Organizations can adopt a number of different strategic moves to create a competitive advantage in its market segment. The ultimate aim is to create a clear and recognizable difference that may be important to the customers, and it should be something which the competitors cannot match.
A competitive advantage can be created by developing a strategy of leadership focusing on operational and functional attributes such as cost, quality, innovation and customer experience. However, PRTM Management Consulting says that an organization should identify the single factor that it is extraordinarily well in and then focus on the right strategy depending on the identified factor.
Various information systems strategy can let an organization have a strong competitive advantage by making it able to capture and share the knowledge of the experts in the company. By utilizing the knowledge-capture software or a secure and dedicated forum on the website, one can ask the experts to contribute the best practice, advice or information on various important business processes. Sharing the knowledge can reduce costs or improve performance and efficiency in the areas of competitive advantage, such as product development, production, engineering and customer service.
Costs can be an important competitive advantage. By being a low-cost producer, an organization can offer customers the prices that the competitors can’t match. Offering low prices while keeping the quality intact can strengthen the competitive advantage further. There are number of strategic moves that can be applied to reduce costs, including making an investment in efficient equipment, outsourcing production to a low-cost producer, or partnering with suppliers to improve the supply-chain efficiency.
Innovative strategy offers a competitive advantage by developing goods and services that differentiates the company and meets the customer demands more effectively than competitors. The product development program should focus on features that offer customers some exceptional value or a unique add-on. These innovative features provide a strong advantage due to the fact that competitors find it difficult to imitate these strategies or to offer substitutes of same value.
A partnership strategy can also offer competitive advantage. Suitable partners can provide access to strategically important skills, components and/or many other resources that can enable the organization to innovate and differentiate. Integrating the operations with partners in the supply chain area can also aid in getting a competitive advantage. It can provide exclusive access to key supplies and may significantly create barriers to entry for competitors.
Forrester Research says that knowledge of customers and providing significantly detailed service are the single most sustainable type of competitive advantage. There are four key areas to consider −
● Customer research;
● Quality of customer experience and customer service;
● Sales channels providing huge customer information; and
● Marketing material using customer information to create significant personalization.