When looking at a company’s value discipline you have to look at what is important to business owners and the associates that they represent. These are the values that they build their company around and they usually map out what sets one company aside from the other. Companies tend to take the identity of the values that they have instilled in it workers. Once these values have been put in place than you can usually gauge how that particular company chooses to do business. There are three integral parts to Value discipline and they are operational excellence, product leadership, and customer intimacy. These key components are the building blocks on how a company will run its company. If there is any part left out it can be detrimental to the success of the company.
Operational Excellence describes a strategy companies pursue to produce and deliver its products to its customers. In order to lead their “industry in price and convenience” companies like Toyota are relentless in their quest for efficiency in manufacturing processes, distribution, and cost control. Toyota’s legendary mission was all about empowering workers to improve processes; working with partners to reduce inventory and delivery times; and streamlining their logistics and distribution chain to increase customer convenience and reduce cost (http://blog.crowdspring.com/2009/10/small-business-and-startups-ideas-that-stuck-value-disciplines/). Like Toyota, Capital One has found many ways to be innovative as well when it comes to delivering its customers a user friendly and convenient way to be informed about their new products. The commercials are unique and memorable and they have banners on a lot of major websites like Yahoo, ESPN, and FOX. Customers can click on these advertisements and be directed to their website where they can obtain product knowledge which can be valuable when making their purchasing decisions. Everything today is about convenience you no longer have to go into the movie rental place and rent movies you can go online an order or merely go to a box and select that titles you would like to rent. One of the things that can’t be overlooked is the vast amount of technology that is changing in today’s society. The companies that are able to keep up with these technologies are the ones that are able to be at the forefront of their respected markets. This doesn’t mean that the old ways of doing things are completely obsolete. Sending promotions through the mail is still a great way to catch the attention of your older clientele because a lot of them may not be technically savvy. When you combine both of these strategies you have the “recipe” for success
Customer Intimacy is a very different strategy, with companies focused on providing products and services which reflect an exhaustive knowledge of their customer’s expectations and desires. Companies that practice this value discipline strive for continuous improvement and iteration, build feedback loops and create customer support structures, and endeavor to build customer loyalty as a barrier to competition. An example of this is Zappos, the internet retail shoe giant that is celebrated for their customer service and their continual efforts to “surprise and delight” the customer. Zappos is not the cheapest place to buy shoes, but their product selection, return policies, and innovations such as free return shipping have made the company a potent force and a market leader in a relatively short time(http://blog.crowdspring.com/2009/10/small-business-and-startups-ideas-that-stuck-value-disciplines/). This is definitely one of the areas of improvement that needs to be addressed at Capital One. It is difficult to fully address a customer’s needs when you are too busy concentrating on getting a call completed so that