Building strategies is necessary for efficient running of any business Company. The kind of strategy built and implemented determines the level of progress within the Company. Strategies are usually built based on various conditions which may include; the current status of the Company, the Company’s policies and ability to focus ahead based on competitive moves and business approaches. The company’s management must have action plan that enables them have competitive advantage over other related companies within the industry.
This case study focuses on the strategies that Make It Big Company took for the purposes of increasing the Company’s market share and stabilizing its financial base. The effects and implications of the chosen strategies are explored based on business and marketing principles (Winn 185-196).
Identification of key elements of MIB strategy
One of Make It Big (MIB) Company’s strategies used to bring back customers is the use of mail order roster and increased use of internet where the Company’s product portfolio is posted.
The company also embarked on printing more catalogs and went into the business of exchanging mailing lists with other companies. All the strategies applied by MIB focused on growth of the business, attracting more buyers, achieving specific performance targets and also for the purposes of effective competition within the market. Strategies used in the initial stages were based on independent decision making.
This was done by MIB CEO. She never made any consultations because she believed in her own leadership capabilities (Winn 185). MIB focused on operations-driven activities which enabled achievement of its goal.
These activities included means through which quality of products could be improved, reinforcement of customer service relations and the processes undertaken on resource management (Winn 185-190). The selection of the management team in MIB was basically based on experience and educational background (Winn 194).
Identification of the strategies MIB uses
Make It Big Company used the idea of partnership, mail order concept and catalogs in accomplishing its goals. The Company’s targets were the fat and oversize women within the society.
This shifted their focus to making clothes that could serve the interests of fat people besides making them attractive and more acceptable within the community. The company’s strategy included some political aspect that fought against discrimination based on people’s body size. The strategy focused on improving the self-esteem of the oversize women by providing them with comfortable type of clothing. The company also focused on using skilled employees, for example the CEO employed one of her friend who was very experienced and skilled in sewing. The company utilized the abilities of expert seamstresses through whom they hired more other employees to work for the company.
These services offered by other workers provided sufficient work force to the benefit of MIB (Winn 189-190). Make It Big (MIB) Company embarked on manufacturing clothing on order, this was based on different seasonal colors which provided customers with variety of choices. On the other hand the building financial base for MIB depended on personal savings and credit obtained from banks; this enhanced its financial capability.
MIB had the initiative of using the mail order in expanding the company’s business operations. The advertising strategy used at the start of operations was through the word of mouth and posters which were placed along the road, this ensured the expansion of the mailing list, and hence led to improvement of sales (Winn 190). Frequent attendances on trade shows by the CEO gave the company ability to up-date its manufacturing services and locate new product designs. This made it possible for MIB to obtain materials from different sources based on consumer desires and needs. The Company targeted main categories of wear starting from career, sports, casual amongst other cloth’s categories. MIB sold most of its merchandise through catalogues, sales from website was majorly through the same loyal customers (Winn 192-193).
MIB up-graded it’s advertising strategy to incorporate radio and newspaper. They also targeted house parties which helped in improving the company’s sales. In order to counter the high rise of independent retailers within the industry, they resorted into consolidation and strict branding of their products; this idea gave clear identification as well as distinction from other products within the market. Other than branding they focused on regulating prices of their goods and improving the nature of service delivery they rendered to consumers. However, other competitors had invested in the new technology of using computers to give and keep detailed information on customers which assisted in easy mailing since consumers were contacted directly (Winn 192). Personal information on loyal customers was easily accessed and this also created channels on how to reach bulky customers.
Incorporation of team building and communication programs were good strategies that helped employees within the company to work as a team, hence driving towards common goal. The good relation amongst employees and between MIB and other business partners favored the Company in terms of cash flow. This contributed towards easy marshalling of resources and the installation of efficient communication and operating system that made it easier for the management to carry out their activities with lots of ease (Winn 192).
Evidences that the strategy is or is not working
The strategy of beefing up information at the website did not materialize since it only attracted people who never turned up to purchase any of the advertised items (Winn 185).
The Company’s CEO commented that she couldn’t manage improving the Company’s performance on her own despite many trials. She needed the help of other advisors from the Company ranks. The CEO realized the necessity of bringing on board fresh blood that could help in making the Company’s prime decisions. MIB proves not to be bottom- line performer since the CEO considered strategy management as secondary to other issues. These strategies at some point were realized not to be in agreement with the Company’s vision (Winn 193).
Make It Big had difficulty in predicting what would sell at specific season of the year (Winn 190). The issue of using partnership failed to work at the start since both the partners had conflicting interests and goals, this made Cynthia to buy back her partners shares to allow her be in full control of MIB businesses (Winn 191). The apparel industry experienced great competition from various manufacturers who were interested in making super size range of clothing, most of the Companies operated as joint ventures. This gave a big challenge to MIB since it operated solely under one manager and later recruited other managers who were required to focus only on production processes.
The other duties of financial management and overall sales were under the supervision of the CEO. The CEO became ignorant of her main duty of making and creating strategic plans for the benefit of MIB Company (Winn 193). However, her abilities on financial management assisted the company to carefully monitor cash-flow hence keeping the company’s resources in good check. MIB strategy of recruiting committed and qualified employees ensured efficient implementation of strategies, good management and profitable progress within the company. The managers had the ability of undertaking multiple tasks and responsibilities which at times prove costly on production process due to fatigue. The other contribution of the new management was the up-dating of the computer network which made it easier to operate with customers. The accounting system also realized improvement through the computer system hence made it easier for the management of resources (Winn 195-196).
Other evidence of strategy not working was the kind of indecision the CEO found herself in. She placed goal achievement as one of the Company’s priority but lacked means on how to achieve the targeted goals. The CEO feared investing in new ventures due to lack of enough skilled manpower that could compete favorably within the markets competitive environment. There was need for recruiting experienced management team that could help in managing risks within the Company. MIB experienced low sales and departure of top managers like the general manager.
This was because MIB had difficulty in maintaining and retaining right employees due to poor relations from the CEO, she lacked enough qualifications that could enhance her confidence in such a high position. The CEO reached a point where she was unable to predict the requirements for the Company after expansion. Inability to direct organizational change was very evident; the Company failed to identify general manager with enough experience and qualifications who could drive changes through appropriate actions in various sectors like in mailing services (Winn 195). This is because MIB operated on the same principles the Company used when it was starting, the same operating principles could not work any further.
For MIB to realize growth and expansion it required adept leadership and different skill from that set when it was starting. This included recruiting new CEO and overhauling the whole management team (Winn 196).
The management team should have the capability of matching the organization’s structure to its strategies which allows for efficient execution of the Company’s capabilities and competencies. It is necessary for a firm to have a strong resource base which helps in enhancing its capabilities to deliver quality services to consumers as well as competing favorably within the market.
Winn, Joan. Making It Big case study.
Entrepreneurship theory and practice. CA: Baylor University Press, 2004. 185-196. Print.