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Business Strategies of Leading Companies

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Element 010

Task: Element 1 Strategy Development Processes – Case – Lego

You are required to provide a 1000 word answer which draws on contemporary strategy theory to identify and discuss the types of strategy development evident at Lego.

Solution : Element 1 The strategy development process of Lego

Lego Company is a Danish toy company which at first made plastic bricks for the children. The children were very much attracted to the Lego bricks. It has been the world’s fourth most selling toymakers and Europe’s biggest toymakers company. The annual average turnover of the company is 9.62 billion kroner. The name ‘Lego’ comes from Danish word Leg Godt. The name means “play well”. The success around the company is due to the strategies that are taken by the managers and the chief executive officer of the company. The company has been taking the taste of success since the year of 1950. The key strategy of the Lego Company is their innovative ideas of making new toys and other playable things like wheels, trains, electronic motors etc for the children. The product development strategy is also a key strategy of the Lego Company.

The Lego Company has always encouraged the development of the products which they manufacture. The Lego Company always attracted the boys as well as the girls to buy their products. Miniature peoples, battery operated space trains, new bricks with different shapes are manufactured by the Lego Company. Most of the Lego Company products are actually has a less life span because it only focuses on the improvement of the products that are manufactured from the Lego Company. There are many strategies which are taken by the Lego Company in the long run. It has also expanded their business by introducing theme parks in the Denmark of the lego bricks. The theme park culture of the Lego Company took a hike and also opened in USA and Germany also. a vision lab has also established in the year of 2002. The main work of this research lab is to improve the products for the future and initiate innovative ideas.  The strategies discuss in the following (Hienerth et al.,2011).

STP

Segmentation

One of the main strategies which really have helped the Lego Company and its growth is the segmentation of the consumers. The Lego Company has understood that the main consumers of the Lego Company or the Lego toys are the children of different ages. The children actually loves to have their own Lego toys even the adults are attracted to the robots that is made by the Lego Company such as Alpharex, spike, Roboarm and the Tribot. The manufacturing of the pink Lego bricks are planned and executed for the European girls.

Targeting

The target audience or the customer selection is the major key feature of the strategically skills of the Lego Company. Lego Company always has done something special for expanding their businesses. The Lego Company had targeted the families by opening the theme parks across Europe and America. They also targeted the adults by introducing robots in their banner (Freeman 2013).

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Positioning

The positioning of a company is plays a major role in the development of a certain company. the Lego Company situated in the Denmark. That was their first company. With the flow of time they somehow managed to tie up with other companies that make Lego toys. The European countries such as Switzerland, South Korea and USA as well are now manufacturing the Lego toys. With the increasing craze of the Lego toys the business has expanded a lot.

Porter’s generic strategies

Cost reduction

Cost reduction techniques are one of the most popular techniques that is followed by most of the companies to attract their respective customers. The common customers always attracted to the things or products that are less in cost and also fit in their budget. The Lego Company has reduced the cost in a realistic level when they had entered in the computer gaming universe. In the mid 90’s the children are very much attracted to the computer games so the  Lego Company has come up with some of the toys with technical features such as the building with brick which is powered by the AA batteries (El Sawy et al,.2016). The Lego Company also comes to the computer gaming platform with the ‘Design by me’ game. This Lego Company game engages the gamers to build their own vehicles, buildings and also the architectures of anything and Lego Company also offered the gamers the actual things that they built in the game which is made of lego bricks and that is also delivered to their doorsteps. These things arouse excitements in the mind of the children around the world. Everything can a customer or gamer has  in his grip in exchange of a realistic reasonable money.

Differentiation

The main feature that most of the company adopt to climb the stairs of success is to manufacture a unique product. A product which is unique in its features and also unique design always can attract the most of the people. The new product with the characteristics that none has offered is a strategy also made by the Lego Company. The Lego Company has a reputation of building bricks so they has managed to launch innovative product surrounding the brick and the architecture. The architecture is very much used in probably all of the products of the Lego Company. These unique features make it unique (Bürgi et al,.2015). An American company has also make this kind of toys with these features with the name of Tyco and the Lego toys and the Tyco products are so same that the Lego Company had sued them to court. The licensed lego toys of different cartoon and novel characters such as bob the builder toys and the harry potter lego toys. The another aspect that has shown the main feature of color in the new launched mobiles and mp3 players of the Lego toys. They has a casing like the lego bricks and that also has a feature of changing them willingly.

Task- Element 2 Ajisne Ramen (China)

You are required to provide a 1000 word answer drawing upon the theory covered in the module to justify and support the key features of success of Ajisen Ramen in China.

Solution - Element 2 Ajisne Ramen (China) successful strategies

Ajisen Ramen (China) is found in Hong Kong. It is very popular as a noodle restaurant in China. It sells Japanese noodle soup dishes. It was started in 1997 in China. Its first dish was served in a wooden bowl. The Chinese customers considered this as better quality and very much fashionable but not expensive. So it has become very famous among the young workers in China. Ramen noodles are growing rapidly as it was considered to be healthier food than any other fast food. The outlet of Ajisen was designed in their unique lantern style environment which was looked like the original Japanese restaurant. After entering the restaurant, a ‘byobu’ screen with pictures is seen and Chinese waitress wish good evening in Japanese. Ajisen Ramen was succeeded because of its casual food creation with the help of the raw materials purchased in unified way and the unified making of the food to keep the taste unique (Zhang 2018).

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The Ajisen Ramen noodle used to make standardized product to serve its customers quickly in each of its outlets and it also makes advantages of cost. Ajisen Ramen had deployed the ERP system successfully to get a stable network to maintain the headquarters and related branches all over China. There was a raise in the Hong Kong stock exchange of $210 million in March 2007 and the stock was valued at $1.4 billion. Now a brand of Ajisen has been successfully built in China being high quality Japanese fast food and noodles. Its turnover has been exceeded by Hong Kong $2 billion. Ajisen Ramen(Holdings) Limited has expanded highly in China. There are new $13.7 million noodle factory in Shanghai which supply noodles in 500 restaurants. There is also manufacture and sell of the packaged noodle and this makes 7500 points of sale all over the world.

The Ajisen Ramen always focuses on the uniqueness of his noodles the specialty of the fast food noodles chain is the white broth. This white broth is made with the boners of fishes and other creatures such as birds and other smaller creatures. This also is the key ingredient or rather can be said secret recipes of all the dishes he made. Ajisen Ramen always focuses on the promotional strategies of the company. the Ajisen Ramen company always uses many luring outlets. The food chain has a specific feature of buying the raw materials and the vegetables and also noodles from a particular supplier in a unified way. This makes the taste of the noodles of all the food chains of Ajisen Ramen the same and also authentic. The authenticity always attracts the people around the republic of china.  The Ajisen Ramen has presented the noodle shops with the heaviest touch of Japanese style. The Japanese style of restaurants is the main and unique feature of the Ajisen Ramen noodles and also the food restaurant chain.

The Ajisen Ramen restaurants’ Chinese waitresses greet the customers with the Japanese welcome speech. Ajisen Ramen always maintained this kind of authenticity to be a unique presenter of the food restaurant chains industry (El Sawy et al,.2016). Ajisen Ramen Company has expanded their businesses not by just opening several of restaurants but selling their products in different way such as selling packaged noodles to the normal people who cannot come to buy the noodles from the fast food restaurants chain. The Ajisen Ramen has a annual turnover of 2 billion dollars. The shares of the Ajisen Ramen company has also a increase of the price contradicting the noodles price. The business also has a vast spread in Hong Kong. The Ajisen Ramen noodles supplied in above 450 restaurants around the Hong Kong.

Shigemitsu Sangyo is the company that is operating Ajisen Ramen in Japan. Although ramen is traditional to the Chinese cuisine, through historical significance it has gained its audience in Japan too. With 130 outlets in Kumamoto, Japan, Ajisen Ramen has been able to popularize its noodle to a target base of less number of young people in a $3.5 billion industry. One of the main reasons behind its sky-rocketing success is its nature to experiment. It dared to experiment with the curry-flavored noodle in several outlets and it turned out to be a hit among its customers, this in turn boosted the company’s confidence in the product and the same was launched in their developing outlets in China and Southeast Asia. It then made its way back to Japan and was also an instant hit there.

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This nature of experimentation, feedback and implementation did the company a huge favor. There is also a matter of choice in question here. The company allows switching the toppings in various locations depending on the local favorites while keeping the base of the soup that is the tonkotsu same for their noodle bowls. This allowed the outlets to have an individual character which has enabled the company to have a growing fondness among the locals. For example in Hong Kong the company serves king crab which is something that is appreciated among the locals there where as in case of New York it sells noodles with teriyaki-salmon toppings. This not only provides a welcoming change based on cultural perspective to each region but also shows why the company has been able to cater to a diverse consumer base with a huge success. These are choices that have been made by Ajisen Ramen which not only has kept their business afloat but also been able to provide them with a boost for the success that they have achieved. The rich flavor that the soup base provide which can be traced back to China is an all time favorite b but the toppings that are provided on the noodles are of a different kind and is what sets Ajisen Ramen apart from their competitors. They have abolished the limits to experiment with their food and are able to adapt to different cultures which is what adds to the success of their noodle story.

Task -Element 3 Leadership & Strategic Change – Case – Transformational change at General Electric (GE)

You are required to provide a 1000 word answer in relation to the theory on ‘types of strategic change’ and ‘managing strategic change programmes’, identifying what type of strategic change was undertaken by GE? In addition, highlight what challenges organisations may face in trying to replicate this approach.

Solution - Element 3 Transformational change in General Electric

John was the one historically responsible for the strategic changes that brought GE to a recognized business platform. The changes that GE thrived upon included three steps- awakening, envisioning and re-architecting. These three changes were predominantly the reason behind the strategic management and changes that were implemented in General Electronics. Welch was one of a kind in implementing these changes (Goetsch, and Davis, 2014).

Awakening

This was the first and foremost strategy that Welch at GE implemented for bringing in strategic changes and programmes in the organization. This formed the first basic step and arose out of the need for change in the organization as early as the 1980s. This step was an inevitable one in the history of General Electronics, without this first step there would be no need for the implementation of changes in the organization as a whole. As of now there are several strategies and programmes that are being implemented in multiple organizations across the world. The revenues recurred were very low in comparison to the estimates anticipated. There was an extreme need for monitoring cash flow as expensive investments with less revenue put the business in a tough spot. The decision making process was diagnosed to be too slow for the company.

This formed the fundamental reason for the under-performance of the company at a regular basis. The first thing that was addressed by Welch for this step was to pick out the managers of the company who were potential leaders. This is a very classic step for organizational change management which allows the organization to bring in the change smoothly with as less resistance as possible. Once this was done, it was then that the changes that would be implemented throughout the organization were conveyed to the managers. Several forms of resistance were observed when this was done, mainly in the cultural, technical and political front of the company. There was a fierce resistance observed in terms of accepting new reforms and the intention to stick to old bureaucratic methods besides withholding power and overconfidence from old ways and the success achieved in the past through them. Even then GE handled through this resistance and brought in the changes. Control for external corporate communication was undertaken by Welch, he constantly used for assessing the standards of competition in the market and the strict rules that were a part of the old strategic system were thoroughly abolished under Welch’s watch for the strategic changes in the organization. This brought in a huge change in the management and development aspects of the company and those who couldn’t keep up with the changes or were resisting these were asked to leave.

Envisioning

The three main issues that were witnessed during the process of awakening were to be addressed in this step. This was a crucial decision that was supposed to be taken by the company in order to move on to the next step. This step addressed all of these resistances that were witnessed. Managers who were unable to keep up with the changes or were overconfident about the old ways were asked to part ways with the company. This ensured that the company took up the changes in a positive way and worked to the best of their abilities to welcome and implement the changes that were being brought about.  These issues were addressed with relevant strategies like benchmark’s competitors and the ways undertaken by them for growing their business, analyze and take measures accordingly (Doppelt, B., 2017).

Re-architecturing

Welch’s vision was to build an organization without boundaries that would resolve internal and external conflicts thereby leading to the growth of the organization. These changes and the strategies for them were not easy to implement but was the driving force. Great emphasis was being laid during the process if changes to provide free flow of information in the organization instead of sticking to old bureaucratic methods of strategic changes which according to Welch was just orthodox ideas which did not have a great part to play in the development of the organization (Booth, 2015). The main idea behind this move was to have people working at a quicker pace at their job and have the capability of the organization escalated to a level where it acts like a big organization and has the self-confidence of a small one as it was previously a cultural resistance from the internal components of the organization to be overconfident in old methods due to past success.

It was hence of extreme importance to bring in the change and execute as soon as possible. GE in the past strategies had focused only on the performance of the senior executives and the incentives for the job done were provided accordingly with the rest of the employees less enthused about how they acted. Welch abolished the system of hierarchical management and made incentive based work available to employees and managers to keep them motivated at their job (Grant, 2016). Cross-functional project teams were created which ensured that the employees and managers were able to interconnect in their work and have the team develop and train to take up future challenges together. New alliances were being established with the supply chain suppliers and feedbacks from the customers were something that emphasis was laid upon. This ensured that the organization was constantly analyzing the changes that were being implemented and was also receiving feedbacks at the same time.

Other companies that were in competition with GE were implementing several strategies. The strategies that would be implemented here might not be suitable for them. Although the techniques mentioned here made history in the industry but there was suitable measures taken to resolve the resistance that were faced during the changes. For other companies doing the same would not be beneficial if the root causes like low productivity, low revenue, and expensive investment in cash flow were not the same for it (Lei and Slocum, 2013). As the hierarchical structures were abolished, it got a huge backlash from senior executives; this for a growing company in its initial days might turn out to be fatal. This would not only create chaos if not handled properly but also create an environment not worthy of a properly functioning organization.

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