Given the shocking amount of inputs required for airplane assembly, a whopping 300,000 parts, I agree that 3D printing brings a lot of advantages to GE, primarily in regards to lead time reduction in a global supply chain. One thing I worry about is the debugging and testing process, and the cost of scrapping failed parts. Suppose the printed part fails quality inspection and needs to be modified, will the manufacturers be able to rework the part so that it passes or will it have to scrap the entire part? If the latter is true, the costs will add up quickly. Furthermore, one of the advantages of 3D printing is lower headcount and thus labor costs, but if parts fail and need to be debugged, who is responsible for this? Will GE be able to debug remotely or do they need to rely on their global manufacturing partners? It will be interesting to see how GE introduces mechanisms across countries to ensure that the integrity of the design is rigorously upheld to avoid costly mistakes and debugging.
Given the shocking amount of inputs required for airplane assembly, a whopping 300,000 parts, I agree that 3D printing brings a lot of advantages to GE, primarily in regards to lead time reduction. One thing I worry about is the debugging and testing process, and the cost of scrapping failed parts. Suppose the printed part fails quality inspection and needs to be modified, will the manufacturers be able to rework the part so that it passes or will it have to scrap the entire part? If the latter is true, the costs will add up quickly. Furthermore, one of the advantages of 3D printing is lower headcount and thus labor costs, but if parts fail and need to be debugged, who is responsible for this? Is the assumption that this will be somehow automated as well? It will be interesting to see how GE introduces mechanisms to ensure that the integrity of the design is rigorously upheld to avoid costly mistakes and debugging.
I agree with you Ben that long term Ford should diversify itself away from US, but with a caveat. Ford could focus on procuring raw materials from US suppliers, but move their final assembly elsewhere such as China. By following this model, Ford can continue to support manufacturing jobs in the US, albeit indirectly, while squeezing assembly costs. Furthermore, Ford states that many of their raw materials are single-sourced, which is very risky, so they could turn their attention to finding second sources among suppliers based in US.  Therefore to answer your question, “What is better for Americans, more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. or lower cost vehicles?”, I believe it is possible to address both but the jobs would be created by finding and developing second source raw material suppliers.
I agree with you that Pfizer should take the lead and participate in the pilot programs and other opportunities to pave the way for other pharmas. Their use of IoT gives them a competitive edge and is helping to provide reliable, and proactive versus reactive diagnoses. I am curious to know more about the role of IBM in developing the smart spoon capability. Do you think pharmas can eventually develop these solutions fully in-house, or will they likely continue to depend on outsourcing development to the IBMs of the world? If Pfizer could develop a complete in-house solution, and cut out IBM, this may quell some of the privacy concerns as fewer parties would have access to sensitive data.
Visibility into the downstream suppliers capacity and production plans through digitization is extremely valuable, however I question the practicality of this. As we saw in the Beer Simulation exercise, even if members along the supply chain have visibility into demand 1 week out, there is no such thing as perfect alignment due to the bullwhip effect. Furthermore, suppliers may be reluctant to share their production capacities with Google as it exposes them to further scrutiny and indicates that there is a lack of trust in suppliers. If suppliers do provide buy-in and offer transparency to Google, I would suggest Google to use apps built by start-up Elementum  to track inventory. Elementum’s Inventory app aggregates inventory information across suppliers so that they can monitor inventory in real time and re-allocate across suppliers as needed to meet demand.
As a frequent consumer of Chipotle, I appreciate the consistency of their menu options regardless of where I am traveling, however I found your comment about diversification particularly interesting. One way to reduce Chipotle’s dependence on climate-vulnerable ingredients, as well as seasonal ingredients, would be to introduce rotating menus leveraging the crops that are in season. SweetGreen is a restaurant within the fast casual space that does this, changing their ingredients based on what local producers are growing. By doing this they are promoting fresh ingredients by reducing transit time and distance, and cutting out preservatives. Furthermore they could emulate what SweetGreen does to creatively incorporate non-traditional ingredients, such as food scraps, into their sauces or toppings. For example SweetGreen used “nutrient-dense broccoli leaves that are usually tossed”  in one of their salads to make it healthier and less wasteful.
 Rowe, M. (2015). Menu moves: Sweetgreen LTO salad rescues food scraps to make a point. Restaurant Hospitality, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/docview/1700065929?accountid=11311
It is really interesting to learn how luxury brands like LVMH are increasingly investing in sustainability. While I do feel that LVMH has made significant progress in addressing sustainability in production through replacing traditional energy sources to renewable energy, I believe there is a lot more opportunity left on the packaging side. For example for packaged products such as cosmetics and jewelry which tend to come in boxes or wrapped in protective film, I would be curious to know the percentage of these raw materials that is recyclable. Are they investigating biodegradable options?
LVMH could look to Apple for inspiration on how to use recyclable packaging at scale and how to reduce packaging size. By reducing packaging size, LVMH could reduce the amount of trucks needed and effectively lower carbon emissions. The first iPhone was packaged in a recyclable box, and the shipping trays were made out of potato starch paper trays rather than the popularly used Styrofoam . I believe LVMH could imitate this for their perfumes as a starting point, and then expand to other products.
 Ramirez, S. (2010). Sustainable packaging. World Trade, WT 100, 23(3), 41-42. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/docview/228231946?accountid=11311