Every firm competing in an industry has a competitive strategy, whether explicit or implicit. This strategy may have been developed explicitly through a planning process or it may have been evolved implicitly through the activities of the various functional departments of the firm. Left to its own devices, each functional department will inevitably pursue an approach dictated by its professional orientation and the incentives of those in charge. However, the sum of these departmental approaches rarely are the best strategy.
Strategic planning is the process of deciding on the objectives of the organization, on the changes in these objectives, and on the policies that govern the acquisition, use, and disposition of the resources used to attain these objectives. A Strategy is a unified, comprehensive and integrated plan designed to assure that the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved.
The objectives are the basic economic and social purposes for which the enterprise exists.
A coherent strategy of finance can provide the device for measuring and analyzing value which can be leveraged to improve cash flow, sales and financial net worth.
The core questions are what do you want to achieve and how do you intend to do it?
Strategic dimensions that describe the strategic options:
Specialization: the degree to which a company focuses its efforts in terms of the width of its line, the target customer segments, and the geographic markets served.
Others: brand identification, push versus pull, channel selection, product quality, vertical integration, cost position, service, price policy, leverage, relationships with government, relationships with corporate if not a subsidiary.
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