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STRATEGIC PLANNING AND CONTROL IN A COMPETITIVE ECONOMY, EFFECTIVE CUSTOMERS ACHIEVEMENTS AND THE COMPANY'S PRODUCTIVITY

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ABSTRACT

This research project attempts to synthesize the new strategic planning and control  thoughts into a framework that will be helpful to strategy managers to harmonize the objectives and resources of a firm with the available business opportunities. Owing to ignorance many firms do not apply strategic planning and control. They thus have been denied of the benefits they would have derived from the adoption of strategic planning and control. Even among some firms who appear to recognize the concept, little do they embrace the idea with requisite enthusiasm to increase profitability. The idea of strategic planning and control in the enhancement of growth of a firm cannot be over emphasized. It serves as a compass to an organization especially in a competitive economy such as ours. The research work is therefore aimed at finding out the impact which strategic planning and control plays or ought to play in the growth and survival of a firm. Seven-up bottling company Plc, Uyo plant is used as the case study. The project is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is an introduction which gives insight into the background of the problem as well as the research problems, also it presented the statement of the problems, objectives of the study, the hypothesis, significance of the study as well as definition of terms. On another hand, chapter two dealt with the preview of related literatures, which formed the backbone of the study. the research extensively reviewed various related books, journals from which facts and opinions of renowned authors were drawn. Chapter three simply explained the research methodology to enable the reader appreciate the design and stages taken in making the findings. The results of the findings were tabulated and presented in chapter four. Brief explanation were made for every table. In addition chi-square statistical tool was used to test the hypothesis. Chapter five contains the discussion of results, summary of major findings, conclusion, recommendation, as well as the summary. It is important to remark that benefits of strategic planning for the survival and growth of a firm were highlighted.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Managements direction setting task involves developing a mission, setting objectives, and farming a strategy. Early on in the direction – setting process, managers need to farm a vision of where to lead the organization and to answer the question, “where our business is and what will it be? A well-conceived mission statement helps channel organizational efforts along the course management has charted and builds a strong sense of organizational identity. Effective visions are clear, challenging, and inspiring they prepare a firm for future, and they make sense in the market place. A well-conceived, well-said mission statement serves as a beacon of long term direction and creates employee buy-in.

The second direction-selling step is to establish strategic and financial objectives convert the mission statement in a specific performance targets (Andrews Kenneth R. 1987:2-5), the agreed on objectives need to be challenging but achievable and they need to spell out precisely how much by when. In other words, objectives should be measurable and should involve deadlines for achievement and must be needed at all organizational levels. The third direction-setting step entails farming strategies to achieve the objectives set in each area of the organization.

According to Kelly C. Aaron (1983:46-48). A corporate strategy is needed to achieve corporate level objectives; business strategies are needed to achieve business – unit performance objectives; functional strategies are need to achieve the performance targets set for each functional department; and operating- level strategies are needed to achieve the objectives set in each operating and geographic unit. In effect, an organization’s strategic plan is a collection of unified and interlocking strategies and different strategic issues are addressed at each level of managerial strategy-making. All the direction – setting steps are all elements of strategic planning.

Strategic planning according to Gluck, Federick (1999:5) is the establishment of organization’s goals and objective and the utilization of the strategic elements for the attainment of the organization’s goals. However, YIP George S. 1992:3 points that strategic planning consists of a set of underlying process that are intended to create or manipulate a situation to create a more favourable outcome for a firm in which case every on-going business must include short-range, medium range and or long-range for its survival. This then means that strategic planning is the process of deciding in the present what to do in the future, which requires that an organization reconcile its resources with its objectives and the attendant course of actions that are open to it. Typically, the strategy-making task is more top-down than bottom-up. Lower-level strategy supports and complements higher-level strategy and contributes to the achievement of the higher-level, company wide objectives.

Strategy is shaped by both outside and inside considerations. The major external considerations are societal, political, regulatory and community factors; – industry attractiveness and the company market opportunities and threats. The primary internal considerations are company strengths, weakness, and competitive capabilities manager’s personal ambitions philosophies, and ethics; and the company culture and share values.

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Strategic planning and control which is done on a company wide bases is always a difficult task. This is because past and recent research studies have made it clear that there is an increase internal and external uncertainty due to emerging opportunities and threats, lack of awareness of needs and of the facilities released issues and environmental complexity and lack of direction.

Many organizations spend most of their time realizing and re-acting to im-expected changes and problems instead of anticipating and preparing for them (Henry 1999). This he called crisis management. Organization caught off guard may spend a great deal if time and energy playing catch up. They use up their energy coping with immediate problems with little energy left to anticipate and prepare for the next challenges. This vicious cycle locks many organizations into a reactive position.

This research study is to access the impact of strategic planning on organizational performance, which at the long run enhances organizational survival. It is a continuous and systematic process where people make decision about intended future outcome, how these outcomes are to be accomplished and how success is to be measured and evaluated. On how organizations should capitalized on their strengths over come their weakness take advantage of opportunities and defend against threats to the organizations, explains the difficulties encountered by strategy managers in strategic planning and control. However, the researcher is interested in finding out the impact which strategic planning and control has in the survival and growth of a firm in a competitive economy.

1.3    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

In a liberalized and competitive economy such as ours, consumer awareness is on the increase that they consumer are becoming very selective in their choice of goods and services they purchase. This study is therefore aimed at helping firms especially seven-up bottling company Plc know how to effectively apply or adopt strategic planning and control in a competitive economy in order to satisfy the yawning of their customers and achieve the company’s objectives. For these reasons the study is designed to achieve the following objectives.

1.  To examine the impact of strategic planning and control in the survival and growth of a firm.

2.  To examine how strategic planning and control can be implemented.

3.  To identify and examine constraints in its implementation and recommend ways of overcoming or curbing them.

4.  To examine strategic planning and control as a business strategy.

5.  To make recommendations/suggestions upon the research findings.

The researcher who has carefully analyzed strategic planning and control in respect to its purposes and processes is of the view that if the concept is duly adopted by Seven-up bottling company Plc, it will help her in many ways such as;

It help the firm capitalize on their strengths

It will help the firm overcome their weakness.

It will help the firm take advantage of opportunities

It will help the firm defend against threats to the organization

It leads the firm into supervision financial performance

It lead the firm to increase in sales volume and steady business growth

It will promote the reputation of the company, improve the lot of the shareholders and increase the firms contribution to the nation economic growth.

1.4    RESEARCH QUESTIONS

It is hoped that the findings of this research will provide answers to the following questions.

1.  Does your firm recognize strategic planning and control?

2.  What ranks of the employees are involved in strategic planning and control?

3.  What type of strategic planning has the firm adopted to survive in a harsh Nigeria economy?

4.  How do you measure the effectiveness of your strategic planning and control?

5.  Can we consider strategic planning and control as a waste of a firm’s resources?

1.5         RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

i) There is no difference between the impact of strategic planning and control on customer services of seven-up bottling company Plc and non-strategic planning and control of such services.

ii) The problems associated with strategic planning and control to seven-up bottling company plc are not significantly greater in magnitude than non-strategic planning control problems.

1.6    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is envisaged that at the end of this study, the result would be of immense benefit to: Researchers who might want to use the study as a source of references in their academic endeavours. It might be of immense benefits to the management of seven-up bottling company plc Uyo in improving the quality of their products to their customers. Firms especially seven-up bottling company plc Uyo, would become aware of the need and importance of strategic planning and control. Finally, the study will be of great importance to the researcher, as it is conducted in partial fulfillment of the degree in view.

1.7    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is focused on strategic planning and control in seven-up bottling company Uyo metropolis, specifically, to identify the process involved in strategic planning and control, its various appreciation, the effect of strategic planning and control problems faced and measures for eliminating the problems the impact in the survival and growth of seven up bottling company Uyo. The study is limited to seven up bottling company plc in Uyo metropolis.

1.8    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Seven-up bottling Company Plc, incorporated on 25th June, 1959 is the second largest bottler and marketer of soft drink in Nigeria, based on its leadership in the Lemon line segment of the brand “Pepsi”. Also their orange brand “Mirinda” is currently making waves in the market. Others are not left out, they include Mirinda soda, mirnda tonic, mirinda ganger and Teem Lemonade. The Company started production with one plant at Ijora, Lagos State and now owns bottling plant throughout the country, in Ikeja, Ibadan, Ilorin, Lagos, benin, Aba, and Uyo. In addition, the company has a bottling plant planned for Enugu, where the development of the facility is underway and nearing completion. Overall production capacity stands at 3,300 hecto litres per annum with a market share of about 20%.

The Uyo plant of 7-up bottling Co. Plc was established in 2007 and has a very massive structures, landscape and production lines. There are three standard production lines which have the capacity of producing about two hundred and eighty four thousand cases of soft drinks per month to meet the obligation on demand, since the supply the entire eight states in the east including, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers.

Strategic planning is very crucial and management attached great importance to it. This owes largely to the competitive nature of the beverage industry in Nigeria. The strategic planning has a lot to do, trying to satisfy the consumers and at the same time, meeting the firm” objectives. The Uyo plant is headed by the branch- general manager, who enforces his directives with limited and clearly defined scope of authority. He equally oversees the activities of other functional managers and their subordinates. In addition, he formulates some sub policies and designs selling systems which are in line with the corporate objectives of the firm.

Furthermore, he reports to the corporate level general manager, who in turn directly supervises the activities of other general managers. However, strategic policy decisions of the firm are done at the top management level, such as research and development, manufacturing marketing, finance, personnel etc and this has helped the company in its competitive activities on soft drink industry.

During this research, it was discovered that the firm has been adopting strategic planning and control since its inception. But the question is to find out the impact of strategic planning and control in the survival and growth of the firm in our competitive economy.

1.9    DEFINITION OF TERMS

Strategy: The pattern of actions managers employ to achieve organizational objectives. A company’s actual strategy is partly planned and partly reactive to changing circumstances.

Planning: The process of deciding in the present what to do in the future, which requires that an organization reconciles its resources with its objectives and the alternative course of actions that are open to it.

Control: The verification done to ensure that everything occurs in confronting with the plans adopted, the instructions issued and the principles established.

Strategic vision: a view of an organization future direction and business course: a guiding concept for what the organization is trying to do and to become.

Organization Mission: Management customized answer to the question “what is our business and what are we trying to accomplish on behalf of our customers? A mission states broadly outlines the organization activities and business makeup.

Strategic objectives: The targets management has established for strengthening the organization’s overall business position and competitive vitality.

Strategic Plan: A statement outlining an organizations mission and future direction, near-term and long term performance targets, and strategy.

Strategy Formulation: The entire direction – setting management function of conceptualizing an organization’s mission, setting performance objectives, and crafting a strategy.

Strategic Implementation: The full range of managerial activities associated with putting the chosen strategy into place, supervising its pursuit, and achieving the targeted results.

1.10  ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

The study was organized into five chapters. Chapter one deals with introduction, statement of problems, objectives of the study, significance of the study, research hypothesis, historical background and definition of terms. Chapter two contains literature review which include nature of strategic planning, alternative goals and plans, goals and plan evaluations, goals and plan selection, implementation, monitor and control, corporate strategy. Chapter three discusses the research design, study area, population, sample and sampling technique, research instrument, and administration of instrument and data collection, scoring the instrument and finally method of data analysis. While chapter four focuses on presentation, analysis and interpretation of data. Chapter five contains the summary, conclusion and recommendations.

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