There are internal and external elements that help a corporation determine their future. Environmental scanning monitors, evaluates, and disseminates the information from both the internal and external environments within the corporation. The internal and external elements are strategic factors that determine the corporation’s future. Environmental scanning can be conducted through a simple SWOT analysis that describes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as strategic factors for an organization. The internal environment of the corporation is the strengths and weaknesses variables within the organization. The external environment of the corporation is the opportunities and threats variables that are outside the organization.
This paper will describe research of the internal and external environments of IKON Office Solutions Inc. and A.O. Smith Water Products Company through environmental scanning. Through a SWOT Analysis, determination of the competitive advantages will be made of both companies and the strategies that they are using. The environmental scan of these organizations will include information on how each one creates value and sustainability of competitive advantages through the use of business strategy. The paper will explain the measurement guidelines that the organizations use to verify their strategic effectiveness. The paper will also explain just how effective each company’s use of their measurement guidelines is.
IKON Office Solutions Inc.
IKON Office Solutions, Inc. is an industry leader in providing document management systems and services. The company offers copiers, laser facsimile systems, laser print devices, multi-functional products, digital imaging and printing systems, digital duplicators, workflow management products, and office supplies. IKON Office Solutions Inc. also provides management of document services on and off-site managed services, customized workflow design implementation, as well as technical service and support. Additionally, the company offers professional, legal document, online support, and integrated solutions portfolio, financing, and customer services. They also offer various Document strategy assessments, Web-based solutions, and color solutions.
Marketing is expensive and the attempt to compete with other global corporations may prove harmful through cost. Environmental sustainability increases costs. There are also ethical considerations for the monitoring of competitors. Trying to compete against a well-known company such as Fed-Ex would be difficult. IKON Office Solutions Inc. provides products and services that are similar to competitors and may lack name recognition that their competitors have. This is a potential weakness because the competition may be preferred by customers because of this factor.
IKON Office Solutions Inc. can serve new customers and businesses that need new and innovative technology. The company has the opportunity to increase their customer base, and decrease costs through the use of economies of scale. Although the company is already innovative, they have the opportunity to develop new software, introduce new models of printing equipment that meet growing trends. IKON Office Solutions Inc. has even more opportunity through the merger with Ricoh and strategic alliances with equipment manufacturers. Another opportunity for the company is the movement into new market areas and increasing expansion that offer improved profits.
There are approximately 600 IKON Office Solutions Inc. locations worldwide, which include the United States, Mexico, Canada, Germany, France, Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (Funding Universe, 2002). While this may be impressive, their main competitor (Fed-Ex) has over 1,800 locations and serves 220 countries (FedEx, 2011). This is a major threat to IKON Office...