Muogbo (2014) defines strategy as an effective tool with the help of which desired goals of individual, groups or organisations is attained. Through implementation of tactical strategies an entity could make utilisation of its available resources, sustain in the areas served and have continuous improvements for sustainable development. The manner in which different companies’ selects and make use of its strategies creates its brand image and makes its items unique among the current and potential consumer base. National Australia Bank has been operating its activities for over 150 years in more than 800 locations in diversified regions of Australia, New Zealand and other regions of the globe (National Bank Limited, 2016a). Though the company is well known for serving the requirements of customers with continuous hard work however, it is going through several criticisms against unethical practices. The main purpose of doing this assignment is to analyse the strategic development within National Australia Bank. Additionally, how the entity managed to create goodwill among people and what drives competitive edge of this entity will be highlighted. The overall structure of the assignment will be undertaken under four different tasks based on which conclusion and recommendations will be made.
Mission of the company explains its ultimate purpose for being in the market and what it desire to achieve through its business while vision offers direction to enterprises as what it want to become in coming years (Muogbo, 2014).NAB’s vision emphasise on engendering success throughout its activities with a mission of offering specific solutions to fluctuating requirements of current and potential consumers (NAB Holding Inc, 2010). Moreover, the company promotes high-quality service philosophy where it ensures building long-lasting relationships with partners in order to create competitive edge over other players (NAB Holding Inc, 2010). Munusamy, Chelliah and Mun, (2010) has identified service-orientation in banking sector as the most influencing factor to create competitive edge as it results in superior customer satisfaction. NAB mission includes bringing positive contribution to environment and humanity and developing a corporate culture filled with confidence where employee are encouraged to work and give their best for organisational success of the entity. Additionally, it has recognized the importance of generating profitability within operations to improve its sustainability. NAB in order to have competitive edge against the new challenges implements a strategy to attract and possess mature workers at its work environment (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015a).
Global Strategic Alliances
The company has been implementing global agreement strategy with different entities and unions in order to have superior performance (National Australia Bank Limited, 2006). It has recognized the importance of considering key stakeholders in the day-to-day activities and ensures that any disagreements occurring among people are resolved with proper negotiations and consultants. NAB entered into strategic alliance with Clydesdale Bank almost 30 year ago with a motive to improve its performance which currently is going to be demerged in 2016 with an estimated loss of nearly $4.2 billion (McConnell, 2016). While merging with Clydesdale bank the company wanted to expand its business through overseas acquisitions. In 1980s the Australian government deregulated the banking segment and allowed 16 foreign banks to enter the economy (McConnell, 2016). NAB, one among the largest banks of Australia, merged with different global enterprises like Clydesdale (Ireland), Yorkshire (England), Bank of New Zealand (New Zealand) and Michigan National Corporation (US) to expand its activities globally (McConnell, 2016). However, in 2009 the company experienced a huge decline in net after tax profits because of increased doubtful debts in UK and investment losses in global insurance business (McConnell, 2016). The company is trying to limit its transactions to Australia where merger with Clydesdale Bank is going to end. However, various other mergers with VeriFone systems are helping the entity to have technological improvement where consumers are offered flexibility while doing business activities with the firm (National Australia Bank Limited, 2016b).
Customer Relationship Management
NAB implements customer relationship management strategy in its processes to ensure continuous improvement in consumer interface (Khirallah, 2001). The company has acquired and still invests in developing its infrastructure as per modifications taking place in external environment. For instance, in 2000 it implemented Relationship Optimizer which manages frequency, content and channel process through which customer interacts with the bank (Khirallah, 2001). Table 1 illustrates CRM strategies implemented by NAB from 1988 to 2000 where its initiatives have been pointed out.
Table 1: CRM initiatives at NAB
Created a system for Relationship Banking as a core strategy for NAB
Developed relationship and profitability system where proper link between consumer and banking items were looked after.
Platform for business banking
Relationship and profitability systems for investments products were developed.
Initiated relationship banking processes for its premium customers
Came up with customer relationship data warehouse for having integrated solutions for its consumer residing in Australia, New Zealand and US.
(Source: Khirallah, 2001)
The company still utilises good CRM initiatives to improve the serving quality of consumers where it implements digital competence to its consumers through online banking, content management systems with the help of Adobe Analyst solution (Adobe Systems Incorporated, 2014).
Controversy 1: Immoral Practices
Problems: NAB along with Oxfam, Commonwealth bank and Westpac has been accused of immoral practices in its operations where it involved itself in land-grabbing, unlawful logging, fraud, child labour and illegal practices in emerging countries (Su, 2014). A report published with title “Banking in Shaky Ground” criticized NAB along with other three companies where involved in evicting people from their land (Su, 2014, p.1). It claimed that National Australia Bank was involved in funding Wilmar, palm oil company, against which several accusations of stealing lands in Malaysia and Indonesia were made. Newsweek magazine offered poor rating to Wilmar in 2013 (least sustainable that is creating misbalance in environment) still NAB sanctioned loan for it of nearly $200 million (Su, 2014).
Outcome: In December 2013 Wilmar signed a “no deforestation pledge” and claimed to decrease its harmful impacts on environments (Clark, 2014). On the other hand, NBA has stated that it was unable to gather specific information linked with Wilmar and will engage relevant parties for dealing the issues (Clark, 2014).
Controversy 2: Bad Behaviour in Financial Planning
Problems: Ferguson and Williams (2015) has criticized NAB for been involved in financial planning operation frauds where people over past two years offered inappropriate advices to varied group of consumers. The internal report against NAB reported that the entity was indulge in illegal practices and repeated compliance breaches. Some of these illegal practices cover forged client signatures, file reconstructions and poor advices to clients that gave rise to several scandals in Australian consultancy sector (Ferguson and Williams, 2015).
Outcome: NAB suspended, terminated and called for resignation from 31 financial planners and consultants who were involved in the offering inappropriate services (Ferguson and Williams, 2015).
Sources of these criticisms are the articles published in newspapers like The Sydney Morning Herald and International Business times where the serious allegations against company’s illegal practices have been reported.
Political: Modifications in Reserve bank policies and tax rates greatly impact the performance of banks (Yeates, 2015). For instance, when Australian Reserve Bank started lowering the interest rate in 2011, players like NAB were able to offer 100% returns to shareholders and the share market performance doubled (Yeates, 2015). As per research, in 2015 Research Bank due to global slowdown raised the interest rate of commercial bank where skittish investors took out $60 billion from the market value of entities like Commonwealth bank, NAB and ANZ that impacted their performance negatively (Yeates, 2015).
Economic: NAB is operating its activities in different global economies like US and New Zealand that is greatly impacted by rising rate of inflation, recession and economic slowdowns for which the company must implement strategic planning in its processes to have profitability. Moreover, limited public spending, weak national income growth due to lower commodity price is impacting the performance of NAB (International Monetary Fund, 2016). As per research, experts claim the global growth forecasts rate will remain as 3% till 2017, GDP rate will raise by 3.2% in 2017 while domestic demand will weaken (International Monetary Fund, 2016).
Social: Changing consumer requirements and expectations impacts the operations of banks where its non-capability to serve the people better can result in poor performance of enterprises (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015b). However, NAB has managed to generate competitive edge in the areas served with good customer relationship strategies through which parties and consumers involved can access relevant information efficiently (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015b).
Technology: In order to be competitive against several other banking institutions NAB requires implementing advanced technical interface to its target consumers. NAB has managed to deliver superior projects like Personal Banking Organisational Platform pilot and NAB StarXchange where people are able to do transactions with the company efficiently (Adobe Systems Incorporated, 2014).
Ecology: An enterprise is able to perform efficiently in the society with the help of natural resources available to them and therefore they must employ strategies to protect the ecology. NAB implements sustainability at its processes where it has created code of ethics to reduce the carbon emissions and waste (energy and water) throughout its branches present in varied parts of globe (National Australia Bank Limited, 2016a).
Legal: Recent accusations against the company where it has been found involved in illegal funding and immoral practices have raise concern against the company sustainability. Under illegal financial controversy, Royal Commission has been approached that is investing the seriousness of matter which may create negative brand image among people (Ferguson and Williams, 2015).
Table 2: SWOT Analysis
· NAB has a string brand recognition and financial position where its annual income in 2015 increased by $567 million with a rate of 4.2% in comparison to 2014 (National Australia Bank Limited, 2016a).
· The product and service portfolio of the NAB is wide where it serves the requirements of personal and business enterprises.
· The company has been identified as the largest banking enterprise with respect to assets.
· Rising competition and unsuccessful strategic alliances like Clydesdale is impacting the profitability of the firm (McConnell, 2016).
· Recent controversies related with illegal practices has hampered its brand image where being in service segment the bank must regain people trust to attain sustainability.
· The company could enter emerging economies with diversified portfolio to serve a larger consumer base.
· Being a well-known enterprise in the banking field it can easily enter strategic partnership with entities to create competitive edge over other players.
· Changing regulations of government, Reserve banks and economic crisis can impact its performance.
· With globalisation numerous players are entering Australia and other parts of globe and for superior performance innovative strategic formulation is essential.
McCleskey (2014) explains organisational culture as shared beliefs, values and principles that companies promotes among its personnel which also governs people behaviour. NAB has created an inspiring corporate culture throughout its varied branches where aged and experienced workers are attracted and retained in the company (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015a). Retaining senior workforce offers the entity strength and ability to serve the changing requirements of businesses and consumers as these people are more experienced. NAB educates its leaders by implementing different training programs to lead effectively in competitive environment which is rapidly changing from a demographic perspective (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015a). NAB supports its work culture with improved strategies that inspires people to work for the company, for instance, in 2015 it implemented performance management framework which supports change in businesses (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015a). Moreover, with varied programs related with operational and management excellence has improved its customer services. In order to have innovative corporate culture, five core values are being implemented by higher management; passion for customers, desire to win, being bold, respect people and doing the right thing (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015a). NAB’s culture can be linked with Michigan Studies under which Rensis Likert has analysed the job and employee oriented approach where moderate level of both needs to be maintained for having superior performance than other players (McCleskey, 2014). The company not only takes care of developing better leaders at its culture but also retain aged people for superior performance which is helpful in creating competitive edge.
Andrew Thorburn has been identified among transformational leader where clear points are instructed to the workers so abides to the core values of company that creates NAB’s competitive edge by superior performance than other players (McCleskey, 2014; Whalley, 2014). In order to improve company brand image and to promote its vision among employees and consumers, Andrew Thorburn (CEO) often visited branches of Australia (Whalley, 2014). As per CEO, the organization required change in its corporate culture which currently has experiencing several allegations against illegal practices in finance. Andrew believed in rebuilding trust among personnel especially through employee by promoting core values to reshape company’s relationship with consumers (Whalley, 2014). The organizational culture created by Andrew at NAB supported innovation where employees are passionate about serving the customers’ requirements (Whalley, 2014). Andrew is continuously tried to create a better organisational environment for people that help the entity to perform superior and attain sustainability. After Andrew, Anthony Healy has become the NAB’s CEO who is also known for encouraging people to implement 5 core values throughout the process (National Australia Bank Limited, 2015a).
Through first task of the assignment it was found that the company implements global strategic alliances and customer relationship management strategies. The vision and mission of the company is to ensure building long-lasting relationships with partners and to contribute positively to environment and humanity. The company through innovate work culture is trying to develop an environment filled with confidence where employee are encouraged to give their best for organisational success of the entity. Task two has identified two different controversies of the company where it has found involved in immoral practices and bad behaviour in financial planning. In order to improve its brand image the company has terminated 31 financial planners and has promised to engage relevant parties for dealing with issues. Task three has analysed the external environment of NAB through PESTEL and SWOT analysis whereas task 4 has discussed core values that company implements with few of its inspiring leaders. Andrew Thorburn and Anthony Healy have been identified as some of strategic leaders who inspire people to abide core values of being passionate to customers. Company with its superior projects like Personal Banking Organisational Platform pilot and NAB StarXchange are serving changing consumers requirements efficiently. Recent controversies have impacted the brand name of the company for which it must try to create trust among people with better code of conduct and strategies.
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