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On December 14, 2015, AJ commented on Dunkin’ Brands: The On-the-Go Cup of Joe :


Great post indeed! I am impressed by Dunkin Donuts’ nimble approach to its business strategy by placing responsibility and ownership of its stores in the hands of the franchisees. I like how it has kept its operations to be as asset light as possible through its franchisee model. I realize that corporate provides extensive trainings to its stores and oversees compliance with its standards for product and service integrity, however, I wonder if it has been able to ensure similar levels of performance across the stores given that no two management styles are alike. Does Dunkin Donuts have a very regimented approach to its franchisee owner selection? Also, how does it ensure that the immediate management that is responsible for the day-to-day operations and meeting of targets set by corporate actually deliver on these various metrics of performance? On another note, it is good to know that even a low-cost, high quality provider puts great emphasis on product innovation and marketing efforts to develop brand loyalty and increased sales.


Very interesting read! I was quite surprised to learn that Quest Diagnostics models its operations like a factory would, utilizing common process improvement methodologies like Six Sigma to deliver on their business value metrics of quality and speed. I would believe that a very large portion of their expenses are devoted to logistics in order to ensure specimens and samples are delivered to various testing centers in a timely manner. It would be useful to understand its cost structure in terms of maintaining large facilities with testing equipment and experienced personnel and logistics costs and how these various costs play out in Quest Diagnostics value creation process. I found an article which addresses some of the recent challenges Quest Diagnostics and some of its competitors are facing in keeping up sales and generating profits given high pricing pressures set by insurers and government services like Medicare and Medicaid (http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/14/laboratory-service-providers-should-profit-from-th.aspx). I wonder if Quest can mitigate some of these external pressures by implementing cost-cutting measures to develop even leaner processes within its operations. Also, it is good to know that Quest is considering alternative revenue streams through its ‘big-data’ proposition. I agree that this particular service will do wonders for this business given the advantages in terms of convenience and cost that both physicians and patients can reap. Although, I would be concerned about partnering with third-parties given data-breach issues Quest has faced in the past. Moving forward, I think Quest really needs to think about whether or not it needs to outsource data analytics and if it does how can it make sure that the integrity of data is maintained.


The idea of having manicure services delivered at your offices is a unique business idea and one that is sure to be of great value to its customers. I particularly think that the convenience part by not having to drive in one’s free time to get a manicure done and by getting the service completed in 15 minutes is a very strong business proposition. However, I do have some concerns regarding its operating model. The first thing I worry about is whether these ‘on-demand’ technicians can truly make themselves available within a few minutes of the time the request is made. Also, my second concern is whether these experienced technicians can really delivery a quality service in the 15 minutes allotted per customer. Typically, these manicures take around 30 min to do, sometimes excluding the drying time, so given that the time has been cut in half I question if the technicians will be able to do justice to the service. Overall, I feel that employers forging partnerships with Manicube is a win-win for both parties. Particularly for the employers, I find this partnership to be an effective way to address some of the retention and morale issues faced by female employees at work by offering such perks that make the female employees feel valued.