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Tuesday, 9 July 2013




  • To survive and thrive an organization must create a competitive advantages.
             Competitive advantage    
A product or service that an organization's customers place a greater value on than similar offerings from a competitor.

             First-mover advantage
Occurs when an organization can significantly impact its market share by being first to market with a competitive advantage.

  • Organizations watch their competition through environmental scanning
            Environmental scanning 
The acquisition and analysis of events and trends in the environment external to an organization

  • Three common tools used in industry to analyse and develop competitive advantages include :
          - Porter's Five Forces Model
          -Porter's three generic strategies
          -Value chains

           The Five Forces Model Evaluating Business Segments

  • Portal's Five Forces Model determines the relative attractiveness of an industry 


Buyer Power

  • High when buyers have many choices of whom to buy from and low when their choices are few.
  • Way to reduce buyer power is through loyalty programs 
1)  Loyalty program - rewards customers based on the amount of business they do with a particular organization.

2)  Switching costs - costs that can make customers reluctant to switch to another product or service.

Supplier Power

  • High when buyers have few choices of whom to buy from and low when their choices are many.
1) Supply chain - consists of all parties involved in the procurement of a product or raw material.


  • Organizations that are buying goods and services in the supply chain can create a competitive advantages by locating alternative supply sources (decreasing supplier power) through B2B marketplaces 
1) Business to Business (B2B) marketplace - an internet based service that brings together many buyers                      and sellers.

  • Two types of business to business (B2B) marketplaces 
1)  Private exchange - a single buyer posts its needs and then opens the bidding to any supplier who would care to bid
2) Reverse auction - an auction format in which increasingly lower bids are solicited from organizations willing to supply the desired product or service at an increasingly lower price.

Threat of Substitute Products or Services

  • Threat of Substitute Products or Services - high when there are many alternatives to a product or service and low when there are few alternatives from which to choose 

           Switching costs - costs that can make customers reluctant to switch to another product or service.

Threat of new entrants 

  • Threat of new entrants - high when it is easy for new competitors to enter a market and low when there are significant entry barriers to entering a market
          Entry barrier - a product or service feature that customers have come to expect from organizations in a particular industry and must be offered by an entering organization to compete and survive.

Rivalry among Existing Competitors

  • Rivalry among Existing Competitors - high when competition is fierce in a market and low when competition is more complacent.
  • Although competition is always more intense in some industries than in others, the overall trend is toward increased competition in just about every industry.
The Three Generic Strategies - Creating a Business Focus

  • Organizations typically follow one of Porter's three generic strategies when entering a new market.


Value Creation 

  • Once an organization chooses its strategy, it can use tools such as the value chain to determine the success or failure of its chosen strategy
Business process - a standardized set of activities that accomplish a specific task, such as processing a customer's order
Value chain - views an organization as a series of processes, each of which adds value to the product or service for each customers.

  • Customers determine the extent to which each activity adds value to the product or service 
  • The competitive advantage is to :                                                                                                                                 
- Target high value adding activities to further enhance their value        
- Target low value-adding activities to increase their value
- Perform some combination of the two        

Monday, 1 July 2013

Business Driven Technology


  • Organizations typically operate by functional areas or functional silos
  • Functional areas are interdependent

  •  Information technology (IT) its a field concerned with the use of technology in managing and processing information
  •  Information technology is an important enabler of business success and innovation
  • Management information systems (MIS) - a general name for the business function and academic discipline covering the application of people, technologies, and procedures to solve business problems
  • MIS is a business function, similar to Accounting, Finance, Operations, and Human Resources
  • When beginning to learn about information technology it is important to understand                                      - Data, information, and business intelligence                                                                                       - IT resources                                                                                                                                        - IT cultures

  • Data- raw facts that describe the characteristic of an event
  • Information- data converted into a meaningful and useful context
  • Business intelligence- applications and technologies that are used to support decision making effort

  1. People use
  2. Information technology to work with
  3. Information
Organizational information cultures include :

  • Information-functional culture
          Employees use information as a means of exercising influence or power over others. For example, a             manager in sales refuses to share information with marketing. This causes marketing to need the sales manager's input each time a new sales strategy is developed.
  • Information-sharing culture
          Employees across departments trust each other to use infomation (especially about problems and failures) to improve performance.
  • Information-inquiring culture
          Employess across departments search for information to better understand the future and align themselves with current trends and new directions.
  • Information-discovery culture
          Employees across departments are open to new insights about crisis and radical changes and seek ways to create competitive advantages.