Research and development strategy
Businesses cannot grow and survive without new products. It is the role of R&D specialists to generate new product ideas, nurture them carefully and develop them fully into commercially viable propositions. Where innovation proves to be a costly exercise imitation could also be tried as a fruitful option. Many Japanese electronics companies were quite successful in copying American technology and by avoiding R&D costs, improved their competitive strength significantly.
This strategy outlines steps to keep costs under check and improve operational efficiency. The focus is on arriving at decisions regarding plant layout, plant capacity, production processes, inventory management etc.
It deals with financial planning, evaluating investment proposals securing funds for various investments and controlling financial resources. Thus raising funds, acquiring assets, allocating funds to operations, using funds efficiently etc are all part of the strategy.
It deals with strategies relating to product pricing, distribution and promotion of a company’s offering important issues here cover what type of products at what prices through which distribution channel and by the use of which promotional tool and sales force etc.
Human Resources strategy
HR strategy deals with hiring, training, assessing, developing rewarding motivating and retaining the number and types of employees required to run the business effectively, internal (union contracts, productivity indices, labor turnover, absenteeism accidents etc) and external factors (labor laws, son of the soil, reservation, equal employment opportunity, employment of children and women etc) need to be carefully evaluated while formulating HR strategies.
Constraints and strategic choice
Viewed collectively the R&D strategy should encourage innovation; marketing should stress brand loyalty and reliable distribution channels of production should maintain long production runs, cost reduction, finance should focus on cash flows and positive returns and HR department should develop strategies for retaining and developing a stable workforce. Of course organizations do come across constraints while formulating functional level strategies in several forms, how to finance the proposals what kind of risk to be taken, how to combine suppliers and make channel partners happy, how to encounter competitive retaliation etc. In any case while selecting appropriate strategies at corporate business and functional level the following criteria should be kept in mind.
Strategy selection criteria
1) They are responsive to the external environment.
2) The offer a sustainable competitive advantage.
3) They are consistent with order strategies in the organization.
4) They provide adequate flexibility for the business and the organization.
5) They conform to the organization’s mission and long term objectives.
6) They are organizationally flexible.
Strategy implementation is the process of translation of strategies and policies into action through the development of programs, budgets and procedures It is typically conducted by the middle and lower level management but is reviewed by the top management. However, programs and procedures are simply more detailed plans for the eventual implementation of strategy. Unless the corporation is appropriately organized, programs are adequately staffed and activities are properly directed these operational plans fail to deliver the goods. To be effective a strategy must be implemented through the right organization structure and appropriate management practices. In addition, management must also ensure that there is progress towards, objectives according to plan by instituting a rigorous process of control over important activities. The following figure would help in understanding the process of strategy implementation.
People should be motivated to implement a new strategy in desired ways. It is not sufficient merely to have people who can do the job; it is necessary to have people who want to do the job the way you need it done. In addition to traditional motivational techniques managers should also make use of modern techniques in order to inspire people to perk performances.