1. Backward marketing methods
Marketing strategy refers to the strategy of choosing and occupying the target market determined by enterprises according to their own internal conditions and external competitive conditions. Enterprises formulate marketing strategies with the aim of giving full play to their advantages, enhancing their competitiveness, better adapting to the changing marketing environment, and maximizing economic results with less marketing investment. (Baidu, 2018) STI was failure to keep its website updated, such as, no product details, no price display, no company information and no English version about website etc. STI lacked digital presence and digital marketing, such as, no social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) and no Mobile Apps. These would make STI at a disadvantage in the market competition.
2. Lack of excellent marketing team and market segmentation was not obvious
There were some problems in organizational structure, such as, no marketing manager to guide team for decision-making, no focus on Thailand 4.0 etc. The most important was that there was no clear market segmentation in STI, and the sales market only focused on Thailand without considering overseas market, which has no advantage to STI in the competition of the whole insurance industry.
1. Developing new markets
STI should pay attention to marketing and set up a special marketing department to focus on market research, analyze product data, find methods to enter the relevant market, then to occupy market share gradually, and at last to enter the overseas market.
2. New product development strategy
At the same time, STI should learn to find more potential customers in new markets though developing new products. Enterprise’s product development strategy needs certain technology, capital and cost basis, but in product development, first of all, managers must thoroughly understand the needs of the market, understand the needs of customers, and develop products that meet the needs of customers. And a product development strategy needs a certain degree of innovation, requiring STI to have certain innovation ability, and new product development strategy can improve the competitiveness and adaptability of STI quite well.
Face to Face:
1. Strengthening network marketing mode
STI needs to provide quality customer service and increase sales. The information communication of network marketing is bidirectional interaction and readability of information reading. It has selectivity and convenience in the process. In the process of online marketing, enterprises can effectively target potential customers and target customers, and provide high quality pre-sale and after-sale services.
2. Improving brand awareness and establishing loyal consumer groups
STI can highlight corporate brand publicity through personalized design of web pages, so as to establish a more personalized and humanized corporate image. At the same time, it is helpful for STI to update product information and tap consumers’ desire to consume by using the network to provide customers with relevant product information, such as new product usage information, new functions, new performance, and timely and appropriate replacement of new product information to maintain the enterprise’s online site. The freshness, attraction and affinity of information release can stimulate the potential consumption desire of new and old customers, and guide consumers to purchase products of enterprises, so as to increase the sales of new products.
3. Building a marketing team for market segmentation and positioning
Besides network sales, marketing should be carried out in various ways, such as mobile phone APP, TV advertisement, etc. In addition, it is necessary to build a marketing team to locate the market segmentation and research marketing strategy for STI and on this basis, SWOT model could be used to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the STI and the opportunities and challenges in the external market.
6.0 Accounting (week 5)
6.1 Case Background
Long-term housing banker informed CEO Uan that he needed to see STI’s accountant because he found some irregularities in STI, but the company’s accountant left three months ago and there was no new accountant yet. The head of HR, Ms. Goy, recommended her husband Tom as a new accountant, because she said Tom had a background in accounting. Tom said he would be happy to take up the position and would like to serve as a company accountant for a long time. However, because Tom had no accounting experience, although he has learned accounting knowledge, it is difficult for him to take over the actual work immediately.
Face to Face:
House banker asked CEO Mr. Uan to submit the company’s balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement to view the operation of STI. The banker wanted to meet the CEO and discussed the company’s financial situation with him, but Mr. Uan had no accounting knowledge and he did not know how to answer the banker’s questions at all. Hence, he hoped that the new accountant Tom (Mrs. Goy’s husband) would teach him some accounting knowledge to deal with the banker’s problems. At the same time, Tom had no accounting experience. His balance sheet and profit statement were incorrect. The imbalance sheet was also a big issue in STI.
6.2 Problem identification
No professional accountant
Accountants provide information and basis for the development of enterprises, forecast and analyze the business status of enterprises, and give advice and suggestions for business decisions. However, STI’s former accountant resigned three months ago, and there was no new accountant at present. Ms. Goy recommended her husband Tom as a new accountant, but Tom did not have practical work experience though he own accounting background.
Face to Face:
1. CEO has no basic accounting knowledge
The house banker asked to meet the CEO and discussed the company’s financial situation with him, but Mr. Uan had no accounting knowledge and he did not know how to answer the banker’s questions. He could not understand financial statements, nor could he understand accounting terms. This was very disadvantageous to STI, because only when senior leaders understand basic accounting knowledge could they know the current financial situation of the company and make correct economic decisions.
2. The imbalance sheets
The imbalance sheet was also a big issue in STI. Financial statements are to reveal the financial situation, operating results and cash flow of an enterprise in a certain period comprehensively and systematically, which are beneficial for top managers to understand the accomplishment of various tasks and indicators of their own companies, to evaluate the performance of managers, so as to find problems in time, to adjust the direction of operation, and to formulate measures to improve the management level and to improve the economy. It also provides the basis for economic forecasting and decision making. The imbalance sheet in STI would lead managers to fail to understand the financial situation of their enterprise, which has a negative effect on the development of STI.
Strengthening HRM and recruiting excellent professional accountants right away
Adjust the organizational structure of STI, strengthen the management of human resources department, pay attention to employee recruitment and training. Once employees leave, HR department should be able to find qualified replacement staff immediately. Ms. Goy, HR Director, should pay more attention to staff turnover, recruitment and training. She needed to keep abreast of STI’s human resources.
Face to Face:
There were two ways of solutions, the one was short-term solution and the other was long-term solution.
As for short-term solution:
1. Prepare the correct financial statements, such as balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, etc. because the correct financial statements could help top leaders understand the current financial situation of STI and know how many assets and liabilities STI has, so that they could make wiser decisions.
2. Ask Tom to help CEO Uan quickly understand the most basic financial knowledge and prepare for meetings with the house banker. If possible, postpone the meeting.
3. STI needed to immediately find a professional accountant from accounting firm to train Tom so that Tom could better understand the actual financial management.
As for long-term solution:
1. It was necessary for STI to hire senior financial experts to build an excellent professional financial team to handle STI’s current and future budget, procurement, investment, financing, capital operation and other financial affairs.
2. The recruited accountants should be meritocracy rather than cronyism in order to avoid encountering family conflicts which would result in corruption and other issues.
3. Set up a supervision department to supervise financial issues and prevent conflicts of interest.
7.0 Finance (week 6)
7.1 Case Background
Online: Introduce to Financial Markets
STI financial manager Ms. Money Penny said COO Dr. Pok asked her to invest a lot of money in Bitcoin because he believed that Bitcoin had benefited a lot in recent years. But for her, investment cannot be blind, it needed to consider potential risks and the development of financial market. She hoped that consultants could help her persuade COO to carefully consider investment decisions and do not blindly invest in order to make money.
Face to Face: Financing and Investing
As a financial manager, Mrs. Money Penny has never played her role since the death of her former CEO. The new CEO was not aware of STI’s current financial situation, Mr. Uan and Dr. Pok did not attach importance to the financial department, nor did they ever require companies to prepare financial statements and predict business activities, which led to Mrs. Money Penny’s intention of finding a new job.
7.2 Problem identification
The upper managers did not trust the financial manager Mrs. Money Penny and did not accept her opinion about investment decisions. At the same time, COO Dr. Pok desired to invest blindly in bitcoin without prediction and planning, which would cause unpredictable economic losses to STI.
Face to Face:
1. The top leaders never check the company’s financial statements, nor do they attach importance to the opinions of the financial department.
2. Mrs. Money Penny, the financial manager, has never played her role since the death of her former CEO and she decided to hunt for a new job.
3. STI has no real investment plan in place.
In term of bitcoin investment, STI should consider the current situation of the company regarding its accounting & finance department which is not well set up, no report or serious financial plan has been developed yet. The recommendation is to focus first on having a performing department with the right people in the right positions. Once change implementations are executed and the financial situation of STI is under control, further discussions about specific investments can be faced.
Face to Face:
1. Top managers should pay more attention to financial manager and set up a proper accounting team to support the financial manager. The importance of financial manager to the company is urgently known by CEO, COO and HR. It is important to have recordkeeping before moving further on with complex analysis.
2. STI needs to create a Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) team for budgeting, forecasting, and analysis, which will be used to support the most important corporate decisions. According to Principles of Best Practice FP&A (Lawrence Serven, 2017), it is significant that effective FP& A will have a positive impact on the company and it also shows the benefits of good practices.
3. To hire a professional finance firm to be STI consultant in the case if top managers insist on distrust Mrs. Penny or She left STI.
4. In terms of Mrs. Penny, she could make all financial statements and information transparency so that other department and employees could be able to understand some financial information and make appropriate budgets and decisions based on these data.
5. STI could adopt new financial technologies, such as using artificial intelligence to help finance department conduct financial analysis and forecasting, and assess risks in order to make more informed financial decisions.