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Mika Kuronen and Josu Takala

Abstract

This short analysis presents perspective and a holistic method for approaching and measuring customer satisfaction. The Balanced Critical Factor Index (BCFI) method is a measurement tool to indicate which attribute of a business process is critical and which is not, based on the experience and expectations of the company’s employees, customers or business partners. This paper focuses on to detect and define critical business processes and factors, which have influence to effective co-operation and customer satisfaction. The use of a questionnaire is one of the most efficient approaches to gather the required information. Due to the fact that each process has its own attributes and the questionnaires cannot be standardized, but the information from the phase is essential and could be measured. In this study case company’s all gathered information will be analyzed and furthermore the BCFI measurement tools will be applied. The original research has been testified that, with the above-mentioned method (BCFI) customer’s experience of the “gap” between expected and received service can be easily resolved. Using this BCFI method it is also possible to find easier so called “weak” customer satisfaction indicators, which are not directly obvious. Companies have crucial to take the right decisions upon the areas of business interest. To have it done, the company should have able to made decisions with the right amount of customer’s needs. The correct allocation and fast adaption of customer’s needs with the right amount of standards is a key to competitive advantage. This paper shows use of this BCFI method and how it could help companies to define there’s customer’s needs and required development target area more specifically

Open access

Josu Takala, Daryna Shylina and Sara Tilabi

Abstract

Nowadays companies concern more about how to survive and extend their own business in future in their current marketplace. However, developing and prospering a region of the country is becoming more crucial question. Successful cooperation and partnership between different sectors of economy (for instance, between companies, public and academic sectors) leads to the flourishing and prosperity of the region and consequently of a country. European Commission established smart specialization platform, which is a strategic approach to economic development of a region. By defining and developing of vision, competitive advantages and strategic preferences, region will determine knowledge-based potential. The purpose of this paper is to assign and define the collaboration/relations existed, how strong these relations are and what the expectations are between 3 sectors of economy: public, academic and business. Area of carrying out this research is Ostrobothnia region, however, connections in other regions of Finland and internationally is also presented. There have been chosen 3 industrial peaks from Ostrobothnia region: Energy, Fur and Boat industrial peaks. Analysis is conducted by implementing two core methods: Sense & Respond (S&R) and Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA). The goal of this research is also to use S&R method so as to allocate efficiently resources, and to define competitive priorities in cooperation. The main results show that the most tight collaboration and partnership is observed between companies and companies in all around Finland and internationally. While concerning other relationships, companies expect to have tighter cooperation especially in Ostrobothnia and other regions of Finland.

Open access

Josu Takala, Jari Koskinen, Yang Liu, Mehmet Serif Tas and Matti Muhos

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to present a fresh idea on how to model and examine the level of sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) with and without knowledge and /technology (K/T) effects in a case company’s operation by taking the manufacturing strategy’s development directions and the efficiency of resource allocation among its attributes into consideration.

Design/Methodology/approach: In this paper, questionnaires are filled by two different managerial groups, company’s management team (G1) and company’s global directors (G2). The analyses based on G1, G2 and G1-G2 (mixed results) are performed and examined as well as the effect of knowledge and /technology rankings to observe the differences on how they effect on company’s operations strategy and what kind of strategy type that decision makers might follow. Besides, the effects of knowledge/technology rankings on SCA risk levels are examined on different case companies to perceive the similarities and differences with our case company. In this case study, the objectives are achieved based on several methodologies: manufacturing strategy index (MSI) [1] and sense and respond (S&R) methodology [2].

Findings: The achieved results through the model are found to be promising corresponding to the feedback from the respondents.

Research limitations/implications: The model is applied only in a big sized B2B global company that produces power electronics products. Therefore, further tests need to be applied to the model in case of multiple companies from different sizes and areas to figure out the best formula in case of validation of strategic direction (MAPE, RSME or MAD).

Practical implications: As a result of its wide applicability and its ease in arrangement the model has an enormous potential for strategic decision-making process and strategic analysis.

Originality/Value:The model can provide a more dependable possibility of sustainable improvement to the corporate operational excellence and strategy

Open access

Josu Takala, Matti Muhos, Sara Tilabi, Mehmet Serif Tas and Bingli Yan

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to help small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to find operative competitive advantage. This paper introduces a new method which applies critical factor analysis, risk and opportunities analysis to measure and propose resource allocation for companies in couple of next years. this research shows Knowledge/Technology (K/T) Calculation effect on (Balanced) Critical Factor Index (CFIs) depending on the proportions allocated among the different technological levels (Basic, Core or Spearhead) for each attribute separately. Moreover it helps firms to take balance in resource allocation for each attribute in changing environments on the basis of different level of technology. This paper presents the ’first in the world’ case study on operative sustainable competitive advantage and corresponding risk levels by taking into account technology and knowledge effects for 7 SME companies

Open access

Zhao Shi, Josu Takala, Matti Muhos, Jyrki Poikkimaki and Yang Chen

Abstract

It is a core content of enterprise performance research evaluating and comparing enterprise performance in dynamic environment. In allusion to this problem, a variety of enterprise performance assessment methods and indexes systems are proposed. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a kind of effective mathematical model which is used for comparing the performance among enterprises or different units inside an enterprise, based on the real-world data. Through comparing the performance, DEA can evaluate the enterprise performance from scale effectiveness and technological effectiveness, and then get the performance optimization goals. Critical Factor Index (CFI) is a new enterprise performance assessment method proposed in recent years. This method, based on the performance perception of business leaders or staffs, evaluates the enterprise performance in different dimensions, and then gets the optimization strategy of enterprise resource allocation to improve integrated enterprise performance. This paper has structured a new evaluation and optimization system for performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which combine properly the DEA and CFI method to evaluate and optimize the SMEs’ performance comprehensively, and has confirm this system with data of 5 Finnish SMEs.

Open access

Josu Takala, Daryna Shylina, Teppo Forss and Johannes Malmi

Abstract

Today’s concern and problem for most of the companies is the way of surviving and prospering in current and future periods of time in the marketplace. Sustainable competitive ability can be one of the ways of adaptation to the global business and rapid environment requirements. Operational competitiveness is not easy to be sustainably improved because of unpredictable environment situations, such as continuous increasing customer needs, global competitive environment, rapid and unpredictable changes in government policy, company crisis during significant changes etc. However, it is possible to make adaptive adjustments on operations strategy level in dynamic business environment and to become competitive enough compared to the competitors. The purpose of this paper is to define and assess sustainable competitive advantage and the direction of development in housing business. It can be analysed by two core factors, i.e. Sense and Respond (S&R) methodology, Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) as well as Sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) method. This study also focuses on applying S&R method in order to optimize operational competitiveness as well as defining the competitive priorities of the case company. The analysis results show the critical areas in different departments of the case company, which can help the managers to make quick decisions. In addition, they reveal that during the crisis the resource allocation is continuously changing and therefore the operation strategy of the case company is not well defined as well as competitive advantages are not enough sustainable

Open access

Vesa-Jukka Vornanen, Josu Takala and Yang Liu

Abstract

How to ensure that the various levels of the organization are operating in accordance with a common strategy? According to the Hallberg committee’s Preparedness and comprehensive security report [1] the key challenges the public sector organization faces lies in finding new ways of operating horizontally across various levels of administration. This paper aims to develop the preparedness in the target organization by strategy’s resource-based identification for implementing sustainable competitive advantages to the public sector’s management system. The research methods used are a case study and surveys, which were connected by the analytical hierarchy process based form and two sense and respond (S&R) based forms. The longitudinal data for the surveys were collected in two phases and analyzed with the balanced critical factor index method [2] and transformational leadership indexes (TLI) with technology levels [3]. The BCFI & TLI method identifies and clarifies the unit’s development and risk factors. According to [4] during the process of sense and respond, it is important to develop an operational strategy adjustment system by utilizing critical factor evaluation. As [5] describes in her dissertation if there were clear goals defined for the quality of the (public) services the natural choice of the approach in the purpose of evaluation for accountability would be the goal-attainment evaluation. The innovative findings lay the groundwork for the decision makers to focus efforts and readjust the operations of the target organization in order to achieve operational sustainable competitive advantage (OSCA).

Open access

Wawmayura Chamsuk, Wanno Fongsuwan and Josu Takala

Abstract

A structural equation model was used to verify both the direct and indirect influences on research and development and innovation capabilities that affect Thai automotive parts enterprises competitive advantage. Thailand’s automotive sector is a major driver of the economy with a multi-thousand network of both domestic and international companies contributing a significant amount to both domestic and Asian economic growth. After peaking in 2013 and reaching the Top 10 automotive nations, there has been a slide backwards. Competition is fierce and the pace of change ever quickening. Therefore, the researchers sought to determine how the automotive parts sector needed to improve in capability, skills and infrastructure to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. From the structural equation model analysis of 220 regional automotive parts sector managers and use of AMOS software, it was determined that research and development combined with innovation plays key roles in the industry’s profitability and survivability. Additionally, there must be support across a wide sector of the economy, including universities, government agencies and institutions. Once championed as the ‘Detroit of Asia’, Thailand’s recognized success as a global automotive hub is a classic case of a well-executed industrial plan but that lead can potentially slip away without embracing new technologies and innovative thinking.

Open access

Binod Timilsina, Päivi Haapalainen and Josu Takala

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of a company’s size on its manager’s perception towards changes in market needs and manufacturing flexibility. To serve the purpose, a questionnaire was designed by considering different types of manufacturing flexibility and changes occurring in market needs. The collected data were then analyzed to verify the proposed hypotheses. The results showed that a company’s size significantly influence manager’s perception towards manufacturing flexibility and market requirements. For instance, reliability is given higher priority by managers of micro and small enterprises in comparison with managers of medium and large enterprises. Similarly, routine flexibility is found to be significantly more important to managers of micro and small enterprises, while production facility flexibility is considered more important by managers of medium and large enterprises. Furthermore, the results showed that there is a positive relationship between changes in market requirements and manufacturing flexibility, showing that manufacturing flexibility is governed by changes in market requirements. This research was conducted with managers at various companies in the energy sector; so the results may not be applicable to other industries.

Open access

Hosein Daneshpour and Josu Takala

Abstract

In recent years project management has reached into a new paradigm because of integration of sustainability into the projects. The paper argues that multilevel approach is the key driver of successful sustainable project portfolio management. Hereby, this paper strives to underpin the theory and the logic behind the sustainable project management, while providing sustainable competitive advantages. Therefore, it develops an innovative multilevel framework, and analyses the current project management products and processes, and consequently presents a more holistic insight for the implementation of sustainability in project portfolio management.