Competitiveness and the complexity of income maximisation and market share achievement present complicated and ever changing pressures on business. All facets of business can be shown to impact on competitiveness and thereby produce highly complex interrelationships and interactions between variables in a firm's structure and its strategy.
The complexity and variability of internal influences affecting competitiveness often goes far beyond the simple arithmetic expression of product cost build-up and income mark-up. In addition, the constantly changing external environment, whether impacting on product or marketing costs etc can complicate any analysis with factors beyond the control of the firm which are in turn difficult to track.
Optimising on competitiveness is perhaps the greatest challenge facing any business. The problem is that optimal performance requires a multitude of skills and a lot of management time to produce the information required to enable a firm to stay ahead of the game. Whilst Management Information Systems, Market Reports, CRM studies and feedback, and data mining exercises etc contribute to some measure, few companies can confidently say that they can predict likely market events.
A lack of understanding of a firm's competitive position results in surprises in changing circumstances, and it is such surprises which most often characterise those least understanding their competitive environment in detail. Market leaders tend by their nature to 'make the play' and thus create the most surprises for competitors, and therefore, followers tend to experience the most surprises. The more a firm is surprised - the more it follows and the more it follows - the more it is surprised!
Entrained MIS and other systems, as often designed by XETA for clients, can go some of the way to alleviating the information lag and thus enhance competitiveness, but the most effective strategy towards optimal performance has been found to result from periodic whole internal and external environment studies.
XETA treats such projects as audits involving the same rigour and far reaching considerations as Accountants have when auditing a firm's financial position. Naturally, competitiveness audits encompass a vast variety of influences involving both internal and external considerations and benefit from the independent view of an expert house.
The overall intention of a Competitiveness Audit is to identify the actual position of the company in relation to its wider environment within broad SWOT considerations. XETA's Competitiveness Audits have been shown to optimise incomes, enhance performance and thereby retain and increase market share, whilst reducing competitive surprises.
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