Riordan Manufacturing is a mid-size American company that was founded in 1991, employs 550 people and has projected annual earnings of $46 million. Riordan has three manufacturing locations, two in the United States and one in China. Riordan understands the importance of strategic planning and will lay out their reasoning in this paper. Competitive advantages, sustainability, innovation and ethical and social responsibilities will be addressed, as well as cultural and structural leadership and assessment and feedback controls. Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. needs strategic plans because Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. is like any other business organization; divided into two governing sections of business operations a management section and a functional section. Strategic planning is conceptual, pragmatic, and can deliver the highest and best results for business decisions and practices. “Strategic management is a set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of a corporation” (Wheelen, 2010, p. 4). Strategic management possesses four phases that are designed to have business managers’ focus on internal, external, and overall policy implementation of their management systems. The four phases of strategic management are financial planning, forecast based planning, externally oriented strategic planning, and strategic management (Wheelen, 2010). The strategic management approach was developed to assist large corporations that participate in more than one industry; this approach assists management in creating and maintaining a competitive advantage, reduces risk, reduces error, and might prevent economic ruin of a business organization. Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. can benefit from developing a strategic management system because Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. was Riordan Plastics, Inc. and are currently operating in more than one industry, market, and country. Riordan Manufacturing has more than just a fiscal or legal responsibility to their stakeholders. They have a social and ethical one, as well. Riordan has offshore operations in Hangzhou, China, a country well-known for its less than stellar human rights record. As an American company, Riordan has a responsibility to ensure their business operations conducted in China adhere to the same high ethical standards we have in the United States. This means they have an ethical obligation to pay their workers a “fair” wage, ensure there are no child laborers, and to keep the facilities as clean and safe as possible. Many American consumers don’t like the idea of their products being made in Chinese plants, mostly due to the low standards of care most companies employ when doing business in China. If Riordan wants customers to feel more comfortable purchasing their products made in China, they should advertise the ethically responsible actions taken, especially those that improve Chinese employees’ lives. American consumers are also very concerned with environmentalism and like companies that act to reduce their carbon footprints. Now, any company that is involved in worldwide shipping will have a large carbon footprint to start with, but Riordan can start at the very base of the logistics chain to ensure they’re acting environmentally responsible. Using “clean” trucks at the harbors on both ends of the shipping chain will not only reduce fees paid to government agencies, but will help to reduce Riordan’s carbon footprint. Sending only full containers will also help to reduce excessive emissions. On the administrative side, Riordan can implement recycling programs in their offices and encourage employees to carpool with preferred parking or free lunch. Some companies also offer discretionary responsibilities. These are not required, or even expected, but help to raise employee morale and encourage productivity. Riordan could implement day-care centers, for example. They could also institute free lunch programs with a daily spending cap...
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