A firm that has planned for most common threats will be prepared to move quickly in the face of a threat. Preparedness allows the firm to move past its less well prepared competitors as they devote valuable time and other resources reacting to the threat. While competitors are reacting, the firm can move to increase its competitive advantage over the competition.
For example, a trucking company might plan for an escalation in fuel prices. The trucking company can do this in various ways, but the most common is to “buy” a contract that guarantees the firm the right to purchase fuel at a fixed price for some specified period of time. Should fuel prices increase during the period the contract is in effect, the trucking firm is protected by its fuel contracts. The fuel contracts in turn allow the trucking firm to honor existing quotations and contracts with its customers. By honoring its quotations and contracts in the face of escalating fuel prices the trucking firm’s reputation and good will with its customers increases, furthering the trucking firm’s competitive advantage.