As the industrial competition for production resources, human resource capital, and reliable customers intensifies between corporations and the business environment changes unpredictably, firms have no choice than to adopt strategic measures. Strategic management has been an overriding business administration aspect that has influenced the planning techniques of many organizations (Joyce & Drumaux 2014). Even though the concept of strategic management seems to be an irresistible factor in the modern management of firms, many people are still unaware of what exactly strategic management means (Sa 2013).
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Strategic management is the efficient management of firms through strategically articulated visions, missions, business values, and formal objectives (Joyce & Drumaux 2014). With such variables, business organizations are capable of monitoring their progress based on the vision, mission, values, and the objectives established in their premises. Based on such assumptions, this essay seeks to evaluate strategic planning at an Australian firm known as Devondale Murray Goulburn in order to assess the major facets of strategic management.
Description of the Organization and its Industry
Devondale Murray Goulburn is an organization that serves in the food processing and manufacturing industry. The Devondale Murray Goulburn Company specifically deals with the milk processing and manufacturing of dairy foods through unique production innovations (Devondale Corp. 2015). The Australian food processing industry, especially the dairy sector, is one of the most complex and diverse industries where corporate competition and changes in the major business activities are normally inevitable (Devondale Corp. 2015).
Although the Australian Dairy Industry produces little milk, dairy farming is a finely established economic practice in some areas of Australia. Despite the fact that Australia is a small producer of dairy milk, the country relies heavily on milk exports that have made it to be ranked as the world’s third largest dairy milk exporting nation (Devondale Corp. 2015). This means that most of the firms that serve within the milk processing industry face a stiff market competition that requires them to use strategic planning and management approaches.
The Devondale Murray Goulburn Company produces high quality dairy ingredients, such as the bioactive products and the specialty milk fats (Devondale Corp. 2015). The company also produces retail brands that are on a high demand within the supermarket segment. Devondale Murray Goulburn is also a food service company that manufactures food service products that are on a high demand in the cafes, restaurants, and hotels (Devondale Corp. 2015).
Since milk and dairy foods are products that are constantly on a high demand, the Australian companies that are serving within the Australian Dairy Industry often compete for the market space. This explains the reason why dairy companies must be extra suave in their production techniques as well as their management plans. Since Devondale Murray Goulburn understands that the dairy food sector is a highly competitive business environment, its main plans are always on a strategic management platform (Devondale Corp. 2015). The Devondale Murray Goulburn Company has a well-established strategic plan.
The Mission, Vision, and Value Statements of the Devondale Company
Before delving into what Devondale Murray Goulburn has in its strategic plan, it is important to start with explaining what strategic management actually means. Mittenthal (2002) describes strategic management as “a management tool that provides guidance in fulfilling a company mission with maximum efficiency and impact” (p.2). A strategic plan involves important driving factors, such as the mission statement, the vision statement, the corporate values, and the corporate aims or objectives (Thompson & Martin 2010).
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As a part of its strategic planning scheme in the field of dairy food production, Devondale Murray Goulburn has a strategic mission, vision, corporate values, and strategic objectives. The corporate vision of the Devondale Company is, “to become the first choice in dairy foods for our farmers, customers, and consumers,” while its corporate mission is, “to build a balanced portfolio of dairy foods that we proudly sell to Australia and the world” (Devondale Corp. 2015, para. 2 & 3). These are the driving facets of the strategic plans for Devondale Murray Goulburn.
The Appropriateness of the three Facets to the Devondale Company
According to Mittenthal (2002), a successful strategic plan is one that deems usable, one that informs the activities of an organization, and one that provides significant improvements in the efficiency, ability, and relevance of a firm. The aforementioned strategic management facets are appropriate in the management of the company because of the several reasons attributed to them. According to Devondale Corporation (2015, para. 2), “The vision is something that drives the company to ensure that they can continue leading the dairy industry of Australia.”
According to Devondale Corp. (2015), the strategic mission of the company enables the entire workforce to have a passion towards achieving the best results of the company, while still respecting the corporate culture. The values of the Devondale Company have made the company to work, while observing the essential elements of production standards. The corporate values help the company practice ethical leadership in the environmental aspects, the quality of the products developed, and the issues of product safety.
The Identified Objectives of the Devondale Company
Strategic management plans of organizations must have well articulated corporate values and corporate objectives (Joyce & Drumaux 2014). The strategic corporate aims or objectives of the Devondale Murray Goulburn are operational excellence and innovative production.
The firm is striving towards upgrading its operating capabilities that can make it globally competitive and enhancing its innovation to provide a long-term growth. According to Devondale Corp. (2015), operational excellence will enable the firm to compete on a global scale, while innovation will enable the organization to create a profitable business platform that will definitely cater for a sustainable long-term growth.
Additionally, Devondale Corporation objectively seeks to be the most important cohort of the dairy farmers of Australia and maximize the farm-gate returns to turn the milk business into a profitable investment (Devondale Corp. 2015). In terms of the corporate values, Devondale seeks to operate through an ethical leadership, where the quality of the products, the safety of the products, and the protection of the environment are paramount principles.
The Appropriateness of the Identified Objectives to Devondale
A workable strategic plan must always have objectives that are relevant to the continuous progress of the companies. According to Mittenthal (2002), the objectives designed for an organization will prove efficient when they possess the elements of appropriateness and achievability. An appropriate objective will always help the company have a greater focus in its growth (Drew, Kelley & Kendrick 2006).
The objective of Devondale pertaining to the maximization of the farm returns and helping farmers through ensuring that they drive higher milk prices helps the company have a broader focus on the supply system of the factory, in which milk is the paramount raw material.
The objective of ensuring that the company focuses on a continuous operational excellence helps Devondale anticipate for high operating capabilities that will make it competitive in the global panorama. Devondale is also objectively focusing on innovation. This objective makes Devondale to anticipate for a sustainable long-term growth in the milk processing industry across Australia.
The Suggested Improvements
Although the strategic mission, vision, and the values of Devondale make the company more organized in the manner in which it plans to achieve its set targets, some few improvements in the three facets can be useful. In its vision, Devondale states that it wants to become the preferred dairy foods company, but it fails to consider the important elements of innovation, efficiency, and reliability in its stated vision.
The vision statement should be the following: the vision of the Devondale Company is to work with maximum efficiency and innovation, to become the most preferred dairy corporation, where farmers, consumers, and customers will all enjoy reliable goods and services. According to the principles of strategic management, a good vision statement should inspire and energize the corporate members using terms that mean to improve the performance of a firm. Although the mission statement of the company affiliates with the aspirations of the company, it deserves changes.
The mission statement states that the Devondale Company anticipates creating a balanced dairy foods portfolio that is attractive to the Australian consumers and the world. This mission presents a wide prospective strategy, but should have had a better articulation. To suggest an improvement, the mission statement should be formed as: the mission of the Devondale Corporation is to strive towards establishing a balanced food portfolio that suits the regional and the international clients in their best dairy foods preferences.
The strategic values are without questioning the best-articulated facets in the strategic plan of the Devondale Corporation. Although the values contain the aspects of product quality, safety, and environmental concerns, they ought to have incorporated the facets of ethical management and marketing. In the objectives identified, maximizing the farm returns, influencing changes in milk prices, and enhancing operational excellence through innovation are not adequate efforts. The firm should focus objectively on solving the dilemmas in the wholesale prices, the consumer trends, and farmer’s problems.
An Internal Analysis of the Devondale Company
To provide a comprehensive internal analysis of the company, this section of the report focuses on using the SWOT analysis strategic tool to examine the internal environment of the Devondale Corporation. SWOT stands for the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with a business premise (Dyson 2004). Strengths are generally positive attributes of a business that can make a business excel. In terms of internal strengths, the company has a powerful and a highly skilled workforce that commits itself to the corporate culture of the organization (Devondale Corp. 2015).
Additionally, Devondale has a highly motivated workforce, a highly equipped production system, a stable corporate strategy, and a powerful financial system that funds most of the production. Weaknesses are usually the behaviors of a company that are likely to predispose a business or a business project to a downfall (Dyson 2004, & Hirriyapa 2013). In terms of weaknesses, the pricing strategies, the preservation techniques, the cost of maintaining the machinery, and human resource capital are the main limitations.
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An External Analysis of the Devondale Company
In examining the external environment of the Devondale Corporation, two important concepts of the SWOT analysis will be applied in the second section of the environmental scan. This report focuses on the opportunities and threats presented by the peripheral environment of the company when external environment of Devondale is analyzed. In the SWOT analysis business model, opportunities are chances that an organization has to incorporate into its strategies (Dyson 2004).
The opportunities of Devondale include a chance to enjoy the rapidly expanding Australian dairy market, a continued customer reputation, the presence of favorable political and social environments, the presence of favorable business laws, and the evidence that economy of Australia is expanding (Devondale Corp. 2015). Additionally, in terms of strengths, the Devondale Corporation enjoys a powerful market influence due to its brand reputation and its commitment to corporate social responsibility. For the threats, competition is becoming inevitable, consumer trends are changing rapidly, and the dollar fluctuations affect the global dairy products prices.
A Suggested Strategy for the Devondale Company
Based on the analysis of the strategies that the Devondale Murray Goulburn has developed, it is noticed that the company intends to be the market leader for the dairy food products within Australia and on the international markets. The company also seeks to enhance its operational excellence through incorporating innovative ideas that can spur a long-term growth. To help Devondale achieve these targets, this report suggests that the company should put emphasis on the market penetration strategy, where a continuum of business models will work collectively to produce a successful project.
This strategic business plan on a single project shall entail four major steps that exist within the 4Ds strategic business model: Decide, Design, Drive, and then Deploy plans (Alkhafaji & Nelson 2013). The prospected mission of Devondale in this project will be, to design state-of-the-art dairy products that will create unique market penetration capabilities that will ensure a sustainable long-term growth. The vision will be, to be the Australian leading innovator in the production of dairy foods.
The element of designing state-of-the-art dairy products in the mission statement will create enthusiasm towards achieving the best innovations in the milk processing plans. In the vision statement, stating that the corporation anticipates to be the leading innovator, shall be the driving force towards enhancing the technological capacity of the company to accommodate the growing urge for the innovative dairy food products.
Since Devondale Murray Goulburn envisions to use technology and innovative ideas to boost its market prominence within Australia and across the globe, its corporate values, and its corporate objectives should have different direction. In terms of corporate values, Devondale Murray Goulburn can have the following corporate values that will drive achievement of successful innovations. The proposed corporate values of the Devondale Murray Goulburn will be; enhanced stewardship, respect for all consumers and stakeholders, client value creation, business integrity, and value for innovative ideas and business technologies.
The fact that Devondale will be thriving on a unique business platform where innovation is a driving force to achieve the facet of operational excellence, the objectives of the organization have to be changed. The first proposed objective of Devondale Murray Goulburn will be, to establish a strong technological platform within the production systems and in the infrastructure of the company to pave way for innovative business developments.
The second objective of the new project of Devondale will be, to establish a strong clientele portfolio that will give understanding of the essence of the newly designed products and the innovations association in such developments. The third objective of the new project of Devondale will be, to create an extensive marketing plan that will create a new marketing platform based on the foundations of new technologies used for promoting products and services. The last objective will be, to search for the best agricultural innovations that will boost milk production among farmers.
Implementation plan and its critical Importance
All strategic plans need efficient means of implementation and execution to make the strategies workable and worthy (Alkhafaji & Nelson 2013). Strategic planning expert Mittenthal (2002) states that if organizational members remain devoted to the implementation process, “a strategic plan can provide an invaluable blueprint for growth and revitalization, thus, enabling an organization to take stock of where it is, determine where it wants to go, and chart a course to get there.” ( p. 9).
With such a statement in place, the above-proposed strategic plan should receive maximum attention in its implementation because it is within the implementation and execution stages that firms determine the fulfillment of a plan. Since Devondale has been strategically looking forward to find means of enhancing production and operational excellence through innovation, the sub plan proposed in this report can help the company strengthen its production capabilities (Devondale 2015). All modern firms are surviving with the help of technological platforms and striving to enhance operational excellence through unique innovations which provide sustainable long-term benefits.
The Suitability of the Strategy to the Vision, Mission, and the Objectives
The above-proposed strategy is closely correlates to the vision, mission, and the main operating objectives of the Devondale Murray Goulburn Company. According to strategic management experts, any proposed project that seeks to make significant alterations to the main operations of a firm must be in tandem with the initial strategies of an organization (Drew et al. 2006). This means that proposed projects and strategies should align with the mainstream mission, vision, and strategies of a firm.
The above-proposed strategy is in supports and develops the main vision, mission, and the strategies of Devondale. The newly designed mission would strengthen the mission of creating a balanced portfolio of dairy foods, because the elements of value creation for the customers in the new mission would add inspiration to the company’s focus. The newly developed vision automatically upgrades the old vision because they both focus on innovative ideas and technology in the milk production (Sa 2013). The new objectives also create a new inspiration to excel the old objectives.
The ideas and practices of strategic management are becoming increasingly relevant among management of modern companies. Although it is a management model that often requires companies to evaluate their environment and scan for the opportunities and threats within their premises, a strategic plan is the key element that drives the achievement of the set strategies. Devondale Murray Goulburn is a company that has identified a suitable strategic management plan that has a farfetched mission, a vision, and strategic objectives.
To boost its main aims in the dairy industry, this report proposed development of new products, which will serve as an innovation platform. To enhance its strategic objectives of dominating the dairy foods industry in Australia, through improved operational excellence and innovation, it was proposed to adopt a strategic sub plan that will focus on developing innovative dairy products. The sub plan will focus on the 4Ds business model that will ensure a successful implementation and execution processes.
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