Strategic Plan

The globalization, or internationalization, of the marketplace has become one of the defining events of our time. The pressure to produce a good or service while controlling costs and maintaining quality has profoundly affected the manufacture, distribution, and sale of a good or service.

In your final project, assume you are a high-level manager of a company that produces a good or service solely in the United States. You strongly believe there is a profitable market for your company’s good or service beyond the United States and have requested the board of director consider broadening production and distribution into foreign countries. This would transform your organization into a multinational company.

The board has requested that you develop a strategic plan that creates, exploits, and sustains the company’s resources and capabilities within the globally competitive international marketplace. The strategic plan should be designed to offer a systematic, step-by-step method to bring understanding to what often seems a chaotic situation and to offer a reasoned approach to deciding on a path to sustained advantage.

The course textbook provides an outline of a detailed strategic plan applicable to a multinational company. You may utilize this approach or may create/modify a strategic plan that better addresses your particular need or requirement. At a minimum, though, your strategic plan should address the following:

First, the mission and goal of your organization. The mission should detail the product or service that you want to produce and distribute internationally. Feel free to choose any product or service that you desire (lawn mower, kite, pesticide, clothing, etc.). You will use that product or service throughout your strategic plan.
Second, perform an environmental analysis. This important step of a strategic plan requires the identification of the resources or capabilities of the firm as well as the external competitive and contextual environment of the firm. Your plan should briefly provide the scale and impact of globalization both within your industry and the economic landscape.
Third, determine your organization’s international competitive advantage. In other words, what your organization would do better than any other competitor in the marketplace. In general, a competitive advantage occurs when an organization can provide increased value to its customers whether through low prices or through improved products. They, therefore, can attain or surpass their competitors in the marketplace.
Fourth, propose the preferred method to enter the international marketplace. Alternatives may include licenses, alliances, wholly-owned subsidiaries, joint ventures, and partnerships. Explain your rationale.
Fifth, execute/implement the strategic plan. This step typically includes the control, coordination and communication needed to implement the strategy, along with a brief discussion on any contingency plans if the goals and objectives are not obtained in a reasonable timeframe. Remember that a good plan makes a solid base for the organization’s strategy, but offers flexibility in execution to allow non-viable plans to be dropped and emerging opportunities pursued.

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