Compare and contrast the sources of competitive

Skills and Resources

Human resources are of exceptional quality when sing the profitableness of a company, although certain personable assets have more importance in some industries than they do in others. For case, the Aero-engine industry relies less upon set uping direct contact with people than the food market industry, which frequently uses selling techniques to the general populace with greater frequence. Naturally, this would reflect upon the accomplishments gathered by the people working for the company. Besides, because food markets are a perishable, it is indispensable that they are distributed rapidly and efficaciously by a adept work force. Although it is still pertinent that an Aero-engine portion has to be distributed, it is likely non indispensable that stairss have to be made to guarantee that the engine is distributed with exceptional velocity. The labour intensity of food market retail is comparatively high in comparing to other industries, as the distribution, skill and sale of fresh green goods could supply the difference between the companies’ success and failure to procure a competitory advantage over other rivals. While human resources don’t have to orient to a really specific sort of skilled worker, it still remains of import that accomplishments are managed and coordinated really specifically, as a really good work force is about ever a possible beginning of competitory advantage, particularly in the smaller, more quality-oriented food market ironss. The aero-engine industry, on the other manus, is more concerned about a really specific skill-set of the work force, which can depend upon the part of production and other of import factors such as these. While the retail of perishable goods is non finally reliant upon the location of the mercantile establishment ; so in the companies that have managed to set up a competitory advantage over the resistance in the market, frequently it is the instance that companies will open stores in a viral manner across the province, state and even, in the instance of supermarkets that tailor to food markets in the minor sense, the universe. Aero-engines, because they operate with a really high skills-base, and most of the labor has been automated due to developments in engineering, besides tend to precipitate a theory known as “cluster dynamics” or “economies of scale” . Michael Best ( 2001 ) posits that “Behind each [ post-war engineering ] lies an impressive accomplishment base in technology-related subjects and technology methodological analysiss, which facilitate industrial passages, engineering diffusion, and long-run growing. For illustration, turbine engineering, cardinal to the part ‘s planetary leading in jet engine production, has a family tree that began with inventions in H2O turbine engineering to power fabric Millss located in Lowell, Massachusetts in the mid-1800s. Techno-diversification is a effect of a passage to a new, unfastened systems concern theoretical account, a theoretical account more appropriate to work the chances offered by systems integrating at the technological level” ( 18 ) . Therefore, because the production of jet engines is really specific to a certain country of the state where the industry was originally pioneered and developed, the location of the production base is per se linked to forces in a clearly geographical manner.

The accomplishments and resources that are available in HR is indispensable to both the Aero-engine and grocery retail markets in sourcing competitory advantage, but it is besides indispensable that the two industries utilise concern theoretical accounts that reflect their peculiar industries, and to the full work the potencies of their ain workers. Human Resource Management is cardinal to unknoting this development and, particularly in a market driven by new engineerings such as the Aero-engine market it is of premier concern that the company remains every bit advanced as possible at the lowest possible cost.

Positional Advantages

Positional advantages include offering greater value to clients and cut downing the cost at the concern degree. Both Aero-engine and retail food market have to guarantee that clients get the greatest value for money, but the attack is really different in both industries. In food market retail, there are many factors that can be incorporated to minimise outgo while guaranting that clients are offered “value for money” , although depending upon the specific scheme and market in this wide sector, this perceived “value for money” could intend many things. Robert H. Lowson ( 2002 ) remarks that competitory advantage is facilitated through implementing certain, extremely focused schemes that target specific consumers used to having certain degrees of value and quality. Paraphrasing Porter, he argues that three attacks to scheme can be used in order to derive competitory advantage, although, he stresses, these are non needfully reciprocally sole. These are “variety-based positioning” , “needs-based positioning” and “action-based positioning” ( 49 ) . Variety-based placement is the incorporation of niche-based selling that markets a specific corner of a given industry. Lowson ( 2002 ) posits that this is “based on bring forthing a subset of an industry’s merchandises or services utilizing a typical set ofactivities” ( 49 ) . For case, a food market retail merchant may take to specialize in a peculiar type or subset of food market retail, in order to go the best and to offer the greatest value for money in that specific field. An illustration of this would be with retail merchants of high-quality nutrient that are sourced more carefully than its mass-market equivalent. For case, the company “Unicorn Foods” is an organic retail merchant that focuses upon ethical, easy sourced food markets. On the web site ( http: // & A ; veg.php ) , they comment that “We focal point on regionally produced, seasonal fruit and veggies and we are ever careful which growers we buy from [ … ] . While this is doubtless more expensive and less convenient than mass-market grocers, the specific “variety-based positioning” as a retail merchant of a certain specific niche of the food market market means that achieving and sourcing a competitory advantage over much larger retail merchants will be easier to accomplish in this specific subset, while staying mass-market and non-exclusive in its overall selling run will guarantee that the market will stay comparatively high. “Needs-based positioning” is concerned about functioning the demands of merely a specific group of people with certain demands. The aero-engine market is comparatively inelastic on this forepart due to the limited array of chances available to sell engines, and because of the comparative catholicity and tangibleness of what makes a good end-product. Though it is still possible to know apart on the degree of scale – for case, a company could take to specialize in the production of small-scale engines, though the specificity of this market tends to do production more cosmopolitan. The market for food markets nevertheless, being much larger and more diverse, offers all sorts of ways to specialize and to beginning countries where competitory advantage can be gained. For case, a food market retail merchant that lone caters to Chinese veggies would contract the market significantly but besides make the constitution of a repute for high quality food markets in this peculiar field much easier to get. This is because the focal point is strictly upon supplying this limited scope to a specific client base. Finally, “action-based positioning” is concerned about sectioning between clients who are frequently available in different ways. Although once more this isn’t peculiarly relevant to the comparatively fixed market of the Aero-engine, it can be applied to food markets in the signifier of convenience shops that frequently charge a higher monetary value but have more convenient gap hours. Other developments in this field include the development of Internet and place bringing services, which allow for a greater market to be accessed.

Performance Results

A competitory advantage can be sustained supplying that the given client base is happy with the terminal merchandise. The importance of this factor is dependent in many ways upon the “positioning” of the given merchandise, but can be an effectual beginning of rival advantage. Examples of positive public presentation results include satisfaction, trueness, market portion and profitableness. The former is arguably the most of import measure toward deriving competitory advantage in about any market, but is particularly of import in the aero-engine market and even to some extent in specific niches of the food market market. Because the aero-engine market is specifically targeted towards a engineering that can be measured in touchable footings ( power, velocity, efficiency ) , the production of a merchandise that is of a higher quality than rivals is indispensable in set uping market portion and deriving competitory advantage. Although client satisfaction is ever of import, convenience based retail merchants tend to endure less if criterions are somewhat lower. This, nevertheless, is offset by other factors such as longer gap hours and geographical convenience. Loyalty is a really of import issue in doing certain that clients return in both industries covered. Because the aero-engine market is really specific, and frequently caters to really big companies, the trueness of that company is frequently equivalent to the really endurance of the concern. Therefore, it has to be ensured that the merchandise itself is of the highest quality. Grocery retail can use other techniques much more efficaciously than the aero-engine market. Loyalty can be cultivated through the pseudo-differentiation techniques of stigmatization and selling. For case, coca-cola, which is basically a sugar-water solution, has cultivated tremendous popularity and competitory advantage chiefly through stigmatization. Fiona Czerniawska and Gavin Potter ( 1998 ) remark that “The intent of a trade name – as exemplified by, say, soft drinks – is to bring forth trueness for a merchandise that is basically uniform, in this instance, flavoured sugar and water” ( 29 ) . Similarly, particularly in retail food market, stigmatization can be highly utile in cultivating trueness to a specific concern, increasing profitableness, and can hence be a really utile beginning of competitory advantage. While both markets are less passing than, state, the athleticss manner market ( Nike, Adidas etc. ) or the soft-drinks market, client trueness cultivated through stigmatization still remains an of import peripheral factor to the constitution of a client base, and leads to the growing of market portion. When used in combination with techniques discussed before, branding can besides take to increased overall profitableness.

Technological Knowhow

The construction of a company is an of import factor in raising efficiency and profitableness and, when implemented good, provides a beginning of competitory advantage in both industries analysed. The food market retail market, depending upon whether the company is concerned with the mass market, or in emerging markets such as the production of “organic” or high-quality goods, depends upon puting up a concern construction that facilitates the demands of the company. If moralss are a cardinal issue of the company, it is of import that the concern construction echoes this sentiment by set uping itself in a non-hierarchical manner. Similarly, if the food market retailer’s precedence is the mass cargo of goods, so the morale of forces working in the retail merchant must be high plenty to ease efficiency, while at the same clip staying inexpensive plenty to guarantee greater degrees of growing within the concern. The aero-engine market depends to a big extent upon its work force and the accomplishments that they can offer throughout the company. Certain recent developments in direction that focus upon “Just In Time” and “Total Quality Management” techniques are centrally of import when trying to retain the highest standard forces that can lend efficaciously to the concern. In order to make this, the concern theoretical account has to integrate staff at all degrees and, to an extent, be every bit non-hierarchical as possible. In all technological markets that are dependent upon invention, it is of import that the thoughts of the skilled work force are utilised to the greatest extent and that Fordist, hierarchal systems of direction are avoided. Michael Best ( 2001 ) suggests that this technique should be known as “feedback” , because it allows for any portion of the concern hierarchy to interact with any other portion, hence leting for inefficiencies to be filtered out by the overall mechanism of the concern hierarchy. Using Canon as an illustration, Best stresses that “technology direction [ … ] is non a additive procedure get downing with generic engineering. The procedure begins with developmental research for intents of merchandise invention on technological classs near or at the top of the engineering pyramid. This research is conducted on or following to the shopfloor. Findingss at this degree provender into applied research in design centres or concern degree labs which, in bend, leads to alterations in nucleus engineering ; where applied research is non plenty, cardinal research in corporate research labs is conducted at the generic engineering degree. Contributions here lead to technological progress that can feed back into scientific knowledge” ( 43 ) . Indeed, new technological companies are boundlessly concerned about engineerings, and these engineerings in many respects are centralised around the effectual use of antecedently untapped accomplishments and resources of the people working at all degrees in the company hierarchy. The changeless development of new engineering is cardinal to the Aero-engine industry, as new developments in engineering would instantly put the company in a place where a beginning of technological competitory advantage is frequent. This concern construction and attack to human resource direction ensures that new engineering and technological developments, when assisted by Research and Development, are a changeless beginning of new thoughts and systematically offer the potency of competitory advantage over challengers.


The beginnings of competitory advantage can be attributed to positional advantages, public presentation factors and technological techniques. These tend to run in synergism to give the more successful companies a lead in the market place that generates competitory advantage. Although food market retail and aero-engine design are radically different in their markets, production civilizations and services, they can still be said to trust on these basic rules in order to keep a net income. Grocery retail companies, because the end-product is less easy measured in distinct footings, tend to utilize many of the positional techniques outlined above to specialize toward certain parts of the market, or upon presenting a specific type of merchandise or to a specific client base. These specialization factors, while cut downing the figure of possible clients, besides allows for a greater focal point to be placed upon the clients thatmakeexist, and hence enables a little concern to vie in a market where big corporations dominate the mass-market retail concern. Specialisation, hence, is an highly of import beginning of competitory advantage in food market retail. Besides, other factors such as trueness and repute can be cultivated by consistent selling schemes and branding that guarantee a certain food market mercantile establishment is remembered. Because aero-engine industry is already a specific market, and can be measured in more touchable footings, there tends to be less focus upon branding and specialization. HRM is highly of import in the aero-engine market to guarantee that the concern remains at the cutting border of new engineerings. Techniques as Entire Quality Management and non-hierarchical direction constructions help to retain a extremely skilled and competitory work force, and besides aids in using the abilities of the work force to develop new engineerings with improve efficiency and unafraid competitory advantage and increase overall profitableness.


Best, Michael ( 2001 ) ,The New Competitive Advantage: The Renewal of American Industry,Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Czerniawska, Fiona & A ; Potter, Gavin ( 1998 ) ,Business in a Virtual Universe: Exploiting Information for Competitive Advantage,London: Macmillan.

“Incubators Glossary” from hypertext transfer protocol: // [ accessed 13 Feb 2007 ] .

Lowson, Robert H. ( 2002 ) ,Strategic Operations Management: The New Competitive Advantage,London: Routledge.

Unicorn Grocery Website, hypertext transfer protocol: // & A ; veg.php [ accessed 13 Feb 2007 ] .

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