Business Policy & Strategy

Question 1

Private prisons are places where offenders are incarcerated by third parties, other than the department of corrections. The third parties are often contracted by governments to detain physically offenders. In turn, the government pays monthly costs for maintaining the prisoners. The arrangement works effectively in developed nations where the private sector is well developed. Private prisons reduce the strain on government facilities. When crime rates are low, the costs of maintaining prison facilities become higher due to the low numbers of inmates. Private prisons also could be due to the privatization of public prisons. Currently, the GEO Group and the CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) are the largest shareholders of the corrections facilities in the country. Since their inception, the private prisons have proved to be effective especially in the incarceration of petty offenders. Presently, they hold about 75% of the private prisons in the country. Private prisons have been instrumental in correcting deviant behavior in the society.

Countrywide Financial Corporation is a mortgage company founded in 1969. The company is a premier mortgage lender in the country with regional offices and contacts worldwide. In the years, the company has been in existence, it has sold homes to many Americans, in line with the objectives of the founding fathers. Part of the guiding policies in America is to provide homes for all Americans. The mortgage lender proved to be a valuable asset to the company by offering cheap and affordable loans to the populations. The company rose to prominence in the late 1980s and 1990s. It is at this time that the American housing economy collapsed. CFC was touted to be at the center of this problem.

 Both CFC and CCA have had a huge impact on the American society. The private prisons have contributed to the rehabilitation of offenders in society. Largely, the company has contributed to a safer America by putting away the offenders. In prison, offenders are taken through a series of counseling sessions where they are informed about habit reform. Besides, the harshness of the sentence is a deterrent to future offenders. On the other hand, CFC has contributed to comfortable living by providing affordable homes. Many Americans can now afford homes on loan. Despite being connected to the collapse of the real estate sector, the CFC has continued to have a huge impact on the American market.

Question 2

The Benihana of Tokyo is a chain of restaurants operating in the United States and is currently expanding worldwide. Started in 1969 as a mere 40 seats eatery, the business has grown in bounds to become a preferred dining joint in Japan. Owing to the successes the company has had with the restaurants, the management has been constantly evaluating ways of expansion. At the moment, the company is seeking to introduce the business in foreign countries. The business has been well received in tourist destinations and cosmopolitan cities. The hotel has branches in some of the world’s top destinations including Honolulu, Atlanta, Dallas, and St. Louis. However, the reception has not been good in the smaller cities and towns. The current agitation for expansion is informed by the desire of the management to expand the business and boost productivity.

Recruitment of skilled an oriental staff for the chain of restaurants is the best option for expansion. As indicated in the passage, the management has a challenge of recruiting suitably qualified staff to undertake the day to day running of the business. The staff, especially the chefs, have a vital role to play in the hotel industry. The unavailability of qualified staff to manage the restaurant business has been the major hindrance to expansion. The success of the business in Atlanta and Dallas was fuelled by the availability of suitably qualified personnel. Benihana specializes in preparing Japanese cuisine. Japanese chefs are better placed to run the business as they have the technical know-how and experience with the meal. However, foreign chefs can equally discharge the role as long as they are well versed in the meal preparation and serving.

Skilled staff will propel the business to a completely new level. Customers will be drawn due to the improved service. However, overreliance on skilled labor alone will cripple the other sectors of the business. For instance, excess money used in hiring highly trained personnel could have been used to promote the restaurant business or contribute to the capital of the industry. Besides, the desire to hire personnel that are more qualified will lead to higher prices for the meals served. Skilled personnel are expensive to hire. The business will undoubtedly pass the extra expenses to the customers. Higher prices will in turn away customers. The dissuaded customers will seek meals elsewhere, denying the company profits.

Expansion strategy of the company may extend beyond the American markets. In this case, the restaurant business will be targeting non-Americans. Americans, unlike the foreign nationals, have got used to the operations of the restaurant. In different locations, countries, or cultures, the business will adopt a customer-oriented strategy. It is important for the business to understand its customers before it could launch a product. Customers’ tastes and preferences will play a critical role in shaping the manner in which the business will be run. Besides, the company must use an aggressive campaign strategy to gain market share in the new environment. Benihana’s core competency lies in serving their customers well and leaving them satisfied. The new skilled staff will ensure that the meals are prepared excellently and that the customers are handled with care.

Question 3

Franchising will be the worst option for expansion. Franchising involves the licensing to use or sale of a business name. Benihana was desirous of franchising its business to some multinationals. However, the franchise business damaged the goodwill of the company. A bulk of the investors who bought the franchise had no background experience in hotel management. As a result, the company suffered greatly. Mismanagement ran down the franchises. By extension, the main business suffered losses due to the connection with the franchise businesses. In addition, it was difficult for American investors to manage predominantly Japanese' staff. Finally, franchise removed direct management and control of the business from the hands of the main business. Lack of effective control meant that the franchise operated under an unregulated system of rules that had a negative impact on the business. The move portended a great risk to the survival of the business. On the one hand, due to mismanagement, the business dwindled. Consequently, the business suffered poor reputation that extended to the other chain of restaurants. A mistake on the part of the franchise reflected on the overall business entity.

Franchising outside the United States territory requires proper research on the buying company, familiarization with the local laws, and registering the franchise under the enabling law. Parties must ascertain that the agreement entered into covers the core contents of the business line and the manner of distribution of proceeds and liabilities. Before entry, the company must do a consumer preferences diagnostic test to determine how well to attract them. A customer-oriented and goal-oriented strategy would be the best entry formula for the company. The goal-oriented strategy is a core competency of the Benihama chain of restaurants. At all times, the group of restaurants is committed to meeting its goals of providing excellent meals and service to the customers.

Question 4

From all the case studies, Benihama strikes me as the best company in implementing its strategy. The reason for the entry of the company into the market is inspired by the demanding needs for excellent Japanese cuisine. Benihama is able to implement its strategy due to firstly, because of the strong management system. The operations of the company are closely monitored to avoid any lapses. Secondly, the company personally undertakes its duties without necessarily hiring an aid. It is for this reason that the company is reluctant to make any franchise agreements due to the minimal control that the company will have over such business outlets. Thirdly, the company has a rich history of success. It is, therefore, probable that the company will achieve the present target. If Benihama hires skilled workers for its branches, and instead of giving franchises it opens up new outlets, it will rise to become a lead restaurant business in the world.