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Every business organization has a mantra that is a reflection of its intended goals as well as the various issues that are important to the business. This is not any different for this organization that is a public relations firm situated at the heart of the capital of Africa’s most famous cities, Nairobi, Kenya. The mission of Truenorth media is to ensure that there is good practice of media in the larger African region. The company targets major media houses and practitioners throughout Africa while at the same time looking or business opportunities with other well know media companies.
Unlike other public relation consultants, true north offers a follow up program through a program referred to as “next door” system which basically means that the company aims at attracting all the competitors through providing unmatched services to the clients. Having full knowledge of public relations as well as corporate image, I offer advisory services to our clients who are majorly the local media practitioners as well as other corporate who from time to time require our services. As a matter of fact, it has been accepted by the organizations board of directors that through my quality services rendered to this company for the last three years, it has managed to attract more corporate clients as we remain the number one company involved in this kind of business throughout Africa.
Through an integrated system of corporate involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility, Truenorth has over the last 2 years topped the list f the most influential businesses in Africa. In this regard, as business, our vision is to be the outstanding Public Relations firm in the whole world in the next 10 years. We have well laid down strategies to tackle the ever changing client needs as well as our strongest competitors in order to achieve our vision.
We have our strengths which include our good reputation created through the kind of quality service that we offer as well as our major investments that cut across the whole of Africa. Our major weakness is the fact that we still lack enough capital to improve on our infrastructure so as to match our competitors. We have our opportunities defined by the fact that there is an increase in the need of consultancy by almost every company in issues to do with maintaining a positive corporate image. Our major threat however is competition from other well established firms that offer the same services as ours. This however remains to be dealt with since it provides an opportunity for us as a company to put our best foot forward.
Every successful business organization requires having a strategic plan that is in line with the company’s mission and vision statements. It is expected that in order for an organization to achieve its goals, all the staff and partners should be taken through a system of trainings that will prepare them for tackling the various challenges related with the business. A strategic plan is the tool that will be used by corporate leaders to stand above other competitors as well as help a business remain at its peak all the time.
According to Bryson strategic planning is a management tool which helps an organization channels its energy to ensure that all the members of a particular organization work toward the same goals. It is a tool that is used to assess and adjust the direction of an organization in response to an ever changing business environment. Strategic planning is an effort towards the production of fundamental decisions and action that will eventually shape the focus of an organization in reference to its mission, vision and goals with a focus on the future.
Strategic planning helps an organization in the following ways; it gives an overall direction for a business organization. It is a an accepted business theory and practice that a well laid out strategy will always provide an overall strategic way forward to an organization’s management as well as providing specific direction to other areas for instance marketing strategy, financial strategy as well as human resources strategy in order to achieve business success. Every worker will be working towards ensuring that they follow the laid out strategies to the latter. Where need be, business managers will review their strategies in order to remain relevant in the market.
Strategic planning will also help in the planning for an organization as a whole; it helps in helping an organization plan as a corporate entity. It should be noted that corporate planning is different from product planning, cash flow planning, and production planning inter alia. All these sorts of planning are designed for specifically help sections of organizations. Many existing companies have the above mentioned departments, so strategic planning will help in avoiding the involvement of other departmental heads since it will basically be a repeat. As such, strategic planning should be understood as a different process from the normal planning of businesses in the sense that it is a wide concept that encompasses all the other business requirements in the quest of achieving positive results. It must be noted that the importance of strategic planning comes from the scale, time frame as well as the importance of all the decisions that it embodies and not the level of instructions it provides or the degree of supervision or control it offers.
The fact that you can never predict the future means that it is important for every business manager to plan ahead in order to avoid business stress. Every day poses a different challenge for a business. According to Bryson, every business challenge occurring in a business had its origin in the failure to plan ahead. This can be simplified in the mantra that “failure to plan is planning to fail”. Poor or lack of strategic planning is the major cause of business failure which may lead to operating nightmares in a business.
This is an important tool in the achievement of business success. Every organization’s management should come up with a clear plan of how the business will be run, the long term and the short term goals of the organization as well as the means that will be employed to ensure the success of the laid down plans. Business managers look at the future of an organization as the primary tool which will determine their success in running the business. This kind of planning should however be differentiated with strategic planning in the sense the former deals primarily with the various ways that a company should engage in order to stand above its competitors
Process Improvement is defined as a business operational function that aims at integrating business processes and programs embroidered in the organization’s strategic plan. It is a systematic approach that helps organizations to optimize their underlying processes so as to achieve efficient results. In a fast changing business environment as well customer needs, it is imperative that business organizations work towards attaining the kind of service that every customer will be impressed with. The main target of process improvement is in cutting down on costs and managing time effectively while at the same time, improving the quality of goods and services offered to the market. It is a radical change in the performance of an organization rather than a continuous incremental change.
It is interesting to note that process improvement focuses on doing things right rather than doing the right thing. In this regard, Business process improvement ( BPI) attempts to have a reduction in variation as well as waste in business processes so that the desired result is achieved a the end of the entire process through better utilization of the available resources. BPI works in the following ways: first and foremost through defining an organization’s strategic goals as well as purposes; this will be through understanding an organization’s mission and vision statement and why that particular business does that kind of business; the second way through which BPI works is understanding the clientele that the business seeks to serve and finally through aligning the business processes in order to realize the organization’s mission and goals. There is further need to ensure that there is a monitoring and evaluation system that will be used to check out the success or failure of a business improvement process.
Supply Chain management
Supply Chain (SC) refers to a network of a number of organizations that are involved in running different kinds of businesses through both upstream and downstream linkages in various kinds of activities as well as processes. “The task of integrating organizational units along a SC and coordinating materials, information and financial flows in order to fulfill customer demands with the aim of improving competitiveness of the supply chain as a whole”.
There are three major elements of SC e majorly the tools that SC employs in order to successfully achieve its desired results. They are the upstream parties, downstream parties and finally integration of all the other organizations involved in the business process as well as the internal duties of an organization itself. According to Handfiled and Nichols, the upstream parties include the functions, processes and the chain of suppliers of an organization while the downstream functions of an organization is concerned with the channels of distribution and the processes through which the product passes through to the customer.
It is the duty of the various departmental managers to ensure that the deliveries of goods and services are done according to schedule in the event that there are external upstream and downstream functions involved. It is also the duty of the managers in the event of an inevitable delay in the delivery of products to ensure that the impact of such delays to the Supply Chain will be minimal.
Outsourcing has been widely accepted by organization works as an important tool in enhancing firm’s performance. Outsourcing is used as market strategy especially through as it is used to capturing customers loyalty. This is created potentially to counter an increasing market completion as enormous pressure on the management. These calls for creative decisions have to be initiated in developed in gaining more customers trust and performance of the organization. It is one of the strategies used to improve firm’s proficiency essentially to keep the business vital and competitive.
For many organizational managers outsourcing is used as an alternative strategy in creating a higher competitive advantage in a business organization. According to Hines, granting part of internal functions to an outsider is linked to several benefits, Lankford and Parsa, claims that outsourcing reduces costs, expands services expertise and improving and workers productivity and morale while developing positive firm image through allowing refocusing the organization resources to the core business. This is partly initiated by buying technology from other service providers; most of the outsourced service is normally expensive to produce locally. In addition the outsourced functions helps the firm to re-examine organizational strategies while making them more efficient and save time and funds used that would rather be used internally.
This is another important aspect of maintaining the Supply Chain management, Inventory management is the entire process involved in the management of stocks of finished goods and or services, and semi finished products as well as the raw materials belonging to a company. If done properly, Inventory management can help a business organization cut down on its costs while at the same time increasing revenue. More often than not, questions arise as to how much an organization should maintain its Inventory: according to Günter, these entirely depend on the volume as well as the value of the inventory compared to the percentage of the total assets of a business organization.
Different organizations have varying reasons for the management of inventories, business organizations that deal with expensive assets generally maintain their inventories more than business organizations that deal with less expensive assets, for instance an automobile bazaar and a hotel. It should be noted that inventory management is a continuous process; it begins as soon as a business begins the production process which involves ordering for raw materials among other requirements from a supplier. As matter of fact, if one is a retailer, the process begins the moment he or she places the first order with the manufacture. It is therefore advisable for a business organization to employ a specialized staff to carry out inventory management.
The inventory management process begins as soon as one has started production and ordered raw materials, semi-finished products or any other thing from a supplier. If you are a retailer, then this process begins as soon you have placed your first order with the wholesaler.
Capacity planning is a key factor in the management of any business organization; it is a process of determining the capacity within which an organization can handle in meeting the changing demands for its products. In this context, "capacity" refers to “the maximum amount of workload that an organization is capable of completing in a given period of time”. This is synonymous with capacity management as used in business management. There is a discrepancy between the demands of its customers and the capacity on an organization which further results in inefficiency possibly in unfulfilled customers or underutilized resources. It should be noted that the major goal of capacity planning stands at minimizing this discrepancy.
According to Gunther, the demand for an organization's capacity greatly depends on the changes in the production output; this may include increasing or decreasing production quantity of an already existing product, or in the production of new products. It is important to note that the improvement in overall equipment of effectiveness will lead to better utilization of the existing capacity of businesses. There are systematic ways of improving the capacity through the introduction of new techniques, increasing the number of personnel and machinery in the business, the number of shifts or through purchasing more production facilities.
There are three major strategies for enhancing the capacity of a business organization: lead strategy involves addition of capacity with anticipation of increase in the demand of business. This is an aggressive strategy aimed at luring potential and the already existing customers away for their competitors, this is however without disadvantage, and this strategy employs a lot of inventory which at the end of the day will be expensive and wasteful to a business. Lag strategy is the second tool that business organizations employ in its management: this is when a business adds capacity when its business is fully running due to an increase in the demand for its products. It is argued that it is a more conservative business strategy that experts like Bryson argue that it decreases waste while at the same time creating a possibility in loss of customers. Finally, many business enterprises employ match strategy which involves adding capacity in small quantity as demand changes in the market.
Capacity therefore will help a business develop in such a way that all its needs and long term plans will be catered for. Employers will more often than not factor in the need to have a well trained human resource as this will improve the overall performance of a business.
It refers to the systematic organization of the various activities that a business should engage in over a period of time. Scheduling is important in reminding the business leaders or managers as well as workers about the tasks that should be completed over a period of time thereby avoiding the possibility of running down a business due to poor planning of events and activities.
It is an important factor for ensuring that a business organization meets the demands of the clients within a given locale. For instance, many banks operate in areas where there is a high potential for business operators. It is imperative that before setting up a business, an investor should come up with a clearly defined mission, vision as well as the specific clients that he or she seeks to reach with the products and or services.
It is important that every business organization should understand their goals, vision, mission and their clientele so as to properly offer the required services to their target clients. It is further a business policy that there must be total reduction of expenses in a business while at the same time ensuring that there is increased revenue so as to enhance business success. Every challenge in a business should be met through employing different strategies like business outsourcing, maintaining good records of inventories inter alia. Communication is key in a business enterprise and as such, there must be a good communication line through a proper information technology system that integrates the various departments and offices in an organization.