Internal and External Factors and Management Functions
A company’s success often rests within its ability to observe and analyze itself, both internally and externally. This is a large undertaking, and must be accomplished carefully, and on a daily basis. When management ignores factors that contribute to the company’s well being, it places the company in jeopardy of failing. Succeeding in business is not an impossible task, but it is most requires consistent tasks.
There are internal and external factors that affect a company, such as its internal strengths and weaknesses, and its external opportunities and threats. These factors are found within a company’s SWOT analysis, which are its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When analyzing these conditions, management should tie these factors into the four functions of management, which are planning, organizing, leading and controlling (Bateman & Snell, 2011, p. 15).
Hormel Foods Hormel Foods Corporation is a leading food company that prides itself with its original product branding. The company has a large variety of quality products that carry the company’s brand name. Quality assurance is a key factor in Hormel’s management process, and has become a staple for the brand. This paper will review Hormel’s internal and external factors, and how they relate to the four functions of management. According to MarketLine Advantage Company Profile, Hormel (2013), Hormel Foods is a branded food firm that emphasizes profitable growth. The company is empowered by their founder’s charge to “originate, don’t imitate,” as they promote a balanced selection of highly differentiated quality products. The company believes in connecting with its employees operating in an environment that is conducive to growth, integrity and success (p. 4).
Internal and External Factors According to Hormel Foods’ SWOT Analysis (2013), Hormel’s strengths include strong research and development, strong focus on quality of ingredients and steady financial performance. The company’s internal weaknesses include dependence on few customers as opposed to a broader customer base, too much dependence on the U.S. Market and product recalls (p. 2). According to Hormel Food’s SWOT Analysis (2013), the company’s external opportunities include growing food service industry, increasing popularity of natural and organic foods and growing microwaveable foods market. Hormel’s external threats include stringent regulations, rising labor wages in the U.S. and an increase in vegetarianism in the U.S. (p. 2).
These internal and external factors provide a basis of analysis for Hormel that empowers management to make strategic decisions to make improvements where they are needed in the company.
Functions of Management As mentioned previously, the four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. From the planning stage to the controlling (evaluation) stage, Hormel must consider its internal and external factors while strategically planning for the company’s future. Each function of management has its own priorities, but is still relative to the other functions, which are not to be ignored. For example, “planning activities include analyzing current situations, anticipating the future, determining objectives, deciding in what types of activities the company will engage, choosing corporate and business strategies, and determining the resources needed to achieve the organization’s goals”(Bateman & Snell, 2011, p. 15). This planning must be done in order for a company to begin the process of achieving its goals.
“Organizing activities include attracting people to the organization, specifying job responsibilities, grouping jobs into work units, marshaling and allocating resources, and creating conditions so that people and things work together to achieve maximum success” (Bateman & Snell,