I THINK THERE ARE a number of issues that become critical even at the superregional level. First you have to learn to live with broader geographic dispersion. You have the opportunity to build scale and reduce operating costs on a unit basis. You have issues around product standardization, which may be different than what you deal with as a superregional. If it's the difference between Florida and Georgia, you may want standard products. If it' s the difference between South Carolina and Oregon, it may be less important. You may make decisions not to standardize quite that same way on a superregional basis.

Technology will be important too. Overcoming geographic dispersion will mean relying more on networking and the ability to inexpensively move transactions all across the country. The way you organize these networks -- whether it be having operations centers in different locations and simply one national center -- will become a strategic issue.

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