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Value Chain
A value chain is a progression of activities that a firm operating in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product (i.e., good and/or service) to the end customer. The concept comes through business management and was first described by Michael Porter in his 1985 best-seller, ''Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance''. The concept of value chains as decision support tools, was added onto the competitive strategies paradigm developed by Porter as early as 1979. In Porter's value chains, Inbound Logistics, Operations, Outbound Logistics, Marketing and Sales, and Service are categorized as primary activities. Secondary activities include Procurement, Human Resource management, Technological Development and Infrastructure . According to the OECD Secretary-General the emergence of global value chains (GVCs) in the late 1990s provided a catalyst for accelerated change in the landscape of international investment and ...
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Product (business)
In marketing, a product is an object, or system, or service made available for consumer use as of the consumer demand; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer. In retailing, products are often referred to as '' merchandise'', and in manufacturing, products are bought as raw materials and then sold as finished goods. A service is also regarded as a type of product. In project management, products are the formal definition of the project deliverables that make up or contribute to delivering the objectives of the project. A related concept is that of a sub-product, a secondary but useful result of a production process. Dangerous products, particularly physical ones, that cause injuries to consumers or bystanders may be subject to product liability. Product classification A product can be classified as tangible or intangible. A tangible product is an actual physical object that can be perceived by touch such as a bui ...
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Division (business)
A division, sometimes called a business sector or business unit (segment), is one of the parts into which a business, organization or company is divided. Overview Divisions are distinct parts of a business. If these divisions are all part of the same company, then that company is legally responsible for all of the obligations and debts of the divisions. In the banking industry, an example would be East West Bancorp and its primary subsidiary, East West Bank. Legal responsibility Subsidiaries are separate, distinct legal entities for the purposes of taxation, regulation and liability. For this reason, they differ from divisions, which are businesses fully integrated within the main company, and not legally or otherwise distinct from it. The '' Houston Chronicle'' highlighted that the creation of a division "is substantially easier than developing subsidiaries. Because a division is an internal segment of a company, not an entirely separate entity, business owners cre ...
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Quality Assurance
Quality assurance (QA) is the term used in both manufacturing and service industries to describe the systematic efforts taken to ensure that the product(s) delivered to customer(s) meet with the contractual and other agreed upon performance, design, reliability, and maintainability expectations of that customer. The core purpose of Quality Assurance is to prevent mistakes and defects in the development and production of both manufactured products, such as automobiles and shoes, and delivered services, such as automotive repair and athletic shoe design. Assuring quality and therefore avoiding problems and delays when delivering products or services to customers is what ISO 9000 defines as that "part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled". This defect prevention aspect of quality assurance differs from the defect detection aspect of quality control and has been referred to as a ''shift left'' since it focuses on quality eff ...
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Public Relations
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) to the public in order to influence their perception. Public relations and publicity differ in that PR is controlled internally, whereas publicity is not controlled and contributed by external parties. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. The exposure mostly is media-based. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations aims to create or obtain coverage for clients for free, also known as earned media, rather than paying for marketing or advertising also known as paid media. But in the early 21st century, advertising is also a part of broader PR activities. An example of good public relations would b ...
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Control (management)
Control is a function of management which helps to check errors in order to take corrective actions. This is done to minimize deviation from standards and ensure that the stated goals of the organization are achieved in a desired manner. According to modern concepts, control is a foreseeing action; earlier concepts of control were only used when errors were detected. Control in management includes setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action in decision making. Definition In 1916, Henri Fayol formulated one of the first definitions of control as it pertains to management: ''Control of an undertaking consists of seeing that everything is being carried out in accordance with the plan which has been adopted, the orders which have been given, and the principles which have been laid down. Its objective is to point out mistakes in order that they may be rectified and prevented from recurring.'' According to EFL Brech: ''Control is checking current ...
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Finance
Finance is the study and discipline of money, currency and capital assets. It is related to, but not synonymous with economics, the study of production, distribution, and consumption of money, assets, goods and services (the discipline of financial economics bridges the two). Finance activities take place in financial systems at various scopes, thus the field can be roughly divided into personal, corporate, and public finance. In a financial system, assets are bought, sold, or traded as financial instruments, such as currencies, loans, bonds, shares, stocks, options, futures, etc. Assets can also be banked, invested, and insured to maximize value and minimize loss. In practice, risks are always present in any financial action and entities. A broad range of subfields within finance exist due to its wide scope. Asset, money, risk and investment management aim to maximize value and minimize volatility. Financial analysis is viability, stability, and profitabil ...
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Accounting
Accounting, also known as accountancy, is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of stakeholders, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and " financial reporting" are often used as synonyms. Accounting can be divided into several fields including financial accounting, management accounting, tax accounting and cost accounting. Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information, including the preparation of financial statements, to the external users of the information, such as investors, regulators and suppliers; and management accounting focuses on the mea ...
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Service (business)
Business services are a recognisable subset of economic services, and share their characteristics. The essential difference is that businesses are concerned about the building of service systems in order to deliver value to their customers and to act in the roles of service provider and service consumer. Definition A service is a set of one-time consumable and perishable benefits that are: *delivered from the accountable service provider, mostly in close co-action with his internal and external service suppliers, * effectuated by distinct functions of technical systems and by distinct activities of individuals, respectively, * commissioned according to the needs of his/her service consumers by the service customer from the accountable service provider, * rendered individually to a consumer at his/her dedicated trigger, * and, finally, consumed and utilized by the triggering service consumer for executing his/her upcoming business activity or private activity. Service specification ...
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Sales
Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. The delivery of a service for a cost is also considered a sale. The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in response to an acquisition, appropriation, requisition, or a direct interaction with the ''buyer'' at the point of sale. There is a passing of title (property or ownership) of the item, and the settlement of a price, in which agreement is reached on a price for which transfer of ownership of the item will occur. The ''seller'', not the purchaser, typically executes the sale and it may be completed prior to the obligation of payment. In the case of indirect interaction, a person who sells goods or service on behalf of the owner is known as a salesman or saleswoman or salesperson, but this often refers to someone selling goods in a store/shop, in which case other terms are also common, including ''salesclerk'', ''shop assistant'', and '' ...
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Logistics
Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics manages the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items. In military science, logistics is concerned with maintaining army supply lines while disrupting those of the enemy, since an armed force without resources and transportation is defenseless. Military logistics was already practiced in the ancient world and as the modern military has a significant need for logistics solutions, advanced implementations have been developed. In military logistics, logistics officers manage how and when to move resources to the places they are needed. Logistics management is the part of supply chain management and supply chain engine ...
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Competitive Advantage
In business, a competitive advantage is an attribute that allows an organization to outperform its competitors. A competitive advantage may include access to natural resources, such as high-grade ores or a low-cost power source, highly skilled labor, geographic location, high entry barriers, and access to new technology and to proprietary information. Overview The term ''competitive advantage'' refers to the ability gained through attributes and resources to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry or market (Christensen and Fahey 1984, Kay 1994, Porter 1980 cited by Chacarbaghi and Lynch 1999, p. 45). The study of this advantage has attracted profound research interest due to contemporary issues regarding superior performance levels of firms in today's competitive market. "A firm is said to have a competitive advantage when it is implementing a value creating strategy not simultaneously being implemented by any current or potential player" (Barney 1991 cited b ...
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