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Thank Bernardo- so I actually looked this up because I was curious as well. Turns out that Vermont allows brewers to obtain a license to self-distribute. (Source: The Brewers Association https://www.brewersassociation.org/government-affairs/laws/self-distribution-laws/) This has a large implication on the use of this strategy by other breweries and the ability of the Alchemist to expand their operations strategy to other states. In some states this operations strategy will not be relevant because breweries would not be able to get around the regulations.

You are completely right Ni. The Alchemist has found a way to by-pass the distributors by staying local and have been able to further build their brand be developing their own relationships with the community. It will be interesting to see if they stick to this operations system after the second production sight opens-up. I think that they face a huge risk in steering away from their hyper-local, in-house distribution, but maybe they will be able to find a distributor who understand their value proposition and is committed to keeping it in tact.

That is a really great point about expansion. I think it would be hard for them to bring Heady Topper specifically to other regions, but maybe they could expand by opening up breweries in other states that focus on different beers for each state/region. That way they could continue to optimize operations for one specific beer but maintain the exclusivity of their beer.

On December 14, 2015, QF commented on Fabindia: Connecting India’s rural economy to the Market :

First, let me just say that when I go to India for Field 2 in January I will now definitely be finding a FabIndia store. It is evident that FabIndia has been able to create value out of having a unique operations system that focuses on traditional craftsmanship. FabIndia treats their products as pieces of art and establishes strong relationships with artisans. 55,000 artists are a lot of people to keep track of though and I wonder what internal processes they have had to put in place to manage these relationships. Do the artists produce goods for specific local FabIndia stores (so each store sells unique products) or do the products get distributed to all the FabIndia stores? It is really interesting to hear that FabIndia has also branched out to create a more western fashion line – it seems to me that they were able to do this because they had developed a good reputation for quality. In class we often talked about centralizing operations to gain more control, but sometimes decentralizing the operations or production process can be the right answer. I think it relies on picking the right products for the right regions – where people feel pride for what they produce and that their products really represent the culture of the region- drawing in more customers and tourists.

On December 14, 2015, QF commented on Clover Food Lab: Fast Food That’s Good For You :

As Clover fan, I really appreciate this post. Even thought I have been to Clover many times, I had not idea that their operations system is so great and integrated into their value proposition. After reading this article it all makes so much sense. Clover has definitely incorporated many of the operations themes we have covered in class – from developing their menu through ideation and customer input, to using data to track menu items and customer purchases. One aspect that I find particularly interesting is that Clover not only incorporates their values of speed and clean taste into their operations, but they include their social impact goals as well. As someone who is interested in how the private sector can become more socially oriented, I can now see the value in how companies can use operations standards to create a positive impact on the communities they are a part of. Clover uses their relationships with distributors and focus on local produce to create an impact. Do you know if Clover has a way of tracking this social impact? I think that if they could more directly track their impact as well, they could help promote social enterprise.

On December 14, 2015, QF commented on Vail Resorts – Epic Operations :

As an avid skier I think a lot about the impacts of global warming on the skiing industry and worry that someday ski resorts may have to shutdown because they are not making profits. Ski resorts have very high operations costs that make it difficult to run if ticket sales are not high. It sounds like Vail has found a multi-pronged approach to maintain profits when other resorts suffer from declining ticket sales and high costs. They consider the customer experience in every aspect of operations, thus hedging against losing customers to other resorts. It gives me hope that despite the low snowfall in 2012 they were not in the red. Do you think their operating system could be expanded to smaller, more local resorts? Vail has a lot of assets that they are able to leverage to continue to acquire new ski mountains, but many ski resorts are individually owned. How do you think they can learn from Vail’s focus on owning the entire mountain and controlling the guest experience and do you think they could adapt a similar model to the epic pass? I personally think that different ski resorts have different personalities and attract different kinds of skiers. Vail demonstrates how ski resorts can succeed by dissecting what their exact personality or value to the customer is. Other resorts have an opportunity to learn how to target the right value proposition from Vail.