Waste Management: A Strategic Case Term Paper

Pages: 33 (9268 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues

The states in which it does well are states where it should remain, but understanding the population numbers for all the states can help Waste Management decide which other states it wants to focus on. These need to be states where it can acquire enough market share to make things viable for it as a company, and where the population and demand for services will continue to increase. Figure 3-2 provides a United States map with population information.

Figure 3-2: U.S. Resident Population by State. Source: txsdc.utsa.edu

As Waste Management focuses on the population growth throughout the United States and in specific states, there are also other factors at work of which it must be aware. Population is important. It is the lifeblood of what Waste Management does. However, there is more to the issue and just a strong population is not enough to ensure success for any waste management company.

3.1.2 Economic Segment

Critical economic factors are important to consider when building or continuing a company. These can influence a company's performance in the market, and the behavior of the market itself. How much money people are spending on food and other items equates to how much waste they are producing in many cases. With that in mind, a strong economy means a strong waste collection business, of which Waste Management wants to be the leader. In order to understand how an economy is doing there are several economic indices that can be examined. The most logical one, however, is the GDP. Figure 3-3 provides the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) information.

Figure 3-3. United States GDP Growth. Source: www.floatingpath.comBuy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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3.1.3 Political/Legal Segment

Term Paper on Waste Management: A Strategic Case Assignment

Political and legal issues are highly important when it comes to any type of business, especially those that are carefully regulated by the government. Unlike food and related industries, waste management is not strongly regulated when it comes to companies picking up the waste created by residential and commercial/industrial accounts. However, there is one area where regulation is very important, and that is in what happens to the waste once it has been collected by the company. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conscientious about landfills and related sites, and Waste Management must work closely with that agency in order to make sure rules and regulations are not being broken (EPA, 2014).

Additionally, there are other regulations that have to be addressed, the majority of which are local and state, as opposed to federal. If Waste Management wants to continue to remain near or on the top of the pyramid when it comes to companies that handle waste collection and environmental issues, it must abide by all of the regulations in the areas in which it does business. Keeping up with all of these and how they can and do change can be nearly a full-time job, but it is a vital component of the work that the company does in waste collection and disposal.

3.1.4 Socio-Cultural Segment

Society and culture in developed and developing countries shows continued interest in waste removal from homes and businesses. This is very true for the United States, where billions of dollars are spent every year to ensure proper waste pickup for companies and individuals. Large companies and industrial areas produce a great deal of waste that has to be disposed of properly, but even standard households create waste that has to be collected at regular intervals. Most people do not think too much about what happens to waste once it leaves their trash cans, but Waste Management and other companies that make waste their business have to think carefully about it in order to make sure they are focused on the right things and that they continue to provide both the society and the culture with what they want and need in waste removal services.

3.1.5 Technological Segment

Technology is a big part of the waste management industry. People who see the waste trucks go by on their scheduled routes and collect from the bins may not see it as a job that requires technological skill, but the coordination of such a large-scale operation absolutely requires technology in order to be successful. Waste Management has fleets of trucks in all of the states and cities where the company operates. These trucks are assigned to specific drivers, and there are particular routes driven on certain days. Additionally, there are parts of the country where people in the same neighborhood get trash pickup on different schedules. One person may get a pickup once per week, while the person next door to them may get his or her trash picked up once per month or once every two weeks.

Knowing which routes to run on which days and whose trash to pick up on those days on those routes is highly important. Handling all of that requires a computer and software system that allows the company to address all the issues related to waste collection and management from a central location. Additionally, there have to be branch locations in each city or town where the company does business, and these must tie in to the main location for billing and scheduling purposes. Because there is so much to coordinate from drivers learning their routes to central billing issues, it is important that Waste Management have and use the latest in technology in order to remain relevant in the marketplace. A lapse in technology could easily cause a problem for the entire company.

3.1.6 Global Segment

The global segment is not one that Waste Management needs to be deeply concerned with, mostly because it is not a truly global company. It operates mostly in the United States, as well as some in Canada and Puerto Rico. It does not have plans, for example, to expand to Europe or other nations. With that in mind, Waste Management can keep its sights firmly set on being (and staying) close to home. That can allow it to more fully develop what it offers to customers in the United States, as opposed to spreading itself too thin by attempting to take on a myriad of other countries. Not only do these other countries already have waste collection services, it would be difficult for Waste Management to break into the market and may not provide the financial results the company is looking for. There would be no real advantage to the company, overall.

3.1.7 Summary of General Environmental Analysis

The general environmental analysis indicates that there are specific events and trends of which Waste Management must be aware both now and in the future. The growth of the population is one of those trends, as well as where that population decides to live and work. More populous areas of the country should be a focus for Waste Management, because there are more opportunities for growth there. That is also true for areas where there is a high level of commercial and industrial development, since it is very important that these areas have proper waste disposal. While Waste Management is not interested in going global, it should be aware that there may be companies in other countries that are interested in making a move into the United States' waste management market. These would-be competitors could make changes to the demographics Waste Management currently has, and should be watched with careful consideration.

3.1.8 Driving Forces

The driving forces are those forces that have the power to change a company's strategy by creating new challenges for that company to address (Armstrong, 2006). The scenarios the company has to handle may change, or there may be other types of challenges on which the company must focus. Because these challenges can appear and change quickly and because they can strongly affect how things are done in any given industry, companies should identify these forces as quickly as possible so they can be planned for and addressed. There are two main driving forces that can affect Waste Management: customer preferences and the overall costs of doing business. Both will affect Waste Management's ability to do business.

Customer Preference

Customers can be very particular about what they want. Something that was important to them yesterday may not be important tomorrow. Additionally, what matters to customers in one area of the country may not be as important to customers in another area. Because that is the case, each and every customer matters and the trends these customers follow also matter. Waste Management has to pay close attention to customer preferences in order to make sure they are handled correctly and that customers are offered what they need at their convenience and at a reasonable price. If customers do not receive these things, they may elect to go with the competition.

Costs of Doing Business

Any company that is focused on doing business knows that it can be expensive. The costs of doing business can also change rapidly. Most notably for Waste Management, these are the costs of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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