Insights, Obsessions & Musings

This is a great point made by Brad Smith in Why Being a Low Cost Provider is a Recipe for Failure: People chasing low cost aren’t loyal to you… they’re loyal to the bottom line. In other words, it’s a company’s ability to maintain lower prices than its competitors by increasing productivity and efficiency, eliminating waste, or … A company pursuing a low-cost leadership strategy must generally. Sell off such equipment or unnecessary components. Price leadership means having the lowest price. As my Father always says: “There’s always room for the best.” There’s always a better resource out there. Notice we said appear as the low-cost operator. In this way, industries can get turned upside down by a new entrant with a significantly lower cost structure that is based on a new technology. Often, this is a function of the experience and expertise present in a team — better operators and managers know how to do more with less. People are wary of things that seem inexpensive yet claim to be of good quality. What are three activities or capabilities a firm/company should posses to support a low-cost leadership strategy? Wal-mart is the most extreme example of the power of size. Flagship national airlines still exist in most countries. It pays to do your research and test some inexpensive available materials for usage in your products. Do people shop at Wal-Mart because they love how clean it is, and how friendly and knowledgeable the staff is? Cost Leadership is a strategy to reduce the cost of operation and produce the lowest priced products or services, to out-do the closest competitors and gain market share. It’s wonderfully polarizing, and a beautiful synopsis of the ethos of the cost leader. The LCCs came to Europe in the 1990s and Asia in the 2000s. If one little guy is trying to buy across 27 different merchandise categories influenced by traveling salesmen, he’s going to make a lot of dumb decisions. Amazon business strategy can be described as cost leadership taken to the extreme. In nearly every function of a business, there are ways to lower costs. In the long run, your business becomes more cost-effective, and thus in a better position to continue your low-cost leadership strategy. As such an enormous purchaser, they can be brutal negotiators to get uniquely favorable prices. From Made in America, the story of Wal-mart: Our Vendors resented us for prying the lowest prices out of them. Very frequently, a company that is a cost leader is also the price leader. Thus the low-cost firm becomes the price leader. What opportunities to force costs down haven’t been enacted yet? Low Cost Leadership Strategy Dari segi entry barriers, strategi ini memiliki keunggulan yaitu dapat menghambat pesaing dengan cara memotong biaya proses produksi, yang berefek pada penawaran harga yang lebih murah pada pembeli. And your customer deserves the best price you can get. In nearly every function of a business, there are ways to lower costs. You get this huge purchasing power — which means that you have lower merchandise costs. 2. You don't need to spend huge amounts of money on marketing to create more hype for your brand. Low-Cost Leadership Using information systems in a way that gives customers the lowest prices is the low-cost leadership strategy. In the low-cost price leadership model, an oligopolistic firm having lower costs than the other firms sets a lower price which the other firms have to follow. A cost leader will be more profitable than a competitor at the same price point. This edition is part of a series that dives into each Competitive Advantage — the reasons that businesses win or lose. To be successful with the cost leadership strategy, low-cost providers resort to various strategic choices: 1. If you find this project helpful, please consider buying me a coffee, or sending some Bitcoin. This idea (and a great example) came from Rob McGrorty of Webgility: An example is Evolve CFO, my old company. Every year, I ask my team to do the equivalent of reducing their budgets by 10% — then I ask them what they’d do with that newly freed 10%. I always told the buyers: “you’re not negotiating for Wal-Mart, you’re negotiating for your customer. Benefits of size often manifest in increased purchasing power. There are two kinds of companies: Those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. There are pitfalls to the low-cost strategy that must be carefully avoided. We know that adopting the low-cost leadership strategy is not viable for every business. There are no half-measures for those who want to remain cost leaders. Historically, you could also read up on Carnegie and Rockefeller, both of whom created empires by exploiting Economics of Scale in Steel and Oil production. This dynamic is most common in manufacturing, but applies anywhere that scale creates gains in efficiency and decreased costs. You get a whole bunch of little laboratories out there in which you can conduct experiments. A cost leadership strategy is where the price may be similar or usually lower than the competition, but costs are certainly lower. You were really helpful on this topic, Ray! The extraction price of that oil, compared with the price they paid for the rights, will determine how profitable they can become. See the extent of their dedication to the strategy and what tactics they employed: Walton, Bezos, Mandel, Carnegie, Rockefeller… any others? If you liked this, check out other Editions of Evergreen: I've also written about How & Why we started Evergreen: Why Being a Low Cost Provider is a Recipe for Failure, Career Advice for Uniquely Ambitious People, How to Find and Recruit the Team you Need, Why Employee Onboarding is holding you back, How Performance Reviews are being Reinvented, Secrets to Perfecting Organizational Communication, How to Manage Scale, and Operate in Scaling Organizations, What you actually need to know about Company Culture, Competitive Advantage: How to Build a Winning Business, How Cost Leadership Builds Powerful Businesses, Flywheel Effect: Meta-Competitive Advantage, How to get good business Ideas: Mental Alchemy of Ideation, Product/Market Fit: What it really means & How to Measure it, How to Failure-proof your business with Customer Development, How Strategy and Psychology Work Together to Perfect Pricing, The Most Important Equations in Business - CAC (Part 1), The Simple Math Behind Every Profitable Business - CLV (Part 2, How Psychology behind Word-of-Mouth Works, The Secret Core of Every Successful Business--Distribution, Why Value Creation is the Foundation of Business, Why Value Capture is the most important idea you haven't read about, The Misunderstood and Underestimated Genius of Advertising, How to Start a New Job: Handling Career Transitions like a Boss, How to Master the Discipline of Product Management, The Ancient Origins of Storytelling, and how to Apply Them, How a prototype's failure created the next iteration, The Business of Death Has a Bright Future in Japan, Its the best and the worst of times for corporate culture in Australia, Purpose-Driven Brands Uphold the Status Quo, and That Ain’t Woke, Amnesty International Attacks Palantir’s Human Rights Record on the Eve of Its IPO, Overcoming dependency on the behaviour of others, ​Tech Giants and the Myth of Job Creation, Why Companies Operating at the Edge of Legality Indicate all Future Innovation. We provide some tips in this article. Massive appreciation for who suggested pieces of content (or wrote something new) for this Edition of Evergreen: Ray Stern, Preet Anand, Aaron Wolfson, and Rob McGrorty. Just think about it. They claim that a low cost strategy is rarely able to provide a sustainable competitive advantage. They try to avoid product differentiation. Where we found our niche, and how we stole significant numbers of clients from all of our competitors, was to find a relative cost savings on recurring bookkeeping and accounting work (monthly books, financial statements, tax prep, etc) that we billed at a fixed “package” price — but kept reducing our costs for, month over month. It is difficult to deploy the strategy because the management must constantly work on reducing cost at every level to remain competitive. A business can be a low-cost operator in a market segment, a middle or high price tier, and still enjoy competitive benefits. Gaebler Ventures. In the past, there used to be companies that specialized in certain products and there was no one to match them or compete them in that specific line due to the quality of that product and its low price. For example, let’s imagine a company that’s manufacturing chairs. Their website and app is how they acquire and interact with customers. Around the world, Walmart sells high-quality goods and fresh and nutritious food at low prices and thus saves its customers precious money. Thanks again to Ray Stern for suggesting this post! In every organization, there are many opportunities to do things better — for less. In others, the newest, smallest businesses are the low-cost operators. Thanks to Preet Anand for suggesting the fascinating story of Rockefeller and Standard Oil to the mix. What did they do or not do that others haven’t copied yet? To get deeper on this topic, I’d suggest picking up some books on the ruthless cost managers and trying to get in their head. Harley-Davidson has used cost leadership to offer a different motorcycle product than their competitors and has dominated the market with a very loyal following of Harley bikers. In the industries governed by economies of size and scale, where larger operators will be able to create cost advantages that are untouchable by new entrants, companies will become larger and larger. If there are 4 competitors in the space, there are likely to only be 2 over time. You need to be on the constant lookout for those opportunities. The best lessons seem to come from personal experience in industries, or deeply studying companies and leaders that are uniquely excellent practitioners of this strategy. These nickels and dimes add up, every day, every week, every month. Cost Leadership is the mechanism of establishing a competitive advantage by having the lowest cost of operation in the industry. An overall cost leadership strategy concentrates attention on a company‟s value chain resulting in low-cost products and services.

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