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Chapter

Three
Internal Analysis:
Distinctive Competencies,
Competitive Advantage,
and Profitability

Internal Analysis
The purpose of internal analysis is to pinpoint the
strengths and weaknesses of the organization.
Strengths lead to superior performance.
Weaknesses lead to inferior performance.
Internal Analysis includes an assessment of:
Quantity and quality of a companys
resources and capabilities
Ways of building unique skills
and company-specific or
distinctive competencies

Building and sustaining a competitive advantage


requires a company to achieve superior:
Efficiency Innovations
Quality

Responsiveness to customers
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Internal Analysis:
Strengths and Weaknesses

Internal analysis - along with the external analysis of


the companys environment - gives managers the
information to choose the strategies and business
model to attain a sustained competitive advantage.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Of the enterprise
are assets that
boost
profitability

Of the enterprise
are liabilities that
lead to lower
profitability

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Internal Analysis:
Three-Step Process
1.Understand the process by which companies
create value for customers and profit for
themselves.
Resources
Capabilities
Distinctive competencies

2.Understand the importance of superiority in


creating value and generating high
Innovation
profitability.
Efficiency
Quality

Responsiveness to Customers

3.Analyze the sources of the companys


competitive advantage.

Strengths that are driving profitability


Weaknesses opportunities for improvement
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Competitive Advantage
Competitive Advantage
A firms profitability is greater than the average
profitability for all firms in its industry.

Sustained Competitive Advantage


A firm maintains above average and superior
profitability and profit growth for a number of
years.

The Primary Objective of Strategy

is to achieve a

Sustained Competitive Advantage

which in turn results in

Superior Profit and Profit Growth.


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Strategy, Resources,
Competencies

Capabilities, and
Figure 3.1

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Competitive Advantage, Value


Creation, and Profitability
How profitable a company becomes
depends on three basic factors:
1.
2.
3.

VALUE or UTILITY the customer gets from owning the product


PRICE that a company charges for its products
COSTS of creating those products
Consumer surplus is the excess utility a consumer captures
beyond the price paid.

Basic Principle: the more utility that consumers


get from a companys products or services, the
more pricing options the company has.
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Value Creation per Unit


Figure 3.2

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Value Creation
Pricing Options
There is a dynamic
relationship among utility,
pricing, demand, and costs.

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and
Figure 3.3

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Comparing Toyota
General Motors

and
Figure 3.4

Superior value creation requires that the gap between


perceived utility (U) and costs of production (C)
be greater than that obtained by competitors.
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The Value Chain


Figure 3.5

A company is a chain of activities for transforming


inputs into outputs that customers value
including the primary and support activities.

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Building Blocks
Competitive Advantage
The Generic
Distinctive Competencies

of
Figure 3.6

Allow a company to:


Differentiate product offering
Offer more utility to customer
Lower the cost structure
regardless of the industry,
its products, or its services

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Efficiency

Measured by the quantity of inputs it takes to


produce a given output:
Efficiency = Outputs / Inputs
Productivity leads to greater efficiency and lower
costs:

Employee productivity
Capital productivity

Superior efficiency helps a company


attain a competitive advantage
through a lower cost structure.
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Quality
Quality products are goods and services that are:
Reliable and
Differentiated by attributes that customers
perceive to have higher value

The impact of quality on competitive


advantage:
High-quality products differentiate and increase
the value of the products in customers eyes.
Greater efficiency and lower unit costs are
associated with reliable products.

Superior quality = customer perception


of greater value in a products attributes
Form, features, performance, durability, reliability, style, design
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A Quality Map for Automobiles


Figure 3.7
When customers
evaluate the quality of a
product, they commonly
measure it against two
kinds of attributes:
1. Quality as Excellence
2. Quality as Reliability

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Innovation

Innovation is the act of creating


new products or new processes
Product innovation
Creates products that customers perceive as more valuable and
Increases the companys pricing options

Process innovation
Creates value by lowering production costs

Successful innovation can be a major


source of competitive advantage
by giving a company something unique,
something its competitors lack.
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Responsiveness to Customers

Identifying and satisfying customers


needs better than the competitors

Superior quality and innovation are integral to


superior responsiveness to customers.

Customizing goods and services to the unique


demands of individual customers or customer
groups.

Enhanced customer responsiveness


Customer response time, design,
service, after-sales service and support

Superior responsiveness to customers


differentiates a companys products and services
and leads to brand loyalty and premium pricing.
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Competitive Advantage: The Value


Creation Cycle

Figure 3.8

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Analyzing Competitive
Advantage and Profitability

Competitive Advantage

When a companies profitability is greater than the average of all


other companies in the same industry that compete for the same
customers

Benchmarking
Comparing company performance against that of competitors and
the companys historic performance

Measures of Profitability
Return On Invested Capital (ROIC)

ROIC

Net profit

Debt to creditors

Net income after tax


Capital invested
Equity +

Net Profit
Net Profit = Total revenues Total costs
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Definitions of
Accounting Terms

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Basic
Table 3.1

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Drivers of Profitability (ROIC)


Figure 3.9

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Comparing Wal-Mart to Target


Figure 3.10

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The Durability of Competitive


Advantage

The DURABILITY of a companys competitive advantage over


its competitors depends on:

1.Barriers to Imitation

Making it difficult to copy a companys distinctive competencies

Imitating Resources
Imitating Capabilities

2.Capability of Competitors
Strategic commitment

Commitment to a particular way of doing business

Absorptive capacity

Ability to identify, value, assimilate, and use knowledge

3.Industry Dynamism

Ability of an industry to change rapidly

Competitors are also seeking to develop distinctive


competencies that will give them a competitive edge.
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Why Companies Fail


Inertia

Companies find it difficult to change their


strategies and structures

Prior Strategic Commitments

Limit a companys ability to imitate and


cause competitive disadvantage

The Icarus Paradox

A company can become so specialized and inner directed


based on past success that it loses sight of market realities
Categories of rising and falling companies:
Craftsmen Builders Pioneers Salespeople

When a company loses its competitive advantage,


its profitability falls below that of the industry.

It loses the ability to attract and generate resources.


Profit margins and invested capital shrink rapidly.
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Avoiding Failure:
Sustaining Competitive Advantage
1. Focus on the Building Blocks of Competitive
Advantage
Develop distinctive competencies and superior performance in:
Efficiency
Quality
Innovation
Responsiveness to Customers

2. Institute Continuous Improvement and Learning


Recognize the importance of continuous learning within the
organization

3. Track Best Practices and Use Benchmarking


Measure against the products and practices of the most efficient
global competitors

Luck may play a role in success,


4. Overcome
so alwaysInertia
exploit a lucky break - but remember:
Overcome
the internal
forcesthe
that luckier
are barriers
to change
The harder
I work,
I seem
to
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get.

J P Morgan
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