You are required to perform a strategic audit on a company of Whole Foods Market. In performing your analysis, you should put your team in the position of a consulting group. You have hired by the Board of Directors to conduct this strategic audit. You are to determine whether the organization’s strategy is effective, and to provide specific advice and implementation ideas on how to improve the firm’s strategy going forward. Two key questions that should be addressed in you audit include:
- What are the most important problems and opportunities that this organization will face in the near future?
- What should this organization do to handle these problems/opportunities?
- Internal Environment Analysis: four pages
- Strategic Recommendations and Action Plan
Please take note of the page guidelines for each section as they convey the importance I place on each section. The most important section, and the one you should give the most thought to, is strategic recommendations. I am most interested in the strategies you think this organization should pursue going forward. Your paper should not be a report of what the organization has done in the past, rather it should be a thoughtful argument of what the organization should do in the future. Strategy is about the future, reports are about the past.
There is no one right way to conduct a strategic audit. How you conduct the audit depends largely upon the company, the industry, and the level of analysis. You should tailor your audit to your specific firm. At a minimum your audit should consider the following questions and provide answers if relevant:
- How attractive is the primary industry this firm operates in? Has this industry generated above average returns in the past and is it likely to generate above average returns in the future? What are the key structural/competitive forces of this industry?
- What are the key success factors necessary for success in this industry? That is, what macro variables largely determine which firms earn above average returns in this industry?
- What has been the firm’s primary strategy, how well has it been working, and why has it been performing such? First, identify the basic business model and strategy the firm has been using. Second, provide a detailed financial analysis, both on a cross sectional and longitudinal basis (three years minimum if possible), to determine whether or not this firm has generated positive economic value. In your analysis you should assess how a firm can improve its financial performance on measures such as ROE, ROA, profit margin, sales growth, etc. Third, identify the reasons behind why this firm’s strategy has been generating below, average, or above-average profitability. What are the resources and drivers of performance?
- Based upon your analyses of the industry and the company, develop conclusions and offer specific recommendations and an action plan concerning what this firm should do over the next two- to five-year time period. The conclusions and recommendations you make should be backed up by logical arguments supported by rigorous quantitative and qualitative arguments. Where possible, use the tools you have been taught to strengthen your argument. Continually ask yourself, “does this argument make sense,” and, “if this were my money would I follow this advice?”
Use Standard and Poor’s Industry Surveys, the Your paper should include references.