- Start by reading the attached case file (Course Resource West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.) and be sure to consider the following questions while you do additional research:
- Where is the company headquartered?
- What are the company’s major products and/or services?
- What is the company’s annual revenue in dollars, and what is its annual production in units?
- Does the company own its own facilities or does it subcontract manufacturing to others?
- Who are the company’s major suppliers of raw materials or parts, and where are they located?
- What is the distribution of the company’s workforce by country?
- How does the company differentiate its offering in its highly competitive markets?
- Does the company have exclusive marketing or distribution agreements or partnerships?
- Who are the company’s major global and US customers?
- What benefits does the company offer to its customers?
- Who are the company’s major global and US competitors?
- When developing your situation analysis, you should also understand the importance of vision and mission statements and then research the company’s own vision and mission statements.
- **Write a three-page document detailing the main findings of your research about your client, including its mission and vision statement. This document will ultimately form part of your situation analysis report.
- As a member of the business development team for this project, you use quantitative and qualitative market information to make important decisions and set the direction of the marketing plan. As you continue to work on your situation analysis report, your team will use the following tools to conduct an environmental scan, the foundation on which a solid marketing plan is built.
- Tools for Environmental Scan
- Company-Specific Analysis (internal)
- SWOT analysis—A SWOT analysis is a planning and brainstorming tool that helps a company evaluate its projects and formulate its business plans. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You will use this tool to identify and analyze the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses as well as its external opportunities and threats. The results of this analysis may help the company improve its business or forecast how a new product or service will perform (Harmon, 2016).
- Industry, Market, and Customer Analysis (external)
- PESTEL analysis—A PESTEL analysis (sometimes called PEST analysis) enables the company to identify, analyze, and monitor the political, economic, social, technological, legal (including regulatory), and environmental factors that may affect its operations (Frue, 2017).
- Porter’s five forces analysis—Porter’s five forces analysis is a framework that can help the company understand the competitive forces at play in its industry. These forces may influence how economic value is divided among the company’s competitors in the industry (Porter, 2008).
- Research your industry and its market trends in the United States and identify market opportunities, threats, and the company’s major global competition. Then conduct the SWOT, PESTEL, and Porter’s five forces analyses on your client’s company. These tools should allow you to analyze the company’s internal environment, customers, and macro-environment (external environment), and to answer the following questions in your situation analysis report:
- Which elements have the biggest impact on the company’s success?
- What factors affect the company’s customers (other businesses)?
- Be sure to support your work with scholarly sources and reliable nonscholarly sources such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, Money, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, as well as the UMUC Library databases such as Hoover’s and ABI/INFORM. All sources need to be cited using APA formatting, both within the text and in the reference list. Also cite the UMUC documents provided as well.
Use the following template:
1. Situation analysis
1.2 Product or service description
1.3 Value proposition
1.4 Internal environment scan (SWOT analysis)
1.5 External environment scan (PESTEL & Porter’s five forces analyses)
1.6 Critical issues