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Competitive Advantage

Competitive Advantage

Competitive edge is defined as how effectively an organization meets the needs of customers relative to others that offer similar goods or services. There many companies in the United States that have this competitive edge in their industry. Their competitive edge causes growth in many key aspects within the business. These are return on investment, better service to their employees and customers, paying of debt, and increased market share. There are many ways a company can have a competitive edge. These are price, quality, flexibility, time, service, employees, and product or service differentiation. A few of these companies are Dell Computer Corporation, United Parcel Service (UPS), and Wal-Mart. These companies have strengths in one or more of the competitive advantages listed above. The competitive advantages listed can be defined as the following. The most common way to have a competitive price is to make the cost low to customers. Most customers will look for the lowest price in the market. The main reason for customers wanting lowest price is to save money. By having a customer save money they are more likely to invest in the products or services offered by the company. Quality is defined as how well the product or service serves it purpose. Many customers will not continue to buy a product or service that breaks repeatedly, does not last longer or cannot perform the task that is needed to be done. A company’s ability to recognize and adapt to changes in the economy, trends of the market or other market facts is related to how flexible the company is. If the demand of a specific type of product or services increase or decreased in a certain market and the company cannot meet the required about need by customers then another company in the industry it will lose its competitive edge. Time refers to many operations that go on within the business. These operations are defined as the ability for the organization to deliver its product or service to its customers, and the ability to produce, develop, and improve its products or services within their market. After-sales actions of a company are just as important to the business world as pre-sales and sales of products or services. These actions are the service of the organization. An organization services can be warrant, customer care, deliver or technical support. An organization is made up of its employees, managers and workers, without them products or services would not exist. If the employees are not trained properly it can effect how the company is viewed by its customers. For example, if a problem exists with a good or service and the customer is treated rudely or does not get the information needed to fix the problem, the need of the customer will not be met, if this occurs the organization losses competitive advantage. The ability of an organization to have a special and unique feature that another company in their market does not have is known as product or service differentiation. The special and unique feature makes the product stand out against competitors making the product better and more likely to be bought. The first company that comes to mind with a competitive advantage is Dell Computer Corporation, the number two supplier of personal computers. They have done this by speed, innovation, price, and quality. In its latest report they had forecasted a revenue of $8.9 billion for the quarter, for the company’s third quarter. Dell also announced that its earnings per share to come in at 21 cents, more than 30 percent better than last year. The company has also got a boost from a growth in shipments of servers and storage systems, which are a new aspect of the growing firm. It’s stock has also rose and is about 25 dollars per share. Dell has started to increase its market share, in its central markets while continuing to profit and hit financial goals. All this while its competitors Hewlett Packard and Gateway have been losing market share and upsetting investors with there quarterly reports. Dells innovation has been there built-to-order personal and business computers. Customers order their computers directly from Dell via online of telephone, creating a more efficient supply-chain and lower manufacturing costs, which has lead to cheaper prices. Due to the affordable, reliable, built-to-order and expedience of shipment of the computer, Dell has seen great results and have gained a significant competitive advantage for computer products. Another company who understands the key concepts of competitive edge is UPS (United Parcel Service). “What can brown do for you?” is UPS’s motto; they actually can do a lot more than you think. With the rapid pace of the world around us, people want to know and be one-hundred percent sure that their packages are getting to there destinations on time and safely. Many internet companies rely heavily on their products to reach there destinations on time and with best quality care. UPS has innovated itself by recipients being able to track their packages online. This gives people a sense of assurances, knowing where there package is and also the date of when its supposed to arrive. The have conquered speed by being able to send packages same day with there SonicAir services for the quickest delivery possible. On top of all that their prices are still lower than there competition, Federal Express and Airborne Express. There is another company that comes to mind when discussing competitive advantage, Wal-Mart. This company has seen a huge growth in sales in the past months. They have done this by quick turnover of inventory and cheaper prices. It has been able to gain an edge by greater inventory selections. They pride on “rolling back prices,” and this is how they have attained their competitive edge against companies like Target and K-Mart. Their ability to re-stock their shelves in timely manner show, that they have good relationships with their suppliers. The innovation of incorporating fresh foods in to their super stores has also gained them a huge edge, you can shop for food and everyday household things at the same time. It has also incorporated online purchasing, for the people who prefer to buy online. In conclusion, some companies “have it, some companies do not.” The companies who “have it” are the companies that are going to the most successful and in the business world is the ultimate compliment to receive. Companies like Dell, UPS, Wal-Mart, and have gained a huge competitive edge in their markets by “having it.” They have proved that sticking to speed; innovation, quality, and cost have achieved huge successes in their competitive markets. They understand what people’s needs and wants are, incorporated them into their business and have delivered, in the best way possible.


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