strategy is diversification.

| September 30, 2015
please read up the notes on diversification .
as our lecturer has mention that the diversification for this project is on a corporate business level.
but nonethless, please read the file “Important note for diversification strategy.” 
 
pls take note the chosen strategy is diversification. 

i have attached previous assignment 1 for your reference. ( to read for your understanding , not sure if it is related) ( but i think best to read up so you can get the rough idea for singpost?)

 

please refer ppt notes on this link;

u try if u can open up this page for your reference and understanding
Please should be 3 or more pagesIMPORTANT

Advise for Diversification Strategy

If you’re proposing new products/services and/or new markets (new segments or geographical territories), it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to present your case effectively so that the Examiner does not think that you have unknowingly engaged in corporate level strategy.

Going into new products/services or new markets is generally considered as a corporate level strategy by textbook authors (at least those that I’ve come across). See JWS, Ch 7, Ansoff’s matrix for example. However, if argued properly, CLOSELY RELATED diversification can be a business level strategy. If this is reasoned properly, it will earn you praise (and high marks) from the Examiner. If it is done badly it ,will lead the Examiner to think that you do not understand the difference between corporate and business level strategy. These are the points you must include in your argument:

As in all suggested strategy presentation, start by describing the mechanics or features of your strategy. Basically, what does your strategy entails? In your case, the key feature, among others that you have in mind, is new product/services or new markets or both (see Ansoff’s matrix). In fact you should reference Ansoff’s matrix. Per Ansoff’s matrix, describe your strategy as related diversification. However, it is worthwhile mentioning that it has very close relationship with current products or markets.

Next, you must follow up immediately with statements acknowledging that such a strategy is generally regarded by authors as corporate level strategy (provide reference, any good text will do. Maybe 2). The reason that writers generally do so is because it is thought that a diversification would require a new and different set of strategic capabilities from what the firm currently has. And it also generally accepted that two different sets of strategic capabilities should reside in two separate businesses (or Strategic Business Units; SBUs). This is further supported by Porter who argue against mixing broad market and narrow market strategies within a SBU because different sets of strategic capabilities are required (e.g., Singapore Airlines and Scoot). Trying to execute two disparate or divergent sets of capabilities within one organisation can lead to conflicts and inefficiency. Hence, a diversification strategy would entail the need to set up a new business unit. Setting up a new business unit is corporate level strategy. This explanation will demonstrate that you know what is corporate level strategy.

Then you explain that however, in your case, your related diversification is a business level strategy based on the following argument. Firstly, the new product/service or market is highly related to your existing offering. The relatedness of this diversification is close enough for the organisation to be able to provide this new product/service or serve the new market with existing strategic capabilities, or at most with an upgrade of its existing strategic capabilities (you have to decide which one fits your case). Then go on and explain what are your strategic capabilities, and how in their present form or enhanced state, they can continue to be used for existing as well as new products/services and/or new markets. Example, you can continue with the use of existing post offices, albeit with some additional staff. You need to be thorough on this, providing as much details as possible. Most importantly, it does not require the organisation to acquire unrelated strategic capabilities. Having a

distinctive set of strategic capabilities is one of the definition of an SBU, (see JWS ch 6; you should reference this). And since, you have one set of capabilities that can handle different products and/or markets, the latter can be kept under a single business. So, the new product/service and/or market can be provided for by the existing business, which is the Mail Business. No new businesses need to be set up. Therefore, this new product/service and/or new market strategy is a business level strategy
 

  • Propose and Justify Solution (The strategy) (30marks)

Diversification

 

Need to be Favorable to our strategy

Diamond Porter/ of undeveloped countries/ neighboring countries/ASEAN easier to enter the market eg, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar (Singtel go into Myanmar)

Why you want to enter into that country?

What entry strategy? Joint Venture, look at political reasons.

Propose Strategy (Value, Sustainable Competitive Advantage, Porter’s, Miles and Snow, TOWs, blue ocean, strategic clock- mention w ref)

(SAFe, Rumelt’s criteria)

  1. What is the aim of the proposed strategy, what value do you deliver with it?
  2. What do you about the areas that are lacking?
  3. What are the pitfalls of your strategy and how we are going to avoid it. -> limitations of the country eg, low spending power, high capital (Setting up postbox, office building etc)
  4. List all the models to show that we know, one or two lines but then mention more in the model framework we going to use, identify limitations. May use more than 1 model.
  5. Justification

 

 

Remarks / for your reference :

 

My group has choosenDiversification as the strategy.

And the country we have choosen to joint venture is Philippines .

As my groupmates felt that mailing business there is growing well, hasn’t been declining, but they lacked of resources for technology such as mail sorting , they are currently using manual process, which they are highly dependent on power.

Mailing  companies in Philippines: 8 .

Internet users per 100: 39.7/100

FDI in Philippines availability : yes , under other services

List of mailing companies:

 http://www.trackitonline.ru/?service=postal &ctrPH,+fedex&DHL

 

Phlpost improvements: 

http://postandparcel.info/63633/in-depth/the-transformation-of-phlpost/

 

Phlpost Manual Processing:

http://www.mailatimes.net/post-office-struggling-to-survive-new-technology/8129/

 

Mail industry is still growing in Philippines:

Http://www.asianewsnet.net/snail-mail%E2%80%99-still-big-business-in-the-phillippine-74157.html

CONTENTS

PG

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                    1

 

COMPANY BACKGROUND                                                                         2-3

 

MACRO-ENVIRONMENT ANAYLSIS                                                        3-14

  • Political Factors
  • Economic Factors
  • Social Factors
  • Technological Factors
  • Legal Factors
  • Environmental Factors

 

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS                                                                        14-22

  • Rivalry Among Existing Competitors
  • The Threat of Entry
  • The Threat of Substitutes
  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  • Bargaining Power of Buyers

 

RESOURCES AND COMPETENCIES                                               22-30

  • Resources
  • Competencies
  • Distinctive Capability
  • VRIN Analysis
  • The Value Chain
    • Primary Activities
      • Inbound Logistics
      • Operations
      • Outbound Logistics
      • Marketing and Sales
      • Service
    • Support Activities
      • Firm Infrastructure
      • Human Resource Management
      • Technology Development
      • Procurement

STAKEHOLDERS ANALYSIS                                                            30-36

  • External Stakeholders
    • Customers
    • Suppliers
    • Partners and Investors
    • Info-communications development authority of Singapore (Government)
  • Internal Stakeholders
    • Employees
    • Board of Directors

 

CURRENT STRATEGY                                                                       36-41

  • Miles and Snow
  • SAFe
    • Suitability
      • Key Opportunities & Constrains
    • Acceptability
      • Risk
      • Return
      • Reaction
    • Feasibility
      • Financial
      • People & Skills
      • Integrating Resources

 

CONCLUSION                                                                                       42

 

 

References                                                                                                43-49

 

 

 


Executive Summary

Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) is responsible for the country’s postal system and services.

Being the leader of mail, logistics and ecommerce solution in Singapore and Asia Pacific region, they serve more than 10 countries. Hence in this report, an analysis of SingPost’s business will be done to find out how they are able to sustain and achieve desirable performances throughout the years with the strategy they adopted.

 

Firstly through Singapore PESTEL analysis, we examine the macro-environmental conditions SingPost operates in and discovered that is it currently of high advantages, where it is politically sound, strong economically with skilled workers around. Besides, they are also having technologies that are up to date and available for their business purposes. Internally, Michael Porter’s five forces model helped us understand where the real forces lie in the market. The low threat of entrants caused negligible rivalry in the industry. That led to the decreasing power of supplier and buyers. We also identified that the threat of substitutes is now the strongest force that may negatively affect SingPost’s sustainability in the further.

 

This report also consists of the value chain model in regards to the analysis of the resources and competencies SingPost acquired them to achieved sustainable competitive advantage in their industry. Last but not least based on our findings, we had identified the key strategy that SingPost adopted and has evaluated it through the SAFe model if it is suitable, acceptable and feasible. Therefore, based on the analysis that we have concluded on the strategy that SingPost is currently practising, it is viable and they should focus on.

 

Company Background

Singapore Post is founded in 1819. It is currently Singapore’s leaders of mail, logistics, e-commerce solution in Singapore and Asia Pacific region, servicing in more than 10 countries. As they dominant in Singapore, their services are distributed in every parts of the town serving the needs of everyone.

 

Initially, the Post Office was just a single mail office situated in the Parliament House. As trade blossomed, the Post Office became a separate department.After Singapore gained independence, the Singapore Postal Department became wholly independent and was known as the Postal Services Department.In 1982, the Postal Services Department became part of the then Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, known as Telecoms. After the postal service was privatised, SingPost was incorporated on 1 April 1992 (National Library Board, 1992; Fig. 1).

(Fig. 1)

To cope with the growing amount of mail and parcels, it moved into a complex with a facility that can automatically sort out mails and parcels based on postal codes. They also invested heavily in technologies to provide better services and quality (OCBC Investment Research, 2009). SingPost managed to get itself listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange on 13th May 2003.

SingPost has outstanding results, both locally and internationally through many years of hard work. As a result, many investors see them as a potential investment and begin to invest and join venture. Today, SingPost has become one of the largest distribution networks, having revenue of $919.6 and net profit of $157.2. SingPost value their services and productivity, adopting and maintaining high standards with effective and efficient services that satisfy their customers.

 

Macro-Environment Analysis

PESTEL analysis examines the environmental influences that might affect the success or failure of the strategies implemented. This analysis also enables companies to identify their operating environment conditions and provides information that might assist them in analysing situations that might occur in future (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes, 2011).

 

Political Factors

Political risk in Singapore is relatively low. One of the main reasons for this isdown to having a strict government. Singapore only has one ruling party, The People’s action party (PAP)since it gained independence (PAP.org, 2015). Theyhave always held the large majority of seats in the parliament (Elections Department Singapore, 2015). As theyalways had more than 2/3 of the seats, they have effective control in the decisions made for the country. Political interference in business is also very minimal and thus, it brings about the benefit of enjoying the outstanding political stability that the region continues to offer to the international business world, which is a positive political implication for businesses like SingPost to thrive. The government tendency to make decisions in priority of the economic growth in Singapore has resulted in Singapore achieving first place in Ease of Doing Business ranking for 9 consecutive years (World Bank Group, 2014; Fig. 2).

(Fig. 2)

(Fig. 3)

With reference to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (2013; Fig.3), in recent years foreign workforce in Singapore has been increasing steadily. According to Yahoo News Singapore (2011), many Singaporeans showed displeasure over the matter as it limits job opportunities for locals, but companies benefit from it as foreign workforce are generally cheaper and easier to hire. Lately, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that Singapore will be clamping down the number of foreign workforce to achieve a better balance for the locals and this might result in a challenging environment for the companies in future (Channel NewsAsia, 2015).

 

According to the Singapore Economic Development Board (2014), Singapore was ranked as the 3rd least corrupt country in the world. This is largely due to Singapore’s policy of paying high ranked officials top salaries to make them corruption free (New York Times, 2007). This has also resulted in keeping ministers’ performance high, as things like security, taxes enforcement and infrastructure are always spot on. Businesses are very rarely disrupted by incidents like terrorism attacks and riots for the exact reason.

Economic Factors

Singapore has been an economically stable country and has one of the fastest growing economies. With a GDP of $46,569.7 in 2010, the country’s GDP has steadily grown up to $56,286.8 in 2014(World Bank, 2014; Fig. 4). Due to its economic stability, Singapore does not face many financial and economic challenges, such as hyperinflation (Singapore Government Securities, 2015).Singapore also enjoys a free trade agreement with many countries globally (International Enterprise Singapore, 2014), which facilitates companies import and export products efficiently. SingPost greatly benefits from this as mails and supplies barriers are minimized in many other countries.

(Fig. 4)

 

(Fig. 5)

Singapore’s high per capital income has resulted in considerable spending power from the local consumers (World Bank, 2013; Fig 5). This means that companies entering the market can achieve good growth as locals are able to afford high priced goods. Moreover, Singapore’s transportation and various infrastructures are among the best in the world, which is yet another positive for companies. Having the best airport in the world would enable SingPost to have an advantage over its global rivals in air freight (Business Insider, 2014).

 

(Fig. 6)

The decreasing oil price also helps SingPost’s cause. According to NASDAQ (2015; Fig. 6), the crude oil prices have been declining for the past few months and CBC News (2015) predicted that it will fall further in future. This will in turn benefit Singapore as electricity and fuel expenses are reduced, therefore lowering operational costs for businesses (The Strait Times, 2015).
Last but not least, Singapore’s interest rate for doing business remains one of the lowest in the world (Trading Economics, 2015; Fig. 7). This would allow companies to borrow money cheaper than any other countries as rates are favourable and it would thus enable many businesses to grow swiftly here (World Bank Group, 2015).
(Fig. 7)

Social Factors

(Fig. 8)

Singapore has a multi-racial population of 5.4mil and has one of the highest employment rate in the world (Singstat, 2014; Fig. 8). However, according to Singapore Business Review (2014) Singapore’s population is ageing rapidly. Today Online (2015) reported that Singapore citizens aged 65 and above grew from 220,000 in year 2000 to 440,000 in 2015 and is predicted to grow to 900,000 in 2030. This will affect the labour force participation rate as it is likely to get smaller than the current 68.1% in the near future (Singstat, 2014; Fig. 9). Companies might find it more difficult to hire suitable candidates into their companies.

 

 

(Fig. 9)

 

 

Having said that, one plus points about Singapore is their society structure. Singaporeans value hierarchy relationship in their society as theyhave basic respect between employees and employers, teachers and students, as well as parents and children (Qiang, 2012). The living standard is also one of the highest in the world as the median monthly gross income is $3770 (Singstat, 2015; Fig. 10). Lastly, Singapore offers highly skilled workers as literacy rate stands at 96.1% whilst there are about 92.2% of secondary or higher qualification holders (Singstat, 2013). Most of these Singaporeans hold higher skilled jobs currently as compared to the past and it is forecasted to increase in future (Ministry of Manpower, 2015; Fig. 11). All of the above would give companies better quality workers.

(Fig. 10)

(Fig. 11)

 

 

Technological Factors

Singapore is one of the leading countries in terms of innovation and advancement (Qureshi, 2010). Technology advancement has contributed to global progression, enabling companies to be more efficient. In modern days, most companies rely on technology in their daily operations to benefit from it, not only in the reduction of costs of business, but also as an approach to expansion (Thiel, 2015). One of the most common approaches that companies have used in this regard is its advancement in e-commerce as companies can operate online shops which operate on low costs and can achieve high net returns. Singapore has about 4.8mil internet users and online shopping usage is growing rapidly (iDA, 2013; Fig. 12). It is estimated that e-commerce revenue will reach to about $4.4billion by the end of this year, an exceptional figure given the size of population here (Yahoo News Singapore, 2014; Fig. 13).

(Fig. 13)

 

Technological innovation can also aid their growth in the modern global market. Technology infrastructure in Singapore is advanced as connectivity is fast, efficient and easy to access. Many varieties of high-tech gadgets are available locally to help companies save costs and improve efficiency, making Singapore an attractive place for companies. Research and development has always been a key focus for Singapore’s long-term economic development as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in September 2010 that the government would spend $16.1billion on such research and enterprise, which is a 20% increase of the past decade (AsiaOne, 2010). With constant technology advancement, an integrated automated system was developed for SingPost. According to Toshiba Asia Pacific (2015), these machines helps in sorting of letters and packages in a faster and more accurate manner. These systems assist mailing companies to increase their productivity as well as efficiency.

Legal Factors

Singapore has many legal policies under consumer, safety and labour laws which protect both the consumers and companies (Henry, 2008). In recent times, Singapore has been focusing on promoting business growth through supporting improvement in IT infrastructure. In this light, it has continued to develop laws, regulations, and policies that will see this goal through, such as the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). This law consist of several rules governing the collection, use, disclosure and care of personal data (Personal Data Protection Commission Singapore, 2014).As more companies are been using technology for their businesses nowadays, online security is an important consideration to companies. With online security in Singapore secure, people tend to have more confidence when they enter their personal information online.Singapore has also incorporated Lemon Law, which will not only benefit companies or consumers, but boost various industries in the long run (CASE, 2012).

Environmental Factors

There are various environmental factors that Singapore values,such as waste management and recycling. A number of campaigns are organized by the Government to promote environmental-friendly industrial operations for businesses. President Awards are given out to reward companies that achieved sustainable environment (Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, 2015). In New York, the increase in popularity of ‘going paperless’ nowadays causes many companies to adoptsimilar practices globally. Many banks alsoprovide incentives to reward customers who opt for electrical billings instead of paper bills and statements(NASDAQ, 2011).

 

Many modern companies are participating in CSR activities to establish good reputations. According to Forbes (2010), a survey shows that 88% of the respondents feel that companies should make contributions to the society and the environment. However, Tan (2008) noted that corporate social responsibilities remain low in Singapore despite having one of the finest environment policies.

 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, it is important for SingPost to take into consideration of how these factors would have an impact when it comes to decision-making. By gaining better understanding of their surroundings, SingPost can better handle future situations that might arise. As of now, the current macro-environment is highly advantageous for SingPost, but as mentioned there are a few challenges likely to arise in future.

 

Industry Analysis

In this analysis, we will be using Porter’s Five Forces framework to go in-depth on the postal industry outlook in Singapore. As his model is aimed at identifying the five particular forces which is most likely to affect the competitiveness of an industry (Hill & Jones, 1995), it will help us evaluate factors from both the domestic market in Singapore, as well as the international market.

 

SingPost falls under Monopolistic Industry according to our understanding of Porter’s definition. According to iDA (2013), SingPost is one of four companies alongside DHL, Asendia and WMG to be granted a mailing service license in Singapore. However, SingPost dominates the entire market to the extent that other companies find it uneconomic to compete.

 

Rivalry among Existing Competitors

This force is one of the key determinants which directly affect an organisation profits. Intense rivalry among existing companies in an industry can affect many factors such as industry competitiveness, demand and supply capacity, differentiation among companies and height of exit barriers (Lee, Kim & Park, 2011). Competition in the postal industry is mostly based on quality of services as prices do not differ much. Therefore globally, competing firms always focus on promoting their services such as reliable deliveries and quick turnaround to try and gain a foothold in this competitive segment (Myerson, 2015).

 

The postal industry in Singapore is extremely uncompetitive due to the nature of the competition. SingPost has been established in Singapore for close to 200 years now and it remains as the only company locally to offer mailing services around the entire country (iDA, 2013). The main reason is because the government did not allow foreign companies to enter the market till April 2007 where it finally decided to end SingPost monopoly by allowing other companies to apply for a postal license. Before that, SingPost held an exclusive public postal license for the majority of its history in Singapore. This resulted in SingPost dominating the postal market here for a period even longer than the country has been independent. It has become such a well-known and reliable brand here while integrating many of its services with the local culture and livelihood here that it is not viable for any other companies to enter the industry. Singapore is a small country and with the postal services demand declining yearly as shown in the yearly annual reports (SingPost, 2015; Fig. 14), there is simply no point for any other companies to try and gain a market share here as profitability forecast is in the negative and exit costs are high. Thus it has a complete monopoly over mail services offered here which negates the competitiveness of the industry. They have complete autonomy to decide market prices, choice of suppliers as well as the amount of services provided. This is a particular disadvantage for consumers as only competition can breed success and the lack of competition meant the industry has not grown or improved significantly over the past 50 years since Singapore became an independent country.  Unfortunately, the situation is not going to change in near future as mailing is on the decline and major companies are unwilling to enter the market.

 

The Threat of Entry

Barriers of Entry depend on the presence of entry barriers and the reaction that can be expected from existing competitors (Hunger &Wheelen, 2003). According to Porter (2008), barriers to entry are the obstacles that need to be overcome by a new entrant if they were to enter an industry.

 

Porter (2008) states that Restrictive government policy is one of the barriers to entry as it can hinder new entrants in an industry. With reference to iDA (2007), by ending SingPost monopoly, liberalisation will significantly benefit business users which takes up large percentage of local domestic mail volume, more than users of stamped and franked mail. Hence, this decision made has open up new opportunities to attract fresh players into the market segment. Competition will then promote further innovations in the local postal industry and increase incumbent, in this case SingPost, incentives to improve its service quality and efficiency.In addition, SingPost was designated as a Public Postal Licensee and they are required to perform a set of Universal Service Obligations determined by iDA. Moreover, industry players interested in providing domestic and international basic mail services in Singapore shall first obtain a licence from IDA (iDA, 2007). Hence, this strict regulation has led to low threat of entry.

 

As mentioned above, SingPost has been established for close to 200 years, and it remains as a dominant player in the basic mail market sector in Singapore. This has resulted inSingPostestablishing a strong rapport with its existing customers (e.g. Banks, Insurance Company, Government agencies). According to Mynewdesk (2015), SingPost has engaged in more efficient technology such as new automated integrated sorting machines for example, to remain committed to providing customers a better service experience. Therefore, they able to produce at larger volumes, enjoying lower costs per unit as they can spread fixed costs over more units.  This scale of economies in production has given SingPost significant cost advantage over any new entrants as it will be very costly for them to match with SingPost and until they reach similar volume, they will have higher unit costs (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes, 2011). Such advantages SingPost holds over its rivals will add to the low threat of entry into the industry and it’s likely that the threat will remain low as the need for mailing continues to decrease.

 

The Threat of Substitutes

Johnson, Whittington & Scholes,(2011) defines substitutes as “products or services that offer a similar benefit to an industry’s products or services, but by a different process”. Technology has brought significant changes to the world today. It allows instantaneous communication easy and affordable. With the introduction of email, information are now transmitted instantly, anywhere and anytime at negligible costs.

 

According to SingPost (2014; Fig 14), theirannual report showed drastic decline in mail percentage for both their revenue and operating profit. Email has successfully become the outright substitute of traditional mailing and that has reduced the demand for letters as there is no switching cost for the customers. In addition, as technology becomes part of our lives, internet access has allowed us to even check our invoices and bills online, making part of SingPost hybrid mail services obsolete. Therefore, this resulted in the decrease of traditional letter mail volumes which was reflected in the weaker performance of domestic mail and hybrid mail over the past decade (SingPost, 2015). Not to mention, the constant advancement in technology had open up many other communication channels (WhatsApp, Skype etc) that can indirectly substitute traditional mailing. It like very likely that the situation is only going to deteriorate in the foreseeable future as technology becomes an even bigger part of our lives and we no longer see the need to send traditional mails like this (Schmid, 2011).

(Fig. 14)

 

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Bargaining Power of Suppliers refers to the ability of Suppliers to affect one’s business (Porter, 1990). If the suppliers are easily replaceable and its supplies are easily substituted, they will hold less power as compared to the opposite scenario. Thus, suppliers can actually be a threat to a business as some supplies and services are unique, making switching costs very high and not feasible (Porter, 1980).

 

For postal industry, SingPost have to use various suppliers such as freight, basic mailing materials, electronic platforms and software. With reference to a similar study in USA by Hendel (2015; Fig. 15), we can see that there are many suppliers in the market offering similar services. This meant that the high concentration of suppliers will decrease their bargaining power to SingPost as switching costs remain low and the industry itself is more important for suppliers than vice versa. Thus, threat of forward integration in the industry is virtually non-existent as it is not a pivotal factor that determines if a postal company boom or bust. In the history of the postal and logistics industries around the world, very few attempts are made to acquire another supply company as suppliers are in abundance and generally reliable with regards to materials and services (Managan, Lalwani& Butcher, 2008). Postal companies generally prefer to have a strategic partner instead, like in the recent case of SingPost and Singapore Airport Terminal Services Limited (SATS) (Channel NewsAsia, 2015). It is unlikely that this will change in future as the industry has remained stable in the last decade and supplier determinants will therefore remain relatively constant.

(Fig. 15)

Bargaining Power of Buyers

Bargaining Power of Buyers refer to the ability of Buyers being able to squeeze profits out of an industry, with reference to Porter’s Five Forces Model (Hill & Jones, 2013). Buyers are powerful if they have negotiating leverage relative to industry participants, forcing down prices and at the same time receiving better quality or extended services (Porter, 2008).

 

According to Porter, there are a number of circumstances where threat of buyer is powerful.  However, there is little threat towards SingPost in the mailing business industry. That is because firstly, for mail businesses such as bulk mail in Singapore, buyers do not have any other option, other than SingPost. This also meant that buyers do not have switching costs to be able to force down the prices. Secondly, even if buyers purchase in large quantities, they do not have much rights to bargain further as SingPost has legalized terms and conditions where buyers have to follow closely with. Furthermore, SingPost have the rights to refuse buyers or even review the charges without prior notice under some circumstances (SingPost, 2015). Lastly, there are many other buyers which come from large organisations of different industries, such as Banks, Telecoms and Schools that needs SingPost. There, the supply industry of SingPost does not depend on any buyers. Hence, the strength of this force is rather low. Moreover, there is no competitor since the expiry of SingPost’s monopoly to provide Basic Mail Services on 31 March 2007 (iDA, 2007). Therefore,it is safe to say that the threat of bargaining of power is low even in the long run with low price sensitivity and large volume of buyers.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Porter’s 5 forces is set in a way that all of the determinants mutually affects one another and this is crucial in helping us understand where the real forces lies in the market (Dulcic, Gnjidic&Alfirevic, 2012). For example, the low threat of entrants has resulted in negligible rivalry in the industry. That in turn causes the power of suppliers to decrease as they only have one viable client to serve. It is then passed on to the consumers as they bear the brunt of not having another service to turn to, weakening the power of buyers. The forces are all inter-linked and fundamental to each other (Wu, Tseng & Chiu, 2012).  This has thus shown us how such an analysis would be of good use to help companies position themselves strategically to take advantage of the ratio of forces itself.

 

As per our analysis above, the threat of substitutes is by far the strongest force which can make or break SingPost profit structure in the distant future if they are not careful. SingPost must be flexible to diversify their business further in order to cope with the changing environment. For instance, film camera pioneers Kodak failed to re-invent themselves to cope with the substitute threat of digital cameras and has unfortunately filed for bankruptcy (Bloomberg Business, 2012). The same fate can easily befall SingPost if they do not branch out their services and become the next company to be stuck in time. Fortunately, High (2015) has already noted that SingPost is changing its focus to e-commerce and digital business to cope with this.

 

PESTEL factors would also affect the determinants of the 5 forces. For example, economic factors can affect how suppliers function. Under bad economic conditions, threat of suppliers decreases even more as they are more dependent on their clients. Similarly, this would also affect the purchasing power of buyers, decreasing their threat even further. In the current climate, the PESTEL analysis is mostly positive for Singapore and that has resulted in SingPost holding a strong bargaining position towards its rivals, consumers and suppliers. It is predicted that such an advantage gap in terms of opportunities and threats will only widen in future as economic forecasts are good for the industry (Channel NewsAsia, 2015). Level of competitiveness will thus maintain its current levels, while profitability will increase.

 

Resources and Competences

Every company have resources and competencies that they can tap on to provide sustainable competitive advantage (Johnson, Scholes & Whittington, 2014). A successful firm has competitive advantage whenever it has an edge over its competitors in attracting customers and defending against competitive forces. One basic route to competitive advantage is by identifying the two components of strategic capabilities, namely resources and competencies of an organisation.

 

Resources

The organisation resources can be defined as assets that are owned or controlled by the organisation (Amit &Schoemaker, 1993). It can be split into 2 components, namely Tangible and Intangible Resources.

 

Tangible Resources are physical assets of an organisation such as plant, people and finance. However, not all traits of a firm’s physical assets are strategically relevant resources. In relation to SingPost, we have identified Plant and People as the organisations. On the other hand, Intangible Resources are non-physical assets such as information, reputation and knowledge (Amit &Schoemaker, 1993).  The table below summarises the aforementioned resources we have identified.

 

Competences

Competences refer to an organisation’s capacity to use or deploy resources, usually in combination to affect a desired end (Amit &Schoemaker, 1993). Through intricate interactions with a firm’s resource, such capabilities can develop itself and provide enhanced productivity of an organisation’s processes to give them an added value over its competitors (Barney, 1991).

 

Firstly, its partnership with Alibaba has further build a leading e-commerce logistics platform to service the rapidly growing ecommerce business reaching out to more users across Asia Pacific and beyond (Azhar, 2015). Therefore, it has built its competencies by integrating low-cost e-commerce logistics model covering freight, customs and regulation, warehousing and fulfilment competencies (SingPost, 2015).

 

Secondly, SingPost received the Service Excellence WSQ Recognition Award 2013 from the Workforce Development Agency, for its commitment to service excellence training across three years. (SingPost, 2015)

 

Lastly, SingPost have the ability to retain talents through re-employment policy by extending the career path of postmen, couriers, customer service officers and managerial and executive posts (case-by-case basis). This will in turn benefit the organisation by retaining experienced talents for training and development to enhance skills and confidence towards employee job. This will also benefit the firm by minimise recruitment costs (Kor& Wong, 2011).

 

Distinctive Capability

Distinctive Capability may be defined as an organisation having unique capabilities that are of value to customers which others cannot imitate (Johnson, Scholes & Whittington, 2014). As mentioned, SingPost has earned itself a trusted household name in Singapore and in recent years also achieved global recognition. They are widely acknowledged to be an efficient postal provider and such a brand takes a long time to build up over the years which others can never catch up (Middleton, 2010). Thereafter, SingPosthave not stood still and continues to improve by purchasing new machines and motorbikes to increase efficiency, productivity and accuracy of their services. Thus, customers can now receive their letters faster as more mails are sorted daily. SingPost also builds excellent relationship with its partners as shown in many instances above and this will help them create supplier loyalty, securing key services ahead of competitors (Hill & Alexander, 2006).

 

VRIN Analysis

This analysis helps to identify the strategic capabilities that giveSingPost its sustainable competitive advantage. Barney (1991) suggested thatcompetitive advantage is “when it is implementing a value creating strategy not simultaneously being implemented by any current or potential competitors and when these other firms are unable to duplicate the benefits of this strategy.”  In VRIN Framework, it shows value, rare, imitable and non- substitutable resources which have the potential to create sustainable competitive advantage. Resources identified are grouped according from the above section.

 

From the VRIN Analysis table, at individual level, there are resources that are Temporary Competitive Advantage and Competitive Parity, but by combining these resources, it will be able to form sustainable competitive advantage for SingPost.

 

 

 

The Value Chain

SingPost processes over 2.8mil items every day (SingPost 2015) and hence, it is essential for them to develop a superior value system for their daily business operations. We will be using Michael Porter’s Value Chain model on the analysis of SingPost’s value system to determine if their market is growing and see which activities are valuable to customers.

 

Primary Activities

Primary activities are activities that are directly involved with the delivery of a product or services (Johnson G et.al 2014).

 

Inbound logistics

The inbound logistics refers to the transport, storage and distributing of products or services. This include, product handling, stock control and delivering of products and services. (Johnson G et.al 2014)

 

SingPost has a state-of-the-art machine to process the mails, sort it into its sizes, stamps and different addresses. That allows them to cut down on human time spent as well as human errors in mail sorting. The machine can sort mails into the delivery sequence of each postman in Singapore, at 35,000 items per hour, helping each postmen save an average of two hours, so that mails can be delivered earlier (SingPost, 2015; Fig. 16).

(Fig. 16)

 

Operations

Operations system converts materials into final service (Johnson G et.al, 2014). In this case, it is similar to the inbound process, except the process of mail collection from the post-boxes.

 

Outbound logistics

Outbound logistics is the distribution of product to customers. It does not appear to be in SingPost mail business, as postman directly posts mails to recipient’s mailboxes.

 

Marketing and Sales

Marketing is whereby customers are in the know of a service (Johnson G et.al, 2014). SingPost employs integrated marketing communications to escalate its branding (Superbrands, 2015). For their mail business, they appointed a popular local artiste Edmund Chen to be its stamp ambassador. Such a move draws the attention of customers, announcing that mail business is still very much alive (AsiaOne, 2011).

 

Service

Service can maintain the value of a product. For SingPost mailing business, it is when a mail has been delivered. If the recipient is not collecting registered mail, SingPost will provide mail retention, until the recipient collects it (SingPost, 2015)

 

Support Activities

Support activities are linked with primary activities so as to improve the effectiveness of the primary activities (Johnson G et.al, 2014).

 

Firm Infrastructure

The firm infrastructure is a framework of an organization which they use daily tomaintain operations for the customer. SingPost has a strong infrastructure, which drives the company forward. Under finances, SingPost has a positive cash flow of $130.6mil, total assets of $2,197.8mil, revenue of $919.6mil as of 31 March 2015, according to their quarterly report (SingPost, 2015).SingPost board and Management follow closely with Singapore Code of Corporate Governance 2012under their legal structure (SingPost, 2015). With a strong infrastructure, such as having positive finances and legal structure, customers would feel safe while engaging the services of SingPost.

 

 

Human Resource Management

SingPost knows how to retain, train and develop their employees in order for the company to remain successful. Employees (including executive directors) and non-executive directors of SingPost are eligible to participate in The Singapore Post Share Option Scheme which was adopted on 21 March 2003. These schemes are to recruit, retain and give recognition to employees. Not only that, SingPost provides training to upgrade the skills of the employees, so as to raise the income as well as their productivity in the company (SingPost, 2015). As such, by retaining and upgrading the skills of the employees would create a value for the company, as skills and productivity are produce by the employees.

 

Technology Development

With the use of technology, SingPost is able to develop digital services where customers can manage and track shipments via online and mobile applications. As such creating an ease of use for the customer, SingPost has also made use of modern technology and came out with a VPOST service, where purchases can be shipped locally and internationally, creating customers value globally as well(VPOST, 2015).

 

Procurement

SingPost has invested $45mil on Toshiba Asia’s integrated sorting machines, and three-wheeler scooters for the employees. The Toshiba Asia’s integrated sorting machines is a new system acquire advanced technology, which enhanced the productivity of the company which allow customers to receive letters at a much faster rate than before (Toshiba Asia Pacific, 2015).

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, SingPost may have the same resources (equipment, employees, know-how) as other competitors but what differentiates SingPost is its unique capability to manage its resources in an extremely productive way to promote efficiency as mentioned in the examples above.

 

 

Stakeholders Analysis

According to Mendelow (1968) Stakeholders generally are individuals/groups that is concerned and affected by the organisations activities.. As they play a key part in the organisation planning process, their requirement, power, influence and ambition have to be taken into consideration. Hence, with Mendelow (1968; Fig. 17) stakeholder’s matric, it helps us to identify who plays a more important role than the others.

 

 

 

 

 

(Fig. 17)

 

 

 

 

 

External Stakeholders

Customers
Customers are those that apply and utilise the services that SingPost provides, such as the mail recipients and mail senders (Business and consumer); they are the buyers, the main source of profit for SingPost (Hill & Jones, 2013). Hence, looking at the ‘Stakeholder Mapping: The power and interest matrix’, customers power are relatively low as mentioned, SingPost is their only option which means that they does not depend on buyers.

The customer level of interest as a result of only having SingPost to rely on, is high. Thus, they are being categorised in the keep informed section. In this case, they do not make a significant impact in SingPost strategies or business directions. However, as they are the main source of profit, their needs must not be neglected as well.

We can see from this aspect how SingPost are continuously improving their services throughout the years, such as introducing SpeedPost, its courier delivery service for overseas and Local Urgent Mail. Furthermore, they transformed the post office to one-stop centres for non-postal services, which even includes payment of utility bills and other purchases like international bank draft and traveller cheques.

They also heavily invest in technology to boost efficiency in their services. Customers are able to track their packages with the use of barcode sticker’s use on its mail item. In addition, internet portal and vPOST was also introduced where postal-related transactions, paying of bills and even shopping online can be done by the customers. To make it as convenient as possible, similar transactions can be performed through SingPost’s Self-Services Automated Machines found at MRT and post offices (SingPost, 2015). These are customer value proposition strategy (Porter, 2008) adopted by Singpost.

 

Suppliers
Freight, basic mailing materials, electronic platforms and softwares are some examples of SingPost suppliers. With reference to Hendel (2015; Fig. 1), there are many suppliers around in the market offering similar service. Therefore, they do not have power over SingPost. Referring back to the matric, suppliers have high level of interest but low in power, they are categorised in the keep informed sector. As part of the businesses, it is SingPost responsibility to keep their suppliers in check and to obtain a healthy working relationship with them.

 

Partners and Investors

Above are the partners and investors of SingPost who acquire shares of the organisation. As shareholders perspective, they are interested in profit and it is the businesses responsibility to focus on the welfare of shareholders (Friedman, 1970) certainly they will have a high level of interest. They too are high in power in the ‘power and interest matrix’, which makes themkey players of SingPost.

These key players provide funds for the organisation to expand and venture.  They also help in other aspect of the business such as improving of services, facilities and many more. For example in the most recent updates, Alibaba, who is the second largest investor of SingPost apart from Singtel, has sign a joint venture agreement with three promising initiative to expand ecommerce logistics collaboration and to build a leading ecommerce logistics platform servicing the constant increase of its business across Asia Pacific and beyond(SingPost, 2015). This strategic business development framework aids in the efficiency and integration in ecommerce logistics and benefits the business as a whole.

Each of them plays a critical role in SingPost and its planning process. Hence, their requirement, power, influence and ambition have to be taken into consideration with the organisation framework (Mendelow, 1968), to satisfy them (Friedman, 1970). This can be seen when SingPost and management enhanced their engagement and communications with the key players to make a conscious effort to proactively update information and insights on market dynamics, challenges and strategy with them through various channels. They also have research firms to provide analysis reports and notes each year.  These are evidences showing the importance of these stakeholders and how SingPost maintain a strong relationship with them (SingPost, 2015).

 

Info-communications development authority of Singapore (Government)

Last but not least, the iDA. They have high level of interest as well as power of the organisation. They are the Chief Information officer for Singapore and the government in-charge of the overall planning.It includes project-managing, different types of info-comm systems implementations and capabilities in reach for the government. They abide tothe procedures of the government; oversee the standards and policies of Info-Tech, and its security of essential infrastructure (iDA, 2007).

Usually, iDA are the ones that set corporate values and the dos and don’ts of an organisation. Likewise as a key stakeholders their requirement, power, influence and ambition have to be taken into consideration with the organisation framework (Mendelow, 1968).

 

Internal Stakeholders

Employees
General employees such as delivery staff, quality control officers, postmen, frontline staff and the Union are also stakeholders of SingPost. As employees, high level of interest for the organisation is expected but not so much in terms of power. As a result, they are categorised in the keep informed category (Mendelow, 1968).

The organisation has to keep informed and update any changes or progress to their employees. At the same time, they must ensure safe working conditions, as keeping a healthy and strong relationship with the employees is important as well for the well-being of the organisation (Earley& Randel, 1997).

 

Board of Directors

Board of Directors are the ones appointed to act on behalf of the shareholders, to lead daily operations and affairs of the businesses as a whole.It includes the responsibilities for corporate governance, the long term success of any organisation (Friedman, 1962).

In this case, they are both high in interest and of power within the organisation. They are the most critical key players in SingPost who play very important roles in management (Mendelow, 1968). They make valuable judgement and acts in good faith for the organisation long term well-being. They assist in the group’s overall strategy, reviews and oversee the performances of the organisation in terms of objectives, initiatives, risk manage and corporate governance practices (Freeman, 1984). In addition, they must ensure the organisation is financially independent with proper finance planning, budgeting and critical funds, investments and divestment proposal through constantly providing leadership and guidance.

These are the people that have the greatest power, influence and ambition in the organisation. They deter the directions and shape the organisation framework hence, evaluating and analysing opportunities and deter which strategies would best works for the organisations.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, according to Mendelow (1968) power/interest matrix, the key external stake holders are the iDAand the shareholders of SingPost.The key internal ones are the Board of Directors. Their power and interest definitely are impactful to the organisations directions and the corporate governance framework which is often the case in most organisations (Jensen and Meckling 1976).

However, we should also take into considerations others stakeholders such as employees and suppliers. Organisation likeSingPost should embrace all their stakeholders and not just the shareholders (Freeman, 1984). The board being the main instrument in the organisation as compared to the rest, have to be firm and independent to stand on its own to maintain a balance and avoid over powering of one over the other. The worst-case scenario will be when the shareholders exceed the internal members of the organisation. This may disrupt the management team as issues such as corruptions may occur and it will eventually leads to the downfall of the organisation. Therefore, the board should have control over its organisation and recognise the share proportions and distribution of power of every individual.

 

Current Strategy

SingPost’s current strategy is to focus on using e-commerce to excel in their mail delivery operations and be the region’s leader. Having a strong technology support is essential for them to achieve their goal, thus, they have been building up and investing in it (SingPost, 2015).

SingPost has recently upgraded their technology to a fully integrated automated system to enhance their mail sorting processes (Mynewsdesk, 2015). Having 58 post offices country wide allows their consumers to carry out their mailing process more conveniently. They also provided modernised post offices with self-service machines that allow consumers to purchase stamps and post their mails anytime conveniently. In addition, they provide mobile applications and online web-booking tools to allow consumers to book, manage and track their shipments through SMS or email. With the help of these technologies, consumers can access to the mailing process anytime, anywhere.

 

Miles & Snow

According to the Miles and Snow Typology, strategies adopted by firms at the business level will fall into one of these four categories: reactor, prospector, defender, and analyser (Barney & Griffin, 1992). SingPost adapted the defender strategy according to the Typology. The defender strategy is one in which firms focus on preserving their current markets and maintaining a stable growth by serving their existing customers to their maximum satisfaction (Miles & Snow, 2003)

To provide better service to the consumers, SingPost invested on new sorting machines that improve letter sorting capacity by 17% and enhance their efficiency and accuracy. According to Today (2014), due to having a decline in mail volume, SingPost has decided to raise their postage rate so as to not compromise their revenue. By improving customers satisfaction and sustain a constant growth to ensure their current markets are retained, SingPost is using a defender strategy.

SAFe

To assess strategies, a systematic criterion can be used to evaluate against. Strategies can be evaluated against three criteria: suitability, acceptability and feasibility (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes 2011).

 

Suitability

Suitability is about evaluating the strategy which focuses on the key opportunities and constraints an organisation faced (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes 2011). In view of the PESTEL factors, the macro-environmental conditions play a part in influencing the suitability of strategies.

 

 

Key Opportunities & Constraints

One opportunity that SingPost can exploit with the benefit of a politically stable country is to get more investors. As stated above, SingPost is now working hand in hand with their supplier, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, which possesses 14.51% of the equity stake. However, allowing another organization to acquire their shares might lead to a constraint for SingPost. Having some shares of the company means that Alibaba also have some control over the decisions made by SingPost. Therefore, Alibaba might support options in their own interest rather than benefiting their partnership as a whole. This will result in conflicts in future decision-makings.

 

With the present advanced technology market, SingPost can definitely leverage from it as shown in the examples above. This can also help SingPost in lowering their daily operational cost and labour cost. On the other hand, due to the high degree of reliance on technology for their daily operations, SingPost might not be able to react to the technical problem in time if their systems break down. In view of this, a huge disruption in their daily operations might occur.

 

According to SingPost (2015), many of their vehicles are Euro-Compliant, which emits lesser amount of carbon. SingPost also foster an environment that encourages employees to conserve and recycle. Other than that, SingPost works with the Singapore Red Cross Society to collect recyclable items. All these activities strengthenSingPost’s CSR while helping them to save costs as well as build brand image. Even though CSR allows SingPost to boost their reputation, huge investment sums are needed to aid their activities, which will affect their revenue.

 

 

Acceptability

Acceptability is the expected performance results of a recommended strategy to its stakeholder’s expectation, which includes three characteristic that is the ‘3Rs’, mainly the risk, return and reactions of stakeholders (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes 2011).

 

Risk

Risk is the calculated result of a strategy that is being expected and the negative impact that affects the organisation achievements (Ranong&Phuenngam, 2009). Hence in this case,SingPost’s strategy as a defender preserves their current markets and maintains a stable growth through excellent services to their existing customers. From the above findings this strategy is concluded to be safe and of low risk as the environment that they are located in satisfy their stakeholders. Besides, mailing industry is not used as widespread as before. Therefore, demands are lesser and this allows SingPost to focus on its own existing strategy where they can continue to prosper and meet the needs of their stakeholders.

 

Return

Returns refer to the financial benefits stakeholders gained through the organisations performances. Based on SingPost (2015; Fig. 18) in comparisons of year 2013/14/15, it shows that SingPost revenue is still increasing. The increase is not significant, as the mailing industry is not widely usedwith decreasing demands. The dividends per share are increasing which shows that SingPost has met the requirement and their stakeholders is likely to be satisfied.

Reaction

Reaction refers to how the stakeholders would react to the specific strategy. Stakeholders such as shareholders, employees and the others mentioned above will be pleased with the strategy adopted by SingPost as our research and findings above concluded that SingPost is doing enough in the current market to satisfying their specific needs. Their results also justified how well they have maintained the organisation today.

 

 

Feasibility

Feasibility is taking into consideration of whether a strategy could be executed (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes, 2011). To pursue its current strategy, SingPost have to consider the feasibility of it. Therefore an analysis is required in order to evaluate whether the firm has sufficient internal resources to deliver the strategy. The firm has to examine its resources and competencies in terms of financial, people, skills as well as integrating resources.

 

Financial

In terms of financial, SingPost has a positive cash flow of $130.6mil. According to Channel News Asia (2015), SingPost’s mail profit grew 1.6% to S$125.1mil. Being financially healthy, SingPost is capable of financing all of its post offices and ensure that their daily operations run smoothly.

 

 

 

People & Skills

As for people and skills, SingPost is able to retain and educate their staff so as to manage their organisation well. SingPost has been re-employing retired employees to excess to their wealth of expertise. Nevertheless, trainings are provided to upgrade the skills of the staff to enhance the company’s efficiency and productivity (SingPost, 2015). Staff with outstanding performance will be rewarded with the Excellent Service Award (EXSA). With such rewards and recognition, SingPost’s EXSA Award winners have been increasing in the recent years (SingPost, 2015). Having such rewards and systems in place not only help to develop skilful and committed employees within the organization, but also improves their service quality.

 

Integrating Resources

Last but not least, SingPost has the necessary resources to integrate manpower, finance, and technology. They maximized the potential of their employees by sending them for trainings. Having good knowledge about the mailing industry, the service quality and efficiency was thus enhanced (Superbrands, 2015).

 

Technology wise, SingPost has never taken this aspect lightly. They are always up to date with the necessary technologies that are needed to serve the business. Constant upgrades improved their system to make them more efficient, effective and convenient. In fact, it is proven that SingPost invests heavily on them. Toshiba Asia’s integrated sorting machines and three-wheeler scooter for the employees as mentioned are some of the examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

All in all, based on the above analysis, SingPost is in a comfortable position in Singapore and they should keep their current strategy. They are the dominant player locally and will remain the same in the foreseeable future under the same macro-economic climate. The company has gone through many phases of industry changes over the years, yet they still remained strong and their results are very telling.

However, with their current business position, SingPost can afford to venture overseas and take risks in future if they want to gain more global recognition, expanding outwards in the market. As the mailing industry continues to decline due to technological advancements, SingPost definitely needs to pre-empt its competitors and go for a huge step-up in their business model.

As Peter Drucker puts it aptly, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” SingPost could do worse than following that line of thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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