PRODUCT PLANNING AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGERIAN TELECOMMUNICATION
1.1 Background of the Study
Organization’s success not only depends on what organizations currently providing but also depends on how the organizations can make change to improve whatever they are providing from the marketing standpoint, the socio-economic justificationfor the existence of any business organization isthe satisfaction of customers’ needs and wants. The organizationalsurvival over-time depends on its ability tocreate loyal customers because its products match theneeds of the buyers. Thus, the organization meets itsbasic responsibility to the society through its product offerings.Planning is a continuous process which involves decisions or choices, aboutalternative ways of using available resources with the aim of achieving a particular product atsome time in the future, Silver E. A., Pyke D. F., Peterson R., (2008)
For a firm to compete effectively in the dynamicand competitive business environment and achieve set goals in terms of profitability, high sales volume, and large market share, it must continuously develop products and product lines to satisfy the constantly changing desires and needs of customers (Grundiche, 2004:168). These Organizational adjustments in response to new customer preferences even make it necessary to modify existing products, introduce new ones or eliminate products that are unsuccessful. Product development is a broad field of endeavour dealing with design, creation and marketing of new product, (Yanelle, 2005:92).
It encompasses product planning as well the technical activities of product research, engineering design, etc to take advantage of potential opportunities facing a company’s product idea in a market. Product development is very critical to organizational performance because the product is the cornerstone of the firm’s marketing mix: every other element rests on the product. Product is not used to mean only tangible ‘things’, but includes services (the intangibles) as well as things that can be touched and seen and tasted.
This explains why Kotler (1994:434) sees it as a bundle of physical, service, and symbolic particulars expected to yield satisfaction or benefits to the buyer. It enables managers to evaluate whether organizational objectives have been achieved, and is further used to develop and compensate managers. It helps managers monitor whether the company is moving in the direction they want it to go (Teeratansirikool.L, Siengthai. S, Badir.Y, 2013).The Telecommunication industry is considered to be one of the largest and most powerful industries in the global market, vis-à-vis technological advancement, with its operations covering every corner of the globe and with the world heavily dependent on communication. Today, activities in the telecommunication industry are composed of various procedures including service provision, sales of products like Handsets,Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) packs and other communications gadgets. While all this activities requires marketing, achieving efficient and effective marketing strategy by an organization is difficult, as a result of the ambiguity and dynamic of business factors (Brownie and Spender, 2005). Sound and robust marketing commitment on the part of organization and sales-people are important to the survival and growth of the communication companies, considering the subtle, unstable and seemingly hostile business environments in which contemporary business organizations operate (Creveling, 2004).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The telecommunications industry in Rivers State, as many other countries in the world (Daniel, 2007) has in the recent past been among the most competitive industry of the economy. Organizations from both the private and public sector are increasingly embracing the practice of strategic planning in anticipation that this would translate to improved performance. The most obvious problems of telecommunication firms in Port Harcourt is how to provide effective services to the nation, which has been yearning for an improved telecommunication services for a long period of time. In response to that, the Federal Government provided for the creation of a company that will function purely on commercial basis.
Past and recent research studies have made it clear that there is an increased internal andexternal uncertainty due to emerging opportunities and threats, lack of the awareness of needs and of the facilities related issues and environment and lack of direction.Many organizations spend most of their time realizing and reacting to unexpectedchanges and problems instead of anticipating and preparing for them. This is called crisismanagement. Organizations caught off guard may spend a great deal of time and energy playing catch up. They use up their energy coping with immediate problems with littleenergy left to anticipate and prepare for the next challenges. This vicious cycle locksmany organizations into a reactive posture.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose is to examine the effect of Product Planning and Organizational Performance of selected telecommunication firms in Port Harcourt while the specific objectives are:
1. To determine the extent to which consumer needs influence organization performance
2 To ascertain extent to which Product design influences organization performance
1.4 Research Questions
From the above specific objectives, the following research questions are formulated:
1. To what extent does Consumer needs affect organization performance?
2 To what extent does Product design affect organization performance?
1.5 Conceptual Framework of Product planning and Organizational Performance
SOURCE:(Researcher’s Desk 2015).
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses are formulated from the above specific objectives:
H01: There is no significant relationship between Consumer needs andsales Growth.
H02: There is no significant relationship between Product designand Market share .
H03: There is no significant relationship between Consumer Needs and Market Share.
H04: There is no significant relationship between product design and sales growth.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The general scope of this study covers Product Planning and Organizational Performance. The geographical scope is Rivers State of Nigeria. The units of analysis covers randomly selected telecommunication firms.
1.8 Significance of study
The study will be helpful to various stakeholders in telecommunication industry who are interested to the long-term strategies for profitability namely shareholders, investors and creditors in such a way that they should be able to realize the potentials and scope for the business growth in local telecommunication. The study has provided recommendations to be considered by telecommunication industry to improve their products development. The study will justify whether product planning is influence Organizational performance and whether telecommunication should take critical consideration. Lastly the research helped the researcher to increase her knowledge and be able to apply and compare theoretical aspects with practices done in banks.
1.9 Limitations of the Study:
These arethe problems encountered by the researcher in the course of generating data for this project and they are;
(i) Secrecy of Respondents: The high rate of secrecy manifested by respondents in releasing of information as concerns the operations of the organizations contributed to the limitations of this study.
(ii) Ignorance: Ignorance manifested it self in this study, it was most disappointing that even graduates who occupied responsible posts were among the respondents that needed a lot of persuasions before they agree to complete the questionnaires, others needed a lot of persuasions before they agree to complete the questionnaires. Some misplaced theirs which the researcher had to call several times at some for the collection of the completed and had to be rejected.
(iii) Bureaucratic Red Tape: The researcher was made to call several times at the offices of the personnel manager and company secretary for the necessary permission. It was not an easy task for the researcher to set what was really needed for the work. But with the help of some staff of the company, the researcher was able to obtain the necessary information.
(iv) Finance: Finance constraint was another problem faced by the researcher in the course of the study. As a result of the poor state of the economy, costs of almost everything especially transport had increased drastically. This made the researcher encounter heavy financial difficulties as a result of insufficient fund to meet the high cost of stationary and printing of study involved.
(v) Time: The time frame within which this work was allowed was quite limited for an intensive as well as extensive work to be accomplished and so forms a constraint on the work.
1.10 Definition of Terms
Product planning: The process of coming up with a business idea for a manufactured good, preparing the good for production and then introducing it to the market. Product planning involves managing the product'smanufacture and development by selecting marketing and distribution approaches, makingmodifications, setting and changing prices, and offering promotions.
Organizational performance: Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives).
Consumer needs:Problems that customers intend to solve with the purchase of a good or service.
Product design: Product design as a verb is the process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers
Profitability: Profitability is the ability of a business to earn a profit.
SUMMARY CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The objectives of this study were to
1. To determine the extent to which consumer needs influence organization performance
2. To ascertain extent to which Product design influences organization performance
Findings from the study revealed the following
1. Meeting the needs of consumers improves sales of an organization.
2. There is a significant relationship between consumer needs and sales growth.
3. Product designs helps to influence the market share of organizations.
4. There is a significant relationship between product designs and market share.
5. Consumer needs influences the market share of an organization.
6. There is a significant relationship between consumer needs and market share.
7. Improvement in product designs improves the sales of organizations.
8. There is a significant between product design and sales growth in an organization.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This study examined the influence of product planning and organizational performance in the Nigeria telecommunication Industry and the obtained result revealed that product planning and organizational performance has a significant effect on product performance in the industry as most organisations adopt marketing strategies like product designs and consumer needs that affects customer patronage through various marketing programmes as well as the development of dynamic marketing strategies that change with time and customer preference with a tangible understanding of the customer needs. This submission is in line with the result of Epetimehin (2011) who observed that marketing (especially relationship marketing) has a place in the insurance industry especially in the area of customer satisfaction and retention. This notion of peculiar emphasis on consumers’ preference/needs and product designs have resulted in increased customer satisfaction through the development of the various marketing programmes and effective communication/feedback channels and indicates clearly the role of marketing in product performance. Also, product being a strategic variable in firm’s operation requires adequate information about competitor’s actions which often affect rivals revenue as healthy competition increase focus and attention on consumer in the industry. Hence, marketing activities often increase the interest of potential customer in a product, especially telecom consumers that exhibit high changes in taste and preference over time. This often forced service providers to embark on continuous product innovation in order to maintain market share and increase sales. Hence, this study revealed that an effective and efficient marketing activity is a virile tool for a desired product performance in the Nigerian Telecommunication Industry. Similarly, telecom operators in Nigeria need to design a feedback mechanism such as pool vote, web page etc, to review their customer’s needs and satisfaction level. This will help to address the challenges of poor product performance, increase consumer brand loyalty and prevent the development of products that will not stand the test of time due to unanticipated dysfunctional consequences arising from product performance. Similarly, marketing/brand manager must focus overtly on the firm long run competitive advantage by providing a conduct pipe between the firm, its clients and other stakeholders in the industry..