Weekly Reflection During the past week in our Strategic Management Business class, Learning Team C learned more about one another, and I have no doubt several of us has even learned a great deal about ourselves. First, we were educated about certain topics that made each individual feel comfortable discussing such as growth, stability strategies, and retrenchment strategies, also known as the three grand strategies (Hunger & Wheelen, 2010). We reflected on a variety of topics that made us struggle a bit, such as portfolio analysis and the process of strategic choice.
Last, the Team connected what was learned during the former week to one particular field of work; evaluating a current warehouse operation and how the idea of implementing a third party vendor will improve delivery times and inventory management. Comfortable Topics Discussed This week the members of Team C felt comfortable discussing directional strategies. Directional strategies consist of three grand strategies. The three grand strategies are growth, stability strategies, and retrenchment strategies (Hunger & Wheelen, 2010).
The directional strategy that the team focused on this week was growth. The two growth strategies are concentration and diversification. The members of Team C enjoyed learning about and discussing the two concentration strategies, which are horizontal and vertical growth. Businesses achieve vertical growth when they take over a role formerly provided by means of a dealer or by a distributor. “The company, in effect, grows by making its own supplies and/or by distributing its own products” (Hunger & Wheelen, 2010).
On the other hand, businesses achieve horizontal growth by expanding operation to other geographic locations and by increasing the range of products and services offered to current markets (Hunger & Wheelen, 2010). Studies show business that grows horizontally has a higher survival rate. Topics that our team struggled with Learning Team C was intrigued by many topics from this week’s objectives. A topic we struggled with was portfolio analysis, including “BCG Growth-Share Matrix and GE Business Screen’.
According to Wheelen and Hunger (2010), “…since the 1970s and 1980s more than half the largest business corporations used portfolio analysis, it is still used by 27 percent of Fortune 500 firms in corporate strategy formulation” (pg. 220). The Matrix is a bit confusing as the manager is trying to determine the significance of a business unit or product line in terms of profit and assets. The GE Business Screen is even more complicated with nine cells and more data. Another challenging topic of Leaning Team C is the process of strategic choice.
Because there is an ever-changing environment for any organization, it is hard to reach consensus on the best strategic decisions. Therefore, managers must recognize disagreement is part of the task of strategic planning. Learning Team C found this a bit contrary to our current work environments in which consensus is valued and there is an emphasis on de-escalating conflict. Explain how the weekly topics related to an application in a particular field of work A topic that had a direct application to a current job this week was the article on warehouse management in a global market.
One of our company’s is currently in the process of evaluating a current warehouse operation, and the employees are reviewing the options of using a third party vendor with an improved logistics system or consolidating the current warehouses into one more manageable location. This article gave a good deal of insight into the thought on how effective multiple warehouses can be versus one larger warehouse because of delivery times and inventory management. The company is leaning toward using the third party vendor but materials that have been reviewed this week make us more confident about the decision.
Conclusion In conclusion, Team C found some topics difficult to learn initially and others somewhat less difficult to understand. One topic, which is particularly difficult, is portfolio analysis, including BBG Growth-Share Matrix and GE Business Screen. Although these tools can be confusing, they are helpful in determining how organizations should focus their time and money when handling multiple product lines. The topics Team C felt comfortable with were directional strategies, which are comprised of three grand strategies; growth, stability, and retrenchment.
Also discussed were the growth strategies concentration and diversification. When Team C looks at how these topics relate to real-world applications the article on warehouse management in a global market seems, especially fitting. The effectiveness of various warehousing methods is discussed in the article, which one team member mentions as a current work-related project for the company he works for. References Wheelen, T. L. , & Hunger, J. D. (2010). Concepts in strategic management and business policy (12th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.