Competitors: The Greatest Threat to your Organisation?
In every industry there are competitors. They’ll be keen to attract your customers and sometimes they will succeed, but in this article, we want to explain how to beat the competition at Quality.
Some organisations see the competition as their biggest threat, but in many cases competition is healthy. In reality, it isn’t possible to serve everyone, so you need competitors to fill in the gaps. The competition also encourages:
- Appreciation of your customers
- The development of niche markets
- Innovation and investment
- Continuous improvement
- Staff training and development opportunities
- Quality Controls
The challenge is not to get rid of the competition, but to rise above it.
Quality or Price: How to Stand Out from the Competition
With the focus on the short-term sales figures, the threat of competitors can lead many business owners to feel that there is little choice but to drop their prices.
Undercutting the Competition
There is no doubt that undercutting the competition can make your goods and services attractive to buyers. The results can be relatively instant, so the action is quickly rewarded. This leads business owners to believe that they’ve made a good move.
The challenge is that the customer’s expectations haven’t changed. They want the same level of quality and service as before. With a reduced profit margin on every sale, there’s a need to generate more leads in order to balance the books. This adds pressure to all internal operations and the chance of maintaining your internal standards is put at risk.
Then a competitor steps in and undercuts your prices. The options on how to respond are limited because you already have reduced your margin. The rug is pulled from under your feet.
Delivering a Quality Service
Price conscious buyers will be swayed by reduced costs, but many other factors influence buying decisions. The majority of individuals and businesses are willing to pay more in exchange for a better quality service. As buyers, we want products and services that we can trust; they need to be reliable, to be fit for purpose and to deliver the desired results.
When quality underpins your operations, there isn’t much need for cutting costs, as there are many opportunities to prove your worth. Trust is gained through reliably delivering goods, on time, with a format required by the customer, that consistently match or exceed expectations, and services that make the customer feel valued.
This trust in your brand will develop customer loyalty. Loyal customers won’t easily be swayed by a competitor and they will become advocates for your company.
There is no doubt that opting for quality will cost you more – short term. Quality has to be embedded not only in your goods and services but also in your systems, training, resources, packaging, marketing and company values. Put simply, there’s no point in cutting corners and having tight purse strings if you want to encourage your customers to spend.
It is in the longer term that Quality really demonstrates the difference: your customers know what they will get, how it will be delivered and at what price. This is key to ensuring that they come back to you again and again – and repeat business is the most cost-effective – more profitable without the chasing up and breaking in of new clients.
One investment that has really proved its worth as a symbol of quality is the attainment of ISO 9001 certification.
ISO 9001 Certification: Gaining a Reputation for Quality
ISO Quality Standards provide a framework for businesses to achieve an internationally recognised level of quality. The most popular is ISO 9001 Quality, which focuses on putting everything in place to ensure a company can deliver exceptional customer service.
Over 1.6 million global organisations currently hold the ISO 9001 certification.
This has enabled them to:
- Repeatedly finely tune their performance
- Have a clear focus on areas for improvement
- Build Consumer Confidence
- Develop pride within the organisation reducing staff turnover
- Evidence their commitment to quality
- Facilitate Trade
The robust nature of a company built on quality also provides a strong basis for sustainable growth.
Achieving ISO 9001 Certification
Qualitation is a team of specialist advisers with extensive industry experience. They support the initial audit process, the identification of areas for improvement and the implementation of change. Their goal is to ensure that every company working towards ISO 9001 will gain long-term tangible benefits, as well as certification.
For over 20 years, Qualitation has helped hundreds of companies to achieve ISO 9001 certification. We’re proud to say that every one of those organisations has been certified on their first assessment.
Our experience allows us to ensure that the systems that we create with you are the very ones you need – this means there is no duplication, or bureaucratic form-filling, just a tight but easy to use system that is focused on developing your business, your way.
For many companies, the achievement of ISO 9001 certification has been a turning point. It’s opened up new opportunities which have resulted in significant growth and development. By committing to quality, they’ve been able to stand out from the competition and thrive.
Our expertise can save your company considerable time and effort.
If we could be what you are looking for, get in touch with Qualitation to find out more.