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Business & Marketing
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Research Paper
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

Strategic Planning (Research Paper Sample)

Instructions:

The paper focuses on the strategic planning process. The writer was required to select a company of choice and analyze the various strategies employed in its operations.

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TABLE OF CONTENT
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Understanding the process of strategic planning
2.1 Essence of strategic planning
2.2 The strategic planning questions
2.3 Components of strategic planning
2.4 Core competencies of the company
2.5 Strategic thinking
2.6 The Ansoff growth Matrix
2.7 Approaches to planning
2.8 The Directional policy matrix
2.9 The Boston matrix
3.0 Formulating a New Strategy
3.1 The SWOT analysis
3.2 Pest Analysis
3.3 The industry analysis: Porter's five forces
4.0 Approaches to Strategy Evaluation and Selection
4.1 Market entry strategies
4.2 The main strategic alternatives
4.2.1 Limited growth strategy
4.2.2Substantive growth strategies
4.2.3 Disinvestment strategies
4.3 Strategy selection process
5.0 Implementation of the Chosen Strategy
5.1 Review and evaluation
6.0 References
1.0 Introduction
Strategic planning refers to the processes of defining a company's future direction as well as making decisions on allocation of the available resources as the company tries to pursue its strategy (Thompson & Martin 2005). The process of strategic planning requires the management to first analyze the current position of the company as well as the available options that the company can use to undertake a particular course of action. This assignment aims at understanding the strategic planning process of British American Tobacco (BAT) by examine the key components of strategic planning such as the company's mission, vision and value strategies. The assignment would also establish how the company is able to formulate a new strategy. Additionally, the assignment would look at the various approaches to strategy evaluation and selection as well as the implementation of the strategies.
2.0 Understanding the process of strategic planning
2.1 Essence of strategic planning
The business environment today highly competitive rendering focus based planning and budget oriented planning methods insufficient for an international company like BAT to survive and expand its operations. This hence implies that the company has to engage in strategic planning that would involve defining the mission, values, visions and objectives as well as performing an environmental scanning to formulate the strategy, oversee the implementation process, evaluate the implemented strategy and put in place a correction mechanism so that the company remains on track.
2.2 The strategic planning questions
Strategic planning is concerned with answering any of the following questions
* What does the company do?
* Whom is done for?
* How is the company able to excel in what it does?
Strategic planning to most organization involves determining what should be done over periods not less than 3 years to five or 20 years.
2.3 Components of strategic planning
Strategic planning involves understanding the firms' vision, values, mission and strategies.
The vision statement
The vision statement states what the company would like to be in the future or how the environment it operates in should be. It is often a future objective and can be a source of inspiration to the management and stakeholders of thee organization. The vision statement for British American Tobacco is to achieve leadership of the global tobacco industry.
The mission statement
The mission statement defines the purpose for existence of the organization. The mission statement outlines the actions that the company intends to pursue to achieve its vision.
Values
These are the beliefs that determine the organizational culture of a company. They are the qualities that all stakeholders share concerning the firm. BAT emphasizes on a number of values that help it achieve its goals and objectives.
* Customer needs are first
The company's operations are customer oriented. This implies that the client's needs are at the centre of all decisions being made by the company.
* Quality
BAT believes that the clients should always enjoy the best products in the markets. Additionally, the customer service services have been enhanced to ensure that quality services are provided.
* Variety
The company manufactures a variety of tobacco products to match the different tastes and preferences of their clients.
* Responsibility
The company is socially responsible to all its stakeholders and the measures that would ensure that all the activities of the company are in line with the stakeholders' expectations. For instance, the company advises its clients that excessive use of tobacco is harmful to the user's health. It recommends that consumers should smoke tobacco responsibly.
* Honesty
The company emphasizes on being transparent in it dealings with stakeholders and considering their interests seriously. This has been achieved through corporate governance and the company's board where the various stakeholders have been represented.
The vision, mission and values of the company are important tools in strategic planning as they can help the management to establish measurable strategic and financial objectives. British American Tobacco has been able to use the tools in setting financial objectives such as earnings growth or profitability and sales targets. The strategic objectives are in line with the company's business position and may include the reputation and the market share of the company.
2.4 Core competencies of the company
The main competency of British American Tobacco has been that the company has been able to incorporate the entire supply chain from the farmer to the consumer. The company has been able to coordinate all its operations efficiently by engaging the services of the best available talent in return for better terms of services than those offered by the competitors. The presence of the company in most parts of the world has helped the company improve its revenues significantly as compared to the competitors because of the economies of scale. Market penetration has also been easy due to the availability of the huge amounts of capital required. The company also focuses on enhancing the knowhow of the trained and skilled professionals by offering an opportunity to its employees to further their education hence having an upper hand as compared to the competitors.
2.5 Strategic thinking
This refers to the ability of developing a plan that could be effective in helping the organization achieve its objectives. It includes examining the future scenarios and using them in making decisions today. Increased competition has forced companies to think innovatively in order to gain a competitive edge. The success of BAT can be attributed to the strategic thinking that the management has incorporated. The company is able to study future trends and needs of thei...
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