Critical Evaluation of a business response.

81056138: Critical Evaluation of a business response.

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Introduction

Expedia Inc. is an online travelling company which happens to be the largest in the world and has a fleet of agencies under its authority. The company is based in the United States of America. The travel brands that fall under its authority include; the hotels.com, hotwire.com, egencia, classic vacations and e-long (Grayson, 2007, 6). The company was founded way back in the year 1996 as a branch of the Microsoft Corporation of the United States. In the year 2001, the Microsoft Corporation sold the venture out to the Ticketmaster which changed the name of the corporation to USA networks. In the year 2003, due to management reasons, the company’s name was further changed to InterActiveCorp. The company since then has undergone numerous changes to become the now Expedia Inc.

The company majorly operates on an internet basis and has a website which mainly operates from its headquarters in Bellevue. The company runs localized websites for twenty nine countries some of which include; Denmark, India, Indonesia, south Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Spain, the united kingdom, the United States of America and Philippines (Grayson, 2007, 7). The company majors in the provision of travel services. These services include; booking of air tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and numerous attractions and services. The company has links and works with multiple global distribution systems like Sabre Company for flights and Worldspan for hotel reservations.

The company has undergone major changes in the recent past and has altered its operations to due to some dynamics that happens in its business environment. It has also taken its services a notch higher to satisfy the arising needs of its customer base in all the countries it operates. The company now has grown to encompass plane and hotel reservations. The company has merged with some already existing companies and has acquired new ventures which were previously owned by other companies. Its first and the largest acquisition was the Travels cape and vacation spot which it acquired for a sum total of a hundred and seventy US dollars (Grayson, 2007, 45). The next major acquisition was the classic custom vacation that was purchased in March 2002. Other acquisitions include the Metropolitan Travel and Newtrade technologies. Most of these acquisitions were done in the year 2002 and they brought the operations of the Expedia to a new life.

Business response

Business agility can be described comprehensively as the ability by a company to adapt comprehensively and cost efficiently to the changes in the business environment. Various factors compose the business environment. These factors are very essential to the operation of any business (Stacey 2007, 265). Some of these factors include the customers or the clientele, the technological changes, the government policies and the completion from other firms in the industry (Albert, 2011, 456). Every business’ aim and objective is to maximise the sale of their products in their target markets. It is for this reason that the businesses should reconsider the changes in the environment from time to time.

This ability by the firm to adapt to the changes in the environment in the most convenient and cost effective manner can only be achieved and maintained through adaptation of goods and services that meet the customers’ demands. Business agility is also contained in the firm by adjusting to any changes that arise in the environment (Bennet, 2004, 234). The same may also be achieved by the full utilization of the available resources in the firm which includes the human resources.

Agility is basically an idea that encompasses the concepts of flexibility, balance, adaptability and coordination all under one umbrella (Dyer and Ericksen, 2009, 245). An agile enterprise is one which can cope to changes in the environment and efficiently convey better products to the clientele without doing it at the expense of the company’s profits. This is mechanisms that enable the company to offer a variety of services to the clientele. Business agility comes as a result of the organizations intelligence. Agility may come into an organization in form of the process reengineering in a firm so as to meet the clientele’s demands.

Many businesses that attempt agility end up failing due to the trauma they encounter as they fight to take their services or products to a higher level. Since the dynamics that occur are perpetual, the agile enterprise is able to nimbly adjust to and take the advantage of emerging opportunities (Richardson, 2005, 176). New markets come with new challenges and new requirements that require resources to meet. The business architecture has to be reengineered to meet these new requirements. This quest also poses to the firm the issue of acquiring new resources which include more personnel (Ericksen, 2007, 134). It requires an intensive amount of capital to kick start the offering of new products to the clientele. This hence requires a pre-feasibility study that involves the prior establishment of the viability of any ventures that the company wishes to establish.

Business response at most times in any firm results in the emergence of new projects and procurements that require intensive amounts of capital (Pascale, 2000, 253). The process requires wide consultation and decision making which ensures the objectives are met and the company’s aims are achieved to. The process is meant to increase the profitability and by attracting more customers to purchase their products. It is essential to spread knowledge, power and intelligence through the enterprise making it uniquely capable of quickly recovering and adapting to the newly formed structure (Harris, 2004, 152). Agile methods can be applied in such companies in a bid to address issues including that of complexity, uncertainty and dynamic goals by making planning and execution work in parallel rather than in sequence in a bid to eliminate the unnecessary planning activity that may arise (Godin, 2005, 354). The methods bring together planning and execution and hence allows the organization to choose a way in which orders are optimally executed. Chaoses that arise in any projects in a firm that pertain to business response are mainly are as a result of incomplete comprehension of the projects components, component interactions and changing requirements (Niko, 2002, 167).

In the same concept, the Expedia Company has grown to beat its former rivals and has emerged to be a global competitive organisation. The company learned of the changing customer needs and the issue of competition in the market. The company established the market niche that existed and acted quickly to fill it. It discovered that other than offering the online booking services, they could offer the actual services themselves. One of the most important issues in dealing with the customers need is making them available at the most convenient place to ensure that they are accessible to all the clientele (Hamel, 2003, 253). This was done by the acquisition of new firms in its line of service. These would enable the Expedia to deliver all inclusive services to its clientele rather than offering half-baked solutions.

In the quest, the company acquired or rather purchased other firms that were essential in the realisation of the new dream of provision of the comprehensive services. This is basically what business response entails. It involves the change of a company’s agenda to accommodate the changes in the customers’ demands and needs (Kauffman, 1995, 125). The process might require inclusion or rather the provision of new products which are needed most or complement the previously offered products. Like in the Expedia’s case, new resources in the new quest may be acquired to facilitate such a quest. For instance, the Expedia had to make new ventures to provide flight and hospitality services rather than just offering the online booking services. This response to the changing environment without bringing in issues of failure or without wasting the firm’s resources is referred to as business agility (Macmillan, 2004, 156). The Expedia adapted rapidly to these new changes and even managed to beat its rivals in the travel industry.

Conclusion

In conclusion, business response can be regarded to as the responses given by a firm to the changing business environment. The company can seize numerous opportunities from these changes just like the Expedia did and increased its profitability to higher levels that were unseen. The companies however, should be keen in responding to the changes and ensuring that the anticipated outcomes are viable enough. In case a firm overrates the viability of the opportunity to expand, the outcome may be disastrous to the firm. Therefore, a prefeasibility study is essential before any business response to identify the advantages and the shortcomings. The change should only be effected if the advantages far way outweigh the shortcomings.

References

Albert, D. (2011). The agility advantage: A survival guide for complex enterprises. New Jersey: Sage.

Bennet, A. (2004). Organization survival in the new world: The intelligent complex adaptive system. New York: Elsevier.

Dyer, L and Ericksen, J. (2009). Complexity-based agile enterprises: putting self-organizing emergence to work. California: Sage.

Ericksen, J. (2007). Dynamic organizations: achieving marketplace agility through workforce scalability. London: Thompson learning

Grayson J. (June 27, 2007). Expedia: Growth and expansion. Seattle Post-intelligencer. Volume 34(5).

Godin, S. (2005). In the face of change, the competent are helpless. Fast company, January- February: 230-234.

Harris, F. (2004). Agility and concepts of business response. New York: Sage.

Hamel, G. (2003). The quest for resilience. Harvard Business Review. Page 52-63.

Kauffman, S. (1995). At home in the universe: The search of laws of self-organization and complexity. New York: Oxford University press.

Macmillan, E. (2004). Complexity, organization and change: An essential introduction. London: Routledge.

Nikos C. (2002). On the measurement of enterprise agility. Journal of intelligent and robotics systems. Volume, 33(3). Page 329-342.

Pascale, R. (2000). Surfing at the edge of chaos. New York: Crown- Business.

Richardson, K. (2005). Managing organization complexity: Philosophy, theory and application. Greenwich, CT: information edge press.

Stacey, R. (2007). Complexity and creativity in organizations. San Francisco: Barret-koehler publishers.

Stacey, R. (2000). Complexity and management: Fad or radical challenges to systems thinking. London: Roultledge.

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