Discuss the company's competitors, and the strengths and weaknesses of each
HP is a technology solutions provider to global institutions, to corporate businesses and even to individual consumers. It specializes in a wide span of IT infrastructure, personal computers and access devices, global services and even image printing. By the year 2004, their revenues totaled to $76.8 billion, a firm financial base for such a company (Hewlett-Packard Development Company, 2004).
In the technology solutions market, the fiercest competitors to HP that have been posing challenges in all quarters are Dell and IBM as the closest competitors among other competitors.
Michael Dell is the founder of Dell Computers who had been working as a retailer of IBM computers before he established Dell Computers in 1987. Dell over the years has grown to be known as an enterprise that is good in keeping down the costs and getting efficiency out of its direct sales as well as from its build to order business model (The McGraw-Hill Company, 1999).
Strengths of Dell
Dell has an upper hand in several factors hence making it a competitor for HP and one of the strengths that Dell has is the Direct Model which allows the clients to fully customize the computers and laptops in particular as they order for it with the features they want directly from the company. This effectively cuts out the retailers from the distribution chain.
The other strength of Dell is that there is fast delivery of their goods as compared to HP as they cut out the retailer as the distributor and deliver it directly to the customer.
Dell also boasts of efficiency in delivery, which they almost always do in a few days since their inventory turnaround time is very efficient and they hold a well controlled relationship with suppliers. These act as a cost saving measure which dell passes on to the clients hence attracting more clients.
One of the other significant strengths of Dell is that it has successfully targeted the executive clientele, indeed 75% of their sales revenues come from large business and governmental organizations. These organizations in turn pass down to their employees the relationship that they have created with Dell. This puts them in a good position to have the business executive as a target with their new products (Prof. Pinegar, 2002).
Weaknesses of Dell
The most significant weakness according to Prof. Pinegar, (2002) is that is fails to capture the educational institutions like colleges and hence loses out on the student population that could be significant in the market share as many students buy their computers through their college offices.
In terms of the individual home user, Dell's Direct Market model at times act as its own undoing in that the clients do not have the prototype to see and touch the features before they get a similar piece. This then makes some clients hesitant of ordering for a customized laptop for their own use. This will mean that several buyers would rather walk to a competitor's shop where they have hands on experience of the piece they are meant to own. The waiting time for the customization may make some clients impatient and even the patient ones will have to pay for that time and customization.
The other weakness is that due to the several product ranges that Del deals in from different countries, there is the risk of supplying substandard goods which has occasionally caused mass recalls like the 2004 recalls of laptop adapters with fear that they could overheat and cause fire.
Since Dell is a computer maker not a manufacturer of computers, it relies on other several suppliers for the products it uses to assemble the computers. This means that there is a possibility of being rendered at the mercies of these suppliers in your distribution since the Dell timing must run concurrent with the times that it is supplied with the parts it needs.
The other competitor to HP is IBM, which was founded in 1911 with its headquarters in NY deals in computer hardware and software as well as offering hosting, infrastructure and consulting services. It is considered the largest firm in the U.S.A. As at now and globally being the 7th most profitable company.
Strengths of IBM
IBM is known to have a high performance management when it comes to business. Being that it is charged with handling almost 95 of business tasks that take place in Wall Street of the top 1000 companies, they combine the skills with the revolutionary innovations that they have to ensure this is brought to completion.
IBM also prides itself of the good organization culture as well as a strategic outsourcing, acquisitions and mergers. One of the latest being the merger with Lenovo where Lenovo will provide the outer hardware as IBM provides its latest chip technology.
IBM has also been known to deal in a very flexible marketing management with engagements in various fields like the business continuity ad resilience services, Integrated communication services, End user services, IT strategy and architecture services, Middleware services, Maintenance and technical support services, outsourcing services among many others.
The company as well has creative products and services like the revolutionary Green technology that enables a 40% saving of energy cost by use of animation, consultancy and consolidation.
IBM has been known for its high cost in the value chain. The other issue is that since the company spends a lot of time in research, they have very limited suppliers in the market therefore and bearing the massive size of the firm any immediate changes are not in the possibility spectrum.
The massive size is also a handicap that plagues it too since it makes it slower in response to customer needs as well as to the ever changing market dynamics.
IBM also has enormous operating costs, combined with the competitors continually eating into their share, makes the market very unfavorable for IBM (Jill Novak, 2011).
2. Discuss how you plan to differentiate your company from the closest competitor.
Hewlet Packard (HP) is a strong company that has a worldwide coverage in the IT related solutions just like IBM and Dell described above. There is a need to keep the organization at the top of this market so as to ensure that the company runs competitively in all sectors. Being that it is the second after IBM in the market, I will use this position as s podium for several future marketing strategies so that people will be assured of our presence and quality as well.
In order to ensure a continued rampant expansion, I will encourage the acquisition trend and mergers that will give HP a bigger name in the global market. This will ensure our products are in each and every part of the globe and the brand name becomes a daily phenomenon in the IT industry.
In order to get and upper hand in widening the gap between us and Dell, I will encourage the retention of the PC production in as much as there will be mass production of laptops and other peripherals that come with it.
Riding on the trend that HP maintained through the recession period, I will ensure that these skills are not corroded with the slowly ending recession but tap into that management expertise and gather profits from the market.
3. Discuss the company's intention to be a leader or follower within the industry.
The HP company, having emerged from the recession with comparatively less financial dents that the competitors like IBM and Dell (Seeking Alpha, 2008), the company is looking forward to utilizing this experience to move higher in the market and bring in more innovative products that will see the brand HP move to higher economic levels. This can be facilitated by constant research in the IT department as well as the marketing department so as to get the latest and most relevant managerial and marketing techniques that will see HP expand each year.
The need to expand is also seen in the organization's noble merger of activities with the leader IBM. This merger of the datacenter with IBM is just one of the many ways that will propel HP to higher heights (Eric Doyle, 20078). This merger and many others that are yet to come are meant to subsidize the strong points that HP has as it moves to higher levels where the IBM is and even beyond.
4. Assess the macro-environmental issues (legal, technological, social, and economic) trends with which your business must contend.
There are several macro-environmental issues that HP will come across and must successfully overcome in order to achieve the expansion plan and the quest to keep at the top of the market.
There is need for HP to ensure that they adhere to the legal limits in terms of the environmental observation and conservation is concerned so as to avoid any legal tussles over the illegal environmental degradation. There is also need to stay…