You have just been hired by the ABC Corporation to help them establish a new location in Minneapolis, MN. You have never been to this city and know no one there. You are being asked by ABC Corporation to move to Minneapolis and establish this new office. Basically, you are starting at ground zero.

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Knowing what you have learned in your Strategic Management class; what are some things you would do when you arrive in your new city? How would you manage this huge project and create a successful branch for ABC Corporation?

That part of the assignment has been completed, but now I must respond to 3 of my classmates’ postings with detailed, challenging and thought provoking comments. Please respond to the following:

1) What is meant by “cost/benefits” analysis?

2) Why is planning so important at the early stages of any process?  What are the risks of poor planning?

 

3) Please respond to this post:

I would first like to look at the history of Minneapolis and what the city thrives on so that I can make ABC a part of the landscape. I think if a company blends in with the already existing city then the transition will go a lot smoother, especially if the blending coincides with the vision and mission statement of ABC. I would also like to look at the unemployment rate as well as the average base salary for Minneapolis so that I can refer to my business plan and the budget allotted for labor cost. I think that one of the bigger expenses is going to depend on if we build a new building or if we lease a current building. If we can get a good deal on land, then I would recommend that we build but either way we are going to have to lease a building until the new building is built.

Now that I have a building and have examined the salaries that I will be dealing with, I am going to have to refer back to my strategy. Since I am “the man with the plan” I have to not only know about my area of expertise but also everyone else’s work areas as well. Once I have a clear vision of how everything is going to work, I have to use that understanding to draw up a plan that will allow me to see the big picture of the company with the least amount of risk and a better opportunity for success. I would refer back to Vision and Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives, Strategy and then Implementation. My sales employees will depend on what my volume is going to be. As the general manager, I would like to hire a manager for each of the following departments, sales, customer service, logistics, finance and human resources. I will meet with each manager and provide them with a detailed report of what goals are expected from their division as well as what their budget is for the year.

 

4) In the steady changing economy today, many organizations are rising while others are failing.  In order to be a successful business there must be an effective business strategy and leader in place. First, I would take an observation of Minneapolis, MN and the surrounding cities to see what trends and patterns I see.  From that point, I would utilize both the vision and mission statement then direct my attention towards ABC goals and objectives while creating the strategy.

My first week, while out observing I would speak with the people in the communities to discuss ABC Corporation and get feedback on their opinions and/or concerns. From the feedback and concerns, setup focus group, community meetings to discuss more broad details on the services and products that ABC Corporation offers. During these open forums, a presentation will be held and education on what this means for Minneapolis economy and job market.

I would then reach out to the media to assist with marketing efforts and ensure that positive advertising is being done. During this step of the process, I would meet with employment agencies to assist with staffing needs and utilizing the media will also help with the employment effort. Once I have gathered a team of employees together we will start the next phase. Prior to starting the next phase, the staff will go through extensive training on ABC Corporation and its values and beliefs. I will ensure that all departments are staffed appropriately and the necessary tools and resources are provided to all in order to perform their job. We will discuss the hierarchy organizational level at the present time. Each will be educated on what their responsibilities is. Evaluations will completed and discussed with all employees as well any up trainings and continuing education will held throughout the business career.

We will collect data throughout the process and analyze it to create a successful business. From the data collected, the strategic plan is set in place. Based off any observations and evaluations, changes are subject to be made.

 

5)  Starting at ground zero presents challenges but also allows you to create a fresh new environment. I would begin by clarifying what main policies, procedures, and qualities the parent company wants to imprint on the new branch. I would then mesh those foundations with new ideas for the business and its new Minneapolis identity.  I would then quickly get to work on making acquaintances in the business in Minneapolis, acclimating to the culture, and familiarizing myself with possible locations for a new business. I will not be able to create an entire new branch and image on my own. I would begin to assemble a team of current employees who have imperative information on the inner working of the current company blended with quality human resources in the Minneapolis area.  Building resources and advancing capabilities are key elements in strategy and planning for a business venture.

My strategy would be broken down much like the strategy diamond. This will allow me to keep an organized and focused approach when creating a full business plan and implementation of strategy. I would begin with Arenas. Having already established Minneapolis as our new location, we will need to answer the fundamental questions of product categories, channels, market segments, core technologies, and geographic locations that position us as competition in the markets and close to resources for added cost efficiency. The ABC Corporation should already has a handle on the product categories, so my team will be able to focus on finding a location which will be close to resources, is in a productive location that fits the fresh new image of the business we are trying to create.

Next we must decide on Vehicles. I believe that the parent company would have already decided on internal development because they are sending me to create the business from the ground up.

Differentiators should include the new image of our new branch and the parent company’s reliability. Pricing should also be a differentiator; however, this will depend on the resources in the new location and the overhead created by average salaries, expenses, and start-up costs.

Of course staging and pacing will depend on the budget and how well the process stays on schedule. Much planning is needed in strategy implementation and revisions are a major part of planning.

Economic logic questions will need to be answered. I can honestly say this is the weakest portion of the strategy and planning portion for me and hopefully I will be able to enlist the help of some very knowledgeable team member s to oversee this portion of the process. I believe this to be fully dependent on the resources and the economic conditions in the location chosen.

Having all of this information on paper will lay the ground work for estimating budgets and deciding if and when the new project will begin to show a profit. Cost/ benefit analysis is need to determine how much the project is estimated to cost and when and how much benefit will be returned on the investment. Not all projects are worth the return. As I would be the spear head of this operation, I would hope for positive numbers in a reasonable amount of time and begin to plan for each phase of the process.

 

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