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BUS 201 Competitive Advantage

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Competitive Advantage
Competitive Advantage
BUS 201 Principles of Management
Competitive Advantage
The world has been chaining more rapidly than ever before, managers
and other employees throughout an organization must perform at higher
and higher levels. One of the most important lessons for managers and
organizations to learn if they were to reach and remain at the top of the
competitive environment of business is to achieve and build a
competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is the ability of one
organization to outperform other organizations because it produces
desired goods or services more efficiently and effectively than its
competitors. If company’s follow the four building blocks of competitive
advantage, there’s no doubt in my mind their company will be superior to
others (Jones, 2011).
The four building blocks of competitive advantage consist of efficiency,
quality, innovation, and responsiveness to customers. In today’s
competitive environment, organizations continually search for new ways
to use their resources to improve efficiency. Organizations increase their
efficiency when they reduce the quantity of resources they use to
produce goods or services. For example, many organizations are
training their workforces in the new skills and techniques needed to
operate heavily computerized assembly plants. Also, cross-training
employees gives them the range of skills they need to perform many
different tasks, and organizing employees in new ways allows them to
make good use of their skills (Jones, 2011).
Training up employees is an important step in the effort to improve
productivity. Japanese and German companies invest far more in

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training employees than American or Italian companies. It’s a must for
managers to improve efficiency for their organizations to compete with
others overseas like Mexico, China, and Malaysia where employees are
paid comparatively low wages (Jones, 2011).
The skills and abilities of employees, and their workforce must improve
before the quality of their goods and services can improve. One major
lead way to improving quality has been to introduce the quality-
enhancing techniques known as total quality management (TQM).
Employees that are involved in TQM are solely responsible for finding
new and better ways to perform their jobs, and lastly they monitor and
evaluate the quality of the goods they produce (Jones, 2011).
Quality management and innovation go hand in hand with one another.
Innovation is the process of creating new or improved goods and
services that customers want or developing better ways to produce or
provide goods and services (Jones, 2011). Given a good, relaxed work
environment innovate teams come up with ideas on improvement; many
that might not work, and involve taking risks, but there are many ideas
that do work and end up becoming a big deal amongst companies.
The final step in achieving competitive advantage is based on how
customers perceive and take to the company’s service and products.
Organizations compete for customers with their products and services,
so training employees to be responsive to customers’ needs is vital for
all organizations. For example, retail stores, banks, and hospitals
depend entirely on their employees to perform behaviors that result in
high-quality service at a reasonable price (Jones, 2011).
I personally believe all four steps are equally important, but I think
customer responsiveness is one of the more important ones. If
customers don’t respond well to the products, then the company’s
business suffers along with their ratings. When ratings go down,
companies are then out of the competitive runnings. Then this is where a
manager’s role comes into to play. Managers play a vital role in
achieving competitive advantage. They are responsible for making sure
each employee does their job efficiently and there part in achieving the
overall goal. Managers must posse superior planning and organizing
abilities, and build speed and flexibility within in their organizations.
Managers do not have an easy job; they constantly have to worry about
what’s going on with the company, and ways to improve the current

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business. Achieving competitive advantage is not an easy task; there are
a lot of risks to be taken, along with the task of not having your company
go bankrupt. For example, having a business and trying to stay atop
everyone else in a cutthroat industry is rough. When low-cost
competitors undercut business prices, its then up to the managers of
these companies to face the challenge of turning around the
performance of their companies by finding ways to restore competitive
advantage (Jones, 2011).
People on the outside i.e. customers don’t know what goes into the
products, and service they receive from companies these days.
Ultimately it’s not up to the customers to have anything to do with a
company’s competitive advantage, but merely up to the CEO of a
company to make sure their company stands out from the rest.
Manager’s aid in achieving an advantage over their competitors by
following the building steps of competitive advantage and building their
company up along the way.

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