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Competitive Advantage

A competitive advantage is a condition through which one organization has to spend fewer resources to get the same benefit as a competitor (or, of course, gets more benefit for spending the same amount of resources.)

This advantage can be because of a perception of higher quality products, because of location, because of the ability to recruit the best workforce, or for any of a multitude of reasons.

Competitive advantages are closely linked to continuous improvement efforts. Each of the advantages, except perhaps for patents, comes from some form of process. High quality, for example, comes from top notch procurement, great manufacturing, or even outstanding marketing processes that allow for the purchase of better components. Each of those processes can be improved by continuous improvement.

Competitive advantages tend to be fleeting. Once a competitor sees what you are doing successfully, they will copy you. The only way to keep ahead of them is to keep innovating in how you do business, and that requires a strong continuous improvement culture.

 

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