What are functional strategies?

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What are functional-level strategies?

Functional-level strategies are strategies for how the individual functional areas should operate. While there may be an overarching business-level strategy, the functional strategies are the approaches for the individual functional areas. 

Examples of functional strategies

Some common examples of functional strategies include:

Manufacturing strategy

The manufacturing strategy is the approach that the company will use to produce the products. This may include how the manufacturing processes are organized, and the extent (or lack) of work in progress throughout the manufacturing operations. For example, companies may be able to organize as just-in-time operations, and in turn, see increases in speed or reduced waste relative to other firms.

Marketing and sales strategy

The marketing and sales strategy includes who the firm is targeting and the advertising approach for targeting these customers. How will the firm create awareness of the products that it is creating? 

Innovation strategy

The innovation strategy involves how the company will create new innovations and technologies. These technologies may ultimately allow new products to be offered or additional features.

Support strategy

The support strategy involves how the company will resolve issues faced by issues. What approach will be taken to quickly resolve issues faced, and ultimately improve the product by feeding the identified issues to product development.

Importance of alignment between functional-level strategies

While each area of the business may have its own functional-level strategy to inform how it should operate, it is important that the individual functional areas are aligned with one another. Ultimately the functional strategies should be in support of the main strategy pursued by the business. The alignment ensures that the various different areas are pulling in the same direction – reinforcing one another with consistent decisions that complement one another.