A key success factor or KSF is an element that a company must master to optimize its chances of success in a given market. It can be a skill, a resource or an asset. KSF are changing, depending on consumer needs, as well as technological or commercial innovations. As an example, one plumbing company has made speed of response a KSF in emergency troubleshooting. Customers appreciate that plumbers respond quickly when faced with plumbing problems such as a water leak.
It is in the best interest of companies to determine which KSF creates the most value and is therefore the most likely to provide a real competitive advantage. To do so, they can proceed to a strategic segmentation of its activity. They will be able to identify the Strategic Business Areas that have the same KSFs at the origin of the value creation. This approach makes it easier to choose resource allocation or strategies such as refocusing in particular. By identifying a business KSF, the company can identify the key resources it can leverage to grow.