Iztok Smolic | Drupal consultant
The couple that remain are emptied in record time, and very nice they are too. The Northern Way from Irun via Bilbao, Santander and Oviedo (km). .. Follow Pol's advice and prevent your pilgrimage becoming a pain. .. of Lisbeth ' Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Sep 7, (p. 22). Examples in this sense are London, in the UK, and Santander, in Spain . marketing, customer relationship management, and strategic the companies that represent tips on how to increase the level of customer Blomkvist () indicates that some immaterial aspects of the service cannot. One evening in February , Larsson's character Mikael Blomkvist women in Sweden have been subjected to aggravated sexual assault outside a sexual relationship. Live music in Santander and beyond, October—November .. So, a word of advice, if I may: don't buy if you don't mean to eat it the same day .
The most successful companies learn how to effectively manage risk. Effectively managing 8 risks reduces investors uncertainty about the results of their investment. Returns are often measured in terms of accounting figures, such as return on assets, return on equity, or return on sales.
Alternatively, returns can be measured on the basis of stock market returns, such as monthly returns the end-of-the-period stock price minus the begin - ning stock price, divided by the beginning stock price, yielding a percentage return. Average returns are returns equal to those an investor expects to earn from other investments with a simi - lar amount of risk.
In the long run, an inability to earn at least average returns results first in decline and, eventually, failure. Failure occurs because investors withdraw their investments from those firms earning less-than-average returns.
This is what happened to Borders when it was unable to earn returns. Indeed, it lost money and because of the investors lack of confidence in the firm, its stock price fell perilously close to zero. As we noted above, there are no guarantees of permanent success. This is true for Borders, which enjoyed a considerable amount of success in the s. Even considering Average returns are returns equal to those an investor expects to earn from other investments with a similar amount of risk.
Strategic Management Inputs The strategic management process is the full set of commitment, decisions, and actions required for a firm to achieve strategic competitiveness and earn above-average returns. Apple s excellent current performance, it still must be careful not to become overconfident and continue its quest to be the leader in its markets.
Apple is the topic of a Strategic Focus segment later in this chapter. The strategic management process see Figure 1. The firm s first step in the process is to analyze its external envi - ronment and internal organization to determine its resources, capabilities, and core competencies the sources of its strategic inputs. Obviously, Borders process failed at this point because it did not understand the market in which it competed.
It performed poorly against other large chain-store retailers and failed to foresee the major changes in the market with increasing sales of electronic books. With the information gained from external and internal analyses, the firm develops its vision and mission and formulates one or more strategies. To implement its strate - gies, the firm takes actions toward achieving strategic competitiveness and above-average returns. Effective strategic actions that take place in the context of carefully integrated strategy formulation and implementation efforts result in positive outcomes.
This dynamic strategic management process must be maintained as ever-changing markets and competitive structures are coordinated with a firm s continuously evolving strategic inputs. These explanations demonstrate why some firms consistently achieve competi - tive success while others fail to do so. First, we describe the current competitive landscape. This challenging landscape is being created primarily by the emergence of a global economy, globalization resulting from that economy, and rapid technolog - ical changes.
Next, we examine two models that firms use to gather the information and knowledge required to choose and then effectively implement their strategies. The insights gained from these models also serve as the foundation for forming the firm s vision and mission. Identifying and then competing successfully in an attractive i. After discussing vision and mission, direction-setting statements that influence the choice and use of strategies, we describe the stakeholders that organizations serve.
The degree to which stakeholders needs can be met increases when firms achieve strategic competitiveness and earn above-average returns. Closing the chapter are introductions to strategic leaders and the elements of the strategic management process.
The Competitive Landscape The fundamental nature of competition in many of the world s industries is changing.
The reality is that financial capital continues to be scarce and markets are increasingly volatile. Even determining the boundaries of an industry has become challenging.
Today, not only do cable companies and satellite networks compete for entertainment revenue from television, but telecommunication companies are moving into the entertainment business through significant improvements in fiber-optic lines.
Conventional sources of competitive advantage s uch as economies of scale and huge advertising budgets are not as effective as they once were in terms of helping firms earn above-average returns. Moreover, the traditional managerial mind-set is unlikely to lead a firm to strategic competitiveness. Managers must adopt a new mind-set that values flexibility, speed, innovation, integration, and the challenges that evolve from constantly changing conditions.
Hypercompetition is a term often used to capture the realities of the competitive landscape. Under conditions of hypercompetition, assumptions of market stability are replaced by notions of inherent instability and change.
It is a condition of rapidly escalating competition based on price-quality positioning, competition to create new know-how and establish first-mover advantage, and competition to protect or invade established product or geographic markets. The emergence of a global economy and technology, specifically rapid technological change, are the two primary drivers of hypercompetitive environments and the nature of today s competitive landscape.
The Global Economy A global economy is one in which goods, services, people, skills, and ideas move freely across geo - graphic borders. Relatively unfettered by artificial constraints, such as tariffs, the global economy sig - nificantly expands and complicates a firm s com - petitive environment. In the past, China was generally seen as a low-competition market and a low-cost producer. Today, China is an extremely competi - tive market in which local market-seeking MNCs [multinational corporations] must fiercely com - pete against other MNCs and against those local companies that are more cost effective and faster in pr oduct de velopment.
The European Union is composed of more than 25 member states including Austria, Lithuania, and Ireland. While it began as a purely economic union, it has evolved into an organization that spans many areas from economic development to environmental policy. Strategic Management Inputs globalization globalization globalization globalization S t r a t e g i c F o c u s Huawei also Needs Guanxi in the United States Building strong relationships is an important dimension of Chinese culture.
In fact, Guanxi strong relationships in which each party feels obligated to help the other is a major element of doing business in China.6 Signs He Doesn't Want A Relationship With You - Dating Advice For Women by Mat Boggs
Huawei has learned that Guanxi is also important for doing business in the United States. Huawei is the largest manufacturer of phone network equipment in China and second in global markets to Sweden s Ericsson AB. Huawei first invested in the United States in and has developed a sizable presence in global markets, yet the portion of its total sales revenue from North and South America is negligible.
Huawei has become a highly innovative company, filing 1, patents in alone. In fact, Fast Company ranked Huawei as the fifth most innovative company in its listing. It has become Huawei Technologies is entering the booming market for a major supplier of telecommunications products such as routers and fiber systems and also has a significant share of Internet-based computing, the wireless market with its LTE and WiMAX technologies.
Despite these significant successes, Huawei has experienced problems in the U. For example, it tried to acquire several U. Init bid for 2Wire, a consumer electronics and software firm, and also tried to acquire the business telecom unit of Motorola, but both were sold to other companies.
The companies said that they did not believe that Huawei would gain the approval from the U. InHuawei tried to acquire 3Leaf, a U. Despite the fact the 3Leaf was insolvent, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States recommended against the acquisition.
Members of the U. Congress and government officials had concerns about Huawei. Thus, Huawei has not built Guanxi with the U. Some of the concerns stem from the original linkages between Huawei and the Chinese military and because of prior charges against the company suggesting that it stole proprietary technology.
Thus, Huawei has barriers to overcome. Huawei continues to seek better footing in U. For example, the company has asked the U. In addition, Huawei had a major year anniversary celebration for its U. In the invitation, Huawei described the firm as a local global company. The invitation also explained that it has deepened its commitment to the United States in its first 10 years of operations there, and is a consumer-oriented, responsible corporate citizen in the communities where it has operations.
These are the right words to say, but Huawei must also convince U. It needs to proactively build relationships with federal and state government officials. Regardless, to achieve the level of success in U. Woyke,Huawei holding year U. Barboza,China telecom giant, thwarted in U.
Lococo,Huawei says it s no threat to U. Happy to spend there, blocks acquisitions here, Fast Company, August 5; S. McCracken,Huawei said to have failed in U. India, the world s largest democracy, has an economy that also is growing rapidly and now ranks as the fourth largest in the world. This fact is explored in the Strategic Focus on Huawei.
The discussion shows that barriers to entering foreign markets still exist, however. Essentially, Huawei must build credibility in the U.
The statistics detailing the nature of the global economy reflect the realities of a hypercompetitive business environment and challenge individual firms to think seriously about the markets in which they will compete. Consider the case of General Electric GE. Although headquartered in the United States, GE expects that as much as 60 percent of its revenue growth through will be generated by competing in rapidly developing economies e.
The decision to count on revenue growth in emerg - ing economies instead of in developed countries such as the United States and European nations seems quite reasonable in the global economy. GE achieved significant growth in partly because of signing contracts for large infrastructure projects in China and Russia. GE s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, argues that we have entered a new economic era in which the global economy will be more volatile and that most of the growth will come from emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and India.
Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness The March of Globalization Globalization is the increasing economic interdependence among countries and their organizations as reflected in the flow of goods and services, financial capital, and knowledge across country borders.
In globalized markets and industries, financial capital might be obtained in one national market and used t o buy raw mate rials in anoth er. Manufacturing equipment bought from a third national market can then be used to produce products that are sold in yet a fourth market.
Thus, globalization increases the range of opportunities for com - panies competing in the current competitive landscape. Strategic Management Inputs Overall, it is important to note that globalization has led to higher performance standards in many competitive dimensions, including those of quality, cost, productiv - ity, product introduction time, and operational efficiency.
In addition to firms compet - ing in the global economy, these standards affect firms competing on a domestic-only basis. The reason is that customers will purchase from a global competitor rather than a domestic firm when the global company s good or service is superior.
- D Underbelly
- On-Demand Workshops
- Lisbeth santander and mikael blomkvist relationship counseling
Because workers now flow rather freely among global economies, and because employees are a key source of competitive advantage, firms must understand that increasingly, the best people will come from anywhere. Although globalization offers potential benefits to firms, it is not without risks. Collectively, the risks of participating outside of a firm s domestic country in the global economy are labeled a liability of foreignness.
A firm s performance can suffer until this knowledge is either developed locally or transferred from the home market to the newly established global location. In this instance, firms may over - diversify internationally beyond their ability to manage these extended operations.
Thus, entry into international markets, even for firms with substantial experience in the global economy, requires effective use of the strategic management process. It is also important to note that even though global markets are an attractive strategic option for some companies, they are not the only source of strategic competitiveness.
In fact, for most companies, even for those capable of competing successfully in global markets, it is critical to remain committed to and strategically competitive in both domestic and international markets by staying attuned to technological opportunities and potential competitive disruptions that innovations create. Through these categories, technology is significantly altering the nature of competition and contributing to unstable competitive environments as a result of doing so.
Technology Diffusion and Disruptive Technologies The rate of technology diffusion, which is the speed at which new technologies become available and are used, has increased substantially over the past 15 to 20 years.
Consider the following rates of technology diffusion: It took the telephone 35 years to get into 25 percent of all homes in the United States. It took TV 26 years. It took radio 22 years. It took PCs 16 years. It took the Internet 7 years. The shorter product life cycles resulting from these rapid diffusions of new technologies place a competitive premium on being able to quickly introduce new, innovative goods and services into the marketplace.
Indeed, some argue that the global economy is increasingly driven by or revolves around constant innovations. Not surprisingly, such innovations must be derived from an understanding of global standards and expectations of product functionality. Apple is an excellent example of a large established firm capable of radical innovation. Also, in order to diffuse the technology and enhance the value of an innovation, additional firms need to be innovative in their use of the new technology, building it into their products.
In this sense, the rate of technological diffusion has reduced the competitive benefits of patents. Today, patents may be an effective way of protecting proprietary technology in a small number of industries such as pharmaceuticals. Indeed, many firms competing in the electronics industry often do not apply for patents to prevent competitors from gaining access to the technological knowledge included in the patent application.
Disruptive technologies technologies that destroy the value of an existing technology and create new markets 48 surface frequently in today s competitive markets. Think of the new markets created by the technologies underlying the development of products such as ipods, ipads, WiFi, and the browser. These types of products are thought by some to represent radical or breakthrough innovations. A disruptive or radical technology can create what is essentially a new industry or can harm industry incumbents.
However, some incumbents are able to adapt based on their superior resources, experience, and ability to gain access to the new technology through multiple sources e. For example, the ipod and its comple - mentary itunes have revolutionized how music is sold to and used by consumers.
In conjunction with other complementary and competitive products e. Apple s new technologies and products are also contributing to the new information age. Thus, Apple provides an example of entrepreneurship through technology emergence across multiple industries. Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness The Information Age Dramatic changes in information technology have occurred in recent years.
Personal computers, cellular phones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, massive databases, and multiple social networking sites are only a few examples of how information is used differ - ently as a result of technological developments.
An important outcome of these changes is that the ability to effectively and efficiently access and use information has become an important source of competitive advantage in virtually all industries. Information tech - nology advances have given small firms more flexibility in competing with large firms, if that technology can be efficiently used. For instance, the number of personal computers in use globally is expected to surpass three billion by More than million were sold in the United States alone in The declining costs of information technologies and the increased accessibility to them are also evident in the current competitive landscape.
The global proliferation of relatively inexpensive computing power and its linkage on a global scale via computer networks combine to increase the speed and diffusion of information technologies. Thus, the competitive potential of information technologies is now available to companies of all sizes throughout the world, including those in emerging economies.
Available to an increasing number of people throughout the world, the Internet provides an infrastructure that allows the delivery of information to computers in any location. Access to the Internet on smaller devices such as cell phones is having an ever-growing impact on competition in a number of industries.
Technology and Innovation A popular children s game is to take the core of an apple after eating it and say Apple core, Baltimore, who is your friend?
The child who is a target may not want the apple core thrown at her or him. In the world of business, firms clearly do not want to be targeted by Apple s core with new technology, which is likely in the form of an innovative product. In recent years, Apple has transformed industries with the introduction of new products such as the ipod, ipad currently causing a transformationand to some degree, even the iphone.
Apple has achieved phenomenal success with the introduction of these innovative products. In fact, Steven Jobs was selected by Fortune magazine as the CEO of the first decade of the twenty-first century, based on the fact that Apple under his leadership has transformed four industries, three of them in the most recent decade.
In addition, inFast Company named Apple the most innovative company, and Fortune ranked Apple as the top company in its annual survey and evaluation of companies based on multiple criteria. In addition, Apple had the second largest market capitalization of all firms in the world. As these data suggest, Apple is one of the top companies in the world based on almost any criterion or set of criteria used.
Because of this, Apple is perceived exceptionally well by customers and has what some refer to as legendary market power. An executive with one telecommunications company suggested that to negotiate with Apple, one has to start on his knees, implying that you almost have to beg them to partner with your firm.
Apple s growth rate has been phenomenal and its financial performance even more impressive. And, the appeal of Apple s products is global. For example, Apple has announced the opening of its fifth store in China to handle growing demand for its products. Currently, Apple s stores in China handle 40, people daily, four times the average flow of customers in its U. Although there are many reasons for its success, the primary reason rests with Apple s new technology development and innovative new products.
Tom Sweeney's Travels – Page 2 – Award-winning travel writer
Apple s most recent successful launch was the ipad. When it was introduced, analysts projected sales somewhere between This Apple Retail Store 1 to 10 million units. In the first nine months after the ipad s introduction, Apple sold 15 million of them. As often happens with highly on 5th Avenue in New York City enjoys a successful innovations, competitors quickly developed and introduced steady flow of traffic imitative ipads. In fact, competitors sold almost 1 million units during every day, as do many the first year after the ipad s introduction to the market.
One consulting firm announced that 64 different companies introduced a total of urban Apple retail locations. Even more remarkable is that currently Apple s stores in Apple then introduced the ipad 2, which is lighter, faster, and more different tablets designed to sell to the same market as the ipad.
China handle 40, versatile, yet usually sells for the same price as the original ipad. One people daily, four times executive described the ipad 2 as Secretariat the famous champion the average flow of customers in its U. He suggested that it would lead the imitative competitors products by 31 lengths as Secretariat did in the Belmont Stakes. Apple is expected to retain at least 80 percent of the tablet computer market even with the many imitative products on the market.
Service Providers ISPs pricing structures could affect the rate of growth of Internet-based applications. Users downloading or streaming high-definition movies, playing video games online, and so forth would be affected the most if ISPs were to base their pricing structure around total usage.
Increasing Knowledge Intensity Knowledge information, intelligence, and expertise is the basis of technology and its application. In the competitive landscape of the twenty-first century, knowledge is a criti - cal organizational resource and an increasingly valuable source of competitive advantage. Fo r e xample, W al-mart tr ansformed retailing through its proprietary approach to su pply ch ain ma nagement a nd its in formationrich relationships with customers and suppliers.
Knowledge is gained through experience, observation, and inference and is an intangible resource tangible and intangible resources are fully described in Chapter 3. The value of intangible resources, including knowledge, is growing as a proportion of total shareholder value in today s competitive land - scape.
In fact, firms lacking the appropriate internal knowledge resources are less likely to invest money in research and development. There are several ways in which knowledge spillovers occur, including the hiring of professional staff and managers by competitors. In addition, firms must build routines that facilitate the diffusion of local knowledge throughout the organization for use everywhere that it has value. Strategic flexibility is a set of capabilities used to respond to various demands and opportunities existing in a dynamic and uncertain competitive environment.
Thus, stra - tegic flexibility involves coping with uncertainty and its accompanying risks. However, those working within firms to develop strategic flexibility should understand that the task is not easy, largely because of inertia that can build up over time.
A firm s focus and past core competencies may actually slow change and strategic flexibility. Strategic Management Inputs To be strategically flexible on a continuing basis and to gain the competitive benefits of such flexibility, a firm has to develop the capacity to learn. Continuous learning provides the firm with new and up-to-date skill sets, which allow it to adapt to its environment as it encounters changes.
The model specifies that the industry or segment of an industry in which a company chooses to compete has a stronger influence on performance than do the choices managers make inside their organizations. First, the external environment is assumed to impose pressures and constraints that determine the strategies that would result in above-average returns. Second, most firms competing within an industry or within a segment of that industry are assumed to control similar strategically relevant resources and to pursue similar strategies in light of those resources.
Third, resources used to implement strategies are assumed to be highly mobile across firms, so any resource differences that might develop between firms will be short-lived. Fourth, organizational decision makers are assumed to be rational and committed to acting in the firm s best interests, as shown by their profit-maximizing behaviors. Because most firms are assumed to have similar valuable resources that are mobile across companies, their performance generally can be increased only when they operate in the industry with the highest profit potential and learn how to use their resources to implement the strategy required by the industry s structural characteristics.
The model explained in Chapter 2 encompasses several variables and tries to capture the complexity of competition. The five forces model suggests that an industry s profitability i. The cost leadership and product differentiation strategies are discussed in Chapter 4. However, by focusing on product innovations and enhancing existing facilities while buying properties outside the United States at attractive prices for selectively building new stores, McDonald s is posi - tioned in the fast food or quick-service restaurant industry to earn above-average returns.
Study the external environment, especially the industry environment. Locate an industry with high potential for aboveaverage returns. Identify the strategy called for by the attractive industry to earn aboveaverage returns. The External Environment The general environment The industry environment The competitor environment An Attractive Industry An industry whose structural characteristics suggest aboveaverage returns Strategy Formulation Selection of a strategy linked with above-average returns in a particular industry Chapter 1: Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness 4.
Develop or acquire assets and skills needed to implement the strategy. Assets and Skills Assets and skills required to implement a chosen strategy 5.
Try the speck instead. Or, as I will forever fondly remember her after my meal in the mountains, Alexandra the Great. It would be rude to refuse.
Across cow pat-scented meadows and through forests we tramp, with a spring in our step, thanks to the bouncy carpets of lush grass and fallen pine needles. In a clearing, an elderly goatherd sitting on a rock and biting bits off a chunk of salami while his bearded buddies chew the cud stands up and we exchange cheery waves.
My panic is short-lived. Even more fortunately, and after closer inspection, the bull turns out to be a cow, which lowers its head and goes back to mowing the meadow.
Compared with superstar lakes Como and Garda, Levico is a mere puddle, but in this case small is indeed beautiful. It must have melted. Rather, 18 months before, 2, bottles of locally-produced spumante had been deposited on the bottom as part of the ageing process known as aquaoir. This I learn from Raffaella Patoner and Cristina Eberle, of the Trentino and Valsugana tourism boards respectively, as we potter about on Levico aboard an environmentally-friendly battery-powered boat.
The couple that remain are emptied in record time, and very nice they are too. Lake Levico from the boat and, below, yours truly with gracious hosts Raffaella and Cristina A Lidl misunderstanding Raffaella tells me that Levico Terme — the town beside the lake — is famous for its Lidl, especially on weekends.
From the UK and Ireland too. Hang on there a second. They come here for the lido! Who needs to travel all the way to the seaside when the lakeside provides just as much fun? You know when you scratch certain dogs behind the ear and one of their back legs goes into convulsions? Apart from that, the last thing my sunburnt calves need is someone prodding their fingers into them, so I saunter over to the outdoor pool and settle in to a sun lounger.
Thinking a fellow Scot has sussed me, what with my red-raw legs, I turn and find a distinguished-looking grey-haired gentleman, early 60s, in a suit and tie, smiling and offering his hand. Welcome tae the Grrand Imperrial. She certainly married a warm, wonderful and funny guy. He tells me that as a young man with a yearning for adventure he hit the road and travelled widely, learning the bar and hotel trades along the way and becoming fluent in English, Dutch, French, German and Russian.
Driver Matteo arrives, and Ruggero walks with me to the car. Castel Pergine, from where no prisoner of war in his right mind would ever want to escape Escape to Colditz Perched on a pine-skirted, stand-alone mini mountain, Castel Pergine looks a bit like Colditz, but has much better catering. How does that sound?