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Marketing planning focuses directly on customers and their needs and how to best meet those needs in a profitable manner. Make sure that you get our latest posts delivered to you by subscribing via your favorite feed reader .
SPACE Matrix Strategic Management MethodThe SPACE matrix is a management tool used to analyze a company. Product Life CycleProduct Life Cycle (PLC) is a term used to describe individual stages in the life of a product.
SWOT Analysis MatrixSWOT analysis, method, or model is a way to analyze competitive position of your company. How to delete or clear Drupal cache tables?How to delete or clean up or clear Drupal cache tables is a question that sooner or later probably every Drupal developer asks. Well managed functions can operate in silos, but effective supply chains - the ones that begin to drive competitive advantage - think beyond these silos and plan across the business. Governed by a Sales & Operations Planning process, the supporting planning processes configure and manage the supply chain to meet cost, service and working capital objectives. ASCC ensures that the supply chain planning processes are designed, integrated and managed to meet the supply chain strategy, supported by appropriate system functionality. S&OP is a collaborative business planning process that manages all tactical decision making across a business.
ASCC approach is to understand current performance, process maturity, business plans and key challenges to determine the key area of focus for S&OP.
ASCC's approach is to first understand the dynamics of the business' channels to market and the customer propositions in each. The New Product Introduction (NPI) process ensures full product availability at the time of product launch and minimises inventory and waste. ASCC work with our clients to ensure that new product introduction procedures are aligned to the business and continuously reviewed and improved. Production planning and scheduling balances supply against demand to optimise service and cost levels. ASCC adopt a parameter-based planning approach to production planning allowing planners to focus on managing exceptions only.
Specifies the amount and location of finished goods inventory across the supply chain network.
ASCC work with our clients to gain an understanding of the whole supply chain network, key drivers and constraints.
Inventory levels must be defined and controlled to ensure required material availability and appropriate inventory coverage whilst minimising obsolescence. To avoid unnecessary inventory capital, ASCC adopt a scientific approach to determining item level inventory levels based upon replenishment frequency, demand variability, service level requirements and supplier reliability. This process sets the overall strategy within which the Master Production Scheduling can take place. Using finished goods volume variability analysis, ASCC define appropriate replenishment models (e.g. The use of differentiated replenishment techniques and supporting parameters in planning material requirements drives reliable supply and appropriate material inventory levels.
ASCC analyse the true material demand (from finished goods) to understand the most appropriate replenishment model by item such as Kanban, capacity reservation or MRP. Determines replenishment quantities to satisfy service level agreements whilst minimising total cost of supply. This is the selection of an IT based system designed to automate planning processes followed by an implementation project. In this section, you will learn about some of the basic external inputs for strategy formulation—the determinants of a firm’s opportunities and threats.
When appraising the external environment of the organization you will typically start with its general environment. What is the level of inflation, what is it forecast to be, and how does this affect the growth of your market?
What are the long-term prospects for the economy gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, and so on? What are exchange rates between critical markets and how will they affect production and distribution of your goods?
What is the level of research funding in government and the industry, and are those levels changing? What are the dominant local religions and what influence do they have on consumer attitudes and opinions? Are potentially disruptive technologies in adjacent industries creeping in at the edges of the focal industry? Are there any ecological or environmental issues relevant to your industry that are pending?
How do the activities of international pressure groups affect your business (e.g., Greenpeace, Earth First, PETA)? Although the degree of impact varies, these environmental segments affect each industry and its firms.
When we say microenvironment we are referring primarily to an organization’s industry, and the upstream and downstream markets related to it. You can distill down the results of PESTEL and microenvironment analysis to view the competitive structure of an industry using Michael Porter’s five forces. Compared with the general environment, the industry environment has a more direct effect on the firm’s strategic competitiveness and above-average returns, as exemplified in the strategic focus. The five-forces model recognizes that suppliers can become a firm’s competitors (by integrating forward), as can buyers (by integrating backward). Another way to think about industry market structure is that these five sets of stakeholders are competing for profits in the given industry. The more difficult it is for other firms to enter a market, the more likely it is that existing firms can make relatively high profits. The stronger the power of buyers in an industry, the more likely it is that they will be able to force down prices and reduce the profits of firms that provide the product.
The stronger the power of suppliers in an industry, the more difficult it is for firms within that sector to make a profit because suppliers can determine the terms and conditions on which business is conducted.
This measures the ease with which buyers can switch to another product that does the same thing, such as using aluminum cans rather than glass or plastic bottles to package a beverage. Other product substitutes include fax machines instead of overnight deliveries, plastic containers rather than glass jars, and tea substituted for coffee. In general, product substitutes present a strong threat to a firm when customers face few, if any, switching costs and when the substitute product’s price is lower or its quality and performance capabilities are equal to or greater than those of the competing product.
When a market is growing, firms try to use resources effectively to serve an expanding customer base.
When fixed costs account for a large part of total costs, companies try to maximize the use of their productive capacity.
When buyers find a differentiated product that satisfies their needs, they frequently purchase the product loyally over time. Competitive rivalry is likely to be high when it is important for several of the competitors to perform well in the market.
Sometimes companies continue competing in an industry even though the returns on their invested capital are low or negative.
Effective industry analyses are products of careful study and interpretation of data and information from multiple sources. Following study of the five forces of competition, the firm can develop the insights required to determine an industry’s attractiveness in terms of its potential to earn adequate or superior returns on its invested capital. What are the six dimensions of the environment that are of broad concern when you conduct a PESTEL analysis? The beginning of the process is always sound market information that is integrated into meaningful market intelligence.
Commercial sales and brand strategies are supported by customer and market insights to define a realistic demand plan.
This may be aligned to a key deliverable such as working capital control or a value proposition e.g. Building on the demand management process, we aim to understand the most appropriate technique for forecasting; this may be bottom up, SKU by SKU, or top down using product families.
The successful introduction of new products is a critical process for many companies, particularly if they operate in dynamic marketplaces.
We ensure NPI launches involve tight collaborative processes with supply chain partners and the process is managed as a cross-functional activity.
Based upon the run strategy, the MPS is created to meet stock targets whilst optimising manufacturing cost wherever possible using a long-term view. Planning horizons (frozen, firm, slushy) are developed to align with key control points such as material ordering, labour planning and material call-off.


It controls the size of the buffer between demand and supply (either manufacturer or supplier).
Cycle counting processes are used to ensure material stock levels are accurate at an item location level and FIFO functionality maintains lot control. It is closely associated with inventory planning processes, since batch sizes and re-visit frequencies are directly related to cycle stock levels. The focus is then to enhance supplier collaboration including increased visibility of forecast with delivery frequencies and quantities based upon the total cost of ownership. This is done through calculating appropriate replenishment quantities and timings which ensure customer service, and optimise production and logistics costs.
The implementation involves defining the business processes, configuring the systems, engaging and training staff and transitioning the business without adverse impact to customer service or the creation of obsolete inventory.
We will focus on three aspects of external analysis here, though you recognize that these should be complemented by internal analysis as well.
Accordingly, successful companies gather the information required to understand each segment and its implications for the selection and implementation of the appropriate strategies.
The challenge to the firm is to evaluate those elements in each segment that are of the greatest importance.
Here you will find that your understanding of the microenvironment is particularly helpful. The intensity of industry competition and an industry’s profit potential (as measured by the long-run return on invested capital) are a function of five forces of competition: the threats posed by new entrants, the power of suppliers, the power of buyers, product substitutes, and the intensity of rivalry among competitors. Historically, when studying the competitive environment, firms concentrated on companies with which they competed directly. Several firms have integrated forward in the pharmaceutical industry by acquiring distributors or wholesalers.
Evidence suggests that companies often find it difficult to identify new competitors.Geroski, P. The likelihood that firms will enter an industry is a function of two factors: barriers to entry and the retaliation expected from current industry participants. Increasing prices and reducing the quality of its products are potential means used by suppliers to exert power over firms competing within an industry. Recently, firms have introduced to the market several low-alcohol fruit-flavored drinks that many customers substitute for beer. Differentiating a product along dimensions that customers value (such as price, quality, service after the sale, and location) reduces a substitute’s attractiveness. The higher the degree of rivalry, the more difficult it is for existing firms to generate high profits. With multiple competitors, it is common for a few firms to believe that they can act without eliciting a response.
Industries with many companies that have successfully differentiated their products have less rivalry, resulting in lower competition for individual firms.Deephouse, D. The lower the buyers’ switching costs, the easier it is for competitors to attract buyers through pricing and service offerings. For example, although it is diversified and is a market leader in other businesses, Samsung has targeted market leadership in the consumer electronics market. For example, Japanese automobile manufacturers are committed to a significant presence in the U.S. Firms making this choice likely face high exit barriers, which include economic, strategic, and emotional factors, causing companies to remain in an industry when the profitability of doing so is questionable. In general, the stronger competitive forces are, the lower the profit potential for an industry’s firms. PESTEL is an external environment analysis framework that helps guide your prospecting in the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal spheres of an organization’s external environment. BCG matrix is often used to prioritize which products within company product mix get more funding and attention.
Having a balanced product portfolio includes both high-growth products as well as low-growth products.A high-growth product is for example a new one that we are trying to get to some market.
The demand plan is then translated into production and material requirements by managing risk through capacity and inventory to achieve the best cost-to-serve. We would then aim to define and agree a single set of numbers and assumptions to base all business planning on, usually based on a INR value, as well as a translation to convert this into an output measure. Key to both of these approaches is understanding and documenting the assumptions and measuring the forecast accuracy and ensuring that the single number generated as part of demand management flows through to operations in a transparent way.
Depending on the business strategy, leading, matching or closely following trends by the successful launch of new products is often a key part of business operations.
Balanced production plans are introduced which smooth demand spikes helping manage capacity, crewing and changeovers to achieve lower production costs. Stock available in the supply chain is viewed and measured regardless of whether it is at an internal location or with the supplier and is reviewed regularly to identify and manage slow moving and obsolete stock.
Production run frequencies are optimised taking into account the trade-off between supply and inventory costs with fixed cycle planning for predictable products (regular slots) to enable a more exception based approach to supply planning.
Where MRP is used, accurate parameter setting and review mechanisms are established to move material planning to a more exception based approach. On receipt of current stock level information and demand forecast data the DRP process uses the stock policy to calculate the required replenishment quantity to ensure the inventory policy parameters are satisfied. ASCC ensures the business has a close definition of the current state planning processes to be supported, defines any changes or improvements to the planning processes required as a result of the implementation. An actual comparable transaction, if available and if truly comparable, provides a preferred measure of value. Many factors will influence the final price, the main influences on price being the parties’ negotiating abilities, their need to buy or sell, the presence of strategic buyers who can achieve synergies, or the structure of the transaction (not always settled in a single lump sum payment). For the external environment, it is best to start with the general environment, and then work your way into the focal industry or industry segment. The general environment is composed of dimensions in the broader society that influence an industry and the firms within it.Fahey, L. For example, the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, surprised businesses throughout the world. Resulting from these efforts should be a recognition of environmental changes, trends, opportunities, and threats. Porter’s model attempts to analyze the attractiveness of an industry by considering five forces within a market. However, firms must search more broadly to identify current and potential competitors by identifying potential customers as well as the firms serving them.
In addition, firms choosing to enter a new market and those producing products that are adequate substitutes for existing products can become competitors of a company. If the industry member can’t pass those higher costs onto their buyers in the form of higher prices, then the industry member makes less profit.
Entry barriers make it difficult for new firms to enter an industry and often place them at a competitive disadvantage even when they are able to enter. Alternatively, buyers (customers of an industry or firm) want to buy products at the lowest possible price—the point at which the industry earns the lowest acceptable rate of return on its invested capital. If a firm is unable to recover cost increases by its suppliers through its pricing structure, its profitability is reduced by its suppliers’ actions. Substitute products are goods or services from outside a given industry that perform similar or the same functions as a product that the industry produces. For example, Smirnoff’s Ice was introduced with substantial advertising of the type often used for beer. The most prominent factors that experience shows to affect the intensity of firms’ rivalries are (1) numerous competitors, (2) slow industry growth, (3) high fixed costs, (4) lack of differentiation, (5) high strategic stakes and (6) high exit barriers.
However, evidence suggests that other firms generally are aware of competitors’ actions, often choosing to respond to them. However, rivalry in nongrowth or slow-growth markets becomes more intense as firms battle to increase their market shares by attracting their competitors’ customers. The instability in the market that results from these competitive engagements reduce profitability for firms throughout the industry, as is demonstrated by the commercial aircraft industry. However, when many firms attempt to maximize their productive capacity, excess capacity is created on an industry-wide basis.
High switching costs, however, at least partially insulate the firm from rivals’ efforts to attract customers. This market is quite important to Sony and other major competitors such as Hitachi, Matsushita, NEC, and Mitsubishi. Because of globalization, international markets and rivalries must be included in the firm’s analyses. An unattractive industry has low entry barriers, suppliers and buyers with strong bargaining positions, strong competitive threats from product substitutes, and intense rivalry among competitors. Working inward to the focal organization, we discussed the broad dimensions of the stakeholders feeding into the firm.


A key element of the process must ensure that the next step and implementation conforms to the strategies and tactics. It takes some effort and resources to market it, to build distribution channels, and to build sales infrastructure, but it is a product that is expected to bring the gold in the future. Equally, failing to meet the timescales, costs or quality of new products can impact on the companies business profile with customers, it can damage profitability and lead to a loss in market share or penetration. The production scheduling process takes then the weekly requirements and applies an optimal sequencing to minimise changeover losses. Rough Cut Capacity Planning in used for key resources over a 18-24 month timeline matching forecasted demand against planned capacity. The replenishment quantity will be adjusted in light of the minimum and incremental replenishment quantities and offset by the lead-time to market to create a firm production requirement on the factories. In addition to this we support the systems selection based on three criteria; process (what processes are to be supported and what is the level of market sophistication), people (what is the level of planning sophistication and maturity to be supported), and technology (breadth and depth of functionality required and integration with existing systems).
As such, high-entry barriers increase the returns for existing firms in the industry.Robinson, K. To reduce their costs, buyers bargain for higher-quality, greater levels of service, and lower prices. At the other extreme, industries with only a few firms of equivalent size and power also tend to have strong rivalries.
The market for large aircraft is expected to decline or grow only slightly over the next few years. To then reduce inventories, individual companies typically cut the price of their product and offer rebates and other special discounts to customers. Interestingly, the switching costs—such as pilot and mechanic training—are high in aircraft purchases, yet, the rivalry between Boeing and Airbus remains intense because the stakes for both are extremely high. A key reason for this is that the United States is the world’s single largest market for auto manufacturers’ products.
In fact, research shows that in some industries, international variables are more important than domestic ones as determinants of strategic competitiveness. These industry characteristics make it very difficult for firms to achieve strategic competitiveness and earn above-average returns.
Porter’s five forces analysis considers (1) barriers to entry and new entry threats, (2) buyer power, (3) supplier power, (4) threat from substitutes, and (5) rivalry as key external environmental forces in developing strategy. Too many times, the creative process (if advertising is included in the plan) overwhelms the strategies, and thus the effort is less likely to succeed.
An example of this product would be an iPod.A low-growth product is for example an established product known by the market. Any supporting schedules are developed through MRP subject to sequencing guidelines or Kanban control. Ongoing reviews ensure supply capacity and inventory are planned as cost effectively as possible as part of an overall risk management approach. The process will also generate supply chain exceptions where the min stock level is projected to be breached or where a projected out of stock could result due to manufacturing constraints. Implementations are managed using the ASCC project management based approach, breaking the change down into individual work streams managed through a central project office function.
Typically, industries include a rich mix of competitive strategies that companies use in pursuing strategic competitiveness and above-average returns.
These products are increasing in popularity, especially among younger people, and, as product substitutes, have the potential to reduce overall sales of beer.Khermouch, G.
The large and often similar-sized resource bases of these firms permit vigorous actions and responses. To expand market share, Boeing and Airbus will compete aggressively in terms of the introduction of new products and product and service differentiation. Furthermore, because of the development of global markets, a country’s borders no longer restrict industry structures. Alternatively, an attractive industry has high entry barriers, suppliers and buyers with little bargaining power, few competitive threats from product substitutes, and relatively moderate rivalry.Porter, M. Characteristics of this product do not change much, customers know what they are getting, and the price does not change much either.
We work with our clients to determine optimal distribution planning processes for their businesses. In part, these strategies are chosen because of the influence of an industry’s characteristics.Spanos, Y.
The pattern of excess capacity at the industry level followed by intense rivalry at the firm level is observed frequently in industries with high storage costs. In fact, movement into international markets enhances the chances of success for new ventures as well as more established firms.Kuemmerle, W.
Understanding this area is particularly important because, in recent years, industry boundaries have become blurred. Identifying new entrants is important because they can threaten the market share of existing competitors. Instead, companies around the globe were challenged to understand the effects of this economy’s decline on their current and future strategies. For example, in the electrical utilities industry, cogenerators (firms that also produce power) are competing with regional utility companies.
One reason new entrants pose such a threat is that they bring additional production capacity. Entry barriers and new venture performance: A comparison of universal and contingency approaches. As their inventories grow, producers of perishable goods often use pricing strategies to sell products quickly. However, when buyers view products as commodities (as products with few differentiated features or capabilities), rivalry intensifies. While close proximity tends to promote greater rivalry, physically proximate competition has potentially positive benefits as well.
An example of this product would be a regular Colgate toothpaste.But the question is, how do we exactly find out what phase our product is in, and how do we classify what we sell? A similar set of events and relationships was seen around the world as financial markets began to struggle one after the other starting in late 2008.
An examination into the causal logic of rent generation: Contrasting Porter’s competitive strategy framework and the resource-based perspective. Moreover, telecommunications companies now compete with broadcasters, software manufacturers provide personal financial services, airlines sell mutual funds, and automakers sell insurance and provide financing.Hitt, M. Unless the demand for a good or service is increasing, additional capacity holds consumers’ costs down, resulting in less revenue and lower returns for competing firms. In these instances, buyers’ purchasing decisions are based primarily on price and, to a lesser degree, service.
For example, when competitors are located near one another, it is easier for suppliers to serve them and they can develop economies of scale that lead to lower production costs.
Upstream markets are the industries that provide the raw material or inputs for the focal industry, while downstream markets are the industries (sometimes consumer segments) that consume the industry outputs.
As a result, new competitors may force existing firms to be more effective and efficient and to learn how to compete on new dimensions (for example, using an Internet-based distribution channel). The leveraging of interfirm relationships as a distinctive organizational capability: A longitudinal study. We group these dimensions into six segments: political, economic, social, technical or technological, environmental, and legal.
For example, the oil production market is upstream of the oil-refining market (and, conversely, the oil refiners are downstream of the oil producers), which in turn is upstream of the gasoline sales market. Agglomeration effects and performance: Test of the Texas lodging industry Strategic Management Journal, 22, 969–988. You can use the simple acronym, PESTELStands for the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal dimensions of an organization’s external environment., to help remind you of these six general environment segments.
Accordingly, the industry microenvironmentConsists of stakeholder groups that a firm has regular dealings with. In addition to focusing on customers rather than specific industry boundaries to define markets, geographic boundaries are also relevant.
The way these relationships develop can affect the costs, quality, and overall success of a business.




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