Great article on a business model for a fast-moving sector. I think it is interesting how the company’s ability to establish a PPP with NASA is an advantage for SpaceX not just for contributing technological prowess but also as a guaranteed customer for their eventual product. For manufacturing operations such as SpaceX requiring major capital expenditures, this having a designated buyer would seem to reduce the risk of the business model, if the operational model is successful.
In addition to their innovation I am curious what part of the company’s operating model and ability to under-price foreign competitors relies on having their R&D department be supplemented by DARPA. Additionally, what policies could government programs institute in order to more efficiently align their R&D spending with high-tech companies such as SpaceX in order to create value together?
I enjoyed reading how Allen Edmonds competes against outsourcing of production within an extremely competitive part of the retail space. Often in TOM we’ve focused on improving production processes themselves but AE gives a great example of how it can be equally important how a company is able to market the superiority of their manufacturing process to create value for their products. In response to Cristiana’s point about the company moving from their core business, I wonder about their longer-term operational model being well positioned to capture value beyond a hipster trend of dress shoes referenced by “old favorites with a twist”. I think that their movement overseas and into clothes is an astute effort to maintain longer-term growth post-hipster fad.
Great explanation of how Wawa has managed to take a sector where customers typically lack brand-loyalty and gain an active support base. They certainly have differentiated themselves from competitors on product quality, but I wonder what the financial implications are of these higher than typical investments on labor and technology. Specifically, I would be really interested to see what effect the technological investments such as touch-screen ordering have had on Wawa’s basic productivity indicators such as cycle time for orders and capacity.
Really interesting concept and I’m a bit surprised at their number of subscribers at such an early point (20,000). I would be interested to see their costs and profitability based on what sort of discounts they have given out to obtain this initial base.