To be sure, the operations strategy at most companies has been determined on an ad hoc basis by the accumulated effect of many small and large operational decisions. Rarely does a company formally design and document its operations strategy in a deliberate fashion. (Moi ici: tão verdade nas PMEs, daí que quando se concentram no que é essencial, dão um salto na sua competitividade)
Structural decisions define the what, when, where, and how of investing in operations bricks and mortar.
Porter properly dismissed the pursuit of operational effectiveness without a clear linkage to the company’s competitive differentiation, but he underestimated the importance of building these capabilities. (Moi ici: O perigo do benchmarking, o perigo de aplicar o que resulta bem na indústria automóvel numa empresa que compete pela inovação. Por exemplo, basta procurar 3M e 6 sigma.)
In Porter’s defense, many operations executives also do not think about building unique capabilities, but instead mindlessly pursue “best practices.” In other words, they try to develop the capabilities that their fiercest competitors have already mastered. The concept of “best practices,” in fact, reinforces the flawed mind-set that triggered Porter’s attack on operational effectiveness. There are no universally superior methods that should be applied by all industry participants. Such a model yields competitive convergence and the often destructive model of pure cost-based competition. Instead, capabilities should be nurtured with a clear focus on the company’s desired, differentiated position in the marketplace." (Moi ici: Please, rewind a read again this last underlined text. Read again and again until your epiphanic moment.).