Identify key terms and planning tools related to strategic planning for the Mobile Communications division

Case study for:

The Sony Corporation, in which students will:

1. Identify key terms and planning tools related to strategic planning for the Mobile Communications division (Task 1).

2. Recommend a medium and long term strategy for the Sony Corporation, based on one of the following options: market entry, substantive growth, limited growth or retrenchment (Task 2).

Scenario: You have been engaged by the Head of Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications to prepare a PowerPoint presentation about the current state of this important division within the Sony Corporation. Although the presentation is intended to be for the Head of Marketing to present to the main board, it is possible that you might be called upon to make the presentation in their place. The presentation should contain around 20 slides (± 10%). You have also been tasked with preparing a report about the future strategy of the Sony Corporation (2000 words ± 10%), for the main board.

Task 1 LO1 (LO1.1, LO1.2, LO1.3) and LO2 (LO2.1, LO2.2, LO2.3, LO2.4)

Case Study for Task 1

Sony Mobile Communications (SMC) is one the world’s leading providers of mobile multimedia devices including phones, accessories and PC cards. The main competitors of SMC are Apple, Nokia and Samsung.

SMC has a key presence in both developed and developing markets and is the world’s fourth-largest maker of handsets. Employing over 7,500 employees over 40 countries, the management team is led (at the time of writing) by Executive Vice-President, Kunimasa Suzuki.

Sales for the Sony Mobile Products and Communications division in 2012 were Yen 622.7m, with an operating income of Yen7.2m. In 2013 their sales were Yen 1,257.6m, with an operating loss of Yen 97.2m.NB: the sales figures for this division of the Sony Corporation include the following products: mobile phones, personal and mobile products (eg. Tablets), and personal computers.

The above is Sony Ericsson’s position in year 2013. Carry out research and analysis on Sony Mobile Communications (SMC) and produce a presentation which addresses the points below:

a) Using SMC as an example, assess how mission statements, company visions, objectives, goals and core competencies contribute to the strategic planning process of an organisation. (LO 1.1)

b) Analyse the factors that SMC need to consider when formulating their strategic plans. (LO1.2)

c) Evaluate the effectiveness of the techniques SMC could use when developing strategic business plans. (LO1.3)

d) Analyse the strategic positioning of the Sony Corporation by conducting an organisational audit (LO2.1)

e) Conduct an environmental audit on SMC. As a minimum requirement you must carry out a PESTLE analysis, Porter 5 Force analysis and an internal audit. (LO2.2)

f) Assess the role of key SMC stakeholder groups – notably, shareholders, staff and customers – when formulating a new strategy. (LO2.3)

g) Present your recommended strategy for SMC in your preferred PowerPoint format. (LO2.4)

To achieve M1, you will make effective judgements about the value to an organisation of mission statements, vision statements, publicly stated goals and core strategies. To achieve M2, you will have used, explained and then evaluated the key techniques available to organisations when they are preparing to implement their short, medium and long term strategies.

Task 2 LO3 (LO3.1, LO3.2) and LO4 (LO4.1, LO4.2, LO4.3)

Scenario: As a member of the Marketing Department, you have been given the task of preparing a report for the main board of the Sony Corporation. The report must be written in a professional manner and properly referenced. The report should comply with the word count of 2000 words (± 10%). You may use tables and diagrams to support your report and to illustrate the text. Word count excludes the index, headings, information contained in tables, references and bibliography.

Case Study for Task 2

Following the analysis you have carried out in Task 1, you are required to produce a report which addresses the following elements:

a) Analyse and evaluate four key options that the Sony Corporation could adopt when considering its future strategy. These options are: 

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1. Market entry

2. Substantive growth

3. Limited growth

4. Retrenchment (LO3.1)

b) Justify your selection (LO3.2)

c) Assess the roles and responsibilities of Sony staff (functions or individuals, as appropriate) who are directly involved in strategy implementation. (LO4.1)

d) Analyse the estimated resource requirements that Sony will need to identify and allocate if it is to implement the new strategy you have recommended. (LO4.2)

e) Evaluate the contribution of SMART objectives which Sony could employ to help it to achieve its overall strategic implementation. You may consider a number of approaches, including the balanced score card approach. (LO4.3)

To achieve M3 the work you present will be presented in suitable business formats and will use appropriate business terminology accurately, in line with the scenario described in the case study. To achieve D1 you must show that you have evaluated the strategies you have presented in your assignment, such that they are clearly identified in order of importance (as selected by you) in relation to the future success of the company in the case study. To achieve D2 you will have demonstrated an effective approach to independent research and study, and you will have presented your recommendations in an appropriate business format. To achieve D3 you will have drawn conclusions which identify the links between the planning and the implementation of a global strategy for the company cited in the case study. To achieve this you must show that convergent and lateral thinking has been applied to problems and that innovation and creative thought have been applied to your work.