MESA Competitive Strategy
When making strategic decisions, the company’s management needs to fully understand the business’s strengths, goals, available resources, and opportunities. A successful competitive strategy effectively utilizes the company’s resources and capabilities to maintain and increase its competitive advantage. For MESA, an effective competitive strategy needs to be based on the company’s position as a market leader that offers exceptional customer service, safety, and high-quality products.
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MESA is an American company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which offers corrosion protection products and services. It defines its goal as to “design, create, installs, and maintain cathodic protection systems and pipeline integrity solutions with world-class service and attention to detail” (“Our company,” n.d., para. 1). Its’ business strategy is based on the balance between customer, employee, and community needs and a flexible strategic planning model. MESA received three Baldrige Awards in 2006, 2012, and 2020 in the small business category (“MESA 2020,” 2020). It is a successful company with a high market growth rate, a strong customer satisfaction rate, and high revenue.
In the business management theory, the company’s organizational design is believed to significantly influence its business strategy execution process. The organizational structure comprises “the formal and informal arrangement of tasks, responsibilities, lines of authority, and reporting relationships by which the firm is administered” (Thompson et al., 2020, p. 36). A well-designed organizational structure is one in which the various parts are aligned with one another and with the company’s business strategy.
The organizational model of MESA is an integrated set of work systems within four categories. The Guiding system establishes the overall direction of all other work systems and processes. The Value Creation system coordinates the translation of organizational inputs in delivering value to customers (“MESA 2020,” 2020). The Enabling system is in charge of the inputs to Value Creation. The Monitor & Improve system coordinates the performance of other systems and develops improvement mechanisms to address performance gaps. MESA’s organizational structure is designed to align different operational groups with the key Value Creation system that aims to deliver world-class performance (“MESA 2020,” 2020). This structure allows the company to involve all operational groups within the company in the objectives deployment process.
A competitive strategy is a long-term plan of the company’s development directed to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. Its’ building blocks are the firm’s resources and capabilities, and it generally includes the company’s specific efforts to please customers, strengthen its market position, counter the maneuvers of rivals, and respond to shifting market conditions (Thompson et al., 2020). The two biggest factors that influence the competitive strategy are the target market and the type of competitive advantage that the organization is pursuing. Five types of strategies are identified: a low-cost provider strategy, a broad differentiation strategy, a focused low-cost strategy, a focused differentiation strategy, and a best-cost provider strategy (Thompson et al., 2020). Each particular type of strategy works better in certain kinds of industries and competitive conditions than in others.
MESA uses a focused differentiation strategy to maintain its competitive advantage. It is a strategy that concentrates on a narrow buyer segment and outcompeting rivals with a product offering that meets the specific requirements of the niche better than the product offerings of rivals (Thompson et al., 2020). MESA manufactures products that outperform the competitors’ offerings for multiple attributes (“MESA 2020,” 2020). Along with exceptional quality, the company also provides convenient delivery services, reasonable prices, and outstanding customer service. MESA’s top priority is safety, which is identified as workforce, subcontractor, and customer requirement and includes training, education, evaluation, and the utilization of correct tools and proper equipment (“SAFETY,” 2020). In compliance with its SAFETY program, MESA works with each client individually to ensure that specific needs and requirements are met (“SAFETY,” 2020). MESA does not offer low prices or a wide variety of products, focusing instead on exceptional customer service, safety, and meeting specific client requirements, which together constitute a successful focused differentiation strategy.
Future Competitive Strategy
No matter what type of strategy a company employs, it can opt for an offensive or defensive competitive strategy to improve its market position and business performance. The offensive strategy is generally used when a company spots opportunities to gain profitable market share at the expense of rivals or when it has to answer a strong rival’s competitive advantage (Thompson et al., 2020). Defensive strategies are aimed to protect the company’s position in the market. Each type of strategy is selected based on the business’s current market position, available resources, and opportunities.
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For MESA, an offensive strategy is preferable for the next three years. MESA is the market leader whose growth significantly outperforms that of its competitors (“MESA 2020,” 2020). It has strong competitive advantages and resources to expand and strengthen its market presence. The most recommendable strategy options include leapfrogging competitors with next-generation technologies, pursuing continuous product innovation, and adopting and improving the best ideas of others (Thompson et al., 2020). Using the company’s technological resources together with a customer-oriented approach will allow MESA to strengthen its market position and maintain its competitive advantage over the next three years.
In terms of strategic moves, MESA will probably be a fast follower rather than a first mover. First movers are companies that first initiate strategic moves, and fast followers are businesses that aim to piggyback on the pioneers’ success (Thomspon et al., 2020). For MESA, which focuses on safety and has much to lose, being a pioneer is connected with multiple disadvantages, including greater risks and development costs. As a fast follower, MESA will be able to avoid many risks but still, make a profit and outperform competitors using its technological resources.
For businesses, outsourcing means abandoning attempts to perform certain value chain activities internally and farming them out to outside specialists. MESA is not involved in outsourcing and places emphasis on performing all production, installation, and maintenance activities using its means. This approach is consistent with the company’s strategy of building long-term relationships with its customers and offering exceptional customer service with a focus on safety. Performing all operations internally ensures adherence to the highest standards of safety and high customer satisfaction.
MESA is the corrosion industry leader which implements effective organizational and strategic planning models. When making strategic decisions, its management needs to focus on its compliance with the overall business strategy and on using the company’s resources most effectively to outperform its competitors. Continuing to employ the focused differentiation strategy together with offensive strategical activities will allow MESA to maintain and increase its competitive advantage and improve its market presence over the next three years.
MESA 2020. (2020). NIST. Web.
Our company. (n.d.). MESA. Web.
SAFETY. (n.d.). MESA. Web.
Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2020). Crafting & executing strategy: Concepts and cases (22nd ed.). McGraw Hill.