Value Chain Analysis
By Ovidijus Jurevicius | 25.04.2013
“Value chain analysis (VCA) is a process where a firm identifies its primary and support activities that add value to its final product and then analyze these activities to reduce costs or increase differentiation.” “Value chain represents the internal activities a firm engages in when transforming inputs into outputs.” Understanding the tool
VCA is a strategy tool used to analyze internal firm activities. Its goal is to recognize, which activities are the most valuable (i.e. are the source of cost or differentiation advantage) to the firm and which ones could be improved to provide competitive advantage. In other words, by looking into internal activities, the analysis reveals where a firm’s competitive advantages or disadvantages are. The firm that competes through differentiation advantage will try to perform its activities better than competitors would do. If it competes through cost advantage, it will try to perform internal activities at lower costs than competitors would do. When a company is capable of producing goods at lower costs than the market price or to provide superior products, it earns profits. M. Porter introduced the generic value chain model in 1985. Value chain represents all the internal activities a firm engages in to produce goods and services. VC is formed of primary activities that add value to the final product directly and support activities that add value indirectly. Below you can see the Porter’s VC model. Primary Activities
Although, primary activities add value directly to the production process, they are not necessarily more important than support activities. Nowadays, competitive advantage mainly derives from technological improvements or innovations in business models or processes. Therefore, such support activities as ‘information systems’, ‘R&D’ or ‘general management’ are usually the most important source of differentiation...
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