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On December 12, 2015, HB commented on Skydrop—the “Uber” of instant deliveries in LatAm :

This is a very innovative business that meets an unmet customer need through an innovative value proposition. I like the fact that the company is asset light and only provides a software solution to solve the customer value proposition. My only concern is that, customer service is an essential part of delivery. If a delivery agent is rude or in any way diminishes the customer service experience, how does Skydrop prevent that? Skydrop only incentivizes the quantity of deliveries, not the quality?

IKEA has a unique value proposition that it delivers to its customers and it seems it has been able to be successful because of the distinct brand image it has developed together with reduced costs to effective supply chain management and scalability.

I found it extremely interesting it the way IKEA develops products. It seems intuitive that the designers work together with the production team on the factory shop floor to develop products that are functional, aesthetic and yet provide good value for money. In most companies the design and production team are separate even though there are obvious synergies between the two.

What I also found interesting is that, IKEA plans its production 5 years in advance. While this helps to smooth out demand forecasts, I was wondering what this would mean for changing trends in design? It seems that design trends change season to season, so how is IKEA able to keep up with design trends, if they plan 5 years in advance?

On December 12, 2015, HB commented on Xiabu Xiabu – Unique Hot Pot Chain :

This is a very interesting business model, where many operating and capital costs are minimized due to the do-it-yourself value proposition to the customer. The number of wait staff required is minimized and not requiring a central kitchen must minimize capital and operating costs significantly, while making it a unique dining experience for customers.

I found it very interesting that the company is also backwardly integrated since they have their own facilities for manufacturing their sauces. This must surely help with costs and also helps them to innovate in a highly competitive environment.

I have one question – do you think extending control of the “production” of food to customer can be risky for Xiabu Xiabu? For example, the lack of consistency across various dining experiences since the customers are not experts at cooking.