Essential monitors Inc was founded in 1999 by Ronald Irwin with the main aim of providing professional quality LCD monitors for the consumer market. The company employs a very cost efficient technology in its production processes. This has enabled it to enjoy huge economies of scale in production helping it to continually churn out quality monitors hence increasing its leverage in the highly competitive market. The company’s sales channels constitute of direct marketing to consumers and marketing through resellers.
The LCD monitor industry unlike other manufacturing industries is capital intensive which helps it to cut on the unit cost drastically. This heavy capital utilization leads to oversupply of LCD panels thereby exerting a downward pressure on the prices and the consequent drop in the average selling prices (Anon; LCD Market: Technology Directions and Market Analysis, 1). The pricing pressure is the driving force for the manufacturers to cut the cost of production.
Despite their long experience in the electronics consumer market and high cost efficiency in production, EMI has been under priced by its competitors in the market leading to lower sales volumes. The rate of capital utilization by these companies has made it possible for them to lower their average prices further exerting increasingly more pricing pressure on the company. As a result other manufacturers have emerged from the market slicing a huge chunks of market share from the company.
This poses a threat of losing the market share further to the competitors and sinking the company into a string of losses arising from the increasing loss of revenue as a result of depressed sales volumes. Poor distribution channels, competition and poor marketing strategy have also become huge bottlenecks for the company. The purpose of this proposal is thus to develop ways of passing the savings realized from the efficiency in production to the consumer and also to devise ways of expanding the company’s market share.
The major objective of this research proposal is to seek effective means of passing these savings to the consumer. Since the company has managed to achieve a high level of cost efficiency in production, the benefits accruing from the savings should be passed on to the consumers. This will be important if the company has to gain significant rise in sales volumes and profitability. It is worthy noting that the consumer electronics market is dominated by price sensitive customers who will easily be drawn by lower prices.
The second objective of the research is to develop better ways of increasing competitiveness of the company. In the wake of stiff competition and emerging price wars a better marketing strategies will need to be developed to beat the prevailing marketing gimmicks of the rivals. The research will thus propose more effective methods of advertising and other product promotion strategies. The ultimate aim will be to increase the companies market share and its position in the industry.
Most of the reference material will come from books and websites from where the research will be majored. To do this a book review concerning the research problem will be undertaken and a report produced on the findings. The company website will be a key resource center alongside other company websites in the consumer electronics industry. A number of people in the LCD monitors and consumer electronics industry will also be interviewed to generate deeper insight on the working of the industry. To achieve this, a sample from the larger population of LCD monitor manufacturers will be generated in which the interview will be administered using questionnaires. Careful selection of the sample will be done to ensure it represents the true sample of the population and to minimize sampling bias and errors. The results of the interview will be analyzed and summarized scientifically to generate a report that will be issued to the management for implementation.
Data Collection Methods
To collect data for the research project, websites and book reviews will be mainly used. This will be achieved by analyzing peer reviewed articles and journals from various websites and also reviewing the company’s website alongside others from the competitors. These are going to constitute the major source of research data. Key relevant points will be captured from the sources then thereafter collected, systematically analyzed and summarized.
Later they will be compiled alongside those collected from other sources in readiness for presentation to the marketing manager. A representative sample will also be generated from a list of LCD monitor companies from where personal interviews will be administered to the staff. The results of the interviews will be captured in a structured questionnaire then forwarded in to the research staff for analysis. Still photos and videos will also be taken as part of data collection using digital and video cameras. These will form important reference material for use during data analysis and presentation.
Data Analysis Plan
For data analysis the descriptive method will be employed to help summarize the findings and make a description of the sample. This will help to establish relationship between various variables in the data set since the research will be both qualitative and quantitative. It will also be important in managing the quantitative data more effectively while ensuring finer details about the data are not lost during the analysis.
The method will also enable easier comparisons across people other units of the sample. During the data analysis part, we will also consult the help of a consultancy firm to assist in the technical aspects of the data analysis. The technical team will also ensure that validity and reliability of the data are not altered during the analysis. Scrutiny will be carried out to make sure that errors during analysis and summarizing are minimized. All the necessary will thus be undertaken to ensure reliable conclusion are made in readiness for reporting.
The global market for LCD monitor is dominated by a small number of renowned manufacturers who rule the industry. These are mainly based in Asia and consist of mainly Taiwan and Korea. In the first quarter of 2005 alone, the top 10 industrial players accounted for 95.7% of the LCD monitor global sales. As mentioned earlier the firms are usually capital intensive leading to excess supply of the monitors in the market which causes the prices to fall.
As a result, EMI biggest task in the market is to devise effective mechanism of lowering the prices to tap the growing market. The growth potential for the industry is still high especially in the emerging and new markets where demand is still on a upward swing. For example, Korea accounts for 45% of the worlds LCD glass demand followed by Taiwan which accounts for 389% and Japan accounting for 14% according to the 2008 statistics (Addison, 1).
Innovation has always made sure that EMI stands out in the consumer electronics market. The development of new state of art LCD monitors has given the company particular prominence resonating very well with consumers. The greatest strength of the company is its ability to integrate high levels of efficiency and innovativeness in production which buoy up the sales before similar products are released at lower prices. This is thus expected to deliver impressive growth in sales to the company as it seeks to expand its market.
One of the greatest bottleneck of EMI is its inability to transfer the gains made from the production efficiency. This has caused the company’s monitor prices to remain high relative to the competition leading to a slump in sales volumes and revenues as a result. Competition in the market is so intense that many of its products only remain dominant over short times until other similar products are introduced in the market as a result of the volatile nature of the market
As a result of high pricing of its products, the price conscious customers were led to source cheaper alternative from the company rivals. This has proved detrimental to the company’s financial performance forcing the management to go back to the drawing board. Poor distribution channels have also hampered penetration of the company’s products in the market.
However, to maintain brand loyalty EMI has continued to insist on user friendly designs as evident in the new look LCD monitor design that has been released to the market recently. The continued consumer confidence in the company’s products has proved to be a huge asset for the company. Despite of this market analyst maintain that the company needs to invest more in streamlining the distribution channels as well as competitively pricing their products. But this will depend on the willingness of the company’s management to commit more financial and human resources into newer market oriented strategies.
External analysis of the company
The electronic consumer industry is dominated by a few large industrial players with elaborate and efficient distribution channels that span all over the globe. The industry is highly automated leading to low production cost per unit.
The savings from high capital utilization are manifested in form of heavy reduction in LCD monitor prices by EMI rivals in the market. The rapid growth of the market and availability of similar products in the market has intensified competition hence presenting a stiff challenge for EMI monitors. The consumers of LCD monitors have also found EMI products unattractive due to high pricing relative to the competitors. Another possible bottleneck for the EMI monitors is that the bulk of the fastest growing markets are to be found in emerging economies where EMI has been sluggish in adopting strong marketing channels. This has been compromised further by the inability of the company to evolve a cost reduction strategy.
For any given industry, effective distribution and aggressive marketing of products are important in delivering sales to the company (O’Grady, 156). New technological innovations by EMI must thus be backed with high level of marketing and reliable distribution channels for the company to achieve the intended objectives. For it sales in the foreign markets, the company ought to use appointed distribution agents to distribute and market the goods to the consumers.
These measures will be crucial if the EMI monitors have to make significant inroads into the global market. Competitive pricing of the monitors will be vital for the company’s growth in the market. The pricing strategies should be geared towards bringing down the savings from production efficiency to the consumers. Expansion of the market share will call for re-branding of the company alongside aggressive marketing strategies backed by a strong and highly trained sales team. The company should also major on adding value to their products alongside integrating greater user friendliness of the monitors to the users which will have a significant effect in the increase in demand of the monitors.
Anon, (not dated). LCD Market: Technology Directions and Market Analysis. Global Information Inc. Web.
Craig Addison, (not dated) Dazzling Display Issues: LCD Market Growth, Glass Size, Fab Cost, and OLEDs. SEMI. Web.
O’Grady, J. D. (2008). Apple Inc: Corporations That Changed the World, ABC-CLIO.