1. Shouldice Hospital is a focused factory. Consider the following excerpt from the Harvard Business
“A factory that focuses on a narrow product mix for a particular market niche will outperform the conventional plant, which attempts a broader mission. Because its equipment, supporting systems, and procedures can concentrate on a limited task for one set of customers, its costs ... are likely to be lower than a conventional plant. But, more important, such a plant can become a competitive weapon because its entire apparatus is focused to accomplish the ... task demanded by the company’s overall strategy. [Despite] their advantages, my research indicates that focused manufacturing plants are surprisingly rare. Instead, the conventional factory produces many products for numerous customers in a variety of markets, thereby demanding the performance of a multiplicity of manufacturing tasks all at once from one set of assets and people. Its rationale is “economy of scale” and lower capital investment. However, the result, more often than not, is a hodge-podge of compromises, a high overhead, a[n] ... organization that is constantly in hot water with ... customers.” – Wickham Skinner in “The Focused Factory,” Harvard Business Review, May-June 1974, 113– 22.
In what ways does the focused strategy of Shouldice enable them to gain efficiencies in their operations?
Shouldice depends on a unique operations strategy that is based on focusing on a single type of surgery. This strategy enabled the management to excel in serving the patients while minimize the cost and increase the hospital friendly environment. Another aspect that contributes to the high level of operational efficiency is the standardized method of operating and managing the hospital, which is very unique aside from the case of any ordinary hospital because of the complexities involved in an ordinary hospital. And again the operations strategy impacted the method of managing...
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