The importance of quality in creating competitive advantage

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Most businesses operate in competitive markets: they have to 'take on' and 'see off' rivals. Each organisation must decide for itself how best to try to do this. Not all firms come up with the same answer and for good reason. Firstly, there are several different ways of gaining competitive advantage. Secondly, businesses need to play to their strengths and not all businesses have the same strengths. Thirdly, many markets are segmented and what is important to one set of customers may be less important to another set. So businesses need to decide which segments of the market they are targeting. Ways of seeking to gain competitive advantage include: Offering lower pricesOffering clearly superior products at above average pricesDelivering products more quicklyOffering superior customer service, including after sales service. This Case Study focuses on how Portakabin has set about gaining a competitive advantage in the hire and sale of interim (temporary) or permanent accommodation by concentrating on quality. The Portakabin Group is a private company, owned by the Shepherd family. Clients want modular buildings for a variety of reasons. For example: Portakabin operates in a highly competitive market and competes with tough competitors. Despite this, Portakabin has 17% of the...

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