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The environmental scanning provides the opportunity for advanced insight and provides early warnings for external conditions facing corporations. As shown in the simulation, “Thinking Strategically”, environmental scanning also allows the opportunity for a company to promote vision and direction for all stakeholders. The information gathered as a result of environmental scanning, also provides the company with future trends data and can warn company officials of the declining of trends on the horizon. The simulation also displayed the SWOT analysis as an effective tool of relative importance and effectiveness within environmental scanning. An analysis of strengths and weaknesses is obtained through internal sources, whereas, opportunities and threats information is obtained externally. In identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats all these factors are critical for the strategy. Analyses of each including a matched pair analysis are essential in determining the future prospects of one’s industry and developing a specific industry niche. In the simulation, the bike company built a business on baby boomers and had a brand image of male extreme bikers. However, women comprise almost half of the biking industry. BJ’s identify key strategy concepts by the use of the SWOT analysis to achieve the long-term vision of becoming the No. 1 specialty bicycle retailer in terms of revenue in the next five years. The approach to increase marketing efforts towards women, including hiring female consultants, seemed the most logical in a global environment where women’s sports and athleticism is gaining in popularity. Scanning one’s environment creates a clearer global portrait and impacts all decisions necessary for optimal business outcomes.
Throughout the simulation, the major lessons learned was the value of utilizing various sources of information and implications that such can have on final outcomes of strategic planning.
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In conclusion, the first simulation, “Thinking Strategically”, highlighted the importance of environmental scanning. The second simulation, “Developing Grand Strategies”, challenged decisions made which lead to effective strategy formulation and choice. The third and final simulation, “Creating a Strategic Road Map”, provided a simulated experience of how to build a strategic roadmap and the importance and effectiveness of formulating action plans and goals. These are the challenges that currently face strategic planners. To remain competitive, companies traditionally cut costs, trim balance sheets and return to their core competencies. Companies search for alternative ways to handle activities that are essential to their businesses. Celestica, like the mentioned companies in the three simulations are all challenged to produce an outcome that is beneficial to the bottom line of the business. Alternative methods run the scope from purchasing a new, better management system, to hiring someone to handle it for them, to the occasional borrowing of another company's facilities (Krizner, 2002).
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Oliver, R. W. (2002, March/April). The Strategic Sweet Spot. The Journal of Business
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