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February 08, 2009


On this exercise I am going to analyse two quite different processes one from manufacturing and the other one from services.

a)     The process followed by an international high scale clothes retail company as Spanish Zara

b)     The process followed by a local psychologist, called for example Doctor

1)     Volume and Variety Analysis

*  Zara like other international clothes retailers is a high volume retailer, but one of its main advantages to other retailers is they are also high variety retailer.

*  Doctor is a really low volume “company” as the number of patients treated daily is really low, on the other hand the levels of variety of this patients ant the given treatments is close to infinite, thanks to the complexity of human brain


2)     Performance Objectives

Performance Objective




Low quality associated with low prices

X High Quality, ad for the patient this relation can be the basement of their daily life


High speed on time to market (each week new models are available) and high speed on the buying process decision

High speed on time to market (doctor must be available on any time) and low speed on buying process or session


No direct flexibility (client cannot but buy what is already made), and mid indirect flexibility (company is continuously analysing buying patterns and fashion trends to weekly adapt their models)

X High Flexibility, doctor must alter the treatment online as the patient gives proper details


X Low, daily clothes absolutely substitutable and not linked to special occasions (weddings, parties, etc)

X High, the performance on the rest of daily acts are linked to the outcome of this task


High efficiency required as margins are really tight

Levels of efficiency established by daily time table

3)     Performance Objectives trade offs

Analysing the relation between the different Performance Objectives, we observe Doctor can trade off with Cost and Speed on Delivery, while Zara can trade off with Dependability and Quality.


4)     Operations Profiling

Applying the Slack et all diagram of the 4Vs, we observe Doctor operations profile is close to be ideal, while Zara operations profile is not, this is due to the business model adapted by Zara that tries to combine volume with final flexibility through a complex time to market operations design that combines R&D with Fashion trend Observation and really fast time to market on long scale.


5)     Process choice

We can categorise Doctor as a Professional services process and Zara as a mix between Batch and mass processes.

6)     Lazy L analysis

Doctor is always going to be on the same place on the “Lazy L” Analysis, as it cannot move into the right and low side due to the specific casuistic of this medical branch. The only way of moving could be incorporating new medical branches and moving from a small local psychiatric office to a huge hospital.

Zara began with a small shop of house coats for women, and over the years has moved into a long scale international clothes retailer that bases its success on delivering a high variety of cheap clothes with a weekly renewal of models, thanks to observation and a huge time to market based on great logistic operations. Today Lazy L analysis




I hereby leave the xls file with the diagrams used in case you want to use any


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  • Ignacio, You have produced a very good blog for lesson 8, your last blog. Your chosen example is an … by Neil McPhater on this entry
  • Hi Ignacio I have read your blog 3 I can not see any other blogs by on this entry
  • Hi Neil as you have told me I have included at the beginning of the blog the question asked on lesso… by on this entry
  • Ignacio, In ypur blog section 7) you have included a very good process map (including it on a PPT fi… by Neil McPhater on this entry
  • Hi Ignacio your blog looks very good a quite spectaculary comparison between the Zara cloth and a Do… by on this entry

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