The development of a strategic plan for Relationship Mail (Pty) Ltd
Van der Spuy, Maria Magdalena
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Relationship Mail makes use of the information technology (IT) sector as the foundation for the Relationship Mail product, but the actual output is a physical product in the form of gifts, cards and letters. Relationship Mail solves relationship marketing problems for organisations, by enabling them to keep in touch with customers with a physical and personal product. The service, however, is system generated, making it easy to use for customers. The main objective of this study was to formulate a strategic plan for Relationship Mail and to present recommendations to successfully implement the plan. In order to address the main objective, a questionnaire with open ended questions was constructed and completed by all the employees and management of Relationship Mail. The questionnaire also supplied a picture of how the employees perceive Relationship Mail's current strategies, and if they are even aware of a strategy within the organisation at the moment. The questionnaire was followed up by brainstorming sessions among management to formulate a strategic plan. The result of the questionnaire and brainstorming sessions was a SWOT analysis, identifying the driving forces and an analysis of Porter's five forces model. These analyses were used to identify the key areas where Relationship Mail needs to grow, and according to those areas, a vision and mission statement was formulated, and strategic objectives developed. The following strategic objectives were developed: • To develop the leading relationship marketing software in South Africa and in the world. • Realizing market penetration opportunities. • Achieving sales forecasts and targets. • Optimising product and service intentions. • To ensure continued growth and profitability of Relationship Mail. This main objective is to break even by March 2008. • Expand into the international market in two years' time. To complement the strategic objectives, the following strategies were developed to fulfil the objectives: • Obtain the SPII Grant and use the funds to create a compelling value proposition for software system companies in the likes of Spotlight and CRM, and to continuously expand our product offering. • Build strong brand recognition and leverage the brand equities affiliated with Relationship Mail. • Build the sales force to increase exposure to various industries. • Provide a high level of personalised service. • Perform a situation analysis and identify the financial need within the organisation. • Identify suitable business partners in the identified countries. The above objectives and strategies were built in to action plans, and in the study, the relevant actions, with the persons available and time frames are supplied. The strategic plan provides a high-level view of all of the actions required from Relationship Mail within the next year, and the different department heads will have to take the given strategies further and build a plan for each one of the areas identified for growth. Relationship Mail is a young organisation and is going through a rapid growth phase at the moment. Investment capital is extremely important at this stage to enable growth for the organisation. To ensure continuous growth and the implementation of the completed strategy, the organisation is in need of investment capital. This study will hopefully serve as a foundation for investment capitalists to see the financial potential within Relationship Mail.