Strategic Management: Challenges Facing Delta/signal Corp. And The Strategy Map/initiatives For Implementation
How did you identify the challenges facing Delta/Signal Corp. and choose the strategy map/initiatives for implementation? How did you use the Balanced Scorecard to overcome the challenges?
Once all the data and information regarding Delta/Signal Corp was reviewed it became immediately clear that the current business model that the company was pursuing was unsustainable and not allowing the company to achieve is fiscal goals. An urgent review was inevitable for the company as the slow sales figures had to be turned around to ensure the survival of the company. After reviewing each strategy on offer the strategy of innovation in the luxury car market was chosen and I immediately used the Balanced Scorecard Simulation to clearly outline the obstacles to success that the company was enduring. This was important as it helped me choose a number of initiatives that would link up with the companies business strategies and in turn potentially solve Detla’s issues.
As the game began through the simulation years it became obvious that the core initiatives that had been selected prior to the game were not suited with the overall strategy and my goal of improving the companies position. As it was my overall goal to make Delta/Signal Corp a leader in the innovation space of luxury cars there was a deliberate attempt to try and link as many objectives as possible that related to innovation and research and development. As the initiatives selected had unfortunately not been in line with the end goal errors when linking the objectives in the strategy map were also made, making it difficult to reach the end goal. The simulation would show at the end of each period what metrics were not improving with red notification, this allowed me to modify the initiatives to attempt to rectify the issue. Whilst doing this I was also very wary too monitor mainly the key financial data such as total sales, gross margin and share price to ensure that these continued to grow. While many of these did grow for the majority of the game, the fact that my initiatives were not in line with the end goal forced me to constantly changed my initiatives which began to negatively impact my financial figure for the last 3 fiscal periods.
How did you analyse the results (during and after the simulation)?
Analysing the results given during each fiscal period was paramount to attempting to improve the value of the company and achieve the final goal. Attempts were made to analyse all the data collected after each period however i was drawn more heavily to the financial figures. Share price, gross margin and net income were the results that I was more heavily drawn to earlier in the game however which meant these continued to improve, however as the game progress I went away from these figures and tried to broaden focus to other metrics, this meant a stagnation or a drop in the previously mentioned financial figures. The graphs provided also offered me a quick and clear picture of how my selected metrics were progressing, if I had my time again I would have focussed on these graphs more carefully as the gave a immediate picture as to growth from previous year. The red “I” indicators did make me analyse the data directly linked to the areas of concern as I felt these areas could provide value to the company and improve selling price. As I moved from period to period I made a concerted effort to compare the data using the graphs and the raw numbers and for the majority of the game many key indicators were improving until the last two periods of the game. The share price in game reached as high as $85.12 in the 6th period and sales were up above $730 million however my poor final selling price given at the end reflected decisions made in the strategy map process and initiatives selected in final 3 periods.
If you made any changes to the initiatives over the eight rounds, reflect on the rationale behind the changes. How did you generate feasible, adaptive, meaningful, and creative solutions to the problems faced by the company featured in the strategy simulation?
Across the eight periods I made the decision to change constantly and try and spread the initiatives across the different choices to improve on areas that were either struggling to grow or I felt aligned with the innovation strategy that was initially chosen. Ensuring that innovation was at the forefront of every change in the initiatives was a key mentality when choosing the initiatives. Although my initial plan was to keep the initiatives the same as I had done a successful practice round doing so I quickly was forced to change initiatives as I was seeing very little progress. In particular the internal process section, mainly relating to research and development which I saw as a key factor in growing the innovation side of the business. To improve this I began a concerted effort to focus budget allocation on R&D in this section, making numerous change to ensure positive progression.
As the simulation progresses I continued with my modified strategy of attempting the spread the budget across different initiatives particularly in the internal process and learning and growth sections. The customer section to me seemed to have a few key initiatives that were perfectly aligned to innovation growth and I chose to stick to them fairly consistently. The process of constantly changing the initiatives seem to be working well until after period 6, where my key metrics began to stagnate and in some cases go backwards. The rationale that I had held behind changing the initiatives to attempt to see increases across the broad made it quite difficult to see what selections impacted particular results and made it somewhat of a guessing game as to how to best improve flailing data results. The selections made in final few rounds were not in line with what I had been doing earlier and meant that my selling price was impacted in a negative way. If I had my time again I would have made the initiative changes less broad and focus on a few that would help my key data, making it much easier to track.
The final selling price of my shares reflected what was a disjointed game strategy that reacted to the data and was not proactive in planning for metric increases. Whilst many of the decision I made were in the interest of broadly addressing the strategy goal of improving innovation it was obvious that the broad wholesale changes I made papered over the cracks in my game and lead to final poor result. The main take away from this was that businesses must be able to have clear and simple objectives as well as not try and fix everything at once rather fix one thing properly at a time.
Conclude with a statement on what you learned from this simulation (the takeaway) and how this learning relates to the business world.
The main insight I took from this simulation was that broad wholesale changes to a business cannot be rushed and can often mean that certain areas of the strategy are not correctly monitored. It’s much better for a business to focus on specific factors, ensuring they are delivered correctly and to the highest standard. The simulation also showed how it is dangerous for business to get caught up in the financial data, whilst negating to focus on the long term strategies that ensure a business is successful into the future. The simulation is an interesting and insightful exercise that gives an understanding of the importance of planning and how business must strive to constantly be on top of its strategic management in order improve the overall business.