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Strategic Planning of Agrana Investment Company

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    Agrana was founded in 1988 as Investment Company for 2 and 3 starch and sugar factories respectively. It has continually grown to a worldwide organization in at least 26 countries and with approximately 55 manufacturing plants. It deals with three kinds of commodities which are interrelated: fruit, sugar and starch. It main work is to disburse fruit concentrates and preparations to companies producing soft drinks, dairy and baked products. This means even without the knowledge of this company you would be curious enough to enjoy the services it offers.

    Being an origin of a small country Austria this industry has received many challenges in trying to reinstate itself in the entire Europe and then become multinational. It had to compete with other organizations found in more powerful countries to gain competitive advantage; this was not achieved not until in 1989 where the Eastern and Central Europe opened their market for it bringing a significant increase in their scope of customers and also involving those big countries as members as partners.

    At the same time global companies such as Nestle, Coca cola and Pepsi partnered with this company further increasing it fame as stated by Farnell and McDonald (2010). With the problem of reorganization of the sugar market in Europe Agrana has been forced to focus on future strategies on how to enlarge the company according to stipulations by the European Commission.

    Agrana has faced a lot of competition from already developed countries thus being forced to indulge in other marketing activities to be more competitive, other than processing sugar and starch it has currently started sanitization and processing agricultural raw products such as beet and cereals. It has also initiated fruits, biofuel and beverage processing sectors thus being diverse in its production (Agrana’s strategy, 2010).

    With its new management it is determined to produce eminent products and then sell them at competitive prices, this has been largely emphasized by its economics of scale and it’s restructuring of various divisions so that they can operate well and competitively. It has also employed an unswerving acquisition policy that has helped enhance the fruit and juice sectors. Agrane has also applied the tripod strategy of industrial, resources and nstitution levels to enhance its performance. According to Porters five forces ( 2010, 1 of 7) it industrial competition has encountered the 5 forces found in any dynamic market and these are: the contention from competitors , threat of substitutes, the purchasing power of customers for their product s compared to companies producing similar products, the threats of contingents to their products and also the threats of entrance.

    To ensure that it has increased its focus, differentiation and reduced its cost of leadership it has encouraged the use of the strategies of market segmentation among other generic strategies to keep up with the competition. It has also acquired companies from other organization and in other countries and this has largely encouraged its expansion increasing its grassroots reach out for its customers. With time these advantages have worked to their favor increasing their annual gross profit according to annual all its annual financial reports.

    It has also ways to deal with risk via prior planning and strategic control in all its operations. Such risks include the credit, liquidity, commodity price, interest rate and currency risks preventing it from incurring losses. Agrana also emphasizes on quality and satisfactory customer service to maintain customer loyalty and also enhance created a customer oriented focus in their operations (Annual report 2008/09; Agrana’s financial report, 2009).

    Considering it resources then Agrana has and is expected to grow to a big organization since it raw materials are locally available and due to its ability to use both the physical and insubstantial resources. According to its fiscal years reports it has shown a significant rise in its finances , the opening up of new plants and improved technologies in their machinery and equipment so as to compete with modern world companies (Peng, 2009). It has been shown to have strategic planning and management of all its plants operations and distribution chains.

    It has been shown to employee about 8000 people whom it accredits to its development and continued support. It has also had intangible resources due to its frequent inventions and continued reputation that has enabled expanding from not only dealing with sugar and starch but also the refining of agricultural products and biofuel analysis. Agrana is also keen on environmental sustainability and has emphasizes on reduced pollution. Its main raw materials which are sugar, fruits and starch gricultural providing foods such as cereals and potatoes that are locally available and environment sustainable thus can be very easily reached. Further the company has introduced importing of these raw materials in other countries to increase their productivity. It has also utilized dissipate from the processing of sugar and fruits to manufacture isoglucose and alcohol. To ensure it has sustainable resources this industry has maximized the use of the products which are locally available thus making it not only a local but a global supplier.

    The CEE which was more powerful in its policy formation initially had not allowed Agrana to expand its market to member countries not until in 1989 which helped the company to expand its market. This opening lead to the ability Agrana to partner with other dominant companies such as Nestle, Coca cola and Pepsi which were internationally recognized enhancing its recognition. Due to the pressure of the EU integration CEE has encouraged many Austrian companies to invest in their countries but in most cases the companies fail.

    This was diluted by the continued determination of Agrana and its strategic planning; however the EU encouraged diversification to be embraced thus leading to further development of Agrana due to the sugar reforms encouraging expansion and growth leading to production of biofuels such as ethanol and isoglucose since EU that regulates prices of wheat and corn kept on fluctuating. This to a great extent made Agrana lose its specialization but it also enhanced it scope of reaching out for customers.

    EU that regulates tariffs barriers is unpredictable thus this has made Agrana to plan prior and buy surplus products in advance to prevent the risk of lack of raw materials which are importable. This has encouraged consistency but has caused the spending excessively on raw materials other than directing the funds elsewhere. Though the EU indirectly controls Agrana and its operations together with the Central and Eastern Europe it has helped it to expand and give its customers wide assortment of products to take pleasure in thus expanding even to the third world countries.

    Although this organization is this thriving it is going to face many challenges as it tries to expand globally which include: the terrorist attacks especially in the Middle East that targets people who are not of the mother country is going to be a major risk (Facts turn one, 2009). The risks of inflation and the fluctuation of both the prices of the raw materials and those of the finished products is going to be a major challenge especially in countries facing political turmoil often and frequent tribal clashes.

    The use of corporate governance is going to be a big challenge considering that countries of the EU and those of Middle East do not get along thus a great problem in marketing foreign products. Their has been a row from the anti globalization protesters saying it only benefits the country of origin and exploits the people of its home country reasoning that only unskilled employees with harsh working conditions are accommodated and has a negative effect on the environment causing pollution.

    The barriers of product entry are also regulated differently in different countries thus if these tariffs do not rhyme with those of Agrana then the expansion of its market will be negatively affected. It continued diversity on the products produced will cause a lack of specialization and can consequently cause a company’s failure. In some Middle East countries the local availability of raw materials is a challenge especially the fruits since they do not practice farming thus a potential set back for its operations, also the lack of skilled labors will cause encouraged losses in Agrana.

    With these challenges strategic planning and segmentation strategies must be applied to ensure no hasty decisions and high risks actions are taken then result to losses that can not be recovered.

    References

    Agrana’s annual report 2008/09: Agrana Beteiligungs- Aktiengesellschaft Year Ended 28th February 2009. Retrieved on 23rd February 2011 from http://www. agrana. com/fileadmin/inhalte/agrana_group/annual_reports/GB2008_agrana_E_WEB. pdf Agrana Beteiligungs-AG RCB Investors’ Conference Zurs: Adding value to Nature’s gift Retrieved on 23rd February 2011 from http://www. grana. com/fileadmin/inhalte/agrana_group/presentations/2009_2010/RCB_Invconf_Zuers_170409_WEB. pdf Agrana’s financial report: Company and Credit Information (2009). Company financial Austria. Retrieved on 23rd February 2011 from; http://www. companiesandmarkets. com/files/downloads/3_quickview_sample. pdf Agrana’s Strategy 2010 Retrieved at 23rd February from http://ir. agrana. com/en/2010/agrana-at-a-glance/agranas-strategy/ Fact Turns One. (2009) Article retrieved on 23rd February 2011 from http://www. delfji. ec. europa. u/en/whatsnew/FACT_one. pdf Farnell, C. & MacDonald, C. A Fruitful Business: AGRANA’s fruit and concentrate products are internationally recognized and produced to the highest standards (2010) Agrana Austria Peng, W. Global Strategy: Strategizing around the globe. Foundations of global strategy. Power point presentations by Bowen, J. Columbian State Community College (2009). 1 of 18 slides. | | | Porter’s Five Forces. Strategic Management: A Model for Industry Analysis, International Center for Management and Business Administration, Inc. (2010)

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