Ali G

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On December 13, 2015, Ali G commented on Making Dreams Come True…With Operations Management :

I had no idea how the Fastpass worked! Thanks for the great explanation. I agree that this is a genius demand (arrival)-smoothing mechanism that has done wonders for both user experience and ride utility. The issues you highlighted are worrisome, but I think they are a small price to pay for all the great benefits and cost reduction. Probably the biggest barrier for Disney is making sure that tourists understand that Fastpass is free. I admit that I haven’t been to Disney since I was 15, but I had heard that there was a line-skipping device but thought you had to pay a premium for it. I think this concept goes along very well with Disney’s mission of “making dreams come true”. Great post!

On December 13, 2015, Ali G commented on Skydrop—the “Uber” of instant deliveries in LatAm :

I was excited to read about this business concept and how it works. I think SkyDrop has a ton of potential and I have heard from friends in the U.S. trucking & logistics industry that the uber idea has been slowly gaining popularity. I agree with all the points you laid out as to why the business model is successfully supported by the operating model. The one major concern I would have with expansion into the rest of Central America is around safety and the insurance cost to guarantee the successful and safe delivery of high value goods. How are they going to guarantee trustworthy drivers through only basic background checks? And how are they going to insure against hijackers? I would imagine this insurance is quite costly. I would want to see these numbers before agreeing that this company has a winning strategy. Overall, great analysis! I have no doubt someone will figure out how to make this idea work.

I think this was a great analysis of how Costco’s operating model appropriately achieves the goals laid out in its business model. I agree that the limited SKU count and ability to buy in bulk are two of the keys to keeping costs low compared to competitors. Moreover, I would add that limiting SKUs contributes to higher sales because of the paradox of choice. Customers are less likely to become overwhelmed by having too many options while shopping at Costco. By only offering a few (if any) choices for each type of product, customers are more likely to just buy whatever brand or package size is offered at Costco because they feel like they are getting the best deal. For most products where customers do not care about brand, color, or size, Costco can win. I think the company has done a great job of choosing the categories where they can be successful.

I was also very impressed with their employee compensation and benefits. I had no idea that their wages were that much higher than competitors. At first glance, I wouldn’t think that this would be in-line with their cost-cutting business model, but I see how by managing turnover it can be an overall win. I agree that Costco is and will continue to be well-positioned for the future.