This sample paper on Walmart Apple Computer offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
What is competitive advantage, and what is “core competence? For a company seeking competitive advantages, what are the generic competitive strategy choices it can use? What are the four building blocks through which it can establish its competitive advantages? Based on power point definition, competitive advantage is when firm implements a strategy that creates superior value for customers and competitors are unable to duplicate it or find too costly to imitate it.
Core competencies are “crown jewels of a company”, the activities the firm performs especially well compared to rivals and through which the firm adds unique value to its goods or services over a long period of time. It can also be called as Strategic Assets, Strategic Capabilities, and Critical Capabilities. For a company seeking competitive advantages, the elements of Low cost, differentiation, and focus are the generic competitive strategy choices it can use. Specifically, firm is using four building blocks like Quality, Efficiency, innovation, and customer responsiveness to establish its competitive advantages.
Superior quality includes quality design, reliability, durability, and image. When people think of a product or services, they think in these terms. For example, when people are on the market for a cell phone, many of them would pick an iphone (or Blackberry) over another brand like Motorola. Apple and other brand like Blackberry typically have a reputation of a high quality, clean design, secured systems, and consumers associate these cell phones with a high-quality image.
What Are The Four Building Blocks Of Competitive Advantage
Superior efficiency refers to the cost to the market via materials, production, logistics, and overhead. Wal-Mart will be a good example to showcase because not only its advanced logistic systems but also the integration of its supply chain. Another interesting fact about Wal-Mart is its slogan “every day low price.” In order to achieve that, Wal-Mart is actually manufacturing product themselves in order to reduce wholesaler and retailer cost for customers. In this way, the customer will get the cheapest price from Wal-Mart.
Superior customer responsiveness is the importance of anticipating and meeting customer needs. Apple Computers is a great example of customer responsiveness. When you order a product from Apple no matter whether it is on-line or in store, you can always reach their customer center with a friendly well-trained representative. The order process is very easy, taking only a few minutes. For example, when you go to apple store to buy its products, the system will email your receipt automatically after your purchase.
Another thing need to highlight is that apple’s delivery is quick and accurate and there is a good amount of call centers that customers can call to get assistance after the sale or, they can use the Internet to find a solution. Furthermore, I want to talk about the app platform that apple created. Apple’s product is not only about a simple functional mp3 or cell phone. They integrate programmers, suppliers, customers, and merchants into one platform so that they are able to communicate each other.
Their sales representatives and marketing representatives visit customers on a regular basis to assess the needs of the market. By figuring out what their customers want and need to function efficiently and effectively, Apple is able to be creatively innovative. The company is constantly creating new products such as the new Mighty Mouse and the, now legendary, iPod series. To state this differently, apple created a dynamic system that maximized the customer responsiveness and to differentiate themselves with other competitors.
Apple is a very focused company that doing personal computer and related phones and mp3. The Apple cooperates with IBM, Google, Microsoft, and other companies to make its unique products. But at the same time, apple is also fiercely with Microsoft, Google, and other companies. They have a certain customer type and niche that Microsoft and Google does not. They have realized that companies should not “try to be all things to all people” as this is a very challenging role to fill and usually does not move the company in the desired direction of competitive advantage (Porter).
By updating often and ensuring that their products are tuned into the needs and wants of consumers, Apple has been able to become a leading differentiation competitor. They are focusing on personal computer, mp3, and cellphones. The focus strategy and their leading differentiation strategy are the new frontier of corporate competitive advantage.
It involves the integration of strategies, employees of all levels, and corporate management with creativity, innovation, and a variety of tools, including Apple’s main driver, technology innovation to generate more revenue and reduce their cost. The combination of these core competencies enables companies such as Apple or Wal-Mart to get ahead of competition within their industry, as well as, successfully progress into other industries if that is a goal. Leading differentiation are those who “continuously generate new competitive advantages that destroy, make obsolete, or neutralize the industry leader’s advantages, leaving the industry in disequilibrium and disarray”.
What is innovation? What does it comprise? What can you recommend concerning how to effectively execute innovation to generate better returns for the company? Based on power point definition, Innovation meaning the use of new knowledge to transform organizational processes or create commercially viable products and services. In detail, we have divided innovation into three levels, such as invention level, innovation level, and imitation level. From invention level, we know that Invention is the act of creating or developing a new product or process. It can Brings something new into being. And the important fact is that Technical criteria determine the success of an invention.
Another level is Innovation. This level of innovation is a little bit different from what we have mentioned earlier about the general definition of innovation. In this level, Process of creating a commercial product from an invention, it brings something new into use. And Commercial criteria determine the success of an innovation. The last level of innovation is about Imitation. Imitation is consisted of adoption of an innovation by similar firms. Usually it leads to product or process standardization. What’s more, products based on imitation often are offered at lower prices and without as many features. However, the last level of innovation is not always enough for a firm from good to great. We have three things of imitation need to keep in mind; the first one is that product or process standardization. Secondly, products made with fewer features. Last but not least, products must offer at lower prices.
What can you recommend concerning how to effectively execute innovation to generate better returns for the company? In the video of how to execute innovation, I learnt innovation itself is not about a simple point of time but a process or a culture. The most frequent question from that video was “Why are some companies able to create and sustain a high innovation premium while others don’t?” While I was still simply thinking innovation is about create something new or valuable to customer. This class taught me how to analysis or develop further about innovation. According to my research and also class notes, it shows at least three key things that the innovative companies do to create and sustain an innovation premium and to effectively execute innovation to generate better returns for the company, such as leverage people, process, and philosophies.
Firstly, I think the most important thing about innovation is people. As long as the company is organized by people, I believe a good way to implement innovation is to activate innovation from the person on the top. During the video, Karmazin mentioned that Failure is an unacceptable option; Innovating is about winning. In his philosophy, he thinks when you conduct an innovation, pretty good means very bad. The tone of top has clearly addressed that their company is passion about to win and they want to detect zero defects of their products. To some extent, with this strong command from the top CEO, employees will influenced by the environment. Because employees are elements of company’s culture and the CEO is the vision builder.
Ginny Wiedower commented, “Without a corporate strategy to reach defined corporate goals, innovation will be misdirected and unguided.” But D. R. Elliott pointed out that “innovations and inefficiencies are persistent anomalies in organizations.” Actions of top managers, according to Marc Sniukas, should “set the context; guide the process …; clearly communicate reasons …; shield creative teams …; appreciate distinctiveness in people and their thinking; and welcome change.” as Dan Hoch put it. Finally, these behaviors trigger new associations which let them to connect the unconnected, thereby producing disruptive ideas. On the people front, the behavior of leaders matters. To effectively execute innovation, we should treat innovation as a process. Karmazin also spoke about how he measures winning. In his company, the top executives are working on how to convert fear to motivations.
They believe Innovation is about process. Whatever the result is, you as an innovator have to give it a try. In this case, there is no losing or win. Joe Violette, who reminded us that innovation is most often carried out in teams, suggested that leadership’s role is also “to provide a work environment of openness built on trust where every member of the team feels free to express their views/opinions without fear of ridicule or reprisal.” As long as innovation is a risk taking process, there is no a one hundred percent correct result. During the video, we know that LG. believes innovative technologies takes time. It requires you to listen to customer. Learning from failure is also a lesson that all companies have to take.
Lastly is to sharp things up to generate revenue at low cost. For example, LG believes in innovative technologies because they have a passion and commitment to create new and convenient experiences for individual and their families. Its electronic department like fridge center states that whether it’s time or energy savings, beautiful options for your kitchen or the latest technologies, LG’s home appliances are designed to enhance your overall experience by creating great everyday moments. Therefore, the tone of top should also not only gradually deliver its vision to employees, but also need to be patient about innovation process. It is important for us to fully understand customer’s needs to increase the probability of a valuable innovation.