Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chapter 3 - Competitive Strategy??

Samantha Green owns and operates Twigs Tree Trimming Service. Samantha graduated from the forestry program of a nearby university and worked for a large landscape design firm, performing tree trimming and removal. After several years of experience, she bought her own truck, stump grinder, and other equipment and opened her own business in St. Louis, Missouri.

Although many of her jobs are one-time operations to remove a tree or stump, others are recurring, such as trimming a tree or groups of trees every year or every other year. When business is slow, she calls former clients to remind them of her services and of the need to trim their trees on a regular basis.

Samantha has never heard of Michael Porter or any of his theories. She operates her business “by the seat of her pants.”

a. Explain how an analysis of the five competitive forces could help Samantha.

b. Do you think Samantha has a competitive strategy? What competitive strategy would seem to make sense for her?

c. Describe, in general terms, the kind of information system that she needs to support sales and marketing efforts.


Paul said...

a) An analysis of the five competitive forces would give Samantha an idea of what direction she go in terms of competitive stragtegy by showing her what forces drive her industry and who holds the most power.

b)It does not appear that Samantha has a competitive stragtey, but it would behhove her to pick one up; particularly one involving differentiation on a segment (because she already performs check-up calls on previous customers).

c) She needs an information system that will track customers, what jobs were done, and how often maintenance will need to be performed. It will also need to give messages and/or pop-ups that will tell her when she needs to check up on a client.

Reyes Pizano said...

If Samantha had an idea of what type of the 5 competitive forces she would need to keep her industry, they would have to be ones that are most competitive.
Since she already calls former clients when she is at the slow times of her business, she also could run an information system to let her know what clients need tree trimmings done when they need to. That I think would take away the days that would be slow. Which all of this would include client information for the future!

megarandom said...

a. She could grow her business by considering her competition, opportunities previously untapped, get out and seek more customers, and so on.

b. Yes, to a point. She reminds her customers of the needs for her services, but she could also get out more and advertise, rather than spinning her wheels with her current customer base.

c. She needs to keep a customer database, as well as giving discounts for references. A calendar would be handy as well. Plants and tide wait for no man.

Devin said...

a.) If Samantha were to understand that there is competition out there (and in the tree trimming service there are probably many competitors) she would know the importance of advertising and explination of why her business is better than that of competitors. Also to show how much experience she has in the industry.
b.) She does well by using the principle of keeping the old customers happy, and checking in on them. But she could increase business revenue by searching for more clients.
c.) One which will allow her to keep customers serviced on a regular basis, and also show her profitablity of adding additional customers and widening her prosepct list.

malory said...

a. An analysis would help determine her position as a competitor. She can develop a competitive strategy based on those five forces and, to be on top, she could compare her business with other competitors.

b. It seems her competitive strategy is to keep reminding her former clients of her services. But she could grow her business by advertising more to gain new customers. She really needs to get her business out there and show that it is well known.

c. She needs an information system that could keep records of all her clients and update her, whenever she needs to remind them, for any maintenance they may need. Something that would help her stay organized and on track with clients and sales, etc.

myiah said...

samantha doesnt have any leadence at all. so to analysis the five competive forces will be good. n by what i could tell she doesnt have no stragtey n i think she needs one . so i think she needs to aquire an information system thats has a tracking device.

Megan22 said...

a.She would realize all of the competition and how to improve her business. She could avoid the slow business periods also
b.I dont really think she has a competitive strategy, if she's just taking business as it comes. Her idea of a business strategy is probably calling up on returning customers but that wont always work because business probably isn't slow at just the right time that they need to be called. I think she would definitely benefit to think about getting one especially as business grows.
c.She would need one to update her exactly when the customer needs to be checked on regardless of other business. She also needs one to enter all of her business in that way to keep everything more organized.