Aircel Ltd. is a company in the sphere of security that was established by three research engineers, and it is currently based in the United Kingdom. The founders developed the technology that improved the approach to protecting properties and gained an international reputation because of using high-definition cameras that can work during the day and night (AirSec Ltd: overview 2016). The company produces unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can be used for patrolling the space around properties or monitoring the traffic, for instance.
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Set out what you think are the main aims and objectives of the company (using the SMART approach). Also, provide a draft of a suitable Mission Statement for the company.
It is important to provide the aims and objectives for AirSec Ltd. These objectives need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and dependent on a certain time frame: (1) By the end of 2017, AirSec Ltd. will expand the business in India and other Asian countries, gaining 30% of profits from those nations; (2) By the end of 2018, AirSec Ltd. will take the leading position in the security industry of the United Kingdom; (3) By the end of 2010, AirSec Ltd. will launch three advanced security technology projects and increase the annual profits by at least 25%.
The Mission Statement for AirSec Ltd. can be formulated in the following way: The company works to serve the customers’ needs in the field of security in the United Kingdom and globally with the focus on protecting properties and guaranteeing supportive relationships with customers. The mission statement should also include a discussion of the company’s vision and values.
Thus, the company’s vision is to produce quality security equipment and devices while being the leading UAVs brand in the United Kingdom and international markets. The company’s values are the following ones:
(1) Customer focus: The company wants to create a close bond with the customers, as well as a synergetic relationship, that benefits both sides. (2) Expertise: Everything that has been developed is done for the creation of the best products in the market. The team is well-skilled to address all aspects of product development. (3) Performance: The company’s target is to focus on current trends in the technological market to guarantee that the performance corresponds with the standards of the industry.
Assess the merits and drawbacks of a range of pricing strategies and decide which would be appropriate for this business in its established market in the UK and its new venture in India. Explain why you think your choice would be appropriate for the business, its product, and markets.
AirSec Ltd. needs to setup pricing strategies for the markets in the United Kingdom and India that will help to succeed in the market. The typical pricing strategies include penetration pricing, predatory pricing, market pricing, skimming pricing, discrimination pricing, and the price war among others. The low price strategy or penetration pricing is a strategy that helps the company to enter the existing market and receive a foothold. AirSec Ltd. entered the UK market five years ago, and setting a low price for products can lead to financial losses. However, this strategy can be discussed for India in order to draw the customers’ attention to a new product. Another strategy is predatory pricing when products are sold at such a price that makes competitors leave the market. The company can sell products at super low prices causing customers to choose this product instead of others (Abrate, Fraquelli & Viglia 2012). When competitors are overcome, companies start increasing the price of the product in order to gain profits. However, this strategy can be associated with significant losses for AirSec Ltd. because of propositions made by other competitors.
Market pricing means that the company chooses to sell products at almost the same price as other competitors in the market. The only aspect that allows distinguishing the product is the quality. The competitiveness of a product depends on the brand name. This approach is typical of the electronics industry because it is highly competitive due to the spread of advanced technologies. Functions of products need to be improved, but the same price level should be followed. Skimming is a pricing strategy selected for well-known brands, and companies can set a high price for their products (Funk 2016). Such market leaders as Apple choose this strategy to gain high profits. However, this approach depends on such factors as the value associated with a brand and a product. If a business can provide high-quality services to customers, it creates value, and expected returns can be high.
Discrimination pricing is based on selling the product at different prices depending on the status of the customer. The price at which the product will be sold to middle-class customers may differ from that one associated with branding for high-income customers. The price of the product can escalate or depreciate depending on the customer significantly (Richards 2016). Before applying this strategy by AirSec Ltd., it is important to evaluate different classes of consumers, as well as competing brands, to determine whether the company can be successful while using this approach. Another strategy that can be used by AirSec Ltd. is the price war. This strategy is based on the constant reduction of prices to make competitors leave the market (Richards 2016). The commodity is first retailed at a standard price, and then, the price is reduced so that the firm can guarantee increased sales. However, the rival can choose to make the price even lower to attract more customers.
Having analyzed the pricing strategies, it is possible to state that the best strategy for adopting in the United Kingdom is market pricing. For attracting customers in India, the best strategy that AirSec Ltd. can choose is the price war. It is important to focus on the reasons for the choice. The company needs to create a balance between the costs of developing products and the sales price (Abrate, Fraquelli & Viglia 2012). In the United Kingdom, AirSec Ltd. has a good reputation because of the high-quality products with unique features. Therefore, the firm will be able to attract more customers without lowering the price. Furthermore, it will be possible to use the development of advanced technologies as an approach to increase sales (Ryan & Jones 2009). In the case of India, it is important to pay attention to the fact that this country is a large market for many drone and security companies. Therefore, the strategy should be based on setting quality standards and propose the attractive price and benefits. The comparably high price associated with entering the market provides the message about the quality of a product, and further reductions attract more customers.
Choose one of the categories of employees shown above and show how you would use benchmarking to measure their contribution to the work of the company and how it can be a useful tool in staff management.
For AirSec Ltd., engineers play a key role because they are responsible for developing advanced technologies that determine the company’s competitiveness. They also make sure that the products are of high quality. In this context, the work of software engineers is critical for the company because the development of the product and its qualities depend on the integration of the software into the system. The well-developed software determines the functions and attributes of UAVs (Vetterli et al. 2013). The quality of the software influences the consumers’ perceptions of drones as security and control devices. In AirSec Ltd., the group of software engineers consists of six developers who are skilled in software design. They are able to create software that can control the device without any problems (Vetterli et al. 2013).
Benchmarking can be used to set the quality performance standards for software types that are developed for AirSec Ltd. devices (Camp 2013). This approach stimulates the engineers to create software that performs better than the others do in the industry. This approach is also important to measure the group’s performance (Sim, Easterbrook & Holt 2003). The better the created software operates, the higher the rank of the group performance is. Therefore, benchmarking makes the software engineers demonstrate the best performance. Another reason for benchmarking is that it helps to set the group’s productivity targets (Rolstadas 2013). Productivity and performance standards for software engineers guarantee the constant improvement of technology that is integrated into the drones. Having standards, the members of the engineering group have to control the technology development better (Cooke, Parrilli & Curbelo 2012; Zhu 2014). In addition, while creating the software, the engineers have to make sure that the software cannot be hacked, and performance standards contribute to improving the quality and security control.
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Benchmarking at AirSec Ltd. is also important for the improvement of the staff management. Thus, benchmarking and the assessment of the performance can help to collect the data, interpret the results, and to contribute to the staff motivation (Zhu 2014). Benchmarking is important in the identification of the problems that the group might face while developing the software (Cooke, Parrilli & Curbelo 2012). The conclusions regarding the performance assessment can influence decisions regarding the training for employees (Sim, Easterbrook & Holt 2003). If benchmarking targets are not met, the company will be able to adopt the right disciplinary action and use the appraisals to support the decisions.
Identify the main difficulties and barriers the company would face in its efforts to trade in the export market to India.
India is an advanced market for most of the companies that are based in the United Kingdom. This tendency is a result of creating the free trade agreement that is still under development between the United Kingdom and the European Union nations. Even though India has a large potential market, especially in the security sector of the country, there are a number of problems and limitations that might affect the investment of AirSec Ltd. in the country’s market. Thus, in spite of the fact that the youth represents a large part of India’s population, young people are not skilled enough for working at AirSec Ltd., and the possibilities for outsourcing are limited (Doing business in India: India trade and export guide 2016). This aspect can influence the operational cost associated with entering the new market.
Another barrier that can make the expansion and export problematic for the company is the involvement of the Indian Government in the export-import relations (Sarkar & Patrick 2015). Thus, regulatory constraints are significant, and products proposed by AirSec Ltd. can require additional certification. In the context of India, it is a problem of the risk of corruption (Friedmann 2013). Furthermore, even if the regulatory constraints are addressed, customers can face the problem of delays because of the non-developed infrastructure and transportation in the country (Doing business in India: India trade and export guide 2016). There are risks that products can be stolen or sold at higher prices. The problem of pricing is also one of the barriers because customers are not ready to pay high prices for technological devices in India.
Imagine that a number of the company’s important commercial customers have reported a problem with the product. It appears that in some instances the UAV’s operating at customers’ premises close to busy highways have developed a technical fault to do with the software. This causes the UAV to confuse fast-moving vehicles as potential ‘targets’ and they will try to monitor movement over the highways. Drivers have been distracted and although there have been no major road accidents up to now there have been complaints to some of the businesses using the UAV’s and, in some cases; the local police authorities have been involved.
Identify the risks involved in this situation, the potential impact on the company, and the actions that will be taken by the appropriate functional areas within AirSec.
If AirSec Ltd. receives a report that their products have some operational problems and can affect the highway traffic, it is possible to identify a number of risks that can be associated with this situation. The first one is that a drone can fall on a vehicle while causing an accident or it can prevent the movement of the transport (Vance, Zeidan & Murphy 2010). In cases when drivers are distracted by the drones, they can make a mistake and lose control of their vehicles. The results can be dramatic as the risks of interrupting the traffic and causing accidents are high.
The main effect of this situation is the impact on the reputation of AirSec Ltd. among the customers and the public. Reports will explain the accidents with references to the poor operations in the company, and this aspect will make consumers and clients change their opinions regarding purchasing the company’s products (Aken, Berends & Bij 2012). This situation will also lead to large financial losses because the sales usually decrease when people associate the products with certain tragedies. Furthermore, the legal liability connected with accidents can also cause financial losses for the company.
There are many actions that the company can take in order to resolve this problem and prevent it in the future. One way is firing the employees who are responsible for the integration of the system with faults. The next step is the examination of the software to find any other mistakes. The investigation is important in this case. The company can also withdraw all the drones that were manufactured during the period when the software with faults was used (Aken, Berends & Bij 2012). In this case, departments or functional areas that will be responsible for taking action are the research and software engineers, the finance department, and the law department or corporate lawyers.
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