Cal State San Marcos

Project Description

Renewable Energy Industry

Project Abstract

Business 302

The purpose of having you prepare an environment report for an industry is to give you experience in applying the concepts of this course to an actual business situation. When the environment remains stable, the importance of an environment analysis is minimal. However, when faced with a dynamic environment the analysis of the environment and the corresponding report are extremely important. An analysis of the environment is the basis for developing a strategic plan and a marketing plan, which are required components for business loans. A firm that does not constantly monitor its future environment for salient changes is more likely to find itself out of step and ultimately, out of business.

The environment analysis of the Strategic Business Area (SBA) you prepare is to be written from the perspective of an outside business consultant as an objective report on the aspects of a firm�s environment. The report should provide insights that would enable a management team or others in a firm to evaluate any proposed strategy. The report is not to include any strategy, evaluation of strategy, or response.

Topics and Nature of Report
The basis of your report is concentrating in the Task Environment elements of the Griffin model and the Five Forces of the Porter Model. As you discover more about the environment, new issues may be discovered about salient aspects of the environment that may lead to different emphases. The first step is to identify five major trends, threats & opportunities that will exist in the SBA. The second step is to conduct an overview of the different aspects of the environment (General: Economic, Social-Culture, Political-Legal, Technology, and International; Task: Competition, Customers, Regulators, Unions/Labor, Suppliers, Strategic Allies, and Owners; Porter�s Industry Competitive Model). Jot down things about each factor/dimension that you initially think may be important to the organization. Then conduct a more in depth research in each of the areas.

Throughout the course, material has been presented on each facet of the environment. The Case Guide Analyses and class lectures give information on the General Environment as well as information on task factors. Most of these overheads identify different types of information that one could/should examine and/or include on each of the factors.

For each task factor it is important to identify 1) Who they are, and 2) What are their characteristics, orientations, behaviors, etc. which make (or potentially make) them important to a firm doing business in the SBA. Importance is determined by the potential to serve as a stimulus (positive or negative/opportunity, threat or trend) for some type of firm response.

Conclude by outlining your general recommendation about the industry sector.

Strategic Business Area Identification
For all firms the need/demand is the important factor. You are expected to develop an identification of the future need of the SBA, the technology that will be utilized to satisfy the need, the geographical area and the client type you will try to satisfy. The concept of Strategic Business Area and the Strategic Segmentation tree are attached at the end of this report. Start your report by describing which of the SBA you will be concentrating on and the future Time Target.

You are expected to develop a customer profile (of the businesses, individuals, or families) for the organization. This will include their demographics and other characteristics, buying patterns, or buying behaviors that are relevant. For all SBAs there must be some consideration of the competitive environment. Even if a firm has a monopoly, consider if there is the threat of substitute products or other competitive force on the horizon. Identify the different types of competitors (brand, product or generic competitors), their strengths or weaknesses, and anything you can determine about their strategies.

Time Target and Life Span
At this stage you need to estimate the time period you will focus your analysis into the future. Attention: the immediate �future� environment is not of particular help since by the time the firm develops a response plan the immediate future will have passed. You need to concentrate your research in assessing the SBA�s potential during the life span period.

Level of Future Turbulence of the SBA
Using tables H-1-1 and H-1-2 assess the level of future turbulence of the SBA. You can assess the level of turbulence by:
a. asking experts in the field, and
b. using reference information on the SBA.

Construct the future level of turbulence by circling the relevant columns for each attribute in Tables H-1-1 & H-1-2. Average the result and come up with a single number of turbulence level for each one of the tables.

Since managers typically find it difficult to fill out complex tables, you might want to �translate� them into a questionnaire format.

Sources of Information
This project is designed to be a research/field project. You will need to talk with people who can provide you some of the needed background information, e.g. people in the industry or people knowledgeable about different aspects of the SBA. Other needed information will be found through the library. The Business Librarian holds sessions on how to use the library resources and how to find various types of business information. Check with the library as to the times these sessions are offered. You may wish to use on-line services, industry reports, or other published reports. Several local organizations publish reports and information on the business environment in the San Diego area. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC); local Chamber of Commerce, Private Industry Council (PIC), and San Diego Association of pages and you will be able to glean a great amount of information from the Internet. Many reports are also published in local newspapers such as the San Diego Business Journal, The San Diego Transcript or the business section of local newspapers.

Writing the Report
The writing style should be terse and to the point. Write objectively and avoid using �loaded� or �value laden� words or terms. While you may feel emotionally about an issue, try to keep your writing objective. What a firm �should� or �should not� do. An analysis of the environment, as it will exist is to be written descriptively, not in a prescriptive manner.

The analysis is to be machine printed, double-spaced, using a font no smaller than 12 pt. The maximum number of pages to be submitted is 15, including references and any appended material. The report format and style must be consistent throughout the paper. Please use an �accepted� style, such as Chicago Manual of Style, Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, The American Psychological Association (APA) Style, or any another style manual that is accessible to you from the library or other source.

The report is to be organized in a logical sequence. Within each dimension or factor you may wish to have sub-sections, such as in the customer section, you may wish to have sub-sections concerning different customer segments or sections concerning demographic characteristics (age, income, education, marital status, ethnic background, etc.), one concerning buying patterns, and perhaps another about what they value or the benefits they are seeking.

Your report should have an appropriate title page. At minimum the title page is to include the title of your paper, the course information, your team�s names, and date. There should be page numbers on each page (not including title page.) Headings and sub-heads should be used to identify different sections and topics. When double-spacing text, it is appropriate to indent the first line of each new paragraph. Each report is expected to have a Bibliography, Sources, or Reference section. You should also list the full names, company affiliation and titles of the people you interview. Consult a style manual for the appropriate format. There is no need to have a report cover; a report stapled in the upper left corner is preferred.

Remember that I am available to answer questions and can be used as a resource; however, I do not read drafts of your paper. Final projects may be submitted at any time prior to or during designated time period.


Surveys released for this project:
Renewable Energy Industry Survey 13
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