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Managing Organizations and Leading People

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In preparation for Spring, consumers begin to think about yard work and making their lawn as beautiful as possible. This entails making sure that all lawn equipment is ready to cut grass and making it as easy as possible. Briggs in Stratton is a power engine company that has been around for 100 years. Briggs continues to strive for innovation and is dedicated to increasing success. To maintain the growth and profitability of the Briggs and Stratton Corporation, two products that I would like to add to the line of engines that the company produces is a lawnmower engine that can be interchanged into a generator and Gas Off, a new product that removes the gas smell from hands and clothes. Briggs and Stratton is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines. Therefore, introducing a mower engine that can be converted into a generator would add on to their innovative ideas. Consumers would be able to have one have a mower to cut grass as well as a generator when electricity is loss due to weather or for outdoor use. This product would also do well globally. The second product, Gas off, also would do well globally because almost everyone has spilled gas on themselves or clothes. To have a product that will erase the smell would be beneficial as well. The other benefit of Gas-off is that it will be available in wipes and liquid as well. The consumer will also be able to purchase the product in many different store chains. Whenever a new product is being introduced, there are important steps that need to be taken in order to see of the products will be accepted. For instance, it is important to know if there is a need for products that are being introduced. Secondly, is there as place for the product in the global market. The three methods that I used to identify my target market are focus groups, feedback or surveys and lastly invite people to a prototype. First, identifying my target means that I would choose a specific demographic area for potential customers that I would like to buy the products. When choosing the area I consider the age, family status, and incomes. By doing this it will provide me information needed to introduce the two products to a demographic area who would be interested in purchasing them. After locating the specific demographic area and introducing my products the next step would be surveys and feedback from my demographic consumers, especially those consumers who still have existing lawn mowers. This would allow the company to hear concerns and suggestions from people who would most likely buy my products. Lastly, I would have a prototype available for viewing. It is important that consumers are able to see what they are buying. Having a prototype to view allows the customers to see and interact with the new products. Whether the new product is durable, light, and easy to maintain are a few concerns that the customer may have. Using a prototype to introduce my product would answer any to any uncertainties the consumer may have. Because Briggs and Stratton have manufacturing plants globally, these three practices can be used globally as well. However, when introducing new product to consumers or a global market, it is important to present the competitive advantage that the product would have over the competition to the consumers. One competitive advantage is to offer the customer a greater value than the competitors. For example, offer the product at a lower cost or have a good explanation of why the product may be sold at a higher cost. Making sure that the consumer is aware that then product cannot be copied, as well as informing them that is a valuable product for them to have. Briggs and Stratton’s current competitor is currently the Denver Global Product Raven Lawn Mower/ generator combination. The Raven’s feature includes 46” inch blades, removable deck, and is gas powered. It offers a three different colors, red black and camouflage. It is a single cylinder Chinese made ratio engine. The Raven includes functions such it can serve not only as a lawnmower but as a generator. The generator is currently 110 volts and can be used to supply power for remote locations, meaning anywhere beyond the reach of a power cords. Currently the price for the Raven is $3000.00. Although the competition model may seem similar, the Briggs and Stratton X300 is a better than the competitor. One example includes that unlike the Raven, the X300 is a hybrid lawnmower/generator combo, It also had a 46” inch blade. However, not only is it gas powered it is also electric. The Briggs and Stratton X300 also offer a higher horsepower engine. Another plus is that once the deck it removed it can be served as an ATV as well. It can be used to pull a trailer that may contain power tools to finish the yard work or haul mulch. The generator is 220 volt instead of 110volt. It is a 7100 watt generator that has a 110 volt outlet and a 12volt. These outlets can charge a phone, tablet, power equipment as well as being a temporary power source for appliance in case of a power outage. The X300 can provide eight hours of power. The price of the X300 is $4995.00 which is slightly higher than the Raven. There is also a competitor with the Gas-off product that Briggs and Stratton offers. It is called Fuel Remover and is priced at $3.95 for a eight ounce bottle. The features that is includes that it is biodegradable. It removes the gas smell from clothes and hands. The advantage that Briggs and Stratton Gas-off has against its competitor is that it comes in several different forms. You can get Gas-off as single use wipes, 15 pack of wipes at $4.95, an eight ounce bottle that is also the same price and a canister of wipes for $6.95. The product is made out of a special mal-odor scale formula that leaves hands clean and order free and doesn’t dry out hands. However with all the added features and functions that it provides it is worth it. It is also important that the product is innovative as well. There are risks that are inherited as well. One potential risk may be and the most important one is financial risk. For example, Briggs and Stratton has a manufacturing plant in China, so therefore the company has to take in consideration risks that are associated with shipping the products to China. When introducing a new product to China it is important to recognize the economic risk. China’s economic conditions and policies have to be understood. It is also important to know the property right protection as well as the currency exchange rates. It is important to know the limits that China may have when it comes to capital flowing out of the country. It is also important that Briggs and Stratton know if there is protection of the property in the target market and the enforcement of the contracts. It is important to know if the products would generate a great demand at a price that is profitable. Other risk includes the legal and regulatory structure. It is important to know if there are taxes on exports and on moving goods across internal state regions. Another risk includes government policies and regulations that can impact the time and cost of market entry. Political risks are also important, unstable governments can be hostile to foreign business imposing new taxes and new regulations. Will there be enough sales that will cover the price or cost to develop the product? The second inherited risk would be if it is a product that companies and consumers want. Will the consumer be acceptable of the new product? Would the product be something that the consumer or larger companies would buy? These two risks have to be thought about when introducing new products globally. It is also important that the risks are minimized. One way to minimize the risk includes spending time researching and understanding the regulatory environment prior to making decisions to enter the market. It is important to know the laws of the China. Doing market research will also minimize the risk. Using a market research team can help determine the market size, future growth trends, key customer requirements as well as laws and regulations. Other ways to minimize and inherited risk is to include the customer in the process. For example, letting the consumer know what the product is and the innovation features that it includes. Once the customer has been included and has seen the process of the new product, asking the customer for their commitment for purchase early with incentives would help reduce an inherited risk. Because the product that is being produced is through a manufacturing plant another way to reduce an inherited risk would be to use the postponement strategy. According to Ogawa, this strategy allows the manufacture to split the process into two phases. Meaning generic components are built to stock, then once the company has more information about the market demand; parts are assembled into the final product (2016). Once your new product has been developing, you have to think about how your product would be distributed locally and globally. The one distribution channel that I would use would be wholesale distribution. Briggs and Stratton is a manufacturing plant that produces products in large quantities, therefore wholesale distribution would be the best way to get my products out. When entering the global market there are things that must be taken into consideration. One consideration is making sure that the there is nothing like or similar to the product from my competition. Another key consideration is environmental forces. These forces could have a negative impact and well as an positive impact. It is important to know if the product would be able to stand periods of different types of weather globally. For example, excessive heat or cold as well as those countries that encounter natural disasters. It is important to realize the customer base and the product that is being introduced. It is also important to know if there will be any trading obstacles when introducing the new product. According to Chad, “Despite liberalization of trade, much protectionism is granted to domestic companies in several develop and developing countries across the world (2015). There is also a concern of how the global supply chain may affect products. There are certain risks that may affect the supply chain as well. One example is that there may be an unexpected event that my delay delivery of the product. If this happens it may cause a loss to the company and can become costly. It is important that the schedule of delivery remain intact so that the cost will not rise, therefore keeping the costumer happy. According to Yogesh states, “Manufacturing and supply chain planners must also deal with rising complexity. Globalization brings complexities as rising incomes in developing countries make them extremely desirable and not just manufacturing hubs (2011). Therefore, rising complexity would affect the global supply chain. It is important to realize that if products are grouped by overall volume and demand volatility it would open doors on how to optimize the supply chain. The next step would be to find Customer relationship management software system that can be used to track the new product and inquires and sales within the global market. Briggs and Stratton is a manufacturing plant, therefore it would need a CRM that specifically for manufacturing. Searching the web allowed me to find particular software, Avidian, Prophet CRM software, that caters to the need of a manufacturing industry. The software allows the customer to be an integral part of the production process, instead of just an abstract link in the profit chain; it also allows the manufacturers to create the smoothest process possible by setting up a signaling system that ensures that the customer get the products they want when they need them. Avidian features give the company a comprehensive view of the customer data. It helps simplify the processes and help improve the customer experience. Using the software allows the company to move effortlessly between sales and marketing processes with attractive user interfaces. Advantages that it includes are it enables even faster access to customer information on the go, with the mobile CRM solutions for iPad and smartphones. Avidian helps create a common knowledge base. It allows the staff to have instant access to all information regarding customers and products. This enables the staff to answer all questions quickly and expertly during a call. Another good feature is that all quarries are done quickly and saves time on a daily basis. Other features include it managing appointments, managing documents, it lets the user create and manage different types of documents. You can also do project work, address management, as well as mobile access to data. The mobile access data is important especially for sales. It is important for the sales staff to be able to access information when away from the office. This software is also a great choice for the Briggs and Stratton Corporation because it will integrate with Microsoft outlook that is used in the company. Avidian will allow Briggs and Stratton to use data to augment service b examining customer sentiment. The information would also be use know about sales, marketing, and other areas to gage. Briggs and Stratton can also use the information gathered to help make better forecasting decisions by allowing for real time decision making as well as giving information on products and inventories. This is especially important because it helps determine the build rate of the products being sold. Also when referring to customer data the using the software will refer large amount of data to transactional data using charts and graphs. Information gathered from the software will help track sales within the global market. The software would allow the corporation to track sales, customer compliant calls. It would also allow the company to see or forecast a demand for the products. Briggs and Stratton take pride in providing lean manufacturing, making sure that all customer demands are taken care of. It also gives a one on one relationship with distributors and the plant itself. This software would be a great asset for the corporation. After products have been develop and introduce it is important to prices that are affordable. Therefore pricing strategies have to be implemented. A major pricing strategy that can be used would be competition-based pricing. According to an article in Boundless Business it states that competition based pricing involves setting a price based upon analysis and researched compiled from the target market. (2015). Doing this allows the consumers to base their judgment of the products values according to the prices that the competitors charge if a similar product is available. Briggs and Stratton had manufacturing plants in Asia, China, Czech Republic, Ostrava and Europe. Therefore, competition based pricing would be the best option. After the products are developed, the next step is to identifying costs of producing the products. There are factors that must be considered when calculating the cost. One factor is production setup. Briggs and Stratton would have to decide which one of their manufacturing plants would be suitable to produce the lawn mower/ generator duo. The second factor would be what would be tooling cost. Because the duo would be interchangeable, different tools and parts would be needed to machine and assemble the product. Also raw materials, machine time, cost of operators and supplies also pay an important role when calculating the cost of new products. Another key consideration is movement of goods from employer to customer. What channels would be used to move products globally. It is important to know what shipping procedures will be use and how it would affect sales. Is the product allowed to be ship by air or ship? Transit times can be detrimental and may have the risk of missing marketing opportunities. Another key consideration is to make sure that the supplier understands the requirements that have been set for delivery and that the shipping procedure will do the job.
It is also important to know the cost associated with the development and launch of a new product. For example, the product Gas- off, unlike the lawnmower/generator combo, would be sold in stores like Walmart, Kmart, and other discount stores. There are similar products sold at these stores the combined price for the competitor combined together is $20 and the demand for the item. The cost to manufacture the product might be about $4 to $3($20/4=$5 & 20/3=$6). However, the commitment must be made to the suppliers for the initial order is often one of the largest components of startup cost. The price would also be more if the volume is less. The minimum order quantity could easily be 50,000 to 100,000 units if the order must be done globally to get the same pricing. That means the commitment to suppliers for an initial order could be $300,000 to $500,000. ($6 x 50,000 & $5 x 100,000). Other factors to consider is licensing, legal advice and any retail or wholesale permits that maybe needed. Fluctuation of currency exchange also plays an important role with pricing.
Once the launch price has been determine, it is important to know if the consumer accepts the price that is set for the product. Consumers may be a little hesitate about the price especially if the product is unique. Consumers want the product to project price fairness. Consumers also want to be sure that the new product provides benefits and differs from existing products. Customers also use the existing prices as a guide to what is normal or considered a good deal. The consumers would also like to feel that they are getting more “bang for the buck”. Is the price reasonable for the specific product? Consumers often based their decision about pricing of a new product from previous products that they may have bought. The customer perception of the product determines if they are willing to pay for the product if it is introduce at a higher price. When introducing new products you also have to be aware of the competitor prices. It is important that the products are not overpriced or underpriced. First the products have to be compared to one another. For instance, are both engines the same horsepower and is the Gas-off product the same size as the competitors. It is also important to analyze who the top competition is. Once it is determine who the competition may be is important to conduct a research to determine if the product needs to be priced higher or lower it is important to find out what is the competitor price. This can be done by watching the competitors advertising price. It will allow you to see what features their products possess as well as similarities that it may have. Analyzing your competition through advertisement gives you a base at which the product needs to be priced. Other factors could include which has the most special features help determine if Briggs products are at the right price. When searching the web for similar products it was determine that Briggs and Stratton Gas-off was less than the competitors. As far as the lawn mower that can be converted into a generator, competitor pries are slightly higher. Lastly, the next important thing that needs to be done is promoting the products that have been introduced. It has to be determined what kind of advertising will be done to put products on the market. It is important that the products are positively known not only in the US but globally as well. Briggs and Stratton are known for their innovative products so it is important that the company portrays advertisement that catches those that are already customers and those that have the potential to be new customers. Two ways advertisement on the products can be promoted is through mass media and social media. The two mass media channels that I would use would be through magazines and billboards. When introducing new products, Briggs and Stratton have used advertising billboards at big events that are held locally and those that are held in other areas of the US. For example, Briggs plant in Statesboro GA uses a billboard for advertisement when there is a big Fourth of July event. Another example of Briggs using a billboard as a type of advertisement is at the Daytona races. When advertising globally Briggs has used it Upower website to introduce new products. The second form of mass media that I would use would be magazines. Magazines are distributed throughout the world which would allow customers who live globally to see new products being introduces. The two social media channels that I would use would be Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is used worldwide. Creating a page and inviting friends to join the page will allow customers to see new products that will be entering the market. Facebook is global and can reach masses of people worldwide. I would also use a twitter account to advertise the product. Twitter allows tweeting existing customers as well as those that who are interested in becoming new customers. Another way of getting new products out would be going viral. It is important that customers have a reason to want to purchase new products that have been introduced. Although the X300 is priced $4,995.00 it has many amenities that would catch the customer’s eye. The fact that is can be used multiple ways instead of just a lawnmower would justify the price. The customer would no longer have to drag a generator out when there is a power outlet and another source of power is needed. They will be able to get their hybrid mower and drive to the location. The customer also would not have to worry about extension cords not reaching. If a customer spills gas or on their clothes they no longer have to go round smelling like gas or masking the scent with Febreeze or other sources. Gas-off will allow them to get rid of the smell by wipes or by an eight ounce spray that conveniently fits in the car or other area where gas is being used. Gas-off is reasonably priced for the different types of items offered whether single packets wipes and spray costing $4.95 or a canister of wipes for $6.95. Incentives can also be used to grab the customer’s attention. One sales promotion that I would use would be a rebate when purchasing the new product. For example, if a customer purchases the lawn mower-generator combination he or she will be able to mail in and receive a rebate for purchasing the product. The second promotion activity would be offer coupons. The Gas off product is offered in wipes, spray and larger quantity of wipes. For example, when a customer goes to buy the product, they will be able to get a coupon to use on the next purchase. The next step is analyzing the competitor’s price. At the moment Denver Global has produced the Raven lawnmower/generator combo. Fuel-off is also another competitor. Denver Global current price for the Raven is $3,000. Although there is similarities between the mowers there are also differences. Raven is not a Hybrid ATV when the deck is removed. It also possessed a lower voltage and watts. The horsepower of the engine is also lower than the one Briggs and Stratton has to offer. Customers are drawn to products that can do multiple things and are willing to pay the price the competitor does not possess the many amenities as the X300 which paid an important role when determining the price of the products. The same considerations were looked at when pricing Gas-Off. In conclusion, when introducing new products to the global market, there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. What methods that are used to determine if the product is needed as well as the advantage and disadvantage that will gain if the product is successful. After all information is gathered, the company has to think about how the products are going to get distributed locally and globally. There are many factors when producing new products for the customer to purchase. If these things aren’t taken into consideration the company cannot profit. REFERENCES

Avidian Technologes Inc. Avidian A new Look on CRM. Copyright (2004-2016)
Boundless. Competition-Based Prices. Boundless Business, 21 July 2015
Ogawa, S. & Piller, F.T. Reducing the Risk of New Product Development. Winter 2006
Smith, Chad. Five Factors You Must Consider While Your Company Is Entering to a New Market. (2015). Library.com
Yogech, Malik. Building the Supply Chain of the Future. Mckinsy Quarterly. January 2011.

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