Strategic Management and Core Competences

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Core Competence Analysis
Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage

What makes you stand out from the crowd?
© iStockphoto/hidesy
The idea of "core competences" is one of the most important business ideas currently shaping our world. This is one of the key ideas that lies behind the current wave of outsourcing, as businesses concentrate their efforts on things they do well and outsource as much as they can of everything else. In this article we explain the idea and help you use it, on both corporate and personal levels. And by doing so, we show you how you can get ahead of your competition – and stay ahead. By using the idea, you'll make the very most of the opportunities open to you: * You'll focus your efforts so that you develop a unique level of expertise in areas that really matter to your customers. Because of this, you'll command the rewards that come with this expertise. * You'll learn to develop your own skills in a way that complements your company's core competences. By building the skills and abilities that your company most values, you'll win respect and get the career advancement that you want. Explaining Core Competences: The Value of Uniqueness

The starting point for understanding core competences is understanding that businesses need to have something that customers uniquely value if they're to make good profits. "Me too" businesses (with nothing unique to distinguish them from their competition) are doomed to compete on price: The only thing they can do to make themselves the customer's top choice is drop price. And as other "me too" businesses do the same, profit margins become thinner and thinner. This is why there's such an emphasis on building and selling USPs (Unique Selling Points) in business. If you're able to offer something uniquely good, customers will want to choose your products and will be willing to pay more for them. The question, though, is where this uniqueness comes from, and how it can be sustained. In their...
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