Strategic planning is a vitalprocess for any company to achieve continual success. The formulation of a viable strategy includesthe planning, execution, supervision and control of a series of actions aimedat achieving previously set objectives. In this paper we will evaluate the formulation of KetteringCollege’s strategic business plan. Establishing long-term goals and objectives for a companyis important because it creates a road map for the company to follow making iteasier to attain their overall vision. Additionally, long-term goals andobjectives gives a company the ability to stay on task instead of searchingaimlessly for success. Kettering College has a long-term goal to provide superiorgraduates by providing superior programs for the medical field.
The college hasa very specific target market to which they can direct their offerings. In order to extend their reach, one of theirobjectives is to become a University. As a means of extending their reach, it is important toresearch and analyze the market, competition and trends, which will provide theinformation and tools to generate a far-reaching vision. “Marketing research is a systematic approach that with an investment can makeyour marketing not only easier but more effective” (Lake, 2017). Kettering College will continue to useresearch and analysis to guide their implementation of new program offeringsbased on job demand and their competitors. The specific market thecollege will pursue involves offering master and doctoral programs which are indemand and also provides them with a competitive advantage.
Basic strategic planning involves several componentswhich must be done effectively to achieve real impact. “Strategyformulation refers to the process of choosing the most appropriate course ofaction for the realization of organizational goals and objectives and therebyachieving the organizational vision” (Strategy Formulation, n.d.). Withthis in mind, Kettering College is also choosing a strategy according to theprimary resources and in alignment with the capabilities that they already possess.Because they are affiliated with a large network of eight hospitals, this givesthem significant resources specifically for clinical sites. They have beenworking actively to add master and doctoral programs with great success towardachieving this goal.
Kettering College currently offers one master’s programand is working toward implementing their second. In 2015, Kettering College began its firstdoctoral program in occupational therapy and plans to begin their seconddoctoral program in physical therapy in 2019. Additionally, Kettering College is one of 17ACOTE accredited entry-level Doctoral programs in the United States which givesthem sustainable competitive advantage and value to their customers (kc.edu). Anothernew market, specific to marketing strategy, which Kettering College plans toventure with, is prospect name buying. This strategy is key because it aligns Kettering College with highereducation best practices. Before 2017, Kettering College was not in thepractice of buying prospective names.
This new strategy allows KetteringCollege to gain exposure among junior and senior students within our targetarea in a way that has not been leveraged in the past. The increase inprospects will widen the top of the enrollment funnel to better improve theinquiry pool and applicant pool. Theresources necessary for this “new market” already exists.
The names will be dropped into the CRMmarketing communications flow and followed-up on by the enrollment team. The corporate business management strategyforms general goals related to the different lines of business andfunctions. Kettering College’s corporatestrategy is to become a university recognized for innovative approaches tohealth care education at all levels which includes the determination to valuedifferentiation over cost leadership in their region and market segment. “A cost leader is wherethe company has decided to create the cheapest product on the market and adifferentiation strategy is where a company decides to choose a certainattribute of the product to focus on” (Brown, 2013).
Kettering College sets tuition ratesbased on their location and their competitors. Although, their tuition rates are not cheapest they have created valueby advertising their “product” differentiation. First, the college is small and can offer a 9:1 student to teacherratio. Second, their affiliation to the hospital network gives their studentsgreat job opportunities upon graduation. Given the nature and type of organization it is, a collegewhich primarily relies on the established expertise of being a higher educationinstitution and their corresponding adherence to regulations of accreditation,it really has no need to become vertically integrated. Kettering College does participate in strategicalliances and agreements with other companies that are focused on sharingresources, capacities and/or activities for the purpose of mutual learning andimproving the competitive position.
As an example, Sinclair Community College(SCC) is an active strategic alliance for Kettering College. Although SCC is acompetitor, the college has used the alliance to their benefit. In a recent press release it was stated, “Kettering College, Sinclair College, and KetteringHealth Network have partnered together to provide a high-quality, low-cost BSNcompletion program in the Dayton community” (kc.edu). This strategic allianceacts a pipeline for Kettering College, as SCC students transfer to the collegeto finish their Bachelor’s degree.
“Effective business strategy begins withfocusing on the particular needs of a target audience. Successful strategicadvantage falls to those who can deliver a product or service that is better insome way, and that is more meaningful to the target audience.” (Richards, n.d.).In conclusion, Kettering College has developedthe value-add that is meaningful to their target audience.
By instituting a strategy formulation and establishinggoals within an organization allow for the company vision to succeed. Kettering College has developed long-term goalsand objectives which are proving to yield great results as seen in their recentincrease in enrollment for fall of 2017. The continual long-term planning, strategic alliances, capable resourcesand effective oversight will give Kettering College the potential to keep acompetitive advantage.