Discussion: Performance by Minimizing Costs

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Discussion: Performance by Minimizing Costs

Discussion: Performance by Minimizing Costs

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A classic, widely used model developed by Michael Porter still frames most discussions of business strategy. In the next section, we review Porter ’ s generic strategies framework as well as dynamic environment strategies. 5 We then share questions that a general manager must answer to understand the business ’ strategy.

The Generic Strategies Framework Companies sell their products and services in a marketplace populated with competitors. Michael Porter ’ s frame- work helps managers understand the strategies they may choose to build a competitive advantage. In his book Competitive Advantage , Porter claims that the “fundamental basis of above‐average performance in the long run is sustainable competitive advantage.” 6 Porter identifi ed three primary strategies for achieving competitive advantage: (1) cost leadership, (2) differentiation, and (3) focus. These advantages derive from the company ’ s relative position

5 Another popular model by Michael Porter, the value chain, provides a useful model for discussing internal operations of an organization. Some find it a useful model for understanding how to link two firms. This framework is used in Chapter 5 to examine business process design. For further information, see M. Porter , Competitive Advantage , 1st ed. ( New York : The Free Press , 1985 ) . 6 M. Porter , Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance , 2nd ed. ( New York : The Free Press , 1998 ) .

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http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/10%E2%80%90036.pdf
http://www.digitalbusinessmodelguru.com/2012/12/15%E2%80%90business%E2%80%90models%E2%80%90complete%E2%80%90list.html
http://www.digitalbusinessmodelguru.com/2012/12/15%E2%80%90business%E2%80%90models%E2%80%90complete%E2%80%90list.html
http://www.digitalbusinessmodelguru.com/2012/12/15%E2%80%90business%E2%80%90models%E2%80%90complete%E2%80%90list.html
22 The Information Systems Strategy Triangle

in the marketplace, and they depend on the strategies and tactics used by competitors. See Figure 1.3 for a summary of these three strategies for achieving competitive advantage.

Cost leadership results when the organization aims to be the lowest‐cost producer in the marketplace. The organization enjoys above‐average performance by minimizing costs. The product or service offered must be comparable in quality to those offered by others in the industry so that customers perceive its relative value. Typ- ically, only one cost leader exists within an industry. If more than one organization seeks an advantage with this strategy, a price war ensues, which eventually may drive the organization with the higher cost structure out of the marketplace. Through mass distribution, economies of scale, and IS to generate operating efficiencies, Walmart epitomizes the cost‐leadership strategy.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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