The 1-800 flower company has attained significant success in selling and advertising its products online. The brand has managed to stay competitive in the market over the years through its aggressive strategies both in the marketing and handling of their clients. In recent times, however, a lot has changed in the industry with regards to the marketing methods as well as the supply chain of the commodities. As such, it is only reasonable that the company rethink their current strategies and consider making changes to suit the dynamic market conditions to stay relevant and competitive enough to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Q.1 Why collaboration is important
Considering the circumstance the company currently faces with the changing market trends, it would seem like a good strategy for the company to collaborate with other players in the market. Such a move is bound to strengthen the company, enhancing its competitive advantage over other similar companies in the market as it would avail more resources to pursue the company goals and stipulated objectives. The resources center on not only the capital and machinery but also the human element, as more skills would be availed at its disposal to utilize for the maximum output possible. As a result of this collaboration, the company would not have to outstretch its resources as currently is the case, and thus would be able to outcompete its market competitors for limited opportunities easily.
Q. 2 What is unique about the collaborations
Flowers, by its nature, are a unique commodity owing to a range of factors. Firstly, the perishability of the merchandise makes it a risky venture to undertake given the uncertainty of the market, especially during different seasons of the year. Secondly, the market is such that the value of the flower is dependent on the occasion where it is put in use. As such, the commodity retains maximum value when the time taken from the source to the client is shortest.
Q.3 Risks of Working with Independent Florists
However, working with independent florists as a form of collaboration is bound to present a myriad of challenges. For one, independent florists might find it challenging to work under the company's terms, given that they are mostly used to designing their working conditions. As such, disputes regarding the terms of the contract could be expected every once in a while, with the primary objective being the control of the commodities they offer.
Q.4 Partnership Model
The collaboration model that 1-800 Flowers company adopts with the various florists can be best described as strategic alliances as they are agreements with other independent entities, which allow them to combine their resources on a temporary basis. This kind of partnership enables the different companies to work towards a particular goal without having to outstretch their limits.
Q.5 Benefits to Noth Sides
The benefits for both sides of the strategic alliance is that the available resources are pooled together to attain a competitive edge in the industry. This factor enables the companies to take advantage of opportunities that would otherwise have been impossible or out of reach. The 1-800 Flowers company, for instance, can diversify its services and products at a reduced cost. It is through this that the company is able to operate on several platforms, including social media, telephone, and print media. For the other entities making up the partnership, they benefit a lot from 1-800's advertising and extensive links in the flower market and thus a lower operating cost.
Q.6 Risks of Owning Florists
In owning some florists, the 1-800 Flower company would be putting themselves at risk of unnecessary costs due to the liability factor. Even though it would have more control over its distribution networks, the company would be shifting the liabilities from the florists to itself.
Q.7 Improvement Plans
The current improvement plans are sound and attainable with proper planning and execution, given the company's position as a market and innovation leader in the industry.
Q.8 Innovators Dilemma
The innovator's dilemma refers to a situation where established companies get edged out of the market by emerging entities due to the introduction of new technologies and innovations. The 1-800-Flowers company has been in several such situations, and each time managed to maneuver around it to emerge as the top company in the flower industry. The most recent dilemma was when social media, led by Facebook and the likes, took over the industry. Recognizing the precarious position this situation potentially placed them, 1-800 was quick to partner with the tech giant to create a fully operational online store, the first of its kind at the time. This move allowed the company to stay ahead of its competitors, who followed suit shortly after that.
Q.9 Business Maturity
Following through the 1-800's development and growth record ever since its inception, it would be safe to assume that the company has the right level of organizational maturity to pursue the most recent strategy. The maturity is evident in the level of success the company has attained over the past years due to meticulous planning that allows them to not only stay afloat but lead the flocks in the flower market. Going by their previous records, it is highly likely that the company would be successful in this venture, as well.
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