Finsbury Food Group

free essayFinsbury Food Group is the UK-based company that dominates the London stock market. It manufactures and sells bread and cakes to the UK grocers. This company has complex structure as it consists of cake business and bread business. The peculiarity of Finsbury Food Group is that it manufactures sweet snack products in store bakeries. Product assortment of the manufacturer includes fruit bread, handcrafted products, buns, giant and mini rolls, roulades, crumble cakes, kids’ cakes, loaf cakes, seasonal or festive cakes, ripple layer cakes, and party cakes for all occasions. Finsbury Food Group consists of the following subsidiaries: Nicolas & Harris Ltd, Goswell Enterprises Ltd, Memory Lane Cake Company Ltd, Anthony Alan Foods Ltd, Campbells Cake Company Ltd, Lightbody Group Ltd, and California Cake Company Ltd (Finsbury Food Group 2016).

Finsbury Food Group is a young company that has been operating in the market since 2002 when Memory Lane Cakes received its current name. In 2003, the company acquired Nicholas & Harris that has reinforced its serious intentions about growing. In 2005, Finsbury Food Group involved Campbell, California and USB companies that helped to achieve new marketing objectives in the UK. Another step related to the acquisition was made in 2007 when the company acquired Lightbody Group and Anthony Alan Foods Ltd. It means that Finsbury Food Group did not want to grow but to avoid the direct competition in the UK market. The biggest growth of the company was in 2015 (Finsbury Food Group 2016).

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The peculiarity of this organisation is in its acquisition strategy that helps it to become larger and win new locations. Moreover, Finsbury Food Group is a leading bakery manufacturer not only in the UK, but also in Europe. The company produces and supplies high quality cakes and breads through a variety of channels and brands. It operates in a sustainable and ethical manner, working with local communities and suppliers and minimizing the impact on the environment. It should be mentioned that the company is a diversified platform, equipped to deliver further growth, identify acquisition opportunities, and increase shareholder value (Barney 2012).

The strength of Finsbury Food Group is that it suggests a variety of career opportunities to their employees. As their vision is to build a leading bakery group in the UK, then they are constantly in search of talented and creative people. Learning and development are the key aspects of their continued success. The business strategy of Finsbury Food Group is related to the following directions: growing with the help of acquisition, succeeding in out-of-home and retail grocery channels, developing the strong brand, fulfilling customer needs, and creating high-quality bakery products (Finsbury Food Group 2016).

Consequently, this paper intends to describe the business strategy of Finsbury Food Group with the help of its strategic planning. Moreover, it is aimed to suggest a new business strategy, approaches to its evaluation and selection, and ways of its implementation.

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Understanding the Process of Strategic Planning

1.1. How business missions, visions, objectives, goals and core competencies inform the strategic planning

The strategic planning is impossible without taking into consideration company’s business missions, visions, objectives, goals, and core competencies (Ferrel & Hartline 2010). Consequently, it is crucial to regard them while implementing the process of strategic planning in Finsbury Food Group. Its business mission is to build a leading bakery group in the UK. The visions of this organisation are to find more locations and implement the process of acquisition successfully. The main objectives of the company are to find new partnership for the further extension, win more locations in the European market, create high-quality products, and become more competitive. The goals of Finsbury Food Group are to increase brand awareness and supply major foodservice channels and retailers. Core competencies of the company are corporate culture and responsibility, strong partnership, and good investment. Therefore, informing strategic planning demands to rely on these organizational peculiarities and improve them if it is necessary for further growth.

1.2. The factors necessary for formulating a strategic plan

To formulate a strategic plan for Finsbury Food Group, it is necessary to take the following factors into consideration: (1) engagement, (2) communication, (3) innovation, (4) project management, and (5) culture (Barney 2012). With regard to engagement, Finsbury Food Group uses  formal strategic planning process to make strategic decisions and implement creative projects. Communication between all levels of employees is crucial to find common agreement in planning through meetings, focus groups, and feedback surveys. Innovation is another necessary factor for formulating a strategic planning that presupposes creating new products, services, and restructuring departments. Project management is based on the commitment and high involvement of the employees who should contribute to the strategic planning process. Culture is an inevitable factor that proves company’s responsibility, brand awareness, and image among employees and customers. All these factors should become the basis for formulating strategic planning and its implementation.

1.3. The evaluation of techniques used for the development of strategic planning

When developing strategic business plans, it is crucial to apply the most effective planning techniques to evaluate company’s current state of affairs and build priorities for the future. It is recommended that STEER analysis, PEST analysis, Porter’s five forces model, and SWOT analysis be applied (Ferrel & Hartline 2010). These techniques will help to create an adequate plan of actions and determine the key goals. SWOT analysis presupposes determination of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the company to apply the received information in order to create a new business strategy. PEST analysis is the technique that is helpful for defining political, economic, sociocultural, and technological factors that can drive or restrain Finsbury Food Group. STEER analysis is the technique that evaluates regulatory, ecological, economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors that also are crucial during the process of strategic planning formulation. According to Porter’s Five Forces model, strategic planning should consider the following aspects: the power of buyers, the threat of substitutes, the threat of new entry, supplier power, and competitive rivalry.

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Formulation of a New Strategy

2.1. The strategic positioning of Finsbury Food Group after an organisational audit

The strategic positioning of Finsbury Food Group is based on its competitive advantage, customers, and products. The key competitors of this company are Associated British Food PLC, United Biscuits TOPCO Limited, and Burton’s Food Limited (Finsbury Food Group 2016). Finsbury Food Group has its customers in the UK as well as in Europe. The products of this company are fruit breads, handcrafted products, buns, giant and mini rolls, roulades, crumble cakes, kids’ cakes, loaf cakes, seasonal or festive cakes, ripple-layer cakes, and party cakes for all occasions. It is necessary to conduct an organisational audit based on SWOT analysis to understand the strategic positioning of Finsbury Food Group. The strengths of this bakery manufacturer are related to its rich experience in the London stock market, high diversity of products, and a large number of customers. The weaknesses of the company are high competitiveness in the European market and mistakes in HRM policy. The opportunities of this business are the following: penetration of new markets, acquisition of new departments, and attraction of new customers. The threats of the company include the decrease in profits and sales, customers’ complaints about quality, and the brand image decline.

2.2. An environmental audit for Finsbury Food Group

An environmental audit is also no less crucial when it comes to strategic planning and a new strategy formulation (Howe 2014). It is recommended that PEST analysis should to be applied to understand the peculiarities of the external environment of Finsbury Food Group. Political factors affecting the company’s operation are related to tax obligations, following health and safety regulations of the government. It means that Finsbury Food Group should respond to the UK and European government laws and regulations to avoid lawsuits and restrictions. Economic factors affecting the company are related to the economic situation in the market, as well as unemployment and inflation rates. However, it should be mentioned that Finsbury Food Group is the unity of the companies. Consequently, economic crisis can be overcome easily. Sociocultural aspects related to the organisation include the quality of products, customers’ concerns about their health, and demographic situation. As a result, the company should follow a healthy policy to retain customers. Technological factors that are significant for Finsbury Food Group presuppose orientation on innovation, improvement of the payment process, and implementation of new products with the help of the advancement of the manufacturing process.

2.3. The significance of stakeholder analysis in the business strategy of Finsbury Food Group

The stakeholder analysis is also essential for strategic planning and formulating a new strategy for Finsbury Food Group. The company has many stakeholders. Hence, it is necessary to inform them about planning and intention to create a new business strategy. The direct stakeholders of this company are owners, managers, customers, and employees. Direct stakeholders have more advantages in comparison with indirect ones. As a result, they should be conscious of any changes in the business strategy. The task of owners is to collaborate with direct and indirect stakeholders to influence their decisions. Employees can provide high productivity, performance, sales, and profits of Finsbury Food Company; therefore, they should be involved in the process of planning. The number of customers determines the financial state of affairs in the company. It is crucial to formulate business strategy that will enable quick response to the demands and tastes of customers. Indirect stakeholders consist of competitors, society, and the government. The competitors of Finsbury Food Group are Associated British Food PLC, United Biscuits TOPCO Limited, and Burton’s Food Limited (Finsbury Food Group 2016). Thus, it is crucial to follow them to remain competitive. Moreover, the company should study the interests of society concerning food and implement them in their business strategy. As Finsbury Food Group operates in the European market, it should follow laws and regulations of different countries.

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2.4. A new strategy for Finsbury Food Group

A new business strategy for Finsbury Food Group should be based on the increase in productivity and performance with the help of training and learning. Currently, the company does not pay too much attention to this aspect. Moreover, a new business strategy should be based on the improvement of corporate culture that should promote ethical principles in the relationships with employees and customers. A new business strategy demands a regular strategic planning that will make all operations more effective and productive, providing schedule and timeline within the organisation. It is necessary to make a new business strategy correspond to the processes of innovation and tendencies in the global market. Therefore, Finsbury Food Group should do everything in time and be strategic in its decisions. Its up-to-date business strategy should be based on the informal and formal control to provide quality, performance, and discipline. The informal control in the company should include social and cultural control, self-control, and customer feedbacks. The formal control should be based on monitoring cultural competences and social control.

The Approaches to Strategy Evaluation and Selection

3.1. Possible alternative strategies relating to substantive growth, limited growth or retrenchment

The limited growth or retrenchment and substantive growth demand building certain alternative strategies that will help to provide the company’s development. For limited growth, Finsbury Food Group should use such strategies as product development, market development, and market penetration. Product development is the process of manufacturing and presenting new products to the customers (Reiss 2012). Market development presupposes finding new locations for the products and services of the company (Finsbury Food Group 2016). Market penetration will help to protect customer base and build market share of the company. Such alternative strategies as horizontal and vertical integration, as well as related and unrelated diversification can lead to the substantive growth (Senior & Swailes 2010). Horizontal integration has not been practised by Finsbury Food Group yet as they did not merge with their competitors. However, the company used vertical integration connection with other companies that specialize in the bakery. Related diversification is a good strategy that will help to win more locations in the European market. If the company wants to win the Asian market, it should use unrelated diversification that presupposes implementation of new products, services, and innovations.

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3.2. The justification of the selected strategy

The selected business strategy for Finsbury Food Group will be justified as it is built on the basis of stakeholder, organizational and environmental analyses. Moreover, such strategy presupposes the strategic planning that makes it more innovative, perspective, and corresponding to the tendencies in the market. This business strategy will bring positive changes as it pays attention to stakeholders and customers’ interests. Moreover, the business strategy of Finsbury Food Group considers such factors as engagement, communication, innovation, project management, and culture. The combination of these factors makes this business strategy more integrated, creative, and progressive. It can be asserted that the strength of the selected strategy is in its orientation on growth and market penetration that will help to win new locations and attract new customers.

Implementation of the Chosen Strategy

4.1. Comparison of the roles and responsibilities for strategy implementation

The personnel is in charge of the strategy implementation, which means they should know their roles and responsibilities. Employees are responsible for the performance of the objectives related to product and distribution strategies (Hughes 2010). As a result, the outcomes of the new strategy depend on them directly. On the contrary, managers are more responsible for the direct control within Finsbury Food Group. Strategy implementation considers human resource factor as the most crucial one for successful realization (Bingham et al. 2005). It is evident that not only control and monitoring, but also hard work and persistence are fundamental for achieving the desired result. To meet all these responsibilities, analytical tools such as Ansoff matrix, model of the structure, coordination, and duty allocation should be applied. They will help to check whether the personnel is working in the proper direction.

4.2. The resource requirements to implement a new strategy for Finsbury Food Group

Financial and human resources are necessary to implement a new business strategy for Finsbury Food Group. Consequently, the company should include resource allocation in their central management activity to make the processes of learning and development consistent (Cameron & Green 2012). The necessary resources can be divided into four groups: technological, human, physical, and financial ones, as they have diverse appointments. Technological resources include the implementation of innovations and gadgets that improve manufacturing. Human resources include the current employees and new ones who aspire to work for Finsbury Food Group. Financial resources consist of the additional costs that are necessary to buy more innovative equipment, development of the promotion strategy, and opening new stores. Physical resources are related to the equipment, machines, and devices involved in the product development.

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4.3. The contribution of SMART targets

The contribution of SMART targets is essential when it comes to strategic planning and formulating a new business strategy (Scott 2011). The specific goals of Finsbury Food Group are related to winning more locations in the European market. Measurable goals of the company include evaluation and analysis of employees’ productivity and their desire to contribute to the company’s growth. The main achievable goal of the organisation is to maintain a competitive advantage in the UK market. The realistic goals of the company consist of the increase in quality as well as involvement of more customers and partners.

Conclusion

A new business strategy will be effective and progressive for Finsbury Food Group, considering its complex structure, as well as customers, employees, and stakeholders’ interests. Moreover, this strategy should be formulated on the basis of the internal and external analysis that reveals the company’s advantages and disadvantages. Organisational and environmental audits help to understand ways of the implementation of a new business strategy and its improvement according to the company’s objectives and missions. It is evident that formulating a new business strategy is possible only with the help of strategic planning that helps to provide effectiveness and productivity. However, a new strategy will not work without commitment of personnel, improvement of specific objectives, and implementation process of innovation and changes.