UMUC Haircuts Case Study
UMUC Haircuts, opened by Myra Morningstar in 1995 was situated in a college campus. It started as a barbershop, then progressively grew over the years to a hairstyling zone for both sexes. UMUC Haircuts had grown to include three styling stations and barber chairs as well as a shampoo station.
Five Forces Analysis of UMUC’s Haircuts:
The Five Forces analysis named after Michael E. Porter identifies, and makes a review of five competitive measures that help shape an industry, as well as determine its strengths and weaknesses (Yin 2009). The model is used to provide identity to the structure of an industry and also, to search for attractiveness and profitability in an economy. The five forces act includes; threat of entry of new competitors, power of supply, power of buying, substitute product threats and competition from rivals. The five forces assessment was used to carry out the investigation on UMUC’s haircuts. On the positive side, the five forces assessment will help Myra look at the threats, as well as cover the gaps in the market so as to save her customers. The five Force assessments are supposed to help make her business more attractive to clienteles. Myra’s strategies to improve her business include improving her scheduling plans, the management of her inventories, collecting information from her customers and supply ordering.
Strategy for Competitive Advantage:
The strategic business area that was chosen for customer based. Customer information should be a major way to improve Myra’s business. From the analysis, it was gathered that there was a regular attendance of customers, though Myra did not take into account their preferences. Several customers also made calls to request appointments with their favorite barbers or stylists, though Myra could guarantee their appointments. Myra was also short of methods to document the preferences of her customers (Yin 2009). The fact that any business heavily relies on customers for its success shows the importance of customers to any business. UMUC’s workforce also took an important role in the business since any barber or beauty related shop would require personal attendance as well as labor. The employees, therefore, have to be effective so as to keep customers on hold.
It was also found that UMUC Haircuts faced customer threats. At the time it was first opened, the nearest barber shop was ten miles away. Over a few years, the number of barber shops and beauty shops as well increased near UMUC’s Haircuts. It has been a threat since maintaining customers at UMUC’s would require stringent measures to help keep the customers on hold. The fact there were more barber shops also meant that the customers will have to be shared which will not be good for business (Yin 2009).
Rivalry from the competitors would also be a threat. From the findings of the case study, more barber shops opened around the location of UMUC. A new barber shop, offering haircuts on both men and women would also be set up. In the same shopping center, an expensive spa was also put up, not to mention the manicure offering home just around the corner. The setting up of several other beauty shops would definitely pose competition to Myra’s business. New entrants, such as the barbershop that would start five miles from UMUC’s haircuts also stood to be potential threats.
It was also found that Myra had a problem keeping up to the record of her supplies. The prices of the products being supplied to her seemed to be on the rise each time, and she expressed her worries in her ability to save so as to keep up her supplier power (Yin 2009).
UMUC’s Haircuts was found to fall short of methods of documentation for the activities going around the business. Myra, for instance, had trouble mastering her customers’ preferences, keeping record of her supplies as well as the money she required to save in order to purchase enough supplies for her shop, and she also needs to document her customers’ contacts. On a technological outlook, Myra could use an electronic system to document all the necessary activities (Yin 2009). The use of a computer would have applied in the documentation of all her customer preferences and documenting her inventory. The use of a cell phone could also come in handy for the sake of saving her customers’ contacts for the sake of ease in reaching her.
The use of an electronic system would come in handy since there would be clearer records, which would be easier to access. The use of a technological solution such as a cell phone or computer made the records in the shop easier to access, and would keep them neat as well as make it easier to access whatever information that would be required (Yin 2009). The everyday consultation with customers on booking appointments and keeping inventory records would help the business make more accurate and personal decisions based on each customer. If the customers get a personal feel from the barbers and beauticians, they will get more attracted to the business. It will be necessary to counter competition from other competitors.
Yin K. Robert. Case Study Research: Design and Methods, SAGE publications, London