ii) Customer Profiles Developing a profile of a firm's present and prospective customers improves the ability of its managers to plan strategic operations, to anticipate changes in the size of markets, and to reallocate resources so as to support forecast shifts in demand patterns. A second approach to identifying customer groups is by segmenting industrial markets. iii) Suppliers In assessing a firm's relationships with its suppliers, several factors other than the strength of that relationship should be considered. With regard to its competitive position with its suppliers, the firm should address the following questions: Are the suppliers' prices competitive? Do the suppliers offer attractive quantity discounts? How costly are their shipping charges? Are the suppliers competitive in terms of production standards?
60 In terms of deficiency rates? Are the suppliers' abilities, reputations, and services competitive? Are the suppliers reciprocally dependent on the firm? iv) Creditors Because the quantity, quality, price, and accessibility of financial, human, and material resources are rarely ideal, assessment of suppliers and creditors is critical to an accurate evaluation of a firm's operating environment. With regard to its competitive position with its creditors, among the most important questions that the firm should addresses are the following: Do the creditors fairly value and willingly accept the firm's stock as collateral? Do the creditors perceive the firm as having an acceptable record of past payment? A strong working capital position? Little or no leverage? Are the creditors' loan terms compatible with the firm's profitability objectives? Are the creditors' able to expand the necessary lines of credit? v) Human Resources: Nature of the Labor Market A firm's ability to attract and hold capable employees is essential to its success. However, a firm's personnel recruitment and selection alternatives are often influenced by the nature of its operating environment. A firm's access to needed personnel is affected primarily by three factors: the firm's reputation as an employer, local employment rates, and the ready availability of people with the needed skills.
61 THE TOWS MATRIX Internal factors(IF) External factors(EF) Strengths(S) List 5-10 internal strengths here Strong advertising and promotions Product innovation skills Weaknesses(W) List 5-10 weaknesses here Obsolete facilities Weak brand image Opportunities(O) List 5-10 external opportunities here Can adopt new ways Develop new products Buy new equipment SO strategies Generate strategies hers that use strengths to take advantage of opportunities - Use internet - Adopt new technology WO strategies Generate strategies here that take advantage of opportunities by overcoming weaknesses - Buy new equipment Threats (T) List 5-10 external threats here Competition Technology Shifting buyer needs ST strategies Generate strategies here that use strengths to avoid threats WT strategies Generate strategies here that minimize weaknesses and avoid threats
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- Summer '19