Strategic Management: General Motors and Toyota

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Introduction

Strategic management seeks to implement and evaluate the functional decisions within the organization to achieve both short-term and long-term objectives. The strategic planning and management seek to specify the mission statement and also ensure its implementation by establishing small goals and targets. For a business to be successful in its endeavors it must have adequate planning, have well-defined and solid goals, objectives, and strategies, as well as ensuring that it remains focused on the attainment of its vision and mission. Generally, businesses that deal with technology have great potential and stand to make high profits especially if they remain updated on the upcoming technologies. To some extent, dealing with goods may seem more straight and predictable given that people will be guided by a variety of standards and they will also have the opportunity and freedom of choice. However, the technological business’s products are also not perishable and hence can retain their profitability even during the recession periods. This paper seeks to analyze the strategic management and planning process in the motor industry, with the case of two companies, General Motors and Toyota being investigated.

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Overview

Businesses require a vision, mission, and values in determining the strategic direction, as well as an established framework for success. This will enable the business to forge ahead strategically and progressively with effective monitoring and evaluation. Moreover, certain objectives must be set so that the business becomes viable in addition to seeking to protect its image not only for the present but also for future business dealings. It is important to understand that the market will be more confident where it can relate the business’s present status with future potential.

Motor industries

The motor industries especially from America and Japan have invested a considerable amount in research and development programs to ensure excellent production of cars. Their cars are therefore heavily demanded in the world markets since they meet the consumer’s satisfactions. The quality productions and marketing of these cars enhance increased sales volumes as there is a ready market and a higher turnover ratio. Different firms use different brand names i.e. General Motors (GM) and Toyota for the American and Japanese firms respectively.

The values, qualities, and traits that the business will uphold greatly determine its relationship with the general public. The values, therefore, act as the driving force when working and dealing with the customers. They will make the business grow its customer base to millions hence increase sales. Moreover, firms should be committed to offering quality products while the senior management should enhance responsible and accountable practices which encourage innovativeness and efficiency. To ensure a successful management process in a firm, honesty, credibility, and excellence at work should always be emphasized (Hill & Jones, 2009, p.4).

Guiding principles

The ability of the automobile industry to market products across the globe ensures that the sector matrix enhances efficiency and effectiveness in the industry. Its primary aim is to influence the improvement of the supply of finished goods between the manufacturer and the distributor (Leontief, 1986p.54). The Toyota manufacturing firm in Japan, therefore, ensures that all the distribution centers throughout the world are efficiently supplied with cars, a move that enhances competitiveness in the industry as the company and the consumer interact in the market. Innovations on the new technology come in handy to ensure that all customers are satisfied. Indeed, the latest technology, innovation, and creativity have a great impact on market development as well as on the integrity and social responsibility in a firm, the result of which is the assurance that the firm continues to maximize profits, reach the set goals, and achieve the business objectives effectively.

Objectives and goals

The automotive industry objectives include; setting a strong and efficient global base that maximizes sales, being the number one technology distributor in the globe, and attain supernormal profits. The firms also promote culture, social responsibility, and ethics throughout the globe. Culture is promoted by the industry since fast and efficient transport means have been developed to replace the traditional means. Corporate social responsibility has been advocated through the company’s participation in general public affairs such as sports and healthcare sponsorship. By so doing, the firm’s reputation and respect from the general public increases, and a similar impact is transferred to the overall performance of the firm.

The sector matrix principle also assists the company to ensure that its branches attain the set goals. Small and measurable goals are important since they assist in the evaluation of the firm’s performance in the market. The major obligation of the manufacturing firm will be to produce marketable vehicles while the distributors market them.

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The company should also design a proper marketing plan considering the kind of competition involved in the car industry. The firms therefore ought to ensure that customer tastes and preferences are taken care of adequately and on time. That is the reason why the Toyota Company has managed to outdo its long-time rival General Motors which ignored market preference. To ensure continued competition, productions should highly be according to the customer specifications. If the customers increase their demand for small cars, the firm should consequently respond to that by manufacturing such cars. To increase product demand in the market, the automotive industry should also focus on the manufacture of fuel-efficient brands of cars. The relatively lower-consuming cars will be preferred to the brands with higher fuel consumption. The firms, therefore, need to learn the market needs and model the exact model which will suit those demands. If the firm satisfies the consumers in their productions then they can be assured continuity as there is no time when their products will cease being demanded. The company should also aim for an internal transformation to attain global recognition in the market.

How the vision, mission, and values guide the organization’s strategic direction

The strategies or approaches the business should implement to attain its mission should be followed to the later. The company should also aim at establishing new markets in other continents to increase its customer base. This move can be done by opening up distribution channels across many nations. Improved customer relations should be put in place to attract existing and potential customers on purchasing the firm’s products. Improved human resources should be prioritized since they are the ones to push forward the business values and mission (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008, p.55).

There should be a vibrant sales and marketing team to ensure intensive penetration of the company products into the market. The team should also be efficiently trained to encourage ethical behavior and professionalism in their duties. The firm’s customer base should be expanded using active and rigorous advertisement, and offering quality and efficient products and services. In addition, the firm should focus on increasing its capital base and profitability since that is the core objective of the investors.

Strategy implementation

The mission, vision, and values act as a guide to the firm and they are directed towards ensuring profitability in the venture. However, the three should work intertwined to ensure economic growth and progress. The company nevertheless requires a functional plan which should seek to actualize the plans and the objectives. The firm, therefore, needs professional employees to effectively plan the strategies at hand. This should involve establishing a workable budget of time and money that is all-inclusive, proper assessment, and monitoring of the schedule in the implementation stage. The company should also commit itself to offer quality and efficient products always. Innovativeness and efficiency should be core in all business strategies. The firms should also be flexible to adopt new production methods whenever the need arises since the change mostly offers competitive advantage (Flood & Flood, 2000, p.35). As a firm, it is important to understand that the overall performance is attained through the combined contributions of the senior staff and the subordinate staff. Employee welfare should therefore be highly regarded as it increases the overall output of the company due to workers’ motivations.

Firms and industries should ensure affordable production to capture the larger market. This will also go hand in hand with segmentation and diversification whereby the firm should take concern of different kinds of existing and potential customers. This is one of the major reasons why Toyota has managed to penetrate the market since most of their cars are affordable to the majority of people in the market. Usually, product affordability helps to eliminate market discrimination. The GM vehicles are mostly more expensive and therefore target high-income earners while the Toyota cars are relatively cheaper and affordable to even low and medium-income earners. This acts as the strong point since technology must be adopted by poor and rich, educated and uneducated. There will be a huge customer base since the products will target all populations. This will help achieve, improve and guarantee the attainment of the company goals given a huge customer base. A variety of all technological goods will be offered and incentives such as after-sale services offered to attract customers. Field days will be introduced to ensure that people are educated on the recent car models offered by the firm to achieve a competitive advantage.

To further market the company vehicles, the spare parts and services skills should be readily available in the market. Customers never go for a car with high maintenance costs, this is because they always seek to maximize utility and at the same time minimize cost. Since Toyota spare parts are widely available in the market more consumers will opt to go for the Toyota brand compared to the other brands in the market.

The sector matrix is mainly based on sector performance. And since all industries aim at maximizing their outputs, more emphasis will be given to the profitable sector compared to the unprofitable ones. The resource allocations in the firm will also follow the same suit since the measure of output will be used to determine the inputs. It is, therefore, true that the sector matrix significantly contributes to the supply and demand linkages in the majority of firms and industries.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, strategic management and planning are vital to the success of any given business regardless of its financial capacity and its size. Equally important is the strategic plan, vision, mission, values, and the overall dedication of all the staff towards attaining positive results. The ideas must be implemented, monitored, and evaluated before attaining the set standards and results. Generally, no idea is too big to be implemented; all that is required is the courage and dedication to build a strong empire for business to emerge the best. Without a vision then the business is deemed to perish.

Proper and in-depth market analysis should be done before a company decides to open a branch in a certain country or market. This is because the distribution channels should be opened to meet the market needs and demands. There should be a vibrant sales and marketing team to ensure intensive penetration of the company products in the market. The team should also be efficiently trained to encourage ethical behavior and professionalism in their duties. The industry should also focus on reducing their current increased pollution. This is because the company will need a clean environment for its future progress. More should therefore be invested in the research and development program to develop more efficient and environmentally friendly cars in future.

Reference

Flood, P. & Flood, P.C., 2000. Managing strategy implementation: an organizational behaviour perspective. London, Wiley-Blackwell. (Online). Web.

Haberberg, A. & Rieple, A., 2008. Strategic Management: Theory and Application. London, Oxford University Press. (Online). Web.

Hill, C. & Jones, G., 2009. Strategic Management Theory: An Integrated Approach. Boulevard, Cengage Learning. (Online). Web.

Leontief, W. W., 1986. Input-output economics. New York, Oxford University Press US. (Online). Web.

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