Walgreens Pharmacy is a domestic drugstore in the United States that has withstood numerous challenges to be where it is today. This paper will identify these strategies in addition to outlining the impact of economic trends, such as recession on Walgreens Pharmacy. Other areas that will be researched include the role played by human resource department towards attainment of company goals. Consequently, recommendations will be given on other strategic tactics that could be advantageous to Walgreens towards achievement of its objectives. Walgreens Pharmacy as a leading drugstore has adapted several strategic measures that have enabled it to sustain its business activities amid the ever changing global markets.
Strategic Changes at Walgreens Pharmacy
Over the years, Walgreens Pharmacy Walgreens Pharmacy was run by family members who had been mentored by their predecessors. However, since 1995, when Kevin Walgreen was made Vice President of the firm, there has been no other Walgreen holding a top position at Walgreens Pharmacy. This move was made after the massive loss of stock, when Charles Walgreen Jr was the then chief executive officer. Consequently, over the years, the chief executives have been hired from other places, so that competence and thorough knowledge of the industry have been paramount to make one eligible for the position (Bacon, 2004).
Similarly, Walgreens Pharmacy adapted the best practices culture, where constant mentoring of junior employees is undertaken persistently by seniors or those in top positions. This is the reason behind the current success of the firm as newly employed senior employees under the tutelage of their supervisors have been availed with adequate hands-on-skills regarding Walgreens Pharmacy activities. This strategic initiative has enhanced service delivery as well as allowed Walgreens Pharmacy to achieve its objectives as incoming leaders have to meet the high targets set by their predecessors (Bacon, 2004).
Consequently, having all of Walgreens Pharmacy an activity being managed by a single headquarters is a strategy that has brought about uniformity in service delivery. This is in line with the managerial aspect of specialization, as each unit specializes in areas that are relevant to customers in the area. For instance, Walgreens Pharmacy units in town centers are housed together with snack restaurants, so as to satisfy two consumer needs at a go. This strategy also paves way for underperforming units to be boosted by the most productive ones hence minimizing any occurrence of a drugstore collapsing (Bacon, 2004).
The other strategic initiative at Walgreens Pharmacy regarding operational activities is concerned with location of its drugstores in the country. As was noted earlier on in the strengths of Walgreens Pharmacy, location of a business enterprise is vital towards attainment of objectives. Based on this, the corner stores are a favorite for a huge number of customers in the vicinity. This is because of increased accessibility in addition to close proximity to the workplace hence a customer does not have to spend a lot of time tracking down the store (Bacon, 2004).
Similarly, based on trial and success, Walgreens Pharmacy discovered that combining pharmaceutics and other fast moving consumer goods, would do more good towards boosting the sales of drugs. For instance, partnering with some fast food firms so as to sell snacks and drugs under the same roof was strategic, as most drugs require the patient to eat first. This was consumers could take their medication in the store while at the same time get time to rest before moving on hence providing adequate facilities to enhance consumer well being.
Another operational strategy is based on the Walgreens wellness program that entails educating the public as well as customers on the essence of being well so as to reduce consumption of drugs being in the same roof as grocery stores. These grocery stores often stock organic edibles, so that consumers are given advice on healthy living, which entails consumption of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to cut down on diet related ailments. This was a strategy that has enabled Walgreens Pharmacy to obtain a competitive advantage over its rivals who apparently never saw that opportunity (Bacon, 2004).
Impact of Recent Economic Trends on Walgreens Pharmacy
The most recent economic trend in the United States is increased unemployment that has seen many breadwinners being jobless hence meeting the cost of medication that has had a major toll on them. This has also hit Walgreens Pharmacy and it had to work on its prices, so as to cater for the retrenched as well as the low income earners. A larger population of the unemployed is the young who would benefit from the Walgreens wellness programs yet they cannot afford it. Therefore, most of the present customers at Walgreens Pharmacy are the elderly and those in midlife who are educated hence able to earn reasonable incomes that can enable them access healthcare services (Krugman, 2009).
The recent economic trends are characterized by high levels of inflation and economic recessions, which have resulted in introduction of numerous generic drugs that are sold off cheaply. Generic drugs are as effective as the original ones hence making them a favorite alternative for customers especially due to the lower cost. Walgreens Pharmacy could introduce low costing drugs or offer them at subsidized prices to customers so as to discourage them from choosing the cheaper generics.
Walgreens Pharmacy has laid out strategies to prevent the negative impacts of recent economic trends from ruining its operations. One such strategy is through introduction of comprehensive services at subsidized costs so that customers can access drugs, healthcare and health education all from Walgreens Pharmacy (Krugman, 2009). This is important as it reduces the costs of seeing healthcare facilities from various firms, when one requires their help.
Similarly, increased fuel prices have impacted Walgreens Pharmacy negatively as it used to rely on electricity for most of its major manufacturing activities. This had to change, as the firm is working towards making use of solar energy made available by the firm hence cutting down on operational costs. By using solar energy to run its operations, Walgreens Pharmacy is not only cutting down costs, but also utilizing environmental friendly energy sources, which are non-polluting. Consequently, the use of biofuels could also act as a way of evading the economic recessions, as biofuels are cheaper to produce and the raw materials are readily available (Bacon, 2004).
However, amid the negative effects of recent economic trends on Walgreens Pharmacy, there are a number of positive impacts as well, for instance, with globalization, the urge to spend among consumers increased. Consequently, today more people are wiling to spend than early in the century, when fear of inflation made people hang on to whatever minimal finances they had. Similarly, international clients are on the rise, as they have an opportunity to purchase Walgreens Pharmacy products online cheaply than in their own countries, thus boosting business for the firm (Krugman, 2009).
Walgreens Pharmacy could adapt strategies, such as utilizing their online shop as a platform to increase online sales, especially to countries that are less faced by recession. Similarly, venturing into the global market could be an opportunity to beat recession as the rate of inflation is varied between countries, as some are better cushioned to handle the predicament. Furthermore online trading is cheaper in terms of operational costs as well as being more efficient in delivery of services (Bacon, 2004).
The other positive impact of the recent economic trends is that most of the Walgreens Pharmacy rivals have succumbed to the negative impacts hence withdrawn from business. Consequently, their customers have moved on to Walgreens Pharmacy hence increased the market share of the firm. This move has resulted into Walgreens Pharmacy developing more custom made drugs that are of high quality so as to retain all the customers who are loyal to its products (Hollensen, 2011).
Tactics by Walgreens Pharmacy to Achieve its Objectives
Walgreens Pharmacy has been able to sustain its high performance over the years due to its ability to seize opportunities and utilize their rival’s weaknesses to move their business operations to the next level (Krugman, 2009). One such opportunity is concerned with negative controversies among opponents, which were paramount towards building its own reputation, therefore wining over more clients who were seeking a non-controversial pharmacy.
Other tactics that have been used to Walgreens Pharmacy advantage include building a stable local market first before venturing into the global market. Such strategies enable a firm to have a solid foundation, which can fully support the local drugstores hence reducing any chance of collapse. Consequently, the ability of Walgreens Pharmacy to identify threats on its way and work towards using them as opportunities to forge forwards has been critical in attainment of its objectives. This is because Walgreens Pharmacy has not had any recurrent risky undertakings over the years as the majority of its investments have successfully sailed through (Krugman, 2009).
Another vital lesson learnt from Walgreens Pharmacy, which has been used as a strategy is abiding to the government’s policies and guidelines. This way, the corporate image of the company is positively portrayed, while customers develop a sense of belonging to the firm. Trust and loyalty of products is attained this way as customers always want to be associated with successful firms that are operating legally under the given jurisdiction. Similarly, customer satisfaction and efficient delivery of services has been used as a strategy towards attaining the short and long term objectives of Walgreens Pharmacy (Hollensen, 2011).
The Role of Human Resources Management towards Attainment of Walgreens Pharmacy Objectives
The human resources department is vital in any organization, as the activities of this department can boost failure or success of the entire firm. For instance, it is in the human resources department that new employees are hired and trained to deliver services to clients so that only competent candidates are hired. Over the recent years, top personnel at Walgreens Pharmacy have been hired solely on grounds of familiarity and knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. This could be one of the reasons as to why Walgreens Pharmacy has consistently posted positive growth, as the human resources department ensures that only the right people are in the right places (Seymour, 2003).
The other role played by the human resources department towards attainment of Walgreens Pharmacy objectives is in ensuring that employees are adequately motivated and aware of their responsibilities. Motivated staff and energetic as well as eager to deliver services efficiently hence customers are satisfied by the time they complete their transactions. Motivation can either be attained through appreciation or creating a favorable working atmosphere, which positively contributes towards productivity of the employees go a long way towards enhancing employee retention. Similarly, research has shown that employee retention is directly responsible for attainment or failure to attain the set objectives by the firm (Seymour, 2003).
The human resources department is also responsible for rewarding exemplar performances by their employees, which is one way of motivating employees. Consequently, a low staff turnover creates a positive impression among customers, as they can create personal relationships with individual employees who will be in constant touch. This increases customer loyalty as the longer an employee works for Walgreens Pharmacy, the more referrals they are likely to get owing to social marketing from existing clients (Hollensen, 2011).
Based on the above in depth business analysis of Walgreens Pharmacy, I would most probably invest in the firm as it portrays a future that is brighter than the past. This is a company that is inclined towards succeeding regardless of prevailing conditions thus making it a profitable venture to invest in.
Walgreens Pharmacy has been able to adapt to changes in the economy as well as challenges resulting from recession and increased manpower issues. However, the ability of Walgreens Pharmacy to attain its objectives is attributed to embracing strategies that have made it gain competitive advantage over its rivals. It is significant to note, that most of the strategies are identified by use of the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis. The greatest strength, however, lies in management and employee competence, which has played major roles towards ensuring that Walgreens Pharmacy customers acquire high quality services efficiently. In conclusion, Walgreens Pharmacy has been able to retain its market position amid challenges, because its financial health has been blooming as its rivals dwindle in financial problems. The finances of any given firm are critical in determining their ability to meet targets and objectives as all of them require financial investments. The business analysis of Walgreens Pharmacy portrays a profitable and solid firm, whose future is assured so that any potential investor should not think twice about owning part of this drugstore.