Management Solution in Practice: Cisco Case Study

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Introduction

Value chains, the Cisco, the network and technical support providers, are one of the most important players in the value chain. The revenue that fuels the value chain is derived from payments that the Cisco receives for implementation of the network and technical support providers. In the traditional network and technical support provider’s models, the integral role of revenue collection is played by middle men, but in the Cisco model, these are completely excluded. This complicated value chain is not glued together by middlemen like the telecommunication value chain; rather innovative technology is the binding force in this value chain. But the most important factor, consumer acceptance, is one that can be influenced but it cannot be controlled. Without consumer acceptance to receive network and technical support services, Cisco will fail despite the integration and efficiency of the technology and business model.

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In order to increase customer acceptance, the value chain must be integrated to allow the customer to choose from a less cluttered services. Because the industry is nascent, it has failed to build a consensus on the form and structure of the value chain, and the business model currently employed is not sustainable for prolonged periods.

To summarize, Cisco value chain focuses on creating network and technical support services through interactions with agencies and other mediums, thus producing effective messages to the format required by the customers’ specific technology and delivering permission based other IP.

A comprehensive understanding of the contribution of different players is necessary in the value chain development process and it may accelerate the progress of service delivery. As a means of better understanding the issue, we discussed some conventions that may aid in the development of the standard (Evan, 2002).

To sum all of which has been said above, the potential of the Cisco is great. Nevertheless, the potential is largely unexploited due the lack of cohesion in the industry. The industry is highly fragmented; this fact has also halted the creation of an industrial value chain. In order to complete benefit the world industry it is imperative that the value supple chain of this industry be developed at the earliest keeping in mind the various prerequisites.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Excellent brand equity
  • Superb logistics
  • Excellent Supply Chain Management
  • Strict Supplier Code of Ethics
  • Over dependence on the technical and network brands
  • Centralized distribution system
  • Frequency of New services
  • Diseconomies of Scale
Opportunities Threats
  • New market in emerging countries
  • With less disposable income in today’s recession their services are better suited.
  • Great brand equity.
  • Rivals are coming up fast.
  • Recession may force buyers to competitors.
  • Rise of the EURO against USD.

There are certain strengths which they have that can be easily leveraged because of their competitive advantages they provide – the first and foremost of these strengths is the excellent brand equity, network services Cisco their cash cow thoroughly enjoys. Secondly the can look at the fact that they have excellent logistics and can manage to be far faster than other cheap competitors who are trying to push their services in the market. They may also leverage the brand equity of technical support which would both give them excellent visibility, good press, help them save on costs and provide them a better showcase.

Their weaknesses however can easily be eradicated when they take into account the fact that their sheer size and their growing position in the secondary market and in case of breakdown they would have a back-up thus their main weakness would be eradicated. Building clear space between the positioning of each of their brands allows them to be thus free of a fear of cannibalisation.

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Their opportunities we can see were well capitalized when despite the fact that competitors were struggling they actually grew. They’ve also taken an initiative to look at developing their markets and following the said strategy they’ve just launched new services.

They have significant threats – competitors are often launching services and products to boost their image and positioning to help boost sales and competition.

Management of knowledge

Many organizations following the tradition methodology of working are now moving towards becoming learning organizations that leverage the management of knowledge. The following are the components of knowledge management in Cisco.

Association and efforts to connect individuals and groups

The people working in organizations should all be encouraged to collect data and information through the various channels that are available to them. There should also be a system through which this information is then shared with the organization. Cisco holds such an event where individuals and teams share their ideas. Apart from the employees of the organizations, they can also invite the other stakeholders of the organization for the purpose of knowledge sharing and improvements that can be made.

Nature of the expertise and experts required

One of the main reasons why organizations encourage job rotation and transfers is because of the fact that they would like their employees to share knowledge across the boundaries of teams and departments that are present. This way, new and different approaches can be discovered in the solution of a problem and people will get to see how one problem can be handled by different means.

The power of knowledge networking

In order for knowledge management to function properly, the information or data that is being collected should be done in one central location or in a proper information system. The information should be coded such a way that the employees are at ease when they search for the relevant data that they require. The data and the system that is implemented should be properly valued by the organization so that they know its worth. The information stored on the systems of the organization should be readily available and accessible to every employees of the company in a logical manner.

Availability of real-time information

One of the aspects that make knowledge management systems effective is that they make available relevant information to the relevant people at the relevant time. There are many situations which organizations have to face where the information requirement is time sensitive; the unavailability of the information at that time may be considered an opportunity cost. At times it may even happen that the information lapse may lead to an incorrect decision being made. The systems that the organizations have available should have information ready so as for the employees to access it when needed.

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Depth and scope of the organization’s knowledge collection

As time goes by, the amount of data that is gathered by organizations is really too big to handle. Therefore, the data should be stored in such a way as to facilitate the employees when they access it; otherwise it is just junk that is stored on a sophisticated computer system. The determination of what data needs to be captured, how it should be captured and the format of the data made available to the employees is the work of the organization, so that they can work in a quicker manner and in an effective way.

System interface and navigation

Even though technology has taken over, there are still a lot of people who are not, either comfortable around computers or do not know how to use them. Now because of this problem, they may not know the importance of keeping the data and entering into the central information system. In order to reduce this problem the system should be designed in such a way as to facilitate the employees when they are accessing the information they require. If they get a feeling that they can access the data with ease, they might also feel that entering the data won’t be such a problem.

There are three stages at which knowledge can be accessed – one at the beginning, two at the end or thirdly during the knowledge management activity. Many organizations have in many ways tried to improve the system of incorporating the information onto the central system and not all of these efforts have gone in vain.

stage Type of system Sub system comments
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3

There is one type of strategy better known as the push strategy, which suggests that, the active management of knowledge. In this case the individuals explicitly encode their knowledge into the central system. This is also sometimes known at the codification approach to knowledge management.

As there is a push strategy, there is also a pull strategy that is present with regards to knowledge management. The pull strategy states that the knowledge that the organization seeks is that of experts. This collection can be said to be on an ad hoc basis. This strategic approach is also known as the personalization approach to knowledge management.

New technology

Wireless technology in the workplace allows companies and organizations to be able to conduct businesses in efficient and effective ways. This means that wireless technology can have very positive impacts such as empowering employees, enhancing workers mobility, empowering sales force, improving the sales force and customer services, as well as coordinating remote employees. Wireless technology is also important for companies that may want to have a global network as it makes work easier. It must however be noted that not all people in a given workplace are receptive to wireless technology. There is the down side that is associated with wireless technology. The biggest challenge in terms of wireless technology is security. In a wireless working place, there is so much information floating in the air that can be accessed by thieves and vandals. In most work places information is very confidential and this confidentiality may be compromised by wireless technology (Chin-Shan, Cheng and David, 2010; Rogers and Edwards, 2005).

Wireless local area network (WLAN), is another fast growing wireless technology in the workplace. Wireless local area network provides local area network connectivity, reliability as well as high speed especially over short distances. A wireless LAN is comprised of one or more antennas that are mounted in order to receive as well as to transmit data to PC’s and laptops that have special cards. The users of wireless local are networks are able to walk freely within their coverage area and still maintain connectivity. In the work place this kind of technology has become very important as it unfetters the workers while maintaining high speed connectivity. More providers of this kind of technology are entering the market and therefore wireless local area network technology is becoming more and more affordable. One of the main advantages of this kind of technology is that most new wireless devices such as mobile phones in the market are multimode meaning that they can be connected to wireless local area networks. The future of this kind of technology is higher speeds, reduced costs as well as increased security (Lambert 2003).

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Mobile phones are the most commonly used forms of wireless technology in the work place. The clients can call a given company using a mobile phone and vice versa. This is because of the many advantages that they have over other forms of wireless technology. As a result of the emergence of mobile phones, the term mobile commerce has been coined and this refers to performing e-commerce activities through mobile devices such as Personal Digital assistants and phones. Business based mobile commerce refers to those business applications which are used in a business or corporate environment in order to allow business transactions to take place as well as to improve a company’s productivity (Lambert 2003).

Five Forces

Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School developed a framework to analyse the competitive nature of an industry namely the Five Forces Theory (Porter 1980). In this framework, the industry is examined in relation to the bargaining power of suppliers, threat of entrants, bargaining power of buyers, threat of substitutes, and intensity of rivalry. In the information technology (IT) which Cisco belongs to, each of the five forces exerts strong influence that further intensifies the rivalry in these industries. For example, since buyers are susceptible to economic turbulence, they tend to choose companies that could offer services with the best value and cost. However, they rely on critical supplier inputs and technologies to produce their products and hence, companies would need to negotiate and strike good relationships with suppliers to gain the best quality products possible and the lowest costs feasible. Although these industries tend to have high entry barriers due to capital-intensive nature and immense technological specialization required to operate in them, the existing players continue to rapidly churn out products and services such that buyers have a lot of product substitutes and options to choose from. Given this scenario, companies that intend to succeed and thrive in these industries should develop the capability to produce high value, yet affordable services.

Managing Organizational Change and Performance

Consecutively, to encourage resourceful management of any given institution, the best advance will be in coming up with ways of managing organizational change and performance. The concept of Change generally entails innovation, which involves the basic idea of introducing something new into the organization. Organizational change concentrates on improving existing structures and entails activities that are focused on strengthening and developing the organization productivity and sustaining its subsistence (Porter, 1980, p 64).

Change in an organization is very significant in that it ensures efficient and effective methods, and techniques are used in achieving the business goals and objectives. Changes in organizations assists the management to identify and rearrange their priorities hence ensure proper methods are effected to address them. The untimely stages of a good organization change establish effective strategic planning that entails review of organization’s mission and objectives. This concept provides significant basis for future analysis and planning. Eventually, it also spells out the organization responsibility and what ought to be done to fulfil them. Changes in business enable the organization management to carry out controlled modifications that brings out the current performance culture that is in line with global requirements. Changes also help the organization to produce products and services that are compatible with global markets, customer needs and requirements, and that meet global standards (Stokes, Wilson & Wilson, 2000, p, 45).

For the success of any change implementation, the following critical success factors must be there, leadership commitment and team work; development of clear vision and strategy, effective communication between the management and the employees, employee involvement and recognition and employees’ development.

Managing change tends to get employees to merge personal objectives and aspirations with those of the organization. It also helps an organization to turn marginal business around and increases profitability and productivity of any organization. A concrete development of clear vision and strategy encourage successful implementation of change. Given that most organizations understand the definitive objective of business is to increase its value over time, it makes sense for them to establish a management system and strategy that embraces that key objective that is enshrined to build company value. Effective visions and strategies makes organization changes successful and build business value by increasing cash flows while reducing risks through teamwork and workers working together (Mahadevan, 2008)

Another factor that promotes successful implementation of organizational change is the concrete aspect of awareness of norms (Ohmae, 1988, P 79). The process of allowing employees to participate in the creation and development of new standards promote a sense of well being and respect in the part of the employee and this encourage positive development of organization change. The issues of Industrial and organizational Psychology in relation to organizational change improve Group cohesiveness and promote effective administration of duties and there is delegation of duties hence workers are not over burden to do a particular piece of work.Due to this concept, employees tend to concentrate on jobs in which they have technical skills or which they are experts.

PEST Analysis

Political factors

This is the factor identifies the possibility of Cisco’s capability to grow further in the scope of improving their international market control. Take into consideration the fact that in the international market, the people to be served are much larger and the competition to face is tougher. However, with the imposition of proper strategies, such a challenge could be successfully won (Kotler, 1997).

Economic factors

At present, the business is in need of facing different requirements that concern cost cutting strategies so as to ensure the possibility of gaining further returns from the losses that they have incurred when not all of their distributed products in several areas have been consumed by the target market. This situation has been further fuelled by the entrant of new challengers in the industry.

Social factors

One of the campaigns in marketing that the business utilized was that of the imposition of the idea that higher-prices meant status quo. At first, the campaign was effective as the business was able to compete with high ranking players in the industry. However, the economic trend in the society did not support the idealism on the concerns that the company tried to impose on the market. The downturn of the economy has caused the target market to seek for low-priced choices and decided to side on price over quality and brand.

Technological factors

Upon expanding in the market, the company has already acquired several technological solutions. It could be observed though that in the long-run, as the company gradually losses grip of the influence they have on the market, the company is faced with the dilemma of releasing these technological aid facilities for their production. They have to find ways to somehow extend their own strategies to support the supposed growth of the company without having so much to do with high-end technologies for production that costs much for maintenance and development. Being able to maintain those that they have at hand is one aspect of assured strategy to remain in the competition amidst losing other technological facilities (Sioukas, 2003).

Excel

The region where most customers come from is the west with 211 followed by south106, east 101 and north 92 customers.

The following graph presents the data

Regions

Most payment

The method of payment mostly preferred by customers is credit 322 and the rest PayPal.

Payment

Average purchase of each region

There is great difference in the regions averages purchases.

Regions Frequency total purchases average
West 211 8033.84 38.08
east 101 4227.87 41.86
North 92 2988.07 32.48
South 106 4551.83 42.94

The west region has 38.08, east has 41.86, north has 32.48 and south has 42.94.

Times when purchases are most common are:

0:00
1:01
2:02
2:03
3:03
4:04
5:05
6:06
7:07
8:08
9:09
10:39
10:53
11:52
12:19
13:34
14:38
15:02
15:23
15:38
16:11
16:22
16:23
16:53
17:16
17:19
17:31
19:20
20:00
20:26
20:34

Most earlier times, most purchases from the east and north and purchases are made by online and a lower average price.

Conclusion

Marketing strategy in the auto segment is entirely different from other industries. Number of players is less in the industry. Customer taste also differs and the companies with their various brands and wide product line satisfy this requirement. Their customers have enough buying power and choice and taste precedes price consideration.

Reference List

Chin-Shan, W., Fei-Fei, C. & David, Y., 2010. User acceptance of wireless technology in organizations: A comparison of alternative Models, Computer Standards & Interfaces. New York : Pearson Education.

Evan, N., 2002. The M-Business Evolution. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Kotler, P. 1997. Marketing Management. Analysis, Planning, Implementation, and Control (9th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Lambert, R., 2003. Executive’s guide to the wireless workforce. Toronto: John Willey and Sons.

Mahadevan,S.,2008. Change Management: Theory and Practice. New Delhi: Pearson Education India

Ohmae, K., 1988. The Mind of the Strategist: Business Planning for Competitive Advantage. New York: Penguin.

Porter, M.,.1980. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and competitors. New York: Free Press.

Rogers, G. & Edwards, J., 2005. An introduction to wireless technology. Shangai: Pearson Education.

Sioukas.T, 2003. The solution path: a step-by-step guide to turning your workplace problems.San Fransisco: Johm Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Stokes, D., Wilson, N., and Wilson, L., 2000.Finding Solutions to Workplace Problems. New York: Cengage press.

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