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Strategic analysis of Atkins PLC

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    Strategic Analysis of Atkins PLC

    I.                               Introduction

    Since 1980s we witness a fast growing technology in communications and internet, which favors the birth of a new model of the world’s economy: borderless economy. The jargon refers to the existence of cross-nations or even cross-continents trade and commerce. In internet era where any type of business made available, companies should remember that Web is inherently global. It means that when a company launches a Web site, it is accessible by a worldwide audience. Therefore, matured telecommunications and internet technologies have tangible impact not only on businesses but also on overall society.

    Moreover, United Nations Research for Social Development (UNRISD) exist to explore corporate responsibility in relation to social and environmental issues (“Research in UNRISD,” 2000).  They works comply with the idea to bring the benefits of technology to society since UNRISD encourage the transformation of environment, extension life span, creation of vast and interconnected societies in today’s internet era. Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) is one element that organizations should possess to show that they are not only chasing profit but also develop society.

    Concerning the CSR and other aspect in an organization, in this paper, I will discuss performances of a company named Atkins PLC ( Currently, this British company has become one of the world’s leaders in professional, technologically-based consulting, and support services.

    II.        Atkins Corporate Profile

    II.1      History of Atkins

    The existence of Atkins PLC started more than fifty years ago when Sir William Atkins build a company named WS Atkins & Partners in 1938. At that time, the company has strengthened its existence by opening their offices in Westminster, London. Within the initial stage, the company was famous for designing in civil and structural engineering design work. The service continues developing right after the Second World War into delivering specialized services including planning, engineering sciences, architecture, and project management (“History” 2005).

    Currently the company has more than 14,000 staffs to support its existence in strategic markets around the world. To date, Atkins has completed successful projects in over 150 countries (“History” 2005). Since Atkins operate worldwide, I consider that Atkins have the quality of being a Multinational Companies (MNCs).

    Multinational Companies (MNCs) is companies with significant direct foreign investment in at least one foreign nation other than its home country (Holt and Wigginton 6-7). For that MNC takes a global approach to foreign markets production. It is willing to consider market and production locations any where in the world. The true MNC usually uses most of the modes discusses thus far (Daniels et al 12).

    In 1986, there was a decision to spin off WS Atkins Consultant from its parent company, WS Atkins Group Limited. The decision put the company (Atkins Consultant) to have different BoD (Board of Directors).

    Atkins has seven business segments: Design and Engineering Solutions, Highways and Transportation, Rail, Middle East and China, Management and Project Services, Asset Management, Equity Investments (‘Factbook 2005’, 2005).

    II.2      Goals and objectives

    II.2.1   Objective

    In business world, we often encounter any differences between current and the future states, which further become a gap. In order to minimize the gap, therefore, a company should define clear company’s objectives and goals as part of their strategic management.

    According to Gerry Johnson and Kevin Scholes (2001), there are actually three ‘origins’ of strategic management. In their book, Exploring Strategic Management, they assert that a corporate strategic management could rise from:

    §  experiences of operating corporation’s daily activities

    §  regulated designing steps or,

    §  Novel and innovative ideas that come form evolutionary and complex understanding of the business environment.

    However, some people confuse the terminology of goals and objectives, which in financial term refer to targets. In this manner, those people define goals as statement that is inexactly formulated and lack of specificity while objectives tend to come in exact form (“Strategic Planning”). For example, a company’s goal might be vaguely stated like “I want to achieve the sales target”. In company’s objective, the statement becomes “I want to hit $250 million of sales in 2006”.

    In addition, since organization composes of various departments and individuals, each have different goal; therefore, a company should coordinate to prevent any conflict in future. In this situation, the goal of one part of the organization must be compatible with other parts of the organization.

    Concerning the objective of Atkins, I see that the objective of Atkins Group is to conduct continual assessment on the impact of its operations on occupational health, safety and welfare as the integral part of the Atkins Group business management systems (‘Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2005’, 2005)

    In order to achieve this objective, Atkins Group conducts several steps as following:

    Review Group policy statements and continuously improve systems and guidance
    Introduce mandatory directives for H&S management across contractor, design, and office activities
    Conduct internal review of business operations – the Group Assurance Program (GAP)
    Continuously improve training and awareness program
    Develop Atkins Group approach to employee well-being
    Implement completed Group-wide accident and incident reporting and monitoring
    Coordinate effort to maintain international certification OHSAS 18001.
    (‘Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2005’, 2005)

    II.2.2   Mission Statements

    The second type of strategic planning is a mission statement. This statement details what a company will do today to reach the company’s goal, purpose, or mission (“Strategic Planning”). Therefore, the mission statement should not wordy since people might consider and implement it in different ways. For example, Ford Motor Company has a mission statement that is short but has a deep meaning. “Quality is Job 1” is the Ford’s mission statement.

    In addition to Atkins’ objective, the company’s mission “To provide the highest quality advice and support to clients in planning, designing, and enabling their capital programs to achieve greater predictability, efficiency, and quality” is fulfilling the criteria of a mission statement (‘Corporate Brochure 2005’, 2005).

    This assessment is based on the definition of a company’s mission statement in which Atkins already states why the mission is done so. In addition, the Atkins’ mission also mentions the description about who does the action that is the whole entities in Atkins from top managements to employees.

    II.2.3   Vision Statements

    The third type of strategic planning is a vision statement, which often comes in the form of graphic. This statement describes what a company wants to be in the future (“Strategic Planning”). The difference between mission and vision statements lies on the nature of statement. Vision statement is likely to be more graphical forms and abstract in nature than mission statements that tend to be more concrete and proscriptive.

    In other words, a vision statement is a picture of ideal future outcomes. Therefore, a good and en effective vision statement is one that provides clarity, description of the future, and driven by customer needs (“Strategic Planning”).

    In addition, I find a vision statement of Atkins: “To be the international, first choice supplier of technical services and integrated solutions.” However, considering the nature of Atkins’ business, I suggest that Atkins’ vision statement is as following:

    “To be the largest engineering consultancy, the largest multi-disciplinary consultancy, and the largest design firm in the world.”

    (‘Corporate Brochure 2005’, 2005)

    II.3      Atkins’ Policies

    II.3.1   Environmental

                Atkins policies of environmental are clearly stated in their website in which they aim to conduct business in an environmentally responsible manner. The company, furthermore, has great concerns over the influence of environment and sustainability on their service.

                In order to promote the environmentally responsible action, Atkins says that they will conduct following actions:

    Pay attention to environmental impact in the planning, design and implementation of Atkins’ projects and contracts in order to prevent pollution and ensure that the company’s activities in high environmental risks are controlled effectively
    Make sure that all Atkins actions are in compliance with all necessary environmental legislation and with codes of practice and other requirements, such as those specified by our customers
    Take into account environmental and sustainability considerations into the company’s  design standards and practices with regard to the use of materials, energy consumption, waste disposal and recycling
    Give necessary environmental training for Atkins’s staffs so that they always promote environmental awareness amongst the company’s suppliers, contractors and partners.
    (‘Environmental’ 2005)

    II.3.2   Health & Safety

    In addition, Atkins has also stated their commitment over the health and safety formulation and development as following:

    Atkins are committed to develop and implement the appropriate safety management systems and procedures
    Atkins will promote the continual professional development in health and safety
    Atkins encourage the existence of communications that are related to the promotion of improved health and safety matters throughout the company
    Atkins realizes that Health and Safety becomes the Atkins’ management responsibility. Therefore, the company will actively searched for support and professionalism of employees at all levels in making this policy truly effective
    (‘Health and safety’ 2005)

    II.3.3   Quality

    Concerning the quality, I see that Atkins have also provided statement on quality issue. The company says that quality concerns have driven the company to ensure that each Business, through the implementation of its management system, is in line with processes that achieve quality aims in meeting the requirements of our customers (‘Quality’, 2005).

    Concerning the quality issue, the company also aims at earning a reputation for the provision of excellent services in every business Atkins operate. The company also intends to promote cost-effective and efficient business in order to give as much as benefit to their customers, stakeholders and the Company (‘Quality’, 2005).

    In order to ensure the implementation of quality is successfully attained in every Atkins operation. The company will conduct following actions:

    Examine the effectiveness and suitability of Atkins management systems in order to guarantee that needs of Atkins’ customers, stakeholders, and businesses are fulfilled
    Maintain a program that promote the establishment of continual quality improvement throughout the organization
    Provide the appropriate resources needed to make sure that the company’s policy is communicated and implemented effectively
    Continuously provide training so that quality awareness is effective communicated amongst our suppliers, contractors and partners
    (‘Quality’, 2005)

    Currently, Atkins have awarded a quality certification, the International Standard BS EN ISO 9001: 2000 entitled “Quality Management Systems – Requirements.” This certification gives Atkins greater access to provide services worldwide (‘Quality’, 2005).

    III.                         Atkins Performances

    III.1    Financial Report

    Table 1            Atkins Five-Year Financial Performances (2001 – 2005)

    Restated 2003
    Restated 2002
    Restated 2001
    Turnover: Group and share of Joint Ventures
    Gross profit
    Operating profit/(loss)
    Profit/(loss) on ordinary activities before taxation
    Profit/(loss) on ordinary activities after taxation
    Retained profit/(loss) for the year
    Basic earnings/(loss) per share

    III.2    Recent Facts and figures

    According to Atkins’ website, the company that has turnover of £1.15bn in 2004/5 has achieved several achievements as following:

    §  Atkins become the largest engineering consultancy in the UK

    §  Atkins have been the largest multi-disciplinary consultancy in Europe and the world’s fourth largest global design firm

    §  Within the past 7 years (1998 to 2005), Atkins has been awarded to be top in Building magazine’s Top 200 Consultants survey

     (‘Five Year Summary’, 2005)

    III.3    Atkins’ Share Chart

                Below is the chart figure for the Atkins’ share price within the past three years. From the figure I see that the company maintains the increasing price. As of January 17, 2006 the company recorded the price of 729 p.

    Figure 1          Atkins’ Share Price 2003 – 2006

                Source: ‘Share Charts’, 2005, [Online] Retrieved January 18, 2006 from

    IV.                         Strategic Analysis

    Any organizations especially one dealing with business environment must encounter an era where the success of their operation depends on both internal and external factors. Under such circumstances, it is useful to carry out an analysis that takes into account not only the company’s internal factors, but also external factors such as activities of the company’s competitors and current industry situation as well. In this paper, I will discuss three types of business analyses: SWOT Analysis, Porter’s five forces, and PEST.

    IV.1    SWOT Analysis

    As the name implies, SWOT analysis composes of strengths (S) and weakness (W) as internal factors while the external factors composes of opportunities (O) and Threats (T). Amidst new emerging business analyses, some companies still employ SWOT analysis since it provides information that is useful to match the companies’ resources and capabilities to existing business environment in which the company competes.

    Strength is the one component of internal analysis. The component describes any resources and capabilities that support a company to achieve its competitive advantage such as patents, excellent reputation, low cost structure and many more.

    In the company website and other related news sites, I see that Atkins has major strength; largest brand equity. This situation has helped the company to win several mega projects in the UK and Europe. For example is the 10-year contract from Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) to provide highways service worth £150m. Commenting the win, Keith Clarke, Chief Executive of Atkins, said that it reflects Atkins’s strengths (best brand equity) in the transport sector.

    The second internal factor is Weaknesses. This is simply in contrast to the strength in which the absence of specific strength might be considered as the weaknesses of the company. It includes a lack of patent protection, high-cost structure and many more. Concerning the Atkins weakness, I see that in their Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2004 (2004), the company admitted that their major weakness is their poor service in assurance amidst their strength in strategy and integration. In addition, the company also revealed that their received mediocre score in Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index in which Atkins only score 63.27% and put the company out of the top 100 in the publisher index. It means the company has been perceived to have low social responsibility although they were known to be one of the best engineering consultancies in the world.

    However, any internal factor could be the strength or the weakness for a company. Consider lots of human resources. When a company could not employ and appoint them in the appropriate manner, they could the weakness for the company since it causes high-cost structure and ineffective business environment and vice versa.

      The first external factor in SWOT analysis is Opportunities. These elements provide specific opportunities that may help a company to gain more profit and achieve sustainable growth. They include unfulfilled customer need, new technologies, elimination of trade barriers and so on.

    Concerning Atkins’ opportunities, I see that recent decision to sells 25% stake in Mercia Healthcare become new opportunities for Atkins to focus on their core competence in engineering consultancy.

    In addition, several acquisitions that Atkins made since 1996 adds the company’s opportunities to serve broad market in the similar core competence such as the acquisition over Faithful & Gould, a leading practice of cost consultants and quantity surveyors; Ventron Technology, a specialist process plant contractor; Lambert Smith Hampton, a major property and commercial agency; McCarthy’s Consulting Engineers in the Republic of Ireland; Boward Computer Services and, most recently, Hanscomb in May 2002.

    In addition, Threats describe any changes in the external factors that may put any company in unsafe position in the market. They include a change in consumer tastes, new substitute products, new regulations and many more. The only threat for Atkins is the fact that currently several general consulting firms have expanded their service into engineering and IT consultancy. Therefore, Atkins should maintain their brand equity so that customers will put Atkins as the priority when dealing with engineering consultancy.

    IV.2    Porter’s five forces

    At the heart of this analysis is the industry analyzing model known as Porter’s five forces model which details the threat of new entrants, power of buyers, power of suppliers, rivalry among existing competitors, and the threat of substitute products for market place organizer or transaction service provider industry satisfy following diagram:

    Supplier Power

    Threat of Substitute

    Barriers to Entry

    Degree of Rivalry

    Buyer Power

    Figure 2.         Porter’s Diagram of Five Forces

    a)                  Rivalry

    Like in other market, competitive advantage plays a significant role in winning a competition. The reason is obvious, customers now use more their emotional to decide which products or services they want to use. Technological leadership does not have to make a company to lead a market if the company cannot deploy it to their full extent. Here, marketing strategy plays the role.

    According to S. Carter, marketing is a process of building lasting relationships through planning, executing and controlling the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create mutual exchange that satisfy individual and organizational needs and objectives (1997).

    Similarly, the situation also applies to competition in engineering consultancy in which worldwide business consultant such as Andersen Consulting also provides consultancy in engineering segment. However, I see Atkins have more focused engineering consultancy with broader engineering segments from water to assets management. This explains why Atkins becomes the leader in engineering consultancy market in which Atkins can provide excellent service level agreements where many competitors could not afford it (‘Service Solutions’, 2005).

    b)                  Barriers to Entry

    The threat of new entrants rises as the barrier to entry is reduced in a marketplace. As more firms enter a market, we will see rivalry increase, and profitability will fall (theoretically) to the point where there is no incentive for new firms to enter the industry. One of common barriers to enter a new market is brand loyalty or in terms of multinational business the main barrier could be the nationalism. This includes the coming multinational IT consulting companies like HP, IBM and many others.

    According to Kotler (2000), brand is a name, sign, symbol, design, gesture or combination of all, which is intended to identify product or services from a seller or a group of sellers to differentiate it form competitor’s product.

    c)                  Products Substitution

    This is probably the most overlooked, and therefore most damaging, element of strategic decision-making. It’s imperative that business owners (us) not only look at what the company’s direct competitors are doing, but what other types of products people could buy instead.

    Currently, I find that many engineering consulting companies start with IT (information technology) offering. This becomes challenge for Atkins that directly addresses customers’ needs.

    d)                 Buyer Power

    There are some factors affecting buyer power: size of buyer (larger buyers will have more power over suppliers), number of buyers (when there are a small number of buyers, they will tend to have more power over suppliers), and purchase quantity (When a customer purchases a large quantity of a suppliers output, it will exercise more power over the supplier).

    e)                  Supplier Power

    The power of suppliers plays a significant role in the engineering consultancy since Atkins only capable of designing and providing engineering solutions to clients not manufacturing the equipments. Therefore, Atkins should work hand-in-hand with various suppliers to provide excellent solution for their clients.

    For this reason, Atkins are determined to set a Quantum Accreditation process in which they intend to deliver best value to clients by appointing the most competent suppliers in the marketplace. Atkins has their own criteria of what their suppliers should possess as following:

    Continual performance improvement
    Provide solutions based on cost effectiveness
    Commitment to managing operational risk
    Capability to provide statutory compliance
    (‘Supply Chain’, 2005)

    IV.3         PEST

    Since PEST analysis solely determines the external factors, it could be classified as description of Opportunities (O) and Threats (T) in SWOT analysis. The PEST, as the name suggest, composes of Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors.

    Political Factors includes employment laws, political stability, and tariffs, to name a few. Economic Factors include economic growth, interest rates, and inflation rate, for instances. Social Factors deal with age distribution, literacy of society and many more. Technological Factors deal with technology changes, Research and Development progress.

    a)                  Political

    Atkins also faces political barriers when dealing with proposed designs especially when a project involves governments. One example is on the Waterloo Bus Interchange in London that proposed to be the key interchange in London that provide services improvement for more than 100 buses during peak hours in the morning and over 6,500 passengers. The political constraint came when London Borough of Lambeth, which became principal highway authority, did not intent to consider bus priority in isolation from other road users as proposed by Atkins (‘Waterloo Bus Interchange’, 2004). This also happened in other projects when authorities have their own ideas and designs.

    b)                  Economy

    The aim of any mergers is to take benefit from the combined company to benefit competition and consumers by allowing firms to operate more efficiently. However, in some cases, mergers actually lessen competition. This is happened especially in horizontal merger in which two or more competing company decide to merge, becoming one single company.

    In a horizontal merger, combination of two or more competing companies could increase market concentration and increase the likelihood of collusion. Thus, the elimination of competition between two leading firms may result in unilateral anticompetitive effects.

    Concerning the engineering consultancy, a combined consulting firm would provide a significant savings due to reduced fees the merger gives. In addition, a merger between two nationalities like happened in the merger between Atkins and McCarthy’s Consulting Engineers in the Republic of Ireland also has a great benefit since it reduces costs of cross-border transportations. Under such circumstances, the merger between two or more engineering consulting firms could increase Atkins existences abroad.

    c)                  Social

    Like other merger and acquisition, the possible merger between Atkins and Faithful & Gould, Ventron Technology, Lambert Smith Hampton, McCarthy’s Consulting Engineers Boward Computer Services and, most recently, Hanscomb could lead to clash when the two different backgrounds stay in a single company. At least, there are four lessons we can take from merger and acquisition in order to prevent fallout from an M&A process as following:

    Lesson 1:
    Acquisition integration is not a discrete phase of a deal and does not begin when the documents are signed. It composes several stages such as selecting possible acquisitions, narrowing the field, agreeing on first-choice candidate, assessing compliance with regulations, etc.

    Lesson 2:
    Integration management is a full-time job and needs to be recognized as a distinct business function, just like operations, marketing, or finance.

    Lesson 3:
    Decisions about management structure, key roles, reporting relationships, layoffs, restructuring, and other career-affecting aspects of the integration should be made, announced, and implemented as soon as possible after the deal is signed-within days, if possible. Creeping changes, uncertainty, and anxiety that last for months are deliberating and immediately start to drain value from an acquisition.

    Lesson 4:
    A successful integration melds not only the various technical aspects of the businesses but also the different cultures. The best way to do so is to get people working together quickly to solve business problems and accomplish results that could not have been achieved before.

    d)                 Technology

    Atkins is a well-known engineering consultancy that has a strong focus on various kinds of technologies deployment. And it becomes commitment of Atkins to provide high-quality solutions. For example, in the defense system, Atkins has been awarded contracts for risk reduction of technologies that are used to enhance equipment of the Army’ss next generation of armored fighting vehicles (‘MOD Press Notice’, 2005).

    IV.4    Ansoff Matrix

                Ansoff Matrix is actually a marketing tool, developed by the Harvard Business Review in 1957 (‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2005). The concept elaborates how companies directed their corporate strategy to achieve corporate growth. As we know, each company relies on different competitive advantage in order to gain profitability and growth. The Ansoff Matrix simplifies the complicated nature of individual corporate competitive advantages by dividing all of them into four large quadrants. The quadrants can be elaborated through the simple table in figure 1.

                Ansoff matrix provides a simple but effective focus for considering different options of strategies for growth. The company can choose between finding new customers for existing products, or more products to existing customers, or stay with existing products and customers, and putting more efforts on gaining greater share of the market.

    §  Market Penetration
    The quadrant contains companies who attempt to continue market existing products to existing customers. They do not alter their products or seek new market segments. Activities of these companies include promoting the product, repositioning the brand. This strategy is the least risky since it generally does not require massive capitalization to obtain new resources.
    According to the Ansoff Matrix, Atkins can pursue growth by delivering more value to existing customers. This can be achieved by aggressive but controlled cost-cutting that will wash competitors out of the business.
    Furthermore, increasing promotion and selling services would be a good effort of increasing existing market share. The company could also seek growth by securing long term dominance of market growth by promoting a loyalty-building concept (‘Ansof Product / Market Matrix’, 2005). Remember, one of Atkins challenge is to win market where existing consulting firms like Andersen Consulting etc already exist.

                However, the market penetration strategy has its limits. After a certain point, existing market will reach saturation and thus, another strategy must be applied to obtain further growth (‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2004).

    Figure 3          Ansoff Product / Market Matrix
    Source: ‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2004, QuickMBA, [Online] Available at:

    Market Development
    Companies within this quadrant attempt to market existing products in a new market. The same products are therefore marketed to new audiences. Activities of these companies include exporting the products and marketing in new regions, to name a few. The strategy could be considered as the right one if company’s core competencies are related more to the specific products than specific customers. The strategy contains the risk of unprofitable investment, which is required to expand the business to new markets (‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2004).

                Since Atkins continuously expands worldwide, they should consider country’s risk. Country Risk are increasingly political in nature, there are wars, revolutions, and coups. Less dramatic but nevertheless important for business, are government changes by election of a socialist or nationalist government, which may be hostile to private business and particularly to foreign-owned business (Ball et al 369)

    Product Development
    These companies aim to market new products to existing customers. This strategy is appropriate if corporate strengths are related to specific customers rather than products. Similar to the market development strategy, this strategy contains more risk, as expanding to new market would obviously require capitalization of extra resources (‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2004).

                Concerning the product development, Atkins is aware of its importance. This is due to product development becomes an important part of the marketing mix for the UK-based biggest engineering consultancy, Atkins.

                In Atkins website, I can see that the three keywords (Plans, Design, and Enable) of Atkins product become the driving forces behind the successful business strategy of Atkins that serve seven business segments.

    The last quadrant contains the strategy of marketing completely new products to new customers. Related diversification is the plan to market new products within new markets in familiar industries, while unrelated diversification is efforts of marketing new products in new markets, where the company has no experience in.

                The quadrant is stated to be the most risky development plan, since it generally requires the largest amount of investment and the activities might be outside of corporate core competencies. Nevertheless, a successful diversification plan could result in a new foothold in attractive and profitable industry and reducing overall business portfolio risks (‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2004).

                The quadrant suggested that a company should expand to business of other industries. In case of Atkins, as a first step, it might be more relevant that Atkins enter a closely related industry to the present ones, in order to reduce the risk of lack of knowledge and experience. It includes expand its services into providing business consultancy, for instances.

                The product development is important for Atkins since Ansoff Matrix believes that developing new products or services will reduce the overall portfolio risk of the group and create broad opportunities for future business development (‘Ansoff Matrix’, 2004).

    IV.5    Boston Matrix

    The idea of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix is that to recognize the various Strategic Business Units (SBUs) in a company portfolio. By definition, an SBU is a unit in a company that has its own mission and objectives. In the case of Atkins, the SBUs can be Atkins company division, a product line or even individual brands (‘Boston Consulting Box’, 2005). Below is the figure describing the BCG Matrix.

    Figure 4.         BCG Matrix

    Source: ‘Boston Consulting Box’, Tutor2U [Online] Available at:

    Based on the above description, I can divide Atkins business units or product line into following Group:

    Stars – Stars are considered to be the product line(s) that have high growth or have strong position in the market (‘Boston Consulting Box’, 2005). In Atkins, the stars of product lines are Design and Engineering Solutions, Highways and Transportation, Rail, China and Middle East, since they become the largest in the each respective market.
    Cash Cows – Cash cows are considered to be a product line(s) that continue exhibiting low-growth businesses or they have a relatively high market share (‘Boston Consulting Box’, 2005). In Atkins, the cash cows of product lines is Management and Project Services since become the number two in the market and considerably does not rule the market (‘Factbook 2005’, 2005).
    Question marks – Question marks are considered to be product line(s) that exhibit low market share but operate in higher growth markets (‘Boston Consulting Box’, 2005). In Atkins, I do not see that there are product lines that can be classified into the ‘question marks’ area.
    Dogs – Meanwhile, dog refers to businesses or products that have low relative market share in unattractive, low-growth markets (‘Boston Consulting Box’, 2005). In Atkins, the cash cows of product lines is Asset Management since in the 2005 alone, the business unit record negative operating margin  (-8.0%)

    V.        Conclusion

    The development of technology has put corporations to take benefits of it. However, since the development goes at fact pace and tends to create more focused technological breakthroughs, some corporations rely on the consulting firms to design the corporations’ engineering development. Under such circumstances, I witness that engineering consulting firms like Atkins grows and takes vital part in helping some corporations to achieve their objectives and missions.

    Atkins PLC is a UK-based engineering consultancy, which has recorded some achievements worldwide including being the largest engineering consultancy in the UK, the largest multi-disciplinary consultancy in Europe and the world’s fourth largest global design firm. The company has also been top in Building magazine’s Top 200 Consultants survey within the past 7 years (1998 – 2005).

    From strategic analysis, I found that amidst their extensive achievements, Atkins also has some weaknesses especially concerning their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. According to Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index, Atkins received mediocre score of 63.27% and put the company out of the top 100 in the publisher index. It means the company has been perceived to have low social responsibility although they were known to be one of the best engineering consultancies in the world.

    However, in the text, I find that Atkins continues strengthening their core competences in engineering consultancy by conducting several acquisitions since 1996 such as the acquisition over Faithful & Gould, a leading practice of cost consultants and quantity surveyors.

    VI.      Recommendation

                Since Atkins has existed in more than 150 countries worldwide, I see that there is the need to align the company’s strategic managements with their human resource strategy as following:

    recruit employees that have best skills available across the markets in which the company operates
    set a warm and competitive working environment so that Atkins’ employees can use their skills effectively
    Provide reward program for employees on the basis of performance


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    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Strategic analysis of Atkins PLC. (2016, Aug 04). Retrieved from

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