This week, after reading through the chapter, identify a company about which you can gather information (use their Web site, industry-related Web sites, news articles, etc.) and determine how it is working to gain or sustain a competitive advantage. Ask the following questions as you do your research:
1. Responsiveness to customers: Does this company meet or exceed customer expectations? If so, how? What do customers expect or want that this company provides?
2. Quality – Does this company use TQM or other quality programs to improve or maintain the quality of its operations, products or services? Is it known for its quality? Give examples if you can.
3. Efficiency – What production techniques does this company use to improve efficiency (just-in-time inventories, self-managed work teams, information technology, unique facilities layout or process engineering, etc.)
4. Innovation – How does this company reduce product development time? How does it promote innovation among its employees?
5. How do the employees of this company view the companies for which they work? In other words, does establishing a competitive advantage result in more fulfilled employees? Why or why not?
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