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European Automotive Industry: Business Analysis

In the face of fierce market competition and a dynamic market environment, it is crucial to make proper strategic decisions in project management. To make proper decisions and choose the best options, companies use business analysis that guides their actions. There are a variety of methods for examining one or another business case, which promotes better understanding of how to approach market strategy decisions. The topic of the proposed research is using business analysis methods to improve market strategy decisions in the European automotive industry. It is expected to use a simulation game and focus on a company’s strategy, marketing strategy, and operational strategy. The report will show the opportunities and challenges of increasing sales in the mentioned company. Furthermore, the role of market competition and possible change will be taken into account.

Background to Business Analysis and Business Game Team

The importance of business analysis refers to its impact on changing the organisational context of companies. It helps in determining the needs and challenges to formulate relevant recommendations. Business analysis methods provide the basis for considering different strategies to achieve the goals of a company (Jenkins & Williamson, 2015). In terms of the proposed research, it is expected to examine difficulties and opportunities related to increased sales in the automotive market. By understanding the capabilities of a company, businesses can better model their behaviours and decisions. Rothaermel (2016) states that the use of available information, such as simulation game reports and business analysis tools, allow interpreting business performance. The findings from the business analysis can be used in practice to identify the necessary changes and take relevant actions.

The formulation of strategy consists of several areas, such as relationships across the company strategy, marketing strategy and operational strategy. Slack and Brandon-Jones (2018) point to the difference between these issues since the company’s strategy implies a big picture, while marketing strategy involves positioning, target marketing, messaging, and adapting to change. In turn, the operational strategy identifies the methods to reach the stated goals. The links across these strategies should be studied to match the available resources, vision, and marketing of the company (Jenkins & Williamson, 2015). A lack of understanding of how operations impact marketing or vice versa can lead to critical failures. These strategies involve many aspects of project management, such as the market positioning of the project team, allocation of project resources, collaboration between different parts of the project, and control of product costs and profits (Meredith et al., 2017). The execution of these project management efforts depends on reliable evidence, and business analysis helps in this process.

To conduct the business analysis, two tools allowing structuring and interpreting information will be used. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis will show the internal and external factors that impact the company and should be taken inti account while making decisions. The application of the PESTEL analysis will promote the awareness of political, social, economic, environmental, technological, and legal issues (Islam, 2017). PESTEL is the effective method to analyse the macro environment of the company. This technique is usually used to identify market trends in the industry (Islam, 2017). The results are used to identify opportunities and threats during the SWOT analysis. It is used for long-term strategic planning, for example, for five years, with updates once a year. These tools will be critical to pay attention to the government regulation as well, which will make the process and outcome of strategy formulation more comprehensible.

The team for the proposed project will consist of ten members, each of which will be assigned a special role. The topics to be discussed by the team include costs, prices, sales, product designs, production and promotion methods. Therefore, at the end of each simulation, we will have a group discussion according to the simulation results. The main goal of our discussions is to try to identify the problems of our team and analyse other competitors to find out what distinguishes us from them. When we find these problems, each team member will be asked to think about possible solutions. Since there are a lot of data in the simulation report, it is not suitable to study these reports in the group discussion.

As not all of our team members are in the UK, this means that when we have a group discussion in the UK, it is afternoon, but it is late at night in China. To ensure the efficiency of the group discussion and the positive attitude of each team member, our team decided to give everyone a week to study the data. The different types of reports will be developed by the assigned team members and then communicated to the whole team during online meetings. In addition, our team will reconvene the group discussion the day before the next game simulation to provide solutions to the team problems identified last time and then develop new product plans and team strategies. The decisions will be formulated after the synthesis of the reports prepared by responsible persons. Therefore, there is a need to practice effective communication and problem-solving skills to prevent potential misunderstanding between the team members.

Project Objectives

  • To identify the challenges and opportunities related to sales increases in the European automotive industry;
  • To explore simulation game reports and study the internal relationships across the company strategy, marketing strategy and operational strategy;
  • To understand the role of competitors and market changes in the company’s market strategy.

Limitations and Mitigation

The limitations will be associated with a lack of analytical knowledge to properly understand simulation game reports. To mitigate this limitation, it will be important to use relevant literature to interpret the data and make correct conclusions. COVID-19 sets another limitation since many Chinese students are unavailable to participate in team meetings. Communication difficulties may appear because of network problems, which can interrupt the collaborative work. However, it is planned to organise online sessions and discussions via WeChat and Zoom to ensure that all the team members will be engaged in the project.

References

Islam, M. A. (2017). SWOT Mix and PESTEL analysis: Effective tools of risk management of leasing companies. The Millennium University Journal, 2(1), 1-18.

Jenkins, W., & Williamson, D. (2015). Strategic management and business analysis. Routledge.

Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., & Mantel, S. J. (2017). Project management: A strategic managerial approach (10th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Rothaermel, F. T. (2016). Strategic management: Concepts. McGraw-Hill Education.

Slack, N., & Brandon-Jones, A. (2018). Operations and process management: Principles and practice for strategic impact. Pearson.