111 Inc.: Envisioning the Future of Healthcare
(7 pages of text)
Founded in 2010, 111 Inc. was a leading online, direct-sales pharmacy in China. As an early entrant to China’s online health care market, 111 Inc. developed various operational capabilities to support and expand its businesses, including a smart supply chain, big-data technologies, omnichannel capabilities, and operation on both business-to-consumer and business-to-business models. The online health care market in China had been growing rapidly in recent years, especially with the support of new government policies. Therefore, many companies were showing great interest in the industry’s new opportunities, including Alibaba Group Holding Limited, JD.com Inc., Pingduoduo Inc., and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Considering the imminent market entry of these technology giants, with their vast customer bases and extensive amounts of capital, 111 Inc. was wondering what it should do to sustain and grow its competitive advantage.
This case is undergraduate-, graduate-, and postgraduate-level courses on operations management, operations strategy, service operations, health care management, and corporate strategy. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- understand the economics of the online health care market, including the competitive landscape, market limits arising from regulations, factors that drive the need to expand, and unique consumer behaviours of patients when buying health care products;
- develop critical thinking about health care operation and competition in the areas of competitive advantages, challenges, operational capabilities, omnichannel opportunities, and growth opportunities; and
- translate strategies into actions and build an action plan for the company to survive and grow.
Health Care Services
China, Large, 2020
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