Core Competency: Bundles of skills or knowledge sets that enable a firm to provide the greatest level of value to its customers in a way that's difficult for competitors to emulate and that provides for future growth. Core competencies are embodied in the skills of the workers and in the organization. They are developed through collective learning, communication, and commitment to work across levels and functions in the organization and with the customers and suppliers. A core competency could be the capability of a firm to coordinate and harmonize diverse production skills and multiple technologies. To illustrate: advanced casting processes for making steel require the integration of machine design with sophisticated sensors to track temperature and speed, and the sensors require mathematical modeling of heat transfer. For rapid and effective development of such a process, materials scientists must work closely with machine designers, software engineers, process specialists, and operating personnel. Core competencies are not directly related to the product or market.