Page 4: Vision, objective, strategy and tactic
It is one thing to state aims and have a set of core values that underpin the whole way a business operates, but success requires a business to make its vision a reality. To implement its vision, a company needs to set an objective, create a strategy and develop the tactics it needs to implement in order to achieve this goal. This is called the ‘hierarchy of
objectives’ and is outlined in the following four stages:
- Vision – a long-term aim / belief held by the organisation
- Objective – is a measurable goal that the company wants to achieve in line with its vision
- Strategy – is the approach / plan of action that it will take to achieve that goal
- Tactic – is a specific step or action to deliver the strategy. Most strategies have a number of tactics
Applying the ‘hierarchy of objectives’ to Enterprise, it is clear to see how each of the four stages works:
- Vision – For Enterprise to have a greater market share of business market within Europe
- Objective – To raise awareness of the Enterprise brand to a business audience in Europe
- Strategy – To develop a marketing programme to increase brand awareness and preference
- Tactics – Enterprise developed an advertising campaign that was deployed in major transport hubs used by business travellers across Europe
A strategy is the plan by which objectives will be put into action. An objective is a goal, it is what the business intends to achieve in the long-term and is consistent with its vision. Objectives might include targets such as increasing profit, increasing market share or reducing the company’s impact on the environment.
A tried and tested tool when setting objectives is to try to make them SMART. The letters of the acronym ‘SMART’ stand for: Specific, Measurable, Agreed (or Achievable), Realistic and Time-specific. By setting SMART objectives, it’s easier to assess whether or not those objectives have been achieved, and, if not, enables changes to be made to bring the business back on track. Enterprise has many SMART objectives for the business as a whole, as well as within each of its branches. For instance, Enterprise set itself the aim of expansion by increasing its operations in Europe by 2012. SMART objectives associated with this were to acquire two leasing/rental businesses by 2012 in France and Spain. This led to Enterprise buying Citer SA and its subsidiary Atesa from PSA Peugeot Citroën. Having acquired these businesses, each adopted Enterprise’s values, ensuring staff and suppliers were treated the same as elsewhere within the company.
A strategy usually follows on from conducting internal and external audits. An internal audit looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the business across all departments. An external audit focuses on the business’s opportunities and threats in its constantly changing trading environment. Internal audits ensure that managers are aware of what the business is doing well and what areas need to be developed. A recent internal audit of staff indicated a skills gap in certain areas of the Enterprise team. A human resources strategy was prepared to plug this gap. This involved recruiting people and
developing skills through its training and development programmes. The external audits keep the leadership team up to date with threats from both competition and changes in the business environment. They also help identify opportunities for further growth and expansion. By combining both the internal and external audits’ data into a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat) analysis, management teams have the basis to create effective strategic plans.
Enterprise ensures a global consistency of its brand values and customer service through replicating its strategies in different countries. For example, it recently introduced its 'Come Alive Graduate Training Programme’ in France.
The company’s commitment to developing effective strategies, matched by financial support, and the monitoring of these strategies, has ensured Enterprise’s continual growth over the past six decades.