Implementing Competitive Advantage

How To Become A Leading Competitor In An Industry Market

When the technical software training industry began offering training certifications it opened up opportunities for training companies to provide certified training.  Those companies who owned the training centers had a demand for certified trainers.  This demand was met by individuals and small training brokers, which required training centers to make multiple calls to find a solution.  This inefficiency consumed time that could have otherwise been spent on more productive activities and gave the trainer an unfair advantage in negotiating fees since they would typically have no competition.  No central source of certified trainers existed that could provide a convenient access to the trainers that were available in the market.

Took startup and grew market share to 30% establishing company leadership position as second largest in their market niche nationwide through strategic planning

Some of the small training brokers in the market aspired to creating a comprehensive database of trainers, but failed due to limited resources.  To become one of the top two competitors a company had to create a database with all, or nearly all, of the independent certified trainers in the market.  Having been able to do that, it positioned the company to become a major competitor.  However, to be successful as a top competitor, a generic business strategy would need to be adopted to claim a defensible position in the market.  The company was especially good at creating high quality marketing materials, systemizing all the business processes to create a consistent level of quality service, producing high quality financial reports on demand, and successfully managing the quality of a team of 21 employees and over 200 active independent contractors.  So the company took the position of differentiation, against one other major competitor who took the overall cost leadership position.  Both companies were taking on a focused strategy on the software certified technical training contract staffing market segment worth about $24 million in annual volume nationwide at the time.  By taking a differentiated position as the high quality provider the company was able to maintain a higher profit margin with favorable contract terms and compete successfully with a slightly larger volume competitor competing on price alone.  No other significant competitors were able to successfully gain traction in our competitive space.

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2013 Jim Anderson

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