The Balanced Scorecard & the Financial Perspective
Recent decades can be characterized by the appearance of new and more efficient approaches in business and management. The implementation of these innovations is expected to alter their traditional function and improve the final results achieved by companies. The balanced scorecard concept represents one of these new approaches. Currently, both profit and nonprofit organizations are exploring this strategy for improving the monitoring of a company’s performance, its main performance, aspects, and activities. Also, the widespread use of the balanced scorecard (BSC) preconditioned an increased interest in the peculiarities of its implementation (MacKay, 2004). For this reason, the given paper is devoted to an examination of the functioning of the Cattaraugus County Rehabilitation Center and the efficiency of incorporating a balanced scorecard approach into its operation. Therefore, the most important aspects of this company’s functioning will be revealed and analyzed. Moreover, to determine whether the use of the BSC strategy has a positive impact on the Rehabilitation Center on not, the company’s organizational mission and vision will also be evaluated.
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Cattaraugus County Rehabilitation Center was created with the principal aim of improving the quality of life for people suffering from disabilities. The facility was established in 1957 by a small group of parents. In the earliest stages of its evolution, the center did not face any significant problems connected with management or strategy (Martello, Watson, & Fischer, 2016). However, at present, the rehabilitation center is a multi-faceted agency that provides its services to hundreds of individuals who live in more than thirty-five communities throughout Cattaraugus County and New York State. Under these conditions, the need for an innovative and efficient approach in managing the company becomes obvious. The facility offers numerous services, including the Children’s Learning Center, sports and recreation, the Employment Connection, and more, which should be managed most efficiently (Martello, Watson, & Fischer, 2016).
Previously, to be able to provide these services to all people in need, the rehabilitation center adhered to a model that differed from the BSC approach. Thus, in exploring the possibility of adopting an improved strategy, the top management group invited a team of consultants to create an appropriate strategic plan and guarantee improved cooperation between all departments. However, the consultants found the task too complex because of the great diversity of day-to-day activities and primary goals. For this reason, the decision to use the BSC concept was made. The main argument for the use of the approach under discussion was the ability to create a set of landmarks that could be applied to cascade strategic planning throughout the whole organization and attain improved efficiency in the most important aspects of its functioning (Martello, Watson, & Fischer, 2016).
Therefore, the four most important perspectives that should benefit from the use of BSC were outlined: consumer, financial, operational, and workforce. The principle aim in using this innovative strategic approach was a significant improvement of all these perspectives, as well as progress achieved by the rehabilitation center in a comparatively short period. Concerning the first perspective, a scorecard that incorporated the current strategy and objectives related to consumer needs with a focus on consumers’ satisfaction, was created. This action can be considered efficient as it suggests a structured approach to the most important tasks and outlines evaluation criteria that can be used to monitor the current state of affairs. The financial perspective was also assessed, having the main aim of increasing revenues and guaranteeing financial stability.
Because the center is hoping to acquire new sources of income, a scorecard that encompasses strategy, objective, and main indicators were introduced. This strategy promotes improved comprehension of the current state, main goals, and finances that can be devoted to a certain purpose, resulting in a more efficient distribution of funds. Therefore, these two perspectives are closely connected with operational strategy, and improved cooperation between these particular aspects is key to the center’s progress. For this reason, a scorecard incorporating the center’s main goals—like the development of new practices, information systems, regulations, and such—with the current strategy and other departmental operation was created. This scorecard also contains a list of core indicators that could be used to trace the evolution of the center, along with its progress. Finally, the last sphere, related to the environment and workforce, was also touched upon and structured using the BSC approach. Therefore, continuing the investigation of the case under consideration, we can state that the rehabilitation center can anticipate some benefits preconditioned by the implementation of the balanced scorecard strategy. Therefore, increased cooperation between different departments, improved strategic planning that encompasses the most important processes, and a shifting of priorities toward long-range planning can be considered the most important consequences of the use of the BSC concept.
Altogether, we can conclude that the Cattaraugus County Rehabilitation Center is making the right decision in shifting priorities to using the BSC strategy and hoping to structure relations between different departments and services. Moreover, the use of the BSC paradigm will result in an improved understanding of the current goals and challenges that a company should face (Robin, n.d.). Therefore, using the BSC approach has been preconditioned by the comprehensive analysis of the center’s functioning and employee relations among workers. For this reason, we can conclude that an effective job in implementing the approach was done.
BSC Flexibility & the Customer Perspective
Currently, we can observe the increased complexity of tasks and challenges a company or organization faces in its operations. The unique speed of the evolution of the modern world is resulting in increasing complexity and the appearance of new tasks that demand improved decision-making and the use of innovations to guarantee that all consumers’ needs are satisfied. Furthermore, we can also observe the tendency toward the appearance of a complex, multi-layered structure that is being used by different companies to embrace all departments and facilities in an attempt to guarantee their improved collaboration and function. In this regard, the facets of modern management and strategic planning face a serious challenge, which demands the creation of an approach characterized by increased flexibility and the ability to adapt to any conditions that might appear in the course of the company’s evolution. In this regard, the increasing topicality of the balanced scorecard concept can be explained by its ability to meet these modern requirements and remain flexible under different conditions.
Analyzing the unique BSC ability to alter the response to different stressors, we can explore the case of Heathrow Terminal Project 5, which implemented BSC to improve its efficiency and guarantee positive outcomes. Heathrow is the main gateway to the United Kingdom, and it has to handle thousands of passengers every day. For this reason, the Terminal 5 Project, as a new way to organize the functioning of the airport, has been created (Basu, Little, & Millard, 2009). Different aspects make this project unique: size, complexity, proximity, and more. For this reason, the use of the balanced scorecard approach was considered the only possible strategy that could help to guarantee the high quality of the services involved and the efficient functioning of the organization. Thus, the most important objectives of the new terminal were to set new standards: earn the support of the main stakeholders, achieve unique performance, and maintain quality (Basu et al., 2009).
For this reason, it was crucial to guarantee the final success of the whole project and assure that it will serve as an example of the efficient implementation of the BSC strategy to similar situations. However, the decision was not to use a traditional approach as it would not be able to encompass the scope of the project and operationalize all elements. The company’s managers introduced several alterations to the traditional approach to adapt it to existing demands. Also, a four-tiered approach was created. This included a focus on such aspects of Terminal 5 functioning as stakeholders’ engagement for commitment, the creation of a culture that values quality, an integrated communications campaign, and implementation of the best quality (Basu et al., 2009).
From these aspects, one should understand that managers are focused on the creation of a specific environment that should promote the evolution of the given project and create a specific environment that will distinguish it from similar ventures. At the same time, using the given adaptation of BSC is justified by the fact that great expectations are associated with the project under consideration. For this reason, the traditional BSC strategy that presupposed five elements (financial focus, internal focus, learning and growth focus, and customer focus) was modified and replaced with this new approach. These alterations have resulted from the fact that the project is unique and has specific demands. First among these is significant convergence in leading indicators and the attention given to them.
The T5 Balanced Scorecard is focused on the provision of additional training and improvement of the quality of suggested services, which means that some basic aspects of BSC should be changed. For instance, the aspect that is related to major benchmarks should also contain supervisor training as well as customer satisfaction in the current case. Moreover, not all key measures in each of the T5 KPIs conform to the traditional ones of the BSC strategy (Basu et al., 2009). This means that the project is setting out its approach, which includes the most important performance factors and objectives that should be accomplished to guarantee the final success of the project. It becomes obvious that the main principles of the BSC strategy were altered to fit the new environment and guarantee the successful functioning of the new terminal. The customization discussed here helps to encourage both suppliers and workers to contribute to the project’s evolution and leads to a better understanding of the scope of the task.
Altogether, analyzing the given case, we can conclude that the BSC strategy has great potential and can be adapted to any environment. The great flexibility of this approach guarantees its ability to meet any requirements and contribute to the final success of any project. Furthermore, the case under discussion also demonstrates the fact that using the BSC approach in a complex setting can bring positive outcomes as it incorporates an innovative approach to decision-making, training, management, and efficient delegation. In this regard, the use of the BSC strategy can be recommended in cases where a project is extremely important and characterized by unique needs and great expectations.
BSC Implementation & the Internal Business Process Perspective
Therefore, the unique efficiency and power of the BSC approach are evidenced by the fact that currently, it is used in different spheres of human activity. Both small private companies and governmental agencies are ready to implement this practice to obtain the desired outcome and significantly improve organizational functioning. At the same time, the great flexibility of the strategy is resulting in its ability to accommodate any environment and to be able to meet the most complex demands (Braam, 2012). Continuing the investigation of the BSC and the probability for this method to be implemented in any company’s operation, we can state that presently, it is possible to note numerous examples of its great practical use. However, its correct implementation is crucial to the outcome. The case of BAE Systems can be explored to demonstrate the differences between the traditional BSC applied in usual settings and the approach created by BAE to fit a specific environment. The investigation of this specific case will also help in determining the most frequent challenges that workers of an organization trying to implement BSC might face.
British Aerospace (BAE) is one of the largest European defense companies and is characterized by diverse needs and demands. Its main strengths are a good reputation, advanced technology, skilled employees, positive cash-flow, and more (Murby & Gould, 2005). As a successful company, it is also meeting several challenges that come from the complexity of the modern business environment and the increased level of demand on the most important actors that prevail in a certain market segment. For this reason, a change strategy focused on the following aspects was accepted. First, a certain competitive advantage for the company should be generated for the approach to remain beneficial. Second, a significant reduction in the managerial authority’s importance should be achieved. Finally, increased efficiency in the company’s functioning through these steps should be observed. Considering the complexity of these tasks, the BSC strategy was chosen as the way to implement changes. Thus, BAE began by reviewing its competitive position to determine the weak points that should be improved.
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Further, the company also engaged senior managers to analyze the current state of operations and provide suggestions related to improvement or reorganizing. Another step that preceded the implementation of BSC was the creation of a shared vision, which is one of the principal requirements for the successful application of the given strategy as it contributes to an improved understanding of the main goals that currently exist and guarantees that the staff will be able to function efficiently. Understanding the unique importance of clearly formulated goals, the company also introduced a list of short-term objectives that should be accomplished to guarantee its success. Finally, an efficient monitoring and reporting system was also created. Analyzing these actions, we can assume that they will contribute to a more efficient implementation of BSC and improved final results. The fact is that using the given approach demands a clear understanding of the most important aspects of the company’s functioning, its strengths, weaknesses, and consolidation of the staff. For this reason, these steps can create an efficient background for the company’s continuous improvement.
Moreover, the company explored the traditional model of the BSC approach, which included such aspects as performance, partnership, customer, innovation and technology, and people. However, the given spheres were altered to fit the existing environment and contribute to the company’s further advancement. For instance, a personal development plan for all employees, who are considered the main company’s value, was included in these aspects. This means that the company realizes perfectly the unique importance of the approach and necessity of the consideration of important performance indicators. Analyzing BAE’s efforts, we can also state that the company has managed to avoid the majority of challenges that might result from the unwise implementation of BSC. The above-managed preliminary actions resulted in eliminating the main barriers that might slow down the pace of the strategy’s implementation and created a beneficial environment. This can be evidenced by the fact that using BSC as the main tool to manage the company helped in attaining significant success. Launching the scorecard resulted in improved cooperation between different departments, a decrease in the level of bureaucracy, a better reporting system, etc. (Murby & Gould, 2005). Moreover, the company was also able to accomplish its short-term goals and lay the groundwork for its further evolution within the given sector.
In this regard, we can assume that BAE has managed to do its best to implement the BSC strategy within its operation and attain success. The actions performed in the early stages of the company’s reorganization resulted in the creation of the necessary environment, along with the staff’s better understanding of their key role in the given process. With this in mind, we can conclude that BAE will benefit from using the BSC approach. Furthermore, it will also help the company to evolve because of the innovative character of this particular approach and its great potential in the modern setting.
Strategy Mapping & the Learning and Growth Perspective
The unique importance and topicality of the balanced scorecard approach preconditioned the increased popularity of different tools that might help to improve any company’s functioning through enhanced cooperation between its departments and workers. At the same time, the given improvement can be achieved in cases where all of a company’s strategies are described and communicated efficiently. As a result, strategy mapping becomes an efficient tool that can be used to guarantee the success of a certain venture and create an efficient framework that is characterized by improved collaboration and cooperation (“Baldrige program strategy map,” 2012). This tool should be considered in terms of the BSC approach as it is one of its derivatives and depends on the efficiency in implementing the main strategies outlined by the given approach. Therefore, when strategy mapping is implemented correctly, it can guarantee a significant improvement in a company’s profitability and efficiency as the company will be able to devote its efforts to the most topical and crucial needs in understanding what strategies should be explored to attain maximum efficiency and the best possible results.
To understand the process of strategy mapping, we can examine the case of Glacier Inn as a perfect example. Glacier Inn is an ice hotel that seeks to attract customers by its unusual style and innovative approach. However, considering the significant amount of rivalry peculiar to the sector, the hotel has needed a certain competitive advantage to be able to survive and remain viable. For this reason, strategy mapping was chosen as one of the most appropriate ways that might help to accomplish this aim. Traditionally, the process of strategy mapping includes consideration of the main objectives, mission, core values, and vision (Armitage &Scholey, 2006). Having formulated these elements, the company will be able to explore the approach and guarantee its further improvement (Armitage &Scholey, 2006). As for Glacier Inn, the business has managed to formulate its basic goals and lay the groundwork for further evolution. Also, the company has a clear vision of its future development and needs that may appear shortly.
For this reason, it is creating a specific strategy map to incorporate the most important aspects of the company’s functioning and create an efficient approach. This means that the main goals determine the values and strategies that will be used to create a competitive advantage. Glacier Inn is emphasizing the fact that leadership in the sphere can be achieved through excellent performance and outstanding quality of services. For this reason, such core values as operational excellence, customer intimacy, and product leadership were included in the strategy map and served as the starting point for the company’s rise. Perfectly realizing the importance of these elements, the company created its strategy focused on its cultivation and improvement. For this reason, Glacier Inn’s further evolution within the given sector can be predicted.
Delving into this particular case, we can admit the fact that focusing on the most important values when creating the given map has contributed to the acquisition of a certain competitive advantage needed to surpass rivals and attain extra income. Furthermore, Glacier Inn has succeeded in the creation of an efficient strategy map fitting to the environment that has helped the company to remain profitable and preserve its unique position in the local market. Additionally, revolving around its efforts to create an efficient map, it is vital to recognize the company’s ability to develop a clear hierarchy of the most important values. This further helps to determine the sphere that should be given the greatest attention and cultivated above all others. Finally, Glacier Inn has also managed to construct the financial aspect of its functioning by the current needs and peculiarities of the market. This improved understanding of would-be spending comes from efficient planning and strategy mapping, which are integral parts of modern management and the BSC approach.
Considering the above-mentioned facts, we can conclude that strategy mapping is an efficient way to create a vector for any company’s development that should be followed to guarantee gradual progress and improvement. However, the approach can be efficient only if important aspects of mapping are taken into account and implemented in a company’s operation. About the case of Glacier Inn, we can conclude that the company has managed to use strategy mapping in the most efficient way to create a foundation for its further evolution and attain a certain competitive advantage. This has determined and cultivated the most important qualities that are needed for its further progress in becoming a leading company in this sphere.
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