Information management plays a critical role in modern business as it provides opportunities for better cooperation with customers and analysis. For this reason, managers’ top priority is the creation of effective systems that will be able to consider all existing factors. In this regard, the presented paper is devoted to the investigation of the furniture industry and the problem Emeco experiences. At the moment, it suffers from the decline of clients’ interest in it. The proposed solution is the diversification and customization of products via the consideration of individuals’ needs and providing them with the chance to select a design on their own. It can be performed via the creation of an application and statistical analysis of existing trends. Utilization of the given solution will help to overcome new challenges and preserve leading positions.
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The modern sphere of business experiences significant changes that occur because of digitalization and the increased importance of social media. Today, people have limitless access to information via the Internet or multiple applications that provide them with an opportunity to investigate the object or issue interesting for them. Under these conditions, the majority of modern companies and organizations recognize the necessity to consider this tendency and use innovative strategies or solutions that presuppose the integration of technologies into the functioning of various departments with the primary goal of achieving diversity. At the same time, the availability of information impacts people’s preferences and choices as they buy products regarding the newest tendencies discussed on the Internet or current fashion trends that remain popular. From this perspective, constant monitoring of this aspect is vital for all spheres of business. However, regardless of this idea, there are still firms that suffer from the inability to adapt to the new environment and manage information effectively to be attractive to consumers.
The need for data collection and processing affects all companies regardless of their activity and target audience. For instance, modern furniture manufacturers and sellers also depend on the exciting trends in the market as they impact products that should be created, their shapes, and materials. At the same time, being a comparatively conservative sphere characterized by resistance to change because of the stable interest in classic forms, the industry adhered to tendencies that had been topical for several decades. However, today due to the diversification of customers’ requirements and the fast-changing fashion, the segment should also be ready to adapt to the new environment by managing information effectively and creating pieces of furniture that would be able to satisfy clients (Kotler, Kartajaya, & Setiawan, 2016). Otherwise, there are no opportunities for growth because of the lack of unusual features in offered products. This statement is proven using the company Emeco and its current problems as the background for the investigation.
The main problem the company faces today is the gradual decrease in sales and the decline in customers’ interest in the furniture it creates and offers. There are several reasons for the emergence of this dangerous situation, including the inability to resist the Swedish giant IKEA and the complexity of combining price and quality (Sisson, 2017). However, the main problem is the failure to provide clients with elements of design and furniture that will be able to satisfy their constantly changing interests. Being an experienced actor in this field, the company has a devoted target audience and recognizable look of its products. Unfortunately, today, it is not enough to hold leading positions and generate revenue. It is evidenced by the fact that Emeco has to wind down its operations and reconsider its current strategy to improve the situation and find an appropriate solution. The top manager of the company also states that at the moment that the brand cannot find a way how to make pieces that would satisfy all existing requirements (Sisson, 2017). For this reason, the creation of an effective solution becomes the top priority for Emeco.
Considering the increased importance of information management mentioned above, one of the possible strategies to improve the current state of the company might include the utilization of new software and data processing tools. However, there is the need for a detailed analysis of the company’s current state to outline areas that demand change and guarantee that all problematic issues are covered (Kotler et al., 2016). Under these conditions, SWOT becomes one of the effective methods to investigate Emeco, its position in the market, opportunities for further evolution, and areas that demand intervention to be reconsidered or enhanced.
First of all, the main strength of the company is its significant experience in creating pieces of furniture for various purposes. Being founded in 1944 as a supplier of American Navy, the brand is still focused on making reliable chairs, stools, and tables that will be able to satisfy consumers and provide them with the unique experience of possessing an object that has its identity (“About Emeco,” n.d.). Additionally, because of the long history of the brand, it has a client base and a devoted target audience that admires the style and approach emphasized by the firm as it is focused on mainly handmade pieces (“About Emeco,” n.d.). Another serious advantage of the company is its adherence to important eco patterns as the furniture manufactured by it is completely recyclable and environmentally friendly (“About Emeco,” n.d.). This factor can be attractive for a new cohort of buyers who are concerned about the problem of waste and tries to minimize substantial harm done to the environment by people. In such a way, the combination of these factors creates the basis for the brand’s further development and sustainable development.
Unfortunately, there are some critical weaknesses that might prevent the company from becoming a leader and growth. First of all, it is the lack of diversity. The majority of pieces created by the brand look similar and do not have unique shapes. Additionally, there are just several product lines, and they have common forms as the company emphasizes the adherence to traditional design (“About Emeco” n.d.). This situation serves as a limiting factor for the younger generation or for people who look for innovative solutions and follow the newest trends. It also results in a decline in income because of the inability to attract new clients and expand the target audience. Another critical weakness is the absence of opportunities for customization for individuals to be able to create a piece of furniture they want, including forms, colors, and materials. It can also stipulate the gradual decrease in the interest in products offered by the brand as the modern populations are characterized by the demand for something new, unique, and fashionable (Abraham, 2014). That is why the inability to meet this requirement might mean the high risk of failure due to the inability to compete with the closest rivals and giant corporations such as IKEA.
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Regardless of the outlined problems, the company still has multiple opportunities for growth. First of all, working in the USA and having a long history of relations with clients, it can utilize the available resources to support its development. Additionally, the focus on sustainable and eco-friendly solutions provides the brand with new prospects and chances to evolve. Furthermore, at the moment, the demand for its products remains comparatively high, which means that the creation of a new strategic plan and analysis of threatening tendencies can be performed to minimize risks and avoid stagnation (“About Emeco,” n.d.). Finally, being an experienced and recognized company, Emeco can become a global player competing with other giant corporations working in the same market segment. The existence of this set of opportunities proves the idea that the organization has all the needed resources and chances to overcome a crisis by utilizing strategic solutions and introducing the concept of new relations with clients, which is critical because of the existing trends peculiar to this field.
Rivalry should be considered one of the main threats that might undermine the financial stability of the company and deprive it of the chances for continuous sustainable growth. At the moment, the furniture market remains a beneficial area that can guarantee a high income for central actors. The gradual increase in people’s income and improvement of their well-being preconditions the interest in the elements of décor or comfort. Individuals are ready to pay more for objects that will satisfy their demands. That is why companies belonging to this sphere introduce new, more flexible approaches and use inclusive designs to ensure a high level of clients’ satisfaction and provide clients with an opportunity to enjoy their cooperation with the brand (Laudon & Laudon, 2017). Emeco does not have the desired flexibility at the moment, which means that rivals might become more effective. Another threat is the constant appearance of small producers of customized furniture that is sold directly to clients. This tendency might also precondition the future decline of the brand’s popularity because of the emergence of multiple opportunities to create things with their own unique style.
The current company’s goal is to continue its growth and preserve a stable level of income. It can be achieved by the attraction of new clients and the creation of offerings interesting for them. For this reason, the purpose of the proposed project is the diversification and customization of products created by the brand. The introduction of this aim is preconditioned by the fact that today clients are more focused on objects that have their unique style and look unusual if compare with other ones. At the same time, individuals appreciate the opportunity to create a piece of furniture resting on their vision. For this reason, another aspect of the project is the achievement of improved information management to remain informed about the current alterations in customers’ preferences to be able to meet their new requirements by monitoring the latest trends (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018). These steps can be viewed as fundamental aspects of the strategy that will help the brand to reconsider its functioning and broaden the target audience.
First of all, better cooperation with clients should be aligned via the improvement of information management. It is critical to monitor data about their preferences via the online surveys, including questions about elements of design, materials, and shapes people want to see in pieces created by Emeco. This source is vital for the achievement of high flexibility levels (Abraham, 2014). At the same time, the company should integrate software that can provide clients with an opportunity to customize products by outlining colors, forms, and materials they want to use while manufacturing these very objects. This also presupposes the creation of an online platform for all potential buyers to use as a builder to show the way the ordered product should look. In such a way, a combination of the new management of information about populations’ preferences and the creation of a new website will help the company to improve cooperation with clients and continue its sustainable growth.
Altogether, information management remains a critically important element of the modern business world. It provides better opportunities for cooperation with clients and consideration of their current needs to function effectively. Emeco, as one of the traditional furniture manufacturers, faces the problem of customers’ interest reduction because of the inability to take into account their demands for something new and unusual. For this reason, an effective solution to the problem is the improved data collection and processing via the creation of a specific application that will provide individuals with the opportunity to customize their orders and distribution of online surveys to improve knowledge about existing preferences and popular trends. This strategy will help to support the company’s further sustainable growth and preservation of its leading positions.
About Emeco. (n.d.). Web.
Abraham, J. (2014). Product information management: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Springer.
Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H., & Setiawan, I. (2016). Marketing 4.0: Moving from traditional to digital. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2017). Management information systems: Managing the digital firm (15th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Sisson, P. (2017). 7 furniture makers on the business challenges of their craft. Curbed. Web.
Turban, E., Pollard, C., & Wood, G. (2018). Information technology for management (11th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.