Nowadays, with the development of new technologies and innovations in all spheres of life, there is a need for any organization or company to move forward. All organizations should provide their customers with the most qualitative services and products that will satisfy their needs and demands. As a result, organizations are faced with such issue as the improvement of their activities and operations. There are many ways of solving these issues, but the most important thing is that organizations should focus on to improve their performance are their weaknesses and strengths. One supposes that strategic planning is necessary for the development of organization and its survival at the market as it helps to define the main priorities and time for their realization (Anthony, 1965).
One can distinguish such strategic planning models that should be used in any organization:
- Basic strategic planning. It should be implemented during the start of organization’s operations and functioning. A well-round direction will ensure the further realization of organization’s perspectives. The main functions of strategic planning are to define the purpose of their activity, select the exact goals, identify the main strategies and approaches, define the main actions for realization of the strategic plan, monitor and update the plan. This type of planning is used at all stages of the company’s development.
- Issue-based planning. The main functions of issue-based planning are to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the organization, as well as define the main priorities, create the programs and establish the plan of actions. This type of planning is used only when there are some issues, which should be immediately solved.
- Alignment strategy model. This strategy has such functions as planning support, programs and resources, estimating the level of work of employees. This model of planning should be realized on constant basis.
- Scenario planning model. The main functions of scenario planning are to select the driving forces for the benefit of organization and struggle with restraining forces, develop the future perspectives, as well as select the changes that will be effective for the organization. This model will help to use the driving forces for the development of the production as well as for overcoming restraining forces. Scenario planning is used when the company is in crisis and needs changes.
- Organic planning model. This performance strategy includes such functions as concentrating on cultural values, focusing on new methods and techniques, etc. (Anthony, 1965).
The integrated use of these models of strategic planning will only benefit an organization and help it to achieve the goals. One should control the external and internal factors that influence the organization positively or negatively. SWOT analysis will help to define the main issues within and outside the organization, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and provide recommendations how to struggle with the issues and reinforce the strong sides.
Not less crucial aspect for the organization to consider is finding a strategy that will help to overcome all obstacles that may happen. This strategy is known as the Balanced Scorecard. Kaplan and Norton are the founders of the Balanced Scorecard that was created for measuring the main dimensions of the organization: customer, finance, learning and development, and internal business. It is evident that these dimensions are very important for the development of any organization (Kaplan & Norton, 2001).
Our task is to reveal the importance of the Balanced Scorecard for Skyland Tourism in Dubai.
The Skyland Tourism Company provides such entertaining touristic services as Marine Cruise, Atlantis Hotel, Big Bus Tour, Fishing, Wonder Bus, Helicopter Tour, Burj Al Arab, Scuba Diving, Morning Desert Safari Park, Hummer Safari, Atlantis Aquaventure Water, Crab Hunting, Quad Bike, Hot Air Balloon, Overnight Desert Safari, and others. The Skyland Tourism Company provides qualitative services that attract tourists from all over the world (Aziz, 1995).
The industry environment of Skyland Tourism is influenced by the power of suppliers, power of buyers, threat of substitutes, threat of new entries, and competitors’ rivalry. As for the power of suppliers, Skyland Tourism is completely dependent on owners of hotels and restaurants that it collaborates with. Skyland Tourism should look for some other ways of receiving supplies in order to be competitive without spending too much money its suppliers.
The Skyland Tourism Company collaborates with transport companies, restaurants, cafes, and hotels. It means that the company depends on them as they also define the level of services of the Skyland Tourism Company. The company’s inbound logistics is based on its management, tourists, travel agencies, tour-operators, and so on.
The target market of the Skyland Tourism Company includes consumers of all ages. However, the most active consumers are teenagers and young people who prefer travelling and relaxing. The Skyland Tourism Company is also popular among those who prefer calm and well-organized holidays. These are people who spend too much time working and use the services of this company in order to unwind and entertain. The consumers of the Skyland Tourism Company are active, successful, single or married, raising families or lonely. Current consumers of the Skyland Tourism Company tend to live in Eastern Europe or in the United States. However, the company’s future goal is to target consumers from India and China as well. The Skyland Tourism Company does everything in order to satisfy their customers’ needs
The main objective of this research is to show the importance of the Balanced Scorecard in operations of Marketing Department of Skyland Tourism Company for reinforcing its strengths and effectively dealing with weaknesses. The objectives of this department are to ensure sales, provide customer service, and do the advertising.
The research methodology used in this paper is based on both the primary and secondary data. The primary data is the direct information obtained from the company representatives and website and interviews of employees and customers. The data from online resources is considered to be the secondary data within this research. The difficulties in terms of conducting the interview were mainly because of the fact that the company is immense and has many branches. However, only interviewing of employees and customers could provide the objectivity of received results.
The Balanced Scorecard was created for motivating, measuring and evaluating the company’s performance. The following factors influence the performance: market share, profitability, product leadership, productivity, personnel development, public responsibility, balance between short-term and long-term objectives, and employee attitudes. The Balanced Scorecard was created in 1990s and has caused a real revolution of changes in the world of business and progress in terms of the performance and profitability (Norreklit, 2000).
After the first applications of the Balanced Scorecard, all companies were satisfied as they noticed the evident positive changes. The first and most crucial change was increase in marketing sales. The Balanced Scorecard was misrepresented in the business world as it was supposed to be only the tool for measuring company’s performance. However, soon it was revealed that the Balanced Scorecard was a strategy for improving production of goods and services (Kaplan & Norton, 2001).
The Balanced Scorecard proved that financial measurements are not the only indicators that define the state of affairs of the company and its performance. However, this thought is false and a bit stereotypical. A financial success is the result of the past activities. The state of marketing, management and leadership is an indicator of future perspectives (Kaplan & Norton, 1996).
Studying the Balanced Scorecard implementations, researchers came to the conclusion that it benefits company and its organizational leadership. However, there are thoughts that the Balanced Scorecard has limitations. Indeed, one cannot completely rely on it as it gives only a way to the development, but employees, managers and leaders of organizations should also bring their contribution. The operational execution and strategic planning are keys to success.
Norton (2003) suggests that leadership as the most crucial indicator of failure or success. A leader works on and for the successful organizational processes and high productivity. He or she knows his/her potential and forces; that is why the Balanced Scorecard can be his/her helpful tool (Norton, 2003).
Without a doubt, leaders have an impact on the changes within the organization. Leadership is the quality that incites to taking decisions and solving problems. A good leader does the best in order to make the organization the most successful. He or she takes care about the interests of the employees of the organization. The common goals can be achieved by the cooperation, collaboration and a good activity of the leader (Norton, 2003).
Without a successful leadership, the Balanced Scorecard will be only a reporting system, and strategic planning will be not realized. Good leadership is able to divide the strategy into the set of objectives for performing. Bad leaders tend to think that the Balanced Scorecard is the tool that overcomes almost all problems and difficulties that companies may face. However, the Balanced Scorecard can only address the issues of the company and measure its strategy (Neely, Adams, & Kennerley, 2002).
It is evident that success of the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard depends on the policy established in the company, its leaders, managers and employees. The company’s vision and strategy also define the future success of the company. The financial performance, customer satisfaction and loyalty, internal performance as well as learning and development performance can be measured with the help of the Balanced Scorecard. However, most activities depend on leaders in terms of improving company’s performance.
Brown & McDonnell (1995) prove that the Balanced Scorecard helps to link the strategic goals and objectives and communicate them effectively to develop strategic planning and initiatives and improve the strategic learning.
Strategic planning is a crucial feature for every organization, as well as for the leader and workers of the organization. The main dimensions of an organizational strategy are the strategic plan, leadership, strategic goals and tactics, which are necessary for solving problems, taking decisions and collaborating with other companies. Nowadays, a strategic planning is the essential part for company’s formation and developing. The choice of the right direction in business is the component of success. Without a doubt, one can draw a parallel between leadership, strategic planning and use of the Balanced Scorecard and name them the basis for success.
There is nothing strange that at the present time, an organizational strategy is the main plan of actions for every company. First of all, any company should have its strategic plan. Yet, strategic plan should be revisited and revised from time to time. It should change according to certain circumstances, such as the competition at the market of the companies or change of leadership of the company. This is the leader, who shows his/her peculiarities with the help of the organizational management, and the Balanced Scorecard is a supportive aid in this. image1.pngThe Balanced Scorecard is based on perspectives that include the internal business processes, financial growth and improvement, and customers. The Balanced Scorecard diagram with four main domains is displayed below. The financial domain is responsible for succeeding financially, which includes objectives, measures, targets and initiatives to achieve financial success. The internal business processes are responsible for satisfying shareholders and customers; they define objectives, measures, targets and initiatives that need to be realized. The customer perspective is the way for achieving the vision of the company and its products to satisfy customers’ needs and demands. The learning and growth constitute the aspect responsible for achieving the company’s vision (Neely, Adams, & Kennerley, 2002).
Proposed Balanced Scorecard Matrix
The perspectives of the Balanced Score Card of Marketing Department of Skyland Tourism Company are analyzed below.
For Marketing Department of Skyland Tourism Company, the customer perspective is the most crucial. Skyland Tourism Company provides touristic services in Dubai. Customers and their satisfaction with the services are given the prominent place; and the level of customer satisfaction defines the profit and future perspectives. The number of customers defines the level of business success. This perspective places the customer at the central position.
Specifically, the company should organize its business processes in such a way that all its services are to be sold. To sell services to customers is not the easiest task since it also involves a lot of activities before the actual sale. It is essential to create such marketing policy that will find ways to satisfy requirements of the customers. The demand of customers for the services will result in an increase in profits.
For Marketing Department of Skyland Tourism Company customers are the users of their services. Skyland Tourism Company should provide their customers with qualitative services and successful return policy as there are many complaints about it. Creating new services will benefit the company and increase the number of customers. Skyland Tourism Company should reduce prices on their services as high prices discourage the customers. Skyland Tourism Company should work on improving the quality of their services as high quality services provide a competitive advantage over rivals in the market.
Skyland Tourism Company chooses the best hotels and restaurants for their customers. It is their marketing hook for attracting customers.
Internal Business Perspective
The internal business perspective provides managers with the information about processes within the company. The main internal processes of the company are creating the necessary products and services that will satisfy the needs and demands of customers.
Skyland Tourism Company should work towards diversifying of their markets involving changes and innovations. They should widen the circle of consumers and satisfy customers’ needs. They should take into consideration the geographic diversity, as well. Company’s marketing strategy focuses on peculiarities of climate, space and topography that influence the demand of their services. Skyland Tourism Company should find new markets for increasing their profits and use globalization for defense and support. As it can be seen, the necessary internal processes for marketing department are to create, innovate, improve and attract new customers.
It is necessary to say that Skyland Tourism Company is one of the brightest examples of the successful management and a good lesson for other companies in terms of the strategic management, financial analysis, organization, and leadership. The development of Skyland Tourism Company demonstrates a well-prepared and properly implemented management strategy, but it should also show a well-developed strategic and marketing planning.
The internal business perspective should include such strategies as:
- Global market development. This strategy is aimed at diversifying markets, involving changes and innovations.
- Widening of the circle of consumers and customer base. This aspect is aimed at satisfying different customers’ needs.
- Including the geographic diversity. This marketing strategy takes into consideration peculiarities of climate, space and topography.
- Using the economic growth rates for the motivation and stimulation. This framework intends to raise the level of marketing to the high degree.
- Finding new markets for increasing profits.
- Using globalization for defense and support.
Speaking about tourism in Dubai, it is necessary to take into consideration its culture and peculiarities. Without a doubt, such factors as country-of-origin and foreign and domestic predispositions have impact on the development of a business.
There are many debates about a negative impact of the socio-cultural aspect on any business in Dubai. First of all, it is a cultural shock experienced by tourists due to ethnic and religious traditions, which can lead to conflicts and contradictions. Another aspect is the influence of tourists and their culture on Dubai. It is evident that one deals here with the process of mutual influence.
Destinations risk standardization may be helpful in satisfying tourists’ needs. It means that a touristic company of Dubai should study customs and traditions of other countries in order to attract tourists from diverse countries. Food and drinks, accommodation, and even landscapes must satisfy customers’ needs. Another problem is that Dubai touristic companies, including Skyland Tourism, have to implement something new in order to attract more and more tourists. Furthermore, tourist companies in Dubai are afraid to lose their authenticity. It means that they want to stay original and unique in spite of a large number of tourists who always bring their traditions and customs.
Innovation and Development Perspective
The innovation and development perspective is based on the development, innovation and improvement. Skyland Tourism Company works on the creation and development of new products, as well as the improvement of the already existing ones. The aim of the Skyland Tourism Company is to develop, move forward and create fashionable, stylish and up-to-date goods and services that will be popular with customers.
As to employees and managers, they should do their best in order to strengthen areas that are weak and make them innovative, creative, successful and perspective. This perspective will give a better image of the business ability to improve further. The innovation and development perspective of Skyland Tourism Company is based on the development management, marketing, and leadership.
The financial perspective is the indicator of the past successes of the company. However, one should not ignore its significance as it is the baseline for future success. In this perspective, the financial performance is evaluated to understand whether there are improvements or not. Certainly, the trips are expensive. The trips for a reduced price are not less qualitative, and everybody can afford them. Providing more trips at reduced prices is a good approach for increasing profits and attracting more customers.
Financial performance does not suggest the further actions and perspectives for the future; but when financial performance is low, it is an indicator for cardinal changes and improvements.
The target market for the Skyland Tourism Company is the consumers of various age, but the most active clients are teenagers and young people who enjoy traveling and relaxing with their friends. The Skyland Tourism Company can be also used for business trips to Dubai. The company’s services are also suitable for those who want to combine rest and work, namely for the people who spend too much time working. The strategic recommendation for the Skyland Tourism Company is to provide various services that will be available for different people.
The customers of the Skyland Tourism Company are active, successful people. Their household incomes generally range between $70,000 and $100,000 annually. People with such profits can afford themselves to travel and rest in Dubai. Current Skyland Tourism customers tend to live in Eastern Europe or in the United States. However, the Company’s future goal is to target customers from all over the world.
In comparison with their competitors, the Skyland Tourism Company has an original name that is more typical of European or American companies. The Skyland Tourism Company uses advertising and the mass media for promoting its services. The company is not similar to other touristic companies in Dubai as it employs non-traditional marketing methods for the development, which demand money and creativity.
To widen their target market, the Skyland Tourism Company should take the following marketing steps:
- Create special tours, where several employees take turns driving around the country to campgrounds to distribute promotional items and give the possibility to try their services;
- Offer their services to different festivals, especially international ones;
- Diversify their services and adapt them to people of different ages.
The Balanced Scorecard is a wonderful innovation in the world of business. It helps to overcome weaknesses and reinforce strengths. The main dimensions of the Balanced Scorecard are customers, finance, learning and development, as well as internal business processes. It is evident that these dimensions are highly significant for the development of any organization. It is obvious that the implementation of this tool will be beneficial for the company, especially when it concerns strategic planning and creating new perspectives.
The Balanced Scorecard proves that financial measurements are not the indicators that define the state of affairs of the company and its performance. However, this thought is false and a bit stereotypical. The financial success is the result of the past while the state of affairs of marketing, management and leadership is an indicator of future perspectives.
Without a successful leadership, the Balanced Scorecard will be only a reporting system, and strategic planning will be not realized. Leadership is able to divide the strategy into the set of objectives for performing. Bad leaders tend to think that the Balanced Scorecard is the tool that overcomes almost all problems and difficulties that companies may face. However, the Balanced Scorecard can only address the issues of the company and measure the strategy of the latter.
After having examined the data and having proposed the Balanced Scorecard for the Marketing department of Skyland Tourism Company, it can be concluded that it should be used for the further improvement of its performance and successful reaching out to the international market. This study has shown that Skyland Tourism in Dubai is a well-developed company whose customers are mainly Americans and Europeans. It is necessary to say that the leader and employees of this company devote much attention to the collaboration. The strategic plan, leadership, strategic goals, and tactics are connected with innovations and the implementation of new technologies. Investors, customers, employees, communities, and competitors are main stakeholders. It is evident that the complex activity of the stakeholders and the collaboration and communication between them are part of the corporate strategy of Skyland Tourism.