Strategy Analysis and Selection

Assignment 2: Strategy Analysis and Selection – Submit Files

Assignment 2: Strategy Analysis and Selection

Instructions

Assignment 2:  Internal Environmental Analysis/Strategy Analysis and Strategy Selection (Week 6)

 COMPANY FOR ANALYSIS-  SOLAR CITY    

 Purpose:  This assignment is the second of three assignments.  Students will use the tools and concepts learned in the course and in previous business courses to develop an understanding of how organizations develop and manage strategies to establish, safeguard and sustain its position in a competitive market.

Students also have the opportunity to review an organization’s objectives and goals and the key functional areas within the organization.  Performing an internal environment analysis helps assess a firm’s internal resources and capabilities and plays a critical role in formulating strategy by identifying a firm’s strengths to overcome weaknesses.  Students will then 1) assess long-term objectives, 2) identify and evaluate alternative strategies and 3) recommend strategies for a company to pursue.

Instructions:

In completing the assignment, students will use the chapters in the eBook as a guide and perform research on the company from Assignment 1, answer the questions below in narrative form following the steps provided below:

Step 1:  Create a double-spaced, 12-point font Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document.  The final product cannot be longer than 16 pages in length, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title page and reference page.  Those items identified in the technical analysis should appear under the appropriate heading in the paper.  Do no use an Appendix.

Step 2:  Review assignment grading rubric.

Step 3:  Follow the following format using these topics as headings:

Title page with title, your name, the course, the instructor’s name;

Company Background/Information

Internal Environmental Analysis

Strategic Analysis & Strategy Selection

Reference page

Students may use subheadings.

Step 4:  In writing the analysis, writing in the third person.  What this means is that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person

Step 5:  In writing this assignment, students are asked to support the reasoning using in-text citations and a reference list.  If information is taken from a source document, it has to be cited and referenced.  A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.  View the sample APA paper under Week 4 content and How to Cite and Reference, also under Week 4 content.  There are also resources located under Course Content>>Student Toolbox.

Step 6:  In writing this assignment, students are expected to paraphrase and not use direct quotes unless citing the mission statement of a company.  Learn to paraphrase by reviewing this link:  https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html

Step 7: Read all course material for weeks 1 through 6 and perform independent research to provide a comprehensive internal environmental analysis, strategy analysis and selection.

Step 8:  Jot down key facts about the company.  Consider making an outline to capture key points in the paper.

Step 9:  In your paper, respond to the following:

Background analysis including vision and mission statements and objectives

Internal Environmental Analysis

Corporate Level Strategy

Business Unit Level Strategy

Functional Level Strategy

Explain how these strategies align with the company’s vision and mission statements;

Assess the company’s interactions with its stakeholders, the organizational structure, the organizational culture, and communication/decision making among managers within human resources, marketing production, operations, finance and accounting, R&D, and computer information systems, which can be accomplished by viewing the company’s website, interviews, and surveys.

Financial analysis for the last reported fiscal year:

Use the company’s income statement and balance sheet to calculate key, but no less than 10 key financial ratios to the business.  There must be a mix of the different ratios so that the ratios do not all come  from the same category.  Show the calculations.

Using Excel or a Word table, record key financial ratios in the first column;

Research the industry average financial ratios for the same ratios above and record in a second column.  If you cannot find an industry average, then select another ratio;

In the third column, indicate whether the financial ratio is a strength, a weakness or a neutral factor.

Explain the results and compare and contrast the company financials to the industry.

Technique Analysis: develop and explain an IFE, BCG matrix, Grand Strategy Matrix, and QSPM.  The expectation is not to copy from the Internet but to develop one’s own.  The various tools are to appear in the appropriate area of the paper and not in one section of the paper.

Strategy Analysis:

Identify and explain company strengths and weaknesses. Discuss success factors and what the company must do to perform successfully in the industry?  Discuss what strategies would allow the company to capitalize on its major strengths.  Discuss strategies that would allow the company to improve upon its major weaknesses

Generate a minimum of three possible alternative strategies for the company;

Identify and discuss cultural factors that should be considered in analyzing and choosing among the alternative strategies;

Prioritize and explain the selection of alternative strategies

Recommend the best one or two strategies among the alternative strategies and explain why these strategies are the best;

Step 10:  Create an introductory paragraph.  The Introduction should clearly and concisely convey the main points of the assignment’s requirements. Review the following website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph:  http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html

Step 11:  Write a summary paragraph.  A summary paragraph restates the main idea(s) of the essay.  Make sure to leave a reader with a sense that the essay is complete.  The summary paragraph is the last paragraph of a paper.

Step 12:  Using the grading rubric as a comparison, read through the paper to ensure all required elements are presented.

Step 13: Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.

Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a first measure;

Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;

Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.

SolarCity is an American company that provides solar power services and has its headquarters in San Mateo, California. The company is the biggest solar energy power service provider in the United States, with its main activities including design work, manufacturing, licensing, financing, selling, installing, maintaining and monitoring solar energy systems for various applications. The rates charged by SolarCity on customers are far much lower than the utility rates, thus attracting more customers each year. The installed capacity of solar power by SolarCity rose from just 440MW in the year 2009 to over 6,200MW in 2014 (Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, 2015). The company has an employee base of over fifteen thousand employees who work tirelessly to ensure the success of the firm. The company has the vision to make sure that people get solar products with the aim of achieving savings on power, with an assurance on households, enterprises, the environment and future generations. Its mission is to deliver affordable and better solar power guided by their core values that include teamwork, innovation, embracing change, quality artistry, honesty and integrity, the urge to satisfy customers, safety and efficiency. Being the largest solar energy service provider in the US, the company aims to ensure that clean energy is available to different households, institutions, and businesses at substantially lowered costs as compared to that charged on nonrenewable energy (Kriege, 2016). The core objective of the company is to assist clients in the installation of solar devices, meeting the highest technological standards and simplifying customer switch to renewable energy. The company has revolutionized the energy sector by providing clients with a much more affordable alternative to their usual utility bills each month. The use of disruptive innovative technologies replaces traditional approaches in a competitive market and in return enhances the competitive advantage over competitors. The introduction of efficient solar systems by SolarCity ensures that the company wins the customer preference over its competitors

Internal Environment Analysis

For a company to survive in a competitive market, it is essential that it defines clear and concise strategies that are aimed at ensuring that the firm and its services are the best alternatives to the customers (Rao, Rao, & Sivaramakrishna, 2008). Being a leading solar energy service provider in the US, SolarCity strives to grow its business and expand throughout the country and even go international. The company previously focused on rapid growth and overlooked the need to reduce the cost that would aid in generating revenue, which could be used to expand operations. The growth strategy of the company was satisfactory considering that the rate of increase was about eighty percent each year. However, to work on reducing costs and increasing profitability, the company sought to limit its growth rate to only 40 percent annually. The reasons why the company had previously focused on growth was the need to achieve scale, which was the only way towards reducing costs (Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, 2015). The need to shift strategies was informed by the urge to compete with utility generating companies in the supply of electrical power, considering that the government was planning to scale back key tax credits that would, in turn, make solar energy competitive. The expected reduction would slash down the tax charges on solar installations from 30 percent to 10 percent for commercial systems and eliminate the fees on residential systems (Kriege, 2016). By achieving a low-cost structure, the company will be able to become more competitive even without external subsidies and also easing concerns over the viability of the solar industry…

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