Managing external influences
A First Group case study

Page 1: Introduction

We all make use of the services provided by transportation companies. For example, you will probably have caught the bus into town or travelled on a school bus or made an intercity journey by train. Some of you may have travelled on a super green energy-efficient tram or used a Park & Ride bus service. FirstGroup plc (known as First) is the UK's largest surface transportation company. It...
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Page 2: External influences

Running a business would be simple if the directors and managers only had to think about what went on inside the business. They could concentrate on internal decisions, such as determining routes, timetables and operating buses. However, business planners have also to understand what goes on outside the business. Businesses are able to identify external changes that may affect it by carrying...
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Page 3: Political and economic factors

Political Transport services are at the heart of the UK economy - moving people to work, home and school, and goods to households and businesses. In the 1980s, the government started to privatise bus services in the UK. It believed that allowing private firms to compete to run bus services would keep prices low and ensure companies would try harder to give customers what they wanted. The result...
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Page 4: Social and technological factors

Social Social changes may have a major impact on business: The number of older people in the UK is rising. There are more people with bus passes in this country than ever before. The passes mean that users travel free, as the local authority pays First for providing the service. Many elderly people prefer to travel by bus because it is convenient and safe. Society's habits and tastes are...
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Page 5: Environmental and legal factors

Environmental Today the environment is perhaps the most important external influence on any transport service. There is overwhelming evidence that human activity is contributing to climate change. Government, consumers and businesses all want to see better environmental management. In 2007, First set out its Climate Change Strategy. The strategy sets targets to reduce CO2 emissions in the short...
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Page 6: Conclusion

It is possible to see PESTEL factors as threats. However, First prefers to see them as opportunities. Social trends are creating increasing numbers of older passengers seeking comfortable easy-to access buses. Government pressure is encouraging more and more individuals (particularly on school runs) to use public transport. Many people are seeking a 'greener' form of transport. A detailed PESTEL...
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