Sunday, July 16, 2006

Competitive Advantage

El 3atal is very involved in important business and often talks about such strategically important topics as competitive advantage. While I grasp the concepts, my mind is much more on operational detail. However, recently I was confronted with such an obvious case of competitive advantage that I felt I had to share it. El 3atal likes to get hummus sandwiches from a particular shop in town. Their hummus is unusually good, and he enjoys the sandwich with just hummus, salad, and bread on it. (They usually look at him a bit funny when he orders it, but...) Recently, I went in with him to watch his sandwiches being made. The guy who makes the sandwiches is quite tall (say 6'4 or 6'5). But, on top of his overall size, his hands are HUGE. I mean each one is larger than a standard dinner plate. As a result, he makes holding the pita and sliding in items look like child's play. As I told El 3atal, I would really hate to be up against him for such a job. In his job, it's all in the hands. How easily you can control the bread and fixin's (as we Southerners are want to call them) determines how quickly you complete an order. And, in a small store-front like theirs, turn-over is everything. So, this guy has a clear and distinct competitive advantage. I'd like to have a picture of his hands, but figured he might be skeptical of my asking...

At any rate, I am amazed by the size of this man's hands and wonder if it makes it hard to do simple things like grasping keys and such. Perhaps one day, when my Arabic is much, much better, I'll ask him. Or perhaps not.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home