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This research paper acknowledges Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) of Yorkshire and Humberside.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. I take this profound pleasure and opportunity to thank one and everybody who help me for their guidance and contribution to successfully complete my dissertation in time. First, I would like to express my gratitude to my professor and supervisor Mr. Lawrence Bellamy who showed great interest in me to take me up in his project. I was introduced to be part of a team to work together and individually. The topic was very challenging and of research worthiness. I was very excited to discover myself working in a research group along with 2 of my colleagues Shaleen Chugh and Darshan Panchole, under the watchful guidance and co-ordination of our professor. Without his dedication and countless hours of hard work reading through all my drafts, and making critical comments, insights and encouragement, I could not have developed this thesis successful. I will also thanks Dr. Akamavi for his precious time and resource in educating me in a special software called SPSS, without which my dissertation would have been in complete. I also want to thank those who contributed their time to answer my questionnaire, which help me to access my dissertation on time. Last, but not the least, my heartiest thanks to my colleagues Shaleen and Darshan who did a very good job with all the co-ordination, understanding and team work we executed under the guidance and leadership of Mr. Bellamy in successfully completing and submitting the dissertation in time. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Introduction: - This research paper acknowledges Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) of Yorkshire and Humberside. It is about the various characteristics and operational functions they undertake in relation to customer orientation. Previous research and study indicates that SME do undertake the process of sales and customer orientation to gain competitive advantages and market share. This research paper investigates and find out by ways of forming hypothesis and by doing a questionnaire survey about the concept of customer orientation being done by the SME of Yorkshire and Humberside region. ...read more.

Middle

Pelham and Wilson's (1996) study of the small business enterprise also established a positive link between markets (customer and competitor) orientation and performance. 3.10 The hypotheses I have formulated in context with the literature review are as follows: H.1. A firm's level of customer orientation is positively related to its performance measured by: - (a) new product service, (b) sales growth, and (c) ROI return on investment. H.2. There is a positive link between the extent of adoption of innovation orientation and the degree of customer orientation in SME's. The relevance of innovation orientation to small businesses is a reflection of the transformation of modern markets in which new product development and most importantly product differentiation have become important issues and aspects. (Daft and Weick, 1984) Smaller firms which focuses on differentiation strategy involving new product introduction will may tend to emphasis the need for an overall customer orientation. So a focus on product differentiation and new product development reflects a link between new product success and proper recognition of unfulfilled customer needs, hence H.2. H.3. Use of customer orientation and relationship management leads to better customer retention. Customer retention means a loyal customer base, which is also, a strategy to gain competitive advantage. A firms strategy to fetch a new customer rather to retain an old customers in an expensive affair. Also because an old customer is aware of the quality and service he/she is receiving and the firms is aware of the preferences and habits of old customers. H.4. The greater the dynamics in the market place the higher the degree of customer orientation in SME's. It could be very much expected that market dynamics would influence the level of a firm's customer orientation, that is ability to adopt and respond to the evolving needs of the customer is like critical to business success in a consistently changing business environment. It has been found that 'SME may develop external focused activities in order to identify and fulfil customer needs and to assist in monitoring competition.' ...read more.

Conclusion

An important consideration and a significant recommendation for the SME is that, owner /managers just state that marketing as selling and promotions only, but again things like customer acquisitions and promotions, areas like pricing, product development, distribution and logistics could be Largely ignored. But to gain advantage it needs due attention and spontaneity from the owner/managers to have market share and competencies in its core services coupled with all these. Make market assessment is also a good idea of getting to know what the customers want in real terms, which should be done more often, specially when a new product is launched targeting the niche market. Like experimenting new markets, design new products, offering free catalogues, free trials and setting the trend. It is seen from the discussion that SME take more than 5 to 8 years to establish themselves and have a market share or they tend to struggle and close down. In such cases, business development can be made strong when small firm cluster together. It could be based on suppliers, clients, and other businesses. To support my point, it is worth mentioning, as it is very much noted in the works of Michael Porter, On Competition, Harvard Business Review Book Series (1998), that clusters could well provide access to specialised inputs, access to bigger resources bases, increase in each others strengths and maintain competitiveness and market share. But with a constrain, a social aspect which can be a barrier to this possibility, is the cultural and attitudes of the owner /managers in Yorkshire and Humberside region SME could face, because without a right self- belief, mindset and support, there is unlikely going to be any merger or clusters in business. Anticipating change and uncertainty is a key factor, if well forecasted and maintain a sense of control; it automatically increases the survival rate to a large extent. The key skill is to create the time and condition to understand the wider market to which it contributes. 10. ...read more.

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