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Strategic Analysis and Planning for International Operations

Introduction

Business strategic management is important for the corporate firms to strategize the whole operational process and secure future sustainable development. The organizations focus on analyzing the business environment to evaluate the market opportunities and threats in the recent years (Wheelen et al., 2017). After analyzing the business environment, it is possible to review the organizational activities and capabilities for developing strategic planning (Sullivan, Thomas & Rosano, 2018). The study provides a scope to evaluate the organizational activities of Blue Skies Holdings Limited and critically analyze the business environmental situation in running their operations internationally. Through this study, it is possible to evaluate the business strategic planning of Blue Skies and identify the structure of running the operational activities. After analyzing the organizational activities and strategies, the study is helpful to identify the strategic concern and options for market expansion of the business, so that Blue Skies can enhance their operational excellence across the international countries. Lastly, there would be strategic recommendations which would be beneficial for the company Blue Skies to run the operations in the international nations sustainably and create values for the stakeholders as a whole. Hence, the study is effective to develop strategic planning for Blue Skies after in-depth internal and external business environmental analysis.

Organizational background

Blue Skies has been established in the year of 1997, and the headquarter of the organization is situated at Northampton shire. It is the manufacturing company of diversified fruits and related products such as fresh juice and ice cream. The organization is efficient to provide high quality and fresh fruits and to the customers across different foreign markets. There are currently 15 major retailers across Europe, e.g., Netherlands, UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark, who are handling the international operations of distributing the fresh fruits to the retailers or direct customers (Blue Skies, 2021a). The retail firms such as Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s are working with Blue Skies for handling the fresh fruit items to the customers. The company also becomes successful to operate in the African countries, Egypt and Ghana. They mainly export pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango, grape, citrus, banana, and lychee and also other diversified products such as fresh juice and ice cream. The organization is hereby successful to manage their international operations through supply chain management and direct export. The major values of the company are such as diversity and equality management, maximization of profitability and sales volume and managing transparency and accountability. The organization is hereby efficient to manage the customers by providing high quality fruits and beverages to the consumers across the international markets and the organization is also proficient to manage their packaging and cold storage facilities to maintain the freshness of the fruits and fresh juice (Blue Skies, 2021b).

Internal Environmental analysis

SWOT analysis is effective for international business environmental analysis and it refers to strengths, weaknesses of the company as well as the market opportunities and threats so that it would be possible to evaluate the business environment for running the organizational operational activities (Sullivan, Thomas & Rosano, 2018). The SWOT analysis of Blue Skies will be discussed further.

Strengths
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The organization becomes profitable and it is financial stable to run their operations internationally. There is strong supply chain across the international markets. The strategy of direct export is also major strength of Blue Skies to run their operations successfully. Other strengths of Blue Skies are strong employee base, good customer’s base and technological advancement. The employees are efficient to run the business operations in the market as well as Blue Skies is efficient to manage the customers across the international markets. The quality of fruits and diverse product delivery are also strong strategy of Blue Skies to run their business in a systematic process and gain high competitive advantage over other competitive firms in the global food and beverage market. The organizational corporate governance initiatives and sustainable strategic planning are also other strengths to run their operations successfully (Blue Skies, 2021c).

Weaknesses

The major weaknesses of Blue Skies are lack of marketing strategic planning, increasing cost of operations and lack of management in economies of scale in food and beverage market. The organization is also facing issues related to labor laws across different countries, where there are different country rules and ethical practice to manage the employees. The organization also faces the issue of funding for which it would be difficult for the organization to run their business smoothly.

Opportunities

There are several market opportunities for the organization Blue Skies which are contributing factors for achieving the future sustainable development. The major opportunities are market expansion, customer segmentation and retention as well as the international demand growth or the fresh fruits and beverages. The organization has the scope to expand their business across other countries through restructuring the business activities so that the market presence of Blue Skies would be maximized in long run. Additionally, there is the scope of customer retention and strengthening the consumer base as the demand for the fresh fruits and fruit juice will be increasing over the period of time across the globe ensuring sales growth in near future (Lasserre, 2017). This further influences the organization to strategize their business and run their international operations successfully. On the other hand, technological advancement and e-commerce growth are the important opportunities for the retail business to run their international operations through digital database management and inline activities (Nirino, Miglietta & Salvi, 2019). The technological advancement also improves the efficacy of the organization to manage the internal working activities, operations and distribution of fresh products to among the customers. Hence, these are the major market opportunities which provide a scope to Blue Skies to develop creative planning for business expansion and manage the international operations.

Threats

Apart from the above mentioned opportunities, there are several threats in the market which may deteriorate the pace of business growth in near future. The major threats for the company Blue Skies in running their operations are such as high threat of substitute products, intense competition and increasing fuel cost and operations expenses. There is high threat of substitute products in the market as there are other distributors of fresh fruits and fresh juice items and there are also other successful companies providing the quality products among the customers which further increase the level of competition (Calof, Richards & Santilli, 2017).

Hence, the internal business analysis is beneficial to analyze the market trend and future market scope for Blue Skies to run their international operation and secure future sustainable development. The strategic planning and organizational capabilities are also advantageous for Blue Skies to run their operations and develop good market entry strategy for gaining high competitive advantage. The organization focuses on providing good quality and fresh fruits and fruit juices, ice cream to the consumers for satisfying them and strengthening their consumer base in long run.

External Environmental analysis

The external analysis is also necessary for developing strategic business planning and in this regard the PESTEL analysis is useful strategic management model to analyze the market condition and recent market trend. The external environmental analysis through PESTEL analysis includes the political factors, economic and social factors, technological, legal and environmental factors which have crucial impacts on the food and beverage industry to run their business activities strategically.

Political factors

As per the political factors, there is intra country relationship and political stability in the world. The organizations can operate internationally across the globe and manage the activities strategically. The government of the country can handle the international trade with proper instruction by WTO or World Trade Organization (Belyaeva, Rudawska & Lopatkova, 2020). However, after Brexit, there were issues in managing international trade as the company Blue Skies faced problems in developing the international trade agreement with the nations under European Union after Brexit. Ion the other hand, there are issues in managing international supply chain and distribution network, as the operations cost has been raised after Brexit.

Economic growth

Economic growth is there across the international countries, where good Gross Domestic product and purchasing power parity of the customers are increasing over the period of time. However, in the recent pandemic situation, the countries are facing critical issues related to low income, unemployment and low GDP, which further has negative impacts on the international business activities. The multinational corporations face the issue ion running t heir international operations, as the flight system and other cargo system for exporting and importing the goods have been closed for maintaining social distancing and lock down phase. Hence, there is poor economic performance due to such situation and the multinational corporations face difficulties to manage their operations and run their business ethically.

Social factors

As per the social factors, there is social development with high literacy rate and maximizing wellbeing of the individuals. The social activities and growth in social developmental projects are there across the international counties and it has crucial impacts on the organizational activities (Ritter, & Lettl, 2018). The literacy rate is high across the developed as well as developing nations which further improve the standard of living condition of the individuals in the society. Government aid, presence of social workers, social development projects and educational scheme and employment practices are effective initiatives to create standard society. The individuals are also upgraded with latest technology as well as they prefer to live a healthy lifestyle. For the business of Blue Skies, there is social development and thigh demand for the fresh and organic fruits and fruit juices among the customers across the globe. Hence, the company would have the chance to expand their business activities across the international markets through market penetration strategy (Toaha et al., 2019). However, due to recent pandemic situation of COVID 19, there was decreasing sales volume of the organizations due to low demand of the customers and poor purchasing power parity. There would be market improvement and the organization Blue Skies would have the opportunity to run their business successfully by retaining the customers for their quality products and services.

Technological advancement

Technological advancement has crucial impacts on the business activities and in the recent years, there is technological advancement and improvement in business strategic management. The organization Blue Skies will have the scope of adopting new technics to run their business operations strategically. Technological advancement ensures software development and ICT framework to provide high quality services to all the consumers across the globe. The technology of CRM and ERP are also beneficial for the organizations to handle their international operations through an integrated system. The e-commerce system is also improving over the period of time which also influences the organizations to enhance their online activities and manage the ultimate users proficiently.

Legal structure

The legal structure including the copyright and intellectual property rights are effective for the organizations to run their business successfully through strategizing their international operations. There are trade license, intellectual property rights and copyright for the products of the particular organization as well as ethical practices for running the business firms efficiently (Gamble, Thompson Jr, & Peteraf, 2019). The employment rules, equality and diversity management, health and social care at workplace are effective legislative structure to the employees and lead them towards achieving the future success. The corporate leaders try to develop good corporate governance with ethical practices, cooperation and internal communication in order to provide equal opportunities to the stakeholders and encourage their creativity for working with others and achieving the organizational aims and objectives.

Environmental factors

The environmental activities are also beneficial to strategies the business activities and in this regard the organizations try to follow the environmental rules and protectionism of natural resources so that it would be possible to run their business sustainably (Long, Looijen & Blok, 2018). The practice of using paper packaging system rather than plastic packaging system, waste management technique, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, investment for social developmental programs and increasing utilities of the renewable resources are the major practices for maximizing sustainable solutions for the business to secure future development and gain high competitive advantage.

Strategic concern of the business

Strategic planning of the organizations play crucial role in managing the operational activities of the organizations and in this regard, there are product diversification and market entry strategies for international operations handling. The organization Blue Skies is efficient to handle their international operations. Firstly, the organization focuses on product diversification strategy to provide a diverse range of products to the customers. The organization provides fresh and organic fruits to the clients and apart from that, there are fruit juice and fresh ice cream which are beneficial to create new customers segment for the brand. On the other hand, market expansion strategy is also adopted by the organization, where the company is efficient to expand their business across the UK and USA, African countries, Egypt. There is availability of the fruits and juices of Blue Skies across the international markets. The organization also aims at strengthening their supply chain and distributing network or managing their operations in the market. The company mainly has developed two strategic planning which are subsidiary and direct exporting to the international countries (Blue Skies, 2021d). The freight system and strong supply chain are effective for Blue Skies to manage their operations and export the fresh products to the international countries. On the other hand, there are subsidiary firms, through which the organization run their business operations internationally. Another strategy of Blue Skies is Joint Effort Enterprise (JEE) for developing joint venture with famous business firms across the globe in order to run their operations proficiently. The major three principles of the organization are equality and diversity, respecting all the stakeholders engaged with the business and profit maximization for fulfilling the economic responsibility.

The organizational values are hereby equality and diversity, respect and integrity, profit maximization and value creation for all the stakeholders including the employees, managers, suppliers and distributors, government, customers and social communities as a whole. In the recent years, there are strategic concerns in the business of Blue Skies to run the operational activities sustainably. There is increasing cost of international operations for which the company faces difficulties to expand their services across the international markets. On the other hand, the organization focuses only on two strategic planning or market expansion which is creating subsidiary and direct export (Blue Skies, 2021d). The organization also faces the issue of intense competition and the threat of substitute products in the international food and beverage market. The retail industry is highly competitive which further raise strategic concerned in Blue Skies to run their international operations sustainably. There is lack of initiatives of Blue Skies to manage business corporate social responsibility, which may raise the issue of unsustainability in the organization. It is hereby necessary for the organization Blue Skies to strategies their business operations tactfully so that it would be possible for the company to satisfy the customers by providing quality products and services as well as develop creative planning to strengthen the customers base across the international market place (Blue Skies, 2021e).

Recommended suggestions for the organization

For securing future market growth and sustainable development, the organization Blue Skies must strategize their business activities and create good market expansion strategy for establishing the brand innovatively. The organization must focus on joint venture strategy to penetrate new market and entre into the market legally and ethically. The organization needs to focus on developing joint agreement with the retail firms such as Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer’s, Tesco and others so that it would be possible for the organization to run their business collaboratively. For expanding the business across the USA, joint venture with Wal-Mart would be one of the effective strategic planning to expand the business and establish it successfully. For entering into African and Asia pacific region, the organization Blue Skies must develop joint venture strategy to implement Joint Effort Enterprise (JEE) tactic and create strong customers base for providing high quality fruits and juices as per the needs and preferences of the clients. On the other hand, for better business strategic management and market penetration, the organization needs to choose premium pricing policy to set low price for their quality products so that the customers can afford the products in the market. Pricing policy through premium pricing, pricing offers, discounts in the market are the major strategic planning for Blue Skies to attract the audience in the market and strengthen their consumer’s base in long run. Apart from that, developing warehouse at the international country and creating green supply chain in the country would be the best strategy for Blue Skies to run their international operations. It would be beneficial for Blue Skies to establish warehouse in the target market mainly the emerging markets, like Asia pacific regions to develop warehouse and manage green supply chain and distribution network to provide quality products and services to the customers in a sustainable way. Hence, Blue Skies is capable of strategizing their business activities and through the above mentioned suggested strategic planning, Blue Skies would be able to expand their business across the international markets and secure future sustainable development.

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Conclusion

Analyzing the internal and external business environment for the food and beverage industry is effective for identifying the market condition and recent market trend for Blue Skies. The organization Blue Skies is strong in terms of financial position, employee’s base, customer’s base, good quality products and services innovation. The future market is to be reeducated that there would be sustainable growth which further influence Blue Skies to run their international operations innovatively, with technological advancement, good demand of the customers, sustainable solutions. Blue Skies must focus on market penetration through pricing policy so that it would be possible to attract more audiences and strengthen their customer’s base internationally. Additionally, the strategic planning of joint venture with famous retailers and establishing warehouse would also be good strategies of Blue Skies to expand their business and gain high market share in the global food and beverage industry.

References

Belyaeva, Z., Rudawska, E. D., & Lopatkova, Y. (2020). Sustainable business model in food and beverage industry–a case of Western and Central and Eastern European countries. British Food Journal.

Blue Skies, (2021a). Our history. Retrieved from: https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/about/our-history/

Blue Skies, (2021b). How we operate. Retrieved from: https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/about/our-company/how-we-operate/

Blue Skies, (2021c). Our corporate governance. Retrieved from: https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/about/our-company/our-corporate-governance/

Blue Skies, (2021d). Our approach to impact. Retrieved from: https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/our-approach/our-approach-to-impact/

Blue Skies, (2021e). Our approach to investing. Retrieved from: https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/our-approach/our-approach-to-investing/

Calof, J., Richards, G., & Santilli, P. (2017). Integration of business intelligence with corporate strategic management. Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business, 7(3).

Gamble, J., Thompson Jr, A., & Peteraf, M. (2019). Essentials of Strategic Management: The Quest for Competitive Advantage, 6e.

Lasserre, P. (2017). Global strategic management. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Long, T. B., Looijen, A., & Blok, V. (2018). Critical success factors for the transition to business models for sustainability in the food and beverage industry in the Netherlands. Journal of cleaner production, 175, 82-95.

Nirino, N., Miglietta, N., & Salvi, A. (2019). The impact of corporate social responsibility on firms’ financial performance, evidence from the food and beverage industry. British Food Journal.

Ritter, T., & Lettl, C. (2018). The wider implications of business-model research. Long range planning, 51(1), 1-8.

Sullivan, K., Thomas, S., & Rosano, M. (2018). Using industrial ecology and strategic management concepts to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174, 237-246.

Toaha, M., Maupa, H., Brasit, N., Taba, I., & Aswan, A. (2019, August). Competitive Sustainability of Food and Beverage SMEs in South Sulawesi. In 3rd International Conference on Accounting, Management and Economics 2018 (ICAME 2018) (pp. 608-615). Atlantis Press.

Wheelen, T. L., Hunger, J. D., Hoffman, A. N., & Bamford, C. E. (2017). Strategic management and business policy (p. 55). Boston, MA: pearson.


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