.. two issues are noteworthy that need attention in order to be solved. These are presented in the weaknesses section. Namely, these are the: (1) the problem of supply of ACCA lecturers and (2) the need for additional services at Global. However as Mr.
Kiritsis, the CEO of Global Training implies, the two problems are closely related to each other. As he characteristically argues, they are a single problem inside my mind. The first problem is analyzed: Global Training employs lecturers from abroad due to their experience and certification, usually from Cyprus and the UK. These countries have been using the ACCA as a recognized professional degree for decades and therefore are more familiar with the system. Greece has only recently recognized it through the EU directives and a limited number of trainers exist. The lecturers from Cyprus and the UK are mostly ACCA degree holders and specialists in their field of teaching. However, in order to use these lecturers, the costs are high due to the following reasons: a.
Air fare b. Accommodation c. Pocket Expenses d. Teaching hours e. Non flexible programme Having a specialist costs almost five times as much as the normal cost of the fee. If one considers the 14 courses the ACCA requires and the number of hours required for tuition, it is extremely necessary for the company to find local specialized lecturers and train them.
The second problem has to do with the amount of services offered. Global Training in Athens only offers one service, the ACCA. Therefore, the service portfolio is limited. Given the various threats and the prospect of competition, it is essential to market new programmes in order to compliment the ACCA and use an additional service to increase the figure of profit and be on the safe side. These two problrems are united in one. Insreasing the services (i.e seminars) means more lecturers, which is the first problem.
On the other hand more service will bring substancial profits an potential to make a better human resource planning, in terms of the lecturers. 5. THE OPTIONS The options have been identified above: Addressing Local Lecturers: It is urgently required to find local lecturers and cut the costs for the programme significantly. This may have a down side in terms of quality, however this could be done gradually. Finding and training local staff may increase costs from a financial standpoint in the beginning, however in the long run will have positive effects since the costs of running the programme will drop (five times less). This could be done in two phases.
First, finding existing ACCA students at Global Training that are completing the programme and offer them the possibility, after adequate training to work as part time consultants and trainers. Second, by advertising in the local newspapers to find managers and partners in local audit firms or banks to work on a part time basis in the beginning and also find ACCA degree holders in Greece, even if this is a rare possibility. Establishing new services: Global Training Athens should develop and market a new services such as seminars / in house training to companies and individuals in order to limit the possibility of the ACCA programme dropping in figures. Even though Global Training can be considered a nicher as a specialist in ACCA training in Greece, it is necessary to grow. Seminars or conferences in subjects like International Accounting Standards and / or Risk Management will compliment the ACCA degree scheme and will be cost effective as they are short in their nature (weekends) and profit margins are on the positive side.
Hence with the profits from the new services we can plan in such a way to have foreign lecturers in the most critical services and local lecturers where they can be simirarly efficient. 6. EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the examination and the issues raised, potential options will be presented along with various conclusions and discussion points. These conclusions will be based on the company in general, however emphasis will be given from a marketing standpoint in the effort to formulate potential strategies for the organization to move from its present position into a more effective one. The company has successfully penetrated the market of training in a specific field and has thus gained considerable market share.
The latest statistics indicate that in Greece, close to 200 students took the June 2000 examinations, and this means that Global Training has gained more than 70 per cent of the market. (However, students who did not take the June examinations are not counted and cannot easily be tracked.) This implies that the programme is relatively new, a market does exist and the demand for it is growing due to the issues raised prior to the SWOT analysis. The strengths of the company and the programme are noteworthy and the competitive advantage is demonstrated through the lack of actual competition, the market share, governmental regulations, its EU nature and the benefits such a programme can offer. The passing rates reinforce the quality of the services offered and potential opportunities may be identified. Marketing conducted the past two years can be considered successful due to the doubling of enrollment and the issues to be raised at this point are two: 1.
Is the company ready to accept a greater demand in numbers? Is the supply cost effective and existent? 2. Can the company find alternative services to offer (advance service portfolio) to complement the ACCA programme? The strategy of the company from a critical view point is similar to that of a market nicher. As argued by most theorists, an alternative to being a follower in a large market is to be a leader in a small market, or niche. The key idea in nichemanship is specialization. Based on Kotler (1998), Global Training can be characterized as a service specialist or a product line specialist in the sense that the firm offers one service not available from other firms.
It may be that from a strategic point of view Global Training may be better off not marketing its service (ACCA) vastly, but concentrating on its specialty. Adding more services or products may have a boomerang effect on the company. It may loose its specialization. However, what happens if and when other firms start competing in the same area? Even though it is quite difficult in the near future, substitutes may gain parts of the market. For this reason, and for the fact that having one service is always risky since business environment changes may create problems for the company, additional services are considered a must.
One more service offered does not necessarily mean that Global Training may lose its characteristic as a nicher. Therefore: – Additional service(s) should be added to the service portfolio; – Recruitment of additional staff to meet the current and prospective demand for the service; In the case of Global Training the company needs to first differentiate and position itself. In the words of the Managing Director, Global Training is the Mercedes of Training. Therefore, the aim is to produce superior service at a premium cost, well advertised. This is a logical position for a company that is considered a leader in ACCA training in Greece.
The next step is to differentiate, for example to include a new tested service. Something that should be taken into consideration is the service life cycle and modified at the different stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline and the global opportunities and challenges. SUMMARY The previous sections attempted to conduct a SWOT analysis of Global Training Athens which would, along with the companys profile, provide useful information towards the identification of possible problems. Such problems were identified and options towards their effective solution were proposed. The issue for the company will be to examine which of these options can be implemented within the current environmental conditions. At this point we should stretch the fact that this report gave equal importance to the identification of the problem as well as to its possible solution.
That was a result of our belief that solutions to problems are given by their full and extended identification. If you deeply analyse the roots of the problem you can also find what should have been done before it had arised. Bibliography REFERENCES 1. Baker, M. Marketing an Introductory text, sixth edition Mc Millan Press 1996, UK 2. Gravens.
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