Dissertation on British Gas Research Methodology and Data Analysis

Dissertation on British Gas Research Methodology and Data Analysis

This is final part consists Dissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data Analysis. this complete dissertation in Three parts so See previous parts and enhance knowledge with this part of dissertation.

Brief research methodology

The research is designed in such a way that it involves various aspects and view points from not only officials and management of the organization but also incorporates viewpoints of consumers of the products and services. The research is adopting the mixed research methodology with both primary and secondary research as a part of it. In secondary research the researcher will go through an in depth analysis of various literature available about the organization in particular and pricing theories and models in general (Brannen, 1992).The literature review will be done by using a large number of articles, journals, previous studies, e-journals, annual reports and books related to the subject. The researcher will go through the resources available by using various databases and libraries and extract relevant information. Based on that information arguments will be developed in favor and against the pricing policies of the organization (Drew et al., 1996). The data collected will be sorted on the basis on aims and objectives of the study and any redundant data will be discarded before analyzing. In second phase of study a primary research will be conducted.

Read research proposal british gas pricing strategy>>>>>>

The samples will be broadly classified into two groups

  1. The officials and management of the organization
  2. The consumers of the products and services

These two groups will be the focus of primary study. The sample will be selected by simple random selection technique and the tool for data collection will be questionnaire and interview. The interview will be primarily used for data collection from the company officials. The interview could be either personal interview or a telephonic interview based on the situation and resources available (Malhotra, 2007). The questionnaire will be used to collect data from the consumers of the BG group. The research is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. The data collected from primary research will be sorted and analyzed using various analysis tools like SPSS and NIVIVO. The results of the analysis will be presented with the recommendations and conclusion of the study. The research study will have its limitations as well, which will be discussed in dissertations and proper steps will be taken to minimize the impact of limitations on the result of the study (Gray, 2004).

SAMPLE SIZE-

The sample size is capped at 50 consumers for questionnaire filling

And sample size for the group of British gas officials is capped at 5 who will be providing the researcher personal interviews.

Both samples are selected by simple random selection technique and data

DATA ANALYSIS

Data analysis for questionnaire filled by consumers of British gas

A. Questionnaire for consumers of British gas

  1. Please state your name and address
  2. Are you a domestic consumer or industrial consumer answers in yes or no?
  3. Since how many years you are a Customer Relationship of British gas? Tick one option
  •     5 years and above
  •     2-5 years
  •     0-2 years
B. Please answer following questions in yes or no:-
  • Are you satisfied with the services provided by British gas?
  • Do you find quality of the products offered by British gas better than competitors?
  • Do you find the prices charged by British gas for its services are reasonable in comparison to the services they offer?
  • Are you using British gas as you have no other viable alternative present?
  • Do you find that British gas changes its prices very frequently?
  • If provided with another gas supplier would you prefer to change from British gas?
C. Please answer the following question on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being always and 5 being never
  • In case of complaint about services does it get rectified within the stipulated time?
  • In your opinion British gas is a superior supplier than other players in product quality and services?
  • Does British gas ever encouraged you to go for a long term supply agreement
  • Is there a special advantage or discount offered for bulk purchase?
  • Does British gas reduce its prices in case the international price for fuel reduces?
  • Does British gas changes its prices regularly?
  • Does British gas charges premium for its services?
  • Did you ever experience any unjustified or unclear increase in prices by British gas? Answer in yes or no
  • Are you aware of other competitive suppliers and their prices? Answer in yes or no
  • If yes what is your opinion about their prices in comparison with British gas.
  1. Higher than competitors
  2. Equivalent to competitors
  3. Lower than competitors

Data analysis

Questionnaire for consumers of British gas (sample size 50)

Q.A :- name and address of each respondent.

Q.B :- are you a domestic or industrial consumer

ans.  40 samples are from domestic consumers and 10 from industrial consumers.

Q.C:- since how many years you are a customer of British gas
  1. 20 customers are using British gas since 5 years and above
  2. 20 customers are in range of 2-5 years
  3. 10 customers are in range of 0-2 years.
Q.D:- ( out of sample size 50)Dissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data AnalysisQ E questions with responses recorded on a likert scale (for sample size 50)

Dissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data Analysis

table Dissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data AnalysisQ F. unjustified and unclear increase in price (responses of 50 consumers)

table2Dissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data AnalysisQ G. awareness about competitors and their prices

tableeeDissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data AnalysisQ h. what is the perception of prices of competitors in comparison to British gas (only for 45 samples who said yes in previous question?)

tableaaDissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data Analysis

See the first part, dissertation on british gas introduction and research methodology>>>>>>>

Data analysis of interview of british gas officials

Interview for british gas officials

  • Which department are you working with and since how many years?
  • kindly mention your name and rank in the company
  • Please rank on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being always and 5 as never following questions?
  1. Gas pricing in British gas is based on market forces?
  2. Do you find that gas prices are revised regularly by British gas as per international prices?
  3. Is demand and supply theory is applied while deciding for prices in British gas?
  4. Do you find the pricing formula used by British gas as rationale?
  5. Is there a direct government intervention in any form when there is a price revision?
  6. Is there a substantial difference in prices applicable for retail market and bulk usage?
  7. Is there a pricing difference in domestic and international market served by British gas?
  • If yes then is it partial or complete benefit is transferred
  • If yes then please elaborate?
  • Approximately how many times year British gas revise their prices?
  • Does prices offered by competitors is also taken into consideration while deciding on prices?
  • Is there a regulatory committee in the company that decides the prices and their revision? Answer in yes or no?
  • Please explain in your own words pricing structure used by British gas?
  • If yes then who are the members of that committee and what is their procedure to make the changes?
  • Is there any kind of subsidy or rebate available on the products in any market served by you?
  • Is your pricing linked with long term strategy of the organization?
  • Does benefit of reduction in international prices of the crude oil and gas is passed on to the customers respectively?
  • What is company’s current Market strategy?
  1. Market penetration
  2. Market skimming
  • Does company apply differential pricing formula for any of its product?

Data analysis of responses

Data Analysis for interview with British gas officials

The interview was organized for 3 British gas officials and telephonically interview took place in which questions were asked by the researcher to the official regarding their job profile and different pricing models adopted by British Gas statistics for its products and services.

Based on the data collected after interview researcher draw conclusions and observations.

Analysis

Official 1:- Mr. A

Official 2 :- Mr. B

Official 3 :- Mr. C  ( Names are not published as per the request of interviewer)

All officials are working on post of senior manager in departments of planning and finance since more than 10 years.

Interviews

Q 3

table 7Q 4

  1. the pricing structure used by British gas is based on simple concepts of market like demand and supply’ cost of production and transmission and overheads bore by the company. The minor details of pricing might be having some complex calculations but is primarily based on simple basic law of pricing.
  2. pricing structure is dynamic in nature and there are lots of factors which are considered before deciding on to prices of final product. They are also affected by the future forecasting of demand and production. Basic concepts are same for pricing which is linked with demand and cost of production which is also dependent on international prices but company tries to balance the cost by improving on transmission and reduction in slippage etc.
  3. pricing is not decided by a single person but it is basically a collective and conceptual decision which is based on various factors which are internal and external for the Organizational Behaviour. Competitive scenario is also taken into consideration in each market and prices are fluctuating in nature which is linked with international market. Slight disturbance in oil producing areas can sky rocket the prices based on speculation of reduced production.
Q 5

ANS:

table 8 Q 6

  1. the committee is made up of top management officials from various departments like production planning’ marketing’ operations’ finance and accounts etc. the committee is headed by the MD of the organization who will make the changes in the pricing decision after hearing all the pro’s and con’s of price change and take a decision by the majority consents.
  2. the committee consists of top management officials from different departments and headed by the MD of company and other top management member where a collective decision is taken about such changes.
  3. committee is formed of members from different departments who will speculate the impacts of changes and provide their reports to the MD and other top management officials and based on that a collective decision is taken through a democratic process.
Q 7 Consideration of competition before a making price change decisiontable3 Dissertation British Gas Research Methodology Data Analysis

Q 8 Subsidy or rebate available for products in any markets served by British gas

not offered by the company but in certain markets of asia and occasional European countries the governments provides the subsidy and compensate the company for the amount which is rebated.8 Subsidy or rebate available for products in any markets served by British gas
  1. in a few markets where government policies of subsidy on fuel are applicable.
  2. occasional markets where government gives subsidy to their citizen for domestic fuel usage or to industries of national importance.
Q 9

Dissertation table British Gas Research Methodology Data AnalysisQ10

british gas table

Q11

  1. prices are decided in such a way that we remain competitive in the market and provide value for money to our consumers by products and services. This is how we maintain our linkage with the long term strategy of remaining sustainable in the market.
  2. the prices are always in accordance with the market and we always attempt to explain over consumers why a price change is necessary. This makes us a honest and transparent organization and we provide excellent back end support to our consumer base. We try to maintain long term relationship with our customers and always attempts to go for a long term agreement with consumers. This will help us to grow and expand in future which is our long term strategy of remaining sustainable.
  3. prices are decided in such a way that they are justifiable considering the international prices of crude oil and the services which we are providing. We have a huge clientele base who are satisfied with our services and provide us positive feedback. We as a organization adopt the policy to pass any benefit we have in terms of price reduction in international market to our consumers and gain their confidence. We follow any changes in the consumer mind set very closely and make changes where ever required thus making the company a long term sustainable organization.
Q 12

table 45 british gas

Q 13

table no 21

Q 14

45table

Q 15

tabe 15

Observations and interpretations

After the data analysis of Questionnaire filled by consumers of British gas and interviews of officials of British gas following interpretations are made and observed.

  1. Approximately 80 percent of British gas consumers are domestic in numbers.
  2. 8 out of 10 consumers of British gas are its consumers from last 2 years and above.
  3. Number of satisfied consumers who are happy with the services provided by British gas and finds the prices reasonable in comparison to its competitor’s ranges from 60 to 70 percent.
  4. A part of consumers which lies in the range of 15 to 18 percent agrees that they are using British gas as they do not have any alternative present while 22 percent consumers are agreeing that provided a chance they might want to change their gas supplier.
  5. In a much unexpected development more than 50 percent consumers agrees that price changes done by British gas are unclear and unjustified. However the same consumer group is aware of the competitors and their prices and still prefers the British gas over them.
  6. 58 percent consumer finds the prices of British gas equivalent to its competitors while 35 percent finds it higher than its competitors.
  7. It is also observed that 15 percent of consumers are not satisfied with the time consumed by the company to rectify any problem they are facing.
  8. Approximately 50 percent consumers also agree that British gas charges premium for its services occasionally almost same number of consumers also agrees that British gas changes its prices frequently as per the prices of international oil prices.
  9. 55 percent consumers agree that British gas encourages them to go for a long term supply agreement to avoid price fluctuations and offers them discounts on bulk purchases
  10. Majority of consumers finds that often the services of British gas are superior to its competitors however 20 percent consumers disagree with the fact.

Interpretation and observations made from the interview

  1. Three officials were interviewed from the company who have a work experience of more than 10 years and directly involved with the pricing strategy of British gas.
  2. Officials agree that prices of British gas are directly linked with the international market and they are revised on a regular basis based on that.
  3. The prices are based on the basic formula of demand and supply and government intervention is almost very occasional and limited to observation and intervention only when it is necessary.
  4. There are differences in the prices of domestic market and international markets of gas as different tax rates are applicable on them while there is a difference in prices on bulk purchase as well for industrial and domestic consumers because of their long term agreements and bulk deals.
  5. The pricing formulae used by British gas is very simple and based on basic laws of economics like demand and supply in which over head costs are included with a healthy profit margin.
  6. The pricing changes are done by a top management committee which is headed by the MD and top officials who collectively takes the decision of making changes in the prices.
  7. Competitive organizations prices and services they are offering is also considered before making a price change in British gas.
  8. Company does not have any policy of providing subsidy or rebate in any of its market and the prices are linked with the international market and foreign exchange value of that country’s currency. The subsidy decisions are based on government policies and any subsidy provided by the government to consumers is compensated to the company by government directly.
  9. Official agree that British gas changes its prices approximately 2-4 times in a year based on fluctuations in market.
  10. While making a pricing decision the long term goal of organization of growth and sustainability in the market is always considered and prices are raised accordingly so that consumers does not feel that company is overpricing them.
  11. The organization follows the marketing strategy of market penetration as they are a producer of product which is used by masses and their aim is to grow their market share. They operate in 25 different countries and have a huge consumer base thus making their strategy fully market penetration.
  12. Company does not apply any differential pricing formula on its products or services and any changes in the international prices which causes a reduction in gas prices is passed on to the consumers as much as possible.

Recommendations and conclusion

Based on the data provided by the sample size and its analysis the researcher was able to make some observations and interpretations. After analyzing all observations following recommendations are provided by researcher to conclude the study.

  1. The pricing structure of British gas is based on demand and supply formula where company adds its overhead costs and other expenses before adding margins of profit.
  2. Company should try to be more flexible about pricing decision and faster in passing on any benefits to the consumers.
  3. Company should make a more transparent and publicly open pricing policy where consumers can be well informed and does not perceive that decisions are unjustified and unclear as it is observed in the data collected.
  4. Company can adopt differential pricing policy for certain products and services to gain benefits from the sudden increase in demand or decrease in supplies. It can also work a mixed model approach where different types of pricing strategies can be used as per the situation of the market.
  5. Company should increase its focus on the end level services to its consumers as a substantial section of the consumer base is not satisfied with the services and rectification of their problem.
  6. Company do encourages for long term purchase agreement to its consumers but on the back end of operations company can also go for a long term purchase agreement with its suppliers so that highly volatile market of crude oil will have a lesser impact on company profitability and prices it charges to its consumers.
  7. Long term stability in prices for both purchase and supply of gas is good for company because they can attract more customers with that and their forecasting model will also be more accurate that a fluctuating prices model.
  8. Researcher also recommends that using only market penetration strategy is not highly profitable to the consumers so in newer markets where company faces less competition it can go for a mixed approach where market skimming is done at initial level and then in long term market is penetrated. This way profit margin of company can be enhanced.

Limitations of the study

Like any research study this study also has certain limitations. This research is done at an academic level where researcher is a student so based on the constraints of sample size and access to the company for interview the research has to be kept at a brief level. For complete understanding of the pricing model and concepts behind it a elaborate study with a large sample size and complete access to the company policy matters is recommended. The study is mixed approach in nature where both qualitative as well as quantitative parts are included. It is attempted by the researcher to keep the study as objective as possible still in personal interviews a certain level of subjectivity gets involved. To rectify the subjectivity any redundant data was discarded and revalidation of data is done to ensure its authenticity. The author was given access for only telephonic interview with the company official who has its own limitations. In a telephonic interview the researcher cannot observe the body language and expressions of an interviewee which can impact the interpretations made by the researcher. Research study also has the limitations of financial restraints and time limitations which causes the researcher to avoid in depth analysis of various aspects of study which provides gaps for further studies in similar subject. The un touched parts of the study like reasons behind the company not using differential pricing policy or keeping its marketing strategy limited to market penetration only is providing new thread for future research on subject matter.

Conclusion

British gas is one of the largest gas and energy corporations of UK and it has business interest in various countries and regions. The demand of gas is increasingly rapidly and it is forecasted that in near future the prices of oil based fuel products like petrol and diesel will be so high that gas will be the primary fossil fuel of choice for industries and vehicle manufacturers. Gas has the advantage of being available in abundance relative to oil and it is also a cleaner source of energy. The cost of using gas for the same amount of energy as oil fuels is relatively cheaper. Majority of new power plants and other large industries especially in developing world are based on natural gas. Since these developing economies are considered as the future economic giants of the world the business opportunity for organizations like British gas is immense in future and if they keep their pricing policies and structure in accordance with the market their long term stability and growth is assured with very healthy profit margins.

See the second part, dissertation on british gas literature review>>>>>>

References
  • Smith, T. (2011) Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures. USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • McCullough, Michael (2006). "The Guru of Gasoline" Alberta Venture [Date accessed: 18th Oct, 2011].
  • Kitasei, Saya. (2010)  Powering the Low-Carbon Economy: The Once and Future Roles of Renewable Energy and Natural Gas World watch Institute pages 234-297
  • Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2010) Principles of Marketing (13th edition) Pearson Education pp231-432
  • Data Book (2010)  Bg-group.com.  [web page] http://www.bggroup.com/InvestorRelations/Reports/db2010/Pages/default.aspx Retrieved 18th  Oct  2011.
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