Delivery in day(s): 5
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 7 Business Strategy
This business strategy Oasis Dental Care assignment is aimed at understanding the concept of strategy, strategic planning and importance of formulating new business strategy so as to continuously grow and succeed in current era of fierce competition. A future strategy would be chosen for the selected organization, following its business environment audit, strategic position analysis and stakeholder analysis. To have this basic understanding, a UK based organization Oasis Dental Care have been selected that presently deliver services in many parts of UK as well as Ireland.
Oasis dental care, a unit of Oasis healthcare is operating through subsidiary and has more than 300 dental clinics and over 2500 dental professionals serving people. They offer private services as well as through National Health services and deliver basic dental, specialist orthodontic alignment services, implant and surgical services along with cosmetic dentistry practices (Oasis Dental Care, online).
Every organization has some set objectives that they desire to achieve and the steps taken to achieve these organizational goals and objectives are termed as strategy. It is the process in which decisions are made and actions are planned by the company to grow and succeed. Strategic planning is the process of outlining future aspired goals, deciding the ways of achieving these goals by considering several factors like company’s resources, potential, external influences, etc and finally implementing the selected strategy. The process is majorly influenced and driven by the mission, vision, goals and core competencies of the company as they direct the management towards aspired position and assist in identifying companies’’ unique skills and potential (BPP Learning Media, 2013).
Mission is the main purpose of company’s existence describing what it actually does while vision is the aspired future position. Goals are the targets that the company desire to achieve and the core competencies are the unique abilities and potential of company providing competitive advantage over others.
The way these essential elements inform strategic planning of an organization can be understood by taking example of Oasis Dental Care. The organization serving people and address their dental care needs have a mission of ‘making people smile’. This mission statement helps the organization in describing the services available as well as in identifying target customer segment that further assist in making appropriate strategic choice and do effective planning. Vision is to be recognized as the ‘go to brand for dentistry’ by meeting people’s dental health care needs in an efficient and highly effective manner. Organization’s vision describes long term aspired position of the firm, thus, help in guiding and taking actions in this direction [Oasis Dental Care (online)].
The organization has the goal of delivering excellent and quality dental care services to people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and the core competencies of the Oasis dental care are delivering services based on individual needs and the preventive approach that reduces need of future treatments (Ghemawat, 2002). These elements assist in analyzing and choosing best strategy and implement it to achieve organizational goals.
Strategic planning is affected by numerous factors and these factors must be effectively identified and evaluated to successfully achieve organizational goals and objectives:
Self analysis: the most essential factor is identifying organization’s internal factors like its strengths and weaknesses and external factors like available opportunities and potential threats to business. These factors together comprise the micro environmental factors of the company. Organizations’ strong points & unique abilities can be used to take advantage of available opportunities (Curtis, 2015).
Macro environmental factor analysis: strategic planning also require the company to analyze the political, economic, social and technological factors affecting company’s macro environment and helps in identification of opportunities, potential threats or required changes in existing policies.
Evaluating industry: before making strategic plan, the industry in which the organization is working like the market size and growth potential in the health and care industry must be considered by oasis dental care.
Competitors ‘position: it is really important to evaluate competitor’s actual position in market like by analyzing Nestor Healthcare Group’s strong and weak areas and modifying strategic planning accordingly to gain competitive advantage.
Communication: an effective communication and information flow must be ensured between all concerned people. Staff must have clear information about their role and responsibilities and should have access to clear their doubts at any given time. Many a times, strategic plan fail due to lack of information and implementation by one who was not involved in the process.
Recognizing customer’s requirements: the strategic planning and organizational goals must be designed on the basis of needs and requirements of customers or service users (Haberberg A and Rieple, 2008).
Organizational culture: every organization has its own unique culture, values, beliefs and employee attitude, which is very essential to be considered while strategic planning process. As this culture defines employee’s behavior and reaction towards any new policy or organizational change, whether they would take it positively by understanding its benefits or would act against it hampering its implementation.
Strategic plan should not be very rigid or the chances of failure increases manifold.
Strategic analysis can be done by any of the technique like using BCG matrix, directional policy matrices, PIMS, SWOT, SPACE, etc.
Directional policy matrix
Model is very flexible and can be used for any type of company.
It is very easy to use and results can be easily interpreted.
Various factors of economic factor are evaluated including competitive ability of company (Hall, 2012).
Fails to predict competitor’s moves
Fails to assess market in which the business operates
It is a detailed study of various essential factors of company like market share, product quality, investment, profit share, etc to assess the appropriate strategy that would bring maximum benefit. Almost 3000 units of 500 companies have been studied and these records are used to chose strategy and develop strategic plan.
Help in identification of profitable business strategy
Determine profit rate and the way profit is driven
Identify ways to gain competitive advantage
Study is being carried out on very old 500 companies
Data is too old
High market share not always leads to high profit margins
The product lines of companies are analyzed and available resources are deployed in such a way to increase business for the company. Products are being categorized based on market share and growth rate to ensure that positive cash flow is maintained in potential products.
Fig: 1.3 (b) BCG Matrix
This technique may be used by oasis dental care where the cosmetic dentistry services with high market growth and high market share can be considered as star services since the investment is high but gradually, it may convert to cash cows. General dental services like tooth restorations, root canal treatment with high market growth but low market share can be said as cash cows, thus, investment must be made to keep on improving these services (Thompson, 2001).
Identify best segment to invest money
Evaluate company’s current portfolio
Simple model and easy to use
High market share is not the only important factor
Data collection on market growth and market share is difficult
Many a times, dogs can be beneficial than cash cows.
Organizational audit of a company involves an analysis of company’s internal factors and micro environmental external factors and this is done using SWOT framework. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This framework assists in identifying the strong points of company that provide competitive advantage over others, company’s weaknesses that are acting as a barrier in further growth, available opportunities in market that may be utilized to enhance business and potential threats that may hamper future growth. This organizational audit can help the organization to assess its current position, strategic planning and help in decision making process for further growth (Afonso & Sousa, 2012).
To do the organisational audit of Oasis Dental care, SWOT framework has been used as folloes:
Every organization is majorly affected by the environment in which it operates and thus, a environmental audit is very necessary to assess company’s current position, future growth potential, required changes, etc. this analysis is done through PESTLE framework. The PESTLE analysis of oasis dental care is as follows:
Political factors: the political conditions of UK may be considered as stable and favorable for business. Although, Brexit has caused little ambiguous situation in the country but still the health requirements and health business is not much affected. The organization has to consider several healthcare laws and legislations, code of practices and guidelines while delivering services to ensure protection of right of the clients (Rodrik, 2005).
Economic factors: although the economic growth of UK is not very high and economy is quite stable from a long time but it is seen that disposable income of people is rising, making it a favorable time for growing client base. Middle and upper class of people may be targeted for cosmetic dental procedures and orthodontic aligning services.
Social factors: the socio cultural factors of UK are such that people are very much conscious about their smile, teeth alignment and oral health. They are ready to pay for good quality cosmetic services and are aware of getting their dental health checkups twice a year. Thus, there are large numbers of potential customers in UK society who need to be targeted and approached through right marketing strategy. People want quality and cost effective treatment services and thus, must be provided with that (Powell, 1992).
Technological factors: dentistry is a field that is being continuously researched and latest equipments and procedures are regularly introduced in this field. Cosmetic dentistry, smile design, laser treatment, etc are few latest procedures and techniques and thus, the organization is required to remain updated and ready to adapt.
Legal factors: there are several laws, legislations and policies that need to be considered by the dental care firm like data protection act, equality act, anti discriminatory act, safeguarding vulnerable people act, etc. In addition, employment laws, corporate social responsibility, minimum wages laws, etc also need to be considered.
Environmental laws: the organization need to effectively follow waste disposal policies to prevent harmful effects of large amount of dental waste on environment. They are also well aware of their CSR and have modified their policies including supply chain to have a sustainable business (Sadler, 2003).
Stakeholders are the people or organizations that are interested with a company’s growth and success and are directly or indirectly affected by its decision, actions and policies (Nag, et al.2007). Service users, general dentists, dental specialists, hygienists, suppliers and other supporting employees are the direct stakeholders as they are engaged in daily activities of a dental clinic while the government, local and state dental associations and community at large are the indirect ones.
All these stakeholders are affected by any new strategy formulated by the company and its outcomes and therefore, it is essential to do stakeholder analysis before formulating one. Following the identification of concerned stakeholders, their power and interest in the company is evaluated and the implications of the selected strategy on them would be analyzed. This may be done using a stakeholder grid as shown in fig. 2.3 below.
Fig. 2.3 stakeholder analysis grid
By following this grid, the stakeholders having high power as well as high interest in the firm are the key players and thus, must be managed closely. Top management authorities including directors and executives are the main players.
Stakeholders with high interests but low power like the service users and clients of Oasis dental care should be well considered during strategy formulation. Their choices, preferences and requirements must be taken into consideration and they must be kept informed as well as they would be majorly impacted by final outcomes.
Stakeholders with high power and low interests like local and state dental association, department of health, etc need to be kept satisfied. It must be ensured to abide by their recommended policies and guidelines as they have high power that may act against the dental centre (Small Business, 2013).
Additionally significant stakeholders like the dentists, dental specialists, dental nurses and hygienists who are the key service providers in the organization must be essentially taken into consideration. Strategy should be formulated in a way to address their needs, choices and must be beneficial for them.
Oasis dental care is currently doing a successful business in UK and Ireland and delivering quality patient centered dental services to their clients with a team of more than 2500 dental professionals and assistants. However, the health industry especially in dental section, the competition is extremely severe and the threat of new entrants is quite severe. Thus, the organization is required to regularly come up with new strategies and take action in a direction to gain competitive advantage over other and achieve organization goals of acquiring leading positions in industry.
For this, the best suitable strategy needs to be chosen as per company’s current strengths and market position and which is acceptable by service users and significant stakeholders. Additionally, the available and required resources for successful implementation of strategy must be evaluated and finally strategy must be planned (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006).
In present time, a large part of the population have started using smart phones and internet that may be used as an essential tool for promoting and marketing business by the company. The organization is already having a website providing detailed information on available dental services, financial options, expert advice, etc. But to grow the business further, potential patients and target audience need to be reached and they may be approached through the website, emails and messages. First and foremost, search engine optimization must be utilized by oasis that would ensure that the company’s website and name appears in the top five search results on Bing and Google and would attract large number of new users/clients. For this, the company may hire specialized agencies dedicated to SEO and help in promoting company’s website. Website visitors must be availed with such an attractive, user friendly and appealing website that they get convinced to give it a try. A special section showing previous patients’ satisfactory note on received services, before treatment and after treatment pictures and customer reviews must be included that would further assist in targeting and appealing patients (Dudovskiy, 2013). They may also be given a facility of getting an appointment through the website or by calling on the given contact numbers. Website can also be made interactive where people can put their queries and receive appropriate timely responses.
A record of patient’s contact information may be maintained and they may be regularly contacted through emails and messages to send them reminders of their next appointment or follow up schedule. This would enhance patient satisfaction level and would lead to more referrals (Lamb, 2012).
By adoption of this strategy of using website and internet marketing can proe extremely beneficial to the company in current times when people are looking for easy to approach, comfortable and accessible high quality services.
Alternative strategies play a very important role in extending and enhancing a company’s businesses and assist in achievement of aspired organizational goal. Market entry refers to extending business to a new location or country and initiate service delivery there. Substantive growth strategies are undertaken to improve current growth by improving overall efficiency and decreasing growth retarding elements. Limited growth strategies are used to decrease the risk by reducing operating costs and improving market share.
Oasis dental care may adopt the most suitable and feasible strategy out of the recommended market entry strategy such as merger, acquisitions or joint venture. The organization may take over or buy a competitor or a rising company to increase the market share or may merge with an equal sized or smaller company to enter a new market. But, the joint venture option seems more suitable for Oasis dental care where a partnership relation or risk/knowledge sharing relation is being set with another company (Afonso & Sousa, 2012). Oasis may acquire private clinics or make a joint venture with them. Franchising is another important strategy that may be adopted by Oasis to make franchise agreements with various private clinics operating in differ locations of UK. Other alternative strategies like organic growth are used by companies to enhance current capabilities and increase potential to serve more clients at a time.
Limited growth strategies available for the company are product development strategy or innovation strategy. Product/services development involves modification of existing services or initiation of latest services like smile design, laser dental treatment etc to enhance market penetration. Further, the company may adopt innovative strategies by making changes in current system and policies to retain current users and attract more potential clients (Hill & Jones, 2009).
All these strategies have their own individual impact over the business and as per the requirement, the most suitable and beneficial strategy must be chosen and implemented. The company may even adopt a combination of strategies to successfully face the dynamic market having cut throat level competition and continuously grow to become market leader.
Oasis dental care is doing a successful business in UK and Ireland and is the only branded organization offering both private and NHS services to people. Although, the company is successful at present but to maintain this growth and success rate and achievement of aspired goals and objectives, the organization is required to come up with new strategy addressing people’s changing needs and requirements. This assignment made it clear that selection of appropriate strategy requires analysis of current strategic position of the company, its environmental analysis and stakeholder’s analysis and the most feasible and beneficial strategy is chosen. The company may use internet marketing and designing an appealing attractive user friendly website to increase its client’s base and enhance current business.