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Arch Coal, Inc. PESTEL & Environment Analysis
Strategic Management Essays, Term Papers & Presentations
Arch Coal, Inc. PESTEL analysis is a strategic tool to analyze the macro environment of the organization. PESTEL stands for - Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal factors that impact the macro environment of Arch Coal, Inc..
Changes in the macro-environment factors can have a direct impact on not only the Arch Coal, Inc. but also can impact other players in the Industrial Metals & Minerals. The macro-environment factors can impact the Porter Five Forces that shape strategy and competitive landscape. They can impact individual firm’s competitive advantage or overall profitability levels of the Basic Materials industry.
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PESTEL analysis provides great detail about operating challenges Arch Coal, Inc. will face in prevalent macro environment other than competitive forces. For example an Industry may be highly profitable with a strong growth trajectory but it won't be any good for Arch Coal, Inc. if it is situated in unstable political environment.
Spanish oil giant Repsol had to face a similar instance. It started an above average profitability operations in Argentina and made strong returns in 5-7 years. But the business was later expropriated by the Left Wing government. So the decade long profits didn’t materialize in the end.
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Political Factors that Impact Arch Coal, Inc.
Political factors play a significant role in determining the factors that can impact Arch Coal, Inc.'s long term profitability in a certain country or market. Arch Coal, Inc. is operating in Industrial Metals & Minerals in more than dozen countries and expose itself to different types of political environment and political system risks. The achieve success in such a dynamic Industrial Metals & Minerals industry across various countries is to diversify the systematic risks of political environment. Arch Coal, Inc. can closely analyze the following factors before entering or investing in a certain market-
- Political stability and importance of Industrial Metals & Minerals sector in the country's economy.
- Risk of military invasion
- Level of corruption - especially levels of regulation in Basic Materials sector.
- Bureaucracy and interference in Industrial Metals & Minerals industry by government.
- Legal framework for contract enforcement
- Intellectual property protection
- Trade regulations & tariffs related to Basic Materials
- Favored trading partners
- Anti-trust laws related to Industrial Metals & Minerals
- Pricing regulations – Are there any pricing regulatory mechanism for Basic Materials
- Taxation - tax rates and incentives
- Wage legislation - minimum wage and overtime
- Work week regulations in Industrial Metals & Minerals
- Mandatory employee benefits
- Industrial safety regulations in the Basic Materials sector.
- Product labeling and other requirements in Industrial Metals & Minerals
Economic Factors that Impact Arch Coal, Inc.
The Macro environment factors such as – inflation rate, savings rate, interest rate, foreign exchange rate and economic cycle determine the aggregate demand and aggregate investment in an economy. While micro environment factors such as competition norms impact the competitive advantage of the firm. Arch Coal, Inc. can use country’s economic factor such as growth rate, inflation & industry’s economic indicators such as Industrial Metals & Minerals industry growth rate, consumer spending etc to forecast the growth trajectory of not only --sectoryname-- sector but also that of the organization. Economic factors that Arch Coal, Inc. should consider while conducting PESTEL analysis are -
- Type of economic system in countries of operation – what type of economic system there is and how stable it is.
- Government intervention in the free market and related Basic Materials
- Exchange rates & stability of host country currency.
- Efficiency of financial markets – Does Arch Coal, Inc. needs to raise capital in local market?
- Infrastructure quality in Industrial Metals & Minerals industry
- Comparative advantages of host country and Basic Materials sector in the particular country.
- Skill level of workforce in Industrial Metals & Minerals industry.
- Education level in the economy
- Labor costs and productivity in the economy
- Business cycle stage (e.g. prosperity, recession, recovery)
- Economic growth rate
- Discretionary income
- Unemployment rate
- Inflation rate
- Interest rates
Social Factors that Impact Arch Coal, Inc.
Society’s culture and way of doing things impact the culture of an organization in an environment. Shared beliefs and attitudes of the population play a great role in how marketers at Arch Coal, Inc. will understand the customers of a given market and how they design the marketing message for Industrial Metals & Minerals industry consumers. Social factors that leadership of Arch Coal, Inc. should analyze for PESTEL analysis are -
- Demographics and skill level of the population
- Class structure, hierarchy and power structure in the society.
- Education level as well as education standard in the Arch Coal, Inc. ’s industry
- Culture (gender roles, social conventions etc.)
- Entrepreneurial spirit and broader nature of the society. Some societies encourage entrepreneurship while some don’t.
- Attitudes (health, environmental consciousness, etc.)
- Leisure interests
Technological Factors that Impact Arch Coal, Inc.
Technology is fast disrupting various industries across the board. Transportation industry is a good case to illustrate this point. Over the last 5 years the industry has been transforming really fast, not even giving chance to the established players to cope with the changes. Taxi industry is now dominated by players like Uber and Lyft. Car industry is fast moving toward automation led by technology firm such as Google & manufacturing is disrupted by Tesla, which has stated an electronic car revolution.
A firm should not only do technological analysis of the industry but also the speed at which technology disrupts that industry. Slow speed will give more time while fast speed of technological disruption may give a firm little time to cope and be profitable. Technology analysis involves understanding the following impacts -
- Recent technological developments by Arch Coal, Inc. competitors
- Technology's impact on product offering
- Impact on cost structure in Industrial Metals & Minerals industry
- Impact on value chain structure in Basic Materials sector
- Rate of technological diffusion
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Environmental Factors that Impact Arch Coal, Inc.
Different markets have different norms or environmental standards which can impact the profitability of an organization in those markets. Even within a country often states can have different environmental laws and liability laws. For example in United States – Texas and Florida have different liability clauses in case of mishaps or environmental disaster. Similarly a lot of European countries give healthy tax breaks to companies that operate in the renewable sector.
Before entering new markets or starting a new business in existing market the firm should carefully evaluate the environmental standards that are required to operate in those markets. Some of the environmental factors that a firm should consider beforehand are -
- Climate change
- Laws regulating environment pollution
- Air and water pollution regulations in Industrial Metals & Minerals industry
- Waste management in Basic Materials sector
- Attitudes toward “green” or ecological products
- Endangered species
- Attitudes toward and support for renewable energy
Legal Factors that Impact Arch Coal, Inc.
In number of countries, the legal framework and institutions are not robust enough to protect the intellectual property rights of an organization. A firm should carefully evaluate before entering such markets as it can lead to theft of organization’s secret sauce thus the overall competitive edge. Some of the legal factors that Arch Coal, Inc. leadership should consider while entering a new market are -
- Anti-trust law in Industrial Metals & Minerals industry and overall in the country.
- Discrimination law
- Copyright, patents / Intellectual property law
- Consumer protection and e-commerce
- Employment law
- Health and safety law
- Data Protection
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