Current Strategic Mission, Strategy, Competitive Priorities, Value Chain, and Ways to Win Customers
Strategic Mission and Strategy
As for now, The Lawn Care focuses on producing grass seeds and fertilizers of the highest quality, thus outperforming its competitors. The strategy has remained unchangeable – the focus is made on constant improvement of the quality of manufactured seeds without paying attention to post-selling services. Still, the stress is laid on offering “the right product to the right customer at the right time” (Collier & Evans, 2015, p. 88). It is the company’s vision that has never been altered. Under the right customer, the company has always seen golf courses and parks because their demand for grass seeds and fertilizers is steady.
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Competitive priorities are operational dimensions of supply chain and operations that are necessary for satisfying both internal and external needs of a company (Jitpaiboon, 2017). In general, there are five types of competitive priorities – time, cost, quality, flexibility, and innovativeness (Pablos, 2017). As for now, quality (improving the product) and time (timely delivery of the ordered product) are the central competitive priorities for The Lawn Care.
Value chain is a unique combination of all resources available to the company (both internal and external) that are necessary for achieving its strategic objectives. It includes financial, human, infrastructural, and informational resources possessed by a particular company (McGuffog, 2016). At the same time, it incorporates all activities and operations performed by a company to create a valuable and desirable product (Kidoido & Child, 2014). As for now, The Lawn Care’s value chain includes two primary segments: support activities (human resource management and developing company’s infrastructure) and primary activities (working on seeds and fertilizers, manufacturing them, delivering finished products to customers). See additional information on Figure 1 below.
Ways to Win Customers
As mentioned above, the company pays special attention to the constant improvement of its seeds and fertilizers. Therefore, it is quality that is the major way to win customers because everyone employed by the company believes that the brand – The Lawn Care – is the synonym of a superior product, and it is enough to see the trademark to decide to buy these seeds.
Problems in Current Strategy, Vision, Customer Benefit Design, and Pre- and Post-services
Problems in Current Strategy
Current-strategy is based on quality of products and sales. It means that the company does not provide post-sales services, such as lawn care services. In some cases, this strategy leads to conflicts because of the undesirable condition of grass in parks and on golf courses.
Issues with Vision and Customer Benefit Design
Because the company focuses on becoming the best manufacturer of seeds and fertilizers, it is evident that customer satisfaction is not at the heart of the vision. It can be explained by numerous instances of dissatisfaction with the condition of grass that, as a result, increases risks of losing customers and drops in sales. As for now, The Lawn Care does not address the very need for the further care services. So, there is a significant gap in customer benefit design, as customers are forced to search for companies that offer setting seeds and fertilizing lawns services.
Challenges with Pre- and Post-services
Pre-services include all pre-sale activities. In most cases, this group involves features of the offered product, its availability, delivery options, company image, etc. (Park, Cho, & Rao, 2012). In case of The Lawn Care, there are no critical problems with pre-services due to the company’s position in the seeds and fertilizers industry. As for the post-services, they include all activities after sales, such as consulting, on-time delivery, and other specific services (Park et al., 2012). The central challenge was mentioned above – the need for hiring other companies to work with The Lawn Care’s seeds and fertilizers. Due to the criticality of following particular terms when working with the firm’s products, the condition of lawn and customer satisfaction with it is complicated to predict.
New Strategy and Value Chain Appropriate for Modern Marketplace
Based on all issues mentioned above, there are several critical changes that may be implemented in the currently deployed strategy. All of them are connected to the diversification of company’s activities that is a common key to increasing customer satisfaction (Sharma, 2016). From this perspective, it is essential to offer post-sales lawn care services so that parks, golf courses, and individual purchasing the company’s seeds and fertilizers do not have to search for external help.
To accomplish this objective, there are two options – hire specially trained people who know all the specificities of the company’s products and how to work with them or tie business bonds with the outside company. It is as well essential to note that even though the first option is inseparable from the necessity of investing in personnel development (potentially increased costs related to expanding employee base), the risks of customer dissatisfaction may be lower compared to the second option. It can be explained by the fact that a person hired by the company will be more interested in delivering high-quality services compared to the outside company – a competitor.
New Value Chain
Due to the changes in the strategy, value chain will change as well. Still, the alterations will be insignificant, as only one new chain (post-sales services) will be added. See the new value chain on Figure 2 below.
Operations for Successfully Executing the New Strategy
To successfully implement and execute the new strategy, people employed by the company should be good at several types of operations. The first group includes working on the chemical specificities of seeds and fertilizers because quality improvement should remain the foundation of the strategy. This group of operations is referred to as development and improvement of the product (Drake, 2015). More than that, focus on marketing operations is as well critical in order to guarantee that the customers are informed of the new services. Both online and traditional marketing are applicable in this case (Jackson & Deckers, 2013). In addition, human resource management (recruiting and teaching new staff) is essential. Furthermore, in order to make the strategy productive, the company employees should be good at delivery services so that they are timely and no delays are acceptable. Here, it is as well critical to point to the timely provision of lawn care services once implemented because the company poses itself as one offering only superior-quality products. So, the quality of services should be the same – exquisite. It will contribute to the further increase of customer satisfaction.
At the same time, it is essential to make sure that quality control operations are efficient. It is significant for both the quality of manufactured seeds and fertilizers (correspondence with the internal and external standards) as well as lawn care services (setting seeds and spreading fertilizers according to company’s recommendations and using technologies appropriately). Finally, it is advisable to assure that company’s managers collect customer feedback and analyze it properly as well as estimate changes in the market of operation on a timely basis (Collier & Evans, 2015). These operations are necessary for reacting to the market and satisfying customers’ needs.
Bearing in mind everything that was mentioned above, the central recommendation for The Lawn Care is to make effort to overcome the existing challenges and minimize the risks connected to them. The best way to eliminate these risks (drop in sales and decrease in customer base) is to upgrade company’s strategy. The introduction of lawn care services is essential in order to avoid customer dissatisfaction with the seeds and fertilizers in case if the undesirable condition of lawns was caused by failing to follow manufacturer’s recommendations. These changes are advisable not only because existing customers may find them beneficial but also because it may potentially attract other customers – those who bought seeds or fertilizers from the competitors. As for lawn care services, it is recommended to hire and train employees instead of cooperating with outside companies due to more benefits and decreased risks of impaired quality in the long run. Still, to make the new changes productive, the company should pay special attention to the operations it performs, especially marketing, management, and quality control.
Collier, D. A., & Evans, J. R. (2015). Operations management. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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