Improving Efficiency And Effectiveness Of A Business CONTENTS Section 1 1. INTRODUCTION 2. COMPANY PROFILE Section 2 3. SWOT ANALYSIS Issues to be taken under cosideration 4. THE PROBLEM(S) 5. OPTIONS INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS a)Addressinng Local Lecturers b)Establishing new Services 6. EVALUATION-RECOMMENDATIONS 7.
SUMMARY 8. BIBLIOGRAPHY/REFERENCES Introduction All successful businesses owe their existence to the recognition and existence of a market opportunity. It is essential therefore for organizations to continue identifying possible market opportunities in order to develop, expand and compete in the fierce business environment of our era. This entails constant information of the organizations position and the market environment in which it operates. Kotler (though Baker 1996) argues that a structured analysis should be undertaken based on the following questions: Diagnosis : where is the company now and why? Prognosis : where is the company headed? Objectives: where should the company be headed? Strategy : what is the best way to get there? Tactics : what specific actions should be undertaken, by whom and when Control : what measures should be watched to indicate whether the company is Succeeding? (Baker, 1996, Marketing, p.52) All companies need strategies to meet changing markets. Marketing plays an important role in strategic planning. It provides information and other inputs to help prepare the strategic plan.
Strategic planning, according to Kotler, Armstrong, Sauders and Wong (1996) is also the first stage of marketing planning and defines marketings role in the organization. The strategic plan guides marketing, which must work with other departments in the organization to achieve strategic objectives. (Principles of Marketing, p.70). The above analysts focus on three steps/stages of strategic market planning :a) the strategic plan and its implications for marketing; b) the marketing process; and c) ways of putting the plan into action. Strategic planning, or finding out the strategic position of a company is essential towards the marketing plan.
This will guide the formation of measurable corporate objectives. An audit then gathers information on the company, its competitors, its market and the general environment in which the firms operate. A SWOT analysis gives a summary of the strengths, and weaknesses of the company together with the opportunities and threats if faces. Next, decisions are made on what services/products are best for the company and how much support to give each one, and suggestions about the possibility of market segmentation and targets facing the organization are done. This paper attempts to apply the above for Global Training in Athens in order to identify possible problems and aim to find certain solutions.
2.COMPANYS PROFILE Intercollege Global Training Athens is a company offering educational services and specifically training in the field of ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, U.K.) The training program for students coming from a variety of industries leads them to take the world-wide examination for every course in Greece in coordination with the British Council and the British Chamber of Commerce. The company was officially established in the year 2000, however was operating through cooperation with Universities and companies in Greece since 1996. The central offices are located in Cyprus and branches, apart form Greece, exist in Bulgaria, Leetonia, Poland, Oman and Dubai. In 1996 the company began cooperation from Cyprus with leading Audit Firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloitte and Touche, KPMG, and Ernst and Young, for in-house training focusing on individuals who wanted to receive the professional degree of ACCA. In 1998, Eurobank and ALPHA Bank joined the scheme and in 1999 an office was opened to offer the program to individuals who could join the groups at the locations of these companies and in order to form separate groups for the public needs. In a few words, recruitment was done based on a market plan and groups were formed for walk-ins which were trained at various Universities, with lecturers who were specialized from the central office in Cyprus. The growth of numbers/enrolment forced the central office to form a branch in Athens and all training is done at the new companys premises for all courses leading to examinations of the ACCA scheme.
At this point, over 120 students are enrolled for ACCA examination at Global Training Athens and the companys position calls for strategic market planning for its services. How could additional students enroll? Does the companys position imply expansion based on the growth of numbers? How was the marketing done? What other marketing methods can be used? What kinds of opportunities are there? Are there any problems that need solutions in order to increase effectiveness? These and other market related questions for the company will be attempted to be examined in the next sections of this paper. 3.SWOT ANALYSIS If the forces at work in the environment and likely future changes in that environment are identified, then these are bases for considering the opportunities and threats that might exist for the organization (Johnson and Scholes, 1988). The aim is to identify the extent to which the current strategy of an organization and its more specific strengths and weaknesses are relevant to, and capable of dealing with the changes taking place in the business environment. One note that should be mentioned at this point is the need for one not to be absolute in ones analysis.
The following concerning Global Training Athens are noted as significant points/issues for examination in these sections. Issues for consideration concerning the company ACCA is a European degree (E.U.), thus recognized by all E.U. states (including Greece; directive exists) a. The ACCA syllabus is based on the International Accounting Standards (IAS) which are required towards the internationalization of the Accounting Parameters b. The E.U.
is preparing for the European Stock Market, a fact which implies individuals being aware of the methods used for listed and to be listed companies in the future Euro stockmarket. The ACCA also does this as a program. c. Greek Presidential Degree 165/2000 recognizes professional qualifications such as the ACCA after 3 years of work experience. d. The number of companies sending students to Global Training Athens has doubled in the past year, as have the number of students enrolled.
e. The ACCA offers, in cooperation with Oxford Brooks University a Bachelor of Science in Applied Accounting with ones successful completion of 9 (out of 14) ACCA courses. f. ACCAs who complete the program become highly paid individuals. In the U.K. for example, Partners of Banks and Audit Firms are ACCA degree holders.
g. Competition for Global Training Athens is limited to non-existent, and it is extremely difficult for a company to complete due to the nature of training. h. ACCA is now developing an MBA program in cooperation with Oxford Brooks University. i.
Global Trainings passing rates have been one of the highest worldwide (90% apx.) j. Global Trainings lecturing team are all chartered Accountants and / or Academic specialized to teach only such courses. Most are specialists in their respective fields. k. Internal Audit laws/regulations exist for Greek companies. l. Having the above in mind (company profile and issues/points) the following SWOT analysis is presented.
Strengths Weaknesses m. Experience in ACCA trainingn. Directives (EU) Laws/Regulations (GR)o. Specialized Lecturing Teamp. International Accounting Standardsq. Bachelor prospect for ACCA/s TMBAr. Recruitment doublings.
Passing reatest. Limited competitionu. ACCAs have high salaries v. Weekend seminars only, due to foreign lecturersw. Cost of training lecturers (air fare- expenses-accommodation)• Facilities limited• No Greek Lecturers• Limited marketing, despite success• Limited services in Athens • Expansion (premises)• Expansion (geographical)• New services /new professional degree• ACCA consulting/headhunting• Classes during the week• Conferences on IAS• Advertise• Use of IT • Competition (limited however)• Government changes may affect recognition(?)- Greece only.• SOE (Greek chartered Account. Parameter concerning audit experience) Opportunities Threats The above SWOT analysis concerns the organization as a whole, and lists all the features that could be considered critical success factors.
The strengths and weaknesses are relative, not absolute. In sum, the strengths and opportunities demonstrate potential for the company in terms of expansion and in a logical growth of numbers of students. However, the cost of lecturers from abroad and the instability of government regulations do pose danger which will be disused in the later stages of this assignment. In APPENDIX 1 the framework that was used as a guideline for identifying the companys strengths and weaknesses is indicated. 4.THE PROBLEM(S) From the above SWOT analysis, …