Abstract: Jenkins, Inc.
Jenkins, Inc. seeks to complete a comprehensive environmental scan to figure critical
aspects of its business that may have been left out of strategy for too long. As the competition
matures around us, we intend to focus on strengths that have kept us ahead thus far. Maximizing
profits and creating value for our stakeholders remains high on our priority – and a strength
analysis will allow us to find the best qualities to rely on. The aspect of internet development is
shifting and the underpin is fast moving to countries abroad.
Needless to say, one of our biggest competitors is from Australia (“Envato”). In the
analysis we critically examine what helps us stay ahead in the game. We also look at nascent
strategy development and fast deployment, as the foreign markets change and create new
challenges for american businesses.
In order to complete a balanced environmental scan on Jenkins, Inc., the PESTEL
technique will be employed. Herein, political, economical, socio-cultural, technological,
environmental and legal threats will be evaluated. The ideal responses mitigating the threat
levels will also be discussed.
Political threats can broadly relate from the following areas: taxation policy in effect,
trade regulations, government stability, unemployment policy etc. The foremost threat for an up
and coming internet concept business will have to be the taxation policy at this time. Internet
sales tax and its imposition are hotly contested issues in all jurisdictions in the US. Jenkins, Inc
will be set up as an entirely online marketplace and no plans to move into a real estate location
are in place for now (Doernbergm, 2001).
Therefore, the challenge becomes as to the location and assessment of the tax laws for
that location. While companies like Amazon have locked heads with the state and federal
governments over taxes, the agreement thus far has been to pay sales tax should the warehouse
of the said company, housing any manner of supplies, be present in the particular state. To
Amazon and other tangible sellers, it may make perfect sense.
However the challenge with Jenkins, Inc. will be that our products are firstly, not tangible
(none of the products, in fact, for now). All of these products are digital source files – be it code,
scripts, plugins, themes, images, video files etc. Secondly, this product data is stored at not one
location, but is “mirrored” through our web servers to multiple nodes throughout the country,
using MaxCDN. A content delivery network stores data at perhaps every node of high traffic.
That increases the locations, and therefore, our liability for sales tax in all these regions becomes
more realistic. As our size will increase, these concerns will weigh heavily on us. Governmental
stability and unemployment policies are issues not as important in our context.
However, trade regulations sometimes restrict trading online with foreign buyers in
certain regions of the world. Appealing to a growing market of web developers all over the
world, these regulations certainly add a negative pressure to the company. In many cases, we are
going to be unable to prevent commerce with such entities – for example when buyers use proxy
services to access our servers or use “anonymizers” to hide their real location. Therefore, it
becomes an issue of potential concern (Klotz, 2004).
Jenkins, Inc.’s response to these threats will be two fold. As far as the taxation issue is
concerned, our efforts will be focused on the determination whether the offerings will constitute
“goods” that even incur a sales tax. Most of the products offered will be directly downloadable –
thus intangible. There is no plan of putting them on an install DVD – which may then have to be
shipped. While at the same time, the internet marketplace that is conceptualized will allow
developers to tweak programs and code, so it fits the specifications of the end user very well.
The offering then becomes a service, which will be dealt with differently. While advocating for
the ban of all sales tax, we will also make efforts to stay up to date with the law. Additionally, if
determine that a sale had been made to a restricted territory, we will promptly refund the
amounts and close the associated accounts.
Economical threats sometimes appear when a buyer is located overseas, in a territory
with a fluctuating exchange rate. We have had issues with some of our customers located, for
example, in Zimbabwe, trying to make larger purchases on the network. Since there were
volatility related losses in the past, the company policy has been changed to deal and accept
payments only in USD. The online aspect allows us to quickly revise rates all through the
marketplace for literally, millions of different products. This works as a tool for inflation
corrections every few years.
Socio-cultural threats come from the delay in adaptation of the internet worldwide. This
delay in adaptation directly reduces our user base – because that many more people will rely on
developers and companies to create their projects for them. Developers and savvy users opt for
the marginally more expensive developer’s licenses – that allows them to use a script they buy
from Jenkins, Inc. on as many projects for their clients as possible. If these clients were better
informed, they will pay a lot less money – and to us, get the scripts themselves and create their
own projects. To counter this threat, we have instituted upper limits on prices and have also
started offering web development tutorials and simple do-it-yourself projects on our site. This
allows users to buy exactly what they will need and then proceed through the project in simple
Technological threats derive from the dynamism of internet technology. Rapid changes in
standards, the evolution to newer technology and the aspect of safety are all causes for us to
worry about. The issue of internet safety is the most effort intensive and every so often we are
faced with a new variety of internet attack. As a large marketplace with many high ticket scripts,
we are frequently targeted with distributed denial of service attacks. Our response to the situation
is extreme safety precautions applied on all aspects of the business. This helps mitigate some of
the threats. We also invest on a running basis in a number of antivirus programs and other
classified safety subscriptions. We also cloud-backup all our data every single day to provide a
consistent user experience.
Though there are no specific environmental threats emanating from our operations,
taking the cue from major online companies like Host Gator and Google, we have invested to
power at least 50 percent of our servers using wind energy.
Given legal issues emanating from sales extending to all continents of the world, the
company has ensured that legal proceedings where we are a defendant can take place only in
courts with a New York jurisdiction. As such has been made mandatory to accept and expressed
very clearly in our Terms and Conditions.
Jenkins, Inc. derives strengths from the scale of its operations, methodology as well as its
location. These factors will help thwart the majority of competitive forces that can negatively
affect the operations.
Scale of Operations
The scale of operations of Jenkins, Inc. ensures that we are able to adapt to and afford the
newest in safety trends. It also ensures that we can have comprehensive advertising campaigns
directed at our singular domain. Our competition usually focusses on a certain kind of product
compared to what we are able to offer. This leaves them weaker and unable to justify high
advertising costs for their singular use domains.
A greater scale of operation shows our seriousness and dedication to the business and
industry. As a result, more and more reputable developers set up shop on Jenkins, Inc. to market
their digital merchandise. We also provide them with greater exposure and are able to create a
consistent user experience. For example, all payment can be extracted from our systems to
individual bank accounts within 3 business days because we maintain a large payment buffer.
In our methodology, we cannot be beat, only perhaps copied. Other businesses that
compete with us try to do it solo. Therefore, in the world of developer tools, there are name
brand companies that offer very good products, but not a great variety. Jenkins, Inc. truly stands
out, in that, for a little bit of commission we allow thousands of developers to bring their
products and sell them on our platform. This way users do not have the task of finding vendor
after vendor for the many elements that may need for their web projects. There are some very
important issues of consistency in user experience, testing and soundness of code (which we
ensure before allowing any code onto the web site), a brilliant feedback system that assures
customers that their voices will be heard and that of assurance from going over the feedback
accumulated under a product. Therefore, one of the biggest strengths has to be the platform and
technology related features we provide uniquely.
Being located in the United States, we are looked upon favorably by companies and
customers the world over, since the marketplace is global in reach.
The most significant competitor for Jenkins, Inc. has to be Envato. Envato is an
australian firm, which is often mentioned alongside our’s; much of their operation is similar to
ours’ but there are critical differences and points where we excel and get to keep our dominating
position (“Hi, We’re Envato!”, 2013).
For a start, our American operations mean that we are a lot more discussed, closer to
many of the best developers who are also based in the United States and more trusted, since US
laws govern us. We have also been in operation longer than Envato has been. Not to mention
their principal currency being the Australian dollar, a lot of their revenue is lost in conversion
and transferring fees by payment processors.
Just as a majority of developers tend to be in the United States, so do a majority of
customers as well. Since Envato close their live support for the night hours in Australia, they are
unable to service customers who are in the United States – and who find live support and
immediate on-call assistance with us. Cultural affinity, being in a consumer friendly nation, is
strong and customers are usually loath to seek business outside, especially in a foreign country.
However the most significant difference between us and Envato is that they use different
domain names for each of their offerings: code (codecanyon), themes (themeforest), graphics
(graphicriver), motion graphics (videohive), stock music and audio (audiojungle), 3d graphics
(3docean), stock photos (photodune) etc. On the other hand, Jenkins, Inc. uses a singular domain
for all the offerings. We are able to concentrate our search engine optimization efforts and
marketing to a greater advantage that do Envato, who have fewer resources split between all
these different domains.
Declining Economy and Change in Strategy
In order to accommodate a weakened economy, our effort will be to continue to stimulate
business and keep our sales volume near the levels that it was at earlier. Accordingly, I will
institute a site-wide discount into which individual sellers can partner up and get featured on the
home page. Another scheme that will be introduced will be a bundling scheme. All too often
visitors are looking for an eclectic combination of files in the same colors or combinations. If we
bundle the most important pieces of code and images they might start to work with, we may
induce sales to take off. Such bundles though are sold at steep discounts and leave very little
margins for everyone, but they keep the business running.
Additionally, we will also aim at reducing the commission that we charge our developers
for selling their products. This will ensure that we are better competing against Envato, whose
challenges will be different given that its in another country.
Global competition on the internet has traditionally unnerved big name western online
companies, because of how the odds are stacked in favor of them. In several countries abroad,
there is no dearth of talent at little marginal cost. This cheap labor army, just as talented as any
labor force abroad can easily enable up and coming startups – that might have a strong chance of
contending with Jenkins, Inc. In order to make the playing field level, our company has sought
partnerships in Philippines and India, where we can use a more controlled environment to train
and eventually hire some additional developers.
Global competition in certain countries like China is stacked against foreign firms in
many ways. Domestic companies specially lobby to make it harder for foreign companies to do
business in China in their particular industries. To neutralize this aspect, we look forward to
relying on penetrative techniques, for example, developing “guanxi” in China (business-family
relations), offering steep discounts and pursuing all instances of copyright violations. More than
all else, we would need a pro-active approach where we are ready to tweak the strategy to
balance out our survival and aim for dominance (Wong & Leung, 2001).
Jenkins, Inc. is in a very strong position given its early beginning and rather unique
model of doing business. Being able to offer more value – specially over the utility in the
product, reliance, feedbacks and customizations has enabled us to be in a very strong position.
Our large size has enabled us to set several industry standards, for example, testing of code and
has attracted the very best of talent. This has all translated into competitive advantages over our
competition. However, if we have to take seriously the growth that has to come by in the foreign
market, we must be ready to adapt to the fast changing world of global commerce, while keeping
focussed on what we do best.
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