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MGT510 Strategic Management

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MGT510 Strategic Management

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Course Code: MGT510
University: Charles Sturt University

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Country: Australia

On successful completion of this subject, you should:
• Be able to identify and explain the key components of strategic management such as strategy analysis, strategy formulation and strategy implementation, and their interrelationships;• Be able to review and evaluate the evolution of ideas and practices leading to the development of strategic management and its relationship to other management practices and principles;• Be able to identify and differentiate between functional areas such as marketing, finance, operations and human resource management and evaluate how they should act conjointly toward the attainment of the organisation’s strategic aims and objectives;• Be able to evaluate the importance of developing strategically appropriate relationships between people, processes, functions, structures and even organisations; and• Be able to critique, act strategically, and make recommendations in the context of the potential of strategic management vis-a-vis the realisation of organisational change and/ or success in the private, public, and not-for-profit sector.

Coles Group Ltd has an ironic history of no less than 90 years. Founded by George James Coles in the year 1914, Coles had established itself as one of the leading supermarkets in Australia. Due to disruptive strategies, the company underwent many strategic changes in past few decades. In 2007 August, Wesfarmers purchased Coles for AU$22 billions and appointed UK based retailer Ian McLeod as company’s Managing Director. Coles, under the leadership of new leader and strategic implementation of policies has been able to regain its lost position. Presently, Coles owns more than 140,000 stores in Australian region contributing 4.1% in country’s GDP and employing around 100,000 employees while making more than 11 lakh transactions per week (Coles, 2018).
Strategic plans and objectives of Coles
Presently, Coles business growth plan and vison statement are grounded on following four components:

Regain its leading position in food retailing business, Woolworths being in top position.
Extend its business operations in diversified marketplace like hotels, Petro stations and liquor.
Maintaining quality of products along with reducing prices as maximum as possible.
Maximising shareholders value by adding more products in its portfolio(Advameg, Inc., 2018).

Corporate level strategies
Coles espouses integrated strategy in which the company utilises combination of both differential elements for competing with rival companies and cost leadership tactics. With efficient supply chain management, Coles has been able to minimise cost structures along with adding brand image to differentiate itself in terms of quality as well as enabling regularity in supply. Strategic factors like considering future threats and building flexible work environment to implement necessary changes can also be associated with Coles survival. Corporate level strategies formulated by Coles focuses on making Wesfarmers portfolio management concentrate on diversification and expansion of its business across other industries (Wesfarmers Limited, 2017). Market penetration strategies adopted by the company grabs market shares through expansion of Coles business operations in existing as well as new marketplace.  The company has been able to strengthen its operations by identifying sustainable growth opportunities through strategic marketing and implementation of effective corporate level strategies. Coles faces many issues while operating in Australian retail business environment as deficiency in environmental projects effects external relations with the customers. However, Coles strategies to maintain corporate social responsibilities and other practices like managing waste reduction helps it to sustain in Australian business environment effectively (Coles Group, 2008).
The corporate level strategies undertaken by Coles also involves integration of cost leadership along with differentiation strategies. These strategies further help company in offering its customers value added products and that to in minimum prices as compared to its competitors. Through economies of scale and cost minimisation factors, Coles develops customer relationships also by offering satisfactory products. Product differentiation strategy of the company helps them to offer those products that are not available in other companies which in turn attracts new customers in effective way. Product expansion strategy of Coles allows it to offer new products, but the company restricts itself in offering new products in fresh markets to play securely in market expansion process.  All the strategies formulated by Coles fits internal as well an external environment while ensuring that the company remains as one of the pioneers in Australian retail market (Coles Group, 2008).
Strategy implementation
Strategic Management principles followed by Coles is maintained due to superior leadership, utilisation of effective mechanism and performance measurement. The employees in the origination act as an integrated team and thus implementation of strategies is managed and processed in critical and effective manner. Since Coles is strategically driven firm, the strategic implementation enables implementing suitable policies that fulfils demand of present business environment (Dunford, Palmer, & Benveniste, n.d.). The management of Coles believes that every individual is important during strategy implementation process in both industrial as well as organisational level. Therefore, the leaders along with top level management of the company act as mentors to enhance associations with employees along with establishing procedures that fulfils Coles core business objectives (Sandeep, 2012).
The process of transformational strategy assists Coles in engaging employees in company’s management level, depending upon the situation, which brings a sense of ownership among them. According to Osborne & Hammound (2017), if employees are treated well, chances that they will provide extra efforts get increased. The strategies made in Coles corporate level is divided among various departments of the organisation that are further managed and governed by individuals. The communication and effective flow of data is achieved through transformation of plans into actions after internal and external factors related to the company are evaluated. Coles ensures that individual performances are manged critically for which the company makes a regular follow up of different departments with the help of advanced technology and strategic human resource management (Nenycz-Thiel, 2011). The implementation of business strategies as well as performance management are made to comprehend strategic objectives of the company and thus, Coles leads retail business in Australian food and beverage related industry.
Critical evaluation of strategies implemented
The corporate level strategies divided and managed in different levels of the company shows that Coles has an integrated competitive business approach that utilises both differential as well as cost leadership elements to minimise costs, enhance brand image and provide with effective supply chain systems (Advameg, Inc., 2018). Three most significant capabilities evaluated after studying Coles corporate level strategies are:

Effective supply chain management: With efficient distribution network and acknowledging tangible and intangible company assets, Coles possess strategic and specialised management due to which it also receives favourable public image.
Maintaining effective brand image: Coles is a well reputed company dealing in food and grocery related items. The company always follows promotional strategies like campaigns and slogans to attract more customers. This strategy even enhances Coles brand image along with its visibility in market.

Effective Top Management: In spite Coles underwent many recessionary pressures, the company had been able to grow in terms of revenues. This attributes to Coles efficient management and leaders who had steered Coles in this competitive marketplace by achieving continuous growth(Coles Group, 2008).

After evaluating Coles company strategies, few recommendations can be made that can assist Coles management in making further strategies for the company. Contemporary organisations are focussing on the capabilities of social media and online shopping where products are been sold to national as well as foreign countries. Since Coles has not shown much growth in its international strategies and development, implementation of internationalisation through social media and internet can provide Coles long term benefits (Saha, 2015).  Marketing and product differentiation strategy of Coles shows that the company does not allow offering new products in fresh market. Alternatively, Coles must change this strategy and try introducing new and specialised products that suits extended market demands along with other products of the company (Dunford, Palmer, & Benveniste, n.d.).
The above report has been prepared after evaluating corporate level strategies of Coles Company based in Australia. The examination of Coles business and operations processes reveals that the company had gone severe change management process that had resulted positive for it. Due to superior management and efficient leader, the company has been able to place itself above other competitors present business environment. The internal environment of the company understands the results of policy implementation and how they can affect external environment for which Coles ensures maximum utilisation of available resources. With effective supply chain and strategic decisions along with considering future growth opportunities, Coles befitted itself strategically in current business environment irrespective of facing internal as well as external changes.
Advameg, Inc. (2018). Coles Myer Ltd. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Coles Myer Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/9/Coles-Myer-Ltd.html
Coles. (2018). Coles: Our History. Retrieved from https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/centenary
Coles Group. (2008). Coles Group Limited Annual Report 2007. Retrieved from https://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/14/144042/2008_pro_rata_entitlement/asx_releases/coles_acquisition/coles_shares/2007.pdf
Dunford, R., Palmer, I., & Benveniste, J. (n.d.). Strategy for Sucessful Entry into a Concentrated and Highly Competetive Market. Retrieved from https://www.anzam.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf-manager/2374_DUNFORD_RICHARD_BSP-01.PDF
Nenycz-Thiel, M. (2011). Private labels in Australia: A case where retailer concentration does not predicate private labels share. Brand Management, 18(08), 624-633.
Osborne, S., & Hammoud, M. S. (2017). Effective Employee Engagement in the Workplace. International Journal of Applied Management and Technology, 16(01), 50-67. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1239&context=ijamt
Saha, A. (2015). A Study on “The impact of online shopping upon retail trade business”. IOSR Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM), 74-78.
Sandeep, K. (2012). Analysis of the grocery industry Coles Supermarkets. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/4615254/Analysis_of_the_grocery_industry_Coles_Supermarkets
Wesfarmers Limited. (2017). Wesfarmers 2017 Annual Report. Retrieved from https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/2017-annual-report.pdf?sfvrsn=0

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