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Business-Level Strategy

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Presentation on theme: "Business-Level Strategy"— Presentation transcript:

1 Business-Level Strategy
Business-level strategy: an integrated and coordinated set of commitments and actions the firm uses to gain a competitive advantage by exploiting core competencies in specific product markets

2 Core Competencies and Strategy
The resources and capabilities that have been determined to be a source of competitive advantage for a firm over its rivals Core competencies An integrated and coordinated set of actions taken to exploit core competencies and gain a competitive advantage Strategy Actions taken to provide value to customers and gain a competitive advantage by exploiting core competencies in specific, individual product markets Business-level strategy

3 Strategy Fundamental constraints Scope Value chain
What good or service to offer, to which customers Value chain How and where to create the good or service How to distribute the good or service in the marketplace(s)

4 Recall our value creation model
Costs represent specific investment choices that generate value

5 Broad or narrow scope? Consumer Markets Consumer Markets
Demographic Consumer Markets Per. Dem. Socioeconomic Con. Soc. Geographic Psychological Psy. Geo. Consumption patterns Perceptual factors Implications for configuration of value chain??

6 Broad or narrow scope? Business Markets Industrial Markets
End-use Industrial Markets Size End Product segments Geog segments Buy. Pro. Geo. Common buying factors Customer size segments Implications for configuration of value chain??

7 Source of competitive advantage - Value chains
Strategies create differences between the firm’s position and its rivals Sources of differences? - perform activities differently; perform different activities Two value-adding configurations (Porter, 1985) Low cost Differentiated

8 Comparing Scope and Source of Advantage
Competitive Advantage Cost Uniqueness Cost Leader Differentiator Broad target Integrated Cost Leader/ Differentiator Competitive Scope Narrow target Focused Cost Focused Differentiator

9 Cost Leadership Strategy
An integrated set of actions designed to produce or deliver goods or services at the lowest cost relative to competitors with features that are acceptable to customers relatively standardized products features acceptable to many customers lowest competitive price

10 Cost Leadership Strategy
Cost saving actions required by this strategy: building efficient facilities tightly controlling production costs and overhead minimizing costs of sales, R&D and service building efficient manufacturing facilities monitoring costs of activities provided by outsiders simplifying production processes

11 Cost Drivers Implications? Major Cost Drivers Economies of scale
Learning/Spillovers Capacity utilization Integration Vertical Linkages Timing Location Political/regulatory Interrelationships (corporate) Discretionary decisions Product features, performance Mix & variety of products Service levels Small vs. large buyers Process technology Wage levels Product features Hiring, training, motivation ES: (a) Indivisibilities - Inputs are lumpy or non-rival in consumption their costs can be spread over a larger level of output resulting in lower unit costs. Such inputs include R&D and advertising. (b) Specialization - When scale increases, opportunities for specialization become available. (c) Lower input costs – e.g., volume discounts, lower transaction costs, reduced inventories and other similar cost efficiencies resulting from large scale of operations. (d) Automation - scale makes more efficient methods possible, e.g., production and distribution . (e) Learning - available in production and distribution processes involving high degrees of tacit knowledge. DS: increased costs from increased scale, e.g., (a) Complexity - costs of coordination may increase more than proportionately or effectiveness may decrease. (b) Marketing and distribution - as scale increases, marketing and distributing goods in increasingly diverse and geographically dispersed markets may be necessary Learning – high rate of spillover = industry advantage; low rate = firm advantage Integration – implicit or explicit evaluation of make vs. buy decisions. Linkages – interactions among activities ↑costa → ↓costb (invest in UPS scheduling/routing) Timing – first mover advantage from lower brand diff. costs; late mover advantage from avoiding high mkt/prod dev costs Implications?

12 Value-Chain example: Cost Leader

13 Questions Leading to Lower Costs
1. How can an activity be performed differently, eliminated, externalized? 2. How can linked value activities be regrouped or reordered? 3. How can upstream/downstream collaboration lower costs?

14 Implementation Pitfalls
Exclusive focus on Mfg Misunderstand drivers (ABC useful) Failure to recognize/exploit linkages (e.g., across the board cost reductions) Contradictions – (e.g., gain mkt share through ES but allow product clutter; cross subsidies)

15 Cost Leadership and the Five Forces
Rivalry - competitors avoid price wars with cost leaders Buyers – shift demand to you, increase market power Suppliers – increased market power, absorb cost increases (low cost position) Entrants – entry barriers (scale, learning) Substitutes – reinvest econ profit to maintain advantage

16 Major Risks of Cost Leadership Strategy
There can only be one cost leader Technological change can eliminate cost advantage Spillovers lead to imitation Efficiency focus may create blind spots re: customer preferences

17 Differentiation Strategy
An integrated set of actions designed by a firm to produce or deliver goods or services that customers perceive as adding value price may exceed what the firm’s target customers are willing to pay Non-commodity products customers value differentiated features more than they value low cost

18 Some Differentiation Themes
Unique taste Dr. Pepper Multiple features Microsoft Windows and Office Wide selection and one-stop shopping Home Depot and Reliable, superior service FedEx, Ritz-Carlton Spare parts availability Caterpillar

19 Themes Prestige Quality manufacturing, few defects
Rolex Quality manufacturing, few defects Honda, Toyota Technological leadership 3M Corporation, Intel Top-of-the-line image Ralph Lauren, Kiton

20 Differentiation Strategy
Add downstream value lower buyer cost raise buyer performance Cost Add value to buyer’s value: reduce downstream processing time, search time, transaction costs, defect rates, direct costs, learning curves, labor, space, installation, etc. (e.g., CRM software)

21 Factors That Drive Differentiation
Value: Increase performance of buyer’s value chain (or consumer perception) Unique features, performance Downstream channels (e.g., Catepillar dealer network) New technologies Quality of inputs Skill or know-how Information

22 Differentiation Strategy
Some differentiation actions required by this strategy: develop new “systems” and processes signal and shape buyer perceptions quality focus capability in R&D Implication - maximize human capital contributions

23 Value-Chain example: Differentiation

24 Differentiation and the Five Forces
Rivalry - brand loyalty to differentiated products reduces price competition Buyers – differentiated products less price elastic Suppliers – absorb price increases (higher margins), pass along higher prices (buyer loyalty) Entrants – must surpass proven products or be equivalent at lower price Substitutes – diff raises switching costs

25 Pitfalls of Differentiation Strategies
Differentiating on characteristics not valued by buyers (e.g., HP) Over-differentiating Price premium is too high Failing to signal value Focusing on product instead of entire value chain

26 Focused Business-Level Strategies
A focus strategy must exploit a narrow target’s differences from the balance of the industry by: isolating a particular buyer group isolating a unique segment of a product line concentrating on a particular geographic market finding their “niche”

27 Factors Driving Focus Strategies
Large firms overlook small niches Firm may lack resources to compete in the broader market May be able to serve a narrow market segment more effectively than can larger industry-wide competitors Focus may allow the firm to direct resources to certain value chain activities to build competitive advantage

28 Major Risks of Focused Strategies
Firm may be “outfocused” by competitors Large competitor may set its sights on your niche market Preferences of niche market may change to match those of broad market

29 Advantages of Integrated Strategy
A firm that successfully uses an integrated cost leadership/differentiation strategy should be in a better position to: adapt quickly to environmental changes learn new skills and technologies more quickly effectively leverage its core competencies while competing against its rivals

30 Benefits of Integrated Strategy
Successful firms using this strategy have above-average returns Firm offers two types of values to customers some differentiated features (but less than a true differentiated firm) relatively low cost (but now as low as the cost leader’s price)

31 Major Risks of Integrated Strategy
An integrated cost/differentiation business level strategy often involves compromises (neither the lowest cost nor the most differentiated firm) The firm may become “stuck in the middle” lacking the strong commitment and expertise that accompanies firms following either a cost leadership or a differentiated strategy

32 Vertical Power (buyer/seller)
Summary: Industry and Firm Effects on Profit Patents Brands Retaliatory capability Barriers to Entry Industry Attractiveness Rivalry Substitutability Rate of Profit in Excess of the Competitive Level Firm size Financial resources Vertical Power (buyer/seller) Process technology Plant size Low-cost inputs Cost Advantage Competitive Advantage Brands Product technology Marketing capabilities Differentiation Advantage

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