Value Creation Strategy – Business Model

To create sustainable, long-term value for all the stakeholders of a firm, it is important to explicitly establish an appropriate stakeholder value target. However what would constitute the “success” condition for all the stakeholders of a firm would vary from the goals of individual stakeholder. For an investor in a firm, value may be seen as through higher market price of his stocks and bonds, where as, for a mid level worker, value may mean better returns in terms of satisfaction from the job, maybe in terms of pay grade improvements or in terms of job satisfaction. Although, what constitutes “value creation” may be dependent on stakeholder perception, for a generic strategic framework, there is a need to conceptualize a generic framework to achieve a target so the value may be created for the firm as a whole, in strict strategic sense.

The key to reach this target and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage is the alignment of business strategy, financial strategy, technology strategy, marketing strategy and investor strategies. One such model developed in strategic management literature is that of Strategy Maps.

In Strategic Maps framework, value is created through 3 main organizational resources, namely Human Capital, Information capital and Organization Capital.

As depicted in this model, value for a firm is essentially created through the interaction of  four processes, namely, “Operations management processes“, “Customer relationship management processes“, “Innovation processes” and “Regulatory and Social processes“. Under each process, there are lots of transaction level processes which create value. Monitoring and strategizing on the value creation of  transaction level processes is the functionality of Mid Level management in the organization which may be termed as “Ploy for Value Creation“. Focus here could be “Ploys” for improving cost structure or improving asset utilization within the firm. The objective at this level is to focus on productivity enhancing strategies.

For the executive senior management, strategy formulation for the purpose of “Value creation” would have a different focus. Their objective could be to expand the revenue opportunities through entering a new marketdecide a growth strategy for a product or market, or focus on Business Diversification strategies. In short, the role of the executives would be to evaluate various growth strategies for the firm, which could lead to huge revenues and thus economic value creation in the near future, upon realization of the plan post implementation of the strategy.

There are many other strategic frameworks for the creation of value for businesses which have their individual merits and limitations.  Another popular framework for value creation is that of Prahlad et al. (2004)

Do let us know if you have any query.

Product Life Cycle Management

Product life cycle management (or PLC management) is the sequential formulation and implementation of strategies used by Marketing Professionals as a product goes through its life cycle. The conditions of the market in which a product gets sold changes over time and the issues that arises with the changes must be managed as the product moves through its succession of stages. Continue reading “Product Life Cycle Management”

Supply Chain Value Management

No doubt that the efficient management of the Supply Chain is crucial for any business, but the grasping question always comes is how does it create value for the firm? More still, how can that value be better managed so as to create competitive advantage for the firm?

While the Value Chain analysis as developed by Michael Porter in 1985 argues as being efficient for creating a sustainable platform for value generation for firms so that they may achieve competitive advantage in the industry, the proposition is not without major limitations, like all other popular frameworks in strategic management literature.

Theory of Economics is one of many possible ways to define and measure value.

While operationalizing the definition of value, it is crucial to note whether the exchange that creates this economic value is between business entities i.e.  Business to Business (B2B) – or between a firm and a consumer – i.e., Business to Consumer (B2C).

Since Supply Chain is intrinsic to creation of economic value between business entities only, we focus on B2B value creation. There are 3 forms of value that is created in B2B type economic transactions that is widely accepted in strategic management literature focusing on Supply Chains.

  1. Technical value, which is intrinsic to the resource being provided and occurs in almost every economic exchanges.
  2. Organizational value, which is built upon the context of the exchange, and may derive from a range of factors such as ethical standards, prestige, reliability, and association.  This may help the organization get more than the normal economic value from the transactional point of view, in terms of helping the same to achieve some degree of competitive advantage.
  3. Personal value, which is derived from the personal experiences and relationships involved in the exchange of resources and the benefits provided to the entities associated with the firms bounded by the economic exchange.

Value in supply chain gets created through the following processes:

  1. Supply chain modeling must be done quantitatively and objectively. Understanding of the goals objectively is crucial for its success.
  2. The major challenge in an excellent supply chain network is not to build a model but to model the sensitivity of one variable against others optimally. A simple model can work fine in many cases. However, supply chain experts (OR & Analytics Professionals) should be involved immediately when doing multi-layered inventory strategies, industrial engineers and operations.
  3. The fundamental building blocks of work are the methods and standards for the tasks. Value creation occurs when the changing business dynamics can be effectively modeled regularly to drive maximum benefits. (remember the Theories of Constraints?)

So creating value from supply chain should be a major focus for all manufacturing companies.

This is crucial to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of not only the supply chain in particular, but for the overall firm productivity.

By the way, did you read the following articles?

These are few of our highly popular articles

Market Entry Strategy for International Business

An international market entry strategy is defined as the planning and implementation of delivering goods or services to a new target international market. It often requires establishing and further managing contracts in a new foreign country. Few firms successfully operate their business in a niche market without ever planning to expand into new markets (mostly due to the localized nature of their Business) but most firms strive to expand through increased sales, brand awareness and business stability by entering a new market. Developing a win-win market entry strategy involves a thorough analysis of  multiple factors, in a planned sequential manner.

Continue reading “Market Entry Strategy for International Business”

Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Growth matrix is a tool that helps firms decide their product and market growth strategy based on objective analysis of industry structure and product type. It is one of the more popular tools for strategic management analysis, in the scenario of deciding the case for a related diversification of businesses and firms, which itself is a highly risky strategic decision. Continue reading “Ansoff Matrix”

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management is often defined in Operations Management literature as the integrative planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all Logistics Management activities (Handfield & Nichols, 1999; Mentzer et al., 2001). Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, third-party service providers, In fact, the coordination is one of the major challenges in effective supply chain management (Thomas & Griffin, 1996). Stakeholders could be intermediaries, and even customers. At its core. Supply Chain Management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.

Supply Chain Management can also be defined as the integrative planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all Logistics Management activities. Securing one of the few respected logistics companies can be a great way to have a more efficient supply chain management.

However, selection of any supply chain partner is a multi-criteria decision making process and is extremely complex. Therefore a lot of advanced decision support systems are used for partner selection for effective supply chain management. There has been lots of studies which has focussed on the challenges and approaches for supply chain partner selection (Kar, 2009; Pani & Kar, 2011, Kar, 2014; Kar & Pani, 2014a; Kar & Pani, 2014b)

The structure and activities of a typical Supply Chain for a large manufacturing firm is displayed above.

So what does integrative supply chain management?

Integrative supply chain management consists of all the activities involved in logistics, supplier identification and management, reverse logistics, cash to cash management, service level distribution, management to demand and responding to fluctuations, manufacturing, management of e-SCM issues, management of technology, auctions, negotiations, reverse auctions, customer relationship management (to an extent), ware house management, inventory management and so on.

However the most crucial activities in proper management of the supply chain focuses on activities involving logistics management, supplier / vendor selection, procurement strategizing (make vs buy decisions), vendor management, value co-creation with partners and collaborators, and daily operational aspects. Essentially, the crux of excellence in Supply Chain Management lies in managing the Supply Chain Network, which extends from the many tiered suppliers (vendors) to the end customer through distributors or retailers.

Research on supply chain management started as early as in the late 1950s, and research issues were centered around few key themes as described by the diagram below.

Thus Effective Supply Chain Management encompasses the planning and management of all the ploys and strategies, including the implementation of the same, for improving the sourcing and procurement of a firm, conversion, demand creation and fulfillment, and all Logistics Management activities. Thus, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, who can be suppliers for the firm, third-party service providers, intermediaries, and as mentioned earlier, collaborating customers on the network.

Those who feel as though they have a strong understanding of the many relationships involved with supply chain management may be able to own a franchise like Quiznos or other restaurant franchises with their expertise. The act of owning and establishing a franchise or chain restaurant in one’s area is fairly complicated, but certainly not impossible. It is also an excellent way to gain an understanding of what goes into owning and managing a business. Those who are relatively new to some of the aforementioned concepts may also find that they would have an easier time managing a franchise that is already established versus managing a business from the ground up.

By the way, did you hear about Interlink Parcel Delivery? They are a part of the UK based Interlink Express. They offer an excellent courier service, based on effective management of the logistics value chain.

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P.S. Article inspired by the presentation of my friend and colleague, Dr. Priyal Singh

References:

  • Handfield, R. B., & Nichols, E. L. (1999). Introduction to supply chain management (Vol. 183). Upper Saddle River, NJ: prentice Hall.
  • Kar, A. K. (2009). Using Fuzzy Neural Networks and Analytic Hierarchy Process for Supplier Classification in e-Procurement.
  • Kar, A. K. (2014). Revisiting the supplier selection problem: An integrated approach for group decision support. Expert systems with applications, 41(6), 2762-2771.
  • Kar, A. K., & Pani, A. K. (2014a). How can a group of procurement experts select suppliers? An approach for group decision support. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 27(4), 337-357.
  • Kar, A. K., & Pani, A. K. (2014b). Exploring the importance of different supplier selection criteria. Management Research Review, 37(1), 89-105.
  • Mentzer, J. T., DeWitt, W., Keebler, J. S., Min, S., Nix, N. W., Smith, C. D., & Zacharia, Z. G. (2001). Defining supply chain management. Journal of Business logistics, 22(2), 1-25.
  • Pani, A. K., & Kar, A. K. (2011, January). A study to compare relative importance of criteria for supplier evaluation in e-procurement. In System Sciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 1-8). IEEE.
  • Thomas, D. J., & Griffin, P. M. (1996). Coordinated supply chain management. European journal of operational research, 94(1), 1-15.

Why MBA

The question “Why a MBA” is one that haunts both MBA aspirants and recruiters. Today slowly MBA is becoming a fad which often delivers much less substance to the business and is mostly about the way the little that is delivered is packaged. The problem is that this issue is also getting recognized by aspiring students and recruiters alike. And a bigger problem is all aspirants face this daunting question during the selection interviews.

So why do so many people start running after the craze despite its apparent limitations unless its from a highly recognizes institute like the IIMs, XLRI, FMS, MDI and the likes?

 

There are many perceived benefits of a MBA program from the viewpoint of the aspirants.

  1. Switching career to some other Industry or function within the same firm.
  2. Starting ones own business venture.
  3. Progressing to a higher responsibility in the same industry or function.
  4. Joining a dream company (the hottest being banking, consulting and marketing roles amongst the top business schools)
  5. Faster growth within a stipulated time in the career track.
  6. Filthy Lucre (Dirty Money) and lots of it.

So what skills MBA aspirants already posses and what new skills are developed in the programme.

  • Technical knowledge – Developed within the programme
  • Analytical skills – Strengthened from a basic level
  • Client skills – Developed a bit, further developed during post-MBA work.
  • Leadership skills – Has to be present in the aspirant’s core.
  • Business skills – Developed during the course work.
  • Management skills – Refine, but has to be in the aspirant’s core.
  • Communication skills – Must be present in the core, but presentation skills are improved.
  • Relationship skills – Further refined.
  • Problem/Contingency handling skills: Extensively developed in the programme.
  • Smart thinking – Has to be present in the aspirant’s core.

So does this justify burning that hole in your pocket and getting burdened by that huge bank loan, unless you are actually doing it from a premier institute? Think before you take the leap and invest your future in less known business schools just for the heck of it.

e-Commerce and e-Business Strategies

While there are many e-commerce and e-business models which one needs to be aware of, the dynamics of business strategies change overnight with the adoption of e-commerce and m-commerce business models. The limitations of the more popular strategic frameworks like that of the Porter’s 5 forces model was realized very soon by the researchers in e-business strategy. The generic strategy framework was also somewhat limited in its applicability in pure e-business models.

In view of these changes, there began a serious contemplation of sustainable e-commerce and e-business models for business giants. What would be the mantra for success was long deliberated and various e-business and e-commerce models started getting wider acceptance.

With increased adoption of E-commerce, firms adopted Pure-Click and Brick and Click Business Models.

  • Pure-Click companies are those that have launched a website without any previous existence as a firm. Ex: AMAZON.com
  • Brick and Click companies are those existing companies that have added an online site for e-commerce but still maintains an offline business model.  Ex: futurebazaar.com

However it was noticed that many (as high as 84%) of the business models met with disastrous results and the companies blew up (bubble burst) within a couple of years of its inception. It was at this juncture that the value proposition of e-commerce models started getting scrutinized and the importance of the complete value chain for e-business models got its due importance.

It was realized that the complete value chain needs to be analyzed before a firm selects a business model for its operations.

The analysis of the core of a firm is crucial for success in this increasingly information age, where business models are attempting a quick fly off the sly to generate revenue and most of which are falling flat.

By the way, have you read our article on the Growth Strategies of Web Based New Generation Firms?

e-Commerce and e-Business Models

Electronic commerce, which is abbreviated popularly as e-commerce or eCommerce, is defined as the buying and selling of products or services over electronic media like the Internet or other Information Technology dependent networks. Sometimes e-commerce is also interchangeably used with the terminology e-business.

Continue reading “e-Commerce and e-Business Models”

Top B-Schools of India

The results for the top 30 B-Schools of India are out for the year 2011.
This time the study was conducted by Economic Times and ratified by a consulting major who collected a total of 253 responses across the 5 functional areas with 31 IT Heads, 38 Finance Head, 97 HR Head, 34 Production/Manufacturing Head was achieved. Finally a study that is ranking the institutes based on what the actual rank is, based on the performances of the students and not on the perceptions of MBA Wannabes, and hence a lot more accurate and relevant for MBA Wannabes.

Top Online Affiliate Marketing Programs

Affiliate marketing is a highly popular emergent marketing practice in which a business model rewards an affiliate marketer for each customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. More popular examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site. The industry has four core players: the merchant (who is sometimes also known as ‘retailer’), the network (Affiliate marketers create this network), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer or consumer. The value creation is through a network where all the marketers benefits not only from his direct sales but also the sales of those affiliate marketers who joined the program under him.

Online or Internet based affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because most affiliates use regular advertising business models like CPM, CPC, CPI techniques. The techniques to gain the attention of the customer  include organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, internet affiliate marketers sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.

While everyone is jumping the online marketing Bandwagon, it is crucial to know how to do things the proper way to optimize your success.

Some of the more popular affiliate marketing plans which an online marketer can look towards are as follows:

  1. Amazon.com offers the best kind of referral if you have a great online presence. You can potentially sell thousands of items and also selective items which suit the theme of your website and make 4% to 15% of the sales of books, electronic gadgets and what not.
  2. BBL Marketing media is another promising affiliate marketing platform which market online classified ads and take a percentage of the potential sales.
  3. Share sale is another top affiliate marketing opportunity if you like promoting technology based services.
  4. There are multiple software firms which offer a percentage cut if you can sell their product through affiliate marketing, especially which create social media software, like Twitter/Facbook marketing software like TweetAdder or FriendAdder.
  5. Many online services like website hosting services from GoDaddy are also a good opportunity for affiliate marketers. If you refer anyone to use these services, you will generate a decent cut of the sales.
  6. Last but not the least, there is the huge chain of affiliate marketing banking on Pay-per-Click and Pay-per-View on the posting of advertisements by the affiliate marketer. The most popular amongst them is  MyLikes and SponsoredTweets . In these programs you can make easy money by tweeting to our followers. Similar opportunities are also available if you post advertisements in your Facebook profiles.
  7. There are multiple opportunities to create sponsored posts in blogs and earn through that. One of the most popular website to do that is Pay-per-Post.

Hope these inputs helped you to kick-start your career as an affiliate marketer. Do let us know if you know of any more highly popular affiliate marketing programs.

By the way do you know how to create a successful viral marketing campaign using social media?