Re: Environmental scan

posted by Jasmine W. at Mar 11, 2015, 7:35 AM

Last updated Mar 11, 2015, 7:35 AM 

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An environmental scan is when the information about competitors, customers, and trends as well as the organization itself are monitored, evaluated, and spread out to key persons in the corporation (Hunger and Wheelen, 2011). This means scanning the external environment for opportunities and threats as well as the internal environment for strengths and weaknesses. Environmental scanning is basically the S.W.O.T. analysis.


In a strategic plan there are several steps needed. One of those steps is environmental scanning. The information gathered in the scan is used to form a strategy. By having this information, the organization will not be blindly making decisions on services and other operations. Keep in mind that these decisions must stir the organization in the right path to accomplishing its strategic goals.


An example of environmental scanning is if a healthcare clinic wants to know the trends in a certain service. The external environmental scan consists of finding the opportunities and threats. The opportunity can be the high growth in the economy as well as there being a desire by the people for this specific healthcare service. The threat is when competitors get the same service established in their facility. This could be existing competitors or new entrants in the industry (Hunger and Wheelen, 2011). Another opportunity and threat is the success or failure of the industry.   The internal environmental scan consists of finding the strengths and weaknesses. The strength in implement the proposed service in the healthcare clinic is that there are enough persons staffed to work in this service or new people can be brought in to work in the new service without the organization paying a hefty cost. The weakness would be either the number of people available to work in the new service, the amount of training needed, or the space needed to place the service.



Re: Environmental scan

posted by ALESHA FLOYD at Mar 11, 2015, 8:24 AM

Last updated Mar 11, 2015, 8:24 AM 



In the first chapter of this week’s reading, it gives a good reason for why an environmental scan is important to the development of a strategic plan. It is a tool that a corporation uses to avoid strategic surprise and to ensure long-term health (Hunger, & Wheelen, 2011, p. 33). Knowing what the environment is like around the facility or business is important to knowing what the current needs and trends are, but with business it is also important to know what the other competitors are doing to attract business so that they are able to find new ways to actively compete. “In his ground-breaking work on environmental scanning, Aguilar (1967) defined the concept as the way in which management gathers relevant information about events occurring outside the company in order to guide the company’s future course of action” (McEwin, 2008, p.2). Having an idea of how competitors are obtaining business and any new items they are developing can keep the business in the loop of what they need to do to stay in the market. Yesterday in the car my mother was telling my son and I about a new watch that will link with the IPAD and be a mini computer that is wearable. The cost she stated it was going to sell for was shocking and my son said what I was thinking, to wait a few months or a year after it is available and another company will have something similar for a lot less. I think this is a great example of how a leading company can start the competition of other companies by them knowing what is new and exciting and creating a similar product. The information helps the organization learn the influences from the environment and how to respond strategically to ensure success (McEwin, 2008, p. 3). If the competing companies did not act and make something similar, than Apple would have the entire market. History of how less expensive competitive options become available show this is true. It is seen in fast food chains as well, with chicken snack wraps at McDonald’s and the Burger King offering something very similar. Knowing what competitors are doing is important to keep offering something of similar interest so they do not take all of your customers.

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