Strategic responses of Stima sacco society ltd to changing environment
The co-operative sector in Kenya, is very competitive, apart from stiff regulations, customer base building and sustenance has been largely a challenge. The Saccos have to operate in an environment with stiff competition with large asset base and financial strength. However, given that Saccos depend on membership support and the fact that they are closely owned by members and supervised by the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing; the concern is how they cope with the financial sector environmental changes. The alignment between strategy and environment lies at the centre of strategic management. Correct alignment helps a firm maximize the economic benefits from resources, improve the effectiveness of operations, and boost the fulfillment of its strategic goals (Hambrick, 1983). This study is aimed at determining the nature of the environmental changes affecting SACCO Society, establishing the strategic response that Stima SACCO has developed to respond to the changes in the environment and also determining the challenges that Stima SACCO face in responding to the changes in the environment. This research was conducted through a case study design where the researcher used structured interview guide as primary data collection instrument. Data collected was purely qualitative and was analyzed by content analysis. The study also concludes that Stima Sacco has implemented some strategies to counter the changes in its environment of which the major ones included development of policies in readiness to the new law, starting of a marketing section to counter competition, developing competitive products, branding the Sacco, forming alliances with other institutions and strategic plan review. The study further concludes that strategic responses have led to improved efficiency. The study recommends that in order to remain competitive in the market, Stima Sacco should advertise itself and also conduct comprehensive market research in key potential areas where the FOSA could open up branches. The researcher further recommends that the Sacco need to improve its communication with the members and to make improvement on service delivery.