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Competitive Priorities

Michael Porter (1980) described three main 'generic' competitive strategies that businesses use to achieve and maintain competitive advantage (Wikipedia 2010).

Expanding upon this concept, a business may choose to create competitive advantage on one of several ways (Chase, Jacobs, et al 2006):

  1. Cost leadership - producing high volumes of standardized products in hopes of taking advantage of economies of scale and experience curve effects (Wikipedia 2010).
  2. Differientiation - creation of a product or service that is perceived as unique (Wikipedia 2010).
    1. Quality - "conformance to requirements or fitness for use" (APICS Dictionary 2008).
      1. Transcendent quality - an ideal, a condition of excellence
      2. Product-based quality - based on a product attibute
      3. User-based quality - fitness for use
      4. Manufacturing-based quality - conformance to requirements
      5. Value-based quality - degree of excellence at an acceptable price
    2. Time
      1. Delivery speed - how quickly operations or supply chain function can fulfill a need once identified
      2. Delivery reliability - the ability to deliver products or services when promised
    3. Flexibility
      1. Mix flexibility - ability to produce a wide range of products or services
      2. Changeover flexibility - ability to provide a new product with minimal delay
      3. Volume flexibility - ability to produce whatever volume the customer needs
  3. Focus strategy - focus on a few target market segments, tailoring the marketing mix to these specialized markets (Wikipedia 2010).


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