Obesity in Kuwait
Kuwait is an oil producing country that has experienced exponential growth over the past several decades due to its mineral fortunes. This has resulted in an increase in income levels among the locals and has in effect changed their lifestyles. One of the shortcomings of these changing lifestyles is the increase in obesity within the country. Current statistics indicate that at least 70% of the male Kuwait population above the age of 15 years is obese. In women, this figure is much higher and is pegged at 88% of the population. Collectively, obesity rates in Kuwait are ranked second in the world, following the United States. These figures are alarming since obesity is considered as a serious health and economic problem for any country.
Therefore, in this research, there will be several objectives that will be explored in a bid to understand the scope of the spread of obesity in Kuwait, its causalities, solutions being implemented or suggested to control its spread or increase, and possible outcomes of the proliferation of obesity within Kuwait. These research parameters will guide the content, scope, quantity, and quality of information that will be accessed and retrieved for the purposes of this research. Additionally, the research material will dwell on the magnitude of the spread of obesity within Kuwait by comparing current levels with previous year’s levels to ascertain whether it is increasing or reducing. These levels will be linked to various causalities, and each will be analyzed to ascertain its level of influence on people to embrace improper eating habits that cause obesity.
The quality of the solutions being implemented or suggested will also be analyzed and their viability ascertained. This can be done by comparison of the effectiveness of a certain solution and its implementation and successes in other countries. This research will also ascertain the ability of each solution to foster a change in attitudes and behaviors of Kuwaitis, and their acceptance of the solution as one of the means for bringing change. For instance, the government has launched massive campaigns to educate students and the public on obesity, its prevalence, and its preventative measures. The viability of this strategy will ascertain by comparison of its use in other countries, as well as its current impact on the eating and healthy habits of Kuwaitis.
In the analysis of the data, several research methodologies will be utilized. These research methodologies will adhere to research ethics that are important in enhancing the quality of the research, the privacy of the respondents, and promoting the credibility of the final research material. Choice of the research methodology will be carefully done to ensure that the data that will be generated is relevant and can be easily analyzed to generate pertinent results that can be used to achieve the research objectives. The data analysis techniques that will be used will mainly be based on the research methodology that has been chosen since different techniques apply to different research methodologies. One of the primary sources of data collection will be the use of secondary sources such as books, journals, peer reviewed articles, credible government and organizational statistics, newspaper, and the internet. These resources will be crucial since they represent a data volume whose credibility can be ascertained, as well as containing a rich source of relevant data and information that is pertinent to the research. Other research methodologies that could also be appropriate are such as interviews, surveys, and content analysis.
There is no doubt that Bill Gates is one of the greatest leaders in the entrepreneurial world. He has several qualities that make him a leader not only in the entrepreneurial perspective but also in the social perspective. Gates’ charisma is irrefutable, and this has seen him get more concerned about making people appreciate themselves rather than feel good about him. Another quality that makes Gates a leader is his commitment, which is highlighted by the several strides he has made to put Microsoft at the level it is today. The theory of leadership that best explains Gates’ leadership is the trait theory. According to this theory, leaders are born with the right combination of attributes that enable them to have control over others (Kippenberger, 2002). As mentioned earlier, Gates was born a competent man, and this is highlighted by his time while at school. Other than his charismatic nature, Gates has other traits such as persistence, tolerance, assertiveness, dependability and decisiveness that make him be considered as a leader in every perspective and context. Gates’ leadership style can be regarded as democratic as he shares decision-making abilities with other stakeholders of the Microsoft Company. Agreeably, this leadership style is effective for him since he has managed to promote cooperation, togetherness, and trust among stakeholders of Microsoft, making it one of the most successful companies globally.
In 2012, Bill Gates was ranked by Forbes as the 4th most powerful and influential person internationally. These were attributed to his wealth and donations to several charity organizations. However, being an entrepreneur based in the US, he has to abide by governmental rules, regulations, and policies, which are implemented by the US executive headed by the president. As such, the US president can be considered as one of the few individuals with power and influence over Bill Gates. As a result of his power and influence, Gates has managed to acquire several companies such as International Business Machines (IBM). The impact of his power and influence has contributed to Microsoft’s unstoppable expansion. According to French and Raven’s theory of power, it is seen that Gates has organizational power (Lunenburg, 2012), which means that he has power and influence over stakeholders at Microsoft. Through this, Gates has managed to ensure the effectiveness of operations at the company. On the other hand, the fact that the US president has power and influence over Gates has seen the company comply with government regulations and policies, and this has played an integral role in Microsoft’s success.
Kippenberger, T. (2002). Leadership Styles. Chichester: Capstone Pub.
Lunenburg, F. C. (2012). Power and leadership: an influence process. International journal of management, business, and administration, 15(1), pp. 1-9.
Why Turkey Should not Become a Member of the EU
The question of whether Turkey should join Europe has been a hot topic in various debates and debates. A Turkish minister suggested that Turkey would never be accepted to join the EU due to the opposition and negative prejudice from the current EU members (Yalta, 2013). Geographically, Turkey is classified as a European nation, but more than 90 per cent of its territory is in Asia. The EU would be unwilling to share borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria. With the country’s population estimated to reach close to 90 million by the year 2050, Turkey might dominate the EU (Redmond, 2007).
According to Gerhards and Hans (2011), the political maturity of the Turkey is inadequate. The country lack a mature European model of democracy and political leadership. The political leadership is characterized with conflicts and struggle between extreme military practices and Islamists. There are continuous reports of journalists jailed for excising their freedom of speech. Amnesty International reported there was rampant torture, freedom of speech violations, women oppression, unfair trials and discrimination of the minority rights and privileges in Turkey (Redmond, 2007). The public opinion in the European Union could not support the political decisions made by Turkey.
Economically, Turkey has a considerably lower GDP per capita, €19,556, compared to the EU average of €29,505.85 (The World Bank, 2013). The entry of the Turkey in the EU could make them parasites in the EU finances. Oğuzlu (2012) found out that the Turkey’s wealth is unequally distributed due to the country’s failure to implement necessary economic reforms and growth. Apart from all, the cultural and historic values of Turkey are strongly founded in the Middle East and Asia. Since, it did not experience the Europeans cooperation and harmony enjoyed in the Second World War. It is also dominated by Muslim religion that makes it different from other European nations. Therefore, Turkey should not focus his efforts on becoming an EU member.
The World Bank. World Development Indicators Database. Turkey. Retrieved from http://databank.worldbank.org/data/wb/id/8b26dcff
Gerhards, J., & Hans, S. (2011). Why not Turkey? Attitudes towards Turkish membership in the EU among citizens in 27 European countries. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 49(4), 741-766.
Oğuzlu, H. T. (2012). Turkey and the European Union: Europeanization without membership. Turkish Studies, 13(2), 229-243.
Redmond, J. (2007). Turkey and the European Union: Troubled European or European trouble?. International Affairs, 83(2), 305-317.
Yalta, S. A. (2013, Sept 21). Turkey ‘will probably never be EU member.‘The Telegraph. Web. 27th May 2015. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/10325218/Turkey-will-probably-never-be-EU-member.html.
Research Report on Energy Transitions
Energy is a critical aspect of the economic endowment of any territory. The features of energy command a lot of attention from the involved stakeholders. Such stakeholders comprise of the governments, the scientists, the environmentalists, the researchers, and so forth (D’Souza & Yiridoe, 2014). The dissection reviews the aspect of energy transitions in line with the global historical developments. Moreover, the study analyzes the main actors in the development of the energy regime in the global platform. The study also examines the inventions and strategies that attribute to the respective changes in energy regimes, and it analyzes the political, legislative, and organizational factors driving these developments. More intently, the analysis reviews the implications of these respective energy transitions on Australia. As figure 1 depicts, Australia highlights extensive sources of energy, and it is crucial to review how a shift from traditional sources to renewable energies can be realizable in Australia (Foran, 2011). In addition, the research examines the coupled risks, opportunities to the Australian territory, and the transferable lessons that may be applicable in different scenarios.
Figure 1: Australian Energy Sources (Source: GeoScience Australia ,2012)
2.0. The Historical Development of the Energy Regime and the Main Actors
There are two major energy regimes, and these are the age that relates to solar energy and the age relating to the fossil fuels (James et al., 2013). The solar power system was evident from around 10000 B.C.E. to about 1800 C.E., and this regime relates to the renewable sources of energy. The fossil fuels regime attributes to the periods of 1800 C.E. until the present day world. The fossils fuels are not renewable sources of energy, and they comprise of coal, natural gas, and petroleum products. In addition, another source of energy in the current world is Nuclear Energy. The main actors in the historical development of the energy regime included scientists, the society, the technology developers, regulators, and policy makers (LePoire, 2015). To review the historical development of the energy regime, the study focused on a Staircase that relates to the energy systems. As Figure 2 depicts, the staircase attributed to energy regimes is a conceptual framework based on the link between energy, complexity, and evolution. The model scrutinizes the evolution of life on earth in line with the respective energy regimes.
Figure 2: Staircase of Energy Regimes
2.1. The Thermophilic Regime
The thermophilic regime is the first energy regime to become apparent on earth, and the driving of the processes of change was dependent on heat. The first energy dissipating beings were hyperthermophilic, and their origination related to the heat flow attributed to the energy gradient between the hot earth and the cold atmosphere (Martin & Rice, 2015). Thus, because of this heat the pushing of the chemical systems occurred. Moreover, because of the chemical blueprints, the aspects related to cell division became evident, and cell division boosted entropy production and the global energy dissipation begun to increase drastically.
2.2. Phototropic Regime
Adjacent to the water bodies, organisms called hyperthermophiles underwent an exposure to sunlight. Some of these organisms exploited the incoming energy flow, and they gave birth to the photosynthetic processes (Mat et al., 2015). Hence, these innovative microorganisms became structures that dissipate solar energy, and that led to the formation of solar energy dissipating ecosystems. The phototropic regime highlights the aspects of photosynthesis, and in this regime, the presence of solar energy became prevalent.
2.3. The Aerobic Regime
In this period, the utilization of solar energy was extremely high, and this led to an increase in the processes of photosynthesis. Hence, there was a symbiotic alliance between the living organism resulted in the formation of transformed energy systems (McGuirk, Dowling & Bulkeley, 2014). Hence, because of the creation of new energy dissipating systems, the living organisms developed to become more complex. Moreover, a new energy gradient emerged because of the source-sink system of wood and water, and carbon dioxide and water.
2.4. Pyro cultural Regime
The pyro cultural system highlighted a societal nature, and the earth’s inhabitants burned wood to obtain heat and light to sustain their daily activities. The burning of wood to obtain heat and light was the main driving force in this stage, and this led to the conversion of solar energy (Moore, 2014). More intently, the main driving force behind an energy dissipating structure related to the activities linked with human ingenuity. Moreover, this stage comprised of fire masters invented technologies such as the torch and the fireplace to conduct their daily activities. The regime nurtured the fire economy, and this led to massive developments in the field of energy.
2.5. Agro cultural Regime
When the burning fields combined with seeds, carbon dioxide and water an energy sink becomes apparent. The agricultural regime involved satisfying societal needs and utilizing more solar energy. Agro cultural activities led to extensive human developments and many new properties such as crafts and energy chains became evident (Moore, Horne & Morrissey, 2014). More intently, other forms of energy such as wind power and waterpower emerged, and that led to immense developments in the field of energy in the subsequent years.
2.6. The Carbo cultural Regime
In this period, there was a creation of coal, petroleum, and natural gas from dead biomass on the earth’s surface, and the applicable process was fossilisation. More intently, the burning of fossil fuel in a combustion engine led to the production of mechanical energy (Morim et al., 2014). The mechanical energy resulted in the inventions such as a dynamo that produced electricity, a pump for generating water, and a vehicle for moving commodities. In addition, in this stage, several other carbonless forms of energy emerged and these comprise of nuclear power and photovoltaic energy.
3.0. Interventions/Strategies That Brought Change in the Energy Regimes
3.1. Human Development
As time went by, the capacities of human beings to execute all complex initiatives drastically increased. In addition, there was an urgent need to nurture energy systems that would solve industrial needs and all other societal needs (Trainer, 2012). Hence, because of the aspects of human development there was an enhanced research in terms of formulating advanced energy systems. In addition, human beings had an improved access to education, health facilities, and nutrition as time went by and such factors facilitated massive inventions and improvements in the energy sector. The enhanced levels of knowledge were of utmost vitality in the subsequent changes in the energy sector on a global platform (Vieira, Beal & Stewart, 2014). Human beings highlighted expertise, skill set as time went by, and this led to energy transformation initiatives in many countries. In addition, there was an urgent need to sustain a long and healthy life, and it was necessary to nurture energy systems that will certify the factors linked with a long and healthy life.
Australia highlights various aspects of human development, and the endorsement of the National Framework for Energy Efficiency in 2004 attest to this fact (D’Souza & Yiridoe, 2014). The framework advocates a number of energy efficient structures. It is crucial for human beings to nurture efficient energy systems that will also guarantee a long and healthy life. More intently, the Australia endeavors to implement sustainable energy systems that highlight the use of extremely low levels of carbon at all times. The urgent need to safeguard a long and healthy life led to the respective changes in the subsequent energy regimes (Foran, 2011). In addition, Australia endeavors to support social structures by improving sustainable energy systems in the country. For instance, one of the NFEE strategies was to phase out inappropriate lighting systems in all residential areas in Australia. The entirety of these factors link with human development interventions, and these interventions led to the respective changes in the energy regimes to nurture sustainable energy frameworks.
3.2. Development of Goals
The realization of any change in the energy systems necessitates the embracing of a strategy linked with developing particular goals. The development of these goals led to the various changes in the energy sectors in the world and particularly in Australia (James et al., 2013). More intently, in the changes between subsequent energy regimes the principal actors endeavored to implement sustainable energy systems. The aspect of sustainability functions as a goal that influences changes in the respective energy systems. In addition, the main actors in the change of energy systems all pursue different goals (LePoire, 2015). For instance, the companies will want to ensure that they operate efficiently, and the continuity in business is an assurance. Hence, the companies will formulate strategies that embrace the energy systems that are in line with their goals.
For some actors, the affordability is the critical aspect, and such actors ensured that energy transitions become successful in terms of minimizing the costs involved at all times. The development of goals acts as a strategy that influenced the energy transitions in respective regions. For instance, Australia has a goal that relates to attracting investments towards appropriate discoveries and enhancement of energy infrastructures for the benefit of all citizens (Martin & Rice, 2015). Hence, this goal acts as a strategy that relates to the respective energy transitions because Australia will change its energy systems so that these systems act as an endowment to all its citizens. The development of goals is a crucial strategy that came in handy in the process of transforming sustainable energy systems in Australia.
3.3. Development and Execution of Tests
As time went by, the concerned stakeholders formulated and conducted numerous tests that endeavored to transform energy systems (Mat et al., 2015). More intently, the performance indicators linked to sustainability, efficiency, and affordability were of utmost importance, and they had an influence on subsequent energy transitions in Australia. Various tests endeavored to establish various factors that relate to the energy systems. Such factors include the energy storage capabilities, system flexibility, communication, control models, transmission and distribution mechanisms, and so forth. All these factors associate to development and testing procedures, and they influenced the energy transitions in Australia in a massive manner (McGuirk, Dowling & Bulkeley, 2014). The implementation of a new energy system requires numerous testing interventions. More intently, the testing interventions affected the change in energy systems towards a more sustainable energy infrastructure.
3.4. Technological Interventions
There was a need to implement technological initiatives that will guarantee sustainability, affordability, and efficiency of energy systems. For instance in Australia, technological initiatives aim to reduce the carbon intensity of all energy services (Moore, 2014). Such technological initiatives contribute immensely to changing the energy regimes in Australia. More precisely, technological strategies seek to nurture energy systems that will alleviate poverty, enhance livelihood security, and improve the sustainability of natural reserves. The current technological interventions in the Australian locale aim to implement renewable energy sources at all times. Hence, the technological interventions coupled with energy systems exhibit unimaginable influences on energy transitions.
3.5. Long Term Thinking, Anticipation, and Adaptation
In the process of energy transition, the involved stakeholders have to project the outcomes for a period of at least 25 years into the unforeseen future (Moore, Horne & Morrissey, 2014). In addition, the energy regimes have to function as a framework for nurturing short-term policy to address persistent societal problems. The aspect of analyzing the long-term effect of energy systems lead to the respective energy transitions in Australia and the world. Moreover, the power systems in Australia had to anticipate and adapt to the future energy trends and development. More intently, the Australian energy sector ought to embrace renewable energy sources coupled with minimal carbon emissions at all times (Morim et al., 2014). Thus, it was necessary to anticipate and adapt the energy regime to in line with the future international conventions such as the Kyoto protocol. The pressure to conform to the future standards and the immense emphasis on carbon emissions led to many changes in terms of terms of the energy regimes in Australia.
4.0. Political, Legislative, and Organizational Factors Driving Energy Transitions
The industrialized territories have had the opportunity to encounter disruptions in the energy systems in the past. Examples of political crises that were evident in the energy industry in the past include the Suez crisis and the 1973 oil crisis (Trainer, 2012). The uneven geographical distribution of energy reserves makes the energy supply systems vulnerable to political instability and turmoil. In addition, the energy resources may be applicable as a strategic political weapon in many countries. Furthermore, as the cost of energy keeps on increasing, influenced by the fossil fuels market and carbon pricing, the political stakeholders face tremendous pressure to address issues linked with affordability and fuel poverty (Vieira, Beal & Stewart, 2014). Such factors comprise the political factors, and they drive various developments in the energy sector.
In Australia, the political landscape aims to transform the country into a low-carbon economy, and this will be significant progress in terms of achieving sustainable energy sources (D’Souza & Yiridoe, 2014). More intently, the Australian government aims to transform concern about climate change into pragmatic, efficient, and viable government policies. The political pressure to address the issues of climate change in the energy sector led to immense energy transitions in Australia. In addition, the environmental policy in Australia advocates for carbon control measures in the energy sectors and other areas in the country. More intently, politicians face tremendous pressure because of carbon control policies. For instance, in the 2010 election process, the urban voters abandoned the incumbent (Foran, 2011). Labor administration to support the Green Party candidates because of carbon control policies. Hence, the political influence on the energy regimes in Australia inclines towards the implementation of energy sources that adhere to carbon control measures. Such strict political policies drive the energy transition process in the Australian territory, and the power systems ought to highlight carbon control measures to guarantee sustainability (James et al., 2013).
4.2. Organizational Factors
The local and international organizations influence the energy transition processes in a massive manner. In Australia, the primary organization responsible for overseeing the energy sectors at the Federal level is the Department of Resources, Energy, and Tourism. The endeavor of this entity is to guarantee that the government receives appropriate advice concerning the matters related to energy (LePoire, 2015). Such institutions have the capacity to drive energy transition processes in the Australian region. In addition, the international conventions such as the Kyoto protocol come into play. The Kyoto protocol advocated the reduction of greenhouse emissions by 5% in the period between 2008 and 2012. Such international conventions have an impact on the Australian institutional policies, and they act in line with the provisions set by these international conventions (Martin & Rice, 2015). The Australian institutions and organizations have the capacity to influence energy transition practices by advising the government on the best practices of achieving sustainability in the energy sectors by embracing renewable sources of energy.
Various organizations promote stronger regulations in terms of technical efficiency, mandatory renewable energy targets, improved localized and distribution generation and more substantial role for the international organizations. Hence, these institutions influence the energy transitions from the archaic sources of energy to the renewable energy sources in Australia (Mat et al., 2015). In the Australian locale, The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency ensures that the concerned stakeholders of the energy sector appreciate the aspects climate change in their daily activities. In addition, Australia has an obligation to implement the regulations set by international organizations. Such regulations may relate to implementing techno- renewable sources of energy such as geothermal power, wind, solar, and tidal energy (McGuirk, Dowling & Bulkeley, 2014). The organizational influence is of much importance in transforming the prevalent energy regimes in Australia, and they drive change in energy transitions aimed towards renewable sources of energy.
The legal framework in a particular territory influences the prevalent energy policies, and these energy policies drive the energy transition process at all times. For instance, in Australia the formulation of the Clean Energy Act by the Australian Senate in 2011, transformed the energy sector immensely (Moore, 2014). The Clean Energy Act promotes the best carbon reduction methods in Australia’s energy sector. Such pieces of legislation drive the energy processes in the Australian region. Moreover, legislation is critical to achieving sustainable energy sources in all territories. The change in energy regimes is dependent upon the prevalent pieces of legislation in particular areas. In addition, the Ministerial Council of Energy in Australia established the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator (Moore, Horne & Morrissey, 2014). The latter body is responsible for the formulation of the energy regulations in Australia, and the former body deals with the formulation of rules and the market design. The prevalent legislative frameworks in Australia drive the energy transition process in an enormous manner, and all the energy systems ought to comply with these legislative amendments to realize the success of sustainability in Australia.
Important to note, is that the carbon pricing mechanisms coupled with the climate change plan of the Australian government will increase the prevalent prices of energy sources related to high levels of carbon emissions (Morim et al., 2014). Thus, encourages Australians to embrace fuel-efficient cars and energy sources that highlight less carbon-intensive procedures. For instance, the Australian government ensures that the production of electricity originates from natural gas reserves and not coal. Such features of legislation have an impact on the changes witnessed in the energy systems because these respective changes have to be in line with the set legislative provisions.
5.0. How the Existing Energy Regime was Changed and the Main Actors
The Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) came in handy in the energy transition coupled with transforming Australia’s energy systems from traditional sources to renewable sources (Trainer, 2012). The initiative targeted 9.5 billion Kilowatt hours of the entirety of the electricity generation to originate from renewable sources, solar energy, and wind energy by the year 2020. The Renewable Energy Target also came into play, and its targets are to attain 45,000 Gigawatt hours attributed to renewable electricity generation during the period of 2020. Through these two initiatives, Australia highlights a change from the traditional energy sources to renewable energies, which promote sustainability (Vieira, Beal & Stewart, 2014). However, the total of Australia renewable energy only accounts for approximately 5% of the country’s total energy consumption. The main actors involved in changing the energy systems from depending on traditional sources to depending on renewable sources are many. They include the environmentalists, the government, international community, technologist and researchers, and the local energy organizations.
Australia embraces renewable energy sources by promoting the use of solar energy, wind power, biomass energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, and ocean energy (D’Souza & Yiridoe, 2014). Carbon pricing initiatives also come into play. Excessive carbon dioxide emissions result in market failure and an increase in global warming because the ozone layer experiences depletion. The long run costs attributed to climate change are not dependable on the price of fossil fuels. Thus, a viable solution would be to regulate the prices of carbon. Carbon pricing initiatives are internationally compelling, and they propel carbon reductions through the demand effects and the substitution effect (Foran, 2011). More precisely, the demand effect relates to efficiency and conservation of energy, and the substitution effect relates to energy sources coupled with low carbon emissions and fuel switching. The transformation from the existing energy regime to renewable sources of energy in Australia occurred by the use of various initiatives. Such initiatives include the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, Renewable Energy Target, the Carbon Pricing initiative, and the national Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
Figure 3: Renewable Energy Generation in Australia
6.0. Conclusions Drawn in Regards to the Implications for Australia
In the year 2001, the Australian authorities introduced a piece of legislation, and the legislation advocated investments linked to renewable energy generation. The expansion of the law became evident in 2009 to initiate a 20% Renewable Energy Target (James et al., 2013). The policy enjoyed bipartisan support and it is in line with the global standards that relate to renewable energy. The section endeavors to review the implications of this new piece of legislation in Australia. The transition from traditional sources of energy to renewable sources is dependent on the provisions of the Renewable Energy Target.
6.1. Projected Reviews of the RET Target
Many stakeholders articulate concerns about the aspects related to increasing, or decreasing of the RET targets. Moreover, some stakeholders are of the notion that the current RET framework is adequate (LePoire 2015). The point of reviewing the RET targets is of much importance, and the Australian government ought to formulate a consultative framework in regards to reviewing the RET targets. For example in the past, the RET target decreased because of reductions in energy demand forecasts, and the 45000 GWH target contributing 26%, which was above the 20% threshold. The reductions in demand became evident because of an increase in small-scale renewable system installations, increased installation of energy efficient appliances, and the prevalence of milder seasons (summers and winters). Important to note, is that there is an increasing cost of electricity related to RET, and the involved stakeholders advocate the initial 20% target by 2020 (Martin & Rice, 2015). Projected reviews of the RET targets pose a tricky situation for the Australian government, and the state ought to formulate appropriate RET reviewing frameworks. Such frameworks will guarantee the thriving of renewable energy systems in Australia.
6.2. The Over Lapping Nature of State and Federal Policies
The overlapping nature of State and Federal policies adversely affects the renewable energy policies, and this exhibits a negative picture to prospective investors. The expansion of the MRET policy in 2009 gave birth to the 20 % RET framework (Mat et al., 2015). A last minute policy change also came into play, the change related to providing small-scale solar photovoltaic systems coupled with a multiplier for their respective outputs. Simultaneously, most state governments introduced premium feed-in tariffs, and there was a sought of conflict between the state governments and the federal governments (McGuirk, Dowling & Bulkeley, 2014). Such conflicts discourage prospective investors from venturing into the Renewable Energy Sector in Australia. More intently, because of the conflict between the two initiatives there was a significant distortion of the Renewable Energy Target framework. In addition, investors in the large-scale production of renewable energy sources faced difficulties. Due to the decline in the number of investors the RET framework underwent another amendment (Moore, 2014). It is crucial for the State and Federal entities to coordinate their efforts so that the realization of the sustainable energy systems becomes successful in Australia.
6.3. Inappropriate Credit Facilities
Another implication relates to the existence of phantom credit facilities. The Solar Credits Multiplier imitative led to the multiplication of falsified certificates, and this resulted in phantom credits. More precisely, some certificates did not equate to actual abatement and such certificates still counted in attaining the set targets (Moore, Horne & Morrissey, 2014). According to the Clean Energy Regulator phantom credits accounted for about 66% of the certificates required to achieve the RET targets between the periods of 2009 and 2012. It is necessary for the Australian government to nurture accurate frameworks, and this will come in handy in addressing the shortcomings posed by phantom credits.
7.0. Risks of the Energy Transition to Renewable Energy Sources
7.1. Damaging of Investor Confidence
There have been numerous policy reviews of the Renewable Energy Target, and this has an adverse effect on the confidence levels of prospective investors. More intently, it is disadvantageous that a policy consolidated to woo more investors undergoes numerous reviews that discourage the investment community (Morim et al., 2014). In addition, some investors believe that the RET framework will undergo subsequent reviews, and this makes these investors refrain from long-term investments in the Renewable Energy Sources in Australia. After the initiation of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, there have been five amendments to the policy framework.
The launch of the 20% RET framework was a great move, but the contributions of many other reviews were meager, and they did little to boost the investors’ confidence. Moreover, some reviews did not succeed in persuading investors to embrace long-term decisions concerning renewable energy infrastructure (Trainer, 2012). When investors’ confidence levels drop, it is a significant risk to the Australian government, and this inhibits the growth of Renewable Energy Sources in the country. The Australian government ought to embrace only the viable and necessary review to guarantee high levels of investor confidence.
7.2. Uncertainties Originating From Intense Debates about Climate Change
The Commonwealth fraternity initiated a fixed rate of a Carbon tax (23%) per ton of Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e). The tax applies to all industrial entities that exceed 25000 tons in terms of emissions (Vieira, Beal & Stewart, 2014). The original intent was to enable the initiative to operate for three years and then formulate an emission-trading scheme later on. However, the Australian opposition appreciates this objective, but a vast majority of them do not approve of the mechanisms that relate to implementing the initiative. There is a significant level of uncertainty in the carbon pricing mechanism in Australia, and this may hamper the future progress of the Renewable Energy sources (D’Souza & Yiridoe, 2014). It is crucial to attain a unified opinion in regards to the Carbon Pricing Mechanism, and this will mitigate the risks posed by such uncertainties.
7.3. Incumbent Support for Other Forms of Energy
The Australian territory possesses significant amounts of cost-effective black coal, brown coal, and natural gas reserves. Moreover, these traditional forms of energy have been successful in sustaining Australia’s economy for centuries. In terms of formulating policies, the Australian locale embraces massive international provisions, and this made the Australian government to adopt renewable energy sources. In addition, in instances whereby the electricity originating from renewable sources becomes expensive the Australian citizens might opt to revert to the traditional energy sources (Foran, 2011). Thus, the incumbent support for the traditional energy sources poses an enormous risk to the success of the renewable energy sources. It is necessary to ensure that all Australians appreciate the vitality of renewable energy sources, and this will guarantee sustainable energy sources in Australia.
8.0. Opportunities of the Energy Transition to Renewable Energy Sources
8.1. Additional Renewable Energy Generation
The Renewable Energy Target avails an opportunity for Australia to increase its capacity of renewable energy sources. It is beneficial to go green in all operations, and as Australia appreciates the vitality of safeguarding the environment, the country boosts the level of investor confidence in the Renewable Energy Sector. Thus, numerous international investors may opt to venture into the large-scale renewable energy sector (James et al., 2013). The capacity of the renewable energy sources will increase because of this additional investment, and the Australian territory will realize a sustainable energy infrastructure. More intently, with the additional renewable energy sources Australia can abrogate greenhouse gas effluents, and in the process nurturing ecological sustainability of renewable energy sources.
Figure 4: Mix of Renewable Energy Sources in Australia
8.2. Improved Living Standards
With the presence of the Renewable Energy Target, the commissioned renewable energy power stations will drastically increase. Thus, numerous employment opportunities emerge, and the prevalent living standards in the Australian locale immensely improve (LePoire, 2015). In addition, energy is a critical factor to the endowment of the economy in any region, and a stable energy sector improves the per capita income and the GDP in an enormous manner. The Australian government can maximize the potential of the renewable energy sources, and this will improve the country’s economy (Martin & Rice, 2015). At the inception of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target power generation stations drastically increased, and Australia still possesses the opportunity to improve these plants and guarantee a sustainable energy framework.
8.3. Increased Investment
Australia has a competitive edge over other nations in terms of a feasible investment location. More precisely, the Australian renewable energy sector acts like a magnet to prospective investors who appreciate the value of going green. In addition, the serene political scenario in Australia makes investors nurture an interest in investing in the country (Mat et al., 2015). The stability highlighted by the Australian political fraternity and the respect for the rule of law pan out in terms of attracting massive groups of international investors. The Australian government can exploit the investors’ confidence and persuade to venture into other industries in the country such as tourism and communications. In the end, the country’s ability to nurture a sustainable energy infrastructure becomes an assurance.
9.0. How Transferable are Lessons Learned to a Different Context
9.1. Research and Development
The Australian government appreciates the vitality of conducting in-depth research and development before executing any reviews to the RET framework (McGuirk, Dowling & Buckeley, 2014). More intently, the Australian government nurtures a consultative framework in most instances with the concerned stakeholders before reviewing the RET structure. Research and development are critical to the endowment of the Australian economy at all times. A viable lesson learned in the renewable energy sector is the dynamics related to research and development activities. Research and development dynamics are applicable across the vast industries in the Australian territory (Moore, 2014). Implementing research and development would immensely improve the Australian economy, and a consultative framework will guarantee the success of the prevalent policies in all industries.
The renewable energy sectors advocate the utmost levels of sustainability in the Australian energy infrastructure. The dynamics of sustainability are of extreme vitality and overlooking them couples with catastrophic effects on a respective country (Moore, Horne & Morrissey, 2014). Other Australian industries such as the Mining industry can borrow a page from the renewable energy sector. The Mining industries contribute to massive amounts of effluents into the earth’s atmosphere. In addition, the deposits of materials that originate from the mining industries affect the flora and fauna in the Australian region in an adverse manner (Morim et al., 2014). The mining industry and other industries ought to embrace sustainability just as the Australian renewable energy sector has.
9.3. Setting of Policies Based on Targets
The 20% Renewable Energy Target aims to nurture a culture whereby investors embrace renewable energy sources, and the policy seeks to ensure that renewables account for 20% of Australia’s energy production by 2020 (Trainer, 2012). Decision makers linked with other industries can emulate the policy makers in the renewable energy sector and formulate policies coupled with targets. Such procedures would guarantee the endowment of these other industries in subsequent years.
The Australian energy transition from the traditional sources to renewable energy sources by the inception and implementation of the RET framework highlight the utmost levels of innovation (Foran, 2011). Moreover, the initiative achieves a sustainable energy infrastructure in Australia by applying the core principles of innovation. Other countries should nurture policies similar to the Renewable Energy Target, and such procedures will guarantee energy sources that embrace sustainability in all countries.
D׳Souza, C., & Yiridoe, E. K. (2014). Social acceptance of wind energy development and planning in rural communities of Australia: A consumer analysis. Energy Policy, 74262-270.
Foran, B. (2011). Low carbon transition options for Australia. Ecological Modeling, 223(Can We Break the Addiction to Fossil Energy? Special Issue, 7th Biennial International Workshop “Advances in Energy Studies”, Barcelona, Spain, 19-21 October 2010), 72-80.
James, N. P., Reid, C. M., Bone, Y., Levings, A., Brown J., & Malcolm, I. (2013). The macro algal carbonate factory at a cool-to-warm temperate marine transition, Southern Australia. Sedimentary Geology, 2911-26.
LePoire, D. (2015). Interpreting “big history” as complex adaptive system dynamics with nested logistic transitions in energy flow and organization. Emergence: Complexity & Organization, 17(1), 1-16.
Martin, N., & Rice, J. (2015). Improving Australia’s renewable energy project policy and planning: A multiple stakeholder analysis. Energy Policy, 84128-141.
Mat, N., Cerceau, J., Shi, L., Park, H., Junqua, G., & Lopez-Ferber, M. (2015). Socio-ecological transitions toward low-carbon port cities: trends, changes and adaptation processes in Asia and Europe. Journal of Cleaner Production, 1-76.
McGuirk, P., Dowling, R., & Bulkeley, H. (2014). Repositioning urban governments? Energy efficiency and Australia’s changing climate and energy governance regimes. Urban Studies (Sage Publications, Ltd.), 51(13), 2717.
Moore, T. (2014). Modeling the through-life costs and benefits of detached zero (net) energy housing in Melbourne, Australia. Energy & Buildings, 70463-471.
Moore, T., Horne, R., & Morrissey, J. (2014). Zero emission housing: Policy development in Australia and comparisons with the EU, UK, USA and California. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 1125-45
Morim, J., Cartwright, N., Etemad-Shahidi, A., Strauss, D., Fischer, T., & Hemer, M. (2014). A review of wave energy estimates for near shore shelf waters off Australia. International Journal of Marine Energy, 757-70.
Trainer, T. (2012). Can Australia run on renewable energy? The negative case. Energy Policy, 50(Special Section: Past and Prospective Energy Transitions – Insights from History), 306-314.
Vieira, A. S., Beal, C. D., & Stewart, R. A. (2014). Residential water heaters in Brisbane, Australia: Thinking beyond technology selection to enhance energy efficiency and level of service. Energy & Buildings, 82222-236.
This is a business model of Street 6 Foods Place an upcoming restaurant in Texas City. Street 6 Foods Places is a registered company, owned by Martin Smith, Tanya Hughes, and Alex Friedman. Realizing that we are entering into a competitive business venture, we will capitalize on our strategic location, high quality foods, and price advantage.
We will be located at Laxcon Business Place, Sixth Street Austin, Texas. The restaurant facilities will include the main sitting place, with a ground floor just at the entrance of the building and an upper sitting place with a balcony overlooking the city, which will give a wide view of Texas City to our clients as they enjoy their delicacies.
We enter the market with many prospects informed by the results of our market survey, which reveals a stable market sector with a regular flow of clients in our business. We will also take advantage of the growing demand for Asian, Chinese, and African dishes in the United States and develop creative recipes for these dishes. Our target market will be young professionals and businesspersons.
The restaurant also comes with a high quality and low cost model, which is just what the young professionals and students will be looking for in this prime area of the City. Using a simple restaurant business model, we will be serving customers at different times including breakfast menu, lunch menu, dinner menu, special menus for occasions, and other considerations driven by the market need. We have adopted a moderate price model even though we will be running our business in the heart of the City. Our prices will only target a gross profit margin of 40%. We target our sales to comprise 70% restaurant sales and 30% catering sales.
Texas City has an estimated population of 1.8 million comprising Anglo, Black, Hispanic and Other populations. It is a multiracial city that is known for thriving businesses. Sixth street is one of the busiest streets in the downtown region located in Austin, Texas. The street is the entertainment hotspot of Texas City. This street is historic and was initially known as Pecan Street, with three east-west streets, which had names of trees, and three north-south streets, which were named after Texas Rivers. The street is also known for its amazing ethnic diversity and co-existence. Street 6 Foods Place will capitalize on this ethnic diversity to serve the richest delicacies from all the groups at very fair prices to beat our competitors.
Street 6 Foods Place is an upcoming restaurant that will serve high quality foods in downtown Texas City. The restaurant‘s location will be on the Sixth Street. The selection of this location is based on the level of human traffic flow in the morning, lunch hour, and evening, which presents opportunity for booming business. It is also a street dominated by entertainment joints and this makes it a busy place over the weekend and evenings.
The menu offered in the hotel will be unique and we will use differentiation strategy geared to ensure that the foods served to customers will be high quality and affordable prices. There are three other similar restaurants on the street that we will be competing with, and we will use a fair cost model and high quality dishes as our distinctive features that will attract customers to our hotel.
Street 6 Foods Places is a registered company, owned by Martin Smith, Tanya Hughes, and Alex Friedman. Realizing that we are entering into a competitive business venture, we will capitalize on our strategic location, high quality foods, and price advantage. This will bring many customers and referrals to our business. The hotel will be launched through an aggressive marketing promotion aimed at sending the message that we are the preferred eating-place in downtown Texas.
Street 6 Foods Places is a realized dream by Martin Smith, Tanya Hughes, and Alex Friedman who are students who have just graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. They look forward to a vibrant business that will help them harness the skills they have acquired from the University as they launch their career life. This will also be the beginning of their business ventures. Martin Smith is a graduate from the School of Business with a degree in Accounting. Tanya Hughes has graduated with a degree in Nutritional Sciences. Alex Friedman has graduated with a degree in Communication, specializing in advertising.
Street 6 Foods Place will have an initial capital outlay of $60,000. Martin Smith, Tanya Hughes, and Alex Friedman will each contribute $10,000 from their savings. They have all also confirmed to have a promise of $10,000 from their families, amounts they intend to repay in the first two years of their business.
Street 6 Foods Place will be located at Laxcon Business Place, Sixth Street Austin, Texas. The restaurant facilities will comprise the main sitting place, with a ground floor just at the entrance of the building and an upper sitting place with a balcony overlooking the city, which will give a wide view of Texas City to our clients as they enjoy their delicacies. The total seat capacity of the restaurant is 80. The restaurant will also have the inner rooms, which will house the kitchen well stocked with ovens, cookers, and fridges. Next to the kitchen will be the supplies store where the hotel’s ingredients will be stored.
As the business is launched, it will be a partnership of Martin Smith, Tanya Hughes, and Alex Friedman who are the founders of the business. The Restaurant is already an incorporated company trading in the name of Street 6 Foods Place. There are no immediate plans to change the company structure although the directors are open to review this in future based on the growth of the restaurant and the expansionary requirements.
Street 6 Foods Place will be the ideal place for people touring Sixth Street to look for their breakfast, lunch, and evening meals. Additionally, the restaurant will be offering additives and take away packages. The take away packages are specially designed for students and office workers who need to carry a snack or light meal on the go.
Street 6 Foods Place enters the market with many prospects informed by the results of our market survey. We have identified a market sector that is stable which guarantees a regular flow of clients in our business. Survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association has identified the Restaurant Industry in Texas as one of the fastest growing industries. The sales in this sector are expected to hit a record high in 2015 of at least $680 billion. The last three years in the sector have been years of real sales gains, growing at over 2% annually.
Although the sector was hit hard by the 2008 economic recession and its growth slowed down during the recovery phase, the sector has now gathered momentum and represents a sector where investors are assured of return for their investments. The fast food industry is especially more robust and stable as it is not affected largely by external factors like falls in tourist numbers. The improving household financial situation in the United States and Texas in particular is good news to the industry. This is because the consumer’s spending power is improving, the notably the middle-income class.
With more jobs being generated due to the recovery in the small and medium enterprises sector, The restaurant industry continue to grin with hope and Street 6 Foods Place relies on these growth prospects in its business formulation.
The increasing prevalence towards healthy lifestyles has caused many consumers to prefer cultural foods, which are considered healthy. Several exhibitions in the City have confirmed the growing popularity of traditional foods. Street 6 Foods Place will capitalize on this trend to prepare the best quality traditional dishes. This will also make the hotel an ideal eating destination for tourists who are always keen on sampling cultural foods.
Street 6 Foods Place will also take advantage of the growing demand for Asian, Chinese, and African dishes in the United States and develop creative recipes for these dishes. Most of the Asian dishes are prepared with olive oil and sesame seeds, which are known to bring healthy benefits (Aguilera, 2011). Arabic dates and fruits are also becoming popular every day as they contain essential minerals and vitamins. These are some of the opportunities that the company will capture in our menus.
Street 6 Foods Place targets the downtown section of Texas. It has been located in a potentially busy section of Texas City with a regular flow of potential customers, notably young professionals and businesspersons.
Our target population has been further analyzed below:
- Young professionals in Texas City – A recent survey has established that Austin has a 17% population lying within the 25 and 34-age bracket and with a median income of $30,816. This population continues to grow every year.
- College students – The University of Texas Austin has a student population of 52,186 and this presents a good catchment for the company.
- Tourists- the growing number of tourists visiting the city is also a prime target for the restaurant especially for traditional foods.
- Visitors to Entertainment Joints – Sixth Street is the entertainment hub of Texas City and this means there is a regular flow of people visiting the entertainment spots which is a good catchment for the restaurant.
Marketing and Sales Plan
The restaurant has already identified a unique location at Laxcon Business Place. Being one of the most visited places in the city, it presents a viable business or the restaurant. The restaurant also comes with a high quality and low cost model, which is just what the young professionals and students will be looking for in this prime area of the City. We have aligned our business objectives with market expectations and we have identified the needs in the market, which the restaurant will be meeting, in the course of our business operations. Our restaurant will be equipped to attract young customers, which is congruent to our target market.
The victory of our enterprise will be determined largely by our ability to convince the market and to make our customers buy into our idea. In order to assert Street 6 Foods Place as the eating-place to be in, we have taken the following strategies:
- We will serve high quality and authentic traditional dishes that compete with our business rivals.
- Establish a vibrant networking strategy that will involve using our clients for referrals especially in companies and colleges.
- We will design state of the art publicity materials such as posters and flyers, which will be spread strategically in the City. We have also embraced the use of social media and email marketing since our target customers are very active on social media and internet.
- Studying the tastes of our clients on a regular and using our client database to capture feedback so that we can our recipes will match their tastes.
- Creativity and innovativeness as well as sensitivity to client needs will always inform our business decisions and models.
The directors view the serving traditional foods alongside modern delicacies as an ambitious yet achievable venture owing to the fact that it calls for their ability to master tastes and preferences of different ethnic groups without losing track of the contemporary consumer. There are already other restaurants serving cultural foods on Sixth Street and the city at large. However, the market survey conducted by the directors has established that there is big room for growth in this sector and new ideas are needed to craft high quality menus that will ensure a flow of customers. Street 6 Foods Place will capitalize on fresh ideas as well as borrowed ideas to provide meals that will leave our customers craving for more. The motivation for this business idea is the urge to meet a genuine need with better value for our customers. The business combines expertise in the main areas of business management that will be required by the restaurant.
Our model of a restaurant business is not complicated since it will majorly involve availing the appropriate foods to customers at different times including breakfast menu, lunch menu, dinner menu, special menus for occasions, and other considerations driven by the market need. Every business has to consider its areas of specialty and understand its niche. For Street 6 Foods Place, we are using a composite business model since we will serve both traditional and modern delicacies. Our product assortment and range will include whole meals for lunch and dinner, customized breakfast menus, varieties of drinks ranging from beverages, fresh juices, and soft drinks, desserts with both cultural and modern tastes, and salads.
Our business model is one of quality with a price advantage since we target the middle-income earners who form the better part of the population in Texas. Located near several entertainment joints and recognizing Sixth Street as the entertainment hub of Texas City, we are aware that there will be traffic of young professionals and business people and we have developed a menu targeting that segment of the population. Our model will be that of a fast food place with an allowance for customers who wish to sit longer. We also intend to take up more space on the upper floor and have a restaurant designed for small group meetings, which are common with young professionals.
Our moderate pricing model will not mean compromise the quality of our meals. We will utilize an articulate supply chain management model that will ensure we source our ingredients at the lowest possible prices and take advantage of the technical economies of scale in leveraging a price advantage to our customers.
The business idea that we have formulated will enable us to target a sufficiently wide pool of customers and we are sure the business will break even within one year and become a profitable venture. We have undertaken a market survey on the tastes of customers in Texas City, which we believe, is the first key step in formulating a business concept (Blythe, 2013). The demand for fast foods is growing steadily in the city as well as that of cultural foods and the timing of this business is therefore good enough. The existing restaurants have not exhausted the market and the population especially for young professionals and students continue to grow in the city at a rate that calls for more investment in the food and beverages industry.
Our business location is also well accessible to our target clients especially the young professionals and businesspersons. Additionally, our business will be meeting a great need owing to the fact that food and drinks are consumed daily in large quantities therefore our business does not face the risk of exhaustion or lack of customers as a result of declining demand. Our business concept is therefore viable and daily sales are guaranteed as long as we keep to our model of high quality and fair price.
As far as embracing technology is concerned, the restaurant front office and back office operations will be automated. We will use a restaurant managemt software known as BIM POS which is an Easy-to-use yet advanced solution for the hospitality management and the food service industries.
Martin Smith, Tanya Hughes, and Alex Friedman will form the management team. Tanya Hughes will be the Chief Operating Officer (CEO). Tanya is a graduate in nutritional studies and will help the restaurant in the design of recipes and menus as well as other aspects of catering. Martin Smith will be the Finance Director. Smith holds a degree in Accounting from The University of Texas, Austin. He will be very resourceful in the formulation of budgets and financial strategies for the company as well as ensure proper internal controls are maintained in the company. Alex Friedman will be the Marketing Director . Friedman has graduated with a degree in Communication, specializing in advertising. He will be very resourceful in formulating and coordinating all the marketing aspects of the restaurant. Five qualified chefs and caterers will be recruited. The company has already identified three experienced chefs who have been working with big restaurants in the City.
Street 6 Foods Place will be launched on August 1 2015 at Laxcon Business place. The management team is currently acquiring the key assets that will be used in running the restaurant. On the launch date, the company will offer free goodies to first time clients. The Management will use the first three years of the business to monitor the growth of the restaurant simultaneously designing strategies for expanding the business in the next strategic phase.
Street 6 Foods Place has designed a financial plan, which has been put together by Martin Smith, the Finance Director. The plan so established comprises of the company’s projections in the first three years. In includes, a projected balance sheet, projected income statement, and projected cash flows statement.
Street 6 Foods Place will avail our dishes at moderate prices even though we will be running our business in the heart of the City. Our prices will only target a gross profit margin of 40%. We target our sales to comprise 70% restaurant sales and 30% catering sales. The company will base its success on the technical economies of scale emanating from a large clientele.
Our restaurant has a sitting capacity of 60. We expect 160 customers for breakfast each paying an average of $2, 180 customers for lunch each spending an average of $4 and 180 clients for dinner, each paying $5 on average. We have summarized the revenue projections in appendix 2. We also estimate that the business will raise 20% of our revenues from outside catering.
Aguilera, J. M. (2011). Food engineering interfaces. New York: Springer.
Blythe, J. (2013). Consumer behavior. London: SAGE .
Schmidgall, R. S., Hayes, D. K., Ninemeier, J. D., & Baker & Taylor, Inc. (2002). Restaurant financial management basics. New York: John Wiley & Sons
World Society and the Nation-State
In their article, World Society and the Nation-State, Meyer, Boli, Thomas and Ramirez argue that culturally, a state’s cultural orientation is not a function of its historical or political nature but a derivative of the state’s interaction with and belonging to the wider society of states. Through rigorous associational processes, that override rigid nation-state conceptual features like sovereignty and nationalism, nation-states interact with the broader society of states, which presents the nation-states with new cultural orientations. The authors of this article argue that while it is true that states have their own domestic, unique cultural bedrocks, these become immaterial as states, by reacting to dynamism and changes in the society of states, adopt a global culture.
Through a theoretical deconstruction of the realist school, the authors of the article employ macro-phenomenological theoretical approach, which posits that the state is a cultural social construct that emanates from systemic interaction with the international system/society of states. Resultantly, states thus culturally constructed by the society of states acquire isomorphic tendencies that include the near-standard adoption of several cultures and codes of conduct like human rights, use of currency, respect of international law. Consensus on and adoption of an international culture thus created results in cultural statelessness in which international cultures are shared by all nationalities whether Japanese or Norwegian.
However, while this article presents a good treatise on the macro-phenomenological development of states’ culture, it can be criticized on the ground that it does not sufficiently address the issues of cultural specificity that still defines states’ cultural orientation. Language, dressing, as well as political systems that originate from specific state-defined contextual settings increasingly find their way into the society of state’s culture. This state-driven, cultural development is exemplified by increasing appreciation of practices like Yoga, which is oriental in its origins but is increasingly being introduced and appreciated in the broader society of states framework.
Moreover, the article argues that cultural controversies that arise from the appreciation of world culture are indications of the strength of macro-phenomenological theory instead of its failures. This undermines the principle of falsification and it becomes difficult to prove or disprove the relevance of macro-phenomenological theory advanced in the article.
Meyer, John, et al. “World Society and the Nation-State”. American Journal of Sociology 103(1), (1997), pp. 144-181.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Analysis
Steve Ells founded Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) in 1993 when he first opened the first restaurant in Denver, Colorado. The company went public in 2006, and it became listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Chipotle.com). As at 31 December 2015, CMG was operating 2,010 establishments in different geographical areas. These include 1,971 in the United States, 11 in Canada, 7 in London, England and 4 in Paris, France and 1 in Germany. It has also opened 13 additional ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants that serve food inspired by Asian Cuisines. There are also three Pizzeria Local restaurants. The Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants serve a limited menu of high-quality tacos, burrito bowls, Burritos, and Salads. To increase the market share, Chipotle has introduced the organic products approach due to the rising demand for pasture-raised animals (Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. 4). In 2015, CMG encountered a huge crisis after the Norovirus and E-coli virus that negatively affected the company’s revenues and growth (Chipotle contends with E. coli and norovirus outbreaks. par.2)
CMG Vision, Mission, and Values
CMG values focus on the using ingredients and cooking techniques of high quality to offer great food to all people at reasonable prices. The company strives to find out where all its ingredients are sourced to promote local farmers in their job of growing sustainable and naturally raised products that meet the goals of its mission statement, “Food with Integrity.” The mission statement means that CMG objectives are to offer the best sustainably raised food possible, provide support to farmers who are devoted to their animals and land and use meat from animals raised in a natural manner whenever it is possible (Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. 6).
There is rising demand for sustainable food that surpasses the supply in the market, and the consumers of socially sustainable foods are wealthier as compared to typical fast food consumers. 57 % of adults between 18 and 29 years eat fast food, at least, weekly; this is the most often as compared to other consumer groups. The millennial forms a large segment for fast casual and quick service restaurants. Millennial use of their mobile technological devices to get information for their health and fitness choices and 85 percent of persons between the age of 18 to 34 years shop on the internet. The fast casual segment has grown every year since the economic recession of 2009 from 4% to 8% as compared to the quick service whose growth has remained stagnant. Fast casual restaurants report an average purchase value of $ 7.40 as compared to the 5.30 average for quick service restaurants (Maze 38).
There are many requirements to comply within the industry that vary from country to country. These requirements include the regulations on food quality and hygiene, labeling and labor regulations. There is high competition in international markets from the fast casual restaurants outside the Mexican food category since the market for Mexican fast casual items is undeveloped. Market conditions and weather changes cause shortages for sustainable ingredients resulting in increased prices for ingredients like beef, dairy and chicken products (Simpson 38).
|1||Rising demand for sustainable food that surpasses the supply in the market.||0.4||3||1.2|
|2||Millennial use of their mobile technological devices to get information for their health and fitness choices and 85 percent of persons between the age of 18 to 34 years shop on the internet.
|3||The fast casual segment has grown every year since the economic recession of 2009 from 4% to 8% as compared to the quick service whose growth has remained stagnant. Fast casual restaurants report an average purchase value of $ 7.40 as compared to the 5.30 average for quick service restaurants.||0.35||4||1.4|
|1||There are many requirements to comply within the industry that vary from country to country.||0.4||4||1.6|
|2||There is high competition in international markets from the fast casual restaurants outside the Mexican food category since the market for Mexican fast casual items is undeveloped.
|3||Market conditions and weather changes cause shortages for sustainable ingredients resulting in increased prices for ingredients like beef, dairy and chicken products.||0.35||3||1.05|
Competitive Profile Matrix
|Chipotle Mexican Grill||Taco Bell Corp||Qdoba Restaurants|
|Critical success factors||Weight||Rating||Score||Rating||Score||Rating Score||Score|
|1||Use of sustainable ingredients||0.15||4||0.6||3||0.45||4||0.6|
|2||Well established supply chains||0.05||2||0.1||3||0.15||3||0.15|
|3||Quality of the food||0.13||1||0.13||4||0.52||4||0.52|
|4||Varieties of food in the Menu||0.06||1||0.06||1||0.06||4||0.24|
|5||Adaptation to different customers tastes and preferences||0.09||1||0.09||1||0.09||0.09|
|6||Using technology to enhance customer experience||0.09||4||0.36||4||0.36||3||0.27|
|7||Expansion to international markets||0.13||4||0.52||1||0.13||3||0.39|
|Environmental sustainability in restaurants construction designs||0.05||4||0.2||2||0.1||2||0.1|
|9||Location of the restaurants||0.05||4||0.2||3||0.15||2||0.1|
|10||Targeted segment of consumers||0.1||4||0.4||4||0.4||3||0.3|
Chipotle Company has undergone rapid growth since its public offering in 2006. It has 2,010 restaurants with a huge presence in the U.S and Canada, and it plans to open about 220-235 new restaurants this year. In all markets, Chipotle restaurants are located in urban centers with high foot traffic, neighborhoods with high household incomes and locations with businesses, tourist attractions and schools (Czaplewski, et al. 7). These have contributed to its good financial growth enabling it to generate solid cash flows, avoid debts and maintain a strong balance sheet. CMG cash and cash equivalents as at January 1, 2016, were more than $1 billion. The targeted market segments of millennial between the ages of 18-34 years are less price sensitive as compared with other consumer groups and they identify with CMG philosophy of “Food with Integrity.” The company’s commitment to sustainability that is reflected in its operations by selecting organic ingredients and using materials that are environmentally conscious in their stores (Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. SWOT Analysis 5).
In the last quarter of 2015, Chipotle restaurants in the U.S suffered from outbreak cases of norovirus and E.coli across the country disrupting in the establishments’ growth (Chipotle contends with E. coli and norovirus outbreaks. par.3). The company that has been built on the motto of Food With Integrity is now facing a tough challenge of defending the safety and quality of its food and gain consumers confidence once more. Due to the shortages of supplies of sustainably raised ingredients, the company has been forced to sources conventionally raised beef and chicken sometimes compromising the quality of its food (Glassman 22). They have also been increasing the prices of their products, for instance, an increase in the price of their menu was announced in April 2014 due to the rising costs of cheese, avocados, and steak. Chipotle restaurants have a focused menu that has made it impossible to adopt a menu with local tastes and preferences, especially in the international markets. Its competitors like Yum! Brands restaurants have tailored their menu to local customs by changing to local flavors and ingredients (Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. SWOT Analysis 8)
|1||Rapid growth reflected by the increase in the number of stores in the U.S and internationally as well as the financial strength.||0.4||4||1.6|
|2||A culture of commitment to sustainability resulting in the use of organic ingredients and environment sustainable materials in construction designs.||0.3||3||0.9|
|3||Targeting the right segment of the millennials in the fast casual industry, that is wealthier and more conscious of their health choices.||0.3||4||1.2|
|1||In the last quarter of 2015, Chipotle restaurants in the U.S suffered from outbreak cases of norovirus and E.coli across the country disrupting in the establishments’ growth.||0.4||4||1.6|
|2||Shortage in the supplies of sustainable ingredients for the restaurants has led to use of conventional products at times and an increase in food prices||0.35||2||0.7|
|3||Chipotle has failed in adapting to the tastes and preferences of the consumers in the international markets where the Mexican cuisines are not common.||0.25||3||0.75|
|Chipotle Mexican Grill||Strengths –S
· Rapid growth
· Commitment to sustainability
· The right target segment of millennial
· Compromised food quality
· Increase in food prices
· Products failure to adapt to local tastes and preferences
· Rising demand for sustainable products
· Increase in the use of technological devices
· Higher growth in the fast casual industry
· Increase the number of restaurants internationally using the created wealth (S1).
· Invest in technological innovations that to enhance customer experience among millennials’ (S2).
· Increase social media marketing to restore consumer (S3) confidence in the quality of their products.
· Introduce more products in the international markets to satisfy diverse customers’ needs (S4).
|Threats – T
· Regulations and requirements in the industry
· High competition in international markets from non-Mexican cuisines
· Shortage of sustainable products
· Establishing reliable supply chains (S5).
· Invest in educating and raising awareness among their staff for the existing requirements and regulations in the industry (S6).
· Use the existing regulations to ensure the quality of food products is guaranteed (S7).
· Establish reliable supply chains that ensure the price of their products is not increased (S8).
QSPM Matrix -Strategies 1-4
|Commitment to sustainability||0.3||2||0.6||3||1.8||4||1.2||0||0|
|Have the right target segment of millennial||0.3||0||0||4||0||4||1.2||0||0|
|Compromised food quality||0.4||0||0||3||1.2||4||1.6||0||0|
|Increase in food prices||0.35||2||0.7||3||1.05||3||1.05||0||0|
|Products failure to adapt to local tastes and preferences||0.25||0||0||0||0||1||0.25||4||1|
|Rising demand for sustainable products||0.4||4||1.6||1||0.4||0||0||0||0|
|Increase in the use of technological devices||0.25||2||0.5||3||0.75||3||0.75||0||0|
|Higher growth in the fast casual industry||0.35||3||1.05||0||0||0||0||2||0.7|
|Regulations and requirements in the industry||0.4||0||0||3||1.2||4||1.6||0||0|
|High competition in international markets from non-Mexican cuisines||0.25||0||0||2||0.5||2||0.5||4||1|
|Shortage of sustainable products||0.35||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
QSPM Matrix –Strategies 5-8
|Commitment to sustainability||0.3||3||0.9||4||1.2||4||1.2||3||0.9|
|The right target segment of millennial||0.3||2||0.6||3||0.9||4||1.2||4||1.2|
|Compromised food quality||0.4||3||1.2||4||1.6||4||1.6||3||1.2|
|Increase in food prices||0.35||3||1.05||2||0.7||1||0.35||4||1.4|
|Products failure to adapt to local tastes and preferences||0.25||1||0.25||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Rising demand for sustainable products||0.4||3||1.2||2||0.8||2||0.8||2||0.8|
|Increase in the use of technological devices||0.25||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Higher growth in the fast casual industry||0.35||3||1.05||1||0.35||2||0.7||2||0.7|
|Regulations and requirements in the industry||0.4||1||0.4||4||1.6||4||1.6||2||0.8|
|High competition in international markets from non-Mexican cuisines||0.25||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Shortage of sustainable products||0.35||4||1.4||0||0||0||0||4||1.4|
The common size income statements analysis indicate a decline in Chipotle the revenues in the year 2015. The cost of revenue increased from 72.79% in 2014 to 73.91% in 2015 resulting in a decrease of the gross margin from 27.21% to 26.09%. Selling, General, and Administration expenses reduced from 6.67 % in w2014 to 5.56% in 2015. The non-recurring expenses remained the same and the loss on disposal of assets increased by 0.46 % while other operating expenses increased by 0.21%. The operating incomes reduced from 17.3% to 16.96% and the incomes before taxes reduced by 0.29%. The net incomes in 2015 were less than the 2014 net incomes by 0.27%. According to the Comparative analysis income statements, there was an increase in the gross margin by 5.06%. The loss on the disposal of assets had a significant increase of 89.13 percent. The selling general and administration expenses reduced by 8.65% while the net incomes increased by 6.78% (NASDAQ n.p). The profitability ratios illustrate a decline in the profitability of the company in 2015. The net profit margin has reduced from 10.84 percent to 10.57 percent. The asset turnover ratio has reduced from 1.8 to 1.7 percent while the return on assets has reduced from 19.55 percent to 18.04 percent. The growth ratios illustrate a significant reduction in the growth of the Company’s revenues, operating incomes, net incomes and earnings per share (Morningstar n.p)
The first long-term objective is to establish a reliable source of suppliers that will serve in the local and international markets. This objective will help in ensuring that Chipotle restaurants obtain all the suppliers that they require. It will also play the role of ensuring that the quality of the food is maintained. This objective will be supported by a cooperative strategy whereby the company can form an alliance with its suppliers to improve the quality and quantity of their produce. They can make investments in the farms that supply their ingredients ensuring a stable supply and quality of these ingredients. A reliable supply chain should be established in each of the international markets reducing the costs of transferring ingredients from the suppliers in the U.S to the international markets. Similar alliances should be made with suppliers in the international markets to ensure the quality and enough quantity for ingredients are maintained at all times. Chipotle will also enforce the rules and regulations in the industry that guide the production of sustainable suppliers to ensure the quality of the ingredients sourced from suppliers. The benchmarks that can be used to measure the progress is the percentage increase in the volume of supplies, reduction in the cost of making their food and improved consumers loyalty.
The other objective is to come up with other sources of revenues for CMG. Revenues currently obtained are mainly from four menu items accounting for 95% of the company’s revenues. This implies that its diversification is low even if it has launched the ShopHouse Asian Kitchen and the investment in Pizzeria Locale. The businesses are still very young and do not make many contributions to CMG revenues. Thus, the Company can diversify more by investing in different businesses or expanding the Chipotle concept to other cuisines. The proposed strategy for this objective is diversification strategy that will allow the company to introduce a variety of food items in the company’s menu by offering different cuisines especially in the international markets where the Mexican cuisines are not very common. The new products will help to meet the tastes and preferences of all its customers and compete effectively with its competitors. Social media marketing will be used to market the new products in the markets. Alternatively, CMG can invest in other already established restaurants that offer other kinds of cuisines to their customers. The investments can be in the form of acquisitions, joint ventures or buying shares in those companies. The benchmarks that will be used to measure progress is the amount of revenues obtained from additional food items added to their menu and increased consumer awareness of the new products reflected by their comments on social media platforms.
The third objective is the expansion of CMG operations to other international markets and particularly to the developing nations. Currently, the company huge presence is in the U.S and Canada and a few Europe nations. Developing nation’s strategy is the proposed strategy for this objective. The lack of popularity of the Mexican cuisines in various countries provides an opportunity for Chipotle to enter new markets for their main food items. This is especially the case for Asian and African countries that do not have major restaurants specializing in Mexican cuisines. CMG should take advantage of the growth of the economies in these developing nations like China. This is because as the economies grow the households, disposable incomes also increase allowing its targeted segment of persons between the age of 18-34 years to spend more in healthy food choices. Technological advancements and the rise in the use of mobile devices in these nations will also enable CMG to market their products easily and enhance customers’ experiences. The benchmarks to ensure progress for this strategy are the amount of revenues obtained by entering into new markets and the number of new restaurants that are launched in the new markets.
“Chipotle contends with E. coli and norovirus outbreaks.” The Food Institute Report 2015: General OneFile. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
“Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. SWOT Analysis.” Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. SWOT Analysis (2015): 1-8. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
“Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.” Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Marketline Company Profile (2015): 1-24. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
Chipotle.com. Chipotle Mexican Grill, 2016. Web, 3 Apr. 2008.
Czaplewski, Andrew J., Eric M. Olson, and Peggy Mcnulty. “GOING GREEN Puts Chipotle in The Black.” Marketing News48.3 (2014): 30-37. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.\
Glassman, James K. “Feast On Restaurant Stocks.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 69.10 (2015): 20-22. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
Maze, Jonathan. “Chipotle’s Mission And Tactics Revolutionize Restaurant Industry.” Nation’s Restaurant News 49.13 (2015): 36-38. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
Morningstar. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc Class A, 2016. Web, 3 Apr 2016
Nasdaq. CMG Company Financials, 2016. Web 3 Apr.2008
Simpson, Sondra. “Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.: Strategy With A Higher Mission Or Farmed And Dangerous?” Journal of Case Studies 2 (2015): 38. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
Avocado Margarine Proposal
The food industry continues to expand on a daily basis with new innovations taking the center stage in incremental product values. Of special interest is the market in margarines and other spreads. Spreads such as jam and peanut butter have occupied a great market share due to their potential for value addition in terms of nutrition and taste. On the other hand, margarine has undergone minimum improvements since invention but has continued to occupy a large market share due to its potential for multiple uses and the early market entry advantage. Talking to users of the present day margarines brought out the need for such innovative ideas, particularly due to the observation that many of the margarine users also added vegetable salads, and avocado to their breads before consumption. Finding such ready -made products will help reduce the additional costs of having to purchase the avocado separately while also increasing the nutritional value of the margarines.
The idea for the inclusion of avocado as an ingredient in margarine production was given form through brainstorming and gap analysis. While brainstorming, many ideas were developed but the comparative viability made it essential to only present the most economically appealing for project consideration. Identification of the gap in nutritive value of margarine if compared to that of peanut butter and jam also drew the need for inclusion as a project. The proposal is to include blended avocado and ground nuts in margarine production elements. In order to increase the nutritional value of margarine, the present proposal aims at an innovative measure that would lead to the production of margarines incorporating nuts and avocado as nutritional elements. Although this may not change the uses of margarine, it will help to make it more nutritious, tastier and thus gain a greater market share.
Limitations and market analysis
Despite being a sustainable project proposal, the key limitation of the proposed product is that it may limit the applications of margarine especially for those who are allergic to nuts and/ or avocado. It can thus be implemented in margarines for spread only while those designed for cooking can let the new innovation be. The innovation addresses the food industry, an ever expanding industry with multiple market opportunities. In the recent years, companies such as Unilever, which lead in the production and sale of margarines, have reported a decline in the sales. This is indicative of a competitive market with lots of substitute products. However if this can be rectified through better innovations such as the proposed inclusion of nuts and avocado into the products, it is projected that market shares are bound to grow and the use of margarine will also rise.
Customers and Customer Development
The innovative product targets the food market customers. These are customers who have continuously use margarine for cooking as well as spreads. The market needs innovation while the customers need a taste of something different from the conventional margarines hence the observed shift towards more healthy and tastier spreads. In order to address these needs, the customers need to be reached through the media, through offering test samples and through getting customer feedbacks on what they need. This will help address their concerns in an even better way. The major competitor in this market is Unilever. However, their market shares have been reducing due to the presence of more value added products and better product prices across the market. It is essential that the proposal takes the initiative to be the first market entrant with such an idea, hence gain competitive market shares.
In implementing this proposal, the greatest challenge would be to address the hypothesis that most people do not use margarine because of high fat levels. This will be addressed through effective market research and marketing activities. To be a profitable business, phase implementation is recommended since it will enable the organization to scale up its productions based on customer feedback and also to make changes where necessary while avoiding wastes. Working on this project has shown clearly how innovation and creativity can create a business opportunity while addressing potential customer problems. The innovation given provides an excellent business opportunity that can be advanced into after effective market research on customer behaviors.
Managing a Value Chain Woolworths
Supermarkets are business entities that act as arbitrators between manufacturers and consumers through retail chains that avail innumerable goods to consumers. Woolworths is among the leading supermarkets in Australia playing such a role in a sector that has witnessed incredible growth. However, there are other competing firms in the industry, for instance, Woolworths Foodland, Coles, CostCo, Franklins, IGA, and Foodworks. Woolworths controls over 800 supermarket stores in Australia. The organization was started in Australia in 1924. The firstshop, Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement, was opened in Arcade, Sydney (Palmer np). The organization further opened several other stores between the late 1920s and early 1930s in Western Australia, Queensland, and New Zealand. The growth and development of Woolworths is ascribed to acquisitions and mergers, for instance, the purchase of Northern Territory Business in the 1960. The organization has also opened other joint ventures in India besides New Zealand and Australia (Fenner and Raja np). The employee capacity of Woolworths is approximately 190,000 people (Fenner and Raja np). Currently, the organization controls 45% of the retail industry, thus, placing it ahead of its closest competitor, Coles, which has 23%. Nevertheless, uncertainties face the organization’s aptitude to uphold this share ahead due to the growing competition in the market.
Woolworths’ mission statement reads, “We, as passionate committed retailers, understand and lead our customers through excellence and a deep knowledge of our products and services and the world we live in.” The main strategic primacy for Woolworths is to create a multi-selection vending through low prices, virtuous quality products, and services, in supplies involvement to meet the needs of the consumer. In Australia and New Zealand, the organization has been ranked as the leading in sales. It targets to reach a goal of AUD$1 million sales in online channel by 2020.
Woolworths’ main strategy difference that has seen its success is grounded on its mission of conveying clients with the accurate shopping experience at all times. The firm’s strategy is also based in its vision, which is to offer superiority products and services to its clients via prices strategies, fresh food strategies, and human resource strategies “To enhance cost effectiveness and adeptness, the organization has incorporated and instigated strategies, such asevery-day low prices strategy and project refresh strategy. The firm premeditated and incorporated the every-day low prices strategy with an intention to offer decreased prices to clients on particular products. Regarding the customer focus, every-day low prices policy, also referred to as value pricing, assures consumers of decreased prices minus waiting for voucher clipping, discounts or promotions. Under this approach, the organization established consumer loyalty. This strategy is applied on fast moving goods, such as dairy products as well as other consumables.
Another strategy applied by Woolworths is the Project Refresh that was deliberate to reduce the operation costs. This was first applied in 1999 and since that time, several tactics have been applied by the organization to augment its efficiency. Projects refresh as an approach facilitated the absorption of buying and promotion functions from the preliminary framework where they were designated in different places (Coriolis Research). This approach substituted the earlier corporate processes empowering the organization to compact the source of its products. This policy was significant in eradicating doubling and refining the supplier affiliations to enhance the supplier chain proficiencies.
Furthermore, through the centralized services strategy, organizational services were stretched to other tasks, such as Finance and Human Resource among others. This undertaking has been effective in the supply of wine in the organization. Initially, there was an excess supply of wine as a result of too much manufacture from a fragmented supply base (Coriolis Research).
In addition, through its leading supermarkets chains like Big W and Dan Murphy, Woolworths has been able to persuade for decreased prices from its supplier, therefore, passing the same to the consumers. Consequently, the organization has benefited from an above average market share as well as amplified sales. Nevertheless, this strategy did not have a positive impact on the suppliers since their returns on investment declined. For this reason, most of the suppliers did not welcome the design (Coriolis Research). Woolworths has established the project refresh approach to synchronize the day to day prices strategy. The project refresh strategy has enhanced the supply chain through perfecting the low price retailing.
Value Chain Analysis
Value chain analysis refers to the methodical strategy in analyzing the devilment of competitiveness in an organization. These entails a series of diverse activities, for instance, logistics, operations, marketing and sales, service, procurement, technology and development among others. Value chain is an ongoing concept that changes with regard to the changing nature of humanity. In Australia, the shopping habits of consumers are ever changing. This is because of the contributing factors, such as changes in the population, households, and lifestyles. Furthermore, one core factor to note is that consumers are becoming more health conscious. Therefore, this has necessitated organizations to promote healthy foods through extending the fresh and health section of supermarkets and other retailing chains (Bird 266). Consequently, the Australian supermarkets have designed a way of ensuring customers’ convenience, speed as well as freshness to create value.
The three largest supermarkets in Australia are Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi. In New Zealand and Australia, Woolworths is the largest with a high market share in food, liquor retailers, as well as the largest Hotel and Poker Machine operator in Australia. The led to the organization to be categorized into several sections, for instance, non-trade services, long life variety, Liquor, and Fuel. Value chain analysis is significant because it ensures the organization’s products and services are effective since they represent the basic needs of consumers. Through value chain analysis, Woolworths organization has been able to separate good and bad procurements and the outstanding ones in the shelves. The value chain in Woolworths enabled the organization to adopt a management philosophy to apply on the day to day operations of the organization (Arli). This decision has enabled the organizational leaders to come up with new ideas and tests that are productive. This process entails human as part of the important factors, thereby enabling it to give outstanding performance. Woolworths is preparing to devote $ 1 billion in restoration supply chain, which decrease the cost of conveyance and goods across the nation, providing production achievements.
In Australia, Cole is considered the second largest supermarket. It has several sectors, for instance, bake house, dairy, fresh produce, liquor and general merchandise among others. The consequence of the organization value chain analysis is for the firm to be more competitive in the same manner it merged with shell Oil Company to produce low priced gas. This influenced competing organization to enter into similar agreements with the oil production companies. The value chain analysis of the organization also resulted in concepts that allowed low pricing strategies that were different from competing firms. Coles has 24 supply centers in Australia with more than 2,200 openings to service the products frequently. The organization has also initiated performance indicators aimed at identifying sectors that lack of proficiency and improve time and operation cycle.
Aldi is a universal discount supermarket chain with headquarters in Germany. The organization is categorized into two; Aldo Nord and Aldi Sud. The organization specializes in products that are consumed by clients, such as food and beverages. The organization produces its own products thereby leaving a very limited shelf for external products. Value chain has enabled the organization to offer products to consumers at a cheaper price. Due to the effects of lowered prices the organization offered, its competing firms Woolworths and Coles were greatly impacted. This process necessitated the organization to come up with counter strategies like everyday low pricing and save everyday strategies. Therefore, value chain analysis enabled the organizations to enhance its competition rate thereby delivering high quality goods and services.
Generally, as a result of the differences in stores and prices, Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi have achieved an upsurge in sales. The organizations have also concentrated on increasing the space stage products and other exceptional features like Wi-Fi services, pizzas, and takeaway. Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi have grounded their devilment prospects with regard to the aptitude to take advantage of the innovation in stores.
Enterprise Value for Woolworths
Enterprise value is an organization’s approximation proxy that estimates the present market value of a firm. The enterprise value is used to define takeover or merger price of an organization. It incorporates the entire liquid asset, outstanding debt, and exotic equity instruments that an organization has on the balance sheet. In case of a merger, the parent organization assumes the target organizations’ liabilities but it takes possession of all cash and cash equivalents.
Woolworths Limited Enterprise Value = Market Cap + Debt – Cash = 31.66 B
Woolworths is one of the biggest organizations in the Australian and New Zealand retailing industry. From the discussion, Woolworths is faced with the high competition in the industry. This is because of the presence of similar products and services. However, its distinct strategy has seen it continue succeeding in its operations. Woolworths, Coles, and Aldicustomers are largely individual consumers, which mean that customer influence is great in their operations. Through value chain analysis, each organization has directed its strategic planning to compete in different ways, thus, upholding its position in the market.
Arli, Verdi, et al. “Woolworths Australia and Walmart US: Best practices in supply chain collaboration.” Journal of Economics, Business, and Accountancy| Ventura 16.1 (2013).
Bird, Jo. “The retail dominance of supermarkets in Australia: a growing geography of pseudo-foods and its implications for obesity.” International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry 4.3 (2011): 265-280.
Coriolis Research. Overview of Woolworths Australia. 2005.Accessed 07 May 2016.http://www.coriolisresearch.com/pdfs/coriolis_overview_woolworths_australia_200502.pdf#sthash.mxxT8lBD.dpuf
Fenner, Robert. Woolworths’ sales rise on Australia supermarket growth. 2009. accessed07 May 2016.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2009-07-23/australias-woolworths-facing-costco-takes-tips-from-walmart
Strategic Analysis of Apple Inc
Apple Inc is one of the most successful companies on the international smartphone markets today. This success is attributable to among other factors the production of quality products through value addition and differentiation of products such as the iPhone. Success is also attributable to high quality customer services and an organizational culture defined by systematic leadership. In addition, the company has also been successful due to the organizational culture that has defined its structure and system of leadership. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the current position of Apple Inc in the smartphone industry through a discussion of the company’s strategic framework using models such as Porters five forces, PESTLE analysis the report will alienage in resource audit and value chain analysis to evaluate the company’s competencies and resources and propose areas of value addition.
Political and economic factors
The sale of the iPhone is considered as the most profitable product for the company. However, the company has been able to forecast the possibility of a fall in its sales of the iPhone. The fall can be attributed to the rise and popularity of new competitors in the smartphone industry. Smartphone companies such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo have continued to gain dominance on the international smartphone market. This has partly been attributed to the ability of companies such as Samsung to provide lower cost smartphones in Southeast Asia, Middle East and in Africa (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35412892).
Apple operates on the high-end market with its main source of revenue being China. Despite its popularity in China emerging Chinese smartphone companies such as Xiaomi, continue to expand their dominance in the Chinese market by providing high quality smartphones to Apple customers (Apple Inc 4).
The recent reported slowdown in iPhone sales cannot be used as an indication that the industry is in the maturity stage. This is because the growth rate of an industry is defined by the activities of the companies that comprise it. Failure by these companies to engage in technological innovation that can disrupt industrial operations can be cited as the major reason for the slowdown (Kim and Renée 28). The production of iPhone 6 is an indication that Apple has stopped its ability to disrupt other smartphone manufacturing companies with the iPhone (Pablo & Sampere 1). This does not mean that Apple cannot disrupt other industries. Other than focusing on new products to boost its position and sales on the international market, the smartphone industry still presents Apple with a myriad of opportunities on how to creates and maintain a competitive advantage against competing rivals on the international market (Pablo & Sampere 1).
Customers are considered as the most important asset for any company. This is because they exist as the source of revenue for companies when they purchase their products and services. Customer preferences are often considered as the most essential element defining the approach that companies give to their products with regard to sales and promotions (Lussier 18).
The dominance of Apple Company on the international market can be attributed to the ability of the company to provide its customer with quality products. This elucidates that despite increased competition on the international market, Apple is still a dominant player in the market. Providing variety not only serves to retain customer but also establishes customer loyalty to the brand (Lussier 22). The possible decline in the sales of Apple Company can be attributed to an increase in the number of available and high quality smartphone alternatives in the market. In addition, minor improvements in the iPhone 6 can be considered as the demotivating factor among loyal customers (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35412892).
Technological improvements are considered as defining elements of change in a company. When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, it made functions of different mobile devices accessible to millions of users across the international market (Kim and Renée 21). Subsequent versions of the iPhone, while responding to technological changes and consumer needs introduced essential aspect such as multitasking through different mobile phone applications (Kim and Renée 21). Other versions such as iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 were able to improve and refine new functionalities of the smartphone. iPhone 6, which was considered as a game changer, has not been able to provide consumers with the expected technological disruption as the previous versions. An increase in the screen size and memory capacity comprises the major difference between iPhone 5 and Iphone 6 (Pablo & Sampere 1). This is however not a technological disruption because an increase in screen size is only an industrial feature that other smartphone companies have already introduced (Pablo & Sampere 1).
Customers have considered the decision by Apple Company to introduce Error 53 codes that permanently disables iPhone 6 software after software upgrades as outrageous and consequently disturbing. This is because it destroys the property belonging to customers (Brignall 1). Inasmuch as Apple introduced this technique as a security measures, there are suggestions that it is possible that the company introduced the policy as a revenue increasing strategy, which would compel iPhone 6 users in need of repair to pay the company (Brignall 1). Customers who have been affected by this policy have been compelled to purchase new handsets and this has proved to be relatively expensive. The decision by the company to introduce a software damaging technology with the objective of protecting the customer and securing the product has been perceived as a breach of basic consumer laws. Any decision by the company to continue with the implementation of this policy could introduce the company to multiple litigations and encourage scrutiny into the company’s operations (Brignall 1).
Apple faces the environmental concern of safe dumping of used and damaged smartphone devices. Pollution resulting from manufacturing facilities in China is a growing concern, which necessitates the development of, polices regulating the manufacturing process
Summary of genetic factors
Apple considers iPhone sales as one of the major sources of revenue for the company. This is because of the prevalence of the smartphone devices on the international market. The predicted drop in sales of the Iphone threatens the revenue capacity and the dominance of the company as a technological giant (Müller 14). The differentiation strategy adopted by the company provides Apple with a differential advantage over existing competitors such as Samsung (Hill et al 21).
Despite embracing innovation as defining elements of the differentiation strategy, there is need of the company to improve on the application of its growth and value improvement strategy through the development of techniques that can be used in penetrating markets in developing economies where the popularity of the company’s products is still relatively limited (Hill et al 34).
Product development, market development, and market penetration are considered as the main intensive growth strategies of the company. These strategies are in agreements with the company’s generic strategy. Apple is strong in product development through its ability to embrace innovation (O’Grady 18). However, for the company to ensure any form of improvement in its performance there is need to develop additional techniques of enhancing market penetration capabilities through market development strategies (Krosinsky 1).
Apple brand development strategy serves the important role of improving and maintaining the company’s competitive advantage in the international market (Kapferer and Bastien 56). The innovative and beautiful designs of Apple products deliver not only the intended purpose of the products but also seek ways of improving its ability to establish a highly competitive brand (Meyer 1). The development of products such as iPhone 6 embraces varieties of aspects about customer experience (McFedries 10). The company has also been able to expand and improve on its distribution capacities by opening hundreds of retail outlets in major markets populated by the target customers (Kosaka and Kunio 18). An additional aspect that defines competitive advantage the brand loyalty of Apple in markets such as China is the ability of the company to produce products that are appealing to customer emotions. Thus makes their product not only aesthetically appealing to the customer but also contributing to the cultural operations that define the satisfaction of customer needs (Daft 112).
Despite the perceived advantages resulting from the differentiation and brad development strategies associated with Apple the company can also be accused of reluctance concerning the ability to ensure sustainable innovation and the protection of customer interests (Wit et al 44). Marginal differences between iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 are an indication of failure by the innovative team to provide the customer experience that defines the value proposition statements of the company (Morris et al 56). Furthermore, through the introduction of Error 53 codes the company has not only infringed on consumer right of ownership of property but it can also be accused of the introduction of reckless polices for profit making at the expense of satisfying consumer needs (Brignall 1).
Porter’s five forces
Power of Buyer:
The company’s differentiation strategy provides Apple with a competitive advantage considering that the company maintains customer brand loyalty while at the same time sustaining the prevailing market. With the introduction of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, Apple was able to adopt the focused differentiation strategy, which was accompanied by improvements from the previous iPhone 5 including an increase in memory capacity and screen size.
The company’s strategy of differentiation helps the company in maintaining its position as a leader in the technological market. Differentiation in function and design affirms the objective of the company to provide customers with high quality experience using technological innovations (Meyer 1)
Power of Supplier
Manufacturers and suppliers of component products if Apple products are mainly in China Suppliers from China are highly influential because they the dominance of resources which enable them to decide particular prices making it difficult for Apple to control. Apple has price-to-fixed contracts while price is independent as it varies due to the nature of its products.
Rivalry among existing competitors:
Smartphone companies such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo have continued to gain dominance on the international smartphone market. This has partly been attributed to the ability of companies such as Samsung to provide lower cost smartphones in Southeast Asia, Middle East and in Africa (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35412892). Apple operates on the high-end market with its main source of revenue being China. Despite its popularity in China emerging Chinese smartphone companies such as Xiaomi, continue to expand their dominance in the Chinese market by providing high quality smartphones alternatives to Apple customers (Apple Inc 4).
Threat of Entrants
Market for smartphones is relatively saturated on the international platform with countries such as South Korea and China, engaging in the development of high quality smartphones (Market line, 2014). The demand for relatively cheaper, easy to use and high quality smartphones in Asia and developing countries has made the threat of new entrants in the international market high. Smartphone production is capital intensive and sustaining such a brand is challenging. That is why entry barriers in smartphone industry are differentiation and access to wider distribution channel, group analysis and this puts Apple as the leader in the production and marketing of high quality smartphones.
Threat of Substitutes
The company faces challenges in the implementation of its value addition strategies. This is because existing competitors such as Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi are in the process of incorporating similar strategies hence increasing the level of competition in the market (http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-market-share.js).
Market development is a value addition strategy that Apple uses in establishing its strategic position in the technological world to limit the threat of substitution. Market development involves the creation of new markets for new products or venturing into a new market. Market development is an essential value addition strategy for the company because it focuses on the development of new technique that can be used in entering new markets (Hiriyappa 32).
The introduction of different versions of the iPhone can be considered as market development strategy used by Apple to expand its market share. Through the innovative measure applied in every subsequent product, Apple has been able to establish an effective customer base in different reigns around the world (Ferrell and Michael 34). The introduction of new products such as Apple watch can be perceived as a value addition strategy aimed at improving the image of the company in the smart watch market.
|Threat of Entry||High|
|Threat of Substitutes||Moderate|
|Power of Supply||High|
|Power of Buyer||Moderate|
|The table below is a summary of the relationship between Apple’s unique resources and core competencies in the company’s value chain|
|SAME AS COMPETITORS||BETTER THAN COMPETITORS|
|Necessary resources||Unique resources|
|Resources||· Procurement of device components from manufacturers in China
· Varieties of Iphone 6 versions in the market
· Company investment in additional outlets stores in the Asian market to boost sales
|· An established presence in the high-end market
· Unique product features
· Strong financial position
· Different Brand Portfolios such as iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s
|Threshold competencies||Core competencies|
|Competencies||· Engaging in innovations as part of product and value development
· Customer service is tailored in accordance with diverse and unique customer needs to provide the Apple experience
· Apple operates on a strong brand equity in the t international market
· Apple is popular as a dynamic, innovative and the production of high quality.
· Apple embraces employees and customers as essential partners in organizational development and profitability.
· The company owns its brand logos, copyrights, product packaging and web domain names
|Firm infrastructure||Strong financial position and corporate social responsbility
Effective compliance process using verification and strategic knowledge
Effective technological systems across the supply chain
|Human resource management||Effective management team
Effective management and corporate strategy globally
Rational ethical values for employee
Effective employee relationship
|Technology development||Research and development in technology
Ability to embrace change
Ability to embrace great product technology
|Procurement||Long term relationship with suppliers
Operates through just in time strategy where finished products are shipped immediately
|Inbound logistics||Operations||Outbound logistics||Marketing and sales||Services|
|Focus on product design and marketing
Specialized material importation
|Collaboration with best service providers
Outsourcing manufacturing and assembly
Investment in research and development
Effective supply chain management
|String control over its global distribution channel
Effective supplier relationship
Involvement in forward integration
|High brand reputation and recognition
Price value and leadership
Strong customer base
Differentiation of products offered
|Secure operating systems
Easy to use devices
After sale service
Improved customer satisfaction
The introduction and popularity of the iPhone presented the technological world with the understanding that the core competence of Apple Company was to deliver exceptional customer experience through superb user interfaces. The company’s value proposition can be sustained through the touch screen gestures used in the iPad, iPod and the iPhone (Hart-Davis 12). Other products such as iMac, iCloud, iTunes remains dedicated to the delivery of quality customer experience through easy to use and elegant technological interface. Since launching the Apple brand and the subsequent launching of the iPod in 2001, Apple was able to harmonize its value by improving its brand and product strategy toward commonly used consumer products (Lüsted 15). The company rebranded itself Apple Inc instead of Apple computers as an indication that it intends to surpass its computer-manufacturing role. Apple has been able to ensure that services and functionality is made accessible to consumers irrespective of the apple devices that they are using (Schneiders 22).
The company’s value addition strategy focuses on the emotions of the targeted consumers. The product is about enhancing the lifestyle, social status, passion, imagination, and aspirations in ways that provide power to the users (Zylla-Woellner 22). The ability of that company to produce portable devices that remove complexities from people’s lives led to the creation of people driven designs hence improving on the humanist nature of the products with regard to creating a heartfelt connection with the customers (Hitt et al 12).
From the external analysis of Apple Inc, the dominance of the company on the international market can be attributed to the ability of the company to provide its customer with quality products. Apple is still a dominant player in the market since it provides variety of products to not only serves to retain customer but also establishes customer loyalty to the brand.to improve on its sustainability, the company must expand and improve on its distribution capacities. This can be realized by opening hundreds of retail outlets in major markets populated by the target customers. An additional aspect would be to improve on its brand loyalty in markets such as China by producing products that are appealing to customer emotions and technological needs.
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