Very interesting post. It reminds me a lot of the consulting industry. I wonder if some of these problems aren’t universal to any professional services-based industry where the people interacting with clients are often not the ones producing the work. Culturally, at my consulting firm, partners would do their best to include junior team members in every client meeting. In fact, part of the appeal of consulting is that you’ll often sit at the table with CEOs as an analyst. Is this a cultural fix that could help reduce some of the inefficiencies? Is the work structured enough to allow it?
I love Allen Edmonds! I own two pairs and can attest to the level of craftsmanship and quality that goes into their shoes. It’s interesting to see a case where a company uses elements of their operating model as marketing collateral. Each pair of shoes on the AE website has a detailed description of the materials and manufacturing process for each shoe. In fact, I only buys shoes that are built on a specific “last” that determines the dimensions of the shoe. Do you see a threat from an overseas manufacturer that decides to replicate AE’s quality at a lower price point? Is the interwoven business, marketing and operating model too well-aligned to be easily overcome?
Great post Jonathan! This is a very interesting company that clearly has a well-aligned business and operating model. The process of selectively designing organisms isn’t a new concept, but applying the disciplines of design, engineering and GMP seems like it offers incredible potential. Why has it taken so long for biology labs to get to the point where these processes are automated? With such a seamless operating model the potential applications seem limitless–from health to energy, food, materials and more.