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Samsung management decision making


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Managerial Decision Making

Managerial Decision Making

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  • 2. Contents Introduction:............................................................................................................................................3 1.1: Market Development .......................................................................................................................4 1.2: Market Share of Samsung................................................................................................................6 1.3: Market Competitiveness: .................................................................................................................7 2.0: Identify and Assess Price/non-price strategies.................................................................................9 3.1: Performance Analysis of Samsung in Past five years:...................................................................11 4: Entry Strategy of Samsung in International Market .........................................................................15 Intermediary entry modes.....................................................................................16 Joint ventures........................................................................................................17 Management contracts..........................................................................................18 Conclusion: ...........................................................................................................................................18 References: ...........................................................................................................................................21
  • 3. Introduction Samsung, the Korean company whose name means “three stars” in local language, was founded in 1938 by Chairman ByungChull Lee, in Taegu, Korea, as a small trade ex- port business company for dealing mainly with fish, vegetables and fruits. For approximately thirty years, Samsung’s focus was in the export and insurance businesses when, in 1969, the company established Samsung-Sanyo Electronics which was renamed six years later as Samsung Electro-Mechanics. In March 1977, the company merged with Samsung Electronics (Samsung’s History. Samsung) and a new focus added to the Sam- sung group. Samsung is a very large corporation acting through many companies in a number of different industries as well as business areas, which, in turn, develop many different products. The so far successful smartphone business is part of one of the seven business units of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the Mobile Communications business unit (Samsung, 2013). Employing approximately 164,600 people in 179 offices across 61 countries, Samsung Electronics has a vision to become a top five global brand (Data Monitor, 2013) The study will analyse Samsung management decision making on international competition and presence of especially in Smartphone Market. The report will examine the domestic and international competitive position of Samsung, its Market share, its competitive position and market development by Samsung in the global market. The performance of Samsung in last five years and the final part of the report will analyse the strategies employed by the organization to develop in the international market.
  • 4. 1.1: Market Development Some years back, the mobile phone industry was led by Nokia and Motorola. They had been in this position for quite some time. But things drastically changed, the story of Samsung mobile in the mobile phone industry was one almost low profile company with distinct products and low cost product portfolio. High-tech gadgets (e.g. Mobile phones, computers, navigation systems) have become a huge and growing market. The mobile-phone market still continues to grow with an introduction of smart phones from three billion in 2007, 4.6 billion in 2009, and more than five billion in 2011 (Eadicicco, 2013). Based on Apple’s 2009 annual report, it sold approximately 7.9 billion dollars of iPods and 6.5 billion dollars of iPhones out of total sales of 36 billion dollars, (Cusumano, 2010). Likewise, the use of smart-phones has increased across all demographics and annual sales of smart-phones exceeded 40 million units worldwide in 2009 (Eadicicco, 2013). Many gadgets have become an important part of consumers’ self-definition as they help consumers communicate (PC and Phone), navigate (GPS), experience (cameras), and express themselves (web-based applications). In this industry, of fierce competition, the management has been forced to come up with very creative technological innovation and winning marketing strategies. When iPhone was launched by Apple Inc. in 2007, they created the Smartphone market for the average consumers, before that the product was targeting only business users. From then Apples' iPhone and Android phones, which are offered by Samsung, HTC and Nokia have tried their best in competing in this ever changing high-tech market
  • 5. and so far have qualified to be the big players in the Smartphone industry. In a fast growing industry, time is everything and every company wants to possess most innovative technology and products before its competitors. During the last decade, Samsung was constantly innovating and responding to market demands with technologically advanced products. Thirteen of the company’s product lines were global leaders in market share, including CDMA mobile phones. In 2002, Samsung launched the colour mobile phone and by 2004 it has sold more than twenty million mobile phones in the US, market that, by 2008, was already dominated by the company. Moreover, it was also in 2008 that Samsung launched the famous OMNIA phone and named Yoon-Woo Lee as vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics. In the year that follows – 2009, Samsung announced that the company would be developing its future smartphones based on its own software open platform called Bada which turned into reality in 2010 when WAVE, the first Bada smartphone was released to the market. Between 2009 and 2010, Samsung launched various new models such as the STAR phone, the „Giorgio Armani’ smartphone, Corby full touch phone and the OMNIA II, to name a few. It was also in 2010 that Samsung launched the OMNIA 7, a smartphone based on Microsoft’s Windows 7 platform. (Samsung’s History.Samsung, 2013). Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Google-Android based Galaxy S, was launched in June 2010 and ever since its product line has been very successful in praising consumers and, consequentially, in boosting sales. The phone, which is considered a blockbuster globally, has sold more than five million units in a three to four month’s timeframe (Why Was the Samsung… Daily 2News, 2010; Samsung: 1 million Galaxy… CNN Money 2010), bringing Samsung to a wave of success. It was the Galaxy S the main contributor to Samsung’s success during 3Q2011 which led the
  • 6. company to the number one position of the smartphones’ rank list. The Galaxy S II was released to the market in August 2011 and was expected to sell very well and thus significantly contribute to the company’s 4Q2011 performance results. 1.2: Market Share of Samsung Samsung is currently the top Smartphone manufacturer in Europe. At the end of 2012 Samsung had 32.3% share of the market according to the figures from Comscore (n.d). Samsung overtook Nokia in April 2012 to claim the top spot, a position it had maintained for long. Apple came second with 20.5% market share, followed by Nokia at 16.3% market share (Samsung dominates European Smartphone market, 2013). Being the top selling Smartphone brand in Europe, Samsung has captured 45% share of the European Smartphone market according to data from Kantar World panel Comtech (n.d). As the worldwide Smartphone sales increased by 46.9% in 2012 and accounted for 39.6% of total mobile sales, according to Gartner research (n.d), Samsung and iPhone dominated the Smartphone market. Samsung mobile phone led with 98 million units in Q3, commanding 32.5% of the global Smartphone market (Apple and Samsung lead global Smartphone race, 2012) Samsung Galaxy Smartphone's use Google's operating system Android. They introduced its first Windows phone in 2012. They offer great variety of products that target a wide range of customer segments in the market. Example is the, Galaxy Music, which are for music lovers. It includes features like easy access to music and surrounds sound. For the people who value innovative technology, they are offered Galaxy S3, which has also a mini version for those who find it too big. (Samsung, Mobile devices, 2013).
  • 7. 1.3: Market Competitiveness: As a consequence of the mobile telecommunications industry revolution we have witnessed a shift of its focus from hardware to a more software driven industry. Yet there is still huge demand for simple mobile phones; however the increasing demand for more sophisticated products and services is notable. There is greater competition in the smartphone market as Samsung has number of competitors in the market affecting the competitive position and market share of Samsung. This phenomenon is attributed to the introduction of smartphones into the marketplace which started in 1993, with IBM Simon,thefirstattemptfromajointventurebetweenIBMandBell- SouthtointroduceacommerciallyviablesmartphoneinUSmarket(Themobilephone:ahist ory…PCWorld, 2009; cf. PCMagazine). AlthoughNokiahaslauncheditsfirstsmartphonein1996,theNokia9000communicator,it was onlyin2000thatthefirstdevicein factmarketedas a„smartphone’cametothemarket,thetouchscreenEricssonR380.Inthefollowingyears, manyothermanufacturersalso started to develop and commercialize theirsmartphones. Withoutanydoubt,Nokiawasconsideredthemostinfluentialandlargestmobilephones’ma nufacturerintheworld(Agar2003,113;Yoffie– Kim2011).Forapproximately14years,Nokiahasreignedatthetopastheworld’slargestsm artphonemaker,havinglostitsleaderpositiontobothAppleandSamsungduringthesecon d,thirdandfourthquartersof2011,accordingtopublishedresults(Appleisnowtheworld’s… RedmondPie,2011),whichareillustratedinfigure1belowforthe2Q2011whenApple took the crown from Nokia,followedbySamsung,forthe firsttime.
  • 8. Figure1: Smartphonesmarketstatistics 2Q 2011,year-on-yeartrend(Applenow the world’slargest…Engadget2011). Applewascrownedasthekingofthesmartphoneindustryin2Q2011,onlyfouryearsafterthe originaliPhonewasreleased.Whatafeat!AlthoughApplehasbeatenNokiaintermsofprofits andrevenueinJanuary- March2011already(Applephonerevenues…Reuters,2011),itwasintheApril- JuneperiodwhenAppleovertookNokiaintermsoftotalvolume,i.e.smartphoneunitsshippe d(AppleendsNokia’s…Red- mondPie,2011).ThesuccesswavethatbroughtAppletotheleadershipmeanttroubletoco mpanieslikeNokiawhichconsideredthemobilephoneindustryasbeingitsrealm(Moritz200 9, 341). Nevertheless,SamsungwasquiteclosetoApple,occupyingthesecondpositionintheindust ryrankduring2Q2011(asseeninfigure1)andshowingamagnificent Nevertheless,SamsungwasquiteclosetoApple,occupyingthesecondpositionintheindust ryrankduring2Q2011(asseeninfigure1)andshowingamagnificent growthof380.6%from2Q10to2Q11,whereasApple’sgrowthwas141.7%inthe sameperiod(Appleisnowtheworld’s…RedmondPie,2011). Furthermoreandalreadyillustratingthecurrentandthoughcompetitivedynamicswithinthe
  • 9. mobilesmartphonesmarket,SamsungwasfinallyabletosurpassAppleasfarassalesvolum ealreadyin3Q2011,becomingtheworld’sleaderinsmartphones’salesaccordingtothequa rter’spublishedresultswhichshowedatremendousshiftbe- tweenthetwotopplayers(Samsung surgespastApple…GlobalPost2011),leaving thesecondpositionforApple.Havingsoldanextraordinary27.8millionsmartphonesgloball yduring3Q2011,Samsungconquered23.8%ofthemarketsharewhileApplesold17.1millio niPhonesfora14.6%ofthesmartphonemarket.(Samsungsold…KBS World2011),as showed in table 2 below. Table 2: Globalsmartphone market 3Q 2011 Globalsmartphone market3Q2011 Company Shipments (millions) Market share Samsung 27.8 23.8% Apple 17.1 14.6% Nokia 16.8 14.4% Others 55.3 47.3% Source:StrategyAnalytics 2.0: Identify and Assess Price/non-price strategies Pricing strategies determine the price which is the amount for what the product is to be paid. (Borden, 1964). Hutchison (2009) referred price as what customers will exchange for product. Among the four components, price is determined as an important variable since it is one of the key determinants of a product value. Price is thus one of the evaluative criteria used by consumers, as are the cost incurred in buying and owning or using the product (McDonald, 2013). He also noted that the price is very difficult aspect of the marketing mix to manage. McDonald (2013) urges that to maintain the integrity of prices; the company should implement a sound pricing strategy; this will support the company’s overall marketing strategy and profitability.
  • 10. After manufacturing innovative and cost effective phones worldwide for a long time, Samsung has been able to learn what is required to stay on top of its industry. It has not allowed Apple Inc. to grow in markets like Asia and developing countries like India due to its price policy. This is the results of manufacturing wide range of products with different price range. Smartphone's use Google's operating system Android. They introduced its first Windows phone in 2012. They offer great variety of products that target a wide range of customer segments in the market. Example is the, Galaxy Music, which are for music lovers. It includes features like easy access to music and surrounds sound. For the people who value innovative technology, they are offered Galaxy S3, which has also a mini version for those who find it too big. (Samsung, Mobile devices, 2013) The prices for these Smartphones vary greatly to meet different consumers’ needs. Some time back, Samsung was struggling to catch up with big players like iPhone in the Smartphone market. Samsung is believed to provide products at reasonable prices to its consumers. Samsung is focused in cost-cutting measures to maintain its price low. This helps in combating the discount schemes of other brands. It might seem difficult to achieve this ambitious target keeping in mind the pricing strategy of Samsung, But, Samsung believes that it takes time to ensure the supremacy in the market share. Samsung managed to get its brand perception right in its consumers mind as a brand that offers best technology and gives its consumer value for their money, this resulted to its market share going up. Samsung is aggressive in launching its new smartphone devices with the latest technology at an economic cost globally. This is also evident with the data collected on consumer perception to Samsung pricing strategy. The
  • 11. price was rated good compared to its competitors. The review from the respondents shows how effective the pricing strategy has been in the success of Samsung smartphone in the smartphone market Samsung success can also be connected with its aggressive marketing and advertising of its products to develop the attitude, transmit information so that it gain response from the target market and create awareness. 3.1: Performance Analysis of Samsung in Past five years: Samsung's increasing focus on technology led to the creation of the company's two research and development (R&D) institutes that helped expand its reach even further into electronics, semiconductors, high polymer chemicals, genetic engineering, optical telecommunications, aerospace, and new fields of technology innovation from nanotechnology to advanced network architectures (Samsung history, 2013).” In 1996 Samsung established and funded the Samsung Art and Design Institute in collaboration with Parsons the New School for Design in New York. Following that lead, SEC has established design research institutes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, China, and India. Each year SEC sends 15 designers abroad to prominent design schools for one to three years to learn cutting-edge trends. As a result, SEC has won a panoply of design awards. Combining this design excellence with its traditional technological competence has allowed the once low-cost imitator to sustain a high-price strategy for its TVs and cell phones (Khanna, Song & Lee, 2011, p 147).
  • 12. Figure 4.3. Average Spending per R&D personnel at Nokia, Samsung over time (data for Apple is not available), in Millions of dollar Samsung a similar trend can be observed up to 2008 were Samsung also took a hit in revenue (See Table A-4, Appendix) and then a corresponding decrease in R&D spending occurred with two main differences. First, Samsung was already increasing their R&D spending and surpassing Nokia before the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Second, within 2 years they pushed the R&D spending up as the revenue went up, to a record high R&D budget outspending for both Nokia and Apple by a factor of 2 and steadily increasing their manpower. Although, on a separate pictures for R&D spending and R&D personnel the difference between Samsung and Nokia looks substantial, the R&D budget spend per R&D employee is fairly equal, Figure 3.
  • 13. Figure 4. Marketing Expenses (Gartner, 2013) Figure 5: Global Brand Value 2010-2013 Ref: (BRANDIRECTORY, 2013) Samsung has established as an Electronics manufacturer and a Mobile phone manufacturer. Samsung has instigated a huge marketing effort combined with the
  • 14. release of new high-end models in order to establish itself as one of the top brands, with the result of being the second highest value brand after Apple in 2012 (Gartner, 2013). Figure 4.7. ROA 2002-2012 As compared to other competitors Samsung as can be seen by the previous figures, never dropped out of the race and used its position and investments to slowly counter iPhone and Apples benefits, releasing ever better models to come finally in 2012 to a minimum par if better in terms of technology. Table 2 Financial, R&D, Marketing Numbers Samsung 2002-2012 Ref: (Nokia, 2013)(Apple, 2013)(Samsung, 2013)(Gartner, 2013)(Oanda, 2013)
  • 15. Samsung is relying on the fact of having great support system within the Samsung group and the ability creating internal logistical lines for components that the others are similarly dependent on. If one looks at Table 2 they are adequately position as doing production in house as wells as technological development. 4: Entry Strategy of Samsung in International Market Samsung has adopted many different ways to enter foreign markets. There are two different entries modes, foreign direct investment or so called equity mode and entry without direct investment or non-equity mode (Rodriguez, Uhlenbruck, & Eden, 2005). Direct foreign investment is the type of foreign market entry where company that is registered in one country invests in assets in other country. In that case investor owns at least 10% of the asset or more and it has control over his foreign assets. If company chooses to invest directly in one country than it has two options, to invest in wholly own subsidiary or to invest in joint venture in cooperation with one or more partners (Rodriguez, Uhlenbruck, & Eden, 2005). In the case of non-equity mode where company choose to enter foreign market without direct foreign investment, company has options to enter foreign market by exporting or licensing
  • 16. where foreign employees are acquired as intermediates in the business operations and transactions (Rodriguez, Uhlenbruck, & Eden, 2005). Direct and indirect foreign market entries can be further classified into three groups, export mode, intermediate mode and hierarchical mode. Export mode is the foreign market entry that provides high flexibility, low risk and low control. An intermediate mode is the foreign market entry that provides shared control and risk and split ownership. Hierarchical mode or so called investment mode is the foreign market entry that provides high control, high risk and low flexibility. Hierarchical mode represents direct foreign market entry and it is identified as the foreign market entry with biggest risk where company as a foreign investor have full ownership and control over its foreign investment (Hollensen, 2011). Intermediary entry modes Sometimes companies are unable to serve foreign markets from their domestic market and therefore they start their operations in foreign markets with cooperation with local partners. In that case company don’t have full ownership and control over its foreign operations instead, ownership and control are shared between partners. There are number of different arrangements or intermediate entry modes such as licensing, franchising, management contracts, joint ventures, turnkey contracts, technical know-how and contract manufacturing. These intermediary modes are mostly used in the case when one company poses certain competitive advantage and is not able to use that advantage because of some restraints, but is able to transfer or sell that advantage to third party. Company usually makes long term agreement with foreign partner, which results in transferring the knowledge and know-how between companies in different countries (Hollensen, 2011). The most encouraging motives for companies to start their production in foreign countries are,
  • 17. low production cost because of the low labour cost. Production in foreign countries can lower the transportation cost and companies that have established production in foreign country have advantage of being close to their foreign customers. Furthermore, some foreign customers prefer products that are produced in their home country rather than products imported from other countries (Hollensen, 2011). Joint ventures Joint venture is partnership between two or more business partners (Buckley &Casson, 1998). Prescott and Swartz (2010), describe joint venture as joint undertaking established by two companies in which they share risk, responsibility, profitability, control and management and where joint companies keep their independence. According to them it is mostly common that joint ventures are established when one partner buys 50 percent of the shares in existing company (Prescott & Swartz, 2010). They also concluded that in some cases only one of the partners is responsible for management of joint venture. In international business joint ventures can be located in many different countries which only complicate this cooperation. One of the main reasons for companies to take part in this partnership is to gain certain knowledge that can be acquired only through cooperation with local companies’ from foreign markets. Establishing the partnership with domestic companies in their home markets can increase the speed of entry into these markets. Local partners possess knowledge and experience in dealing with their local governments, which reduce the political risk of the foreign market entry. Furthermore, local partners possess knowledge of the local business environment, have access to the specific market information and have developed local business
  • 18. network. Partnership can speed up research and development and product promotion in new markets and overall it can lower the costs of companies in new market entries and reduce business restrictions and risks. Furthermore, joint venture can be a good solution for entering those countries that have restriction of foreign ownership (Chang &Rosenzweig, 2001). Management contracts A management contract is type of intermediary mode that ÍslenskaGámafélagið can use in its internationalization process. It represents the collaboration arrangement where one company transfers its administrative know-how and personnel to assist another company for a certain payment (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011). These management contracts are usually arranged between three to five years and are based on fixed payments or payments based on volume. One company can pay for management assistance if it believes that another company can perform its operation better. Foreign management contracts are used when foreign company can perform better than the domestic company (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011). Main advantage of these contracts is that local company get the needed assistance without foreign companies taking the control of the operations. In return for the assistance company pays the certain payment. Samsung has adopted strategy of Acquisition to aquire greater market share and competitive advantage in different regions of the world. Conclusion For the conclusion of this research, Samsung is already seen as the current leader in the smartphone market. This was due to its innovative products such as its flagship
  • 19. Galaxy S4 and Note II, which was launched with a massive marketing spend of more than $4 billion USD in 2012. This is four times Apple’s budget. As it focuses on being an aspirational brand to its target market of young consumers, they are seeking for this generation Y, marketing using very high-profile partnerships with celebrities like Giorgio Armani and LeBron James. Samsung is actually having great response from this target market as noted earlier in the response of the data analysis, the highest number of respondents owning Samsung smartphones are between the ages of 26 years to 40 years who are known to be the generation Y. The Galaxy S4 is marketed as a “life companion; that includes features like navigating without touching the screen and the built in health monitoring. Samsung is literally evolving its brand, to not just innovate but by making it live up to its mission on enhancing lives of its consumers. To finish up with the strategy analysis section, I have come to my conclusion that the marketing strategy choices Samsung makes affects its positive outcome in the smartphone market. As we have seen earlier in my research on Samsung’s marketing mix, the company has chosen to use well the differentiation strategy targeting a broad market segment. The product as a component mix is differentiated well as it offers different innovative features and design quality compared to its competitors. This can be also seen on the research findings as respondents mention many times the availability of applications. This proves that Samsung customers feel that they are offered innovative solutions. The S4 device being their flagship smartphone possesses very innovative technology that cannot be found in their rivals’ Apples iPhone 5. The price is quite high that differentiate it from the rest of other smartphone products and positioning it in the high end costly smartphone like iPhone. They also have a cheaper version to cater for middle class consumers.
  • 20. According to the analysis and considering the marketing situation this strategy choice of Samsung indeed boost its positive performance in the smartphone market. Samsung use of segmentation strategy by targeting different market segments is working well for them too. To back up this statement is how I analyzed their products in the marketing mix and found out how they realize every need in the market and offers products for different customer segments. They have positioned their products well, and they have let their customers know they are offering something for everyone. Samsung has mastered the idea of creating products that are suitable for their chosen market segments, and positioning itself clearly so that customers are aware they recognize their needs. We can see this by how they advertise their products effectively in the market, by clearly communicating how ordinary people can take advantage of the technology they are offering. Most smartphone companies do not communicate the benefits clearly and in a way an ordinary person can understand. Samsung communication strategy in its promotion component of marketing mix shows exactly who they are targeting and what they are offering to the targeted market.
  • 21. References: Battelle, J. 2005, The 70 percent solution: Google CEO Eric Schmidt gives us his golden rules for managing innovation, CNN Money [Online], Available at: [Accessed: 10/12/2013]. Berger, M, 2011, An illustrated history of Apple's products and executives, Brandirectory 2013, Ranking the worlds most valuable Brands, Source, [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 02/12/2013]. CNET [Online] Available at: 94/samsung-looks-to-acquisitions-to-better-take-on-apple-google/ [Accessed: 02/12/2013]. Eadicicco L. 2013, Samsung Galaxy S4 review (T-Mobile) Review. mobile.aspx. Consulted 10.12.2013 Fortune CNN 2013, Samsung's road to global domination, CNN Money [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 02/12/2013]. Gartner 2010, Gartner Says Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grew 17 Per Cent in First Quarter 2010, Gartner press release 19.5.2010,, accessed 17.12.2013. O’Brien C., 2013, Samsung embarking on an aggressive expansion in Silicon Valley. 20130218 Consulted. 22.10.2013 Gartner 2012, Gartner, Inc. Online source of Yearly reports [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 02/12/2013]. Huffingtonpost (2012).iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 4S: Your Guide To Buying The Right Smartphone [Online], Available at: 4s_n_1878666.html [Accessed: 02/12/2013].
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