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Caso Southwest Airlines

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Reporte – Caso Southwest Airlines

Pregunta 1. Southwest has mastered the low-price model and has the financial results to prove it. Why don´t the other airlines copy Southwest´s model?
Sin duda, tener una buena estrategia es una de las aristas del éxito de Southwest, pero la estrategia por sí sola es insuficiente. El éxito viene de la combinación de una buena estrategia y una buena implementación de esta estrategia. Y es en la implementación donde suelen fallar los imitadores. Los imitadores lo que suelen copiar es un estrategia al que le falta vida a través la implementación de programas y planes que la soporten, y que se refleje consistentemente en el comportamiento de los directivos y todos los empleados. Si un ejecutivo infunde la cultura adecuada, los empleados también trabajarán duro para mantener los costos bajos.
El secreto del éxito de Southwest consiste en cierta obsesión por mantener los costos bajos y tratar bien a los trabajadores, así como un compromiso de gestionar la empresa durante los periodos de “boom” con un ojo puesto en la recesión que inevitablemente vendrá a continuación.
Lo cual se refleja al no cancelar ningún vuelo después del 11 de septiembre, y no despedir ningún empleado. Los bajos costos han proporcionado a Southwest su nicho en el mercado y su ventaja competitiva, al tener las tarifas más bajas del país.

Pregunta 2. What risks does Southwest face? Can it continue to thrive as a low-cost airline when tough economic time hit?

Uno de los riesgos más notables que se enfrenta la industria de las aerolíneas es la guerra de precios que se producen cuando una línea aérea reduce tarifas en algunas rutas y las fuerzas de los demás a hacer lo mismo que resulta en una reducción de la rentabilidad. Y en este sentido, Southwest ha desarrollado una estructura de tarifas que es consistente, pero puede enfrentar la venganza de las grandes compañías aéreas sí Southwest trata de competir en los mercados más grandes. Muchas de las actividades de ahorro de costos podrían verse comprometida sí Southwest crece demasiado rápido; en este sentido, hay un riesgo por la introducción a un mercado en el que no puedan atender la demanda con la suficiente rapidez, por lo tanto puede empañarse la reputación de Southwest.
Por otro lado, otro riesgo puede relacionarse con el precio del combustible y los posibles impactos asociados a la volatilidad del petróleo. Aunque la herramienta de cobertura (Futuros / Forward) puede mitigar los riesgos financieros, finalmente los usuarios verán un impacto desfasado.
Finalmente, creo que Southwest puede continuar creciendo como una aerolínea de bajo costo con la precaución de mantener controles de costos mencionado y controlando la expansión de su mercado.

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