What do we mean by Performance Assessment?
Managers that are engaged in Planning, Directing, Organizing and Controlling (PDOC)
are in a sense, doing things to make changes to the Strategies and Tactics by which the
corporate plans are carried out, so the objectives can be achieved. To make proper
changes to the company's business and marketing strategies and tactics you need to
measure your performance.
Essentially, Performance Assessment is what companies do to find out:
- What is the result of their activities?
- Why did those results happen?
- Results affected and effected by things we control
- Product, Price, Promotion, Place
- Results affected and effected by things we cannot control
- Economic, Socio-cultural, Political, Technological, Geographical, Competitive
- Will these results continue?
- What are we going to do about it?
Why is Performance Assessment important?
Companies have a corporate goal, and some also list a "Mission Statement".
measurable objectives to achieve that goal-
In order to assess if the company resources are being used effectively and efficiently you
need some measure of the results of using those resources. The intense competitive
environment means companies cannot afford to make mistakes
and the more accurate
you are in assessing successful performance, the more efficiently you can apply
resources by only paying for resources you need, and use those "to the max" without
What if you don’t assess performance?
- Can’t you tell if your "measurable objectives" have been achieved
- Don’t know whether you are improving or if you are declining, don’t know where
- Are resources (people, money, materials, IT) being used appropriately, in the
right location, of sufficient quantity and available at the right time
- Don’t know how well you are doing compared to the competition
- Don’t know which parts of your operation are getting the best results
- Don’t know which location is best
- Don’t know which group of people has the best results
- Don’t know which product is the most attractive to customers. What are some of the issues that differentiate between traditional enterprises and
Traditional Enterprises do... Digital Enterprises do ...
1. First in / last out 1. Just in Time
2. Networking 2. Social networking
3. Bounded by space and time 3. E- Business, work virtually
4. In order to reach globally, need to 4. Global reach, low cost
set up operations overseas
5. Customer service face to face 5. Interactions are more abstract
Traditional Enterprises need... Digital Enterprises need...
Physical space for operations Servers and Network system
Repeat sales Strong marketing
Less dependence on technology Technicians
Management of real estate, assets, Less number of employees and more
inventory knowledge for workers
Mission Statement- "An organizations basic purpose of being".
It supplies guidelines for senior managers when they are facing difficult problems or
tackling new marketing situations.
They can also change to adapt to new marketing situations as they arise. Example-
Mark's Work warehouse, changed from focusing on Men's work clothes, to women's
Includes at least four elements:
- Core purpose of the company
- Core values of the company
- Visionary goal
- Vivid description of the envisioned future.
Should be the primary stipulations and records of:
- What the organization is
- Why it exists
- What its values are
- How it does business
- What it intends to become. Mission vs. Vision Statements
Mission Statements explains:
- What the company is good at
- Who the customer is that they care about
- What the company does that might be really good compared to the competition.
Vision statements explains:
- Where the company is going in the future
- Some words that deal with future changes
- Changes made to deal with changes in the competitive and technological
What is GOPST?
Goal - the ultimate thing you wish to achieve.
Objectives - measurable tasks that have to be done in order to achieve the goal.
Plans - the ordered sequences of several strategies with a time element, which when
carried out, allow objectives to be reached.
Strategies - the arrangement of various tactics that you do to achieve your plans.
Tactics - the specific ways and options you do things in order to execute the strategies.
* These are components of a good e-commerce strategy.
Mission Statement vs. Goal
Mission Statement is often worded in such a way that it can be used in advertising and
P.R. Example –
The corporate goal might be - "To be the largest forest products company in Canada."
The Mission Statement might be - "Contributing to our Environment, through
They don't like to convey the image of "cutting down trees", so they use a euphemistic
Goals are the ultimate thing you want to achieve. They are statements that a company
uses to motivate employees and statements used to judge and measure challenges that
Usually a Goal is a single thing, but in some cases it can be two things. But if there are
more than three, they maybe objectives rather than goals. Objectives
These objectives will drive the overall direction of any plan, and will always help you
judge whether a plan is working or not by how it can achieve the goal.
Example- if the goal is - " to be the largest on-line cosmetics retail site on the planet",
then logically a measurable objectives such as:
- To be the largest cosmetics retailer for Asia/ Europe/ North America
- To have the largest on-line product offering of cosmetics
- To have the most competitive prices for cosmetics sold on-line
- To carry the largest brand selection of cosmetics sold on-line
Plans can include such concepts as:
- Generating leads
- Increasing sales
- Increasing store traffic
- Reducing customer service costs or
- Improving brand awareness
Example- if your objective is “to have the lowest price for a product”, then your plans
may includes things like cutting packing or shipping costs, and find out what the
competitor's price is otherwise you will not know if your price is in fact the lowest.
Integrating objectives and plans with competition
If there is strong competition from another company, than it would be necessary to
have some plans written to deal with this. Such as:
- Develop information about the competition's price,
- Deal with some new marketing promotion activity the competition is using
- Discover any new models or product features being launched by the
- Devise human resource plans to hire special people to help you deal with the
threat from a competitor or hire the best people from the competition to come
and work for your company.
In terms of conventional marketing definitions, strategies are the "Target Market" + the
"Marketing Mix". The "Target Market" is simply "who" you are selling to and the
"Marketing Mix" is your 4P's - Product, Price, Promotion, Place and how you mix them
to suit what the company wants to achieve
- Developing online giveaways to drive consumers to our product. - Having on-line contests with prizes given away by other companies, associates
your brand with other circumstances, thereby increasing your brand depth
- Build links from the web sites of famous cosmetics brands and have reciprocal
Depending on which tactics you are able to employ (based on your access to resources)
some strategies will work and some will fail. “Tactics are the who, what, when and how
of the broad-stroke strategy.”
- Establish ongoing monthly contests giving away sample product to 10 lucky
- To enter, consumers must complete a data sheet, providing demographic
- Winners will be announced in the product category of the Web site to ensure
consumers see our product line.
How does GOPST relate to SWOT?
If you develop a GOPST, it seems obvious that you don't just want to create goals for the
sake of a theoretical exercise; you must want to actually accomplish those goals through
meeting objectives that come from carrying out plans.
And for those plans to work, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses so when
you are developing strategies to achieve the plans, those strategies will take into
account the things you are good at, and can do. So before you can define the specific
tactics that will be used to carry out the Strategy, a SWOT analysis must be done.
- What advantages do you have?
- What advantages do you have compared to your competition?
- What do you do well?
- What relevant resources do you have access to?
- What do other people see as your strengths?
- What could you improve?
- What do you do badly?
- What should you avoid?
- Are there some things you cannot improve, and must therefore hide, or avoid?
- Are there some things you can improve, but it would cost resources (time, money)?
- What are the interesting trends you are aware of?
- Useful opportunities can come from such things as:
o Changes in technology and markets on both a broad and narrow scale
o Changes in government policy related to your field
o Changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes, etc.
o Events & activities, local, regional, national - piggyback on someone else's
- Threats from the changing technological environment
- Changes to rules and regulations established by the political Environment
- Changes in the economic environment (inflation, currency exchange rate
- Threats from geographic environment (weather- ice storm, tidal wave, hurricane,
- Threats from the competitive environment
- Threats from changes in the social-cultural environment (demographic changes,
aging population, gender issues, other languages, etc.)
THE BALANCED SCORECARD
The balanced scorecard suggests that we view the organization from four perspectives,
and to develop metrics, collect data and analyze it relative to each of those
1) The Learning & Growth Perspective
"This perspective includes employee training and corporate cultural attitudes related to
both individual and corporate self-improvement."
Learning and Growth is particularly important for IT companies were the knowledge-
worker organization depends on having the brightest and best educated people to be
competitive in developing and marketing new products and services. But learning is not
just being trained on new systems and new software, it also includes " things like
mentors and tutors within the organization, as well as that ease of communication
among workers that allows them to readily get help on a problem when it is needed. It
also includes technological tools; what the Baldrige criteria call "high performance work systems."
2) The Customer Perspective
When the competitive environment is intense - meaning a lot of people competing
against you to serve your customers, and a lot of competition for resources to produce
your product, it gives an advantage to the customer. Companies operating in an intense
competitive environment therefore have to be very attentive about serving the
customer and satisfying customers in order to maintain and grow their business.
Terms such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), CLV (Customer Lifetime
Value), and Customer Retention are used to describe what companies do to handle
information about customer activities and maintaining good relations which lead to long
term purchase arrangement.
* Customer Retention
- it is more effective to grow your business with Market
Development as opposed to Market Penetration
The influence of web based businesses
The Internet is shifting power from sellers to buyers. Thanks to the Internet, B2C
consumers and B2B purchasing agents can more efficiently explore more shopping
options and more easily educate themselves. Customers have an abundance of options;
and now they can get information about products or services that interest them in a
much shorter amount of time.
Web based businesses are challenged because customers have:
- More choices - you can buy anywhere FedEx ships
- Alternative ways of paying
- Better information about products - F.A.B.s (features, advantages and benefits)
- Share information with other customers- in blogs, chats and social media groups
The influence of "blended" social-cultural environment
Canada is NOT the only multi-cultural country; most large OECD countries with a decent
economy have evolved to be very multi-cultural in their large cities, e.g. London, Paris,
New York and LA in the U.S., Dubai, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia.
3) The Financial Perspective
"Number crunching" and the use of statistics has been popular for many years among
business leaders in order to figure out the things a company is doing well and the things that need improving. But we don't just need financial information,
we also need to
distinguish between Information and Intelligence.
Rogers has a joint venture with Nokia to develop a chip that can be used for e-payment
systems. While important, and newsworthy, this is just information.
Rogers signed a 2 year agreement with Royal Bank to allow all Rogers Cell phones to be
used as e-payment proximity devices, based on RFID technology with all RBC interac
stations in the greater Toronto region beginning in July 2013. This is actionable
intelligence because it is information specific enough that a competitor such as Bell
Mobility could proceed to develop a JV with Scotiabank such that Rogers would not
have a monopoly in this area for too long.
4) The Business Process Perspective
This perspective refers to internal business processes. Metrics based on this perspective
allow the managers to know how well their business is running, and whether its
products and services conform to customer requirements.
Witiger states, the biggest criticisms of MBA experts on telling a business how to
operate, is that their business advice is
- Based on theoretical models where everything works perfectly- they do not
allow for the problems that happen when "real life" gets involved
- Lacking in hard-core experience - these people often have no personal
experience and understanding of the business sector within which the particular
client is operating
- Not specific to the sector - businesses are very different from sector to sector,
what works in the auto parts business may be much different than the travel and
vacation business, which is in turn very different from the agricultural business.
(MBAs typically study from cases of large-sized organizations, which have a lot of
problems to be analyzed.)
The Competitive Environment is, perhaps, the most important of the 6 Environments
that influence a company involved in marketing, business, international business or e-
Intense competitive environment- companies carry out strategies such as:
- Copying your product and knocking off your designs, - Selling below your price,
- Using some of your advertising themes and concepts
- Paying better wages to employees,
- Sell a slightly different product that can be substituted for yours,
Hence it is necessary to,
- Utilize every resource in the technological environment,
- Attend to all the language and gender and age considerations of the
- Carefully analyze trends in the economic environment
- Monitor political movements and upcoming changes in the regulatory
- Prepare contingencies for threats from weather extremes and the geographic
If the Competitive Environment is NOT intense, then you:
- Don't have to use the latest technology, because your customers will not be
drawn to anybody else, and therefore save money.
- Do not have to worry about paying money for having marketing material
translated into different languages for the socio-cultural environment.
- Can charge a higher price because whether the economy is good, or bad, an
absence of competition means that people have to buy it from you and pay
whatever price you charge.
- Do not have to monitor changes to laws and regulations in such a detailed way
and save money on legal fees
- Do not have to watch for weather or climatic problems cause if they do delay
your shipping or sales, it doesn't matter because customers can't buy from other
Business competitors are:
- Other organizations offering the same product or service now. (Coke vs. Pepsi)
- Other organizations offering similar products or services now. (Coke vs. Snapple)
- Other organizations offering a variation on a product or service that you cannot.
(Flash Player on Androids, Blackberries but not iPhones)
- Organizations that could offer the same or similar products or services in the
future. (Rogers –cell phone co. added home phone to compete with Bell)
- Organizations that could remove the need for a product or service you sell.
(Internet eliminating need for books/encyclopedia for research) Cannibalization
Cannibalization refers to a marketing situation where a new product "eats" up the sales
and demand of an existing product. This can negatively affect both the sales volume and
market share of the existing product. Market cannibalization occurs when a new
product intrudes on the existing market for the older product, rather than expanding
the company's market base. Rather than appealing to a new segment of the market and
increasing market share, the new product appeals to the company's current market,
resulting in reduced sales and market share for the existing product.
Example to avoid cannibalization- Larkhill.com gets many more hits on its website
compared to the small stores carrying the product - however Larkhill does not sell its
- By not selling online you avoid the hassles of dealing direct with the public
- You do not have to worry about payment systems
- Your retail customers do not see you as competition
TYPES OF COMPETITION
Low barriers to entry, many choices, no business has dominance because many
companies are competing, so nobody has a significant advantage. Examples: Small bars
and restaurants, convenience stores, doughnut shops, professional services (dentist,
Very similar products, few sellers, small firms follow lead of big firms, fairly inelastic
demand and all the businesses are big and of equal size There are many barriers to
establishing a business so only the oldest and biggest businesses are operating
examples. Such as, the banking industry, insurance companies, telecommunication
These have one single large seller with no close competition and no alternate
substitutes examples. The definition of a Monopoly, some say, is that it is bigger than all
other competitions combined. Examples: LCBO, Canada Post, software companies like
Sellers feel they do have some competition. There is one big company dominating the
market with a few medium or smaller sized companies. Examples: Google, Wal-Mart.
_____________________________________________________ FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
1) The Political, Legal and Regulatory Environment
For publically traded companies, financial statements are primarily governed by the
regulations within the political jurisdiction they operate within. If a medium-large sized
company has their headquarters in Toronto and operates throughout Canada they are
bound by the regulations of the OSC Ontario Securities Commission
Canadian companies that operate in the U.S. may also be bound by U.S. regulations such
as the 2002 Sarbanes-Oaxley Act - a law designed to offer more corporate accountability
2) The Competitive Environment
For publically traded companies, the competition is intense to maintain the support
from existing shareholders and attract new shareholders. Without confidence from
shareholders, the stock price will decline, and the market capitalization of the company
will drop so low that they will not have the finances to sustain operations, and
ultimately they will have to suspend operations.
Investors- who have many options to choose from, put a lot of pressure on companies
to provide detailed financial statements in order to make stock buy/sell decisions as
accurately as possible. This accuracy is increasingly important for large institutional
investors who are buying/selling stock as part of giant mutual fund portfolios for
pension funds, etc.
Suppliers- In the automotive and consumer electronics especially, industry suppliers
need to carefully plan their sales to large customers and in the planning process they
not only want to make a sale, they want to sell to a company who is going to be in
business for a long period of time.
3) The Economic Environment
- Currency exchange rate considerations
- Household purchasing power as it effects consumer buying power
- Federal debt - effects government support for business
4) The Technological Environment
Technology influences how companies assemble the information that is put into a
financial statement. Technology also influences how the financial statement itself is
communicated to stakeholders, shareholders, media etc. Information that is very timely can be used to make quick decisions that can result in
investors making or losing millions of dollars so "these days" the format of the
information and the technology used to deliver it are very important.
How Financial Statements are put together
The raw data is assembled by the accounting department, usually by the bookkeeper.
The bookkeeper sorts through:
- Register tapes in small companies. Large companies are usually computerized.
- Sales invoices
- Supplier invoices
- Service contracts
- Real estate information
From this compiled information, the facts are "classified and summarized into financial
reports for a business so that a financial statement can then be prepared."
The balance sheet - how the company is doing at an exact moment in time. Dates
April 30th is popular because companies pick a date matching the regulatory
requirements in their jurisdiction so that their data can be compared to other
companies releasing statements at the same time. Many seasonal businesses issue their
statements after their main selling season, because their condition is most favorable at
"Financial statements are customarily prepared on a quarterly, biannual or annual basis.
The date of a financial statement is of considerable importance. Most are usually drawn
up on a yearly (fiscal) basis. Statements provided that are outside of the fiscal closing
are known as interim statements."
Balance sheets show
- Dollar amount of assets (what the business owns)
- Liabilities (what a business owes)
- Relation to net worth or owner's equity (what the owner, principals or
Balance sheets are presented with assets on the left side of a page and liabilities and
equity on the right. Totals of both left and right sides must balance, since total assets
must equal total liabilities plus net worth. The income or profit and loss statement is a detailed computation of the money a
business makes or loses over a specific time period.
These represent all resources - money, inventory, real estate, anything of value that
indicates, "how much the company is worth", particularly if it had to be sold. There are
several types of assets:
- Cash such as incoming cheques not yet deposited
- Trade / accounts receivables - things you sold and have not been paid for yet
- Inventory- product about to be sold
These can include government bonds and notes, commercial paper, and/or stock and
bond investments in public corporations. They are usually listed at cost or market price,
whichever is lower.
Fixed assets are materials, goods, services and land used in the production of a
company's goods. Examples include: buildings, plant equipment, tools and machinery,
furniture, fixtures etc.
In recent years in the IT sector, there have been a number of high profile cases were
companies like R.I.M. suffered greatly from litigation by companies holding patents and
claiming patent infringement. Leading some people to suggest that holding certain
patents used in IT may be considered an asset of the company.