Introduction to Business Health Check
Business health check is done in order to determine smooth flow of business operation and gaining satisfaction among number of stakeholders associated with the same. Present report is done on Shearings which is Europe's largest coach tour operator. This organization is specialized in holiday packages. It consists of river and ocean cruises and short breaks as well as escorted tours. Furthermore, report covers detail analysis of selected corporation by including its current situation and position within the travel and tourism industry. In addition to this, evaluation has been done for skills of management and staff. Apart from this, effectiveness of organization is assessed with respect to products, marketing, finance and staffing.
Analyzing the history of Shearings
Shearing as tour operators is amalgamated from four different corporations such as Shearings, National Holidays and Smith Happiways and Wallace Arnold. Here, the first company Shearings was founded in the year 1919 and took over the Eniway Motor Tour Limited in the year 1935. The organization taken by Shearings used to offer express coach and transport from Manchester and London. In 1984 Shearings Holidays was acquired by associated leisure and which was then bought by Pleasurama (Shearings Holidays, 2015). Furthermore, in 1985 Pleasurama's coaches rebranded Smiths Shearings but both were operating separately till the year 1987. After that time span, both corporations merged as Smiths Shearings.
Due to privatization of National Bus Company it was sold to Pleasurama in 1989. Owing to this, it was re-branded by Shearings in 1989. Further, in the same year both National Holidays and Shearings were merged together. Apart from this, it was merged with Wallance Arnold which facilitated in making strong position of Shearings in the marketplace.
The long term objectives of corporation are to become number one escorted tour operator and also the leading leisure hotel operator in UK. It depicts that corporation has put efforts in bringing innovation and creativity in the products and services to meet demand of loyal customers. Along with that, main emphasis is laid on value and high quality products in the location where customer or tourist’s arrival is higher. Apart from this, short term objectives of corporation are to offer activity based trips to large number of visitors so as to enhance sales turnover and profitability of corporation in the marketplace. Further, great opportunities are provided to visitors in order to meet long as well as short term objectives of the stakeholders. Similarly, corporation is targeting on younger customer so as to enhance sales turnover and increase the customer base.
Analyzing the history of Shearings
There are several internal and external factors which affect performance of corporation to a great extent. Here, PESTLE analysis is the foremost way to analyze the impact of external factors on performance of Shearings. These are explained as follows-
- Political- It is the most important factor which reflect that political situation of UK is stable but the European union affect tour operator at extreme level. Further, war against terrorism has direct impact on the government's political stability. Here, government of UK is planning for taxes on fuel and VAT on ticket. These factors tend to affect the purchasing power of customers. It generates need of change for tour operators and provides services accordingly (European Tour Operator, 2015).
- Economic- The economic condition impose several types of barriers on growth and performance of corporation. Here, the stable currency as Pound and Euro tend gives benefit to number of customers and provide them the opportunities to access good quality of services which are being provided by Shearings. Further, low inflation rate and high employment rate of country facilitate in enhancing the scope of tour operators in the country (Bhatia, 2013).
- Social- Changes in the preferences of customers or visitors also has direct impact on travel and tourism. This is because 80% of customers of country like to prefer internet while booking their seat or traveling to new places.
- Technological-This is another important factor which has impact on the growth and performance of Shearings. This is because now a day’s technology is changing at rapid speed and corporation is required to cope with changing scenario.
- Legal-The changes in the regulatory framework of country has direct impact on the demand and supply of products and services. In this regard, corporation needs to follow regulations imposed by the European Union (Chauhan, 2009).
- Environmental- It is the last factor which is considered by tour operators at the time of expanding business and meeting demand of the customers. Further, several practices are implemented by tour operators in protecting environment.
The industry analysis
The industry analysis of company is used with the help of porter' five force tool. The following factors reflect tour and travel industry of UK. It is explained as follows-
- Threat of potential entrants-The risk of potential entrants is low for tour and travel industry due to requirement of high capital investment. Further, number of corporations is already working in the sector. It creates barriers for new corporation to enter into industry and create good position in the marketplace (Fawcett-Tang and et. al., 2010).
- Bargaining power of suppliers-The bargaining power of suppliers is high only for new business otherwise it is low. This is because European tour operators provide own aviation services as well as other transport facilities which makes it possible for Shearings to enhance its sales turnover.
- Bargaining power of buyers- For the European travel and tour industry, braining power of customer is low because good package are provided to to number of customer. Furthermore, tourism industry of Europe meets the individual traveling need and other related facilities of traveling. It helps the tour operators to cater the needs of the buyers in an effectual manner (Shearings targets the under-50s, 2015).
- Existing rivalry-The rivalry among existing competitors is moderate because existing tour operators outperform in the marketplace.
According the aforementioned analysis, SWOT analysis of Shearings can be done as follows-
The main strength of Shearings is good financial position and range of products and services for number of visitors. It proves to be effective in expanding business of tour operator at global level and to increase the customer base in the same way (Osborn, 2008). Further, high service quality and leading position of the firm is also the greatest strengths. On the other hand, change in political parties and external factors like terrorism is the key issue in the long term growth and development of the firm. Similarly, lack of specialization is also the weakness of the corporation. Apart from this, opportunity of expansion at global level in accordance with preference of customers is also the effective method for the upward direction of business. In addition to this, high competition and change in the external environment are potential threat for Shearings.
Potential improvement to the business organization
According the analysis of present situation of the firm, several improvement can be done in the present position of Shearings. In this regard Ansoff matrix is used or bringing improvement in the present situation of organization.
- Market penetration-It is the most imperative aspect for the improvement of corporation. Under this, Shearings will expand in the existing market by bringing innovation in the products and services. Furthermore, here effective marketing strategies can be adopted in order to create strong position of company in the marketplace. It facilitates to increase the level of satisfaction and increase the customer base (Jukes, 2010). Apart from this, market penetration is low risk growth strategy because management just need to focus on existing product and existing services. They are not requirement to adopt any navel concept in their business.
- Product development-This is another effective marketing strategy wherein innovation and creativity will be implemented by Shearings. Under this, management of corporation launch new product in the market in accordance with requirement. It assists management to enhance the sales turnover and meet the expectations of buyers in an effectual manner. However, services for which company is getting high negative feedback can be replaced with new services or product. It leads to increase sales turnover a well as profitability of Shearings (Mak, 2011). This way corporation can be able to address issues which are being faced by the firm. The product development is medium low strategy where focus in laid on selling new products and services in the existing market. Furthermore, certainty is assured through proper research and development in the selected market area.
- Market development- This is the another attractive way to determine long run growth of corporation in the marketplace. Under this, new market will be developed through the use of existing transportation facilities and holiday packages. The main motive behind this strategy is to grab the opportunity. It enables management to create strong position in the marketplace and also increase the market share of the same (Middleton and Clarke, 2012). Apart from this, new market can be selected by referring the online media. For example, Shearings can start its operation in India with huge investment. It aids to reduce the cost of production later on and enhance the customer or visitor base for the same.
- Diversified-It is high risk growth strategy wherein management of Shearings develop new product in the new market. It is the risky concept because of high initial investment. Also, there is uncertainty about the demand and supply of products and services. Although, strategy will be implemented after proper research but some external factors always affect the performance of corporation to a great extent (Puzis and et. al., 2009). Under this, whole risk is diversified by entering into new market. This in turn competitive edge of corporation is created in the marketplace. Furthermore, corporation need to ensure the inclusion of high skilled employees as well as availability of proper resources.
Reviewing effectiveness of business
According to the above collected information it can be said that Shearings is capable of meet the expectation of customers effectively and provide them rich experience. Here, the most important factor is cooperation from EU in term of trade across several countries and full assistance in the expansion of tour operators. Furthermore, Shearings has political stability and low inflation rate which help management to cope up with changing scenario effectively. Furthermore, following points have been covered in reviewing the effectiveness of Shearings in the marketplace-
- Products and services-Shearing provide wide range of products and services to buyers or visitors. The Europe is big in term of tourism and it also provide travel realted services to visitors. Some of the special offer of company; River Cruise Holidays, Single Traveler Deals and Coach Holiday offers from East Midlands and Yorkshire. It aids to give rich experience to visitors and enhance their level of satisfaction. Apart from this, company covers 170 destinations and own 52 hotels in UK which leads to meet expectations of number of visitors. Along with that great entertainment and comfortable accommodations are the two major imperative areas components of products and services which aid to make visitors highly satisfied (Tripathi, Choudhary and Agrawal, 2010).
- Marketing-Shearing markets its products and services in very effective manner by making use of internet as the rapid technology. It helps customers to get detail information related to products and services. This way customer base is increased for the organization. Apart from this, other lucrative way like special offers and discount are promoted in both print media and via online (Vance and et.al., 2011). However, detail information is provided in website of the company thereby customer can easily book their seats or access appropriate holiday package. Furthermore, brochures and other related strategies are also adopted by corporation in order to promote products and services at international level. One of the most effective methods used by company is internet. This is because it is the only means to approach number of visitors and provide them detail information related to special offers. In addition to this, marketing strategies are adopted in accordance with preferences of buyers. It leads to cater need of buyers and deliver them good quality of services in the marketplace (Weis, 2010).
- Finance-Shearing is operating at global level with increased rate of return. Owing to this, it has good financial resources and also it access cost effective sources of finance. It leads to reduce the cost of production and avail services to visitors in less time. Wide range of services of company reflect that financial position of Shearings is also good. It leads to explore the opportunities for the firm. However, changes in the external factors like economy has negative impact on the performance (Álvarez, Casielles and Martín, 2009). This is because purchasing power of customer decreases and accordingly sales turnover also go down.
- Staffing-The employees associated with Shearing are highly skilled and has potential to cater need of customers. Under this, management possess good leadership qualities which in turn help to provide assistance among employees. Furthermore, employees tend to get training on time to time which in turn generate positive attitude among them. Apart from this, staffing of Shearing is maintained with respect to certain criteria like quality, learning and customer satisfaction (Law, Cheung and Hu, 2009). It depicts that company ensure optimum utilization of limited resources. This leads to focus on building competitive edge of the company. A counter argument might be that company need to hire skilled and competent workforce in order to meet future business requirement
- Business image-This is another imperative factors which reflect that corporation is associated with several internal and external factors (Baum, 2006). It has been found that company keep control over factors like changing preferences of buyers, internal changes in the organization. All these aid to meet the buyers expectations and depict reputation of company in the marketplace.
Developing plans to improve busies
According the detail analysis of Shearings depict that it must have control over different business activities. The plan can take place as follows-
- Setting SMART Objectives-This is the first step of business plan wherein management of Shearing will set the objectives. Under this, organization plan to address issues of customer in an effectual manner (Hall, 2008). Furthermore, corporation also try their best to provide good quality of services to large number of buyers.
- Forecasting about future position of the firm-Under this, future position of Shearings is estimated in the light of sales, productivity and services as well as financial management system. In this regard cost effective sources of finance are accessed along with speed up in the flow of production (Huang, 2009). On the other hand, research and development department of company work with integrity which leads to meet expectations of buyers in right way.
- Provide training among existing staff-This is the next step of business plan under which employees are provided training as per the estimation. It assists corporation to explore the skills and knowledge of workforce and accordingly provide them training.
- Assigning duties to staff-This is the next step where emphasis is laid on assigning duties among staff members. It assists corporation integrity workforce and put them into action. This phase proves to be effective in boosting morale of workforce and communicating regarding the aim and objectives of company (Vance and et. al., 2011).
- Performance management -According the assessment of personnel criteria are set for the performance management. Under this management of Shearing can adopt effective strategies like 360 degree appraisal and feedback from customers. This provides right information related to work done by employees and accordingly bring modification in their performance. Apart from this, good performance of workforce is appreciated by monetary and non-monetary rewards. This in turn corporation ensure inclusion of highly competent workforce.
- Compliance of regulatory framework-there are several rules and regulations imposed by government of UK and EU which need to be considered by Shearings. It enables them to cope take into account employment law other related of taxation etc (Bhatia, 2013).
- Information handling and administration-Under this, Shearings need to communicate with its employees and visitors in right manner. Furthermore repeat purchase is also the part of information handling because it enables management to stay in touch with customer (Chauhan, 2009). On the other hand, data of customer are stored with confidentiality to ensure their security and rights. Therefore this business plan helps to overcome issues faced by Shearings and determine its competitive edge with increased rate of return.
Evaluating the current skills of management and staff
The management and staff of Shearings possess good quality of skills and enough knowledge in order to meet the expectation of customers. It assists overall corporation to work with integrity and create competitive edge of the company in the marketplace. They are able to assess the need of customers and take feedback from them so as to meet their expectations effectively. Furthermore, managerial staff of company is highly experienced and they are able to address issues faced by employees. Employees are provided special training program as per the change sin the organization structure or technological changes (Fawcett-Tang and et. al., 2010). It assists them to produce the product as per the requirement of visitors. For example, change in technology also bring change in nature of staff. Owing to this, they plan their marketing strategies in different manner so as to attract buyers towards the same. On the other hand, management changes their pricing strategies and produce holiday packages in different manner. It facilitates them to present the corporation at workplace in unique way.
The current skills of employees may not consists of the appropriate abilities to assess the anticipated change. This factor may affect the progress of corporation because customer can get dissatisfaction at certain point of time. It has direct impact on the demand of services and such kind of situations generates need to switch visitors from one to another brand. However, management take feedback from customer for the further change sin the existing services. Apart from this, newly hired employees may not be so active like experienced workforce due to lack of motivation and confidence among them (Osborn, 2008). It generate need of time and proper time and resources to sharpen their skills and make them capable to work in the direction of growth and success of the corporation. Furthermore, it depicts that current level of skills and experience and abilities must be brushed up so as to increase customer base and create distinctive identity of Shearings at marketplace. In case of absence of these abilities employees cannot cope up with changing scenario. This is because they need to assess the need of customer and accordingly make efforts to to make customer feel happy and satisfied (Jukes, 2010). Apart from this, current level of managerial experienced is not sufficient to cope up with changing scenario. It is because there are several competitors already working in UK and Europe like Thomas cook. However, at present company is easily meting the requirement of visitors and providing them rich experience in term of services quality like transportation and hotels services.
Devising and justifying plans for the development of skills of management and staff
According the evaluation of current skills and experience of workforce as well as management of Shearings development is required in several areas. Here the first method is the brush up the skills of employees is to provide them training by hiring expert in the filed of travel and tourism. It will have direct impact on the sales performance and level of satisfaction among customers. Further, cost benefit analysis can be done by corporation in order to assess the utilization of current manpower in term of benefit (Mak, 2011). It helps to reduce the addition cost and ensure right use of resources in several business activities.
Support and advise is also the effective method for development of skills of management and staff. Under this guidance is provided to employees to improve their sales performance and achieve the target on right time. In this regard plan can be prepared to by identity the goals and skills to be developed (Baum, 2006). It is also important that whether the services are rendered in free of charge of paid for help only. Here, the free services can be avail only in case of personal contracts. It will assists employees to attend the session of expert and follow their guidelines to enhance the level of satisfaction of customer (Vance and et. al., 2011). This is because development session will be brush up their presentation skills and explore their qualities to achieve desired performance in Shearings. Apart from this, record keeping is also the effective method wherein information related to each employees is stored and accordingly performance of checked. This prove overview that how the performance has been impacted from the training sessions.
The other method for development is link between skills targets to business targets. It serve as the direct motivation among workforce and they get power to move ahead with zeal and enthusiasm. Apart from this, making informed judgment is also the effective way which could be adopted by management of Shearings. This is because it will generate positive attitude among employees and both management and workforce will work with collaboration. It depicts that organization should focus on development skills through cost effective sources as employees are already skilled enough (Huang, 2009). Through, development of skills of management and staff helps to secure the good future of corporation. In addition to this, personal and professional development can also be implemented so as to bring professionalism among newly hired employees. Apart from this, workforce should be provided motivation as per their need which easily put them into action (Álvarez, Casielles and Martín, 2009).
The report concludes that external and internal factors both affect performance of company to a great extent. It facilitates organization to give upward direction with increased rate of return. It can also be said that, business plan is done to address issues which are being faced by company. Further, the current manpower skills of company need to be brush up to get competitive edge over other rivalries. Apart from this, employees of Shearings are provided training at all level such as technical, operational and managerial and thus expectations of customers are met. In addition to this, development plan need can be implemented for employees of company so as to achieve the long as well as short term objectives of the same.Conclusion
You may also like to read:
- Business Environment
- Importance of Planning In Business
- Structure and Culture Of Different Organisational
- Economic Environment Of Business Organization
- Sample on Benefits Of Social Media Business
- Álvarez, L. S., Casielles, R. V. and Martín, A. M. D., 2009. The Role of Commitment Perceived by the Consumer in Service Industries. Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management.
- Baum, T., 2006. Human Resource Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure: An International Perspective. Cengage Learning EMEA.
- Bhatia, A. K., 2013. The Bussiness of Travel Agency and Tour Operations Management. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
- Chauhan, R., 2009. Tour Operation Management. Vista International Publishing House.
- Fawcett-Tang, R. and et. al., 2010. Print Formats and Finishes: The Designer's Illustrated Guide to Brochures, Catalogs, Bags, Labels, Packaging, and Promotion. Rockport Publishers.