Author: Oana Mădălina Popescu
The customer perspective – an effective and efficient way to differentiate for companies in the globalization era
Introduction. Anywhere in the world and in any market, the firms are facing more and more a major challenge to meet growing customer demand towards addressing specific business or operational needs of their customers. In a globalization era, a firm’s customers are more oriented on how to create value for their own customers and such they are looking for an approach shift from their providers. Nowadays, the customers are expecting from their providers to better understand the value creation process in their organization.
Aim of the study. Through knowledge combination, the provider and the customer are acting like partners in the co-production of a customer solution to solve a specific customer business requirement. The expected approach is for the provider to create value not for the customer but together with the customer. Even though a number of driving forces requires the shift of a firm’s focus towards taking the perspective of the customers of that firm, it is not an easy task for any firm no matter the market it is operating in or the geographical area the firm is covering. But this shift could represent one effective and efficient way for the firm to differentiate in the market and to be rewarded with achieving a competitive advantage to be sustained over a longer period of time.
Keywords: value creation, sustainable competitive advantage, customer solutions.
JEL Classification: L10, D40, M10
Customer solutions – new sources of sustainable competitive advantage in times of global economic crisis
Introduction. The global economic crisis changed the competition game in any marketplace. Faced with increasing competition, declining margins or decreasing demand due to crisis, the firms are looking for new ways to compete at global level. Considering Peter Drucker’s argument that the reason the firms exist is to satisfy the customer, they are trying to differentiate themselves by moving their focus from simple stand-alone products and/or services and instead developing customer solutions. They are defined in the extant literature as a combination of goods and services designed to satisfy a customer’s business needs and therefore they are difficult to imitate and thus they have the potential to be used as a source of sustainable competitive advantage. Much more, firms are facing a demand change from their customers as a response to address new business requirements imposed by the economic crisis. But the shift towards developing, selling and implementing customer solutions is not an easy journey. The firms have to transform many aspects of their business. The question that arises is what are the major challenges firms are facing in creating effective customer solutions to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and how they could address these challenges.
Aim of the study. The firms have to transform many aspects of their business. The question that arises is what are the major challenges firms are facing in creating effective customer solutions to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and how they could address these challenges.
Keywords: customer solutions, competitive advantage, value co-creation
JEL Classification: L10, D40, M10