Before talking about competitiveness and the foreign sector, it is necessary to understand that we find ourselves in times in which every national producer is located in a global world, which translates into meeting new economic demands that can achieve through more excellent knowledge, innovation and creativity.
We must be aware, and there is plenty of literature on the subject, that globalisation is taking us into a more complex terrain, especially for marginalised regions. At the same time, and from a general point of view, we must take into account what has so often been pointed out from different sources, which is none other than the direct aid to the process of internationalisation and the capacity for growth of an organisation:
- Favouring the tasks of product innovation.
- Changes in market focus.
- Improving sales and distribution methods.
- Establishing an appropriate organisational structure.
Organisations that grow, therefore, must have a particular opportunistic and productive perception of the environment; they must seek controlled growth according to their needs and capabilities; they must have a specific culture of innovation in products or processes; and, finally, they must participate productively in business and organisational networks such as attending different trade fairs or other promotional activities.
Like any business decision, internationalising through exporting has its advantages and disadvantages. Quoting the study on the internationalisation of Spanish companies carried out by Professor Alfonso Ortega, the advantages and disadvantages are as follows:
- Access to foreign markets makes it possible to diversify the risk of commercial operations.
- Increased turnover without increasing competitive pressure in the domestic market.
- Access to new markets allows us to gather information about new ideas, new products, new ideas about how to act, etc.
- Access to foreign markets allows us to extend the product life cycle.
- Increased sales reduce unit production costs and boost economies of scale.
- Internationalisation makes the company generate a better image and prestige.
- Access to new markets with different environments or cultures may mean we have to modify our products, packaging, etcetera.
- Need to adapt the product due to different market regulations.
- Recruitment of new staff specialised in languages and the target markets.
- The distribution organisation is always more complicated than if we only focus on the national market.
- Sometimes it will be necessary to design a specific export plan, given the diversity and complexity of foreign markets.
- Increased administrative procedures.
For all of the above reasons, and considering that most of the disadvantages can be solved with a good team and the right personnel, which, per se, makes the whole organisation process more competitive.