2. Novelis is the leader in the aluminum recycling as well as an aluminum
manufacturer. The team felt that novelis would be the best choice for Skillsoft because of
its need for a service such as the one that Skillsoft provides. Novelis is a small company
of only eleven thousand employees meaning that there is a huge potential for growth as
well as the added pressure for the employees that do work there to be proficient in their
job; Skillsoft can work with Novelis to create a program that will allow for this to be
possible.Looking at the financials for Novelis there revenue has steadily declined
throughout the past few years meaning that something is not working, this decrease in
revenues is a huge incentive for the company to continue to renew their contract with
Skillsoft for many years in order to keep up with the competition of other companies.
Novelis is also interested in creating a new way of recycling in the aluminum industry, a
new tactic such as this has never been attempted therefore a learning program that is
customizable to the specific company as Skillsoft provides will assist them greatly in this
process and secure a place for E-learning in the company. In this report all of these
aspects will be gone over in more detail.
3. Table of Contents
1. Executive Summary
2. Management Page 3 to 6
3. Marketing Page 7 to 9
4. Economics Page 9 to 11
5. Accounting Page 11 to 13
6. Prospects Page 13 to 15
7. Conclusion Page 15 to 16
What is the business of Skillsoft? When considering people, goals, and structure
what connections can be made to Skillsoft? How does this impact the internal and
external communication strategies of the organization?
The main product of Skillsoft is E-learning programs. Skillsoft also develops
training, certification, continuing education, program development, technical
development, global presence, and they create custom programs. The main goals for
Skillsoft is getting rid of skill gaps, they want to continue to look at the market needs.
The structure of Skillsoft is top down, and they are very good at getting feedback from
their employees and they encourage their customers to also give them feedback. Some of
the larger companies that Skillsoft does programs for are Toyota, Hitachi Consulting,
Estee lauder and Honda. The internal communication strategies that Skillsoft uses are
readiness sessions, they have 2000 employees, they are fairly regular with company
emails. Skillsoft also provides training sessions for all their employees. Externally
Skillsoft is very good at keeping their customers updated with what is going on within the
organization, they also have a corporate marketing team, press releases, an online portal
that customers can sign into, and they use social media.
How does Skillsoft apply/utilize the four functions of management? Think about
what you did for Tootsie Roll, how is Skillsoft able to apply the four functions of
management to their business model? What would you change?
Skillsoft utilizes the four functions of management, planning, organizing, leading,
and controlling, in every business decision that is made. The first function of planning
takes into consideration the entire company; any changes that have been decided or any
5. new projects must work throughout all the different departments. This unity throughout
the company also extends to their global offices as well. During this stage Skillsoft will
work together to develop a product or service that best suits the customer; breaking the
tasks down into a reasonable timeframe as well as establishing a budget. The next stage is
the organizational phase where Skillsoft works on putting the plans and ideas in motion.
The budget is divided and spent between the departments for maximum efficiency
depending on what resources are needed as well as work is done to create a finished
product or service that the customer can be happy with. This stage is essential for making
sure that all the components that are to go into this project can be completed on budget
and in the timeframe.
The third stage of this is the leading stage; during this time Skillsoft will work on
creating effective teams that can get the job done based on strengths and weaknesses as
well as set up employees with mentors if needed. Customer feedback is also important at
this stage as it determines if Skillsoft is doing a good job at supplying its customers with
what it needs. During this time Skillsoft also uses these experiences it has to create a
more forward thinking view on how to make products better in the future. The final stage
of management is the controlling stage which Skillsoft works to monitor the performance
of its employees by using annual and quarterly reviews to judge if the employees are
doing their best. Skillsoft also gives a lot of feedback to its employees in order to help
them make changes that in the end can benefit the company.
Although Skillsoft does a great job at making sure all bases are covered when it
comes to the four stages some changes could be made to improve the company’s
performance. Some factors that could be changed to make Skillsoft more efficient at what
6. it does could be to cut back on some of the obstacles or “red tape” between the individual
departments. The example brought up during the meeting with Skillsoft raised some
questions on whether or not the company has too many restrictions on who can do a
certain job. Allowing the departments to work more interconnected could become a great
asset to Skillsoft and allow for more work to be done faster.
How does Skillsoft measure efficiency and effectiveness? What are
recommendations for improvement?
An important aspect of Skillsoft is teamwork. Team formations are very important
in order to be successful, efficient, and effective. Teams are put together based on
strengths and weaknesses of the individual. In order for everyone, for every team to have
the same information and be on the same page, quarterly and annually meetings are often
organized. Success is all about achieving goals and final results. Numbers and
performances constitute an important aspect of the company. The ultimate goal of every
company is to increase their revenues year after year and to remain competitive.
Efficiency and success can be determined when looking at the budgets and the
revenues.The more Skillsoft will be efficient and effective the more revenues the
company will have. 360 evaluations of employees are also often made to constantly
improve the employee’s skills and capabilities.
More communication between the different departments of the company and with
the customer can always be improved. More advertising can also be used more often and
create brand awareness.
1. How does the company create Value for their customers?
Skillsoft creates value for their customers in many ways. Skillsoft has created
bundles, customizations, special offers like extra programs of timing specials and
discounts. Skillsoft also has the potential for a customer reward system and
warranties on all of their products. By creating this value for their customers they
make it more likely that customers will buy their products in a larger quantities.
2. What are the company’s top two to three distinctive competencies?
There are four distinctive competencies that Skillsoft focuses on. These
competencies are reliability because skillsoft always is focused on customer
satisfaction, Customization because every customer of skillsoft has the opportunity to
make special requests. The other two competencies are Leading in E-Learning and
Technology and how skillsoft makes their products and how their products are
3. What promotional strategies are currently in place? Traditional? Social Media?
Social media are used more and more by millions of people. For the past years,
Skillsoft has been focusing on social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
This is a way to create brand awareness, become more popular, and potentially attract
new customers. They are also used to receive customers’ feedbacks and provide content
to the customers, clients. White papers as well as seminars also constitute promotional
8. 4. What is the internal model for developing effective communication between sales
The internal model for developing effective communication between sales and
marketing are the target market/leads and marketing/development team. The target
market for Skillsoft is the Vice President of a company because they are usually the
person who makes the final decision whether to purchase a product/service for the
company. Leads is sales prospect that shows interest in a company's product or service.
Leads allow Skillsoft to be able to focus on who they are going to try to sell their
products/services to. These leads are created by the marketing/development teams.
5. Is there any internal or external research on customers? The environment?
Skillsofts looks at the results of previous customers and the marketing strategy
that allows Skillsoft to see similar likes. By looking at results of previous customers it
allows Skillsoft to be able to see what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to
pursuing a prospect. Skillsoft uses a marketing strategy to see similar likes to their
companies because it allows them to be able to see what their customers are liking and be
able to target specific companies or peoples in a certain field.
6. What is the competitive landscape regarding your pricing strategies?
Skillsoft uses two different pricing strategies in regards to the competitive
landscape. These include competitive pricing and profit based. Although Skillsoft is not
obsessed with competitive pricing they still use it because they try to price their
products/services similar to their competitors. It also helps because they aren’t trying to
overprice their products/services because then companies might think they are too
overpriced whereas if they were to lower their price below their competitors businesses
9. might think Skillsoft doesn’t value their products/services as much as other companies.
Skillsoft is also uses a profit based strategy because they are out there to make money.
1. What are the services that Skillsoft provides for clients?
SkillSoft prides itself on being able to provide many services for its customers
mostly based in creating custom E-Learning programs. These programs include getting
training certification as well as continuing the education for the employees of these
companies; Skillsoft will work with the company to create custom programs designed
specifically for the customer to address and meet the needs of that company. Skillsoft’s
programs work on the technical development of companies on a global scale; this shows
how large and successful Skillsoft is in providing efficient E-Learning services.
2. What are the factors that influence the demand for Skillsoft’s services?
There are many factors that influence the demand for Skillsoft’s services, on in
particular being the life cycle of sales. For Skillsoft personally 70% of their revenue
comes from their fourth quarter sales due Skillsoft operating on a different financial
calendar; this means that potential clients will have set up new budgets in place for E-
Learning opportunities or it is time for them to renew their contract for continued
services. Another factor brought up during the Skillsoft meetings was the fact that the
baby boomer generation is going to be retiring soon resulting in a skills gap; this means
that there is now a change in the demographics of who is in need of these services. Many
companies now are cutting their budgets for training as it is easier for the company to
purchase an E-Learning program than to send one executive away for days for a
10. conference; with these programs the company now can afford to pay for all the
employees to have this training.
3. What are the factors that impact the firm’s ability to provide their service?
Some factors that impact the firm’s ability to provide their service are often more
related to the technological aspect of the company. For instance the cyber security of
Skillsoft is a very big factor in determining whether or not Skillsoft will be able to
provide the services they promise to their clients; if Skillsoft is hacked the programs will
need to be shut down in order to prevent any further hacking. Keeping their technology at
the most up to date level also has a very big impact on if Skillsoft will be able to work
with a company; if Skillsoft has outdated technology then it will not be able to do the best
work. Having knowledgeable workers at Skillsoft is essential to the production and
efficiency of Skillsoft as a less than competent employee will not be as useful as an
expert in the field.
4. What are the main fixed and variable costs for Skillsoft?
Every company has fixed and variable costs that are part of the company’s
expenses. Skillsoft has to deal with different fixed cost. Multi-year agreements and
contracts are signed between Skillsoft and other companies. This is a way to predict the
company’s revenues and how much money is coming in. Maintenances of technology as
well as the rent ( of facilities) also constitute fixed costs. Technology, people, travel
expenses, legal fees, and commission pay outs (pay a portion to brands) constitute the
company’s variable costs.
5. Who are the primary competitors for Skillsoft?
11. Nowadays, technology constitutes a competitive department. Skillsoft has many
competitors such as Harvard Managementor, Korn Ferry, Center for Creative Leadership,
Mook, Global Talent Management, Development Dimensions International, and
Lynda.com. Despite the competition, Skillsoft always has the ambition to move forward,
be innovative, and satisfy the customers’ needs. “Making no decisions” is also one of
Skillsoft’s competitor. Skillsoft will most likely buy companies that constitute a threat to
6. How does Skillsoft differentiate their services from those of their competitors?
The technology department being so competitive, it is difficult to differentiate
itself from other companies. However, Skillsoft’s business adopts several strategies that
differentiate their services from those of their competitors. Customization is part of their
business, which means that any company can make any kind of requests. Abrasive
acquisitions are also one of their strategy. The company buys will most likely buy
companies they might see as threats. Last but not least, competitors don’t have the
technology that Skillsoft has. Skillsoft is seen as the leader and pioneer of e-learning, and
the leader of the technology industry.
12. 1. What is the role that Accounting plays in the running of Skillsoft's business? Think
about this question from a Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting
Accounting plays a significant role in running Skillsofts business as the accounting
department is in charge of being internal auditors as well as investigating potential
prospects. The accounting department looks into potential prospects in order to verify
that the company has the finances available to pay for Skillsoft’s services for the initial
service and if they can renew it the next year. Bankruptcy is the first aspect of the
prospects they investigate; selling off units or parts of the company can hint to the
desperate need of their finances. Decreases in revenue can also evade to the point that the
company is suffering; by taking a look at all of these points Skillsoft will be able to
determine if working with a company will be a smart financial investment for the
2. Locate the latest 10K of the prospects Skillsoft has identified. How are these
prospects doing based on key items that you identify from the income statement,
balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Rank these potential clients that Skillsoft is
pursuing from strongest to weakest based on what can be seen from the data
collected. Which client is in the best financial position to purchase Skillsoft's
products and services? Which is not? Justify.
The first financial aspect the team looked at was the overall revenues for the year
of 2014. After further inspection we divided the prospects by how much revenue was
earned; Rowan made the most in revenue with $1,579,284,00 followed closely behind by
Novelis which had made a considerable amount more than Sonoco. The next part of the
13. financial statement that was looked at was the net income for all three prospects. Rowan
made the most in net income by thirty thousand in comparison to Sonoco. Novelis made
the least amount of revenue in 2014 making them in need of the most help for E-learning.
The financials revealed that this company is not near bankruptcy but is merely making
less than the two other potential prospects making them more adapt to renewing their
contract with Skillsoft to compete with the other two.
3. From a budgeting standpoint make a case for Skillsoft's products/services that
would enable a prospective client to see the value in making such a purchase. What
impact would this purchase have on the clients budgets? Which budgets would be
affected by purchasing the products/services?
Skillsoft has a very good way that for their client can see the value in skillsoft’s
products. Skillsoft offers a loyalty department which analyzes and helps consumers
understand the investment that they are making with skillsoft. Skillsoft also offers leasing
which allows their customer to renew their contracts with skillsoft once their contract is
up and the training is turned off. Skillsoft also allows their customers to upgrade their
package after their first training contract.
1. What is the population of knowledge workers of your assigned prospect?
14. Novelis has 10,970 employees throughout their entire organization. There is
potential for growth in Novelis and this makes it more attractive to skillsoft as a
prospective client. Novelis is a manufacturer of Aluminum products and they also are
metal product manufacturer, Novelis is also involved in mining for have products like
Non-Ferrous Metals and Primary Metals.
2. What is the strategic value of your assigned prospect to Skillsoft?
Novelis has many qualities that make it a great prospect for Skillsoft to choose.
Novelis is financially stable compared to the other prospects whose stocks seem to be
going down. There is potential for growth in Novelis because it’s in an up and coming
industry. Novelis has also expanded globally demonstrating their plan for growth. Lastly
the aluminium market is expected to improve by 2020 by 16% so if Novelis were to work
with Skillsoft they would have an advantage over their competitors.
3. How well does your assigned prospect align with Skillsoft and its value
Skillsoft and Novelis align when it comes to the customer satisfaction and
customization. Novelis is all about keeping their customers happy and by working with
Skillsoft Novelis can take that one step forward to be able to bring up their customer
satisfaction rate. Both Skillsoft and Novelis are also able to customize to fit each other
making it easier to work together. Novelis will make it easier on Skillsoft when it comes
to programs they choose to implement whether it’s a standard program or a customizable
one for the aluminum industry.
4. How would you rate your assigned prospect’s contacts and referral
15. Novelis does not have potential at the moment concerning their contacts and
referral opportunities. They do not have any contacts or referral opportunities as of right
now. However, this is one area Novelis needs to focus on in order to become more
5. Base on your assessment of your assigned prospect, present a clear detailed
recommendation for pursuing the prospect to Skillsoft’s Vice President of Sales and
Service – Leadership Solutions.
Novelis is a global industry leader in many areas. Novelis is the world’s leading
producer of rolled aluminum product, as well as the world’s leading recycler of
aluminum. Novelis operates globally over 9 countries with approximately 11,200
employees. Also, Novelis has many competitive advantages over their competitors such
as focusing on premium product, unmatched global footprint, solid global demand,
consistent strategy, and emphasis on sustainability.
There are many reasons we felt Novelis was a better choice while the others were
lacking something depending on the company. Sonoco is a packaging company that is
made up of 19,900 employees. They were established in Hartsville, South Carolina in
1899. They have operations in more than 335 locations in over 33 countries. Sonoco has
four different segments in their organization, these segments are consumer packaging,
paper and industrial converted products, protective solutions, and display and packaging.
From 2010 to 2013 there revenue has continued to increase as well as their net income.
Some of the reasons that we decided not to choose this company is due to their
large size and their inability to identify suitable acquisition candidates. Sonoco is having
difficulty finding potential candidates and other companies to join with to expand their
16. company. Having this problem makes them less appealing for a potential prospect to
Skillsoft. Sonoco does don’t have a large need for E-learning and they don’t have good
growth potential which makes them not the most appealing prospect. Sonoco is a large
and successful company but they are not the best choice for Skillsoft.
Rowan is an oil company. Thus, the company’s revenues differ according to the
oil and gas revenues. When the gas prices increase, then Rowan’s revenues increase.
However, when the gas prices decrease, Rowan’s revenues decrease as well. Rowan’s
revenues are unstable and may change month after month which can be an issue when
Also, Rowan has limited expansion at the time compared to Novelis. Novelis operates
globally in nine different countries with approximately 11,200 employees. The
company’s goal is to increase globally. Rowan also wants to increase their growth
capabilities by investing in emerging markets. Novelis believes the Asian and South
American markets have high growth potential in areas such as beverage cans and