possible strategies for future improvement.
Porter’s Value Chain Model
In analyzing a firm’s competitive position, experts argue that, it is imperative to focus on a firm’s value chain as opposed to the firm as a whole. In his value chain model, Michael Porter asserts that an organization’s value chain consist of those activities done by an organization, which adds up to the value delivered to its stakeholders (particularly shareholders and customers) (Sekhar 2009). Though unique for each industry, it is only through value chain that a firm can gain cost advantage or differentiation.
For manufacturing firms, their value chain entails both primary and support activities. In this context, primary activities are those in which materials are purchased, processed and delivered to customers as final products. These include activities such as inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and marketing, and after-sales services. Support activities, in this case, are those that support the execution of primary activities (Monczka 2009). They entail activities like procurement, technological development, human resource management and the firm’s infrastructure.
The Value Chain Analysis for Amazon.com
For Amazon.com, the application of Porter’s value chain model is not a new concept in the firm. In order to strengthen the organization’s competitive position over its two key industrial rivals (Ebay and Walmart), the Amazon.com has embarked only on primary and supportive activities, which create stakeholder value. From the firm’s initial business strategy, a number of value chain activities can be identified as sales and marketing, customer service, logistics, operations, procurement and human resource management.
In using value chain to improve Amazon.com’s competitiveness, the above value chain activities have been assigned different weights (attentions). Moreover, though executing the same value chain activities as it rivals, Amazon.com gains a competitive advantage by doing same things differently. For example unlike its traditional competitors, which perform their activities in physical stores, Amazon.com uses a virtual store. This enables the firm to offer anything that customers want. In its value chain, Amazon.com has laid more emphasis on two activities, which include customer service, and sales and marketing. By focusing on customer service, the firm has made a significant step towards being the ‘world’s most customer-centric’ firm. For example, in 2000, research indicates that Amazon.com spent over $200 million to seven distributio...
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