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COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

Essential for formulating the right strategies and positioning the firm in the right place and direction. While analyzing the competitors the following questions have to answered : a) Who are the competitors of the firm ? b) What are their current strategies ? c) What are their future strategies and goals ? d) What drives the competitor ? e) Where is the competitor vulnerable ?

COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
“Porter” has suggested a frame work for such analysis on the following grounds : FUTURE GOALS,

CURRENT STRATEGY,
ASSUMPTIONS, CAPABILITIES.

ENVIRONMENTAL FORECASTING – STEPS INVOLVED
This is somewhat like executing a research project, the important steps being : Identification of relevant environmental variables : All variables do not have the same relevance to all the industries and firms. Eg. Microwave & Food processing industries, Deisel price & Railways. There are some variables which may have certain implication for certain industries. Eg. Falling birth rate & Baby products, Decreasing mortality rate and Pharmaceuticals.

ENVIRONMENTAL FORECASTING – STEPS INVOLVED
Collection of information : After the variables have been selected and identified, the next step is to collect the necessary information about these variables. This will include (a) identification of the sources of such information, (b) determination of the type of information required, © selection of the methods of data collection.

ENVIRONMENTAL FORECASTING – STEPS INVOLVED
Selection of forecasting technique : The dependability and usefulness of the forecast depend a lot on appropriateness of the forecasting technique used. “Quantitative techniques vrs. Qualitative techniques”. Monitoring : The features and characteristics of the variables are bound to undergo changes. New variables may also emerge and assume critical positions.

TYPES OF FORECASTING
• ECONOMIC FORECAST : GDP Growth rate, Per capita income, Distribution of income, Structural changes in GDP, Investment trends of various sectors, Price/inflation rate, BOP trend etc. • SOCIAL FORECAST : Population growth/decline, age structure of population, ethenic composition of the population, Occupational pattern, Rural – urban distribution of population, migration, Factors related to lifestyle – income levels, expenditure pattern, social attitudes etc.

TYPES OF FORECASTING
• POLITICAL FORECAST : Political idealogies, Political alliances, (Change in the USSR  India), (Liberalisation in 1991  Privatisation on the way alongwith disinvestment programmes) • TECHNOLOGICAL FORECAST : How far is the technology going to impact the business world ? What could be the investment in new technology in the country ?

TECHNIQUES OF FORECASTING
• ECONOMETRIC TECHNIQUES : Are used where there are well established relationship between two or more variables. Example : If demand is a function of consumer income then the impact of an increase in income level can predict the increase in demand of certain products, using the equation representing the relationship between these two variables.

TECHNIQUES OF FORECASTING
• TREND EXTRAPOLATION : The idea that the past is the prologue to the future-----On this basis historical data is extrapolated to get the tentative data of the future. • SCENARIO DEVELOPMENT : IF THIS THEN WHAT ? A very popular and useful forecasting method – development of alternative scenarios.

TECHNIQUES OF FORECASTING
• JUDGEMENT MODELS : Involves the use of people who have intimate knowledge of relevant factors. For example : Opinion of the sales force regarding sales potential, consumer behavior etc. • BRAIN STORMING : A very creative method. Under this a group of knoledgeable people are encouraged to generate ideas, discuss them and then make certain forecasts on the basis of such discussions. With a view to encourage new ideas without any bias such new ideas are not publicly evaluated.

TECHNIQUES OF FORECASTING
• DELPHI METHOD : This is a refined edition of the Judgement model. This method uses a panel of experts on the subject from whom opinions are gathered. The consolidated opinions are circulated among the experts anonymously inviting revisions and comments. The experts are requested to review their opinion in the light of the latest feedback. This process is continued on and on until a consensus view is arrived upon..