Research Paper: IKEA Group
The competitive advantage of any given company is essential in determining its profitability and sustainability (Ehmke, 2011). In achieving this, competitive advantage is essential due to its influence of top of awareness in the market and in ensuring customer loyalty. This paper explores the competitive advantage of IKEA Group. IKEA Group is a multinational company involved in the manufacture and retail of furniture and boards based on wood. In assessing the competitiveness of IKEA Group, various aspects of the company are explored. Such aspects include such as innovation, employee retention, production efficiency, product quality and responsiveness to customers.
Customers expect great value for their money. Moreover, customers expect additional services and benefits with the provision of diverse products (Ehmke, 2011). The IKEA Group is centric to the needs of the customers. According to IKEA Group (2015), the company provides diverse products for its customers. Moreover, the company ensures quality in its products through the use of great design. The company enjoys high awareness in the market due to the low prices for its products. The company also promotes customer satisfaction through its involvement in environmental and other social responsibility roles.
The IKEA Group strives to ensure efficiency in its operations. Various approaches are implemented to achieve efficiency. For instance, the company promotes working in teams that help to facilitate its performance. Moreover, the company optimizes its value chain to ensure smooth and efficient flow from the producer to the consumer (IKEA Group, 2015). The company also invest in new technology and ensure sustainable supplies. The results of all these initiatives are increased efficiency in the production, service delivery and production of large volumes of products.
The IKEA is quality oriented. The company uses total quality management (TQM) to ensure production of products that reflect the needs of the customers. TQM is concerned with the maintenance of high-quality needs as determined by the customers. In achieving sustainability of high quality, IKEA conducts research on its customers to determine their needs (IKEA Group, 2015). Consequently, the company can develop methods of creation of products that meet the aspirations and needs of their customers. Moreover, the company ensures great design to ensure that its products are of high quality that satisfies their customers need. The company also encourages self-motivation of employees to improve quality. Consequently, IKEA Group has been able to produce high-quality products that have received high market acceptance and hence improving the awareness of the brand. Some products of the company regarded to be of high quality include such as SULTAN beds, PAX wardrobes, BILLY bookcases and LED bulbs.
IKEA Group promotes fast production of products through its constant review of its technology. IKEA Group (2015) explains that the company creates an open environment for trying new designs that are geared to improve the rate of production. The company is hence able to try new technologies that can cut time of production such as the use of wooden plugs. The company encourages innovation among its employee by making it their responsibility to improve quality. Consequently, employees are faced with the need to develop new ideas and products.
IKEA Group has been able to ensure employee satisfaction through a variety of approaches. For instance, the company ensures that payment for its workers is satisfactory. According to IKEA Group, the company’s payment for its workers was above the wage requirements (2015). Moreover, the company allows for flexibility in working time. In achieving this provision, the company allows individuals to work as part- or full timers. IKEA Group has programs for rewarding and compensation of its employees. The company also creates conducive social environments where workers can develop and extend their relationships with each other. There are also programs such as IKEA Women Open Network that aim at promoting gender equality among the workers.
Ehmke, C. (2011). Strategies for competitive advantage. Western Center for Risk and Management Education, University of Wyoming.
IKEA Group (2015). IKEA Group FY14 Yearly Summary. Retrieved from http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/pdf/yearly_summary/ikea-group-yearly-summary-fy14.pdf