The management of internal linkages in the value chain could create competitive advantage in a number of ways: • There may be important linkages between the primary activities. For example, a decision to hold high levels of finished stock might ease production scheduling problems and provide for a faster response time to the customer. However, an assessment needs to be made whether the value added to the customer by this faster response through holding stocks is greater than the added cost. • It is easy to miss this issue of managing linkages between primary activities in an analysis if, for example, the organization's competences in marketing activities and operations are assessed separately. The operations may look good because they are geared to high-volume, low-variety, low-unit-cost of production. However, at the same time, the marketing team may be selling speed, flexibility and variety to the customers. So competence in separate activities need to be compatible. • The management of the linkages between a primary activity and a support activity may be the basis of a core competence. It may be key investments in systems or infrastructure which provides the basis on which the company outperforms competition. Computer-based systems have been exploited in many different types of service organization and have fundamentally transformed the customer experience. • Linkages between different support activities may also be the basis of core competences. For example, the extent to which human resource development is in tune with new technologies has been a key feature in the implementation of new production and office technologies. Many companies have failed to become competent in managing this linkage properly and have lost out competitively.