In a recent report by MSN UK Business News the UK Economy has contracted for the first time in 16 years. SMEs always take the brunt of a downturn, so what can SMEs do to face this challenge. The answer is simpler than you might think; it is 'get outsourcing'; in what way? Well, how aware are most SMEs of the latest business techniques, best practice, and critical success factors in their industry sector to make a difference to their business? How much time has the typical SME management invested in the past 2 years on continuous professional development (CPD) of its top managers? Is this enough to meet of the needs of the business?How well have UK SMEs mastered the skills of productive marketing in a complex world? The current gloom, noted by MSN UK's Business News on the UK Economy is an excellent reason to focus on the fundamentals: a tight grip on expenditure, and a strong focus on gaining revenue, or in better words, new customer acquisition. This is where outsourcing can prove to … [Read more...] about How Outsourcing Can Help SME’s Achieve Competitive Advantage
For achieving competitive advantage
Strategy is the competitive moves and business approaches for growing the business, creating a market position, attracting and satisfying customers, competing successfully, conducting operation, and achieving target objectives.When creating strategy, you can utilize a number of different actions: Gain sales and market share via lower prices, more performance and features, better quality, or appealing design Diversify into new businesses Strengthen competitive capabilities and shore-up competitive weaknesses Define how key organizational activities are to be handles by management Pursue new market opportunities and defend against threats Create strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships Establish a Merger or Acquisition with your rival Enter new product markets Respond to changing market conditions and external circumstances Your strategy should be aimed at creating a product or service that is distinctive from what the competitors are offering or at … [Read more...] about Crafting Strategy For a Competitive Advantage
In battle, use the direct forces to match the enemy, and use the indirect forces to win the enemy. Thus, the person who is adept at using indirect forces, can use it in such infinite ways like the ever-changing forces and elements of nature and the ceaseless flow of water in rivers and streams. Chapter Five, Sun Tzu Art of WarIn the first sentence, Sun Tzu mentioned to use direct force to match the enemy and using indirect force to win the enemy. And in the next few sentences, he mentioned that the combinations of these two types of forces are infinite and its interactions and can produce wonderful results. So how do we apply this wisdom into business?BUSINESS APPLICATIONDirect forces in war would be analogous to the quality (or price) of your services or products in business. The indirect forces in war would be analogous to the intangibles like branding (the feelings you want your consumer to be associated with when they use your product or services.) or service level in business. … [Read more...] about Sun Tzu Art of War – Using Direct and Indirect Forces to Achieve Competitive Advantage
All of us in business are constantly thinking of ways to stay ahead of our competitors, but what actually is competitive advantage? Many strategy specialists discuss competitive advantage and the need for it in business, yet very few of them actually define the term. The difficulties in finding a suitable definition may simply be the result of competitive advantage meaning what it is; i.e. an advantage in terms of competitiveness, where no exact definition is given because it is company or product specific.The notion that competitive advantage is company specific is supported by Hay and Williamson (1991, p42), where they define the term as a, "deceptively simple idea of assessing a company's capabilities and market position by how they give it advantage relative to competitors". They bring forward the opinion that competitive advantage can only be found by making a comparison between a company and its competitors. This is further supported by Barney (1991, p99) who also brings in the … [Read more...] about What Is Competitive Advantage?
An Evolving Operational FocusIn the past when companies pondered corporate strategy, operations had been peripheral to the discussion. Operations were considered a technical matter with one way of doing things and therefore not, strategic. Strategy is about products, markets, and competitive advantage with divergent possibilities.Operations were seen as a series of puzzles with single best solutions. The realization that optimization of parts did not optimize the whole led to new focus - operational management went up a level from looking at individual tasks to looking at whole processes. During the 1960s, Japanese manufactures obtained competitive advantage by optimizing operational efficiency, which meant lower prices, flexible production capabilities and a reduction in lead times. Operational considerations became a key theme in strategic discussions.During the 1990s, companies like Dell took this further. The computer market was changing faster than any other market had done in … [Read more...] about Achieving Competitive Advantage through Collaboration with Key Customers and Suppliers