The understanding of the voice of the customer - internal as well as external - is key to implementing business strategies for a Six Sigma company. VOC data is useful to ensure that the data collated is real and factual and relevant to the goals of the business.A useful and structured tool that helps to understand the requirements of the customers and translate them into business deliverables is the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) tool.The QFD tool focuses on the positive qualities that lead to customer delight. It finds objects that may delight the customer and improves upon them. QFD is useful when the business is aware of the customer's requirements, but is unable to have internal measurements comparative to the requirements.It is useful when a large investment is needed for a new product. When there is no agreement on delivering customer requirements and there is stiff competition in the market segment, QFD can be of great assistance.How Does QFD Work?The basic idea of QFD is to … [Read more...] about Quality Function Deployment For Competitive Advantage
Positioning for competitive advantage
We have all read about changing demographic trends and the impending labor shortage, but it seems that few are aware of its potential implications. The data suggests that we are on the verge of an employment 9/11, and many employers are completely unprepared for it.In the past, it has been product and service innovation that have been the drivers to long term revenue growth. In our view, there are four emerging employment trends that in combination will create a tipping point in the labor market, resulting in a clear competitive advantage for companies who invest in becoming best in class employers:1. Changing Demographics - According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of managers will be eligible for retirement by 2012. By 2016, there will be a projected shortfall of 3 million American workers. The exodus of baby boomers from the workforce will be nothing less than extraordinary. With the growth rate for workers between the age of 30-44 in decline, there will be a void of … [Read more...] about Best in Class Employers – How Employer Brands Will Create Competitive Advantage in the New Economy
Developing competitive advantage in the market place is not the easiest thing to accomplish.According to Wikipedia,"Competitive advantage is a position that a company occupies in its competitive landscape. A competitive advantage, sustainable or not, exists when a company makes a profit, that is, their earnings exceed their costs.. That means that normal competitive pressures are not able to drive down the firm's earnings to the point where they cover all costs and just provide minimum sufficient additional return to keep capital invested. Most forms of competitive advantage cannot be sustained for any length of time because the promise of profits invites competitors to duplicate the competitive advantage held by any one firm.""A firm possesses a sustainable competitive advantage when it has value-creating processes and positions that cannot be duplicated or imitated by other firms that lead to the production of above-normal rents."Wow.... That's a mouthful and pretty simplistic. … [Read more...] about Competitive Advantage – Make Your Strategic Plan Your Launching Pad
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 amazing thing happened today that exemplifies the power of the "global network".I received a call from UPS Japan. They have to deliver a parcel from America to my Italian associate that lives in Tokyo. The address on the waybill was incorrect and there was no telephone number on the waybill.UPS wanted to deliver this parcel so they did a search on google inputting my associate's name. What they came up with was my Intrmarket Solutions web site at http://www.intrmarketsolutions.com. They searched through my contact information which was very easily accessible in an extremely simple way and called me. I provided the telephone number of my associate and told them that if they cannot get through (he may be away on business) to call me back and I would provide the most recent mailing address for them to deliver the parcel.I contacted my associate to confirm that UPS did get through so his parcel is on the way to his office. This is a real-life example of how the internet was used to … [Read more...] about The Power of the Network: How to Develop Competitive Advantage in Business