In systems terms, the role of our competitors is to hinder us from being successful in achieving our critical success factors. Ignore them? We just cannot afford that. They are the spanner in the works; they constrain our ability to win business from our customers.
We must benchmark products, services and performance of our functions against the competition, of course. Much more important however is to foresee their operational initiatives and preemptively neutralize them.
Most important of all is to understand the speed at which they spin their own PEC (Plan-Execute-Check) loop. As we learn from John Boyd: “Every second faster than the competitor (in this loop) is a competitive advantage.“