Assembly Lines in Operating Rooms

Assembly Lines in Operating Rooms

Dr. Devi Shetty, a cardiac surgeon, has been on a mission to provide even the poorest of the poor with quality, affordable healthcare.

At Narayana Health, a chain of hospitals in India, surgeons perform the most complicated procedures at a tiny fraction of what it costs in the US. Its ability to do so partly lies in the use of well-known operations principles to promote process efficiency.


Video Spotlights:


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, The World’s Cheapest Hospital Has to Get Even Cheaper, by A. Altstedter, March 25, 2019; the YouTube video, Making Healthcare Affordable – PBS coverage on Narayana Health & Dr.Devi Shetty, by Narayana Health, August 16, 2017; and the Aljazeera video, Indian Hospital: Episode 1, by P. Roy, May 4, 2012. Image source: Shutterstock/lenetstan

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe Narayana’s achievements in health care delivery. Justify with examples.

Guidance: Achievements include greater access to healthcare with higher volumes of patients (“huge volumes help surgeons quickly develop proficiency”, six times more procedures per surgeon); high quality (mortality rates comparable to or below those in the Continue reading

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The Timeless Cool of Levi’s

The Timeless Cool of Levi’s

Levi Strauss invented the blue jean in the late 1800s. Since then, jeans have become an iconic staple of everyone’s wardrobe.

Despite being the symbols of various cultural movements, Levi’s jeans lost their appeal over time. With fierce competition from designer brands, teenage retailers, and streetwear companies, sales plateaued, and the company’s financial health deteriorated.

As the company goes public for the second time in its long history, the CEO expects that the injection of new capital will help the company innovate and regain its trendiness.


Video Spotlight: Levi’s “Circles” Commercial


This post is based on the New York Times article, Levi’s, Whose Jeans Are a Rugged Symbol of Americana, Prepares to Go Public, by S. Maheshwari, March 18, 2019; and the YouTube video, Levi’s “Circles” Commercial, by Levi’s, August 18, 2017. Image source: Redfx / Alamy

Discussion Questions:

1. Why does Mr. Bergh, the CEO, say that Levi’s had an “unclear” strategy?

Guidance: A strategy is a long-term blueprint. Levi’s had lost touch with its customers and stopped innovating, a requirement for success in the crowded apparel business. With a lack of long-term thinking and strategic positioning, inadequate advertising ensued, and Levi’s lost the “cool” Continue reading

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The Auto Industry Is Running Out of Gas

The Auto Industry Is Running Out of Gas

America’s love affair with cars is losing its steam.

As city living makes a comeback and new transportation options emerge, the appeal of buying a new car fades. After decades of growth and record years, auto sales may have reached a peak or will get there soon.

The auto industry is trying to prepare itself for an inevitable decline and is investing in mobility services and self-driving cars. This worldwide trend marks the end of an era and the beginning of a quest for the next disruptive innovation.


Video Spotlight: Peak Car?


This post is based on a Bloomberg article, Car Troubles: This is What Peak Car Looks Like, by K. Naughton and D. Welch, February 28, 2019; and the YouTube video, Peak Car?, by Financial Times, January 26, 2014. Image source: Ionut Iordache/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What factors have contributed to the decline in private car sales?

Guidance: Factors include increasing numbers of people migrating to large cities where cheaper and more convenient transportation options abound; higher car prices; scarcity and cost of parking; young people’s dwindling interest in driving; and a growing elderly population for whom driving has become risky and stressful.

2. Continue reading

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