Levels Of Planning

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Strategic Planning: Ford Motor Company

Planning is an essential process in today’s organizations. Based on the three types of managers: top-level (strategic managers), middle-level (tactical managers), and frontline (operational managers), exist three corresponding levels of planning: strategic, tactical, and operational. The purpose of this essay is to focus on the strategic level of planning for the Ford Motor Company; a leader in the global automobile industry. Strategic planning, according to Bateman and Snell (2009), “involves making decisions about the organization’s long-term goals and strategies” (p. 137). This paper will elaborate on six key influential factors: economic, environmental, competition, foreign policy, domestic policy, and innovation; that shape this corporation’s strategic plan. Finally, a SWOTT analysis will be conducted covering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and trends, that the Ford Motor Company has in relation to its business environment.

Economic Factors

Many economic factors exist that impact the development of Ford Motor Company's strategic plan and it’s no small task to project how some of these factors might change as the strategy is being realized. Consider the prospect of expansion into a new market like China or Mexico. Economic changes like currency devaluation will make Ford’s product more expensive to their target market potentially reducing overall sales revenue. Oil prices as we’ve seen in the U.S. economy can also play a big factor as large vehicles become less desirable and more fuel efficient compact cars gain market share.

Ford’s production plants rely on very high-tech computers and automated assembly. It takes a significant financial investment and time to reconfigure a production plant after a vehicle model is setup for assembly. Ford has made this mistake in the past and surprisingly hasn’t learned the valuable lesson as evidence from the hybrid revolution their missing out on today. Between 1927 and 1928, Ford set in motion their “1928 Plan” of establishing worldwide operations. Unfortunately, the strategic plan didn’t account for economic factors in Europe driving the demand for smaller vehicles. Henry Ford established plants in Europe for the larger North American model A. Their market share in 1929 was 5.7% in England and 7.2% in France (Dassbach, 1988). Economic changes can wreak havoc on a corporation’s bottom line and profitability as well as their brand.

Environmental Factors

Environment is another significant factor that affects the strategic plan. When a major environmental disaster occurs, such as a hurricane, it can affect a company’s production facilities, their sales facilities and the community that the company serves.
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