The TOM Challenge: TOM Winners and Losers Assignment

December 09, 2015

Read The Full Prompt

The basic thesis of the TOM course is that company performance is driven by the alignment between the company’s business model and operating model. As defined in the “Introduction to the RC TOM Course” note, a business model is defined as how the firm creates and captures value, and an operating model refers to the processes that transform a firm’s assets (e.g., capital, labor, intellectual property, equipment, etc.) into valuable actions.

Please identify one organization in the global economy that you think is highly effective (or one that is highly ineffective) at driving alignment between its operating and business models

  1. Did you choose the company as an example of effectiveness or ineffectiveness? Why?
  2. Describe the company’s business and operating models. What is interesting about them?
  3. Do the models align and support each other?  How?  What specific features of the operating model are designed to create and sustain competitive advantage?  What features of the business model leverage unique capabilities of its operating model?  What are the implications for performance?

Submitted (929)

UberPool – Transportation for Everyone
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 11:18 pm
UberPool is providing affordable transportation to riders and increased number of rides and revenues to drivers using its data-driven technology platform.
Chipotle: How non-real Mexican food became so successful
Rafael Rivera
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 10:20 pm
How a Mexican restaurant that doesn't offer real Mexican food is leading the category of fast casual restaurants
Celgene – The Business of Performing Miracles
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 7:10 pm
The business model for biotech is simple: discover and develop therapies and sell them at high-enough margins to justify the costs until the patent expires. The larger the unmet need and the more effective the therapy, the more value is [...]
Jardines del Tiempo: Death as a Business
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 10:43 am
A deep understanding of its customers' behaviors allowed this Company to integrate its two seemingly independent businesses
IKEA: World’s Most Successful Furniture Retailer
Last modified on December 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm
High quality home furnishings at affordable prices achieved by optimizing the entire supply chain, operations, and inventory management
Second Cup – A slow death or a second-act of revival?
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 10:12 pm
The transformation of an authentic Canadian java experience from a premium brand to an outdated brand China’s E-commerce Pioneer
Haochen Lu
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm is China's largest direct sale e-commence company with massive self-own logistics network. It witnessed a great growth story with equally tremendous capital investment.
SpaceX: The Quest for Affordable Space Travel through Reusable Rocketry
Ian Tracy
Last modified on December 10, 2015 at 10:28 pm
With a wildly passionate fan base, first-principles processes, and a robust launch manifest to fund its reusable first-stage rocket program, SpaceX has secured its position as the most competitively operating aerospace company in the world.
Johnson & Johnson
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm
Company Overview “We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.” [1] As the first line in Johnson & Johnson’s values-driven Credo dictates, the [...]
Amazon: Making History
Clive Bixby
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 7:15 am
Amazon has been operating for two decades and is one of the world's largest retailers with its Fulfillment Centers at its backbone.
Deliveroo: Michelin-starred dining at home
Yasmin Razavi
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 9:46 pm
Netflix and chills just got better with Deliveroo; bringing food that you love to your door
Birchbox: Using Customer Data to Set Itself Apart
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm
Despite an oft-copied business model, Birchbox continues to distinguish itself from its competitors by using data-driven customer insights to create value for both its subscribers and brand partners.
Box: Culture, Press, and Sales driving enterprise value
Erik K
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm
Box aligns its business and operating models via culture, PR and Sales to drive rapid product development.
FedEx: Delivering on Speed and Reliability
Jeff Witt
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm
FedEx was founded to meet a need that many companies and individuals believed was not being adequately met by the slow and often unreliable U.S. Postal Service. FedEx responded by creating a very complex network and infrastructure that met the [...]
The Ritz-Carlton: Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen
Anna Wan
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm
The Ritz-Carlton has, since its founding in 1983, been synonymous with luxury and true hospitality. As the company declares on its own website, it is a ‘place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission’. [...]
Rocket Internet: Starting Businesses in the Fast Lane
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 9:40 pm
Rocket Internet takes proven business models and launches them in new markets with a proven process for success
Walmart: Save Money. Live Better. Retail for Everyone.
Jeff Lanes
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 6:58 pm
Walmart’s unrelenting focus on minimizing costs and low-priced items continues to create value for consumers. But how has the world’s largest retailer achieved its success? 
SolarCity’s Rise to the Top
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 1:17 pm
In an environment where many solar energy companies have failed, SolarCity has effectively implemented a no-fuss approach to facilitate customer adoption and has quickly become the leading player in the market.
Zara: disrupting the fashion industry
Silvia Closa
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm
Zara has disrupted the industry through its “fast fashion” model in the last years. While traditional players design their collections more than 5 months in advance, Zara is able to bring the latest trends from the catwalks and the streets [...]
Shinola: Operating Model as Brand Asset
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm
Made in Detroit helps Restore Shine to Shinola
WeDo Technologies: consistency inside out
Cristiana Torres
Last modified on December 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm
WeDo Technologies | The #1 provider of Revenue Assurance
Nucor Revolutionizes the Steel Industry
Vik Bakshi
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 6:48 pm
Nucor Steel disrupted and overhauled the steel industry with innovative technology, forever changing how steel is manufactured around the world. In doing so, it built a culture that proved the potential of well-executed pay-for-performance systems.
How IndiGo Airlines Disrupted the Indian Skies
Prerit Jain
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm
#DisruptiveInnovation doesn't happen everyday. IndiGo airlines shows how market-facing strategy and operating choices come together to make it happen.
FC Barcelona: Mes Que Un Club
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 7:32 pm
This is how FC Barcelona leverages the assets it has to win it all