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Str 581 Week5 Implementation, Strategic Controls, and Contingency Plans Borders Group Inc BGP

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Str 581 Week5
Implementation, Strategic Controls, and Contingency Plans
Borders Group, Inc. (BGP) is a leading global retailer of books, music, movies,
gifts and other entertainment items. BGP needs new growth methods, product
development and new revenue sources. The implementation plan below will
identify the course of action best suited for the corporation along with the
implementation process, assessed risks and financial projections that will be
used as the basis for moving the business forward.
Implementation plan
Borders Group, Inc. is currently in a transition period and seeking methods that
will allow the company to regain market share. This implementation is
primarily concerned with how to diversify the product offerings, regain
customer loyalty and become a major retailer of e-readers and related
merchandise. An implementation plan is a “detailed listing of activities, costs,
expected difficulties, and schedules that are required to achieve the objectives of
the strategic plans” ("Implementation Plan," 2011). The management team has
devised a plan that addresses the following areas of concern: short-term
objectives, initiate specific functional tactics, outsource nonessential functions
and design an effective reward.
Objectives
Objectives are “specific, usually quantitative, results operating managers set out
to achieve in the immediate future” (Pearce & Robinson, 2011). BGP has the
following primary objectives:
Increase internet based sales: Competitors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble
have made significant gains in market share due to the functionality provided by
their websites. Amazon is able to compete on a grander scale because it does not
have to support a brick and mortar distribution channel. In this manner, it is able
to curtail costs which it passes on to its customers in the form of competitive
prices.

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Increase use of Kobo e-reader: Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and
Apple’s iPad have already saturated the market. It is important that Borders
Group Inc. find a way to attract new customers away from the major retailers.
Technology, function and design will be important in achieving this task.
Increase sales in storefront locations: It is necessary that BGP properly assess
its target market. Properly targeting its key demographic, namely women and
seasonal shoppers, will be essential in providing books, music, movies and other
amenities that will appeal to this group.
Functional tactics
According to Pearce and Robinson (2011), functional tactics are detailed
statements of the “means” or activities that will be used by a company to
achieve short-term objectives and establish competitive advantage. Management
involvement is required for the functional tactics to be successfully
implemented. In addition, the functional areas marketing, finance, operations,
R&D and human resources will need to be included so that change can occur on
all facets of the business’ operation (Pearce & Robinson, 2011). The Research &
Development department is critical to the success of the e-reader as well as
increasing internet sales. R&D will determine how to utilize new technology to
enhance current product offerings. In addition, this department will help to
ascertain which features are most important to individuals who will primarily
use the retailers online purchasing option. Marketing works in conjunction with
R&D to identify how to retain current customers while simultaneously
attracting competitors’ customers. The foundation of all efforts will be the
Finance department. This division will concern themselves with ensuring that
projected and actual costs do not exceed company resources.
Action items
The focus of the action is plan is pinpoint the customers’ desires and make it
practical and profitable. The customer is the focus of an action plan and thus is
the key to the companys success. The key to successful implementation is to
provide staff with adequate resources and raw materials while empowering
them to think outside of previously established confines. Furthermore, staff
must also be empowered to make decisions on behalf of the organization
provided they fall within the organization’s blueprint. The R&D department will
be divided between two projects: developing new technology that will make the
Borders’ Kobo a viable competitor against other e-readers and development of a
technologically-savvy website. The efforts of the Marketing department will be
two-fold: determine what is needed to please the customer and relaying this

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information to the management team and R&D department. Secondly, this
department will focus on implementing a campaign to attract new clientele to
the store and website.
Milestones and a deadline
Milestones must be attainable. The first two milestones will happen
simultaneously. Focus will be evenly divided between development of a new
product to introduce to the current customers. The product development phase is
expected to take place over a three to six month time period. After a prototype is
produced the life cycle of the new product must be reviewed to determine if it
will be a profitable venture for the company. After receiving approvals the
responsibilities will shift to the Marketing department. The development of a
user-friendly website will be done in key phases over an 18 month period.
During months one to six, the focus will be on increase website security with
SSL encryption, allowing customers to browse, preview and purchase currently
in-print materials in hard cover, soft cover and digital forms and efficient check
out procedures. The second phase at months seven to twelve will involve
increasing the availability of entertainment merchandise such as movies, music,
and related items. Finally in months 13 to 18 the focus will be on building a
database to search and order out-of-print materials.
Tasks and task ownership
To meet the deadline, many tasks must be assigned and completed within a
specified amount time frame. Task ownership is one of the key elements of
motivating employees because it ensures accountability and makes certain team
members responsible for completing work (“Task Ownership,” 2011). The first
task will occur simultaneously. Qualified web developers and software
technicians will be entrusted with the task of developing a technologically-
advanced website that is easy to navigate and provides customers the ability to
purchase merchandise and speak with a live chat agent should customer service
issues arise. The Marketing department will assume responsibility for branding
the organization and its new product offerings. As stores are revamped and the
image of the company is overhauled it is critical that the Marketing department
produce unique promotions ideas, print and ad campaigns to reassure the public
of its commitment to providing unequalled access to in-print and out-of-print
titles as well as related merchandise.
Resource allocation

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