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CHAPTER 4 EVALUATING A COMPANY’S RESOURCES, CAPABILITIES, AND COMPETITIVENESS Student Version McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright ®2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

EVALUATING A FIRM’S INTERNAL SITUATION:

EVALUATING A FIRM’S INTERNAL SITUATION How well is the firm’s present strategy working? What are the firm’s competitively important resources and capabilities? Is the firm able to take advantage of market opportunities and overcome external threats to its external well-being? Are the firm’s prices and costs competitive with those of key rivals, and does it have an appealing customer value proposition? Is the firm competitively stronger or weaker than key rivals? What strategic issues and problems merit front-burner managerial attention?

QUESTION 1: HOW WELL IS THE COMPANY’S PRESENT STRATEGY WORKING?:

QUESTION 1: HOW WELL IS THE COMPANY’S PRESENT STRATEGY WORKING? Best indicators of a well-conceived, well-executed strategy: The company is achieving its stated financial and strategic objectives. The company is an above-average industry performer.

QUESTION 2: WHAT ARE THE COMPANY’S COMPETITIVELY IMPORTANT RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES?:

QUESTION 2: WHAT ARE THE COMPANY’S COMPETITIVELY IMPORTANT RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES? Competitive Assets Are the firm’s resources and capabilities. Are the determinants of its competitiveness and ability to succeed in the marketplace. Are what a firm’s strategy depends on to develop sustainable competitive advantage over its rivals.

QUESTION 3: IS THE COMPANY ABLE TO SEIZE MARKET OPPORTUNITIES AND NULLIFY EXTERNAL THREATS?:

QUESTION 3: IS THE COMPANY ABLE TO SEIZE MARKET OPPORTUNITIES AND NULLIFY EXTERNAL THREATS? SWOT Analysis Is a powerful tool for sizing up a firm’s: Internal strengths (the basis for strategy) Internal weaknesses (deficient capabilities) Market opportunities (strategic objectives) External threats (strategic defenses)

Identifying a Company’s Internal Strengths:

Identifying a Company’s Internal Strengths A Competence Is an activity that a firm has learned to perform with proficiency—a capability. A Core Competence Is a proficiently performed internal activity that is central to a firm’s strategy and competitiveness. A Distinctive Competence Is a competitively valuable activity that a firm performs better than its rivals.

Identifying a Company’s Weaknesses and Competitive Deficiencies:

Identifying a Company’s Weaknesses and Competitive Deficiencies A Weakness (Competitive Deficiency) Is something a firm lacks or does poorly (in comparison to others) or a condition that puts it at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. Types of Weaknesses: Inferior skills, expertise, or intellectual capital Physical, organizational, or intangible assets deficiencies Missing or inferior capabilities in key areas

Identifying a Company’s Market Opportunities:

Identifying a Company’s Market Opportunities Characteristics of Market Opportunities: An absolute “must pursue” market Represents much potential but is hidden in “fog of the future.” A marginally interesting market Presents high risk and questionable profit potential. An unsuitable\mismatched market The firm’s strengths are not matched to market factors —best avoided.

Identifying the Threats to a Company’s Future Profitability:

Identifying the Threats to a Company’s Future Profitability Types of Threats: Normal course-of-business threats Sudden-death threats Considering Threats: Identify the threats to the company’s future prospects. Evaluate what strategic actions can be taken to neutralize or lessen their impact.

QUESTION 4: ARE THE FIRM’S PRICES AND COSTS COMPETITIVE WITH THOSE OF KEY RIVALS, AND DOES IT HAVE AN APPEALING CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION?:

QUESTION 4: ARE THE FIRM’S PRICES AND COSTS COMPETITIVE WITH THOSE OF KEY RIVALS, AND DOES IT HAVE AN APPEALING CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION? Signs of A Firm’s Competitive Strength: Its prices and costs are in line with rivals. Its customer-value proposition is competitive and cost effective. Its bundled capabilities are yielding a sustainable competitive advantage.

The Concept of a Company Value Chain:

The Concept of a Company Value Chain The Value Chain Identifies the primary internal activities that create customer value and the related support activities. Permits a deep look at the firm’s cost structure and ability to offer low prices. Reveals the emphasis that a firm places on activities that enhance differentiation and support higher prices.

QUESTION 5: IS THE COMPANY COMPETITIVELY STRONGER OR WEAKER THAN KEY RIVALS?:

QUESTION 5: IS THE COMPANY COMPETITIVELY STRONGER OR WEAKER THAN KEY RIVALS? Competitive Advantage Indicators: Ability to effectively and efficiently bundle resources and capabilities. Achieving a high rank on each key success factor. Having a net competitive advantage over its rivals.

The Competitive Strength Assessment Process:

The Competitive Strength Assessment Process Step 1 Make a list of the industry’s key success factors and measures of competitive strength or weakness (6 to 10 measures usually suffice). Step 2 Assign a weight to each competitive strength measure based on its perceived importance. Step 3 Rate the firm and its rivals on each competitive strength measure and multiply by each measure by its corresponding weight.

QUESTION 6: WHAT STRATEGIC ISSUES AND PROBLEMS MERIT FRONT-BURNER MANAGERIAL ATTENTION?:

QUESTION 6: WHAT STRATEGIC ISSUES AND PROBLEMS MERIT FRONT-BURNER MANAGERIAL ATTENTION? Identifying Strategic Issues: How to stave off market challenges from new foreign competitors. How to combat the price discounting of rivals. How to reduce high costs and pave the way for price reductions. How to sustain growth in light of slowing buyer demand. Whether to expand the firm’s product line. Whether to correct the firm’s competitive deficiencies by acquiring a rival company with the missing strengths.

QUESTION 6: WHAT STRATEGIC ISSUES AND PROBLEMS MERIT FRONT-BURNER MANAGERIAL ATTENTION?:

QUESTION 6: WHAT STRATEGIC ISSUES AND PROBLEMS MERIT FRONT-BURNER MANAGERIAL ATTENTION? Identifying Strategic Issues (cont’d): Whether to expand into foreign markets rapidly or cautiously. Whether to reposition the company and move to a different strategic group. What to do about growing buyer interest in substitute products. What to do to combat the aging demographics of the firm’s customer base.

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