Distinguishing one's firm from the alternatives is a major concern for any business. Strategic analysis provides the starting point in the strategic management process organizations use to evaluate and choose the competitive advantages that distinguish them from other organizations within the market. Dominating businesses should also "choose among alternative grand strategies to guide the firm's activities, particularly when they are trying to decide about broadening the scope of the firm's activities beyond its core business (Robinson & Pearce, 2009)." What Companies Must Consider to Realize Growth
Firms must consider many strategies when attempting to realize growth. Depending upon the stage of evolution the business is experiencing these strategies can change. Robinson and Pearce (2009) discuss in detail these stages and strategy changes in Chapter 8 of Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, & Control. Here, Kudler seems to be in the growth stage. The growth strategies "emphasize the strengths of brand recognition, product differentiation, and financial resources to support heavy marketing expenses and the effect on price competition (Robinson & Pearce, 2009)." Team C offers three of the strategies in this stage to create a competitive advantage for Kudler. Functional AreaIntroductionGrowthMaturityDecline
Marketing Resource/skills to create widespread awareness and find acceptance from customers; advantageous access to distributorsAbility to establish brand recognition, find niche, reduce price, solidify strong distribution relations, and develop new channelsSkills in aggressively promoting products to new markets and holding existing markets; pricing flexibility; skills in differentiating products and holding customer loyaltyCost-effective means of efficient access to selected channels and markets; strong customer loyalty or dependence; strong company image Production operationsAbility to expand capacity effectively, limit number of designs, develop standardsAbility to add product variants, centralize production, or otherwise lower costs; ability to improve product quality; seasonal contracting capacityAbility to improve product and reduce costs; ability to share or reduce capacity; advantageous supplier relationships; subcontractingAbility to prune product line; cost advantage in production, location or distribution; simplified inventory control; subcontracting or long production runs FinanceResources to support high net cash overflow and initial losses; ability to use leverage effectivelyAbility to finance rapid expansion, to have net cash outflows but increasing profits; resources to support product improvementsAbility to generate and redistribute increasing net cash inflows; effective cost control systemsAbility to reuse or liquidate unneeded equipment; advantage in cost of facilities; control system accuracy; streamlined management control PersonnelFlexibility in staffing and training new management; existence of employees with key skills in new products or marketsExistence of an ability to add skilled personnel; motivated and loyal workforceAbility to cost-effectively, reduce workforce, increase efficiencyCapacity to reduce and reallocate personnel; cost advantage Engineering and research developmentAbility to make engineering changes, have technical bugs in product and process resolvedSkill in quality and new feature development; ability to start developing successor productAbility to reduce costs, develop variants, differentiate productsAbility to support other grown areas or to apply product to unique customer needs Key functional area and strategy focusEngineering: market penetrationSales: consumer loyalty; market shareProduction efficiency; successor productsFinance: maximum investment recovery Sources of Distinctive Competence at Different Stages of Industry Evolution (Robinson & Pearce, 2009)
Personnel and Specialization...