Introduction to Marketing (((The National Factory)))
This project speaks about a national factory in Lebanon. It pleased me greatly to get an interview with the owner of The National factory for Blocks and Cements. The observer begins to know how the competition happens among men who work in a similar domain. Beside this, a person should follow several functional means in order to keep on his factory in its high level. The progressive movement of any factors is not only the responsibility of the managers but it is also the responsibility of the policy and the regime of the government. So, to have a successful company, establishment, or a factory we should depend on good managers and select the good economical and sociological state surrounding any factory. These two factors play a good role in the success of any company.
The National Factory for Blocks and Cements started in the year 1969 in Lebanon. This factory is located in Zouk Mkail-Green Zone in a place away from the crowded city and civilians. The owners and the general managers of this factory are two partners Mr. Samir Boustani and Mr. Ibrahim Malah. Thirty-nine employees and workers work in this factory, among them there are twenty two foreign workers. Most of these are workers are either from Egypt or Syria. This factory produces cements and marbles for the Lebanese market. According to the statistic, the factory can be classified as both a manufacturers of consumer and industrial goods.
Besides, The factory contains ten large machines and each has a different job. I have told that these machines are the best in Lebanon. They get the row material that they need for their products from Italy. Mr. Samir said that others factories get the row material from different countries with lower prices, but of coarse the quality differ. For this reason, customers prefer the National Factory from other factories. He believes that quality is more important than the price.
Their competitors are many. In Zouk only they compete with two similar factories that works in the same field. The first belongs to Mr. Karam Azar and the other to Mr. Nabil razak. Mr. Samir told me that with these two factories they have direct comparison, but customers can easily observes the quality standard in their factory. Out side zouk region there are a many factories that work in the field of marble and cements. The National Factory have a high quality standard, which is not available in other factories. For this they prefer not to compare themselves with others factories. What they care for is to satisfy their customers needs and make them believe in their products.
The buyer's behavior towards their products is the most important thing for the factory. But in the present situation in Lebanon no one is satisfied neither the buyer nor the manufacturer, nor the seller. If we take the economical situation nowadays it is failing but when a customer comes to buy from the National Factory he is sure of his buying decision. The government most urges the Lebanese to buy national product rather than foreign one.
Mr. Samir said, "The most important influence in marketing theory is the continuous and rapid change in consumer interests and desires. Consumers today are more sophisticated than those of past generations. They attend school for much longer; they are exposed to newspapers, magazines, movies, and radio... So, demands are more exacting, and their taste is more volatile. Because of this we always try to segment our products in order to fit all customers tastes".
Besides, advertisement is very important for the National Factory. They put a lot of their investments in advertising in order to build the image for their products. They make advertisements because if they stop the advertisements they will loose a lot. T.V advertisement is impossible for the factory to use because it is very expensive and they can not afford such expenses. So, they depend on other kinds of advertisement like magazines "Al-Geish", and newspapers. In addition, Mr. Samir said " We always try to lower the cost production in order to offer better prices for our customer. But of course this should not affect the quality. Because of this, we use the recent technology in order to lower cost production without hurting the quality. We also offer facilitation in payment. In the past we used to offer facilitation in payment but if the customer could not pay we used to bail him. Today everything is different, the banks offering the customer a loan, so the banks are now competing in offering better plans for financing ". The facilitation in payment increases the number of customers. Because, few have cash money in this bad economic situation.
The factory uses a fixed pricing policy. They believe that this strategy will make the customer more confident and satisfied of his buying decision. Sometimes they are obliged to increase their prices because of the increase in the prices of the raw material. They have a good relation with an Italian company that supply them with the material they need.
The national Factory is known to have the best services. Time is sacred for them. "We always deliver the products on time and sometimes before. If we don not have a good services we do not sell any of our products. However the service after sale is more important than selling the products, you can sell a product in ten minutes but you have to continue in your service towards this product." said Mr. Samir. He believes that a service is the provision of his company.
Internet and telephone ordering are not included in the policy of this factory. They lack this easily means of communication. Mr. Samir said "the world distribution in Lebanon is too wide, we are a very small to talk about such distribution. We have one sale points which is our factory, so we have no Internet and telephone ordering". They have been in business for thirty years, so they depend on their popular name in the Lebanese market.
If the product concept passes the business test, it moves into the product development stage. Here R&D develop the product concept into a physical product. The R&D department develops and tests one or more physical versions of the product concept. R&D hopes to design a prototype that will satisfy and excite consumers and that can be produced quickly and at Budgeted costs. Developing a successful prototype can take days, weeks months, or even years. Often, products undergo rigorous functional tests to make sure that they perform safely and effectively.
The success of specialized marketing developments had caused many older organizations to revise their operating methods. Under this plan, the retailer is given the right to sell, within a certain area, without competition from another retailer dealing in the same product.
Many consumers now find it more desirable to rent products than to purchase them outright. For example, a homeowner may find it preferable to rent an electric floor polisher when needed, rather than purchase the appliance at the list price, use it only frequently, and then have to provide storage space within the home. The renting of equipment also figures in large industry. Corporation are finding it to their economic advantage to rent computers and office industrial machinery, thereby assuring themselves of product servicing and repair and allowing changeover, without great
expenses, to newer equipment models as they become available. The use of credit has had a great impact on marketing. Customers with credit cards can make purchases without the normal immediate presentation of cash, and sales are thus stimulated. Stores often further stimulate sales by use of premium promotions whereby customers making purchases receive free goods or the opportunity to buy special merchandise at very low prices.
Businesses must strive daily to outdo competitors. The methods available to businesses for distinguishing their commodity from others in the market are subject only to their ingenuity. Such methods may include product movement, a unique promotional campaign, a new twist in servicing, a change in distribution channels, or an enticing price adjustment.
The National Factory introduces many new products in the Lebanese market. According to the factory the first and the most important thing in the new product is to assure its safety. They make different kinds of tests to assure the safety of the products. The second important thing in marketing development for the factory is to test the effectiveness of the new products.
This can be done without serious tests. It is the responsibility of the research and development department to tests the safety and effectiveness of the new products. In addition, the managers of the factory can develop new markets or its current products. Managers could review new geographical markets. They expand their marketing efforts and sales to different countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe... They should target newly opened markets in order to gain more profits.
In my opinion, I like to say that this factory lacks the means of success for it does not own the easy means of communication which is the internet and telephone ordering. The other point of laciness is not giving enough promotions to attract new customers. Had Mr. Boustani invested more money in promotions and advertisements, he would have got more profit. Lastly, it is the responsibility of the government to urge the people to buy national products than foreign one. This policy of the government must be taken into consideration for it might help local factories and other establishments not to get bankruptcy.
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