Five Forces Model by Michael Porter

Five Forces model of Michael Porter is a very elaborate concept for evaluating company's competitive position. Michael Porter provided a framework that models an industry and therefore implicitly also businesses as being influenced by five forces. Michael Porter's Five Forces model is often used in strategic planning. Porter's competitive five forces model is probably one of the most commonly used business strategy tools and has proven its usefulness in numerous situations. When exploring strategic management models, you also might want to check out the BCG matrix, SWOT analysis, IFE matrix, and SPACE matrix models.

Why would I need to use Porter's Five Forces model?
In general, any CEO or a strategic business manager is trying to steer his or her business in a direction where the business will develop an edge over rival firms. Michael Porter's model of Five Forces can be used to better understand the industry context in which the firm operates. Porter's Five Forces model is a strategy tool that is used to analyze attractiveness of an industry structure.

What is good about Porter's Five Forces model?
Porter has the ability to represent complex concepts in relatively easily accessible formats. His book about the Five Forces model is written in a very easy and understandable language. Even though his model is backed up by some complex model, the model itself is simple and easily comprehensible at all levels. Porter's Five Forces model provides suggested points under each main heading, by which you can develop a broad and sophisticated analysis of competitive position. This can be then used when creating strategy, plans, or making investment decisions about your business or organization.

Does Porter's Five Forces model really work?
Theoreticians have different view on this. While some agree that Porter's Five Forces model is the ultimate explanation of how world works, others disagree. It depends in what time frame we judge the state of the facts. Even Michael Porter himself acknowledges that time is of essence when it comes to how his forces interact with each other. Numerous economic studies have shown that different industries can sustain different levels of profitability. This can be attributed to differences in industry structures.

we get Porter's Five Forces model which looks like this: . When putting all these points together in a graphical representation.What is the basic idea behind Porter's Five Forces model? Porter's Five Forces model is made up by identification of 5 fundamental competitive forces: • • • • • Barriers to entry Threat of substitutes Bargaining power of buyers Bargaining power of suppliers Rivalry among the existing players Some later economists also consider government as the sixth force in this model.

For example. This can involve for example: • • • • • • Cost advantages (economies of scale. branding. can your customers work together to order large volumes to squeeze your profit margins? The following is a list of other examples: • • • • • • • • Buyer volume and concentration What information buyers have Can buyers corner you in negotiations about price How loyal are customers to your brand Price sensitivity Threat of backward integration How well differentiated your product is Availability of substitutes Having a customer that has the leverage to dictate your prices is not a good position. then it is a threat to the company because it can compete with price only. Force 2: Threat of substitutes Every top decision makes has to ask: How easy can our product or service be substituted? The following needs to be analyzed: • • • How much does it cost the customer to switch to competing products or services? How likely are customers to switch? What is the price-performance trade-off of substitutes? If a product can be easily substituted. Government policies and taxation Production cycle and learning curve Capital requirements Access to distribution channels Patents. Force 3: Bargaining power of buyers Now the question is how strong the position of buyers is. economies of scope) Access to production inputs and financing.Force 1: Barriers to entry Barriers to entry measure how easy or difficult it is for new entrants to enter into the industry. and image also fall into this category. .

Force 4: Bargaining power of suppliers This relates to what your suppliers can do in relationship with you. Force 5: Rivalry among the existing players Finally. will it affect the cost and differentiation of your product? Are there other suppliers with the same inputs available? (substitute inputs) The threat of forward integration is also an important factor here. • • • • • • • • How strong is the position of sellers? Are there many or only few potential suppliers? Is there a monopoly? Do you take inputs from a single supplier or from a group? (concentration) How much do you take from each of your suppliers? Can you easily switch from one supplier to another one? (switching costs) If you switch to another supplier. What are the assumptions behind the Five Forces model? From the risk-return perspective. . • • • • • • • • Is one player very dominant or all equal in strength/size? Are there exit barriers? How fast does the industry grow? Does the industry operate at surplus or shortage? How is the industry concentrated? How do customers identify themselves with your brand? Is the product differentiated? How well are rivals diversified? Rivalry is the fifth factor in the Five Forces model but probably the one with the most attention. you might want to consider the SWOT model. How can I analyze my business from inside? Porter's Five Forces model views the business from outside. If you wanted to analyze your firm from within. we have to analyze the level of competition between existing players in the industry. It focuses on assessing competitive position within industry. Five Forces model indirectly implies that risk-adjusted rates of return should be constant across firms and industries. The SWOT model has some aspects of external view as well but complements Porter's Five Forces model in the internal view.

most notably in health care. (Hill & Jones 80) The first force in Porter's Five Forces Model is Entry Barriers.Another model that you might want to consider is the Balanced Scorecard and IFE/EFE matrix. (Hill & Jones 80) This model is only one of the models that can be used for this task but it is one of the more popular models. This book has been translated into 19 languages and has been named a best-seller many times. 1985 Competition in Global Industries. (4) the bargaining power of buyers. 1990 The Five forces of Porter To perform the Industry Analysis it is better to follow Michael Porter's five forces model. When IBM and Apple were the only computer systems to choose from . and (5) the degree of rivalry among established companies within an industry. (3) the threat of substitute products. (2) the bargaining power of suppliers. Michael Porter's key books include the following: Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. Michigan. Hewlett Packard and Compaq. Michael Porter has been active not only in competitive strategy theories but in other fields. This analysis framework was created so that it helps managers in their task to analyze competitive forces to the company. These factors are those that make it harder or easier for another company to enter into the industry. 1980 Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance.where can I read about it? Michael Porter published his work in his book called Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. Who is Michael Porter? Michael Porter is a professor at Harvard Business School and is a leading authority on competitive strategy and international competitiveness. 1986 The Competitive Advantage of Nations. The five forces that we will have to look at for this model are (1) the risk of new and potential competitors. I like Porter's Five Forces model -. revenues have increased by 107% and 714% respectfully over the past ten years. (Hill & Jones 82) The fewer competitors in an industry the more the existing companies can take advantage of higher prices and better returns. High barriers to entry will keep potential competitors out of the industry and low barriers to entry will give an opening for competitors to enter into the industry if the industry returns are high enough. Michael Porter was born in Ann Arbor.

This analysis framework was created so that it helps managers in their task to analyze competitive forces to the company. mainframe computers. packaging and labeling requirements. These instructions include document requirements (eg: packaging list. etc. Whether you want a laptop with mega memory and great graphics or high power and good Business programs. billing invoices. There have been several companies that have entered the notebook computer business by offering custom-built computers over the Internet. shipping instructions. they must follow specific instructions given to them. such as supercomputers. (Hill & Jones 80) The first force in Porter's Five Forces Model is Entry Barriers. These companies offer that they will make a custom computer to the specifics that you need. High barriers to entry will keep potential competitors out of the industry and low barriers to entry will give an opening for competitors to enter into the industry if the industry returns are high enough. and (5) the degree of rivalry among established companies within an industry. These factors are those that make it harder or easier for another company to enter into the industry. their competition has had a battle in itself to make up for losses in sales and . Once suppliers enter into a contract with IBM. underlining. (Hill & Jones 207) This in turn caused IBM to loose their advantage over new competitors.).people had to make a choice. The Five forces of Porter To perform the Industry Analysis it is better to follow Michael Porter's five forces model. (Hill & Jones 80) This model is only one of the models that can be used for this task but it is one of the more popular models. For Apple computer industry it's gross profit has declined form 3. or boldfacing and other such formatting. (2) the bargaining power of suppliers. IBM does set some standards for its suppliers however. or workstations. Because of the dramatic increases in the laptop market IBM has seen some declines in sales yet they haven't taken as hard of a hit over the past ten years as Apple computers have.com). (4) the bargaining power of buyers. less expensive and easier to use than other classes of computers. The forms exchange service translates web data into standard EDI format and transfers these messages to and from IBM Information Exchange mailbox. a PC is smaller. you must make a choice between many offers in your laptop selection.ibm. Because of IBM's high ratings in the computer production market. (Hill & Jones 82) The fewer competitors in an industry the more the existing companies can take advantage of higher prices and better returns. (3) the threat of substitute products. Its Design is to be used by a single person. Depending on the program and the equipment in use. As we have looked into the Laptop industry we have noticed that IBM's competitors have somewhat taken market share away from IBM due to an increase in the compatibility among its products. word processors can display documents either in text mode using highlighting. and color to represent italics. The five forces that we will have to look at for this model are (1) the risk of new and potential competitors. and even country of origin marking (See Appendix A). IBM also has instructions for exports to IBM corporations in the United States (www.

Along with typewriters and word processors. a PC is smaller. mainframe computers. The stronger each force is the more the industry in which the company is in is competitive. Suppliers can become severe threats to any company when the business depends on them for their products.production due to the current success level of IBM. Suppliers are a threat when "they are able to force up the price that a company must pay for its inputs or reduce the quality of inputs they supply. One of the limitations to this way of looking at industry analysis is that the Five Forces model looks at an industry as a whole instead of each individual company. . it usually has less computational power (www. is a machine capable of repetitively and quickly performing calculations and instructions. but the supplier does not depend on the company for business. However. who were once the leaders in the computer industries have taken pretty sharp cutbacks in production and prices to stay in competition with the rest of their competitors. Each of these forces in Porter's Five Forces model are all connected in some way. schools. The second of Porter's competitive forces is the bargaining power of suppliers.com). When an industry is more competitive this leads to lower prices due to price wars and ultimately lower rate of return. less expensive and easier to use than other classes of computers. If suppliers are weak. their prices are far less than laptops as well. such as supercomputers. therefore depressing the company's profitability. 2001). The Personal Computer (PC) or desktop. or workstations. Its Design is to be used by a single person. this gives a company the opportunity to force down prices and demand higher input quality" (Hill & Jones. (Research Insight) From our research we have found that IBM and Apple. PC's can most likely be found within office environments.msn.encarta. and homes.

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