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Introduction

History

Kingfisher Company was founded in 1982; it is a European Retail business. It is headed by Daniel Bernard as chairman and Ian Cheshire as the C.E.O. The business has a total of 950 stores and outlets in 8 countries. Most are in Europe where its headquarters are located. Others are the recently opened ones in Russia and Asia in its bid to expand. The stores are currently employing about 800,000 people who look up to the stores as their source of livelihood. Together with the consumers, this people want to see the continued existence of the stores. The enterprise has been rated the biggest retail outlet dealing with home improvement products in Europe and the third in the world.

Achievements and Financial Output

The company has big brands attached to its name. They include B&Q, Costroma, Brico, Depot, Screw fix, Horn BArch Holdings among others. The total sales standing at 10,450 million pounds and a profit of 491 million pounds. It also has a gross profit of 3,905 million pounds, operating profit of 698 million pounds and a retail profit of 756million pounds, all calculated annually. The enterprise is worth the attention of consumers, suppliers, governments and even competitors. It is upon the management and the stakeholders to ensure that the image of the enterprise is in line with its big holdings. It has to retain its status as the third biggest retail enterprise in the world (Armstrong, 2008).

The Products Offered.

Kingfisher deals with home improvement products. Its products have been considered to be of good quality making the enterprise acquire loyal customers. The products are highly associated with the geographical location of the respective Kingfish outlet. Among their products include; Kitchen wares, vacuum cleaners, wall papers, basin mixers, outdoor lighters among others (Dyer, 2001).

Management

The firm has Daniel Bernard as the chairman, Ian Cheshire as the Chief Executive Officer. The company has also three directors who oversee the firms’ activities. They are; Kevin O. Byrne, Janis Kong and John Nelson. These serve in the board of directors that is involved in decision making.

Business Strategy

Kingfisher mainly targets retailers and small scale domestic consumers. It has been stocked with retail products and is involved with domestic advertising. It is also involved in warehousing and ware housing administration. It is involved in online marketing to reach more consumers. Apart from offering goods, they also offer installation a service of their products. This is meant to diversify on business.

Pestel Analysis

The firm has been widely affected by factors limiting its growth and development and even expansion in some parts. These factors include:

Political Factors

Taxation

The varying taxation trends have become a main challenge as the business seeks to expand across borders. Different countries have different taxation rates.

Trade Restriction

Trade along borders has been restricted by policies governing international trade. This has interfered with the expansion process (Mital, 2007).

Tariffs

Trade along trading blocs has been limited by set tariffs and high taxation. This has down played the entry strategies put in place as they greatly influence prices.

Economic Factors

Interest rates

The current inflation has seen the interest rates on currency exchange go up leading to low profits for the firm.

Swot Analysis

Strong Brand Portifolio

Kingfisher has been mentioned by consumers as one with unique and quality brands. This has seen it win royal customers. The availability has brought with it heavy business flow allowing the giant to have firm financial back up. In the new markets, Kingfisher has not disappointed and has made every new environment home.

Weaknesses

Several weaknesses have infiltrated into the firm, and their consequences can be felt. These include low profit margins leading to low expansion pace and weak returns on total capital input. The weak management has not been able to contain these making the problems more vibrant.

Threats

The firm is facing stiff competition from other firms offering similar goods and products. The fuel prices are also at high rate bringing the prices to all time high. These affect the consumer’s negatively.

Opportunities

The firm has been able to identify opportunities itself in eco friendly production and technological innovation. These have improved its diversification efforts (Nelson Information, Inc, 2005).

Current Trends

The firm’s management is comprised of the Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer and several l directors drawn from different groups of stake holders. The management is responsible for all major decisions concerning the firm. They set the firm policies, goals and objectives. As usual, the decision making process is slow as several consultations have to be made. Although this may sound healthy, it is costing the business in terms of efficiency and general development. The decisions made by the firm include hiring of workers, finance and expansion plans. The management is comprised of quite old people who tend not to be in line with the modern trends.

Technology

The firms’ technological trends are quite updated but not completely up to date. With the current trends and up surging prices, need to reduce this cost to attract buyers is real. This can only be achieved by importing more technology into the business. Currently, the firm is used a computerized data base, credit card services to pay for goods and other promising introductions into the market.

Market

Recently, the firm has opened new outlets in Asia and Russia. This has been done in a bid to explore new markets. Covering eight countries in Europe; the company is a household name. The plans are in place to get new branches and outlets elsewhere and in other continents.

The marketing strategy of the firm cannot be termed as improved but the trend portrayed could be improved to get the firm to new heights. The currently started an advertising campaign on social networks is quite a milestone (Coppin, 2002).

The firms market can be described as big in Europe, and the management hopes to make it global. The high rate of globalization calls for this from such a big and renowned entity.

Conclusion

Despite facing financial hardships in the years 2007-2008, the company has been able to rise again and retake its initial position. This was possible to its vast market spreading over wide geographical area. The diversity of products also played a crucial role by ensuring that the entity did not lose its sales in all areas where its presence is felt. The goods and services of high quality have also ensured that the company remains afloat.

Recommendations

The current management of Kingfisher has been considered weak, and its capacity to handle the expanding store put into doubt. The management decision making process is slow and thus not able to avert the necessary changes and development on time. In this era of highly dynamic technological and market trends, the management will stand unreliable within a very short time. Should this happen, the future of king fish will be dark and filled with uncertainty.

Hiring of modern day managers is the first step towards achieving the future dreams of the firm. The current management sounds old and outdated. This in a manner suggests that the management appears comfortable with the current situation and may lack will and vigor to transform (Sheikh, 1995). Modern day managers are those highly trained in management, technology and who can make decisions within a short time. They should be able to transform the business in line with the emerging trends and the consumer’s desires.

Recruitment

The process of recruiting the new managers should be handled technologically in a manner to put it clear on what the firm wants to achieve. It should be through competitive bidding process handled by intellectuals. Outsourcing of the hiring services from companies offering these services should be considered as the first priority. This will help restore confidence in consumers, suppliers and other interested parties including the government. I t will also ensure only the best are hired on the basis of education, skills and experience and level of professionalism.

The replacement of the old guards at the helm will oversee a total overhaul of the organization. This will involve replacement of those considered unproductive and reward the productive ones. This will help improve on labor efficiency, build on the employees’ confidence on the firm and uplift the crumbling level to professionalism.

Training

Training of the executive panel of the firm should be put into consideration. The managers should be given basic training from time to time depending with the rate of change experienced. The training should put emphasis on management, finance, computer application and e commerce. It should also be aimed at self-assessment of the managers and recommend improvement. The training should be carried out by professionals, probably universities or consultancy firms (Sheikh, 1995). This will ensure that the training offered is quality and of the right standard.

The training should not be carried out only once but should be scheduled as part of annual business operations. At no time should the quality of the training should be interfered with and thus different trainers should be consulted. This will help increase on diversity of skills.

Departments

Specialization has been marked as one of the emerging trends in the market. Its importance to the firm management cannot be ignored, as it has been associated with success in high riding firms worldwide. The management should be split into departments to capitalize on this. The departmental managers will report to the general manager responsible for accessing all departments. However, the departments should work as a team to ensure co-ordination within the firm. The Finance department will be in charge of the budget of all departments and will fund all the activities of the firm. Public relations department should be in charge of communication within the firm (Seth, 2001). Human resource department will hire all employees in consultation with the other departments. All the managers will take responsibility of their respective departments.

The assessments of the individual departments should be done on a monthly basis to allow for action where necessary.

Technology

Technological upgrading should be done in line with the emerging trends. The firms I.T department has be responsible for the process. It will involve getting the modern tools to enhance communication, trade and management. The department in conjunction with the finance department shall then embark on the training of employees in various departments on the use of the implements (Stittle, 2003).

This will help increase efficiency to consumers and suppliers by minimizing delays and enhance the accessing of any information required. Among the technological implements that should be equipped are those will allow for access of quality of goods eliminating chances of trading in faulty and substandard products. This will help restore the consumers trust and loyalty.

Marketing

 The marketing department performance is in total doubt although the level of buying and selling is highly dependent on it. To make it better, the marketing department should find new ways and channels of improving on its core functions. These would include online marketing and the use of social networks. It should be in line with the market trends while focusing on minimizing on the operation cost (Kim, 2005).

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