Discussion: Zara A Global Retail

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Discussion: Zara A Global Retail

Discussion: Zara A Global Retail

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Analyze Google ’ s strategy and the type of market disruption it has created using a dynamic environment perspective.

Sources: Adapted from Michelle Colin , “ Champions of Innovation ,” Businessweek 3989 (June 1 8 , 2006 ), 18–26 , http://www.bloomberg. com/bw/stories/2006‐06‐18/champions‐of‐innovation; Vauhini Vara , “ Pleasing Google ’ s Tech‐Savvy Staff ” (March 18, 2008 ) , B6; Jason Bloomberg , “ Google ’ s Three‐Pronged Enterprise Strategy ,” Forbes Online (December 12, 2014 ) ; and Connor Forrest , “ Four Ways Google Makes Money ,” TechRepublic (January 16, 2015 ) , http://www.techrepublic.com/article/four‐ways‐google‐makes‐money‐ outside‐of‐advertising/ (accessed August 21, 2015 ).

c01.indd 32 11/26/2015 6:19:41 PM

http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2006%E2%80%9006%E2%80%9018/champions%E2%80%90of%E2%80%90innovation
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/four%E2%80%90ways%E2%80%90google%E2%80%90makes%E2%80%90money%E2%80%90outside%E2%80%90of%E2%80%90advertising
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/four%E2%80%90ways%E2%80%90google%E2%80%90makes%E2%80%90money%E2%80%90outside%E2%80%90of%E2%80%90advertising
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/four%E2%80%90ways%E2%80%90google%E2%80%90makes%E2%80%90money%E2%80%90outside%E2%80%90of%E2%80%90advertising
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2 chapter

This chapter introduces the concept of building competitive advantage using information systems‐based applications. It begins with a discussion of a set of eras that describe the use of information resources historically. It then presents information resources as strategic tools, discussing information technology ( IT ) assets and IT capabilities. Michael Porter ’ s Five Com- petitive Forces model then provides a framework for discussing strategic advantage, and his Value Chain model addresses tactical ways organizations link their business processes to create strategic partnerships. We then introduce the Piccoli and Ive ’ s model to show how strategic advantage may be sustained in light of competitive barriers while the Resource‐ Based View focuses on gaining and maintaining strategic advantage through information and other resources of the fi rm. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of strategic alliances, co‐opetition, risks of strategic use of IT, and cocreating IT and business strategy. Just as a note: this chapter uses the terms competitive advantage and strategic advantage interchangeably.

1 Inditex Web site, http://www.inditex.com/en/who_we_are/concepts/zara (accessed February 20, 2012); http://www.marinabaysands. com/shopping/zara.html (accessed May 2, 2015).

Strategic Use of Information Resources

Zara , a global retail and apparel manufacturer based in Arteixo, Spain, needed a dynamic business model to keep up with the ever‐changing demands of its customers and industry. At the heart of its model was a set of business processes and an information system that linked demand to manufactur- ing and manufacturing to distribution. The strategy at Zara stores was simply to have a continuous fl ow of new products that were typically in limited supply. As a result, regular customers visited their stores often—an average of 17 times a year whereas many retail stores averaged only four times a year. When customers saw something they liked, they bought it on the spot because they knew it would probably be gone the next time they visited the store. The result was a very loyal and satisfi ed customer base and a wildly profi table business model.

How did Zara do it? It was possible in part because the company aligned its information system strategy with its business strategy. Its corporate Web site gave some insight:

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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