Porter’s Five Forces model -Business Practice and Human Resource Mananger

Porter’s Five Forces model: In accordance with Porter’s view, there are five basic competitive forces that affect the competition within an industry. The five forces are threat of competitors, entry, substitutes, suppliers and buyers.

The competitors are known as companies which offer the similar products or  as the focal company. And the rivals and focal company usually have the same target customers. Take China Telecommunication Industry as example. With the advance of telecommunications reform, there are three companies- China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. Their business is the same, including telephone services Broadband Internet access services cell phone services and professional business services. Each one of them is always trying to enlarging market share by getting the customers from the other two companies. Thus, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile are competitors. And it is said that the following conditions may facilitate the rivalry, large number of competitors, slow and declining growth, high fixed costs and/or high storage costs and low product differentiation. For instance, there are only three telecommunication companies in China, so it is easy for each of them get large amount of customers. To this degree the competition is very low. But many other factors should be taken into consideration. Firstly, the technical skills don’t change a lot in this era, so the rate of growth is slow. Secondly, the fixed costs in this industry are outrageously high. Telecommunication companies have to invest numerous high-tech fundamental facilities in different places in the very beginning and always repair or upgrade these facilities. Eventually, these three companies offer virtually the same services to the customers. Therefore, the threat of competitors is of high in China Telecommunication Industry.

Concept of the threat of entry is easily to understand. And the barriers to entry refer to these factors-economies of scale, product differentiation, cost advantages independent of scale and government polices. Let’s exemplify it by analyzing China Communication Industry. It is very difficult for new companies to enter into this industry. First of all, the three current companies are state-owned and Chinese central government has implemented very strict regulation of entering this industry, though China has join WTO. Second, building networks requires large sums of investments. Third, strong technical support is essential in this high-tech industry. It would be time-consuming and money-consuming for a new company to obtain the out-of-date technology for this industry. Moreover, it is pretty difficult for entrant get enough customers in the early period. If the entrants can’t produce the minimum efficient scale, it will be at a disadvantage.

The threat of buyers roughly decided by the bargaining power of buyers. The power is mainly affected by three factors-the number of products the buyer required, the preferences of buyers and the cost of alternatives. The buyers may try to get high-quality products or services with low price. Furthermore, if the requirement surpasses the demand, the price of products or services would drop and vice versus.

Similarly, the threat of suppliers can be evaluated by analyzing the bargaining power of suppliers. There are various kinds of conditions result in high supplier power, including small number of firms in supplier’s industry, highly differentiated product, lack of close substitutes for suppliers’ products, supplier could integrate forward, and focal firm is an insignificant customer of supplier. If Suppliers have strong power, the focal company might have to spend more money in materials, thus increasing the cost.

Substitutes offer different products or services that have the same kinds of functions to satisfy the customers. Generally speaking, almost all enterprises in an industry are subject to the threat of substitutes. In addition, the price of substitute’s products decides the highest price of the products of focal industry.

In all, Porter’s five forces model is a great “tool” to understand the external environment of the industry.

Interviewing 101

Wow, with school starting just 2 1/2 weeks ago, balancing your course workload along with preparing from summer internships interviews can be hectic!  Deciding which one to place more emphasis on can be a tough decision, considering that they both will have a great impact on your future in HR.  One word of advice that I can offer future Buckeyes, is to make sure you secure a mock interview prior to your orientation.  With so much going on throughout the school year, it is easy for your career adviser to book up with other responsibilities, while leaving you without an opportunity to get one mock interview in before your interview.  One mock interview that can make or break you.

When speaking to my classmates about how their interview experience has been thus far, the general feeling is that they did “Okay!” Not too reassuring!  However, I am a firm believer that practice is the key to making a great impression in your job interviews. With each interview you get better and better at answering those tough questions.  As well as figuring ways around those questions you just don’t seem to have an answer for.  So in conclusion, “Good luck to everyone as they proceed through the recruitment season at Fisher. May the forces be with you!”

‘fly like paper, get high like planes’

Hi Guys! Well today the first full week of school ends. Ah! a huge sigh of relief.

Highlight of the week: Working in a paper plane assembly-line.

I will not delve in to details of the humongous MBA812: Economics readings since a few of my peers have already spoken about it. The biggest take away for me was that it’s all possible. Prof. Cambell mentioned during class that we covered most of a traditional economics course of a full quarter in 3 sessions! I remember during the start of the week wondering how we will make it through, but it was real fun. The class was interesting and we had some great discussions. Having said that I am currently wondering about Financial Accounting for the coming week.

This week was very interesting also because a lot of activities happened simultaneously. Along with the heavy class load, we had career fairs, company information sessions and student organization presentations almost every single day. Feels good to be on the edge (fyi: this is 4 cups of coffee speaking), work as hard as possible full steam ahead.

Ok, now getting to the most entertaining part of the week. Today we had the Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Boot Camp. As always there were faculty, alumni, industry representatives and 2nd year students who shared their expereinces and their thoughts on the Operations as a career option. I must say the passion in the alumni for what they are doing as part of an operations team was encouraging. Post lunch we made planes!

This was a prime example of ‘learning by experience’. We were organized in to 2 teams of 9 each. We were two competing paper plan manufacturers. There were set quality standards, a manufacturing process – divided between the shop floor workers, a CEO, a quality manager, a plant manager and even a paper plane test pilot.

The aim of the exercise was to explore various ways wastes can be eliminated in the simplest of processes. How to most efficiently use every single resource. How to work as a team. And how to even engage in competition sledging, although it an objective. We saw how implementation of lean processes eliminated wastes and lead times. We ran the production following a batch process, lean process and then finally the rules were dissolved to enable the teams to creatively achieve operational excellence. The quality manager’s job was to constantly track every workers performance and get the various metrics to the plant manager who over saw the production as he looked to remove bottlenecks. The CEO did pretty much nothing other than just getting the raw materials on to the shop floor!….hmmm may be he should have been fired. I must commend Anthony was excellent flying skills ;). Also Ross for his commitment to faster production, he was our bottle-neck all though (to be fair to him he did have the most difficult and time consuming tasks of all). The activity was great fun. You can see the picture of a our master-piece in paper plan manufacturing. Anthony flew them as if they were rockets. And the rival team was so intimidated that they had to try out new test pilots in each round!American Aeroplane Corp.

It was a tough and eventful week and wish all of the class of 2011 good luck in their effort to fly like paper, get high as planes!


It really helps!

It really helps to use the career management resources. It was not only during Orientation week but it keeps going!! I am extremely happy by the continuous and amazing support I am receiving from the Career Management office. Having a science background I felt slightly lost on how to focus my resume, brand and interview skills for a new career path such as Marketing. Some of the highlights that have been really helpful for me are:

  • Career Assessment: to discover strengths, abilities, motivational things I need to work on, and possible career paths. http://www.careerleader.com/
  • Mix and Mingle with recruiters: to start practicing networking skills and develop some practice with informational interviews (Do not overwhelm the recruiter trying to tell them your life in one minute, have an engaging “conversation”).
  • Resume: reviewed and significantly improved. Jenny Hecksher’s (MKT consultant) feedback was extremely quick but most importantly tremendously useful to have her Marketing input on the content.
  • Career search resources: I explored some of the resources and so far my favorite is Hoover’s Online. It offers summarize key information about companies and different industries. In addition, while looking at this resource I also came by another very interesting website related to “cool running companies” (http://businessonmain.msn.com/) focused mainly on companies that have proof to be very creative and innovative in our days. The site is really fun and interesting to look for original businesses.
  • Crack the Case Workshop: with David Ohrvall. I was definitely not ready for a case interview. Actually I am still not. But this workshop definitely helps to know what to expect and how to get prepared for a case interview. A key thing is to anticipate possible questions, situations and reactions. If you think you may need to develop some of these skills, I definitely suggest looking at his website and even more attend one of these events in the future (www.mbacase.com).
  • Companies Information session: this is very resourceful to know what exactly the company is about and their culture but more importantly what are they looking for and what type of candidate are they trying to recruit. Let’s not forget that these sessions are a great opportunity to network too.
  • Getting ready for a career fair: I learned some strategies on how to make a difference with recruiters in between thousands of applicants in a career fair.  Consultants at the career management office have a huge amount of experience in dealing with these issues. They have several suggestions to share according to each person’s needs.
  • Practicing for Interviews: if you need advising and practice for your interviews, career management is the place to go! They know what recruiters are looking for, and they will act like recruiters. This is the safest place to practice and get ready to make an impact on your interview!

These are just some of the things that have had direct impact on me. However there is a much larger amount of resources and activities organized by the career management office. Be sure to stay in tune on what is going on through Fisherconnect or the Hub. There are a lot of things going on and it could be overwhelming, but this is exactly how we learn to manage our time, prioritize and make wise selections.

Networking in the Big Easy

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the National Black MBA Association Conference in New Orleans.  After two days of classes, I was excited to get away with 10 of my classmates and see a new city.  I soon learned that the trip would be nothing short of a whirlwind.

We got into New Orleans around midnight Thurs night/Fri morning.  I was so exhausted but there was no time for sleep because we were up and at ’em at 7am headed to the convention center.  Upon entering the career fair, I was very taken aback.  I’ve been to national conferences for different organizations before but never to anything of this magnitude.  There were elaborate exhibits including product demos of Harley motorcycles, Chrysler, P&G products, and many more.  Not only were the exhibits impressive but also to see over 5,000 people navigating the different booths in search of jobs and internships.  I was able to talk to representatives from over 10 companies and I even snagged an interview on Friday afternoon.  I hope to hear back soon!

Attending the conference definitely showed me that in order to succeed, I need to be at the top of my game.  There are so many top students from top universities competing for a limited number of positions.  Having a clear plan of what I want to do and how I expect to get there is key!

Apart from the professional aspect of the conference, it was great to get to know my classmates and meet students and professionals from around the country.  Of course, we ate some authentic New Orleans cuisine, ventured out to Bourbon Street (which was crazy), and even had the chance to wander around the French Quarter.

Although I was extremely exhausted and swamped with work when we got back to Columbus, the trip was very much worth it.  Where else would I have the chance to talk to over 400 recruiters on one day!?!

Upcoming events for WPMBA

I considered several other part-time MBA programs in the area.  One area that surprised me is the level of involvement and number of additional activities available for students like me .  Here is a list of upcoming events available to working Professional MBA’s for just this quarter!

October 1st MBA Networking Event: 15 Companies Represented 7:00pm – 9:00pm
October 4th Fisher Potluck Picnic 11:30am – 2:00pm
October 5th Fisher Professional  Serves Kick- Off Lu nc/i 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 5th Chinese Business Assoc. Mid-Autumn Day Celebration 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 7th How to Networking Using Linked-In 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 7th MBA Marketing Assoc: Brand Management Speaker 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 8th Cuilman Exec Lunch: Jason B. Jones, VP, Lockton Companies 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 13th Evening Professionals Town Hall Meeting 5:15pm – 6:00pm
October 14th Innovation Fisher Kick- Off Meeting 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 20th Google VP of Finance: Business Performance Management 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 2Ot Evening at Limited Brands 5:30pm – 9:00pm
October 22d Thermo Fisher Scientific Sr. VP Info Session 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 28th1 Warren Buffett Trip Info Session 5:15pm – 5:45pm
November 12th International Speaker: William Fetter 12:30pm — 1:30pm
November 13th Job Hunt and career Design: Daniel Porot 8:30am – 1:00pm
November 13th Deloitte Case Interviewing Workshop 1:30pm – 4:00pm
November 1 6 Alumni Relations Brown Bag Lunch 12:30pm – 1:30pm
November 1 6th International Speaker: Tom Heilman 12:30pm – 1:30pm
November 20th Fisher Winter Games 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Hopefully the program director for these programs will gain enough resources to podcast or stream some of these events so working professionals can actually benefit from them!!!!

Hunt for the Great White Internship

Part of the First Year MLHR experience is the internship hunt.  For those first years out there, let me pass down a little bit of advice.  From what I have heard, a lot of you are pretty stressed out.

So you know there is this perfect internship out there for you with the perfect company.  You don’t know exactly what it looks like or where it is going to be.

Excuse the deep sea fishing analogies, but it is kind of like traveling into unknown waters and going after something that is somewhat elusive and even a bit scary.

Here is the good news.  When you go deep sea fishing, the biggest part of the voyage is being prepared.  Having the right tools, a steady vessel, and a good crew makes the journey so much more fun. (Well that and a cooler full of beer).

The tools you need for your internship hunt are a polished resume, a practice run (mock interview), a nice suit, and well developed responses.  These are all things that you can do to prepare.

The vessel to get you there should be your individual characteristics, why companies want you over the 20 other people applying, the experiences in your life that make it a good fit.  These are things that you should be very familiar with, after all, you know yourself better than anyone.

A good crew on a deep sea hunt is vital.  Career services is that crew.  Make sure you keep them up to date, ask them questions, make networking connections, really take advantage of everything they offer.

If you really give it your all, the big fish will start coming to you.  Good luck to all of you first years out there!

Rather be Fishing,


Universal Studios Orlando Florida Jaws*Jaws @ Universal Studios

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!

If there is one thing I learned in my first year of the MLHR program, is the importance of building relationships.  Throughout our careers, we are going to be subject to hundreds of networking events.  Some good, some not so good.  In my personal experience, however, the relationships you build here at Fisher are going to last a lifetime.

Grad school is an influential part of our lives and can in some way even define who we are.  That first day of classes, when we go around the room and do introductions, you may find people you have things in common with, and you may find people who have life experiences very foreign to your own.

My advice to incoming first years, don’t dismiss this.  Take a valid interest in getting to know each and every one of your classmates.  Everyone has something to offer.  Part of this will come with time through the countless group projects.  Others will be social contacts.

My point is, give it some heart.  Genuinely care about what people have to say and don’t dismiss new thoughts and ideas.  Yes in grad school we are learning course material, but more so, we are learning how to be high performance individuals.

Don’t forget:  second year students, professors, and other faculty and staff are invaluable resources.  For first years, when you are hunting for internships, and for alumni when you are looking for new positions, the people you get to know at Fisher will always be there.

Get to know them!

So it begins…Really

Welcome, to my blog!

Well, it has been hell of a time! Almost 3 weeks now in the US, things have been great. First of all the MBA 2011 finished their ‘orientation’ last week, which I hope was summed up by the background song played through a video showing stills from the Summit Vision, ‘I don’t scare easy’. I guess Prof. Wruck had a message in there.

Summit vision camp:

  • Weeeeaaah! Thats what most people sang the whole day zipping and jumping and falling from great heights.
  • Brought the teams closer, nothing better to build trust than to just put your life in someone’s (or the 5-6 odd people trying to lift you and pass you through the smallest of webs) hands and exploring life beyond the ‘zone of comfort’.
  • All in all great fun, never thought would have zip-lined or jumped off the ledge on the giant swing.

Consulting Boot Camp:

  • Really covered all there is to consulting in depth and had industry perspective.
  • Good networking opportunity.
  • Had 2 amazing sessions with great professors. Prof. Barney and his hot-dog business, you have to have to try a hot-dog at Barney’s. And what can I say about our mission impossible man Prof. Ogelvee. Talk about being creative, one of the best presentations I have ever seen.

New year’s party:

  • Full of fun.
  • Lots of alcohol.
  • Met one of the most intriguing personalities that you can meet on any given day. A frenchman who taught ‘english’ in China, talk about being cosmopolitan.

Well, that was all last week. This week started with pages and pages of reading to be done before classes begin tomorrow. I had to actually spend over 3 hours to make sure my schedule was in place and I didn’t miss anything important. The iPhone comes in handy again. (FYI: I am unofficial salesman for Apple, you’ll hear more soon enough).

The quarter starts tomorrow and I am very excited. Over the course of the quarter I’ll be sharing my perspective on life at Fisher, so stay tuned.