The Business Strategy Game is one of the best management games that brings a virtual reality to business theory. Understanding the effects of selected strategies in the real-life market place on the productivity, revenues and profits of any given organization is better expressed through the use of such a game. As a team, any decision one made without consulting other parties had detrimental effects on the outcome of the game and the overall productivity of the team. The game was an eye-opening lesson on the impacts of business decisions, the need for organizational strategy, and the appropriate response to changes in the marketplace.
The main strategy used by Big Foot all through the game was best price strategy. Placing our products in the competitive market, ensuring that the price was viable was the only way to achieve maximum profitability of the business. Notably, this was part of the 3 year strategic plan developed by the entire team. Price concentration was highly effective, and as evidenced by its outcomes, Big Foot footwear was always at the top of all other groups, controlling a sizeable market share, which by 2015 was as high as 51.07%. Concentration on one strategy assisted the organization maintain increment in value all through the 5 periods it was operational.
Most of the applied strategies in the game were all courtesy of the MBA program. Some of the most valuable theories that I learnt in when pursuing my masters were the strategies needed for one to compete in a global market. One of the crucial theories learnt in class applicable in any business environment is the Porters 5 forces of industrial analysis. Porters five forces were largely applicable in the BSG online game in that understanding the various tools for industry analysis, comparing the success levels of the competition and as well as the prices were largely used through the development of the business strategy for BIG FOOT company.
The applicability of porter’s 5 forces in any given industry is crucial in the deciding of the business strategy. In the case of Big Foot for instance, understanding the power of suppliers solely relied on two features which were quality and price (Spulber, 2009, 262). The threat of substitutes is entirely reliant on the price strategy. With our team understanding this reality, we focused all our efforts and creating the best price for the best quality product in the market. Assessing the industry through evaluation of substitutes showed the nature of competition was very stiff and despite the fact that brand management would have been a strategy that would have seen the organization succeed greatly, focusing on prices was equally a competitive edge achieving strategy that would produce the same if not better results.
SWOT analysis is also a crucial global strategy learnt in class that assisted in the development of a successful business model for Big Foot. Evaluating Big Foot strengths, which was the management of prices and the provision of high quality products assisted us develop virtual customer loyalty, a strategy that ensured Big Foot’s increase in revenues throughout the 5 trading periods (Pahl & Richter, 2007, p27). Evaluating the weakness of the team illustrated that brand management was not one of the key strengths of our team, and as such, instead of concentrating on new brands and designs, the focus shifted entirely to the provision of products at the lowest price possible.
The PESTEL analysis is yet another industry assessment tool learnt in class that is highly applicable in any given business. Assessing the political environment before venturing into any new market, such as Asia for the BSG, requires a critical analysis of the influence of the government on business establishment as well as other considerable features such the environment scanning – the favorability of the atmospheric conditions to business operations (Hood & Vahlne, 2012, p218). Arguably, considering the legal environment, the demographics and characteristics of the social environment – culture, customs and language, and finally considering the technological advancements in the field are mandatory areas that need to be assessed before developing the most effective decisions.
Marketing marks another crucial learning experience taught in class. One of the most influential learning processes was the 4Ps marketing strategy which largely concentrates on price, promotion, place and people (Day & Reibstein, 2004, p215). These are the four most significant features of any marketing plan. Creating an effective marketing mix was one of the lessons that can be applied not only in managing one’s business but also in nurturing one’s career in business to attain success in any field (Hartline & Ferrell, 2012, p.93). Understanding marketing principles gives the manager a competitive edge over a manager who concentrates solely on operations (McLeish, 2010, p.84). Marketing is the platform of organizational growth. The 4Ps theory is largely attributable as the key guiding principle that led to the development of the competitive price strategy developed by our team for Big Foot.
Understanding technology changes in the market, a key principle emphasized by PESTEL market analysis tool is another highly effective theory taught during my master’s program. E-logistics, which mainly emphasizes on the use of internet for various operations ranging from supplier networks, supply chain management and other aspects such as business commerce are the contemporary competitive edge providers for a variety of organizations. E-logistics not only increases organization efficiency and convenience, but also boost sales while simultaneously reducing costs (Graham, Manikas & Folinas, 2013, 140). In the contemporary world, e-logistics is possibly one of the best management philosophies applicable.
Managing the Big Foot account was a great experience. Through the application of highly effective strategies, Big Foot was able to grow to be the best group and this was a key defining moment of the need for specialization. Regardless, for the year 2012, the organization experienced a series of losses and failed to achieve investor expectations. 2012 was the teams learning period when the business began to test out new strategies which largely made us sway from the initial strategy developed for the organization. As such, the management team learnt on the need for organizational focus on one strategy solely. After the learning experience, our team chose to follow the path of competitive price strategy from that moment henceforth.
If we were to redo the exercise again, I would do a number of things differently. Primarily, one of the team members would have to learn about brand management in order to expand our portfolio. Some organizations did not even in the least concentrate on price reduction, yet they made commendable sales from the creation of new designs that were appealing to the market. A combined strategy covering both the price reduction and portfolio expansion would have been the best alternative for the organization. Secondly, intensive cost cutting measures should have been implemented as well to increase efficiency and reduce redundancy and wastage, some of the sources of reduced income levels in Big Foot, with over 900 shoes being rejected annually; the business was encountering implicit costs that would have otherwise been avoided.
List of References
- Day, G. & Reibstein, D., 2004, Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy. Hoboken, NJ:
- John Wiley & Sons.
- Ferrell, O. C. & Hartline, M., 2012, Marketing Strategy. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
- Graham, D., Manikas, I. & Folinas, D., 2013, E-Logistics and E-Supply Chain
- Management: Applications for Evolving Business. New Jersey: Idea Group Inc. (IGI).
- Hartline, S. & Ferrell, D., 2012, Marketing Strategy. California: John Wiley & Sons.
- Hood, N. & Valhne, J., 2012, Strategies in Global Competition (RLE International
- Business): Selected Papers from the Prince Bertil Symposium at the Institute of International Business. New York: Routledge.
- McLeish, B., 2010, Successful Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations:
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- Pahl, N. & Richer, A., 2009, SWOT Analysis – Idea, Methodology and a Practical
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