Need 4 responses to my classmates posts and each post needs to be 150 words min with references. Please keep in order.
Thomas-1. The learning experience that resonated from our video this week was the concept of unique expertise in process, products, and customer. Specifically, related to the customer was the idea of intimacy, best solutions, and outstanding service. In my organization today, our primary goal when it comes to customer service is to be “First in Class at Managing the Relationship.” We accept and understand that we may not have the best processes in efficiencies, logistics, and standardized operations. Most products today have their unique set of features and benefits which, based on various tastes and preferences, makes it difficult to claim our organization has the best products. However, our customer service and maintaining our relationships are where we have determined to make our distinction. We accomplish this initiative by providing our customers with outstanding service and communication, listening to their needs, customer appreciation events, and technology features that are solutions focused.
The learning experience that resonated with me from Chapter 5 is the strategy of Cost Leadership. It resonates with me because I was not aware of the significant strategy and planning that was involved with being a low cost provider. I was always under the impression that being a leader in cost meant being the cheapest price in the market with low quality products. I understand now that there is so much more involved in the strategy of cost leadership (Malhotra, 2008). Ay my current organization we do not focus on price to the extent we want to be the lowest price, we focus on providing solutions that work and being first in class at managing the relationship.
The learning experience that resonated with me most from Chapter 6 are the strategic and tactical actions associated with Competitive Rivalry. It is critical for organizations to develop a strategy that will protect their turf. When a new competitor enters a market it is very important that a company employs actions that will prevent the new competitor from capturing market share. This action can include price reductions, improved logistics, increased and added services, and new products that will create additional value. When a new competitor enters one of our markets we attempt to find out as much information as possible on how they go to market. Some of the issues we attempt to uncover are quality of products, selling price, distribution network, and their reputation in our Industry. We also attempt to learn their strategy so we can kick holes in how they go to market.
The learning experience that resonated with me from our article, “When Winning is Everything,” is that pressure from the spotlight can influence an organization to make decisions that at times they may be better off not making. In the glare of the spotlight companies can become caught up in the moment and perhaps buy a rival company they should not buy, or equally concerning overpay for a company they want to purchase. Our organization has been tempted to participate in this type of behavior, in spite of this, fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed and as far back as I can recall, we have overcome this type of temptation. Everyone, who is honest with themselves, wants to win, most of us at any cost. However, this is when we must scrutinize the opportunity closely to make sure our behavior is in the best interest of our organization.
Hoskisson, R. E. (2013 ). Competing for Advantage. Mason: Cengage Learning.
Kryseyski, D. (2013, May 10). Alternate Competitive Advantage. Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPu4v_Ae0Vc
Micheal O-2. There is a section of chapter 5 that talks about customer relationships as they pertain to the business-level strategy perspective. A learning that caught my attention was in regards to a firm determining what customers to serve or what market segmentation to go after. The book states that “a crucial decision related to a business-level strategy is the one a company makes about who, or which customers, to target the firm’s goods or services. To make this decision, companies divide customers into groups based on differences in the customers’ needs” (Hoskisson, 2013, p. 146). The reason that this stuck out to me is because of how the company I work for (PepsiCo) has been slowly expanding their product portfolio to appeal to a different market segmentation. The release of healthier oriented products and the acquisition of companies that do not fit the traditional PepsiCo mold are examples of how they are doing this.
In chapter 6, standard-cycle markets are discussed. These are “those in which the firm’s competitive advantages are moderately shielded from imitation and where imitation is moderately costly” (Hoskisson, 2013, p. 192). I found this particularly interesting because the text uses both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo as examples of intense competition in a standard-cycle market. The competition even goes beyond the products themselves, as the book states. Both companies are actively engaged in sustainability efforts as competition. I am not as versed in what Coca Cola is doing to spearhead this initiative, but PepsiCo is working towards using electrical powered delivery vehicles, reducing waste in all facilities (we actually have a net zero waste manufacturing facility in Casa Grande), and to reduce our environmental footprint from a water standpoint.
In the article, When Winning is Everything, there is an interesting story about executives that didn’t like each other and one of them planning to sell his share in the company to the other. The point of the anecdote was to illustrate emotional response created by competitive arousal (Malhotra, Ku, & Murnighan, 2008, p. 84). What I found really interesting about it was the difference in price after the executive thought about it overnight. He literally dropped the price by $800,000, proving the emotional and irrational initial response. Years ago I worked for a manager that did a good job teaching me and my peers around responding to things emotionally, mostly through email. He instructed us not to respond to emails that get us charged up immediately, and instead to go ahead and write a draft, but not to send it. A couple of hours later, go back and re-read what was written and then make the decision of whether or not to send it at that point. It is still a tactic that I use to this day, and frankly it has saved me from a lot of embarrassment and having to explain myself.
The most interesting thing that I found while watching the Alternative Competitive Advantage video was actually the question that the author posed. “Why do your customers choose your company over every other competitor in the market?” (Kryscynski, 2013). While watching the clip, I was sort of trying to figure out which value discipline best matched the strategy of that PepsiCo uses, and I was a little unsure because I feel that we excel in all three of those values. However, that question put everything into perspective for me. Our customers choose our products over competitors because we are product leaders. We sell high quality products that people choose to buy over the competitors.
Hoskisson, Robert E. Competing For Advantage. 3rd ed. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Kryscynski, D. (2013). Alternative Competitive Advantage. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPu4v_Ae0Vc
Malhotra, D., Ku, G., & Murnighan, J. (2008). When Winning is Everything. Harvard Business Review, 78-86. Retrieved from https://my.northwood.edu
Isbel-3. Marcus: You stated that ” We have records of past purchases of our customers so that we can offer them the product proactively when weather changes or a festival comes. We even follow customers with their personal engagements and give them suggestions from time to time. For example, we offer a complete make up range to a customer who is going to be married next month by keeping in mind her skin type and specific choices. Though this strategy is costly, it is sure to yield a loyal customer base.” It seems your company does a very good job to retain the customers. Does your company do anything to react to its competitors when they launch any new strategy to gain the market share?
Chapter 5 Business-Level Strategy
Cost leadership strategy is an “Integrated set of actions designed to produce or deliver goods or services with features that are acceptable to customers at the lowest cost, relative to competitors” (Hoskisson, Hitt, Ireland, Harrison, 2013, p. 149). This strategy resonates with me because of the risk assessment defined in our text. The risks associated with the cost leadership strategy include: processing becoming obsolete, understanding customer perceptions and needs is not the focus, this strategy can be imitated, and prices can be cut too low (Hoskisson, Hitt, Ireland, Harrison, 2013, p. 154). One of my organization’s strengths in manufacturing is continuous improvement and cost reduction through waste elimination. For example, every month the manufacturing plants participate in a one week workshop in which they identify a cost reduction initiative and dedicate the necessary resources to resolve the issue and reduce cost for that product line. These workshops result in cost reductions that are directly reflected in the bottom line upon proper implementation and standardization.
Chapter 6 Competitive Rivalry and Competitive Dynamics
“Quality exists when the firm’s goods or services meet or exceed customers’ expectations. Thus, in the eyes of customers, quality involves doing the right things relative to performance measures that are important to them” (Hoskisson, Hitt, Ireland, Harrison, 2013, p. 184). This principle resonates with me because I spent almost 20 years in the field of quality and this is the best description I have ever seen in writing regarding customer expectations. Quality really is about doing the right things, it is not just about the end results of having produced a good product. My organization has significantly improved in understanding that quality is involved in every aspect of our products, from design and development to the production processes used in manufacturing to the handling for packaging, shipping, and delivery. It can be very difficult to overcome a reputation for bad quality through the eyes of the customer.
Article: When Winning Is Everything
This week’s article explained what competitive arousal is, what drives this type of behavior, and how to mitigate risk when dealing with it. Competitive arousal is when “decision making is driven by an adrenaline-fueled emotional state” (Malhotra, Ku, Murnighan, 2008, p. 78). Both the list of drivers and the actions for risk mitigation resonated with me because of how I see my organization deal with these situations. The drivers for competitive arousal include rivalry, time pressure, and audience scrutiny. Rivalry is my company’s main driver because our competition can offer the same products we do, with similar quality standards, so the sourcing decision almost always comes down to cost alone for our customers. It was interesting to read that circumventing competition was one of the risk mitigation processes listed. This basically suggested the management should anticipate the dynamics that influence competitive arousal and restructure their deal-making process to eliminate these conditions. This idea looks good on paper but is much easier said than done from what I have witnessed in the past.
Video: Alternative Competitive Advantage
This week’s video explained an alternate competitive advantage as compared to cost leadership or differentiation strategies. The video defines these alternatives as three different types of leadership depending on whether the focus is to achieve superiority in process, product, or customer (Kryscynski, 2013). A company pursuing process leadership focuses on highly standardized processes, cost reduction, and waste elimination. A company pursuing product leadership focuses on distinctive and superior product, technology, and style. A company pursuing customer leadership focuses on intimacy and bonding with the customer, outstanding service, and providing the best solution for each customer. My organization is a process leader and focuses on highly standardized processes and cost reduction. This is one of our greatest strengths as referenced earlier through my example of waste elimination workshops to achieve cost reduction and standardization.
Hoskisson, R., Hitt, M., Ireland, R., & Harrison, J. (2013). Competing for Advantage (3rd ed.). Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Kryscynski, D. (May 10, 2013). Alternative Competitive Advantage. Youtube. Retrieved 3 March 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPu4v_Ae0Vc
Malhotra, D., Ku, G., & Murnighan, J.K. (2008). When Winning Is Everything. Harvard Business Review, May, 78-86.