Presentation on theme: "Unit 5 Strategy Discussion Outline"— Presentation transcript:
1 Unit 5 Strategy Discussion Outline We look at sustainable competitive advantage, defined here as a competitive advantage that other companies have tried unsuccessfully to duplicate and have, for the moment, stopped trying to duplicate.We answer the questions of how a company can establish such an advantage against competitors and the significant benefits of doing so.We then move into the steps involved in the strategy-making process. This is followed by a discussion of three different kinds of strategies: corporate-level strategies, business-level strategies, and operational strategies.
2 Strategy is an Action Managers take to achieve Superior Performance HighprofitabilitySuperiorperformancerequires …Growth inprofits overtime
3 Competitive Advantage Competitive advantage – an advantage obtained when a firm outperforms its rivals, and it helps a firm to provide greater value for customers than its competitors can.Distinctive competency – a unique strength (S) that rivals lack and helps a firm attain a competitive advantage. Core capabilities are those that produce distinctive competencies and are less visible.A sustained competitive advantage – when a distinctive competency that rivals cannot easily match or imitate.
4 Things that Protect Distinctive Competencies of a company: Examples Barriers to imitation - factors that make it difficult for a firm to imitate the competitive position of a rival.Legacy constraints - prior investments in a particular way of doing business that are difficult to change and limit a firm’s ability to imitate a successful rival.
5 Competitive Advantage Low costsDistinctivecompetenciesSuperiorperformanceProductdifferentiationLearning Objective 3: Describe what is meant by competitive advantage.See Text Page: 136If protected from copying bybarriers to imitation andlegacy constraintscompetitive advantagewill be sustained
6 Characteristics of the “Distinctive” Resources Resources (e.g., assets, capabilities, processes, employee time, information, and knowledge that a firm controls) that help a firm to outperform its rivals are characterized as follows:OwnedValuableRareImperfectly imitableNon-substitutable
7 Strategy-Making The strategy-making typically involves three steps: Assessing need for strategic changeConducting a situational analysisChoosing strategic alternatives
8 AssessThe need assessment is difficult because there is a lot of uncertainty in business.Top managers should avoid competitive inertia, since they are often slow to recognize the need for strategic change.Managers must be aware of strategic dissonance.The first step of the strategy-making process is to determine whether the company needs to change is strategy to sustain a competitive advantage.Determining the need for strategic change might seem easy to do, but it’s really not. There’s a great deal of uncertainty in strategic business environments. Furthermore, top-level managers are often slow to recognize the need for strategic change, especially at successful companies that have created and sustained competitive advantages. Because they are acutely aware of the strategies that made their companies successful, they continue to rely on those strategies, even as the competition changes. In other words, success often leads to competitive inertia—a reluctance to change strategies or competitive practices that have been successful in the past.Besides being aware of the dangers of competitive inertia, what can managers do to improve the speed and accuracy with which they determine the need for strategic change? One method is to actively look for signs of strategic dissonance. Strategic dissonance is a discrepancy between a company’s intended strategy and the strategic actions managers take when actually implementing that strategy
9 U.S. Hospitals: An Example In the 20th Century, U.S. Hospitals were considered as the premier, top-notch facilities for healthcare21st Century has brought the competitive pressures from focused providersResult: Competitive disadvantage and the need for changeThis slide argues that the U.S. hospitals have become poor in the competitive arena.Your turn - Think about what factors could have affected this competitive disadvantage? What has been their or someone in their family’s experience with the U.S. healthcare industry?The profitability of the U.S. hospitals has been on the decline since 1990s. The median EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) margin for hospitals have declined from 25% in 1990 to 15% in Who could be taking the business away from these hospitals? What about private providers, smaller and more focused operations started by physicians themselves in competition with the hospitals such as, dialysis centers or cardiology centers? Also, the competition for major operations are emerging internationally at a much more affordable rate together with quality and service. Source: US Hospitals for the 21st Century, The McKinsey Quarterly, August 2006
10 Situational Analysis Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats A situational analysis can also help managers determine the need for strategic change and is an assessment of strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities in an organization’ internally and the opportunities (O) and threats (T) in its external environment.A SWOT analysis can help a company determine how to increase internal strengths and minimize internal weaknesses while maximizing external opportunities and minimizing external threats.
11 Internal AnalysisAn analysis of a company’s strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), often begins with an assessment of its distinctive competencies and core capabilities.A distinctive competence is something that a company can make, do, or perform better than competitors and is tangible – for example, a product or service is cheaper, better, or faster.A core capability is something that is less visible, such as internal decision-making routines, problem-solving processes, and organizational cultures that determine how efficiently inputs can be turned into outputs.An analysis of a company’s strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), often begins with an assessment of its distinctive competencies and core capabilities. A distinctive competence is something that a company can make, do, or perform better than its competitors.Whereas distinctive competencies are tangible—for example, a product or service is faster, cheaper, or better—the core capabilities that produce distinctive competencies are not. Core capabilities are the less visible, internal decision-making routines, problem-solving processes, and organizational cultures that determine how efficiently inputs can be turned into outputs. Distinctive competencies cannot be sustained for long without superior core capabilities.
12 External Analysis Environmental scanning Strategic group - group of companies within an industry that top managers choose to compare, evaluate, and benchmark strategic threats and opportunitiesCompetitive intelligenceEnvironmental scanning assesses the opportunities and threats in the external environment. In a situational analysis, however, managers use environmental scanning to identify specific opportunities and threats that can either improve or harm the company’s ability to sustain its competitive advantage. Identification of strategic groups is a way to do this.Strategic groups are not groups that actually work together. They are usually competitors that managers closely follow. More specifically, a strategic group is a group of other companies within an industry against which top managers compare, evaluate, and benchmark their company’s strategic threats and opportunities.When scanning the environment for strategic threats and opportunities, managers tend to categorize the different companies in their industries as core and secondary firms. Core firms are the central companies in a strategic group. Secondary firms, firms that use strategies related to but somewhat different from those of core firms.
13 Choosing Strategic Alternatives According to strategic reference point theory, managers choose between two basic alternative strategies:Conservative risk-avoiding strategyAggressive risk-taking strategyThe last step in the strategy-making process is to choose strategic alternatives that will help the company create or maintain a sustainable competitive advantage.According to strategic reference point theory, managers choose between two basic alternative strategies. They can choose a conservative risk-avoiding strategy that aims to protect an existing competitive advantage. Or they can choose an aggressive risk-seeking strategy that aims to extend or create a sustainable competitive advantage.
14 Strategic Reference Points The choice to seek risk or avoid risk typically depends on whether top management views the company as falling above or below strategic reference points. Strategic reference points are the targets that managers use to measure whether their firm has developed the core competencies that it needs to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.When a company is performing above or better than its strategic reference points, top management will typically be satisfied with the company’s strategy. Ironically, this satisfaction tends to make top management conservative and risk-averse. Since the company already has a sustainable competitive advantage, the worst thing that could happen would be to lose it, so new issues or changes in the company’s external environments are viewed as threats.By contrast, when a company is performing below or worse than its strategic reference points, top management will typically be dissatisfied with the company’s strategy. In this instance, managers are much more likely to choose a daring, risk-taking strategy. If the current strategy is producing substandard results, the company has nothing to lose by switching to a risky new strategy in the hopes that it can create a sustainable competitive advantage. Managers of companies in this situation view new issues or changes in external environments as opportunities for potential gain.
15 Risk tolerance and Strategic Alternatives: Examples In responding to changes in the external environment, managers can choose between aggressive risk-taking strategy or a conservative risk-avoiding strategy:ProspectorAnalyzerDefenderIn terms of your emphasis on growth, managers can choose between:Growth-oriented strategiesStability-oriented strategiesDefenders is an adaptive strategy to seek moderate, steady growth by offering a limited range of products and services to a well-defined set of customers. Prospectors seek fast growth by searching for new market opportunities, encouraging risk taking, and being the first to bring innovative new products to market. Prospectors are analogous to gold miners who “prospect” for gold nuggets (i.e., new products) in hopes that the nuggets will lead them to a rich deposit of gold (i.e., fast growth). Analyzers blend the defending and prospecting strategies. They seek moderate, steady growth and limited opportunities for fast growth. Analyzers are rarely first to market with new products or services. Instead, they try to simultaneously minimize risk and maximize profits by following or imitating the proven successes of prospectors.The purpose of a growth strategy is to increase profits, revenues, market share, or the number of places (stores, offices, locations) in which the company does business. Companies can grow in several ways. They can grow externally by merging with or acquiring other companies in the same or different businesses. Another way to grow is internally, by directly expanding the company’s existing business or creating and growing new businesses.The purpose of a stability strategy is to continue doing what the company has been doing, just doing it better. Companies following a stability strategy try to improve the way in which they sell the same products or services to the same customers. Companies often choose a stability strategy when their external environment doesn’t change much or after they have struggled with periods of explosive growth.The purpose of a retrenchment strategy is to turn around very poor company performance by shrinking the size or scope of the business or, if a company is in multiple businesses, by closing or shutting down different lines of the business. The first step of a typical retrenchment strategy might include making significant cost reductions; laying off employees; closing poorly performing stores, offices, or manufacturing plants; or cutting or selling entire lines of products or services. After cutting costs and reducing a business’s size or scope, the second step in a retrenchment strategy is recovery. Recovery consists of the strategic actions that a company takes to return to a growth strategy.
16 Corporate-Level Strategy Corporate-level strategy concerned with deciding which industries a firm should compete in and how the firm should enter or exit industries.Portfolio strategy and BCG MatrixDiversificationVertical integrationInternational expansionPortfolio strategy is a corporate-level strategy that minimizes risk by diversifying investment among various businesses or product lines. Just as a diversification strategy guides an investor who invests in a variety of stocks, portfolio strategy guides the strategic decisions of corporations that compete in a variety of businesses.A corporate-level strategy that minimizes risk by diversifying investment among various businesses or product lines.Companies can grow through acquisitions and also unrelated diversification and international expansion.
17 BCG MatrixThe BCG matrix is a portfolio strategy that managers use to categorize their corporation’s businesses by growth rate and relative market share, helping them decide how to invest corporate funds. Stars are companies that have a large share of a fast-growing market. To take advantage of a star’s fast-growing market and its strength in that market (large share), the corporation must invest substantially in it. The investment is usually worthwhile, however, because many stars produce sizable future profits. Question marks are companies that have a small share of a fast-growing market. If the corporation invests in these companies, they may eventually become stars, but their relative weakness in the market (small share) makes investing in question marks more risky than investing in stars. Cash cows are companies that have a large share of a slow-growing market. Companies in this situation are often highly profitable, hence the name “cash cow.” Finally, dogs are companies that have a small share of a slow-growing market. As the name suggests, having a small share of a slow-growth market is often not profitable.Since the idea is to redirect investment from slow-growing to fast-growing companies, the BCG matrix starts by recommending that the substantial cash flows from cash cows should be reinvested in stars while the cash lasts (see 1 in Exhibit 6-4) to help them grow even faster and obtain even more market share. Using this strategy allows current profits to help produce future profits. As their market growth slows over time, some stars may turn into cash cows (see 2). Cash flows should also be directed to some question marks (see 3). Though riskier than stars, question marks have great potential because of their fast-growing market. Managers must decide which question marks are most likely to turn into stars (and therefore warrant further investment) and which ones are too risky and should be sold. Over time, managers hope some question marks will become stars as their small market shares become large ones (see 4). Finally, because dogs lose money, the corporation should “find them new owners” or “take them to the pound.” In other words, dogs should either be sold to other companies or be closed down and liquidated for their assets (see 5).
18 Diversification Diversification – Entry into new business areas. Related diversity – Diversification into a business related to the existing business activities of an enterprise.Unrelated diversity – Diversification into a business not related to the existing business activities of an enterprise.Vertical integration – either a backward (upstream) integration or a forward (downstream) integration.Backward (upstream) integration getting into the industries that supply the core business. Wal-Mart is an example and has bought some of their suppliers for cost reduction purposes.Forward (downstream) integration getting into the industries that buy the core firm’s products. Coca-Cola is an example and owns many of the Coca-Cola bottlers who buy the syrup from Coca-Cola and manufacture and bottle Coke locally.
19 U-Shaped Relationship between Diversification and Risk As shown in Exhibit 6-5, there is a U-shaped relationship between diversification and risk. The left side of the curve shows that single businesses with no diversification are extremely risky (if the single business fails, the entire business fails). So, in part, the portfolio strategy of diversifying is correct—competing in a variety of different businesses can lower risk. However, portfolio strategy is partly wrong, too—the right side of the curve shows that conglomerates composed of completely unrelated businesses are even riskier than single, undiversified businesses. So, what kind of portfolio strategy does the best job of helping managers decide which companies to buy or sell? The U-shaped curve in Exhibit 6-5 indicates that the best approach is probably related diversification, in which the different business units have similar products, manufacturing, marketing, technology, and/or cultures. The key to related diversification is to acquire or create new companies with core capabilities that complement the core capabilities of businesses already in the corporate portfolio.
20 Business-Level Strategy Cost leadershipDifferentiationFocusAccording to Michael Porter, there are three positioning strategies: cost leadership, differentiation, and focus. Cost leadership means producing a product or service of acceptable quality at consistently lower production costs than competitors so that the firm can offer the product or service at the lowest price in the industry. Cost leadership protects companies from industry forces by deterring new entrants, who will have to match low costs and prices. Cost leadership also forces down the prices of substitute products or services, attracts bargain-seeking buyers, and increases bargaining power with suppliers, which have to keep their prices low if they want to do business with the cost leader.Differentiation means making your product or service sufficiently different from competitors’ offerings so that customers are willing to pay a premium price for the extra value or performance that it provides. Differentiation protects companies from industry forces by reducing the threat of substitute products. It also protects companies by making it easier to retain customers and more difficult for new entrants trying to attract new customers.With a focus strategy, a company uses either cost leadership or differentiation to produce a specialized product or service for a limited, specially targeted group of customers in a particular geographic region or market segment. Focus strategies typically work in market niches that competitors have overlooked or have difficulty serving.
21 The Low-Cost Value Cycles Lower costsHigherprofitabilityand profitgrowthEconomiesof scaleLower pricesCost leadership means producing a product or service of acceptable quality at consistently lower production costs than competitors so that the firm can offer the product or service at the lowest price in the industry.Cost leadership protects companies from industry forces by deterring new entrants, who will have to match low costs and prices. Cost leadership also forces down the prices of substitute products or services, attracts bargain-seeking buyers, and increases bargaining power with suppliers, which have to keep their prices low if they want to do business with the cost leader.Increaseddemand
22 Options for Exploiting Differentiation Increaseprices morethan costsOption 1SuccessfuldifferentiationHigherprofitabilityand profitgrowthDifferentiation means making your product or service sufficiently different from competitors’ offerings so that customers are willing to pay a premium price for the extra value or performance that it provides.Differentiation protects companies from industry forces by reducing the threat of substitute products. It also protects companies by making it easier to retain customers and more difficult for new entrants trying to attract new customers.Option 2IncreaseddemandModerate orno priceincreaseEconomies ofscale andlower costs
23 Choosing Segments to Serve: Focus Strategies Markets are characterized by different types of consumers.Focus Strategy: Serving a limited number of segments.Broad market strategy: Serving the entire market.With a focus strategy, a company uses either cost leadership or differentiation to produce a specialized product or service for a limited, specially targeted group of customers in a particular geographic region or market segment. Focus strategies typically work in market niches that competitors have overlooked or have difficulty serving.
24 Configuring the Value Chain: Operational Strategy Primary activities: Activities having to do with the design, creation, and delivery of the product; its marketing; and its support and after sales services.Support activities: Activities that provide inputs that allow the primary activities to occur.Organization architecture: The operations of the firm are embedded within the internal organization architecture of the enterprise, which includes the organization structure, incentives, control systems, people, and culture of the firm.
25 Competitive TacticsCompetitive tactics: Actions that managers take to try to outmaneuver rivals in the market.Tactical pricing DecisionsRazor and razor blade pricingPrice warTactical Product decisions:Product proliferationBundling