As per Micheal Eugene Porter's Generic Strategies Model, the 3 generic strategies organisations adopt to gain competitive advantage over their competitors are
I. Cost leadership (no-frills)
2. Differentiation (creating uniquely desirable products and services) and
3. Focus (offering a specialised service in a niche market)
1. reduced costs of capital, resources, services,
2. having efficient logistics and warehousing where selection of the transportation medium and warehousing done keeping costs in mind
3. low cost base of manpower, materials, facilities, rents etc..
These strategies are available to all the competitors and so it does not differentiate the organisations. However by engaging in excellence programmes like 5S, 5 Whys, Kaizen etc, organisations can get ahead of their competitors.
Differentiation basically refers to how one can make products and services different and more attractive to customers than the competitors by changing or modifying product / process features, functionality, durability, after sales support etc..
1. having good research and development facilities and innovation base
2. ability and a network to deliver high quality products / services
3. effective sales and marketing team to create awareness of the new products and services with the organisation
An organisation by planning to be agile (able to adapt quickly and easily) with new product and service development processes can offer a differentiation strategy
This strategy involves concentrating on niche markets and offering products and services of low cost and high quality only to that market.
These niche markets give opportunity for the organisation to study consumer behaviour and adapt their products or service from the valuable customer feedback.
A Case study on ISRO and NASA
An effort has been made to study how the above two strategies could be applied to ISRO and NASA who have been trying to hone up their strategies to take space technology leadership of the world.
A very significant point that needs to be pointed out is the role of space technology offering telecom satellites and their networks at dirt cheap rates in spearheading the recent extremely disruptive telecommunication revolution happening in India. The competition is so intense that many foreign telecom players, unable to bear the heat are planning to leave the country and move to safer and less competitive environs in their parent countries. Had it not been for the cheap telecom bandwidth provided by these satellites, on the vision of Sam Pitroda and Rajiv Gandhi in the early eighties, such disruptive, cost innovative leadership would not have been possible.
Mintzberg's emergent strategy model states that in the life of a product or service, strategies do emerge as organisations face reality. These set of actions and thoughts were not originally intended or planned but have emerged successful over time and have been accepted as successful strategy for the organisation.
This implies a set of trial and error methods, performance measurement metrics and effective feedback management and measurement leading to overall organisational performance and development.
Both NASA and ISRO would have wanted total leadership in space technology and not part leadership of the cost leadership model or differentiation model in the space sector respectively, but as technologies emerged and missions succeeded, they have transitioned to these models over time. The increased capability provided by cheaper satellite launches and more telecom satellites in space have seen drop in rates and more space applications like remote sensing, traffic and navigational guidance being the order of the day.
In short, it can be very clearly seen that in the area of space technology, especially in the leadership countries like India and United States, the growth and evolution of space technology has been monumental and all the countries mentioned earlier will continue to come up with innovative applications over time to make this field even more attractive in future. This will spur into action other countries too to explore space and partake in the benefits it can offer mankind.