Marks & Spencer
Resources, Capabilities & Competitive Advantage
Compiled for Paull Robathan.
Author: Kerry Sheehan
Monday, 02 February 2004
In the period up until the mid 1990's M&S had a market leading share of the clothing market. They used their resources and subsequent capabilities to exploit their differences from the competitors and create competitive advantage by:
*Empowering suppliers/manufacturers with design responsibility
*Closely managing supplier relationships
*Excellent customer service
*Excellent working conditions
Through these unique policies they created CA and profitable growth.
Richard Greenbury become Chair man and proceeded with a strategy that was inward focussed and paid scant regard for the external environment, particularly that of its competitors and customers!
His poor understanding of the external environment and complacency in underestimating it meant M&S could not maintain their fit between their organisational resources and capabilities and the significant changes in both the external and competitive environment.
The time to make changes was when M&S were at the top and had the resources to do so but Greenbury failed to realise the threat and did not react.
On appointing Luc Vandevelde, M&S should recommend the following strategies are pursued to correct Greenbury's failings:
*Restate the corporate values of quality, value & service
*Implement rigorous supplier quality audits
*Encourage participative management
*Implement new supplier partnerships outside of UK
*Employ Design Director with responsibility for seasonal ranges
oTarget individual fashion groups with individual ranges
oPartnerships with recognised designers
2.1The Clothing Market4
3.6Sources of Competitive Advantage8
3.6.1First Mover Advantage:9
3.7.1M&S Value Chain Key Strengths:10
4Part A Summary11
5.1Identifying Greenbury's Strategies12
5.2.1The External Environment:13
5.2.2The Competitive Environment14
5.3Resources & Capabilities14