The objective of this paper is to analyze and evaluate the operations strategy of Zara. To do this, it will be used the operation strategy matrix, that defines on the vertical side the performance objectives of the company and on the horizontal side the different areas in which decisions can be made. The intersection of both will show which the critical areas of Zara’s operations are. In order to reach a deep level of analysis, it is very important the task of defining both the performance objectives and the decision areas. These will be the first part of this paper.
QUALITY (***): The quality of its products is one of the reasons for Zara’s success. These are the main characteristics when talking about the specifications of Zara’s offer: a.
Offering fashionable clothes: products are thought to be modern and according to the more recent market trends. On this sense, it is an important added value the fact that product models are changed almost every two weeks. b.
High standard materials quality: Zara selects good materials when producing the clothes and has developed some expertise in areas such as colouring fibres. c.
Consistent and measured quality of products: many controls are made during the production chain to assure that products have a homogeneous quality. Also the stores are designed and managed in a very similar way all around the world. d.
Good buyer experience: the company pays special attention in create a good atmosphere in its stores, propitious for attract customers inside them. e.
Good location of stores: another advantage for customers is that they will find Zara’s stores in the most famous streets and commercial areas. 2.
SPEED (**): the short time that passes between when the design process start and when the product is available to the public is one important point of Zara’s model. Two features should be emphasized: a.
Fast process between idea creation (designing) and production: all the different steps between design and commercialization are so well engaged that it is possible to put in the market clothes with the latest style trend. b.
Quick order-to-delivery: the company has established schedule to deliver all of their stores twice a week in a really short time since the order is made by the store managers (2 or 3 days depending on geographical areas) 3.
DEPENDABILITY (*): Zara has been able to set a regular schedule of deliveries to their shops in order to make it easy to commercialize the most recent models as soon as possible. This objective can be explained in two ways: a.
Be on time to meet the fashion trends: the times are very measured to synchronise the different phases since the designing of new models. b.
Delivering products in accordance to the stores timing demands: the store managers know perfectly the moment at which they have to do an order if they want to receive it on a specific day. 4.
FLEXIBILITY (***): this is probably the strongest point of Zara’s business model, as they have been able to introduce a high degree of adapting capacity to their offer and processes, in an industry that was traditionally considered to have just two different designing periods on the year. The main points of their flexible operations are: a.
Product range changes: the clothes are not different just between summer and winter collections, but inside these collections the models are adapted to the trends observed from the market, providing a higher adaptation to the customers tastes. b.
High autonomy of stores managers to adapt to their customers: every store manager has a high level of freedom to decide which clothes of the entire collection he or she wants to sell on its store, again with the view of adapting to the customers preferences (of the area where the store is), c.
Local adaptation: even if there are stores in the five continents, the company is able to adapt its offer to the different countries climate and cultural traditions. d.
Flexible on production and...
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