Recognizing an organization’s alternatives for growth is an important process for companies. By evaluating and selecting the competitive advantages within a market a company can distinguish themselves from their competition. For an organization the “grand strategies indicate the time period over which long-range objectives are to be achieved. Thus, a grand strategy can be defined as a comprehensive general approach that guides a firm’s major actions” (Pearce & Robinson, 2011). Alaskan Airlines is a company that is known for their innovations and leadership within in the aviation industry. Alaskan Airlines is easily identifiable because of the smiling Eskimo on the tail of their aircraft. Their leadership and innovations in technology have seen them be the first to sell tickets online and allow customers to check-in and print boarding passes via the Internet. Alaskan Airlines has also innovated technologies to allow for safer air travels in inclement weather conditions. In the aviation market, Alaskan Airlines must focus on how to maintain their status as the air carrier with the next generation technology and low cost airfares. As air carriers compete for the consumer dollar Alaskan Airlines must strategically execute growth strategies.
Alaskan Airlines is known for its high standard of customer service and industry innovation. The company sustains market leadership by leveraging generic strategy. Alaskan Airlines managed the generic strategy in all the three areas, which includes: 1. Low-cost Leadership – Alaska Airlines must be able to offer low-cost through low overhead and high productivity to compete with low-fare competitors. This will enable the company to offer an exceptional quality service at competitive prices compared to the competitors. 2. Differentiation – Alaskan Airlines has remained a leader in the customer service industry by revolutionizing the services offered to the customer. Alaskan Airlines in the only air carrier that offers a Baggage Service Guarantee that states that the customer will receive their bags within 20 minutes of parking at the gate. If the Alaskan Airlines goes over the 20 minutes the customer will receive a 20-dollar discount code for on future flights.
3. Focus – One of the major focuses of Alaskan Airlines is their customer service value and the company uses that to generate success. Alaskan Airlines knew customer service was important to customers and strove to deliver world-class service. The consumers want great customer service, which is safe, and at a competitive price. The accomplishments of Alaskan Airlines are ascribed to strategic plans applied to generate the culture and service offered. The best direction for the grand strategy of Alaskan Airlines is to implement product development and innovation. Alaskan Airlines has established loyal customers based on their quality of service and value. It is a trusted brand that thrives in customer service, safety, and value. The goal of this strategy is to continue the success of the outstanding service and innovations in aviation technologies. Innovation through “product development involves the substantial modification of existing products or the creation of new but related products that can be marketed to current customers through established channels” (Pearce, 2011, p. 193). Innovation is another grand strategy used throughout Alaskan Airlines.
A recent example of Alaskan Airlines implementing this strategy is, in conjunction with the FAA, “working to implement quieter, more fuel-efficient arrival routes into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The routes use satellite-based technology, namely Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Optimized Profile Descent—two key pieces of the FAA’s “NextGen” air traffic management system” (Alaska Air, 2012, pg. 3). Attaining the long-term business goals for Alaskan Airlines has been focused in increasing the quality of the flying customer experience. Alaskan Airlines consistently strives to provide the best customer experience to the consumer through consumer feedback.
Alaska Airlines was the first airlines to use Internet technologies to enhance the customer service experience through their online check-in and ability to print boarding passes. The grand strategy is delivered through a final marketing strategy; Alaskan Airlines currently services over 60 cities and three countries, has a pro-active program in place to reduce emissions from jet engines, an extensive recycling program at facilities and is developing/using technologies to fly more economical routes. Recently Colgan Air decided not fly offer service from Presque to Logan International, PenAir a partner of Alaskan Air decided to provide the service at a $115 round trip. This gives Alaskan Airlines the ability to provide customers with outstanding service while becoming a better global citizen.
Alaskan Airlines, through the leadership of Brad Tilden, has been able to provide renowned customer service within in the industry and has been a leader in the innovation of technologies that can be used for the betterment of the aviation industry. The recommendation is to follow the current business model of customer service to preserve the customer positive customer experience. Alaskan Airlines should also focus on the environmental portion of the aviation industry by using more Green practices such and wind farms, more robust recycling programs and using more fuel-efficient aircraft and bio-fuel. Alaskan Airlines has very loyal patronage and through the expansion of new routes and more cities, more consumers will be able to experience flying on Alaskan Airlines.
Alaskan Airlines must build upon an already successful customer service program, continued improvement to the fleet of aircraft and to furthering the technologies used within the aviation industry.
Lynds, J. (2012, Jun 15). Alaskan Airline debuts services in Presque Isle. Bangor Daily News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1020684161?accountid=35812 Pearce, J. A., II, Robinson, R. B. (2011). Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control (12th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
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