Transparency; A Strategic Competitive Advantage
I once delivered a workshop on transparency to a small group of companies. The discussions generated during the workshop centered around the increased demand for transparency in several key areas:
- Product/Service origin (labor practices)
- Environmental Sustainability (eco-friendly products and practices)
- Product or service origin (community support)
- Pricing transparency (understanding cost drivers and opportunities for cost reduction)
Here are five key points relative to becoming more transparent while maintaining a competitive advantage.
1. Engage in dialogue with customers to understand needs.
2. Have customers sign confidentiality agreements as part of the information sharing process.
3. Refrain from providing information on proprietary processes.
4. Create your own transparency model/form and introduce to customers.
5. Be willing to accept and defend a fair profit margin (company, industry, market place).
The world is transparent, and will continue to be so. Taking the lead on becoming transparent in the eyes of your customer in any or all of these key areas will differentiate you from your competitors, and provide a significant competitive advantage.
© Shawn Casemore 2011. All rights reserved