The Home Depot is a famous American retail company that offers a variety of home improvement services and products. There are a number of stores in America, and several representatives in such countries like Canada and Mexico.
The company introduces itself as a powerful marketing example on how to offer, develop, and implement its services within a short period of time. The current paper contains several ideas on how to implement a strategic plan and consider the company’s weak and strong aspects in regards to the existing conditions and opportunities.
The development of an effective implementation plan is one of the most important tasks that should be considered at first. It is a kind of guide according to which The Home Depot can realize the strategies and ideas to improve and develop their services and products (Bryson, 2011). In the current paper, the idea to expand the company’s boundaries will be offered. The Home Depot has already proved its quality and gained a good reputation.
Now, it is high time to introduce its slogan “More saving. More doing” (The Home Depot, 2015) to some European countries. The company was founded by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank in the middle of 1978. The idea to provide people with the possibilities to repair their homes, make their own construction ideas come true, and rely on their own knowledge and abilities turned out to be possible with the help of considerable investments and financial support (“Our history: The beginning”, 2015).
The analysis of the company’s latest contributions and achievements shows that The Home Depot is able to promote its services to Europe and make more people able to do home improvements on their own. The implementation plan should clearly define the goals and tactics and pay attention to the possible milestones and challenges in order to achieve success and avoid the risks.
The main objectives of the offered implementation plan are as follows:
- Investigate the current European market in terms of available retailing services;
- Compare the prices set by the company and those, expected from The Home Depot by the potential customers.
- Consider the possible entrance barrier because of the existing European giants like the German Obi and the British Kingfisher.
- Think about effective advertising and the abilities for the Europeans to try the American quality and support.
- Introduce the services and products in the way it can be possible to develop real store in several European cities (still, the cities should not be the local centers or capitals as they are already full of various options; it is better to focus on some regions, where not much options are available, but the interest of the locals is high indeed).
There are many interesting steps that can be used in order to prove the necessity to spread The Home Depot services in Europe. In the current strategic management plan, it is necessary to touch upon four main aspects: the role of the customers, the effects of the competitors, the possibilities of the suppliers, and the ideas of the company’s employees.
- The company’s employees have to be interested in the idea to develop the services and offer the products in Europe. They have to be stimulated to introduce their own unique ideas with the possibility to work in new regions and get chances to visit new countries.
- The Home Depot has to establish appropriate relations with several delivery companies. It is possible to use the services of the well-known FedEx or DHL. There are many companies like UPS that are eager to develop their services in new regions. Contracts with such organizations should not be too expensive but effective indeed.
- Customers have to be aware of the opportunities with The Home Depot. As a rule, people want to use the services of foreign companies to check the quality and benefit with the traditions inherent to different countries. The Home Depot should focus on promoting its values such as treating people well, doing the right things, and giving back to the communities (“The Home Depot values”, 2015).
- Competitors may not be satisfied with a new company entering the market they have already been involved in. Still, it is necessary to understand that the presence of the competitors is one of the stimuli to improve the services and think about the customers as the main priority.
In addition to the well-developed goals and tactics, it is important to think about the real actions and steps to be taken to achieve everything mentioned before. The beginning stage of the plan should not be overwhelmed with the activities. Each step should be properly weighted and analyzed. The following example can be followed:
- The company should create a team of managers, who will be able to investigate the current home improvement retail and develop several analytical operations to identify a group of people, who can work abroad.
- Consider the possible budget and the needs of the company to make sure the services will be known abroad and proved as worthwhile.
- Define positive and negative aspects of the entering several new countries’ marketing.
- Underline the risks that can take place in the chosen strategic management plan and think about the actions that should be taken to avoid the risks or achieve minimum challenges.
- Start communicating with the delivery companies to discuss the conditions under which the chosen by the customers’ products can be delivered to the customers within the shortest possible time.
Milestones and a Deadline
There are several stages of the project that should be discussed in the paper:
- One week is for the organization of a specialized team of managers to start developing the idea.
- One month is for training employees to work with foreign customers.
- One month is for the analysis of the foreign retail market.
- One month is for the development of the special online services that can be available to the customers from the European countries.
- Two months is for promoting marketing services and making the locals aware of The Home Depot. (Then, the same or even new advertising ideas should be developed during the implementation process and the next period until the company closes the campaign or opens a new separate department).
- One month is for the analysis of the implemented ideas.
In general, the chosen strategy should be completely implemented and analyzed in 6 months.
Tasks and Task Ownership
Task ownership means the definition of the employees, who take responsibility for the work done during the project (Parnell, 2013). As a rule, there should be at least two responsible people: one is to control the process, and another is to follow how the rest completes the duties.
It is better to choose one person from the company, who knows and understands the company’s values and is able to use the already achieved goals for developing some new prospects. Another person should have the experience in promoting the company’s services abroad. Besides, there should be a team of web designers and programmers, who can control all online activities of the company and make sure that the customers abroad can reach the representatives of the company in the USA.
By the way, The Home Depot has already had the experience of promoting its services and products in Canada and Mexico. It is possible to rely on the steps taken before.
Resource allocation is the part of the project within the frames of which it is necessary to think about the methods of services’ and products’ distribution (Bryson, 2011). The most effective and interesting to the customers’ types are a lottery (customers are able to get some products for free as soon as they promote The Home Depot and use its services in their native countries).
Allocation by need like the development of special grants and additional opportunities can be also offered. It helps to promote fair and true evaluation of the work done and appreciate the choice of the customers and the efforts of the employees.
Organizational Change Management Strategies
The main change that has to be expected is the development of a new department that should aim at learning the cultural preferences of the European countries that are chosen and training employees to meet the needs and interests of foreign customers. This kind of strategy should be properly developed.
It is necessary to (1) check the readiness of the team to enter a new market, (2) make sure the intentions of the company do not contradict the already established values, and (3) think about the awards to the people, who have to work under new conditions so that they cannot feel frustrated or forced to follow a new order.
Key Success Factors, Budget, Financials
Key success factors for The Home Depot are a new base of customers and the possibilities to open new stores in the European countries.
Budget should not be too high: annual salary for a new team of managers should be equal to other members of the similar departments; $500,000 may be spent on advertising, promotion of the services, and awards for potential customers; $50,000 should be saved for the development of the relations with different suppliers and delivery companies.
In general, it is expected that a small part of the company’s assets and liabilities will be spent on the development of this new strategy because the idea is more virtual and requires people’s participation, but not some special physical investments. As soon as online shopping is approved and justified, a new strategy can be developed to create several real stores in several countries.
Risk Management Plan
There are two main risks that can take place in this strategy implementation:
- Too serious competition from the already existing companies;
- Too weak advertising program so that not many people learn about The Home Depot and the opportunities it offers.
These two risks may be managed by means of:
- Properly trained team of managers;
- Enough attention to the advertising programs;
- A thorough analysis of the market far before the strategy is implemented.
Bryson, J.M. (2011). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. San Francisco, CA: John Willey & Sons.
“Our history: The beginning.” (2015). The Home Depot. Retrieved from <https://corporate.homedepot.com/about>
Parnell, J.A. (2013). Strategic management: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
The Home Depot. (2011). Retrieved from <https://corporate.homedepot.com/>
“The Home Depot values.” (2015). The Home Depot. Retrieved from <https://corporate.homedepot.com/about>