A value network comprises a series of intentional initiatives carried out by a series of actors, of a limited number, with the aim of creating a system that allows the company’s objectives to be achieved in a coordinated and efficient manner, adding value to customers. .
Therefore, we are facing a way of doing things in which the main thing is the improvement of the final good or service. Thus, when a value network (or value chain) originates in a company, certain effective and efficient procedures are generated that add value to customers.
For example, a company proposes a production process to create a final product, potato chips. In this case, both the decision to use the best raw material (potato) and the decision to use olive or sunflower oil are aimed at making the best French fries in the world.
Characteristics of a value network
Let’s see some of the most relevant characteristics of a value network.
- We can say that there are two types of value, economic and competitive. The first has an objective measurement in money and the second, a merely subjective one.
- In the networks, information from the market is shared and this is essential to support decision-making.
- The point of interest is not the cost-benefit, but the creation of value in the different phases of the production process.
- Networks are oriented towards effectiveness and efficiency.
- Innovation and technology transfer are two key variables.
- Competitiveness, based on networks, allows competitive advantages to be gained by providing adequate value for the customer.
Kinds of value networks
Value networks can be classified in various ways according to two criteria.
- Focusing on the participants, we have internal networks, if they all belong to the company, and external, if some belong and others do not.
- On the other hand, for the level of knowledge we have the stable value network, in which this level does not vary over time. In addition, there is the incremental, which is increasing. Finally, the emerging ones, which are related to the speed of changes in the market.
Technologies and the value network
Technology is a factor that over time has become, perhaps, the most relevant. For this reason, its relationship with value networks is clear. In fact, all company processes have a technological aspect.
Internet, the network of networks, has become the primary vehicle inside and outside the company. On the other hand, information technology has allowed the development of powerful programs related to all company activities, from management to production.
Therefore, the relationship between a value network and technology is evident. The former need the latter in global markets where locations are diverse. Thus, if we have clients from several countries other than our own, the only form of communication is the Internet.
Example of a value network
Let’s look at an example of a value network. The creation of content related to the economy, as is the case of Economipedia. The original idea is a web page that allows the reader to know more about this social science. For example, what is GDP or the unemployment rate.
A first step would have been to set out the company’s mission. This must be general and based on the rationale of the original idea. For example, making the economy known in a simple and entertaining way.
Now we have to find out what users want, what they are looking for, how they would like to be shown or what should be the frequency of these concepts or definitions. That is, we must know how we will create value.
Of course, we must not forget the economic aspect. In this way, we must look for sources of financing, collaborators and people who help us with the technical or fiscal part. In short, in this value network we seek effectiveness and efficiency to provide the user with what they are looking for.