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External Analysis encompasses examining both the environment and the competition. (The competitive analysis portion of the external analysis is part of the discussion board topic on Porter's Five Forces.) When developing your responses to this discussion board topic, pay particular attention to the reading assignments that detail the different areas of investigation when conducting an environmental analysis. Perform your own mini-analysis and reflection on the questions below in preparation for the assignment; it is intended that you will be able to take what you learn from this discussion and use it in your assignment in external analysis. Share your thoughts and observations in a well-written posting. Include examples and comments about how specific environmental opportunities and threats impact StilSim Personnel.
What elements of each environmental area pose an opportunity or threat to StilStim?
Which environmental factors do you think are most significant? Why?
How might these environmental elements be mitigated or leveraged by StilSim?
NOTE: When exploring environmental factors, research information about national trends found in the real world, such as unemployment statistics, aging population, etc. When analyzing local environmental factors of significance, use information provided in the StilSim Personnel simulation. Remember to examine both levels of environmental impact (national and local). In your post report what you find and cite your references in APA style.What competitive elements make up each of the Five Forces?
The Five Forces Model, developed by Dr. XXXXX XXXXX of Harvard University, looks at five areas of competition (and the influence of a sixth):
• Threat of new entrants (barriers to entry),
• Bargaining power of suppliers,
• Bargaining power of buyers,
• Threat of substitute products or services, all on the perimeter of the fifth,
• Rivalry among existing firms, and the sixth,
• Governmental policies (which can influence all the others).
StilSim was notified of a direct competitor looking to sell out for owner retirement. It is likely that the analysis done after receipt of the Capital Staffing solicitation letter was being done by our competitors as well, and a large segment of our market is now ‘in play’. The letter from the investment banker was intended to activate interest of all the players, hopefully to stimulate buying interest. StilSim has to face a newly competitive marketplace, and has a chance to decide its desired place in it, and the price it is willing to pay for it. There are not likely new players (the customer list will likely have to be served and/or acquired by experienced personnel people) unless the existing personnel at Capital decide to open their own store. Only the rental of office space and purchase of office equipment and software would keep the employees from striking out on their own, leveraging their relationships with those clients. The potential new player would not have barriers to entry, in fact, they may make a formidable competitor.
Suppliers (labor), are really not an issue here. The placed labor is often going to be at unskilled labor rates, and for short term duration. Licensed professionals will be hired by the hospitals and agencies needing them, and the remainder of experienced semi-skilled or unskilled labor will not organize to demand higher wages or have any such buying power. They will go to the agency with the job openings. Capital had some interface advantages for labor and their clients, but that advantage can be matched if market forces require.
Buyers, generally the health care market in the area, do have buying power but demand is rising. Shortages of labor are likely, unless semi-skilled and unskilled positions are the growth ‘industry’. As such, demand for services will require staffing. Demanding price cuts or other concessions is unlikely in this environment.
Threat of substitute products is also not likely. Labor will be engaged. The business of health care business will be staffed and managed.
Rivalry of existing firms will drive the competition marketplace. Each player will have to find ways to ascertain the next steps of their rivals. Will there be bidding contests for the assets of Capital? Who will want to take on the salaries of their personnel or insure they do not start a new firm and take valuable market share? Will aggressive firms want to market as an alternative, acquiring new customers from the newly free portion and what had been controlled at Capital? Can the Capita assets be acquired and integrated at reasonable cost? Are there acquisition costs not disclosed, such as office leases, employee buyouts, etc. that may be a factor? Is Stilsim ownership interested in growing through acquisition at all?
I believe that the rivalry of competing firms is the most important factor. If the marketplace is filled with mature organizations, they may not want to take on significant acquisition cost and integration issues. Perhaps some competitors will only want to serve some industries (health care). Capital currently serves Lakeside, which appears to offer some health care staffing growth. Mountainview, with a predominantly tourist industry, is seasonal and not currently a growth area. Plainville is a military community, and staffing requirements for base support or retail do not indicate growth is likely. The best strategy might be acquiring industry clients only, or offices in a select area, to leverage Stilsim’s core strengths. If not, and the entire firm must be acquired, pricing should take into account a discount for undesirable cities and/or industries. It is also possible to acquire the entire firm, and sell off areas that match a competitor’s needs better.
First, the decision of what to do (buy, take or sit and watch) is required. Then, once action has been decided, then proceed. If a commitment to acquire is made, negotiations can be agreed to with exclusivity (barring other negotiations or competitor offers). A bidding war serves only Capital, and their asset value could be said to start declining from the moment those investment banker letters hit all the firms’ desks. If negotiations take too long, (business abhors a vacuum) customers will get antsy, competitors will get on the phones and Capital’s customer base and value may erode quickly.
Government will have a stake in the future as well. Economic development investments will be used to prop up declining communities and/or industries. The local communities, like most, are self-interested, and will pursue government projects and funding that benefit their smaller fiefdom rather than the community as a whole. This could be quite a wild card, since it might be more profitable to stay limber and be ready to pounce on new opportunities, rather than acquire in declining markets or demographics (Highvale does not, for example, offer employment staff or opportunities).
Once StilSim decides what they want to do, they can follow the course of things and have a backup plan if more information provokes a change in course.
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