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2. Competitiveness, Strategy, and Productivity. Learning Objectives. List and briefly discuss the primary ways that business organizations compete. List five reasons for the poor competitiveness of some companies.

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Competitiveness strategy and productivity


Competitiveness, Strategy, and Productivity

Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

  • List and briefly discuss the primary ways that business organizations compete.

  • List five reasons for the poor competitiveness of some companies.

  • Define the term strategy and explain why strategy is important for competitiveness.

  • Contrast strategy and tactics.

Learning objectives1

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss and compare organization strategy and operations strategy, and explain why it is important to link the two.

  • Describe and give examples of time-based strategies.

  • Define the term productivity and explain why it is important to organizations and to countries.

  • List some of the reasons for poor productivity and some ways of improving it.

Competitiveness strategy and productivity


How effectively an organization meets the wants and needs of customers relative to others that offer similar goods or services

Businesses compete using marketing

Businesses Compete Using Marketing

  • Identifying consumer wants and needs

  • Pricing

  • Advertising and promotion

Businesses compete using operations

Businesses Compete Using Operations

  • Product and service design

  • Cost

  • Location

  • Quality

  • Quick response

Businesses compete using operations1

Businesses Compete Using Operations

  • Flexibility

  • Inventory management

  • Supply chain management

  • Service and service quality

  • Managers and workers

Why some organizations fail

Why Some Organizations Fail

  • Too much emphasis on short-term financial performance

  • Failing to take advantage of strengths and opportunities

  • Neglecting operations strategy

  • Failing to recognize competitive threats

Why some organizations fail1

Why Some Organizations Fail

  • Too much emphasis in product and service design and not enough on improvement

  • Neglecting investments in capital and human resources

  • Failing to establish good internal communications

  • Failing to consider customer wants and needs

Mission strategy tactics





How does mission, strategies and tactics relate to

decision making and distinctive competencies?



  • Mission

    • The reason for existence for an organization

  • Mission Statement

    • States the purpose of an organization

  • Goals

    • Provide detail and scope of mission

  • Strategies

    • Plans for achieving organizational goals

  • Tactics

    • The methods and actions taken to accomplish strategies

Planning and decision making

Planning and Decision Making

Figure 2.1




Functional Goals

Finance Strategies









Strategy example

Strategy Example

Example 1

Rita is a high school student. She would like to have a career in business, have a good job, and earn enough income to live comfortably

Mission: Live a good life

  • Goal: Successful career, good income

  • Strategy: Obtain a college education

  • Tactics: Select a college and a major

  • Operations: Register, buy books, take courses, study, graduate, get job

Examples of strategies

Examples of Strategies

  • Low cost

  • Scale-based strategies

  • Specialization

  • Flexible operations

  • High quality

  • Service

Strategy and tactics

Strategy and Tactics

  • Distinctive Competencies

    The special attributes or abilities that give an

    organization a competitive edge.

  • Strategy Factors

    • Price

    • Quality

    • Time

    • Flexibility

    • Service

    • Location

Examples of operations strategies

Examples of Operations Strategies


Low Cost

U.S. first-class postage

Motel-6, Red Roof Inns


High-performance design or high quality Consistent quality

Sony TV

Lexus, Cadillac

Pepsi, Kodak, Motorola


Express Mail, Fedex,

One-hour photo, UPS

Rapid deliveryOn-time delivery




Burger King



Superior customer service





Banks, ATMs

Table 2.2

Global strategy

Global Strategy

  • Strategic decisions must be made with respect to globalization

  • What works in one country may not work in another

  • Strategies must be changed to account for these differences

  • Other issues

    • Political, social, cultural, and economic differences

Strategy formulation

Strategy Formulation

  • Distinctive competencies

  • Environmental scanning

  • SWOT

  • Order qualifiers

  • Order winners

Strategy formulation1

Strategy Formulation

  • Order qualifiers

    • Characteristics that customers perceive as minimum standards of acceptability to be considered as a potential purchase

  • Order winners

    • Characteristics of an organization’s goods or services that cause it to be perceived as better than the competition

Key external factors

Key External Factors

  • Economic conditions

  • Political conditions

  • Legal environment

  • Technology

  • Competition

  • Markets

Key internal factors

Key Internal Factors

  • Human Resources

  • Facilities and equipment

  • Financial resources

  • Customers

  • Products and services

  • Technology

  • Suppliers

Operations strategy

Operations Strategy

  • Operations strategy – The approach, consistent with organization strategy, that is used to guide the operations function.

Strategic om decisions

Strategic OM Decisions

Table 2.4

Quality and time strategies

Quality and Time Strategies

  • Quality-based strategies

    • Focuses on maintaining or improving the quality of an organization’s products or services

    • Quality at the source

  • Time-based strategies

    • Focuses on reduction of time needed to accomplish tasks

Time based strategies

Time-based Strategies











On time!




  • Productivity

    • A measure of the effective use of resources, usually expressed as the ratio of output to input

  • Productivity ratios are used for

    • Planning workforce requirements

    • Scheduling equipment

    • Financial analysis








  • Partial measures

    • output/(single input)

  • Multi-factor measures

    • output/(multiple inputs)

  • Total measure

    • output/(total inputs)

Competitiveness strategy and productivity

Current Period Productivity – Previous Period Productivity

Previous Period Productivity

Productivity Growth

Productivity Growth =

Competitiveness strategy and productivity

Measures of Productivity

Table 2.4

Partial Output Output Output Outputmeasures Labor Machine Capital Energy

Multifactor Output Output

measures Labor + Machine Labor + Capital + Energy

Total Goods or Services Produced

measure All inputs used to produce them

Competitiveness strategy and productivity

Labor Productivity

Units of output per labor hour

Units of output per shift

Value-added per labor hour

Machine Productivity

Units of output per machine hour

machine hour

Capital Productivity

Units of output per dollar input

Dollar value of output per dollar input

Energy Productivity

Units of output per kilowatt-hour

Dollar value of output per kilowatt-hour

Examples of Partial Productivity Measures

Table 2.5

Example 3

Example 3

7040 Units Produced

Cost of labor of $1,000

Cost of materials: $520

Cost of overhead: $2000

What is the multifactor productivity?

Ans. 2.0 units per dollar of input

Example 3 solution

Example 3 Solution

MFP =Output

Labor + Materials + Overhead

MFP =(7040 units)

$1000 + $520 + $2000

MFP =2.0 units per dollar of input

Process yield

Process Yield

  • Process yield is the ratio of output of good product to input

  • Defective product is not included in the output

  • Service example:

    • Ratio of cars rented to cars available to rent

Factors affecting productivity

Factors Affecting Productivity





Other factors affecting productivity

Other Factors Affecting Productivity

  • Standardization

  • Quality

  • Use of Internet

  • Computer viruses

  • Searching for lost or misplaced items

  • Scrap rates

  • New workers

Other factors affecting productivity1

Other Factors Affecting Productivity

  • Safety

  • Shortage of IT workers

  • Layoffs

  • Labor turnover

  • Design of the workspace

  • Incentive plans that reward productivity



  • Higher productivity in another company is a key reason organizations outsource work

  • Improving productivity may reduce the need for outsourcing

Improving productivity

Improving Productivity

  • Develop productivity measures

  • Determine critical (bottleneck) operations

  • Develop methods for productivity improvements

  • Establish reasonable goals

  • Get management support

  • Measure and publicize improvements

  • Don’t confuse productivity with efficiency

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