Study: Strategic Plans Provide Competitive Edge

By John S. McClenahen Strategic plans are such an established part of the management lexicon that you'd think every manufacturing company would have one. Among midsize firms only 59% do, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study. Services business have a slightly higher percentage: 68%. Overall, however, those companies with strategic plans in place are larger, grow faster and have a significant productivity edge, the PwC data show. Companies with strategic plans average 40% larger annual revenues than those that lack plans. Companies with strategic plans have an average revenue growth target of 17.4% for the next 12 months versus a 14.7% average for those that don't. And higher growth rates coupled with fewer employees give companies with strategic plans a 45% productivity edge over companies without such plans, PwC figures. The global consulting firm's results are based on interviews with CEOs of 403 product and service companies identified as the fastest growing U.S. businesses during the last five years. Annual revenues for the firms ranged from $5 million to $150 million.

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