dirección estratégica y política de la empresa strategic

dirección estratégica y política de la empresa strategic

dirección estratégica y política de la empresa strategic


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ÍNDICE<br />

1.-Introducción.<br />

2.-Ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor y sistema <strong>de</strong> valor.<br />

3.-Las activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor.<br />

4.-Inter<strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong>ncias horizontales y verticales.<br />

5.-Panorama competitivo y ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor.<br />

6.-Lectura recomendada.<br />

7.-Caso práctico.<br />





1. Introduction.<br />

2. The value chain and system of value creation.<br />

3. Activities that add value.<br />

4. Horizontal and vertical linkages.<br />

5. Competitive <strong>la</strong>ndscape and the value chain.<br />

6. Recommen<strong>de</strong>d reading.<br />

7. Case study.<br />



La fase <strong>de</strong> análisis no se agota en el análisis externo. Es necesario también<br />

realizar un estudio <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s capacida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>, a fin <strong>de</strong> a<strong>de</strong>cuar<strong>la</strong>s a<br />

sus finalida<strong>de</strong>s y objetivos, y obtener <strong>la</strong>s <strong>de</strong>seables ventajas competitivas.<br />

Pero tanto <strong>la</strong>s capacida<strong>de</strong>s como <strong>la</strong>s ventajas competitivas perseguidas por<br />

<strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> no pue<strong>de</strong>n analizarse consi<strong>de</strong>rando a <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> como un todo,<br />

dado que se obtienen <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> suma <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s que realiza, y <strong>de</strong> su<br />

interre<strong>la</strong>ción. Por tanto, se hace necesario llevar a cabo un estudio<br />

<strong>de</strong>sagregado <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>. En este tema proponemos<br />

como metodología más a<strong>de</strong>cuada para el mismo el <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor,<br />

que <strong>de</strong>sagrega a <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> en sus activida<strong>de</strong>s más relevantes a fin <strong>de</strong><br />

analizar <strong>la</strong>s fuentes <strong>de</strong> sus ventajas, tanto actuales como potenciales, en<br />

costes o en diferenciación.<br />

En todo caso, <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> una <strong>empresa</strong> no es un elemento<br />

ais<strong>la</strong>do, que actúa <strong>de</strong> forma in<strong>de</strong>pendiente, sino que encaja en un ámbito<br />

más amplio, cual es el sistema <strong>de</strong> valor, en el que también participan <strong>la</strong><br />

ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> proveedores y <strong>de</strong> clientes, incluidos los clientes finales<br />

o consumidores. Por tanto, <strong>la</strong> obtención <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ventaja competitiva<br />

<strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong>rá no sólo <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> configuración <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong><br />

<strong>empresa</strong>, sino también <strong>de</strong> cómo ésta encaje en este sistema <strong>de</strong> valor más<br />

general.<br />


The phase of analysis is not exhausted by the analysis of the external<br />

situation. It is also necessary to study the capacities of the company, with<br />

the object of matching them to its goals and objectives, and to obtain the<br />

<strong>de</strong>sired competitive advantages. But neither the capacities nor the<br />

competitive advantages sought by the company can be analysed by<br />

consi<strong>de</strong>ring the company as a whole, because these capacities and<br />

advantages are <strong>de</strong>rived from the various different activities that it<br />

un<strong>de</strong>rtakes, and from the way they interre<strong>la</strong>te with each other. Therefore,<br />

it is necessary to carry out a disaggregated study of the company's<br />

operations. In this topic we propose that the most appropriate<br />

methodology for this analysis is that known as the value chain, whereby<br />

the company is broken down into its more relevant activities, in terms of<br />

creating and adding value to its offer, with the object of i<strong>de</strong>ntifying the<br />

sources of its competitive advantages, both actual and potential, in costs or<br />

in differentiation.<br />

In any case, the chain of value of a company is not an iso<strong>la</strong>ted element<br />

that acts in<strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong>ntly; it fits into a wi<strong>de</strong>r field, which is the overall<br />

system of value creation in which the chains of value of suppliers and<br />

customers, including that of the final user or consumer, also participate.<br />

Therefore, how a company obtains competitive advantage will <strong>de</strong>pend not<br />

only on the configuration of the company's own chain of value, but also<br />

on how it fits into this more general system of value creation.<br />



La ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor como metodología para el análisis <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s fuentes <strong>de</strong><br />

ventajas competitivas, ya sea en costes o en diferenciación, pue<strong>de</strong><br />

<strong>de</strong>finirse como el conjunto <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>sempeñadas internamente<br />

por <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> (para diseñar, producir, llevar al mercado, entregar y<br />

apoyar sus productos) y sus interacciones (es<strong>la</strong>bones horizontales).<br />

Por tanto, <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor permite i<strong>de</strong>ntificar y analizar <strong>la</strong>s<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>estratégica</strong>mente relevantes <strong>de</strong>s<strong>de</strong> el punto <strong>de</strong> vista <strong>de</strong> los<br />

costes o <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> diferenciación, <strong>de</strong> forma que una <strong>empresa</strong> sólo podrá<br />

obtener alguna ventaja competitiva <strong>de</strong>sempeñando esas activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong><br />

forma más barata o mejor que sus competidores.<br />

La ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> una <strong>empresa</strong> forma parte <strong>de</strong> un concepto más<br />

amplio, el sistema <strong>de</strong> valor, que engloba <strong>la</strong>s re<strong>la</strong>ciones con proveedores<br />

y canales <strong>de</strong> distribución, así como <strong>la</strong> interacción con <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor<br />

<strong>de</strong>l comprador (es<strong>la</strong>bones verticales). Esto nos reve<strong>la</strong> que <strong>la</strong> obtención y<br />

mantenimiento <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ventaja competitiva no sólo <strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong> <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na<br />

<strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> propia <strong>empresa</strong>, sino <strong>de</strong> cómo ésta encaja en el sistema <strong>de</strong><br />

valor general.<br />

Las ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s <strong>empresa</strong>s difieren en función <strong>de</strong>l segmento<br />

o segmentos que atiendan, <strong>de</strong> su grado <strong>de</strong> integración vertical y<br />

horizontal y <strong>de</strong>l ámbito geográfico en el que se <strong>de</strong>senvuelvan; es <strong>de</strong>cir,<br />

<strong>de</strong>pendiendo <strong>de</strong> sus estrategias.<br />


The value chain has been selected as the best methodology for the<br />

analysis of the sources of competitive advantages, whether in costs or in<br />

differentiation; the chain can be <strong>de</strong>fined as the set of activities carried<br />

out internally by the company (essentially in <strong>de</strong>signing, producing,<br />

bringing to market, selling, <strong>de</strong>livering and supporting its<br />

products/services) and their interactions (horizontal links).<br />

Therefore, by following the value chain we can i<strong>de</strong>ntify and analyse the<br />

<strong>strategic</strong>ally-relevant activities from the point of view of costs or<br />

differentiation; thus the thinking is that a company will only be able to<br />

obtain some competitive advantage by performing those activities more<br />

cheaply or better than its competitors.<br />

The value chain of a company forms part of a broa<strong>de</strong>r concept, the<br />

overall value system, which encompasses its re<strong>la</strong>tionships with<br />

suppliers and distribution channels, and its interaction with the value<br />

chain of the purchaser (vertical links). Therefore, how a company<br />

obtains competitive advantage will <strong>de</strong>pend not only on the<br />

configuration of the company's own value chain, but also on how it fits<br />

into this more general value system.<br />

The value chains of companies differ in function of the market segment<br />

or segments in which they are active, on their <strong>de</strong>gree of vertical and<br />

horizontal integration, and on the geographic scope of their activities; in<br />

other words, a company's value chain <strong>de</strong>pends essentially on its<br />


En términos competitivos, el valor es <strong>la</strong> cantidad que los compradores<br />

están dispuestos a pagar por lo que <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> les proporciona. En<br />

consecuencia, una <strong>empresa</strong> será rentable si dicho valor es superior a los<br />

costes totales <strong>de</strong>l producto, <strong>de</strong> forma que el fin último <strong>de</strong> cualquier<br />

estrategia será maximizar <strong>la</strong> diferencia o margen entre ambos. En el<br />

análisis <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> posición competitiva <strong>de</strong>berán consi<strong>de</strong>rarse, pues, ambas<br />

variables.<br />

operating strategy.<br />

In competitive terms, the value is the amount that purchasers are<br />

prepared to pay for what the company offers them, in the wi<strong>de</strong>st sense.<br />

In consequence, a company will be profitable if this value, in unit<br />

terms, is higher than the total costs of the product; therefore the ultimate<br />

goal of any strategy will be to maximise the difference or margin<br />

between these two amounts. Hence in the analysis of the competitive<br />

position, both variables will have to be consi<strong>de</strong>red.<br />



Por activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor enten<strong>de</strong>mos <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s distintas, física y<br />

tecnológicamente, que <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>.<br />

Pue<strong>de</strong>n ser <strong>de</strong> dos tipos: primarias y <strong>de</strong> apoyo (o secundarias). Las<br />

primarias son <strong>la</strong>s implicadas en <strong>la</strong> creación física <strong>de</strong>l producto y su<br />

transferencia al comprador, así como en <strong>la</strong> asistencia posterior a <strong>la</strong><br />

venta; es <strong>de</strong>cir, son aquel<strong>la</strong>s que conforman los procesos <strong>de</strong> producción<br />

y comercialización propiamente dichos. Las secundarias sirven <strong>de</strong><br />

apoyo o sustento a <strong>la</strong>s primarias, proporcionándole insumos, tecnología,<br />

recursos humanos e infraestructura.<br />

3.1.-PRIMARIAS<br />

Cabe distinguir cinco categorías genéricas, cada una <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s cuales será a<br />

su vez divisible en varias activida<strong>de</strong>s, <strong>de</strong>pendiendo <strong>de</strong>l sector <strong>de</strong> que se<br />

trate y <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> estrategia <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>:<br />

- Logística interna. Incluye todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s re<strong>la</strong>cionadas<br />

con <strong>la</strong> recepción, almacenamiento y salida <strong>de</strong> materias primas <strong>de</strong> los<br />

almacenes, así como el control <strong>de</strong> los inventarios.<br />

- Operaciones. Engloba todas <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s asociadas con <strong>la</strong><br />

transformación <strong>de</strong> insumos en el proceso productivo.<br />


By value-creation activities we mean all the various activities that the<br />

company un<strong>de</strong>rtakes, physically and technologically.<br />

It is useful to categorise them into two types: primary and supporting<br />

(or secondary). The primary activities are those involved in the physical<br />

creation of the product and its transfer to the purchaser, together with<br />

any after-sales services provi<strong>de</strong>d; that is, they are the activities that<br />

form the processes of production and commercialisation (selling) of the<br />

company's output, specifically <strong>de</strong>fined. The secondary activities give<br />

support or sustain the primary ones, providing the necessary materials,<br />

technology, human resources and infrastructure.<br />


Five general categories can be differentiated, each of which can in turn<br />

be divi<strong>de</strong>d into several activities <strong>de</strong>pending on the sector in question<br />

and on the strategy of the company:<br />

- Internal logistics. This inclu<strong>de</strong>s all those activities re<strong>la</strong>ted to the<br />

reception, storage and issuing of raw materials from the company's<br />

warehouses and stores, and the control of inventories.<br />

- Operations. This encompasses all the activities associated with the<br />

transformation of materials throughout the productive process.<br />


- Logística externa. Se correspon<strong>de</strong> con <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s re<strong>la</strong>tivas a <strong>la</strong><br />

entrada y almacenamiento <strong>de</strong> los productos terminados y <strong>la</strong><br />

distribución física <strong>de</strong> los mismos a los compradores. Por tanto,<br />

incluye todo lo re<strong>la</strong>tivo a <strong>la</strong> gestión <strong>de</strong> estos almacenes,<br />

procesamiento <strong>de</strong> pedidos, vehículos <strong>de</strong> reparto, etc.<br />

- Mercadotecnia y ventas. Hace referencia a <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> carácter<br />

comercial, como publicidad, promoción, selección y re<strong>la</strong>ciones con<br />

los canales <strong>de</strong> distribución, fuerza <strong>de</strong> ventas, <strong>política</strong> <strong>de</strong> precios, etc.<br />

- Prestación <strong>de</strong> servicios. Alu<strong>de</strong> a todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

<strong>de</strong>stinadas a realzar o mantener el valor <strong>de</strong>l producto, como <strong>la</strong><br />

insta<strong>la</strong>ción, <strong>la</strong> formación para su manejo, <strong>la</strong>s reparaciones, los<br />

repuestos, nuevas versiones actualizadas, etc.<br />

Cada una <strong>de</strong> estas categorías pue<strong>de</strong> ser vital para alcanzar una sólida<br />

posición competitiva, <strong>de</strong>pendiendo <strong>de</strong>l sector <strong>de</strong> que se trate. Así: en<br />

<strong>la</strong>s <strong>empresa</strong>s <strong>de</strong> distribución será <strong>la</strong> logística, para un restaurante <strong>la</strong>s<br />

operaciones, en los bancos el marketing, o para los fabricantes <strong>de</strong><br />

fotocopiadoras el servicio.<br />

3.2.-DE APOYO<br />

Pue<strong>de</strong>n dividirse en cuatro categorías genéricas, si bien cada una <strong>de</strong><br />

el<strong>la</strong>s integrará diversas activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor en cada caso particu<strong>la</strong>r:<br />

- Abastecimiento. Se refiere a <strong>la</strong> función <strong>de</strong> aprovisionamiento <strong>de</strong> los<br />

insumos necesarios en <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>, no a los<br />

- External logistics. This covers the activities concerning the reception<br />

and storage of the finished products and their physical distribution to<br />

the purchasers. Therefore, it inclu<strong>de</strong>s everything re<strong>la</strong>ting to the<br />

management of these warehouses, or<strong>de</strong>r processing, distribution<br />

vehicles, etc.<br />

- Marketing and sales activities. These cover the activities of<br />

commercial character, particu<strong>la</strong>rly publicity, promotion, packaging,<br />

selection of and re<strong>la</strong>tionships with the distribution channels and<br />

outlets, sales force, pricing policy, etc.<br />

- Provision of services. This refers to all those activities aimed at<br />

enhancing or maintaining the value of the product once sold, such as<br />

instal<strong>la</strong>tion, training for the optimum use of the product, instruction<br />

and maintenance manuals, repairs, spare parts, new up-dated<br />

versions, etc.<br />

Each one of these categories may be of vital importance for<br />

achieving a solid competitive position, <strong>de</strong>pending on the sector in<br />

question. Thus, for distribution companies, logistics will be<br />

important; for a restaurant, it will be operations; for banks,<br />

marketing; and for the manufacturers of photocopiers, service.<br />


These can be divi<strong>de</strong>d into four general categories, each again including<br />

diverse activities of particu<strong>la</strong>r relevance in each case:<br />

- Supply. This refers to the function of providing the materials<br />

required in the value chain of the company, not to the inputs<br />


inputs en si (materias primas, maquinaria, material <strong>de</strong> oficina,<br />

servicios <strong>de</strong> asesoramiento externo, etc.). Se caracteriza por su<br />

ten<strong>de</strong>ncia a <strong>de</strong>sparramarse por toda <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>, lo que pue<strong>de</strong><br />

redundar en un insuficiente control, aunque con frecuencia el<br />

<strong>de</strong>partamento <strong>de</strong> compras atien<strong>de</strong> a muchas activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor y<br />

sus <strong>política</strong>s se aplican en toda <strong>la</strong> organización.<br />

- Desarrollo tecnológico. Cada actividad <strong>de</strong> valor necesita <strong>de</strong> una<br />

tecnología, <strong>de</strong> unos conocimientos, <strong>de</strong> unos procedimientos para su<br />

realización. Por tanto, esta categoría engloba todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s ten<strong>de</strong>ntes a mejorar los productos y los procesos que<br />

tienen lugar en <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>. Se trata <strong>de</strong> un concepto que trascien<strong>de</strong> el<br />

tradicional <strong>de</strong> I+D, pues incluye áreas como, por ejemplo, <strong>la</strong><br />

automatización <strong>de</strong>l <strong>de</strong>partamento <strong>de</strong> contabilidad o <strong>la</strong> aplicación <strong>de</strong><br />

<strong>la</strong> telemática para <strong>la</strong> recepción y emisión <strong>de</strong> pedidos.<br />

- Administración <strong>de</strong> recursos humanos. Abarca todas <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

vincu<strong>la</strong>das a <strong>la</strong> selección, contratación, formación, promoción y<br />

retribución <strong>de</strong>l personal <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>. La dispersión <strong>de</strong> estas<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s pue<strong>de</strong> llevar a <strong>política</strong>s inconsistentes, por lo que<br />

<strong>de</strong>berán respaldar a <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor completa. Téngase en cuenta<br />

que a menudo ciertos costes no son correctamente valorados, como<br />

los que se <strong>de</strong>rivan <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> rotación <strong>de</strong>l personal.<br />

- Infraestructura <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>. Incluye <strong>la</strong> administración general,<br />

p<strong>la</strong>nificación, finanzas, contabilidad, asuntos legales y gestión <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong><br />

calidad. La infraestructura, a diferencia <strong>de</strong>l resto, apoya<br />

normalmente a <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na completa, no a activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor<br />

individuales. En <strong>la</strong>s <strong>empresa</strong>s diversificadas <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong><br />

infraestructura pue<strong>de</strong>n encontrarse centralizadas (<strong>la</strong> financiación, por<br />

themselves (raw materials, machinery, office material, external<br />

consultancy services, etc.). It is characterised by its ten<strong>de</strong>ncy to be<br />

spread throughout the whole company, which often makes it difficult<br />

to control; however the purchasing <strong>de</strong>partment usually <strong>de</strong>als with<br />

many of these value activities, and its policies are usually applied<br />

across the organisation.<br />

- Technological <strong>de</strong>velopment. Each value activity requires technology,<br />

knowledge, and procedures for its performance. Therefore, this<br />

category encompasses all those activities tending to improve the<br />

products ma<strong>de</strong> and the processes that are un<strong>de</strong>rtaken in the company.<br />

It is a concept that transcends the traditional R&D function, since it<br />

inclu<strong>de</strong>s areas like the computerisation of the accounting <strong>de</strong>partment<br />

or the application of telematic systems for the reception and <strong>de</strong>spatch<br />

of or<strong>de</strong>rs.<br />

- Management of human resources. This covers all the activities<br />

linked to the selection, appointment, training, promotion and<br />

compensation of the company's personnel. The dispersion of these<br />

activities across the organisation can lead to inconsistent policies;<br />

these activities must contribute to the complete chain of value. It<br />

should be taken into account that certain costs are often not correctly<br />

evaluated, such as the costs <strong>de</strong>rived from the rotation of personnel.<br />

- Infrastructure of the company. This inclu<strong>de</strong>s the functions of general<br />

administration, p<strong>la</strong>nning, finance, accounting, legal affairs and<br />

quality management. The infrastructure, unlike the rest, normally<br />

supports the complete chain, not individual activities of value<br />

creation. In diversified companies the infrastructure activities may be<br />

centralised (finance, for example, is generally managed at the<br />


ejemplo, suele realizarse a nivel corporativo) o diseminada en <strong>la</strong>s<br />

distintas unida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>estratégica</strong>s <strong>de</strong> negocio (por ejemplo, <strong>la</strong> gestión <strong>de</strong><br />

<strong>la</strong> calidad).<br />

Debemos insistir en que el abastecimiento, el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo tecnológico y<br />

<strong>la</strong> administración <strong>de</strong> recursos humanos pue<strong>de</strong>n asociarse con<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias específicas, mientras que <strong>la</strong> infraestructura apoya<br />

a <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor completa.<br />


En cada categoría <strong>de</strong> valor primaria y <strong>de</strong> apoyo pue<strong>de</strong>n diferenciarse<br />

tres tipos <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s:<br />

- Directas. Son <strong>la</strong>s directamente implicadas en <strong>la</strong> creación <strong>de</strong> valor<br />

para el comprador, como el diseño <strong>de</strong>l producto, el ensamb<strong>la</strong>do <strong>de</strong><br />

componentes, <strong>la</strong> publicidad, etc.<br />

- Indirectas. Son <strong>la</strong>s que hacen posible el <strong>de</strong>sempeño <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s directas, como <strong>la</strong> investigación, el mantenimiento, <strong>la</strong><br />

administración <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> fuerza <strong>de</strong> ventas, ...<br />

- De calidad. Son <strong>la</strong>s que aseguran <strong>la</strong> calidad <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s <strong>de</strong>más activida<strong>de</strong>s,<br />

como pruebas, inspecciones, controles sistemáticos, etc. Estas se<br />

podrán simplificar en <strong>la</strong> medida en que se mejore el <strong>de</strong>sempeño <strong>de</strong>l<br />

resto.<br />

Finalmente, <strong>de</strong>ntro <strong>de</strong> cada categoría primaria y <strong>de</strong> apoyo, <strong>la</strong>s<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor tendrán relevancia <strong>estratégica</strong> y, por tanto, serán<br />

corporate level) or disseminated in the various <strong>strategic</strong> units of the<br />

business (for example, quality management).<br />

The point to remember is that the functions of supply, technological<br />

<strong>de</strong>velopment and human resources management can be associated with<br />

specific primary activities, whereas infrastructure supports the complete<br />

value chain.<br />



In each category of primary and supporting value, three types of activity<br />

can be differentiated:<br />

- Direct: These are the activities directly involved in the creation of<br />

value for the purchaser, such as the <strong>de</strong>sign of the product, assembly<br />

of components, publicity, etc.<br />

- Indirect: These are the activities that make it possible for the<br />

company to carry out the direct activities, such as research,<br />

maintenance, management of the sales force, ...<br />

- Quality assurance activities: These activities must be carried out to<br />

ensure the quality of the rest of the activities, and inclu<strong>de</strong> tests,<br />

inspections, systematic controls, etc. The company should be able to<br />

simplify these activities as improvements are ma<strong>de</strong> to the rest.<br />

Finally, within each primary and supporting category, the activities of<br />

value creation will have <strong>strategic</strong> relevance and, therefore, will be<br />


i<strong>de</strong>ntificadas y resaltadas cuando:<br />

- sus economías sean diferentes,<br />

- tengan un alto potencial <strong>de</strong> impacto en <strong>la</strong> diferenciación,<br />

o<br />

- representen una parte importante o creciente <strong>de</strong>l coste total.<br />

i<strong>de</strong>ntified and stressed by managers, when:<br />

- their economics are different,<br />

- they have the potential to make a big impact on the differentiation,<br />

or<br />

- they represent an important or increasing part of the total cost.<br />



La ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor no es una mera secuencia <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

in<strong>de</strong>pendientes, sino un sistema <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s inter<strong>de</strong>pendientes que<br />

están re<strong>la</strong>cionadas por medio <strong>de</strong> es<strong>la</strong>bones (horizontales) que vincu<strong>la</strong>n<br />

cada actividad al coste o <strong>de</strong>sempeño <strong>de</strong> otra u otras.<br />

Estos es<strong>la</strong>bones pue<strong>de</strong>n proporcionar ventajas competitivas <strong>de</strong> dos<br />

maneras: mediante <strong>la</strong> optimización y <strong>la</strong> coordinación <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s.<br />

Por ejemplo:<br />

- Si en un <strong>de</strong>terminado producto aplicamos un diseño más cuidadoso,<br />

especificaciones <strong>de</strong> materiales más estrictas y/o mayores controles <strong>de</strong><br />

calidad durante el proceso <strong>de</strong> fabricación, se reducirán los costes <strong>de</strong>l<br />

servicio postventa. Por consiguiente, <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> podrá lograr una<br />

ventaja competitiva optimizando <strong>la</strong> interre<strong>la</strong>ción entre estas<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s.<br />

- La máxima rapi<strong>de</strong>z en <strong>la</strong> entrega <strong>de</strong> los pedidos requiere una<br />

coordinación perfecta entre <strong>la</strong> logística externa, <strong>la</strong>s operaciones y el<br />

servicio (si el producto requiriera, pongamos por caso, <strong>de</strong><br />

insta<strong>la</strong>ción).<br />

En <strong>de</strong>finitiva, el concepto <strong>de</strong> es<strong>la</strong>bón horizontal nos reve<strong>la</strong> que <strong>la</strong><br />

1 Optimización <strong>de</strong>l concepto <strong>de</strong> compras consensuado con los proveedores.<br />

2 José Ignacio López <strong>de</strong> Arriortúa.<br />


The value chain is not a mere sequence of in<strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong>nt activities, but<br />

rather a system of inter<strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong>nt activities that are re<strong>la</strong>ted by means of<br />

horizontal linkages that connect each activity to the cost or performance<br />

of one or more others.<br />

These linkages can provi<strong>de</strong> competitive advantages in two ways: by<br />

means of the optimisation and coordination of the activities. For<br />

example:<br />

- The costs of after-sales service may be reduced if the company<br />

optimises the product <strong>de</strong>sign, applies stricter materials and<br />

processing specifications and/or better quality control procedures<br />

during the manufacturing process. Consequently, the company<br />

would be able to gain some competitive advantage by optimising the<br />

way it combines these activities.<br />

- Maximum speed in the <strong>de</strong>livery of or<strong>de</strong>rs requires perfect<br />

coordination between external logistics, operations and service (if<br />

the product should require, for example, instal<strong>la</strong>tion and<br />

commissioning).<br />

In short, the concept of horizontal linkage shows us that the position of<br />


posición <strong>de</strong> una <strong>empresa</strong> <strong>de</strong>s<strong>de</strong> el punto <strong>de</strong> vista <strong>de</strong> los costes o <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong><br />

diferenciación no es simplemente el resultado <strong>de</strong> esfuerzos por reducir<br />

el coste o mejorar el <strong>de</strong>sempeño <strong>de</strong> cada actividad <strong>de</strong> valor<br />

individualmente, sino que es preciso consi<strong>de</strong>rar <strong>la</strong>s interre<strong>la</strong>ciones entre<br />

el<strong>la</strong>s, ya sean primarias o <strong>de</strong> apoyo.<br />

Las causas genéricas por <strong>la</strong>s que surgen estos es<strong>la</strong>bones entre<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s son:<br />

- Cuando en un <strong>de</strong>terminado resultado (un elevado nivel en <strong>la</strong>s<br />

especificaciones técnicas <strong>de</strong>l producto final) se ven involucradas<br />

varias activida<strong>de</strong>s (calidad <strong>de</strong> los inputs, tolerancia durante el<br />

proceso <strong>de</strong> fabricación y controles <strong>de</strong> los productos acabados).<br />

- Cuando <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s directas pue<strong>de</strong>n ser mejoradas con mayores<br />

esfuerzos en <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s indirectas (por ejemplo, un mejor<br />

mantenimiento <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s insta<strong>la</strong>ciones y equipos -actividad indirecta-<br />

permite incrementar <strong>la</strong> productividad <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s operaciones -actividad<br />

directa-; una programación más a<strong>de</strong>cuada <strong>de</strong> los viajes <strong>de</strong> los<br />

ven<strong>de</strong>dores -actividad indirecta- reduce el tiempo <strong>de</strong> los<br />

<strong>de</strong>sp<strong>la</strong>zamientos y contribuye a un mayor rendimiento <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> fuerza<br />

<strong>de</strong> ventas -actividad directa-).<br />

- Cuando un mejor <strong>de</strong>sempeño <strong>de</strong> ciertas activida<strong>de</strong>s reduce <strong>la</strong><br />

necesidad <strong>de</strong> realizar otras (por ejemplo, un mayor rigor en el control<br />

<strong>de</strong> calidad disminuye <strong>la</strong> carga <strong>de</strong> trabajo <strong>de</strong>l servicio postventa).<br />

3 Optimization of the concept of purchases agreed with the suppliers.<br />

4 José Ignacio López <strong>de</strong> Arriortúa.<br />

a company from the point of view of costs or differentiation is not<br />

simply the result of efforts to reduce costs or improve the performance<br />

of each activity of value individually: the interre<strong>la</strong>tionships between<br />

them, whether primary or supporting, must be consi<strong>de</strong>red.<br />

The generic reasons why these linkages between activities occur are:<br />

- When several separate activities (e.g. quality of inputs, tolerance in<br />

the manufacturing process, and controls of the finished products) are<br />

involved in achieving a particu<strong>la</strong>r result (e.g. a high level in the<br />

technical specifications of the final product).<br />

- When the direct activities can be improved by <strong>de</strong>voting more efforts<br />

in the indirect activities; for example, better maintenance of the<br />

instal<strong>la</strong>tions and equipment (indirect activity) should contribute to<br />

increased productivity of the operations (direct activity); better<br />

scheduling of sales staff journeys (indirect activity) should reduce<br />

travelling times and costs, and contribute to more effective work by<br />

the sales force (direct activity).<br />

- When the better performance of certain activities reduce the need to<br />

perform others (for example, more rigour in quality control reduces<br />

the work load of the after-sales service <strong>de</strong>partment).<br />


- Cuando una misma actividad pue<strong>de</strong> llevarse a cabo <strong>de</strong> distintas<br />

formas (por ejemplo, el control <strong>de</strong> calidad pue<strong>de</strong> tener lugar al<br />

comienzo, durante o al final <strong>de</strong>l proceso productivo).<br />

En suma, <strong>la</strong> i<strong>de</strong>ntificación <strong>de</strong> estos es<strong>la</strong>bones es el resultado <strong>de</strong> un<br />

proceso <strong>de</strong> búsqueda <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s distintas formas en que cada actividad <strong>de</strong><br />

valor afecta o es afectada por otras.<br />

Pero los es<strong>la</strong>bones entre activida<strong>de</strong>s no sólo existen <strong>de</strong>ntro <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na<br />

<strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> una <strong>empresa</strong> (horizontales), sino entre ésta y <strong>la</strong>s ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong><br />

valor <strong>de</strong> proveedores y canales <strong>de</strong> distribución: son los l<strong>la</strong>mados<br />

es<strong>la</strong>bones verticales, que dan lugar al concepto más amplio <strong>de</strong> sistema<br />

<strong>de</strong> valor.<br />

Los es<strong>la</strong>bones verticales expresan <strong>la</strong> manera en que <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>l<br />

proveedor o <strong>de</strong>l canal afectan a <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> (y<br />

viceversa). Por ejemplo, <strong>la</strong> forma en que el bien suministrado por el<br />

proveedor venga empaquetado inci<strong>de</strong> en los costes <strong>de</strong> manipu<strong>la</strong>ción <strong>de</strong>l<br />

mismo; mayores controles <strong>de</strong>l proveedor a <strong>la</strong> salida <strong>de</strong>l producto<br />

pue<strong>de</strong>n evitar <strong>la</strong> necesidad <strong>de</strong> su inspección a <strong>la</strong> entrada en <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>;<br />

etc.<br />

Por tanto, <strong>la</strong> coordinación con proveedores y distribuidores y <strong>la</strong><br />

optimización <strong>de</strong> los puntos <strong>de</strong> contacto entre sus respectivas ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong><br />

valor son una indudable fuente <strong>de</strong> ventajas mutuas, que a veces son más<br />

fáciles <strong>de</strong> lograr si <strong>la</strong>s <strong>empresa</strong>s implicadas, en lugar <strong>de</strong> ser<br />

in<strong>de</strong>pendientes, están coaligadas o unidas por algún tipo <strong>de</strong> alianza<br />

<strong>estratégica</strong>.<br />

- When the same activity can be carried out in different ways (for<br />

example, control quality can take p<strong>la</strong>ce at the beginning, during or at<br />

the end of the productive process).<br />

To summarise, the i<strong>de</strong>ntification of these linkages is the result of a<br />

process of examining the different ways that each value creation<br />

activity affects or is affected by others.<br />

But linkages between activities can be found not only within the value<br />

chain of a company (horizontal linkages) but also between that chain<br />

and the value chains of suppliers and distributors: these can be called<br />

vertical linkages, and they give rise to the broa<strong>de</strong>r concept of the system<br />

of value creation.<br />

The vertical linkages represent the way in which the activities of the<br />

supplier or distributor affect the activities of the company (and vice<br />

versa). For example, the form of packaging used by the supplier for its<br />

product affects the handling costs of the product all along the<br />

distribution channel to the end-user; tighter control by the supplier<br />

when it <strong>de</strong>spatches its product can avoid the need for <strong>de</strong>tailed<br />

inspection on reception by the distributor and purchaser, etc.<br />

Therefore, coordination with suppliers and distributors, and<br />

optimization of the points of contact between their respective value<br />

chains are an evi<strong>de</strong>nt source of mutual advantages; these are sometimes<br />

easier to achieve if the companies in question are co-aligned or united<br />

in some kind of <strong>strategic</strong> alliance, rather than acting in<strong>de</strong>pen<strong>de</strong>ntly.<br />


¿En qué consiste el famoso método <strong>de</strong> los picos 1 ? Para Superlópez 2 no<br />

hay fórmu<strong>la</strong>s mágicas. «Vamos a una fábrica <strong>de</strong> un suministrador y<br />

estamos con él una semana; elegimos una zona que él crea conveniente<br />

y <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>mos juntos <strong>la</strong>s mejoras necesarias para aumentar <strong>la</strong><br />

productividad».<br />

«Lo hemos hecho en 300 lugares <strong>de</strong> Europa, EE.UU., Brasil, Australia,<br />

Japón», comenta, «y <strong>la</strong> media <strong>de</strong> mejora <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> productividad alcanzada<br />

en una semana ha sido <strong>de</strong>l 65%. Hemos reducido el material en<br />

proceso un 53%; el espacio para trabajar un 35%, y el tiempo <strong>de</strong><br />

producción <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> pieza un 56%. En algunos casos hemos conseguido<br />

mejoras <strong>de</strong> productividad <strong>de</strong>l 300%».<br />

En cuanto a los suministradores, si en realidad es tan fácil <strong>la</strong><br />

aplicación <strong>de</strong> estos métodos, uno se pregunta por qué no lo han hecho<br />

ellos antes. «Pues porque están todavía en <strong>la</strong> segunda revolución, en <strong>la</strong><br />

producción masiva», explica López <strong>de</strong> Arriortúa.<br />

«En una <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s fábricas en <strong>la</strong>s que hemos estado y que es uno <strong>de</strong> los<br />

gran<strong>de</strong>s productores mundiales <strong>de</strong> neumáticos, en una <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s secciones,<br />

<strong>de</strong>spués <strong>de</strong> insta<strong>la</strong>r unos robots, habían conseguido subir <strong>la</strong> producción<br />

<strong>de</strong> 25'3 a 56 piezas por hora y hombre. Nos marchamos para allá<br />

Andoni Bergareche y yo, les explicamos el sistema nuestro <strong>de</strong> picos,<br />

trabajamos juntos en cómo eliminar los <strong>de</strong>sperdicios, <strong>la</strong> falta <strong>de</strong> valor<br />

añadido..., todas esas cosas, y en una semana subieron en <strong>la</strong> parte<br />

manual, con el sistema nuevo, sin ninguna inversión, a 103 piezas por<br />

hora y hombre. Como ya tenían los robots, pues dijimos: vamos a ver<br />

cómo mejorarlos, y comprobamos que anu<strong>la</strong>ndo operaciones ineficaces<br />

y volviendo a programarlos aumentaban también <strong>la</strong> producción <strong>de</strong> 56 a<br />

113 piezas por hora y hombre. Pero si nos hubiesen l<strong>la</strong>mado antes no<br />

What is the famous method of the peaks? 3 ? For Superlópez, 4 there are<br />

no magic formu<strong>la</strong>s. «We go to the factory of a supplier and we are with<br />

them for a week; we select a zone that the supplier thinks appropriate<br />

and together we <strong>de</strong>velop the improvements necessary to increase<br />

productivity».<br />

«We have done this in 300 p<strong>la</strong>ces, in Europe, the USA, Brazil,<br />

Australia, Japan», he comments, «and the average improvement in<br />

productivity obtained in a week has been about 65%. We have reduced<br />

the material in process by 53%, the working space by 35%, and the<br />

production time of the part by 56%. In some cases we have achieved<br />

improvements of productivity of 300%».<br />

With respect to the suppliers, if the application of these methods is<br />

really so easy, one won<strong>de</strong>rs why they didn't do this themselves, sooner.<br />

«Because they are still in the second revolution, in mass production»,<br />

exp<strong>la</strong>ins López <strong>de</strong> Arriortúa.<br />

«In one of the factories where we have been, which is one of the biggest<br />

producers of tyres in the world, in one of the sections, after installing<br />

some robots, they managed to raise the rate of production from 25.3 to<br />

56 units per man hour. We walked in there, Andoni Bergareche and I,<br />

we exp<strong>la</strong>ined to them our system of peaks, we worked together on how<br />

to eliminate the wastage, the <strong>la</strong>ck of value ad<strong>de</strong>d, ... all those things,<br />

and in a week they raised the output, in the manual part, with the new<br />

system but without any investment, to 103 units per man hour. As they<br />

already had the robots, we said to them: Let's see how we can improve<br />

them, and we found that, by cancelling ineffective operations and reprogramming<br />

them, we could increase output further, from 56 to 113<br />

units per man hour. But if they had called us before, they would not<br />


hubiesen invertido en robots. No hace falta dinero, sino creatividad».<br />

Por último, el elemento final <strong>de</strong>l l<strong>la</strong>mado «sistema <strong>de</strong> valor» es el<br />

comprador, que también tiene su propia ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor que se ve<br />

impactada por los productos que adquiere. Así, el grado <strong>de</strong><br />

diferenciación <strong>de</strong> una <strong>empresa</strong> resulta <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> re<strong>la</strong>ción entre su ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong><br />

valor y <strong>la</strong>s <strong>de</strong> sus compradores, <strong>de</strong> forma que cada uno <strong>de</strong> los puntos <strong>de</strong><br />

contacto entre el<strong>la</strong>s es una fuente potencial <strong>de</strong> ventaja competitiva.<br />

La diferenciación se logra cuando el producto tiene un alto valor para el<br />

comprador como consecuencia <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ventaja competitiva que obtiene<br />

con su adquisición, ya sea porque contribuye a disminuir sus costes o a<br />

aumentar su rendimiento. Ahora bien, el valor creado para el comprador<br />

<strong>de</strong>be ser percibido por éste, por lo que <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> <strong>de</strong>berá hacer un<br />

esfuerzo <strong>de</strong> comunicación en este sentido.<br />

have invested in robots. What was <strong>la</strong>cking was not money but<br />

creativity».<br />

Lastly, the final element of the so-called «value system» is the<br />

purchasers, who also have their own value chain that is impacted by the<br />

products acquired. Thus, the <strong>de</strong>gree of differentiation of a company<br />

results from the re<strong>la</strong>tionship between its value chain and that of its<br />

customers; and this means that each of the points of contact between<br />

them is a potential source of competitive advantage.<br />

Differentiation is achieved when the product has a high value for the<br />

purchasers as a consequence of the competitive advantage or utility that<br />

they obtain from its acquisition, because it contributes to reducing their<br />

costs, to increasing their output, or to both. Nevertheless, the purchaser<br />

must perceive the value created for it by the product; therefore the<br />

selling company must make efforts to communicate this benefit.<br />



El panorama competitivo <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>, más amplio o más reducido,<br />

tiene una repercusión <strong>de</strong>cisiva sobre <strong>la</strong> configuración y economía <strong>de</strong> su<br />

ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor. Dicho panorama queda <strong>de</strong>terminado por cuatro<br />

dimensiones:<br />

- Panorama <strong>de</strong> segmento. Se refiere a <strong>la</strong>s varieda<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> productos<br />

ofrecidas y a los tipos <strong>de</strong> compradores atendidos. Las diferencias en<br />

<strong>la</strong>s necesida<strong>de</strong>s o en <strong>la</strong>s ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor requeridas para servir a<br />

diferentes segmentos <strong>de</strong> producto o <strong>de</strong> comprador, pue<strong>de</strong>n justificar<br />

una estrategia competitiva <strong>de</strong> enfoque. No obstante, si bien <strong>la</strong>s<br />

diferencias entre segmentos favorecen un panorama estrecho, <strong>la</strong>s<br />

interre<strong>la</strong>ciones entre ellos a nivel <strong>de</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor favorecen un<br />

panorama más amplio por <strong>la</strong> posibilidad <strong>de</strong> compartir activida<strong>de</strong>s.<br />

- Grado <strong>de</strong> integración vertical. Depen<strong>de</strong> <strong>de</strong>l número <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

<strong>de</strong>sempeñadas internamente por <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>. En cada caso, se<br />

acometerán procesos <strong>de</strong> integración o <strong>de</strong>sintegración vertical si<br />

conducen a una reducción <strong>de</strong> los costes o a aumentar <strong>la</strong><br />

diferenciación <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> firma.<br />

- Panorama geográfico. Alu<strong>de</strong> al ámbito territorial en el que compite<br />

<strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>. Su ampliación requerirá <strong>de</strong> un estudio acerca <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s<br />

posibilida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> compartir o coordinar activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> valor<br />


The competitive <strong>la</strong>ndscape of the company, whether <strong>de</strong>fined broadly or<br />

narrowly, has a <strong>de</strong>cisive repercussion on the configuration and<br />

economics of its value chain. This <strong>la</strong>ndscape is <strong>de</strong>termined by four<br />

dimensions:<br />

- Segment <strong>la</strong>ndscape. This refers to the varieties of product offered by<br />

the companies of the segment, and to the types of purchaser they<br />

must <strong>de</strong>al with. The differences in the needs or in the value chains<br />

required for serving different product or purchaser segments of the<br />

market may justify a competitive strategy of focusing on selected<br />

segments. However, although the differences between segments<br />

favour a narrow <strong>de</strong>finition of the <strong>la</strong>ndscape, the interre<strong>la</strong>tionships<br />

between them at the level of value chains favour a broa<strong>de</strong>r <strong>de</strong>finition,<br />

due to the possibility of sharing activities.<br />

- Degree of vertical integration. This <strong>de</strong>pends on the number of<br />

sequential activities that the company <strong>de</strong>ci<strong>de</strong>s to carry out internally.<br />

In each particu<strong>la</strong>r case, a company will opt for processes of vertical<br />

integration or specialisation if this would lead to a cost reduction or<br />

an increase in the differentiation of the firm.<br />

- Geographic <strong>la</strong>ndscape. This is the territory in which the company<br />

competes. Its expansion will require a study of the possibilities of<br />

sharing or coordinating the value activities necessary for covering<br />

different geographic areas, to the extent that this may contribute to<br />


necesarias para aten<strong>de</strong>r a diferentes áreas geográficas, en <strong>la</strong> medida<br />

en que ello contribuya a bajar los costes o a aumentar <strong>la</strong><br />

diferenciación. No obstante, los costes <strong>de</strong> coordinación reducen<br />

dicha ventaja.<br />

- Panorama sectorial. Refleja el conjunto <strong>de</strong> sectores re<strong>la</strong>cionados en<br />

los que compite <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong> con una estrategia coordinada. Es <strong>de</strong>cir,<br />

expresa su grado <strong>de</strong> integración horizontal. Las interre<strong>la</strong>ciones<br />

potenciales entre <strong>la</strong>s ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor requeridas para competir en<br />

sectores re<strong>la</strong>cionados son muy amplias y pue<strong>de</strong>n tener una po<strong>de</strong>rosa<br />

influencia en <strong>la</strong> ventaja competitiva, ya sea bajando los costes o<br />

aumentando <strong>la</strong> diferenciación (por ejemplo, un sistema <strong>de</strong> logística<br />

compartido pue<strong>de</strong> proporcionar economías <strong>de</strong> esca<strong>la</strong>, mientras que<br />

una fuerza <strong>de</strong> ventas compartida que ofrece productos<br />

complementarios pue<strong>de</strong> mejorar <strong>la</strong> atención al cliente y, por tanto,<br />

aumentar <strong>la</strong> diferenciación).<br />

Por último, sólo apuntar que los beneficios <strong>de</strong> un panorama más amplio<br />

también pue<strong>de</strong>n conseguirse mediante alianzas, verticales u<br />

horizontales, con otras <strong>empresa</strong>s, articu<strong>la</strong>das mediante acuerdos <strong>de</strong><br />

cooperación, operaciones <strong>de</strong> riesgos compartidos, licencias u otras<br />

fórmu<strong>la</strong>s, si bien, a veces, <strong>la</strong>s dificulta<strong>de</strong>s y los costes <strong>de</strong> coordinación<br />

entre los socios pue<strong>de</strong>n llegar a bloquear estas coaliciones o anu<strong>la</strong>r sus<br />

beneficios. A este respecto, el reparto <strong>de</strong> po<strong>de</strong>r entre los socios es un<br />

elemento esencial.<br />

reducing costs or increasing differentiation. However, the costs of<br />

coordination reduce this advantage.<br />

- Sectorial <strong>la</strong>ndscape. This reflects the set of re<strong>la</strong>ted sectors in which<br />

the company competes with a coordinated strategy. In other words, it<br />

<strong>de</strong>scribes its <strong>de</strong>gree of horizontal integration. The potential<br />

interre<strong>la</strong>tionships between the value chains required to compete in<br />

re<strong>la</strong>ted sectors are very wi<strong>de</strong>, and can have a powerful influence on<br />

competitive advantage, either by reducing the costs or increasing the<br />

differentiation. For example, a shared system of logistics can provi<strong>de</strong><br />

economies of scale, while a shared sales force that offers<br />

complementary products can improve attention to the customer and,<br />

therefore, increase the differentiation.<br />

The <strong>la</strong>st point to make is that the benefits of a broa<strong>de</strong>r <strong>la</strong>ndscape can<br />

also be obtained by means of alliances, vertical or horizontal, with other<br />

companies; such alliances are usually articu<strong>la</strong>ted by means of<br />

agreements of cooperation, operations of shared risks, licences or other<br />

formu<strong>la</strong>s, although sometimes the difficulties and the costs of<br />

coordination between the partners may end up blocking these coalitions<br />

or cancelling their benefits. In this respect, the distribution of power<br />

between the partners is an essential element.<br />




En una entidad bancaria, como institución ofertante <strong>de</strong> servicios, <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na<br />

<strong>de</strong> valor presenta una serie <strong>de</strong> particu<strong>la</strong>rida<strong>de</strong>s propias. En primer lugar, el<br />

número <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias que <strong>de</strong>ben ser consi<strong>de</strong>radas es inferior al<br />

que se presenta en el esquema tradicional <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> Porter. Así, <strong>la</strong><br />

actividad <strong>de</strong> producción no aparece <strong>de</strong> una manera directa, pues, como ya<br />

hemos analizado, producción, distribución y consumo se presentan en <strong>la</strong><br />

banca en un mismo instante <strong>de</strong> tiempo.<br />

En re<strong>la</strong>ción a <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> apoyo, po<strong>de</strong>mos <strong>de</strong>stacar básicamente<br />

cinco activida<strong>de</strong>s:<br />

1.-Infraestructura: <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong> infraestructura se <strong>de</strong>fine como aquel<strong>la</strong><br />

que apoya a toda <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor, y no a <strong>de</strong>terminadas activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

concretas.<br />

En el caso <strong>de</strong>l sector bancario, <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong> infraestructura <strong>de</strong>be incluir<br />

toda <strong>la</strong> administración general <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad, tanto <strong>de</strong>s<strong>de</strong> el punto <strong>de</strong> vista<br />

legal, como contable, fiscal o administrativo, así como toda <strong>la</strong><br />

p<strong>la</strong>nificación que se realiza en <strong>la</strong> misma. Hay que tener en cuenta <strong>la</strong><br />

re<strong>la</strong>ción existente en esta actividad entre <strong>la</strong>s posibles unida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> negocio<br />

<strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad, cuestión que será analizada posteriormente.<br />

5 Barroso Castro, C. Marketing bancario. Un enfoque estratégico. Madrid: ESIC, 1995, pp. 67-73.<br />

6 Barroso Castro, C. Banking marketing: A <strong>strategic</strong> approach. Madrid: ESIC, 1995, pp. 67-73.<br />



In a banking entity, as an institution that provi<strong>de</strong>s services, the value chain<br />

presents a series of particu<strong>la</strong>r features. First, the number of primary<br />

activities that need to be consi<strong>de</strong>red is fewer than that shown in Porter's<br />

traditional diagram of the chain. Thus, the activity of production does not<br />

appear directly, because, as we have already analysed, in banking<br />

production, distribution and consumption of the service tend to take p<strong>la</strong>ce<br />

at the same moment in time.<br />

In re<strong>la</strong>tion to the supporting activities, basically five activities can be<br />

i<strong>de</strong>ntified:<br />

1. Infrastructure: the activity of infrastructure is <strong>de</strong>fined as that which<br />

supports the whole value chain, and not just particu<strong>la</strong>r activities.<br />

In the case of the banking sector, the infrastructure activity should inclu<strong>de</strong><br />

all the general management of the entity, not only the administration but<br />

also the legal, accounting and fiscal functions, as well as all the p<strong>la</strong>nning<br />

carried out in the entity. In this activity it is important to take into account<br />

possible re<strong>la</strong>tionships between the various business units that the entity<br />

may have, and this question will be analysed <strong>la</strong>ter.<br />


Son dos <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s principales <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> infraestructura <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad<br />

bancaria que <strong>de</strong>bemos <strong>de</strong>stacar:<br />

1.1.-Sistemas <strong>de</strong> información: <strong>la</strong>s entida<strong>de</strong>s bancarias se caracterizan por<br />

los flujos <strong>de</strong> información que son necesarios para el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> todas<br />

sus activida<strong>de</strong>s. Es <strong>de</strong>cir, <strong>la</strong> banca posee una alta intensidad informativa<br />

para <strong>la</strong> generación <strong>de</strong> su valor -posee un alto contenido <strong>de</strong> información<br />

para el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> sus servicios-. Por ello, <strong>la</strong> utilización y aplicación <strong>de</strong><br />

<strong>la</strong> información para <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s bancarias <strong>de</strong>be ser consi<strong>de</strong>rado como<br />

uno <strong>de</strong> los elementos esenciales <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> infraestructura que apoya a toda <strong>la</strong><br />

ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor. En este sentido, aquel<strong>la</strong>s entida<strong>de</strong>s que posean un<br />

a<strong>de</strong>cuado sistema <strong>de</strong> información contarán con una importante fortaleza<br />

por <strong>la</strong> que puedan alcanzar una ventaja competitiva.<br />

1.2.-Dirección <strong>de</strong> calidad: <strong>la</strong> imp<strong>la</strong>ntación y <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> un a<strong>de</strong>cuado<br />

p<strong>la</strong>n <strong>de</strong> calidad es otra <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>stacadas <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> infraestructura<br />

<strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad. El <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong>l p<strong>la</strong>n <strong>de</strong> calidad en atención al cliente afecta<br />

a todas y cada una <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>das en <strong>la</strong> banca.<br />

2.-Desarrollo <strong>de</strong> tecnología: actividad <strong>de</strong> apoyo en don<strong>de</strong> se engloba el<br />

<strong>de</strong>sarrollo tecnológico, así como los conocimientos y el saber haber<br />

(know-how) <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> banca. El <strong>de</strong>sarrollo tecnológico juega un papel muy<br />

importante en todo el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo bancario.<br />

Des<strong>de</strong> el punto <strong>de</strong> vista <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> banca, este <strong>de</strong>sarrollo tecnológico pue<strong>de</strong> ser<br />

<strong>de</strong>scompuesto en cinco gran<strong>de</strong>s apartados:<br />

2.1.-Las aplicaciones tecnológicas en <strong>la</strong> banca para <strong>la</strong> innovación <strong>de</strong> los<br />

There are two principal activities inclu<strong>de</strong>d in the infrastructure of the<br />

banking entity that we should emphasise:<br />

1.1 Information systems: banking entities are characterised by the flows of<br />

information that are necessary for the performance of all their activities. In<br />

other words, banking has a high information intensity for the generation of<br />

value, and has a high content of information for the performance of its<br />

services. Therefore, the utilization and application of information for<br />

banking activities must be consi<strong>de</strong>red one of the essential elements of the<br />

infrastructure supporting the entire value chain. Hence those entities that<br />

have an efficient and reliable system of information will enjoy a potential<br />

competitive advantage based on this significant strength.<br />

1.2 Management of quality: the implementation and <strong>de</strong>velopment of an<br />

a<strong>de</strong>quate quality assurance p<strong>la</strong>n is another significant activity forming part<br />

of the infrastructure of the entity. The application of the quality assurance<br />

p<strong>la</strong>n to the attention and services provi<strong>de</strong>d for the customer will affect all<br />

of the activities performed in banking.<br />

2. Development of technology: a supporting activity encompassing the<br />

technological <strong>de</strong>velopment, specialist knowledge and know-how of the<br />

bank. Technological <strong>de</strong>velopment p<strong>la</strong>ys a very important role in all<br />

banking <strong>de</strong>velopment.<br />

In the case of the banking sector, the <strong>de</strong>velopment of technology can be<br />

broken down into five main parts:<br />

2.1. The applications of technology in banking for innovation in financial<br />


servicios financieros.<br />

2.2.-Los <strong>de</strong>sarrollos tecnológicos en <strong>la</strong> banca aplicados para los sistemas<br />

<strong>de</strong> distribución.<br />

2.3.-Los avances tecnológicos que permiten gran<strong>de</strong>s mejoras en <strong>la</strong>s<br />

distintas "operaciones bancarias" (concepto que será <strong>de</strong>limitado<br />

posteriormente).<br />

2.4.-La evolución <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> tecnología para los sistemas <strong>de</strong> información: <strong>la</strong>s<br />

<strong>de</strong>nominadas tecnologías <strong>de</strong> información.<br />

2.5.-El diseño, así como los conocimientos necesarios para posicionar un<br />

servicio o llevar a cabo <strong>la</strong> segmentación.<br />

3.-Administración <strong>de</strong> los recursos humanos: actividad <strong>de</strong> apoyo en <strong>la</strong><br />

que se reúne <strong>la</strong> búsqueda, contratación y formación <strong>de</strong> personal, así como<br />

todas <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s necesarias para motivar y <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>r <strong>la</strong>s habilida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

<strong>de</strong>l mismo. En <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s bancarias, los recursos humanos juegan un<br />

papel <strong>de</strong>cisivo para el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> todos los servicios. Frente al cliente,<br />

siempre y cuando <strong>la</strong> prestación <strong>de</strong> servicios no se lleve a cabo mediante<br />

<strong>la</strong>s máquinas, ellos representan <strong>la</strong> imagen y <strong>la</strong>s características que <strong>de</strong>finen<br />

<strong>la</strong> institución. Es por ello que ésta <strong>de</strong>be ser una importante actividad <strong>de</strong><br />

apoyo para todas <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s principales <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na.<br />

4.-Abastecimiento: actividad <strong>de</strong> apoyo en <strong>la</strong> que se recoge <strong>la</strong> adquisición<br />

<strong>de</strong> todos aquellos elementos que son ofrecidos a <strong>la</strong> banca por los que<br />

hemos <strong>de</strong>nominado proveedores <strong>de</strong> otros bienes y servicios, es <strong>de</strong>cir,<br />

suministradores <strong>de</strong> equipos informáticos, papel, mobiliario, etc.<br />

services.<br />

2.2. Technological <strong>de</strong>velopment in banking applied to the systems of<br />

distribution.<br />

2.3. The technological advances that allow substantial improvements in<br />

the various "banking operations" (a concept that will be <strong>de</strong>limited <strong>la</strong>ter).<br />

2.4. The evolution of technology for information systems: the so-called<br />

information technologies.<br />

2.5. The <strong>de</strong>sign, and the knowledge necessary for positioning a service or<br />

carrying out segmentation.<br />

3. Human resources management: the supporting activity that inclu<strong>de</strong>s<br />

search and recruitment, appointments and training of personnel, together<br />

with all the activities necessary for motivating and <strong>de</strong>veloping the abilities<br />

of the personnel. In banking activities, the human resources p<strong>la</strong>y a<br />

<strong>de</strong>cisive role in the performance of all the services. Face to face with the<br />

customer, apart from where services are provi<strong>de</strong>d mechanically or<br />

telematically, the employees represent the image and the characteristics<br />

that <strong>de</strong>fine the institution. For this reason human resources management<br />

must be a critical supporting activity for all the principal activities of the<br />

value chain.<br />

4. Supply: the supporting activity that covers the acquisition of all those<br />

elements that are provi<strong>de</strong>d for banking by those whom we have termed<br />

suppliers of other goods and services, that is, suppliers of computer/IT<br />

equipment, office supplies, furniture, etc.<br />


5.-Operaciones: bajo el concepto <strong>de</strong> operaciones como actividad <strong>de</strong><br />

apoyo, queremos aglutinar todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>das en <strong>la</strong><br />

banca que son necesarias para <strong>la</strong> consecución <strong>de</strong>l proceso, y cuyo objetivo<br />

es ayudar a generar el servicio y no éste en si.<br />

Bajo nuestro punto <strong>de</strong> vista, <strong>la</strong>s operaciones constituyen aquel<strong>la</strong>s<br />

actuaciones bancarias como <strong>la</strong>s anotaciones, compensación entre saldos,<br />

etc., que ayudan a que <strong>la</strong> entidad ofrezca un servicio al cliente, pero que<br />

no constituyen éste.<br />

Una vez analizadas <strong>la</strong>s distintas activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> apoyo, pasamos a estudiar<br />

<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias que son <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>das por <strong>la</strong>s entida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

bancarias, y que nos permitirán una mejor comprensión <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> actividad<br />

que hemos <strong>de</strong>nominado operaciones.<br />

En nuestro análisis, el punto <strong>de</strong> partida esencial es el siguiente: <strong>la</strong><br />

actividad principal <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s instituciones bancarias, y por tanto <strong>la</strong> que genera<br />

valor para <strong>la</strong> misma, se pue<strong>de</strong> concretar en un único concepto: <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>r<br />

servicios. El servicio ofrecido por <strong>la</strong>s distintas instituciones se constituye<br />

mediante el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> lo que <strong>de</strong>nominaremos "procesos bancarios", ya<br />

que todo servicio se engloba bajo el concepto <strong>de</strong> proceso. En base a esta<br />

consi<strong>de</strong>ración realizamos <strong>la</strong> distinción entre operaciones bancarias y<br />

procesos bancarios.<br />

Así, los procesos bancarios consisten en todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s que<br />

están enfocadas a <strong>la</strong> satisfacción <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s necesida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>l cliente y a su<br />

atención, en <strong>de</strong>finitiva, en ofrecer un servicio al cliente, por lo que se<br />

constituye como actividad primaria <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> banca. Por su parte, <strong>la</strong>s<br />

operaciones bancarias quedarían <strong>de</strong>finidas por todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

5. Operations: un<strong>de</strong>r the concept of operations as supporting activity, we<br />

would gather all those activities performed in banking that are necessary<br />

for the successful execution of the process, and whose objective is to help<br />

to generate the service, but not the service in itself.<br />

From our point of view, the operations constitute those banking actuations<br />

such as annotations, compensation between ba<strong>la</strong>nces, etc., that help the<br />

entity to offer a service to the customer, but that do not constitute the<br />

actual service.<br />

Having analysed the various supporting activities, we move on to studying<br />

the primary activities that are un<strong>de</strong>rtaken by banking entities; these will<br />

give us a better un<strong>de</strong>rstanding of the activity that we have termed<br />

"operations".<br />

The essential point of <strong>de</strong>parture in our analysis is the following: the<br />

principal activity of banking institutions, and therefore the activity that<br />

generates value for the bank, can summarised in a single concept:<br />

providing financial services. The service offered by the different<br />

institutions consists of performing what we shall call "banking processes",<br />

since all kinds of service are inclu<strong>de</strong>d un<strong>de</strong>r the concept of process. Based<br />

on this consi<strong>de</strong>ration, we can differentiate between banking operations<br />

and banking processes.<br />

Thus, the banking processes consist of all those activities that are focussed<br />

on satisfying the needs of the customer and on attending to the customer;<br />

in short, in providing a service to the customer, and so they constitute the<br />

primary activity of banking. On the other hand, the banking operations<br />

would be <strong>de</strong>fined as all those activities that support the performance of<br />


que apoyan que este servicio sea <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>do, pero que no tienen como<br />

objetivo el cliente en si. Por ejemplo, <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>da por el<br />

personal <strong>de</strong> una sucursal bancaria cuando atien<strong>de</strong> a un cliente que <strong>de</strong>sea<br />

abrir una cuenta en <strong>la</strong> institución será consi<strong>de</strong>rada como proceso, mientras<br />

que todos los trámites que este mismo individuo <strong>de</strong>l banco realiza para<br />

que <strong>la</strong> cuenta que<strong>de</strong> abierta será consi<strong>de</strong>rada como operaciones, ya que<br />

apoyan el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong>l servicio pero no constituyen éste en si. De igual<br />

manera, si un cliente pi<strong>de</strong> como información el saldo <strong>de</strong> su cuenta en una<br />

sucursal a un cajero <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> misma, éste, al realizar <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s que le<br />

permitan <strong>de</strong>terminar <strong>la</strong> cuantía <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> cuenta, está llevando a cabo un<br />

proceso (servicio al cliente), pero si esa misma actividad <strong>la</strong> tiene que<br />

llevar a cabo para información <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> propia entidad, estaremos frente a una<br />

operación.<br />

En <strong>de</strong>finitiva, el incremento <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s entida<strong>de</strong>s bancarias lo<br />

producen los procesos bancarios, los que, lógicamente, llevan incluidos el<br />

apoyo <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s operaciones. Tal y como veremos en el gráfico, en re<strong>la</strong>ción a<br />

<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias distinguimos tres gran<strong>de</strong>s grupos:<br />

1.-Procesos <strong>de</strong> captación <strong>de</strong> fondos: proceso mediante el cual <strong>la</strong> entidad<br />

obtiene fondos, bien atrayendo a <strong>de</strong>positantes, o bien mediante el mercado<br />

<strong>de</strong> capitales o el mercado interbancario. Cuando los fondos obtenidos por<br />

<strong>la</strong> entidad provienen <strong>de</strong> los <strong>de</strong>positantes, nos encontraremos que en un<br />

alto porcentaje <strong>de</strong> situaciones es necesario <strong>la</strong> prestación a <strong>la</strong> vez <strong>de</strong> un<br />

servicio.<br />

2.-Marketing: actividad fundamental en <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor añadido <strong>de</strong><br />

una entidad. Mantiene un enfoque tanto hacia <strong>la</strong> primera actividad <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong><br />

ca<strong>de</strong>na como hacia <strong>la</strong> última.<br />

this service, but that do not have the customer as the objective. For<br />

example, the activity un<strong>de</strong>rtaken by an employee of a bank branch when<br />

attending to a customer who wishes to open an account in the bank will be<br />

consi<strong>de</strong>red as a process, whereas all the technical procedures that this<br />

same employee performs in or<strong>de</strong>r to set up the required type of account<br />

will be consi<strong>de</strong>red as operations, since they support the provision of the<br />

service but do not constitute the service itself. Simi<strong>la</strong>rly, when a customer<br />

asks for information on the ba<strong>la</strong>nce of their account in a branch or cash<br />

point, the bank is a performing a process (service to the customer) by<br />

carrying out the activities that enable it to <strong>de</strong>termine the amount held in<br />

the account, but if the bank go through the same procedure for the entity's<br />

own purposes, this is consi<strong>de</strong>red an operation.<br />

In short, it is the banking processes that produce the increased value of<br />

banking entities, and these processes logically inclu<strong>de</strong>d the operations as<br />

supporting activities. As we shall see in the graph, in respect of the<br />

primary activities, we can distinguish three main groups:<br />

1. Fund capture processes: these are the processes by which the entity<br />

obtains funds, either by attracting <strong>de</strong>positors, or through the capital market<br />

or the interbank financing market. When the funds obtained by the entity<br />

come from the <strong>de</strong>positors, we will find that very often the provision of a<br />

service is necessary at the same time.<br />

2. Marketing: this is a basic activity in the value ad<strong>de</strong>d chain of an entity.<br />

It is involved as much in the first as in the <strong>la</strong>st activity of the value chain.<br />


El funcionamiento <strong>de</strong> una entidad bancaria lo po<strong>de</strong>mos resumir en pocas<br />

pa<strong>la</strong>bras <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> siguiente manera: una organización que capta fondos <strong>de</strong><br />

unos suministradores u oferentes, para posteriormente prestarlos a los<br />

<strong>de</strong>mandantes, y obtener con ello el mayor margen posible. Pues bien, una<br />

actividad esencial para que <strong>la</strong> entidad pueda captar fondos y prestarlos<br />

posteriormente es <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong> marketing, que a<strong>de</strong>más aumentará su<br />

importancia a medida que incremente <strong>la</strong> competencia en el sector.<br />

La función <strong>de</strong> marketing hace referencia al <strong>de</strong>sempeño <strong>de</strong> todas aquel<strong>la</strong>s<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>dicadas a atraer a los clientes a través <strong>de</strong> los servicios<br />

ofrecidos, en busca <strong>de</strong> una diferenciación entre instituciones. Bajo el<strong>la</strong> se<br />

<strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>n los componentes <strong>de</strong> comunicación, distribución, etc. Hay que<br />

tener en cuenta que tanto <strong>la</strong> innovación y diseño <strong>de</strong> servicios como los<br />

avances en sistemas <strong>de</strong> distribución, están encuadradas en <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong><br />

apoyo <strong>de</strong> <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> tecnología. En esta actividad <strong>de</strong> marketing se<br />

encuadran aquel<strong>la</strong>s acciones directas que ponen en contacto a los clientes<br />

con <strong>la</strong> entidad.<br />

3.-Procesos <strong>de</strong> prestación <strong>de</strong> servicios: conjunto <strong>de</strong> activida<strong>de</strong>s que<br />

tienen como objetivo aten<strong>de</strong>r a un cliente tanto <strong>de</strong> activo como <strong>de</strong> pasivo,<br />

y que mediante el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> este servicio generan un importante valor<br />

para <strong>la</strong> entidad. Los dos procesos bancarios i<strong>de</strong>ntificados están<br />

fuertemente ligados entre si, ya que <strong>la</strong> captación <strong>de</strong> fondos por parte <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong><br />

entidad pue<strong>de</strong> llevar en numerosas ocasiones a que ésta proporcione un<br />

servicio <strong>de</strong>terminado -por ejemplo, ofrecer una tarjeta <strong>de</strong> crédito al<br />

<strong>de</strong>positante <strong>de</strong> dinero-.<br />

We can summarise the functioning of a banking entity in a few words, as<br />

follows: it is an organisation that captures funds from some sources or<br />

provi<strong>de</strong>rs, in or<strong>de</strong>r subsequently to lend money to customers who request<br />

loans or credit, and to obtain the maximum possible margin between the<br />

two types of transaction, over the long term. The activity of marketing is<br />

thus an essential activity so that the entity can capture funds, at the best<br />

price, and can then lend them, at the best price and least risk. Marketing is<br />

also essential to maintain and enhance the position of the entity against its<br />

competitors in the sector.<br />

The function of marketing comprises all those activities <strong>de</strong>dicated to<br />

attracting clients by the services offered, and in enhancing differentiation<br />

vis a vis other institutions. The operational components of<br />

communication, distribution, etc. are carried out within the framework of<br />

the bank's marketing strategy, policies and programs. It should be borne in<br />

mind that innovation and the <strong>de</strong>sign of services as advances in systems of<br />

distribution, are better consi<strong>de</strong>red as part of the supporting activity of<br />

technology <strong>de</strong>velopment. The activity of marketing is better consi<strong>de</strong>red as<br />

including all the activities that put the bank in direct contact with its<br />

customers.<br />

3. Processes of provision of services: the set of activities that have as<br />

their objective attending to the customer, in respect of both assets and<br />

liabilities, and that generate significant value for the entity through the<br />

performance of those services. The two banking processes i<strong>de</strong>ntified are<br />

strongly linked to each other since the person providing funds to the bank<br />

will often require particu<strong>la</strong>r services from it; for example, a new <strong>de</strong>positor<br />

may want a credit card.<br />


Finalmente, hay dos características más que <strong>de</strong>bemos analizar en cuanto a<br />

<strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> una entidad bancaria. En primer lugar, <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong><br />

valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad difiere para cada una <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s unida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> negocio que<br />

hayan sido i<strong>de</strong>ntificadas en <strong>la</strong> misma, centrándose <strong>la</strong>s diferencias tanto en<br />

los servicios ofrecidos como en <strong>la</strong>s operaciones <strong>de</strong> apoyo. Por su parte,<br />

<strong>de</strong>ntro <strong>de</strong> cada unidad <strong>de</strong> negocio, una vez llevado a cabo <strong>la</strong> estrategia <strong>de</strong><br />

segmentación, <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor se tendrá que adaptar a cada uno <strong>de</strong> los<br />

segmentos consi<strong>de</strong>rados como objetivos.<br />

La segunda característica hace referencia a <strong>la</strong> existencia <strong>de</strong> es<strong>la</strong>bones<br />

<strong>de</strong>ntro <strong>de</strong> cada ca<strong>de</strong>na, y entre unas ca<strong>de</strong>nas y otras. Los es<strong>la</strong>bones se<br />

<strong>de</strong>finen como <strong>la</strong> búsqueda <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> manera en <strong>la</strong>s que cada actividad afecta o<br />

es afectada por otra, y permiten alcanzar ventajas competitivas <strong>de</strong> dos<br />

maneras diferentes: optimización y coordinación.<br />

En <strong>la</strong> ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor presentada po<strong>de</strong>mos i<strong>de</strong>ntificar numerosos<br />

es<strong>la</strong>bones. En primer lugar, po<strong>de</strong>mos consi<strong>de</strong>rar <strong>la</strong> existencia <strong>de</strong> es<strong>la</strong>bones<br />

<strong>de</strong> coordinación entre <strong>la</strong>s tres activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias: marketing y<br />

prestación <strong>de</strong> servicios, marketing y captación <strong>de</strong> fondos, así como el<br />

proceso <strong>de</strong> captación <strong>de</strong> fondos con el <strong>de</strong> prestación <strong>de</strong> servicios. Aquel<strong>la</strong>s<br />

entida<strong>de</strong>s que presenten una mayor coordinación entre estas activida<strong>de</strong>s,<br />

lograrán encontrar un camino que les ayu<strong>de</strong> a alcanzar <strong>la</strong> diferenciación.<br />

En segundo lugar, po<strong>de</strong>mos citar los es<strong>la</strong>bones más c<strong>la</strong>ros <strong>de</strong>ntro <strong>de</strong> una<br />

ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor: aquellos que aparecen entre <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> apoyo y<br />

<strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias. Así, el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> un proceso <strong>de</strong> prestación <strong>de</strong><br />

servicio necesitará el apoyo tanto <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> tecnología como <strong>de</strong> los recursos<br />

humanos, abastecimiento o <strong>la</strong>s operaciones.<br />

Por último, <strong>de</strong>bemos hacer referencia a los es<strong>la</strong>bones existentes entre <strong>la</strong>s<br />

Finally, there are two more characteristics that we should analyse in<br />

respect of the value chain of a banking entity. In the first p<strong>la</strong>ce, the value<br />

chain of the entity will be different for each of the business units i<strong>de</strong>ntified<br />

as comprising the bank, and these differences will be centred both in the<br />

services offered and in the supporting operations. In each business unit,<br />

once the strategy of segmentation has been put in p<strong>la</strong>ce, the value chain<br />

will have to be adapted to the particu<strong>la</strong>r features of the segments<br />

consi<strong>de</strong>red as objectives.<br />

The second characteristic refers to the existence of linkages within each<br />

chain, and between one chain and another. The links are <strong>de</strong>fined as the<br />

search for the way in which each activity affects or is affected by another,<br />

and enables competitive advantages to be obtained in two different ways:<br />

optimization and coordination.<br />

We can i<strong>de</strong>ntify numerous linkages in the value chain presented. Firstly,<br />

we can consi<strong>de</strong>r the coordination links that exist between the three<br />

primary activities: marketing and provision of services, marketing and<br />

capture of funds, and the process of capture of funds with that of the<br />

provision of services. Those entities that present greater coordination<br />

among these activities will manage to find a path that helps them to<br />

achieve differentiation.<br />

Secondly, we can cite the more evi<strong>de</strong>nt links within a value chain: those<br />

that appear between the supporting activities and the primary activities.<br />

Thus, performing a process of service provision will require the support<br />

not only of technology but also of human resources, supply and<br />

operations.<br />

Lastly, we should refer to the links existing between the different chains<br />


distintas ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s unida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> negocios i<strong>de</strong>ntificadas, así<br />

como entre <strong>la</strong>s ca<strong>de</strong>nas adaptadas a cada uno <strong>de</strong> los segmentos <strong>de</strong><br />

mercados elegidos. En este sentido, <strong>de</strong>bemos nombrar los es<strong>la</strong>bones<br />

existentes en activida<strong>de</strong>s como <strong>la</strong> tecnología y <strong>la</strong> infraestructura, que nos<br />

permite <strong>de</strong>ducir dos importantes consi<strong>de</strong>raciones:<br />

A.-Una importante re<strong>la</strong>ción entre <strong>la</strong>s ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s distintas<br />

unida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong> negocio se presenta en aquellos sectores, como el bancario,<br />

en don<strong>de</strong> existe un grado <strong>de</strong> centralización y control <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s <strong>de</strong>cisiones.<br />

B.-La existencia <strong>de</strong> es<strong>la</strong>bones entre <strong>la</strong>s distintas activida<strong>de</strong>s, así como<br />

entre unas ca<strong>de</strong>nas y otras, permiten a <strong>la</strong> banca obtener un mejor<br />

aprovechamiento <strong>de</strong> sus tecnologías en busca <strong>de</strong> economías <strong>de</strong> alcance y<br />

<strong>de</strong> efectos sinérgicos.<br />

Finalmente, <strong>de</strong>bemos analizar los es<strong>la</strong>bones entre <strong>la</strong>s ca<strong>de</strong>nas <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong><br />

<strong>la</strong> entidad, los suministradores <strong>de</strong> fondos y los clientes, que marcan <strong>la</strong>s<br />

re<strong>la</strong>ciones existentes entre ellos. Como ya hemos comentado, el<br />

funcionamiento <strong>de</strong> una entidad bancaria se pue<strong>de</strong> resumir bajo <strong>la</strong> i<strong>de</strong>a <strong>de</strong><br />

una organización que capta fondos para posteriormente prestarlos, y<br />

obtener con ello el mayor margen posible. Bajo esta simplificación, el<br />

margen obtenido por <strong>la</strong>s entida<strong>de</strong>s financieras vendrá dado por <strong>la</strong><br />

diferencia existente entre los costes que supone para el<strong>la</strong> <strong>la</strong> captación <strong>de</strong><br />

fondos, más los costes internos <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad, y los ingresos que éstas<br />

pue<strong>de</strong>n obtener por <strong>la</strong> prestación <strong>de</strong> los servicios.<br />

La obtención <strong>de</strong> este margen financiero a través <strong>de</strong>l <strong>de</strong>sarrollo <strong>de</strong> todas <strong>la</strong>s<br />

activida<strong>de</strong>s bancarias, implica <strong>la</strong> existencia <strong>de</strong> los es<strong>la</strong>bones entre <strong>la</strong><br />

ca<strong>de</strong>na <strong>de</strong> valor <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> entidad y <strong>la</strong> <strong>de</strong> sus clientes y proveedores. Entre<br />

of value of the businesses units i<strong>de</strong>ntified, and to the links between the<br />

chains adapted to each of the market segments chosen. In this context,<br />

from the links existing in activities like technology and infrastructure, we<br />

can draw two important conclusions:<br />

A. In sectors like banking, where there is a notable <strong>de</strong>gree of<br />

centralisation and control in <strong>de</strong>cision-making, there is a significant<br />

re<strong>la</strong>tionship between the value chains of the various business units.<br />

B. As a result of links between different activities, and between one chain<br />

and another, banks can take more advantage of their technologies to<br />

secure economies of scale and synergies.<br />

Finally, we should analyse the links between the value chains of the<br />

entity, the suppliers of funds and the customers, which are formed by the<br />

commercial re<strong>la</strong>tionships existing between them. As already commented,<br />

the functioning of a bank can be summarised un<strong>de</strong>r the i<strong>de</strong>a of an<br />

organisation that captures funds so as to be able to lend them at a profit,<br />

obtaining the best possible margin between interest (and divi<strong>de</strong>nds) paid<br />

and interest earned, over the long term. Un<strong>de</strong>r this simplification, the<br />

margin obtained by financial entities is the difference between the costs<br />

represented by the capture of funds, plus the internal costs of the entity,<br />

and the income that can be obtained by the provision of services,<br />

principally credit and loans.<br />

Since this financial margin is obtained through the performance of all the<br />

banking activities, it implies the existence of significant links between the<br />

value chain of the entity and those of their customers and suppliers.<br />


todos estos es<strong>la</strong>bones, uno <strong>de</strong> los más importantes que <strong>de</strong>bemos reconocer<br />

viene <strong>de</strong>sarrol<strong>la</strong>do por el concepto <strong>de</strong> un servicio <strong>de</strong> calidad que satisfaga<br />

<strong>la</strong>s necesida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>l cliente, y que con ello, establezca una re<strong>la</strong>ción más<br />

estable entre el individuo y <strong>la</strong> institución.<br />

En <strong>de</strong>finitiva, los puntos fuertes <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s entida<strong>de</strong>s <strong>de</strong>l futuro se concretan en<br />

el logro <strong>de</strong> una diferenciación <strong>de</strong> sus servicios -gracias a los es<strong>la</strong>bones <strong>de</strong><br />

coordinación entre <strong>la</strong>s activida<strong>de</strong>s primarias, así como a <strong>la</strong> actividad <strong>de</strong><br />

marketing en si- sobre <strong>la</strong> base <strong>de</strong> una innovación financiera que será tanto<br />

más eficiente cuanto m más se adapte a <strong>la</strong> estructura <strong>de</strong> costes <strong>de</strong>l banco y<br />

ayu<strong>de</strong> a soportar una parte <strong>de</strong> ellos.<br />


Activida<strong>de</strong>s<br />

D<br />

E<br />

A<br />

P<br />

O<br />

Y<br />

INFRAESTRUCTURA: Administración General, Calidad <strong>de</strong><br />

Servicios y Sistemas <strong>de</strong> Información.<br />

TECNOLOGÍA: Desarrollo tecnológico, Diseño, Innovación,<br />

Tecnología en <strong>la</strong> Distribución y en <strong>la</strong>s Operaciones.<br />

RECURSOS HUMANOS: Contratación, Reclutamiento,<br />

Formación y Gestión <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> Fuerza <strong>de</strong> Ventas.<br />

ABASTECIMIENTO: Suministro <strong>de</strong> material informático,<br />

mobiliario, papel, etc.<br />

M<br />

A<br />

R<br />

Among all these links, one of the more important to recognise is formed<br />

by the concept of a quality assurance service that meets the needs of the<br />

customer and <strong>de</strong>positor, and that can therefore establish a very stable<br />

re<strong>la</strong>tionship between the individual and the institution.<br />

In short, the future strengths of the entities will rest on their success in<br />

differentiating their services, thanks to the linkages of coordination<br />

between the primary activities, and particu<strong>la</strong>rly to their marketing<br />

activities, on the basis of financial innovation that will be more efficient<br />

the more it is adapted to the structure of costs of the bank, and the more it<br />

helps to support part of those costs.<br />


Activities<br />

S<br />

U<br />

P<br />

P<br />

O<br />

R<br />

T<br />

I<br />

N<br />

G<br />

INFRASTRUCTURE: General Administration, Quality of<br />

Services, and Information Systems.<br />

TECHNOLOGY: Technological <strong>de</strong>velopment, Design,<br />

Innovation, Technology in Distribution and in Operations.<br />

HUMAN RESOURCES: Recruitment, Appointments, Training,<br />

and Management of the sales force.<br />

SUPPLY: Supply of computer, communications and office<br />

equipment, furniture, office material, etc.<br />

OPERATIONS: Supporting activities for the performance of the<br />

banking processes.<br />

M<br />

A<br />

R<br />

G<br />

I<br />


P<br />

R<br />

I<br />

M<br />

R<br />

I<br />

A<br />

S<br />



FONDOS<br />





P<br />

R<br />

I<br />

M<br />

A<br />

R<br />

Y<br />



FUNDS<br />








El caso <strong>de</strong> esta <strong>empresa</strong> presenta uno <strong>de</strong> los más espectacu<strong>la</strong>res y<br />

<strong>de</strong>plorables ejemplos <strong>de</strong> ascenso y caída.<br />

Fundada en 1980 para brindar un servicio aéreo <strong>de</strong> bajo coste y alta<br />

calidad a los viajeros <strong>de</strong>l Este <strong>de</strong> los Estados Unidos, People Express<br />

creció en cinco años hasta llegar a ser <strong>la</strong> quinta línea aérea <strong>de</strong>l país. Se<br />

granjeó reputación como <strong>empresa</strong> pionera, partiendo <strong>de</strong> una estimu<strong>la</strong>nte<br />

filosofía articu<strong>la</strong>da por su carismático fundador, Don Burr: "La mayoría<br />

<strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s organizaciones creen que los seres humanos en general son malos<br />

y hay que contro<strong>la</strong>rlos y observarlos. En People Express confiamos en<br />

que <strong>la</strong> gente realizará una buena tarea hasta que <strong>de</strong>muestre<br />

<strong>de</strong>finitivamente lo contrario".<br />

La línea aérea tradujo esa filosofía en una multitud <strong>de</strong> <strong>política</strong>s<br />

innovadoras <strong>de</strong> recursos humanos que luego fueron adoptadas por<br />

muchas otras <strong>empresa</strong>s, tales como rotación <strong>de</strong> tareas, administración<br />

en equipo, propiedad universal <strong>de</strong> acciones y sólo cuatro niveles<br />

jerárquicos, con sólo cuatro niveles retributivos en toda <strong>la</strong> compañía.<br />

No obstante, a pesar <strong>de</strong> un espectacu<strong>la</strong>r éxito inicial, en septiembre <strong>de</strong><br />

1986 fue absorbida por Texas Air Corporation, tras haber perdido 133<br />

millones <strong>de</strong> dó<strong>la</strong>res en los primeros seis meses <strong>de</strong> 1986.<br />

Se han expuesto muchas teorías para explicar el crecimiento y el<br />

7. CASE STUDY<br />


The case of this company presents one of the most spectacu<strong>la</strong>r and<br />

<strong>de</strong>plorable examples of rise and fall.<br />

Foun<strong>de</strong>d in 1980 to provi<strong>de</strong> a low cost and high quality air travel<br />

service to passengers on the US Eastern seaboard, People Express grew<br />

in five years to become the fifth <strong>la</strong>rgest airline in the country. It<br />

acquired a reputation as a pioneering company, based on a stimu<strong>la</strong>ting<br />

philosophy articu<strong>la</strong>ted by its charismatic foun<strong>de</strong>r, Don Burr: "Most<br />

organisations believe that human beings in general are bad and need to<br />

be controlled and observed. In People Express we trust that people will<br />

do a good job, until they <strong>de</strong>monstrate otherwise, <strong>de</strong>finitively".<br />

The airline trans<strong>la</strong>ted that philosophy into a multitu<strong>de</strong> of innovative<br />

human resources policies that <strong>la</strong>ter were adopted by many other<br />

companies, such as rotation of jobs, team work, universal employee<br />

share ownership, and only four hierarchical levels, with only four levels<br />

of remuneration, in the whole company. However, <strong>de</strong>spite a spectacu<strong>la</strong>r<br />

initial success, in September 1986 it was absorbed by Texas Air<br />

Corporation, after having lost 133 million dol<strong>la</strong>rs in the first six months<br />

of 1986.<br />

Many theories have been proposed to exp<strong>la</strong>in the growth and the<br />


co<strong>la</strong>pso <strong>de</strong> People Express. Burr y <strong>la</strong> aerolínea habían l<strong>la</strong>mado <strong>la</strong><br />

atención <strong>de</strong>l público por sus <strong>política</strong>s administrativas "b<strong>la</strong>ndas",<br />

orientadas hacia <strong>la</strong> gente. Los analistas más tradicionales llegaron a <strong>la</strong><br />

conclusión <strong>de</strong> que <strong>la</strong> <strong>de</strong>ca<strong>de</strong>ncia <strong>de</strong> esta <strong>empresa</strong> <strong>de</strong>mostraba que "los<br />

negocios son los negocios": los i<strong>de</strong>ales elevados y los ámbitos <strong>la</strong>borales<br />

<strong>de</strong>mocráticos están reñidos con el lucro. Otros culparon a Burr y su<br />

equipo administrativo por no brindar un li<strong>de</strong>razgo estratégico<br />

permanente, especialmente <strong>de</strong>spués <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> compra <strong>de</strong> Frontier Airlines<br />

<strong>de</strong> Denver en 1985, lo cual introdujo cuatro mil empleados nuevos que<br />

no compartían los valores ni <strong>la</strong> estrategia <strong>de</strong> People.<br />

Algunos ejecutivos <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>empresa</strong>, entre ellos el propio Burr, presentan<br />

otra explicación. En 1984, en parte como respuesta al éxito <strong>de</strong> líneas<br />

aéreas <strong>de</strong> bajo coste como People Express, American Airlines introdujo<br />

su sistema informático "Sabre" para reserva <strong>de</strong> asientos, inaugurando<br />

una nueva era <strong>de</strong> "administración <strong>de</strong> cargas". Las aerolíneas podían<br />

ofrecer un número limitado <strong>de</strong> asientos a precios muy reducidos,<br />

mientras seguían transportando a pasajeros <strong>de</strong> negocios y otros con<br />

pasaje pleno. Fue un cambio drástico en el negocio <strong>de</strong>l transporte aéreo,<br />

y People Express se topó por primera vez con una competencia<br />

significativa en materia <strong>de</strong> precios.<br />

Pero es un caso <strong>de</strong> tal complejidad que no se pudo <strong>de</strong>senmarañar a<br />

tiempo para rescatar <strong>la</strong> organización. Para <strong>de</strong>sentrañar una historia tan<br />

compleja como ésta, es preciso i<strong>de</strong>ntificar <strong>la</strong>s fuerzas que mo<strong>de</strong><strong>la</strong>ron su<br />

evolución y <strong>la</strong>s estructuras que subyacían a esas fuerzas. Esto conduce a<br />

una visión muy diferente <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> sugerida por una mera visión <strong>de</strong> los<br />

hechos.<br />

People Express, <strong>la</strong> primera aerolínea creada <strong>de</strong>spués <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> <strong>de</strong>sregu<strong>la</strong>ción<br />

col<strong>la</strong>pse of People Express. Burr and the airline had attracted the<br />

attention of the public for its "soft" management policies, orientated<br />

towards people. The more traditional analysts reached the conclusion<br />

that the <strong>de</strong>mise of this company <strong>de</strong>monstrated that "business is<br />

business": elevated i<strong>de</strong>als and the application of <strong>de</strong>mocratic principles<br />

to work are inimical to profit. Others b<strong>la</strong>med Burr and his management<br />

team for not providing permanent <strong>strategic</strong> lea<strong>de</strong>rship, especially after<br />

the purchase of Frontier Airlines of Denver in 1985, which brought into<br />

the company four thousand new employees who did not share the<br />

values or strategy of People Express.<br />

Some executives of the company, among them Burr himself, offer<br />

another exp<strong>la</strong>nation. In 1984, in part as response to the success of lowcost<br />

airlines like People Express, American Airlines introduced its<br />

computerised "Sabre" system for booking seats, and this inaugurated a<br />

new era of "load management". The airlines were able to offer a limited<br />

number of seats at much reduced prices, while continuing to carry<br />

sufficient numbers of "full-ticket" business and other passengers. This<br />

was a dramatic change affecting the whole business of air transport, and<br />

for the first time People Express ran up against significant price<br />

competition.<br />

But the situation was of such complexity that it could not be<br />

disentangled in time to rescue the organisation. To unweave a complex<br />

story like this, it is essential to i<strong>de</strong>ntify the forces that mo<strong>de</strong>lled its<br />

evolution and the structures un<strong>de</strong>rlying those forces. This leads to a<br />

picture very different from that suggested by a mere review of the facts.<br />

People Express, the first airline created after the <strong>de</strong>regu<strong>la</strong>tion of the<br />


aérea <strong>de</strong> 1978 en los Estados Unidos, comenzó con un innovador<br />

concepto <strong>de</strong> producto y los costes más bajos <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> industria. La<br />

aerolínea presentaba una combinación <strong>de</strong> tarifas con <strong>de</strong>scuentos y<br />

servicios atentos y específicos (por ejemplo, <strong>la</strong>s comidas y <strong>la</strong><br />

manipu<strong>la</strong>ción <strong>de</strong>l equipaje representaban cargos adicionales). Vo<strong>la</strong>r con<br />

esta compañía en muchas <strong>de</strong> sus rutas era más barato que coger un<br />

autobús. Esto trajo tantos clientes nuevos que, en el tercer trimestre <strong>de</strong><br />

1982, Burr anunció: "Ahora somos <strong>la</strong> mayor aerolínea, en lo que a<br />

<strong>de</strong>spegues se refiere, <strong>de</strong> cualquier aeropuerto <strong>de</strong>l Estado <strong>de</strong> Nueva<br />

York.<br />

En los primeros tiempos, con propiedad universal <strong>de</strong> acciones, los<br />

empleados sentían un gran entusiasmo, reforzado por el rápido éxito y<br />

<strong>la</strong> estimu<strong>la</strong>nte visión <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> compañía. "Nunca he vo<strong>la</strong>do en una<br />

aeronave -escribía un periodista en 1982- cuyo personal <strong>de</strong>muestre tanta<br />

jovialidad e interés en su trabajo". Como <strong>de</strong>cía Burr: "En People<br />

Express, <strong>la</strong> actitud es tan importante como <strong>la</strong> altitud".<br />

Pero esta reputación inicial y sus precios bajos crearon una <strong>de</strong>manda<br />

que a mediados <strong>de</strong> 1982 comenzó a atentar contra <strong>la</strong> aptitud <strong>de</strong> servicio<br />

<strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> compañía. Lori L. Dubose, Director <strong>de</strong> Recursos Humanos,<br />

comentó que tenía dificulta<strong>de</strong>s para hal<strong>la</strong>r "personal suficiente", pero<br />

que aún "disponía <strong>de</strong> tiempo para el <strong>de</strong>sarrollo administrativo". En<br />

noviembre <strong>de</strong> 1982 un tercio <strong>de</strong>l personal <strong>de</strong> People Express era<br />

temporal: cuatrocientos en total. El número <strong>de</strong> "administradores <strong>de</strong><br />

servicios para <strong>la</strong> cliente<strong>la</strong>" -como se <strong>de</strong>nominaba al personal <strong>de</strong> servicio<br />

en esta compañía- quizás fuera suficiente para mantener el ritmo, pero<br />

los innovadores conceptos <strong>de</strong> rotación <strong>de</strong> tareas y administración en<br />

equipo significaban que el adiestramiento y <strong>la</strong> asimi<strong>la</strong>ción <strong>de</strong> estas<br />

personas tardaba mucho más que en aerolíneas más tradicionales.<br />

industry in the United States in 1978, began with an innovatory product<br />

concept and the lowest costs of the industry. The airline offered a<br />

combination of tariffs with discounts, and specific personal services (for<br />

example, meals and baggage handling were charged as extras). Flying<br />

with this company on many of its routes was cheaper than taking a<br />

coach. This brought in so many new customers that, in the third quarter<br />

of 1982, Burr announced: "We are now the biggest airline, in terms of<br />

<strong>de</strong>partures, at any of the airports of the State of New York.<br />

In the early days, with universal share ownership, the employees felt<br />

very enthusiastic, and this enthusiasm was reinforced by the rapid<br />

success and the stimu<strong>la</strong>ting vision of the company. "I have never flown<br />

in an aircraft", wrote one journalist in 1982, "whose personnel showed<br />

such joviality and interest in their work". As Burr used to say: "In<br />

People Express, attitu<strong>de</strong> is as important as altitu<strong>de</strong>".<br />

But this initial reputation and its low prices created a level of <strong>de</strong>mand<br />

that in mid-1982 began to militate against the attitu<strong>de</strong> of the company to<br />

customer service. Lori L. Dubose, Director of Human Resources,<br />

commented that they were having difficulties in finding "sufficient<br />

personnel", but that they "still had time for the management<br />

<strong>de</strong>velopment". In November 1982 one third of the total personnel of<br />

People Express was temporary: four hundred in total. The number of<br />

"customer services managers", as all the service personnel in this<br />

company were called, perhaps was sufficient to maintain the pace, but<br />

the innovatory concepts of job rotation and team-work meant these<br />

persons took much longer to be trained and assimi<strong>la</strong>ted into the systems<br />

than in more traditional airlines.<br />


A pesar <strong>de</strong> estas dificulta<strong>de</strong>s, <strong>la</strong> <strong>de</strong>manda <strong>de</strong> los vuelos baratos <strong>de</strong> esta<br />

<strong>empresa</strong> continuaba con su crecimiento fenomenal. Los kilómetros por<br />

pasajero ascendieron a más <strong>de</strong>l doble en 1982, y <strong>de</strong> nuevo en 1983. A<br />

finales <strong>de</strong> 1983, People Express era una <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s aerolíneas más lucrativas<br />

<strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> industria. Sus acciones valían 22 dó<strong>la</strong>res cada una, cuando al<br />

principio se cotizaban a sólo 8'5$. Pese al exceso <strong>de</strong> trabajo, muchos<br />

empleados estaban amasando una fortuna. Burr predicaba los méritos<br />

<strong>de</strong>l trabajo duro en <strong>la</strong> persecución <strong>de</strong> una visión elevada: "La gente se<br />

fatiga más y sufre más estrés cuando no tiene mucho que hacer. Lo creo<br />

<strong>de</strong> veras, y pienso que lo he <strong>de</strong>mostrado... El rumbo pue<strong>de</strong> tener un<br />

efecto sensacional. La belleza <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> condición humana está en <strong>la</strong> magia<br />

<strong>de</strong> que <strong>la</strong> gente es capaz cuando existe un rumbo. Cuando no hay<br />

rumbo, no somos capaces <strong>de</strong> hacer mucho". Los ingresos se duplicaron<br />

<strong>de</strong> nuevo en 1984, aunque <strong>la</strong>s ganancias no se elevaron en <strong>la</strong> misma<br />

proporción.<br />

Entretanto, los clientes se quejaban cada vez más <strong>de</strong>l servicio. Había<br />

crecientes <strong>de</strong>moras en <strong>la</strong> entrega <strong>de</strong> billetes y en <strong>la</strong>s reservas, y más<br />

vuelos cance<strong>la</strong>dos o con reservas excesivas. El personal <strong>de</strong> a bordo era<br />

cada vez más hostil y menos eficaz. Al principio los clientes perdonaron<br />

estos <strong>de</strong>fectos y siguieron recurriendo a <strong>la</strong> aerolínea. Al parecer no<br />

había ningún castigo por el mal servicio. Pero en 1984 y 1985 una<br />

creciente cantidad <strong>de</strong> clientes empezó a alejarse. El crecimiento quedó<br />

<strong>de</strong>terminado totalmente por el precio; los clientes empezaron a fijarse<br />

cada vez más en el precio y menos en <strong>la</strong> calidad. Al poco tiempo, el<br />

precio <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong>s acciones cayó, lo cual contribuyó aún más al <strong>de</strong>terioro <strong>de</strong><br />

<strong>la</strong> moral y <strong>de</strong>l servicio. En el último año <strong>de</strong> operaciones, vo<strong>la</strong>r con<br />

People Express ("expreso popu<strong>la</strong>r") se había transformado en una<br />

experiencia tan <strong>de</strong>sdichada que se <strong>la</strong> apodó "People Distress" ("angustia<br />

Despite these difficulties, the <strong>de</strong>mand for the cheap flights of this<br />

company was continuing to show phenomenal growth. The number of<br />

passenger kilometres flown more than doubled in 1982, and doubled<br />

again in 1983. By the end of 1983, People Express was one of the most<br />

profitable airlines of the industry. Its shares were worth $ 22 each,<br />

having been initially quoted at only $ 8.50. Despite the excessive work<br />

load, many employees were amassing fortunes. Burr preached the<br />

merits of hard work in the pursuit of an elevated vision: "People get<br />

more tired and suffer more stress when they don't have much to do. I<br />

really believe that, and I think I have <strong>de</strong>monstrated it ... An inspirational<br />

direction can have a sensational effect. The beauty of the human<br />

condition is in the magic of what people are capable of, when they are<br />

inspired. When there is no inspiration, no sense of direction, we are<br />

incapable of doing much". The revenues doubled again in 1984,<br />

although the earnings did not rise in the same proportion.<br />

Meanwhile, customers increasingly comp<strong>la</strong>ined about the service.<br />

There were increasing <strong>de</strong><strong>la</strong>ys in the issuing of tickets and in the<br />

bookings, and there were more flights cancelled or overbooked. The<br />

flight personnel became increasingly hostile and less efficient. At first<br />

the customers forgave these <strong>de</strong>fects and carried on using the airline. It<br />

appeared that the market was not punishing the company for its poor<br />

service. But in 1984 and 1985 increasing numbers of customers began<br />

to <strong>de</strong>fect. Growth became totally contingent on price; the customers<br />

began to fix increasingly on the price and less on the quality of service.<br />

In a short time, the share price dropped, which contributed even more to<br />

the <strong>de</strong>terioration of staff morale and the service. In the <strong>la</strong>st year of<br />

operations, flying with People Express had been transformed into such<br />

an unpleasant experience that it was nicknamed "People Distress", and<br />


popu<strong>la</strong>r"), y los clientes renunciaron a su lealtad para vo<strong>la</strong>r con otras<br />

compañías.<br />

Se pi<strong>de</strong>:<br />

1.-¿Qué es lo que, a su juicio, provocó el co<strong>la</strong>pso <strong>de</strong> esta compañía?<br />

Realice un diagnóstico <strong>de</strong> <strong>la</strong> situación.<br />

2.-En base al diagnóstico anterior, ¿qué le hubiera aconsejado usted a <strong>la</strong><br />

<strong>dirección</strong> <strong>de</strong> People Express para evitar dicho co<strong>la</strong>pso?<br />

© Alfonso VARGAS SÁNCHEZ<br />

the customers' loyalty col<strong>la</strong>psed, with many opting to fly with other<br />

companies.<br />

You are asked:<br />

1. In your own opinion, what led to the col<strong>la</strong>pse of this company?<br />

Make a diagnosis of the situation.<br />

2. Based on your previous diagnosis, what would you have advised the<br />

management of People Express to do to avoid this col<strong>la</strong>pse?<br />


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