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Porter's Value Chain

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Each of these activities can contribute to a firm's relative cost position and create a basis for differentiation. According to an article on Strategic Management Insight , there are two different approaches to the value chain analysis: After identifying the primary and support activities, businesses should identify the cost drivers for each activity. For a more labor-intensive activity, cost drivers could include how fast work is completed, work hours, wage rates, etc.

Businesses should then identify links between activities, knowing that if costs are reduced in one area, they can be reduced in another. Businesses can then identify opportunities to reduce costs. Identifying the activities that create the most value to customers is the priority. These can include using relative marketing strategies, knowing about products and systems, answering phones faster, and meeting customer expectations.

The next step is evaluating these strategies in order to improve the value. Focusing on customer service, increasing options to customize products or services, offering incentives, and adding product features are some of the ways to improve activity value. Lastly, businesses should identify differentiation that can be maintained and adds the most value. Free templates are available online to help businesses determine and analyze their value chains. Ideally, value chain analysis will help identify areas that can be optimized for maximum efficiency and profitability.

It is important, along with the mechanics of it all, to keep customers feeling confident and secure enough to remain loyal to the business. By analyzing and evaluating product quality and effectiveness of services, along with cost, a business can find and implement strategies to improve. Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. The idea of the value chain is based on the process view of organizations, the idea of seeing a manufacturing or service organization as a system, made up of subsystems each with inputs, transformation processes and outputs.

Inputs, transformation processes, and outputs involve the acquisition and consumption of resources — money, labour, materials, equipment, buildings, land, administration and management. How value chain activities are carried out determines costs and affects profits. The concept of value chains as decision support tools, was added onto the competitive strategies paradigm developed by Porter as early as The appropriate level for constructing a value chain is the business unit , [5] not division or corporate level.

Products pass through a chain of activities in order, and at each activity the product gains some value. The chain of activities gives the products more added value than the sum of added values of all activities.

The activity of a diamond cutter can illustrate the difference between cost and the value chain. The cutting activity may have a low cost, but the activity adds much of the value to the end product, since a rough diamond is significantly less valuable than a cut diamond.

Typically, the described value chain and the documentation of processes, assessment and auditing of adherence to the process routines are at the core of the quality certification of the business, e. A firm's value chain forms a part of a larger stream of activities, which Porter calls a value system. After the firm creates products, these products pass through the value chains of distributors which also have their own value chains , all the way to the customers.

All parts of these chains are included in the value system. To achieve and sustain a competitive advantage , and to support that advantage with information technologies, a firm must understand every component of this value system. The value chain categorizes the generic value -adding activities of an organization. In practice as of [update] , no progressive organisation can afford to remain stuck to any one of these value chains. Hence organisations today try to employ the combined value chain.

This value-chain matrix suggests that there are a number of opportunities for improvement in any business process. An industry value-chain is a physical representation of the various processes involved in producing goods and services , starting with raw materials and ending with the delivered product also known as the supply chain.

It is based on the notion of value-added at the link read: The sum total of link-level value-added yields total value. Wasilly Leontief's Input-Output tables, published in the s, provide estimates of the relative importance of each individual link in industry-level value-chains for the U.

Often multinational enterprises MNEs developed global value chains, investing abroad and establishing affiliates that provided critical support to remaining activities at home.

To enhance efficiency and to optimize profits, multinational enterprises locate "research, development, design, assembly, production of parts, marketing and branding" activities in different countries around the globe. MNEs offshore labour-intensive activities to China and Mexico , for example, where the cost of labor is the lowest. Through global value chains, there has been growth in interconnectedness as MNEs play an increasingly larger role in the internationalisation of business.

In response, governments have cut Corporate income tax CIT rates or introduced new incentives for research and development to compete in this changing geopolitical landscape. In an industrial development context, the concepts of global value chain analysis were first introduced in the s Gereffi et al. Value chain analysis has also been employed in the development sector as a means of identifying poverty reduction strategies by upgrading along the value chain.

Its aim in doing so was to provide a sustainable means of making ethanol that would increase the incomes of the rural poor, without sacrificing food and fodder security, while protecting the environment. The value chain framework quickly made its way to the forefront of management thought as a powerful analysis tool for strategic planning. The simpler concept of value streams , a cross-functional process which was developed over the next decade, [13] had some success in the early s.

The value-chain concept has been extended beyond individual firms. It can apply to whole supply chains and distribution networks. The delivery of a mix of products and services to the end customer will mobilize different economic factors, each managing its own value chain. The industry wide synchronized interactions of those local value chains create an extended value chain, sometimes global in extent. Porter terms this larger interconnected system of value chains the "value system".

A value system includes the value chains of a firm's supplier and their suppliers all the way back , the firm itself, the firm distribution channels, and the firm's buyers and presumably extended to the buyers of their products, and so on. Capturing the value generated along the chain is the new approach taken by many management strategists. For example, a manufacturer might require its parts suppliers to be located nearby its assembly plant to minimize the cost of transportation.


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Value chain analysis is a strategic analytical and decision-support tool that highlights the bases where businesses can create value for their customers. The framework can also be applied to identify sources of competitive advantage for businesses.

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Porter's Value Chain The idea of the value chain is based on the process view of organisations, the idea of seeing a manufacturing (or service) organisation as a system, made up of subsystems each with inputs, transformation processes and outputs.

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The first step in value chain management is researching the products your customers want. Through careful market analysis, including the measurement of consumer trends, companies can anticipate what people want and have those products available. Value Chain Analysis Research Papers delve into an analysis tool developed by Michael Porter, and discuss the functions of this tool. A research paper that includes a value chain analysis is generally for a business or MBA course.

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Value Chain. staffs) 4. customer service - includes estimating, coordinating, scheduling 5. Top management spending bulk of time within stores Technology development: Technology Development - includes research and development, process automation, and other technology development used to support the value-chain activities. The Value Chain Innovation Initiative supports research in global value chain innovation that is immediately applicable to real-world situations.