The Market Plan Essay for Freight Forwarding Company was derived through research conducted by our Marketing Department and supervised by me, as the Director of Marketing. In anticipation of this report, we researched our competitors using primarily Internet resources and gathered data to compare our competitors' practices and services to our own. In comprising the actual Market Plan Essay we obtained research from scholarly articles and/or essays. The areas that this Market Plan Essay will cover include: the Executive Summary, the SWOT analysis, the target market, the competitors' substitutes, the pricing of our services, our channels of distribution, and our promotional budget. Our Market Plan Essay revealed that our company's areas for growth consisted of customer service, value of services, and meeting our promotional budget and throughout this essay solutions are proposed for these issues. Furthermore, the information obtained and revealed in this essay provides us with a roadmap and a plan of action for the future to help ensure that Freight Forwarding Company remains vibrant in the freight shipping industry.
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
As the director of the marketing department for Freight Forwarding Company, I present this Market Plan on behalf of my department. Months of research and analysis has led us to the conclusions found within this Report and it is our goal to improve our Company's overall advertising of its services, customer demand for services, output of its services, and the stream of incoming revenue for our company. Our Market Plan addresses the pertinent areas that formulate the basis for the success of our company.
Specifically, this Market Plan examines the following area as it relates to Freight Forwarding Company: 1. Services description situational analysis (SWOT): What services we deliver and how we currently deliver them. We will examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that currently exist for our company. This report will propose solutions on how to maximize the strengths, decrease and counter the weaknesses, exploit our current opportunities that will maximize our success, and counter the current threats that threaten our companies continued success. 2. The target market: We will examine who our target market is and what their current needs and demands are. This report addresses how we can better serve our target market and increase business among them. 3. The competitors' substitutes: We will thoroughly address who are competitors are, what services they offer, and how we can tailor our services uniquely to suit our customers' needs while distinguishing our services from those of our competitors. 4. The pricing of our services: We will address what our current prices are and how they currently compare with those of our competitors. We will also address how we can better market our company through promotional rates. 5. What are the channels of distributions: We will address how our currently services are advertised and delivered to our target market and how we can better improve on this delivery, 6. Our promotional budget: We will present an example of our promotional budget for the upcoming fiscal year and examine the strengths and weaknesses of such.
After thoroughly researching each of these categories, we have determined how Freight Forwarding Company can improve its profitability in terms of consumer demand and make our company more attractive than its competitors. While in the past we did not always do so, we now propose a customer centered approach. We believe that understanding the needs and demands of the customer and focusing on delivery of such is what makes a company successful.
II. SERVICES DESCRIPTION AND SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS (SWOT)
Overview of Our Services:
Freight Forwarding Company was established in 1987 as a freight distribution company in Los Angeles California. Southland Distribution, Inc. (2007). We currently have 120 employees both full and part time. We offer services throughout the continental U.S. And Canada and we offer services by air, truck, and rails nationwide. Southland Distribution, Inc. (2007). Our air and rail services are contracted through various companies. Each year, we ship millions of pounds of freight for our consumers. We provide a quality guarantee that the customer's merchandise arrives at its destination damage free, and we also provide insurance for our customers, which we highly recommend. We operate our services 24 hours per day seven days a week by air, truck, and rails. Our company specializes in shipping freight for businesses and the customer is charged by the pound and based on how opt to have their goods shipped and the speed at which they choose to have them shipped. We offer free tracking to our customers and guarantee that their goods will arrive on or before their scheduled time. Southland Distribution, Inc. (2007).
All claims regarding liability must be made within seven (7) days of the shipment completion date. Our company requires that each of its customers submit a waiver acknowledging that their goods are free from damage prior to shipment. Southland Distribution, Inc. (2007). In the event that a claim surfaces Freight Forwarding Company provides numerous insurance options for its customers to cover their losses. We encourage all customers to understand that it is our goal to provide quality services that exceed their expectation while at the same time understanding the risks and limitations involved when hiring a shipment company.
Our Company's Strengths:
In anticipation of this Marketing Plan, our marketing department surveyed each of our 120 employees regarding our company's strengths and weaknesses. We then elicited research surveys from customers that have obtained our services in the last year. Our goal is to compare our responses with those of the customers to obtain a well rounded data that encompasses internal and external perspectives.
The results of our company survey revealed our strengths as: Quality of services, value of services, and customer service/understanding the customer's needs and providing them.
Based on our customer centered approach, we conducted our customer survey in a more detailed format and calculated percentages of the customers that responded in each area. The question was posed to the customer in the following format: "Having recently received services from the Freight Forwarding Company" what, in your opinion, are the company's strengths?" The survey was conducted from a random sample of 100 customers and the results are as follows:
44% of customers surveyed stated that they believed that the Quality of our Services were our company's main strength. One customer wrote, "I felt confident entrusting my goods to Freight Forwarding Company. They provided step-by-step consultation of the services that they provide and a complete description of how they would make the delivery. I was able to track where my goods were at all times and my goods arrived on time in perfect condition. I will definitely hire this company for all of my future shipping needs."
20% of customers surveyed stated that they believed that our Customer Service were our company's main strength. One customer wrote, "My questions were answered in a timely and professional manner. This is the first time I have used shipping services, but not at one time did I feel lost in the process. The customer service representatives were knowledgeable on the services and eased all of my concerns regarding the process."
20% of customers surveyed that they believed that the Value of our services were our company's main strength. The Value of our services is the considered as the cost of the services that we offer compared with the actual service that the customer receives. One customer wrote, "Compared with companies that offer the same type of services, Freight Forwarding was very competitive in their prices."
14% of customers surveyed stated that they believed that the Efficiency of our services were our companies strength. Efficiency of service was described to the customer as how fast the goods arrived at their destination compared to what the customer's expectations and needs were. One customer wrote, "I needed to have my merchandise at their destination within one week of the time they were shipped. Freight Forwarding Company was able to meet my needs by air. I was able to get the goods immediately shipped and they arrived on time. Other companies could not get my goods immediately shipped." Other customers' responses to the survey regarding our company's strengths included the methods of shipping/modes of services.
Our Analysis of Customer Responses:
Our marketing department, based on the customers' responses, concluded the following: The majority of our customers were satisfied with our quality of services. Most of our customers are pleased with the method in which their goods are packaged and shipped, that their goods arrived safely and damaged free, and that, in the event that there was an issue with damage, our insurance options provided the requisite coverage. We believe that overall the quality of service that we provide meets the customers' expectations, although we strive to increase customer satisfaction in this area as the number still fell below 50%.
One solution we have proposed to increase our quality of service is to note all the situations when our quality of services…