A competitive business strategy for the Eritrean Marine Products Company (EMPC)
Beshier, Almaz M.
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This research deals with assessing and analysing the reasons behind the low productivity and profitability growth of the Eritrean Marine Products Company (EMPC) and the main goal of this research is to assist the company to improve its competitive position in the export and domestic markets. In order to address the low productivity and profitability of EMPC (the research problem), the following four main objectives are outline I valuating how and to what extent the company capitalises on its strengths and opportunities, and avoids weaknesses and the threats in the environment; testing how the company's strategy is suitable by determining how the company's capabilities are effective in adding value and improving its competitive position; testing the strategy acceptability by assessing the financial performance and outcomes of the company, and finally testing its feasibility by assessing whether the company has the resources and competencies that match to the strategy. To discuss the research objectives literature review is developed based on the strategy evaluation process using the evaluation criteria of suitability, acceptability and feasibility frame-work. Since this research is a case study and qualitative in nature, annual reports and other studies about EMPC are used to collect the secondary data. Interviews have been also conducted with the company's managers and other staff members to collect the primary data. According to the study findings, EMPC has a lot of opportunities such as growing demand of fish in international markets especially the EU market, and financial as well as technical support from the Eritrean Government. However, EMPC has some structural weaknesses such as lack of fishing skills and insufficient infrastructure which resulted in shortage of supply. The gap analysis showed that there is a big gap between the projected and actual quantities of fish production. The financial performance of Asmara Processing Plant (branch of EMPC) is quite satisfactory, while ERIFISH (branch of EMPC) was facing financial loss. The gross and net profit margins were negative through out the period of 1999-2002. Finally, it is recommended that EMPC has to revise its production plan, improve its internal operations, and upgrade the skills of the staff. To be competitive in the export market, EMPC should either invest in niche market by providing high-perceived value, through better quality, design, and branding or horizontally integrate with capable firms is a valuable option for the company to benefit from the fishing know-how and economies of scale.