Vsm Group: Examination of Strategic Position and Development of a Competitive Strategy

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1. INTRODUCTION
Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2005, p. 9) define strategy as the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term, which achieves advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competencies with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations. Strategy is therefore the long term direction of an organisation.

Strategic Management can be defined as the art and science of formulating, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organisation to achieve its objectives (David 1999, p. 9). Strategic management therefore focuses on the activities of the organisation that contribute to the achievement of organisational success. These activities include management, marketing, financial management, operations management, research and development, and information systems.

The strategic position of the VSM will be analysed by applying the analytical models of strategic management to the current situation in the company. The following models will be used to analyse both the internal and external environment of the company, namely, PESTEL, Five Forces Model, and the SWOT analysis The examination of the strategic position of VSM will involve analysing the strategy of the company with emphasis on the environment it operates in, its strategic capabilities, and how expectations affect organisational purposes and strategies. The analysis will conclude with a clear statement of the Key Issues and Critical Success factors. The strategic position of VSM will then be used as a base to develop an appropriate competitive strategy for the company. The development of the strategy will also take into account the organisational cultural issues prevailing in the company.

2.COMPANY OVERVIEW
The VSM (Viking Sewing Machines) Group AB engages in the development, production, marketing, and sale of household sewing machines and related accessories, and software (BusinessWeek, 2008. VSM Group AB: Private Company Information, [internet]). The VSM Group currently has two brands, namely, Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff. The company produces several lines of sewing machines, the top being the Designer series and the lowest being the mechanical (non-computerised) Huskystars (Wikipedia 2007 [internet]). The company has manufacturing facilities in Sweden and the Czech Republic and produces top-of-the-line household sewing machines with related accessories and software. Each brand has its own unique and separate product line. According to BusinessWeek (VSM Group AB: Private Company Information, [internet]) the company was founded in 1689 and is headquartered in Huskvarna, Sweden. It has offices in many countries including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Holland, and the United States of America. As of February 2006 the company was acquired by Singer Sewing Company (BusinessWeek, 2008. VSM Group AB: Private Company Information, [internet]).

3. STRATEGIC POSITION OF THE VSM GROUP
The strategic position is concerned with the impact on strategy of the external environment, an organisation’s strategic capability (resources and competences) and the expectations and influence of stakeholders (Johnson et al 2005, p. 17). The strategic position of VSM Group will be examined by utilising the following factors, namely, the influence/impact of macro-environmental issues to the strategy, understanding the company’s strategic capability and how this strengthens the company’s competitive advantage, and thirdly how expectations shape organisational purposes and strategies.

The impact of the macro-environment will be analysed using the PESTEL framework, Porter’s Five Forces Model, SWOT analysis and the competitive nature of VSM Group’s home base of Sweden. PESTEL identifies six main types of environmental influences,...
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