My previous article on competitive advantage provides an exemplified situation on the subject’s application. I made mention on the change in competitive advantage of a firm when its competitors recognize the former’s advantage in the market position and begin applying it to their operations and enterprises.
A change in competitive advantage may be done drastically but in the usual case it should not be. Certain modification in core competitive strategy should be applied as the initial stage before a change in flow and action diverting a firm from the full utilization of its advantage to compete and stay ahead from its competitors. Because one probable cause for the rapid change in applying an advantage or set of competitive advantages would be the misalignment of the strategy that once drives the firm to the top.
Secondly, workers particular the rank-in-file may not adapt easily. Unless you’re a one-person firm, making certain changes rapidly in an organization may have some difficulties. One factor of it is the indifference to any change when some or the majority in the organization have already adapted to a policy and/or culture for a long time.
Changes may happen in an organization in an uneven or regular period depending on its policy. However, making drastic changes without clear emphasis on their results to the organization could bring more harm than benefits.
Taking the possible alteration of competitive advantage into account, it is relevant for the management to take certain steps before changing its advantage or competitive advantages in the market. Rather the change, it is, perhaps, more relevant and efficient to sustain existing competitive advantages.
Sustaining competitive advantages can depend on some factors and certain fundamental steps such as:
1. Monitoring the organization’s competitive advantages constantly and regularly. Certain methods may be applied depending on the nature, culture and structure of your firm’s organization.
2. Being keen to the subtlest changes in the organization, management, operation market condition, customer needs, government regulations, competitors and their strategies and other external factors that directly or indirectly affect the organization. An example of this is the constant change in market preference and responding instantly to any change in parallel to the organization’s strategy.
3. Working on existing competitive advantages and helping them revitalize before attempting to make any new set of competitive advantages. It is more effective and inexpensive to make use of the existing competitive advantage.
4. Collating the organization’s people and presenting a set of decisions and improved strategy rather a reformed one. Be attentive to any sentiment or idea from your people regarding the sustainability or possible replacement of existing competitive advantages and if new advantages should be pointed out immediately. Making a brainstorming would be a suggestion.
A sustained competitive advantage can be a better option. There are certain advantages that don’t require immediate alteration. However, if keeping an attribute and having it in stagnation mode could impede an organization from keeping up with any change in the market and ultimately affect its profitability, then doing otherwise would be the needed solution.