This paper will depict research of the internal and external environments of Target Corporation and Cessna Aviation Company through environmental scanning. By performing a SWOT Analysis, a resolution of the competitive advantages will be made of both companies and the strategies that they are using. The environmental scan of these organizations will include information on how each one creates value and sustainability of competitive advantages through the use of business strategy. The paper will explain the measurement guidelines that the organizations use to verify their strategic effectiveness. The paper will also explain just how effective each company’s use of their measurement guidelines is.
Target Corporation is the second most successful retailing company in the United States. While the company offers services in the credit card segment, its retail segment is probably the most recognizable one. Below is an S (strengths), W (weaknesses), O (opportunities) and T (threat) analysis of the company (Mbaskool, 2014)
(Mbaskool, 2014) Target Corporation is easily recognized by its famous red and white logo. Since its foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1902, it operates now in every state with the exception of Vermont. Unlike Wal-Mart, the company was slow expanding over the United States borders. On March 04, 2009, Target broke the trend and started to venture internationally. Financially, the company is strong and is now listed as the 36th company on the 2014 Fortune 500 report (Fortune 500, 2014). Strangely, the store is considered by many to be a boring store, for it does not play music in its stores. Meanwhile, the company has experienced difficulties preventing criminal activities such as theft on its properties.
Target faces stiff competition from Wal-Mart and K-mart. A couple of allegations are threatening the reputation of the company and the products that it sells. Government regulations are targeting sales of materials containing polyvinyl Chloride. Also, in 2009, the company was slapped with a lawsuit from the 20 California District Attorneys for illegal waste dumping. The company has long been known for its high-price products. However, it achieved competitive advantage through differentiation in innovation. Target has been able to offer products with unique characteristics. Customers justify the high price with the quality and differentiation associated with the products.
CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY
For eighty years, Cessna Aircraft Company has become a pioneer in the aviation industry. Currently Cessna is a subsidiary of Textron, which acquired Cessna in 1992. The focus is Cessna growing to become the largest aircraft manufacture developing more aircraft in the air than any competitor. The start of Cessna began with Clyde Cessna developing the desire to fly in 1911. Cessna began operation as the founder in 1927 building the Cessna A-series. Innovation fueled Clyde Cessna to continue to develop and remain aggressive in manufacturing aircraft until retiring in 1936. The obstacles Clyde set forth to overcome were many and through the process many resources became allies through the further development of powered aircraft (Cessna, About, 2012).
Through the start of manufacturing Clyde Cessna had a main strength to enter the aviation field, which is the desire to fly. The other strengths that Clyde had through his start were the ability of operating a farm and car lot. Mechanically inclined from the working on motors of the farm equipment and vehicles gave Clyde further development to chase the aviation dream. Innovation to design a better airplane Clyde spent his life savings to obtain a copy of a Queen Aero plane Company design of the Bleriot XI fuselage. The Cessna family in 1916 began to resource with Walter Beech (Beech craft), Lloyd Stearman (Boeing), and others (Cessna, News Releases, 2011).
Thorough the interaction of establishing valuable resources Clyde could overcome the weaknesses of psychological criticism from others. Even though Clyde was fascinated with the aviation industry starting, Clyde continued to design the monoplane until he accomplished successful manufacturing of an aircraft of mechanical power. By the time Clyde was stepping down from the company, he had brought the first seaplane into operation. The constant innovation kept the company from many weaknesses and boosted Cessna into the industry.
Cessna found many opportunities innovating in the aviation industry, paving the way into the future of the Cessna Company. Through the struggles of becoming an establishment in aviation Cessna became more knowledgeable with the social, technological, economic, and environmental aspects of the business. Understanding and growing the opportunities within the aviation industry brought much success. The success of Cessna became a threat in its own because the aviation was just starting out. Competition from other resources in the industry would guide Cessna toward documentation of the many innovative ideas set in the company. The alliances with different organizations also indeed gave Cessna the opportunities to advance competitively. One example of an alliance is the current parent company Textron who started out as an external alliance and is currently a major factor in the internal operations of Cessna. Through the alliances Cessna has grown into a company known for first class business travel for others that buy and invest in Cessna.
In conclusion, an environmental scan benefits an organization by pointing out their competitive advantages, disadvantages, and how they are measured. Performing a simple SWOT analysis helps determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to improve the sustainability of the organization. The information that it provides helps determine future business strategy. It can show how it is measured and how effectively it is working for the company. Both companies mentioned in this paper are doing well with their current business strategy, but environmental scanning is something that should be done periodically in order to maintain their success.
The text states that “A strategist can analyze any industry by rating each competitive force as high, medium, or low in strength.” (Wheelen & Hunger, 2010). Many companies used these tools to verify its strategic effectiveness. Rapidly changing external environment requires that upper management not only make quick decisions but also educated ones based on concrete data. Environmental scanning is an integral part of any successful strategic planning. This paper shows the different measurement guidelines at the disposition of the company to verify strategy effectiveness.
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Wheelen, T. L., & Hunger, D. (2010). _Concepts in Strategic Management and Business Policy: Achieving Sustainability_ (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.