Are Most Firms Opting for Operational Excellence?

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Are Most Firms Opting for Operational Excellence?
Isn't it so that most (almost all) large corporations are opting for the operational excellence strategy? I find it difficult to mention more than a few examples for the other two. Perhaps the Product Leadership and Customer Leadership strategy are either for niche players or for temporary use.

Operational Excellence
I would point out that Nike and Intel are product leaders. Just because they are large doesn't make the value they present automatically operation excellence.

Operational Excellence
Jacky, I think your comment is just evidence of the importance of all three disciplines. While we might not be privy to a corporations strategy, it would appear that you could make an argument for all three value disciplines being the primary for most companies we would view as being successful or well managed.

operational excellence
I think Dell is a good example of customer intimacy and Pfizer is a product leader and probably BMW is also a product leader...

Operational Excellence
Jacky, there are great examples of large and small companies in each category:
- Product Leaders are the "wow, what will they think of next" companies like Apple or Microsoft.
- Customer Intimacy leaders are the "I can't believe they go to that length for their customers" companies like Nordstrom, L.L. Bean, Martin+Osa, or Four Seasons.
- Harley-Davidson might just have a reputation for both.

Excel in One Value Discipline
James W
Pamelah, That's the point of the Treacy/Wiersema argument: True leaders do not have a reputation in more than one category. Harley Davidson is mentioned in the book as being a product leader. People want their product years before they are released. Parity in operational excellence and customer intimacy is important, but Harley Davidson (and other product leaders) truly excel in providing the next great leap forward in their space.
Jacky, true operational excellence is sought by few companies. It's very, very hard to save your way to profitability.

Operational Excellence
Rich Sanford
Jacky - You can also think of Operational Excellence as offering a Discount Pricing Model....Walmart is an example.....Nordstrom is a Niche Player with Customer Leadership that has worked well for them....Product Leaders are everywhere as well.......Teradata is a Product Leader in Massively Parallel Databases.....

Eoin Leahy, Member
Apple demonstrated how product leadership often manifests as a redefinition of the market segment. By focusing on the aspects of the product that led to enhanced customer experience they turned an MP3 player from a me-too technical gizmo for playing tunes to a beloved-object.
To do that they had to rely on the operation excellence of contract manufacturers and on customer intimacy afforded by focus groups, but at the end of the day their stock valuation reflects the fact that they are the leaders in the provision of personal electronic products.

Dell Computers is Operational Excellence
Gary Wong, Premium Member
@Birhane: My understanding of Operational Excellence means manufacturing products and services that meet general specifications at the lowest cost with 'hassle free' service. If you accept this, Dell would be OpEx: cheap computers thanks to an IT revolution in supply chain management.
When I think of Customer Intimacy, I automatically think of Nordstrom's. When you walk into their retail store, a person greets you and will accompany you throughout the entire store. With Dell, I make my selections off menus and might not ever talk to a real person.
I agree that Pfizer and BMW practice a product leadership value discipline.

How Dell Used to Be Customer Intimate
Jaap de Jonge, Editor
@Gary Wong: There used to be a time when Dell was famous for being the first to manufacture PC's to exact customer demands using advanced internet, configurator and supply chain technologies in a quick and affordable way. One might say that was leading in customer intimacy at the time.
Overall I do agree with Jackie that most large companies should be considered operational excellent and even if they start in another setup tend to migrate to it in the long run.


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