Strategic planning - responding to external influences
An Experian case study

Page 1: Introduction

Experian operates the UK's largest Credit Reference Agency (CRA). There are three in the UK. Banks and credit card companies share information about their customers' credit accounts with each other through the CRAs. They then use this information to help them quickly make lending decisions. The lender decides whether someone is likely to, and can afford to, repay any borrowings by looking at how...
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Page 2: The Social Environment - Changing attitudes to money and credit

Credit is more widely available than ever before. More and more people use credit as a way of buying things they do not have the money for. An individual should only borrow if s/he knows that the money can be repaid. This 'buy now, pay later' culturehas led to increasing levels of debt in this country. In January 2006, the level of UK personal debt reached £1.1 trillion, which includes...
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Page 3: Changes in legislation and political focus

Experian is licensed as a CRA by the Office of Fair Trading and is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office. The Data Protection Act 1998 governs how organisations can collect, use and share personal information. The Consumer Credit Act 1974 gives consumers specific rights in relation to the information CRAs hold about them. Complying with this and other relevant legislation is...
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Page 4: The boom in the economy/e-commerce

Consumer spending is often used as an indicator of how well the economy is doing. Credit is a key factor in fuelling an economic boom. A consumer's willingness to take on credit depends on his or her confidence in their ability to repay the money. This confidence comes in part from job stability and faith in the economy. A boom in consumer spending will mean that there is an increase in the number...
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Page 5: Changes in the technological environment

The credit industry has made huge technological advances. Financial products and services can now be bought online. This is known as e-commerce and is now an important part of the global economy. The boom in e-commerce has meant that Experian has had to introduce new technologies. Ordering a credit report is now simpler and quicker than ever. Consumer education also has to evolve with...
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Page 6: Conclusion

A SLEPT analysis uses observations of changes in the external environment to help organisations make strategic plans. Experian uses similar tools to develop its business strategies to help it develop and provide market-leading products and services for consumers, businesses and other organisations.
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