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Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases 9e. Part II: Strategic Actions: Strategy Formulation Chapter 4: Business-Level Strategy. The Strategic Management Process. Chapter 4: Business-Level Strategy. Overview: Five content areas Defining business-level strategy

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Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases 9e


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    1. Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases 9e Part II: Strategic Actions: Strategy Formulation Chapter 4: Business-Level Strategy

    2. The Strategic Management Process

    3. Chapter 4: Business-Level Strategy • Overview: Five content areas • Defining business-level strategy • Relationship between customers and strategy • Differences in business-level strategies • 5-Forces • Risks of business-level strategies

    4. Acer Group’s Cost Strategy • Four PC brands: • Acer • Gateway • Packard Bell • eMachines • Elements of Acer’s Low Cost Strategy • Sales only through retail/other outlets (no direct sales) • Outsource all manufacturing and assembly • Tight control of overhead costs • Acer overhead-8% of sales; HP–15%; Dell–14% • Focus on consumers and small/mid-size businesses

    5. Chapter 4: Business-Level Strategy • Overview: Five content areas • Defining business-level strategy • Relationship between customers and strategy • Differences in business-level strategies • 5-Forces • Risks of business-level strategies

    6. Introduction • Strategy: Increasingly important to a firm’s success and concerned with making choices among two or more alternatives. Choices dictated by • External environment • Internal resources, capabilities and core competencies • Business level-strategy: Integrated and coordinated set of commitments and actions the firm uses to gain a competitive advantage by exploiting core competencies in specific product markets

    7. Introduction • Satisfying customers is the foundation of successful business strategies • Managing relationships with customers • Reach, richness, affiliation • Who will be served • What needs will be satisfied • How those needs will be satisfied • Five (5) generic business level strategies • Generic = can be used in any organization competing in any industry • Follows the discussion of customers

    8. Customers: Their Relationship with Business-Level Strategies • Strategic competitiveness results when firm can satisfy customers by using its competitive advantages • Returns earned are the lifeblood of firm • Most successful companies satisfy current customers and/or meet needs of new customers

    9. Customers: Their Relationship with Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • …Five components in customer relationships • 1. Effectively managing relationships w/ customers • Deliver superior value • Strong interactive relationships is foundation • 2. Reach, richness and affiliation • Access and connection to customers • Depth and detail of two-way flow of information between firm and customer • Facilitating useful interactions with customers

    10. Customers: Their Relationship with Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • …Five components in customer relationships • 3. Who: Determining the customers to serve • Market segmentation • Dividing customers into groups based on differences in needs • Process used to cluster people with similar needs into individual and identifiable groups • For example, consumer and industrial markets

    11. Customers: Their Relationship with Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • …Five components of customer relationships • 4. What: Determining which customer needs to satisfy • What = Needs • Related to a product’s benefits and features • Must anticipate and be prepared: (I.e., High-quality? Low price?) • Translate into features and performance capabilities of products • 5. How: Determining core competencies necessary to satisfy customer needs • Core competencies: resources and capabilities that serve as source of competitive advantage for firm over its rivals • How = core competencies

    12. Chapter 4: Business-Level Strategy • Overview: Five content areas • Defining business-level strategy • Relationship between customers and strategy • Differences in business-level strategies • 5-Forces • Risks of business-level strategies

    13. Purpose of Business-Level (BL) Strategies • Purpose: To create differences between position of a firm and its competitors • Firm must make a deliberate choice to • Perform activities differently • Perform different activities • Activity map exemplifies a firm’s • Activities • How they are integrated • Southwest Airline’s activity map: Note the primary (N=6) and secondary nodes/activities and the ‘connectedness’ or fit • Fit is key to the sustainability of competitive advantage

    14. Southwest Airlines’ Activity System

    15. Purpose of Business-Level (BL) Strategies (con’t) • Two types of competitive advantage firms must choose between • Cost (Are we LOWER than others?) • Uniqueness (Are we DIFFERENT? How?) • Two types of ‘competitive scope’ firms must choose between • Broad target • Narrow target • These combine to yield 5 different BL strategies

    16. Five Business-Level Strategies

    17. Types of Business-Level Strategies • 1. Cost Leadership (CL) • Competitive advantage: THE low-cost leader and operates with margins greater than competitors • Competitive scope: Broad • 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 • No-frill, standardized goods • Continuously reduce costs of value chain activities • Inbound/outbound logistics account for significant cost • Low-cost position is a valuable defense against rivals

    18. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 1. Cost Leadership (CL) (Cont’d) • Cost leaders are in a position to • Absorb supplier price increases and relationship demands • Force suppliers to hold down their prices • Continuously improving levels of efficiency and cost reduction • Can be difficult to replicate and • serve as significant entry barriers to potential competitors • Cost leaders hold an attractive position in terms of product substitutes, with the flexibility to lower prices to retain customers • Examples: Greyhound Bus, Big Lots Inc., Wal-Mart

    19. Examples of Value-Creating Activities Associated with the Cost Leadership Strategy

    20. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 1. Cost Leadership (CL) (Cont’d) • In relationship to the 5 Forces: • Rivalry against existing competitors: Rivals hesitate to compete on the basis of price • Bargaining Power of Buyers (Customers) • Bargaining Power of Suppliers • Potential Entrants • Product Substitutes

    21. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • Competitive Risks of the cost leadership strategy • Source of cost advantage becomes obsolete • Focus on cost may cause the firm to overlook important customer preferences • Imitation

    22. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 2. Differentiation • Competitive advantage: Differentiation • Competitive scope: Broad • Integrated set of actions designed by a firm to produce or deliver goods or services at an acceptable cost that customers perceive as being different in ways that are important to them • Target customers perceive product value • Customized products – differentiating on as many features as possible • Examples: Apple’s iPod

    23. Examples of Value-Creating Activities Associated with the Differentiation Strategy

    24. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 2. Differentiation (Cont’d) • In relationship to the 5 Forces: • Rivalry against existing competitors • Customers are loyal purchasers of differentiated products • I.e., Bose • Bargaining Power of Buyers (Customers) • Inverse relationship between loyalty/product: As loyalty increases, price sensitivity decreases • I.e., Callaway golf clubs • Bargaining Power of Suppliers • Provide high quality components, driving up firm’s costs • Cost may be passed on to customer • Potential Entrants • Substantial barriers (see above) and would require significant resource investment • Product Substitutes • Customer loyalty effectively positions firm against product substitutes

    25. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • Competitive Risks of the differentiation strategy • Customers determine that the cost of differentiation is too great • The means of differentiation may cease to provide value for which customers are willing to pay • Experience can narrow customers’ perceptions of the value of a product’s differentiated features • Counterfeiting

    26. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • There are two “Focus” strategies • In general, the firms’ core competencies used to serve the need of a particular industry segment or niche to the exclusion of others. • May lack resources to compete in the broader market • May be able to more effectively serve a narrow market segment than larger industry-wide competitors • Firms may direct resources to certain value chain activities to build competitive advantage • Large firms may overlook small niches

    27. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • Focus strategy examples • Buyer groups • Youths/senior citizens • Product line segments • Professional painter groups • Geographic markets • West vs. East coast

    28. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 3. Focused Cost Leadership • Competitive advantage: Low-cost • Competitive scope: Narrow industry segment

    29. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 4. Focused Differentiation • Competitive advantage: Differentiation • Competitive scope: Narrow industry segment • i.e., in the outdoor recreation business a firm that caters to fly fishing is following a focused differentiation strategy (as opposed to discount stores that carry general fishing gear) • High quality equipment • Knowledgeable personnel • Guided tours • Fly tying classes

    30. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • Risk of using “Focus” strategies • A competitor may be able to focus on a more narrowly defined competitive segment and "outfocus” the focuser • A company competing on an industry-wide basis may decide that the market segment served by the focus strategy firm is attractive and worthy of competitive pursuit • Customer needs within a narrow competitive segment may become more similar to those of industry-wide customers as a whole

    31. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • 5. Integrated CL/Differentiation • Efficiently produce products with differentiated attributes • Efficiency: Sources of low cost • Differentiation: Source of unique value • Can adapt to new technology and rapid changes in external environment • Simultaneously concentrate on TWO sources of competitive advantage: cost and differentiation – consequently… • …must be competent in many of the primary and support activities • Three sources of flexibility useful for this strategy

    32. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • Three flexible sources include • Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) • Computer controlled process used to produce a variety of products in moderate, flexible quantities with a minimum of manual intervention • Goal: eliminate ‘low cost vs. product variety, tradeoff inherent in traditional manufacturing technologies • Information networks • Using technology to link suppliers, distributors and customers • Total Quality Management (TQM) systems • Emphasizes firm’s total commitment to the customer and continuous improvement of every process through data-driven, problem-solving approaches based on empowering employees

    33. Types of Business-Level Strategies (Cont’d) • Competitive Risks of Integrated Strategies • Although becoming more popular the RISK is getting ‘stuck in the middle’ • Cost structure is not low enough for attractive pricing of products and products not sufficiently differentiated to create value for target customer – therefore, fail to successfully implement either low cost or differentiation strategy • Result: Don’t earn above-average returns