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)

Posted on December 9, 2015 at 10:09 pm
BuzzFeed. Business and operational models aligned to bring you content you're not looking for (...but you'll share it with your friends!).
The New Republic: Effectively aligning business and operating models amidst critics
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm
The shift in strategy at The New Republic has been a highly controversial topic in the media over the last twelve months. Chris Hughes, owner, and CEO, Guy Vidra, have set out to reinvent the 100 year old political journal [...]
Airbnb : Finding a Home Anywhere
Yvonne Chiang
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 8:52 pm
Launched in 2008 to capitalize on the hotel room shortage around the Democratic National Convention, Airbnb has emerged as a market leader with its successful alignment of operations and sharing economy model.
Celgene Corporation – Diversifying Bets in Research & Development to Ensure Success in the Biopharmaceutical Industry
Last modified on December 12, 2015 at 8:32 pm
By investing in in-house drug research and development, partnering with world class research institutes, and acquiring high potential compounds, Celgene has achieved massive success so far and is positioned to continue to do so.
Warby Parker: Disruption on the back of a revolutionary vision, mission and culture
Madan Somasundaram
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm
Prior to 2010, a basic designer pair of eyeglasses probably set you back at least $200-$300. The optical industry was dominated by Luxottica, which enjoyed near monopoly status in the market with over 80% market share and was able to [...]
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts: The Sweet Success of Business and Operational Alignment
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm
The alignment of business and operating models rarely align as sweetly as they do in Krispy Kreme's glaze waterfalls, melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts, and finely tuned production lines.
Warby Parker’s Prescription for Disrupting “Four-Eyed” Fashion
Last modified on December 6, 2015 at 3:25 pm
How a company with $95 glasses changed the $65 billion-per-year eyewear industry — and gave the gift of sight to those who need it most.
Revolutionizing intercity passenger travel…mega head-ache or mega deal?
Jennifer Hurford
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 11:28 pm
We all have a Megabus story – bus broke down, driver reached maximum working hours half way through the journey and left you stranded at a rest stop (ahem…this happened to me over Thanksgiving) and whats with the elusive $1 [...]
Carnegie Steel: Building a Modern America
Robber Barron
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm
Revolutionizing steel-making through vertical integration, constant innovation, and scale to fuel American industrialization
Hinckley: The iconic, semi-customized yacht
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm
Hinckley is an iconic luxury brand with an intensely loyal (and wealthy) following. An illustration of that loyalty: After Hinckley lost a significant amount of business during the financial crisis, 94-year old David Rockefeller Sr. ordered a $3 million, 55-foot [...]
Last modified on December 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm
By 2013 while one believed that digital on-demand startups ideas have been exhausted following the likes such as Uber, Freelance, Taskrabbit, Instacart unearthed another rather untapped errand, grocery shopping.
Zipcar – An effective car sharing system
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm
Zipcar is a car-sharing company that has been able to provide a reliable transportation alternative, defying the car ownership.
“What keeps you up at night?”: The Question That Built a Company
Ask Good Questions
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm
How one simple question can build a sustainable business.
Singapore Airlines: Service Excellence at Low Cost
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm
In an industry where bankruptcies are commonplace, Singapore Airlines soars above the rest by achieving the paradox of premium service at low cost.
H&M: How Fast Fashion Translates into Low Prices and Success
Carolina Manrique
Last modified on December 6, 2015 at 8:48 pm
H&M has become one of the leading fast fashion companies using its supply chain and techonology as core competitive advantages.
American Apparel: Factors leading to its recent bankruptcy
Yezi Peng
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 6:48 pm
When appealing to hipsters is not enough.
Amazon Web Services: Seeing Through the Clouds
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm
How Amazon abstracts the data center and makes billions of dollars in the process.
Do you reddit?
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 9:28 pm
TL;DR - Einstein boiled an egg and reddit is not making money, but in the right way.*
Making Dreams Come True…With Operations Management
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 9:31 pm
How Disney's innovative operations management translates into magical experiences for customers, and large profits for the company
Target’s failed entry in to Canada
Sid Bhandari
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm
Lessons learned from Target's botched entry into Canada.
Regina Miracle – Victoria’s “Secret”
Last modified on December 10, 2015 at 12:59 am
As the apparel brands/retailers are gravitating towards fewer suppliers, Regina Miracle is well equipped – with its advanced IT platforms, a lean manufacturing system, quality management processes, and strong partnerships with suppliers – to benefit from this trend
Arc’Teryx: consistently producting THE cutting edge activewear and gear
Ali G
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm
Actually listening to what your customers want and investing in the R&D to make that happen can lead to continued long term financial success.
Combatant Gentlemen: Farm to…Closet?
Last modified on December 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm
Combatant Gentlemen is disrupting everyday menswear one sheep at a time.
When BYD Meets Mercedes-Benz: a Joint-Venture in China
Last modified on December 8, 2015 at 12:05 am
BDNT, a joint-venture between Daimler and BYD, faced unique challenges in launching the company and its electric vehicle and developed unique business model. But operating the business model may not be challenge-free.