Speed as a Competitive Advantage

Topics: Strategic management, Decision making, Gillette Pages: 15 (4691 words) Published: June 15, 2009
Speed as a Competitive Advantage

Rosita Hadzhiyankova

Wuhan University of Technology
February, 2009


1) Introduction page 3

2) Speed as a Competitive Advantage page 3

3) Speed in Inbound Logistics page 5

4) Speed in Operations page 5

5) Speed in Outbound Logistics page 6

6) Speed in Sales and Marketing page 6

7) Speed in Service page 7

8) Speed in Administration and Management page 7

9) Speed in Human Resources Management page 8

10) Speed in Technology Development page 9

11) Speed in Procurement page 10

12) The special connection between speed and technology page 10

13) Speed is not free page 11

14) Conclusion page 11

15) Bibliography page 12

1) Introduction

The business environment has changed intensely in the past few decades. The customers nowadays are better educated, know what they want and are able to recognize quality and their customer decisions are not based only on price. In addition, the general and industrial environments are changing faster than our minds can grasp it; new inventions cause the bankrupts of companies and the emergence of new ones. Internet has become tool for the small companies to reach faraway markets they couldn’t reach before. As a result a company’s rivals can be situated in different spots all over the world. Competition is stiff, dynamic, severe and intolerable to mistakes. If a company wants to survive and go ahead of its competitors, it must have a competitive advantage over its rivals. Competitive advantage comes from the company’s unique skills and resources that help it implement strategies that competitors cannot implement with the same level of effectiveness. It is the reason for a firm to be in business. It is what it does best that draws customers to buy its product/service instead of its competitor's.

The greatest goal of a company is to make money and in particular to earn above-average returns. According to Michael Porter only a sustainable competitive advantage can get us to an above-average performance within one industry. He divides the types of advantage strategies as cost leadership and differentiation. Achieving cost leadership means that a firm sets out to become the low cost producer in the industry and achieving differentiation means that the company seeks to be unique in the industry with something that is highly appreciated by buyers. Both can be broadly or narrowly approached. The narrow approach results in a third type of competitive strategy: focus. A company with focused strategy sets out to be the best in one segment or in a group of segments. There are two variations: cost focus and differentiation focus. There is however an important strategy that he has neglected –...
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