A strategy direction is an overall plan for deploying organizational resources with a view of establishing a favorable business position. It shows a company’s awareness of its competitors. Attracting and retaining customers is the ultimate goal of strategic management in the achievement of economies of scale.
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A number of factors that include the company’s structure, competitive position of the organization, current policies, and functional processes play a crucial role in determining the viability of strategies that need to be implemented in the business.
However, such factors have to be evaluated profoundly according to the recommendations for execution of the strategies. The Alibaba Company is an online marketing business that bridges wholesalers and retailers all over the world. A robust online marketing strategy is the sole determinant of the company’s success.
Innovation requires establishment of a stable and competitive position in the ever-dynamic online business. This essay critically discusses the interplay of the abovementioned factors with a view of highlighting apt ways implementing the strategic recommendations.
Recommendations for the Management of the Alibaba Company
To remain abreast with modern business activities that are driven by unpredictable technology, the Alibaba Company is recommended to invest in innovation, web-based customer services, employee training, and electronic human resource (EHR) systems.
A vast application of information technology in present-day business has become a norm in modern organizations. The Alibaba Company is faced with a challenge of handling a million inquiries from its enormous customer pool worldwide.
Establishment of a web-based customer support forum will not only handle common customer questions at a time but will also minimize communication costs that are incurred by the company and its customers.
Frequent questions that pertain to the location of the business, working hours and types of services and products will be answered via the web easily rather than making calls to the individual customers.
Secondly, the Alibaba Company has an enormous employee population. Workforce issues form an integral part of human resource roles. With this high number of employees in different countries globally, it has become an enormous problem for the human resource managers to handle individual cases.
Therefore, there is a need to establish electronic human resource services in the company to handle cases that arise from the infinite number of employees.
The implementation of a web-based human resource site that allows employees to report working hours, tax withholding options, and beneficiary services, among other responsibilities will be an efficient method of minimizing the operational costs of the company.
At the Alibaba Company, employees have to send a request for change through the central human resource office and remain hopeful that it will be considered. This situation has created an obstacle to the employees since most of them do not understand the manipulation of taxes and payrolls.
Therefore, designing a user-friendly tool that allows individual employees to input most of the information in a computer interface creates an immense workload relief to the human resource staff. This situation creates more time for the HR department to provide a quality response to the customer needs; hence, the employees remain motivated.
There is also a need to train employees on self-management skills to minimize unnecessary consultations that can lead to time wastage within the organization. This situation will also reduce instances of authorizations that direct report managers have to approve. As a result, redundancy of the HR activities will be lightened.
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Changing the office of the HR manager to a portal is the primary objective of this strategic recommendation. Today, many firms provide universal access to HR services using technology and web-based applications. This situation has radically changed the practice of human resource management.
These changes often result from the need to cut costs, expand, and improve services. Organizations that adopt refined HR technology tools outperform those that do not. Therefore, implementation of this recommendation is paramount to the success the Alibaba Company.
It will help the HR to change the business operations of the company. It will also cut unnecessary costs. Moreover, the Alibaba Company should document transaction records using various means such as hand-written books, physical storage vaults, electronic, and/or online data recording avenues.
These methods of storage will result in increased savings since the time for reviewing and approving manual records will be reduced significantly. For instance, in case operators make mistakes during data entry, electronic systems will prompt them to make real-time corrections to prevent adverse effects on company data.
Functional Policies that Favor Implementation of Strategic Recommendations
Functional policies are a set of standardized guidelines or procedures meant to guide an organization’s workforce on proper ways to provide products and services.
It is the sole responsibility of management to outline these procedures, especially for an international business and ensure their strict adherence for the business to remain competitive and operational. Standardization ensures stability of the company’s capital activities and fosters productive relationships of employees.
A careful study of the Alibaba Company reveals that there is a need for the management to redefine its structure to keep its workforce abreast with the dynamic environmental and technological changes in the modern regardless of the functional rules in place.
The management will need to standardize its processes by preparing precise instructions for the employees to ensure efficiency and proper organization of the business.
Some of these directions include proper analysis of all business operations of the Alibaba Company, preparing the company for change, process monitoring, developing a plan for streamlining and formalizing the company processes, and identifying the company’s weaknesses in effectiveness and performance.
Change management is necessary as it handles human behavior and attitudes, some of which hamper the success of projects due to a tendency to resist change. On the other hand, process management involves specific tasks executed by the company’s workforce and systems in a guided way to attain specified objectives or results.
The marketing strategy recommendation forms an integral part of the Alibaba Company. Senior managers in the company need to understand the importance of inculcating an innovative culture.
This situation can be achieved by engaging key decision-makers, marketing managers in fundamental marketing functions of the company, such as strategy formulation. It is important to engage managers in strategy formulation to ensure smooth implementation of changes in the organization.
This situation reduces chances of resistance. There is a need to ensure respectable personal interactions between senior managers and departmental managers. Therefore, removing organizational communication hurdles can fruitfully encourage mutual consultations among management.
In the prevalence of technological dynamism, creating a room for rapid and timely flow of information is inevitably important. As an online-based business, the Alibaba Company must ensure fast communication processes.
It is also important for the company to delegate authority to marketing managers as this move enhances flexibility to adapt to changes. The senior management should create a favorable atmosphere of innovativeness, responsiveness, and openness. The strategy of empowering the marketing manager is very effective.
It ensures the development of personal values and interpersonal relationships. This situation encourages them to engage other stakeholder firms actively. The ultimate goal of authority delegation to marketing managers is provision of support to innovative practices in the organization.
Fostering interactions amongst different management levels fosters commitment and trust. The marketing department of this company will explore ways of remaining knowledgeable of the latest market trends through conducting a market survey over the internet.
The information gathered will be weighed against the current position of the organization. This survey will entail new trends such as social media marketing and advertising, brand recognition, and company’s growth rate against competitors, among other market-related variables.
The company will also look into its current position concerning technological changes. In the advent of online marketing, which has been adopted by many business organizations, the management cannot relent on keeping abreast with the latest online marketing practices.
The management of the Alibaba Company has recommended training its Information Technology (IT) department to keep pace with technological advancement. This responsibility is crucial to positioning the company competitively up-to-datee technologically.
Some key roles of the IT department would include prompt updating of information on websites regarding products descriptions and their prices. Furthermore, there is a need to ensure availability of promotional services and products to attract more customers.
The strategic role of top management is to provide the necessary support to the IT managers to ensure that plans to keep pace with technological changes are implemented in time.
Evaluating the Organizational Structure of the Alibaba Company
Organizational structure influences information flow, coordination of work, and decision making as part of strategy implementation. A company’s structure is based on some proportions, which determine the successful implementation of top managerial strategic directions.
The directions include formalization, centralization, and specialization. A formal structure is the one governed by rules and procedures that provide a means for defining appropriate work practices. The Alibaba Company currently adopts an organic structure. Horizontal and vertical communication models characterize this structure.
Although this structure enhances flexibility of roles, it cannot be the best for the company. To encourage a collaborative and innovation supported culture, the organization can do better with a structure that removes superiority. Since the Alibaba Company is an online business that primarily depends on dynamic market changes, it should adopt a centralized structure.
To achieve innovation and achieve strategic marketing directions the company will adopt the specialization structure. This structure allows specialist to tackle tasks that they are best suited. This phenomenon will ensure that within the departments only the specialists handle the relevant tasks.
For instance, the marketing department can focus on cooperative promotions and advertising, pricing, distributor relations and proper identification of market segments. E-marketing forms the basis of the company. Specialization in the marketing department will contribute significantly to the company’s success.
The Company’s Culture
Organizations culture comprises shared beliefs, norms, and values in an organization. It is the basis for strategic directions as its influences formulation and successful implementation.
Culture influences strategy implementation in various ways. A flexible and stable culture brings about partnerships, togetherness, teamwork, and cooperation among the company’s workforce. On the other hand, a culture of resistance will derail success of the business.
As an online business, the Alibaba Company will create and sustain a collaborative culture that will ensure active interdependent interactions among department managers and the top management. This situation will create an amicable environment for creative consultations besides encouraging support for new ideas.
The Alibaba Company will focus on cultural alignment. When the culture sides with strategy implementation, the company positions itself efficiently in the international market. Culture allows staff to practice dedication and honesty when working individually or in a team.
For technological innovation to be successfully implemented the company will need to encourage an innovation culture through the provision of necessary support. This support can be based on managerial, financial, or labor aspects. This situation calls for the entire company workforce to be well aware of the importance of innovation.
Next, each person will see the need to support new ideas. The ultimate achievement is success of the company. Adaptability to the rapid change in the modern-day business calls for a culture that allows employees to switch to new ways of doing business.
Proposed Functional Tactics, Cultural, and Structural Changes for the Alibaba Company
The company will need to address functional policies, culture, and the current structure if successful implementation is to be realized. Change and process management procedures will be properly executed to keep the employees and departmental managers focused on the goal and processes of the company.
The top management of the Alibaba Company has to outline rules and procedures to avoid duplication of processes and deviations. These policies should be enforced in each department. Proper training is also required for the employees to understand the importance of adherence.
Successful implementation of the marketing strategies will require delegation of authority to managers. It is advisable for the company to discard the formalized structure and embrace specialization as the latter ensures that activities are not generalized.
Only specialists in the particular departments handle them. This move avoids unnecessary costs by eliminating incompetent decisions that result in losses and poor performance. It also ensures time efficiency because experts formulate the implementation decisions.
Cultural alignment is paramount to fruitful strategy implementation. It ensures that the company to encourages adaptability and stability. Employees should be thoroughly educated on the importance of the vital cultural practices. The management can achieve this through goal definition and goal unification.
Managers should define culture in terms of performance, development, customer orientation, goal orientation, and administration to take care of the overall objectives of the organization.
Obstacles/Constraints and Management Solutions
The management can face a number of obstacles during implementation of strategies. Such obstacles include financial constraints to fund market surveys and research. In addition, the company can face employee resistance in cases where change has to be implemented.
Insufficient guidelines can result in poor execution of business strategies. Inexperienced employees lack adequate knowledge about implementation of new strategies in the business. To improve the application of new strategies, some elements need to be tackled.
The management should be in a position to ensure availability of important resources, communication channels, and distinct action plans. Failure to empower people in the organization creates an inferiority complex. This state of affairs hinders the motivation among employees.
From the above discussion, it is evident that strategy implementation is not an easy task. It is the duty of the management to outline functional policies. It should also adopt an appropriate structure that aligns with the organizational culture.
Coupled with the involvement of the management, innovation, and technological competency, this situation will ultimately lead to the overall success of the Alibaba Company.
The key strategy of online marketing requires a specialization structure that calls for recruitment of competent specialists in various departments in the organization.