Bahia

Bahia

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Bahia

Jack has done a great job in outlining Firewire’s efforts to mitigate climate change risk: 1. Optimize its manufacturing process, 2. Educate consumers on climate change risk and well-being, 3. Strive for high quality and sustainable products. However, I think that Firewire could further increase its efforts by leveraging the latest 3D printing technology advancements. First of all, 3D printing emits less smoke and toxic fumes than traditional manufacturing. Those emissions can also be better contained and scrubbed out with filters. 3D printing’s benefits go beyond carbon emissions, with the biggest gains in logistics and manufacturing. Indeed, by getting 3D printers closer to its customers, Firewire could reduce shipping. Furthermore, with 3D printing providing much more flexibility, boards could be produced locally according to actual demand, hence reducing the number of goods shipped by railroads or ocean vessels. This could have a considerable impact in climate change mitigation, since transportation accounts for about a quarter of all carbon emissions [1]. Moreover, 3D printing enables a more efficient manufacturing process through additive manufacturing, by combining materials into a product one layer at a time. As such, only the material strictly required for the final product is actually used, in opposition with traditional manufacturing which relies on subtractive techniques, where an initial rough shape is sequentially reduced to the desired dimensions. The traditional manufacturing processes create indeed a lot of waste, often discarding more material than needed in the final product. For example, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, and other companies are moving to 3D-printed to produce their OLED video screens, hence optimizing their OLED screens manufacturing process and hence avoiding the waste of rare and expensive light-emitting chemicals during production [2]. This could be a good way for Firewire to position itself as leading pioneer in sustainable surfboards manufacturing!

[1] “Transport, Energy and CO2”, International Energy Agency, 2009, accessed November 2017.
[2] “LG to ‘print’ more affordable OLED TVs from 2017”, Avforums, October 28, 2016, https://www.avforums.com/threads/lg-to-print-more-affordable-oled-tvs-from-2017.2060728/, accessed November 2017.

Bahia
On November 28, 2017, Bahia commented on Apple: A Thousand Trees :

I agree with AA about the fact that, giving its size and influence in the market, Apple could further increase its efforts to mitigate climate change risk. First of all, as AA mentioned, Apple could work more closely with its suppliers and monitor them to address areas such as manufacturing impact and responsible sourcing. Beyond auditing, Apple could further reduce its collective supply chain footprint by building suppliers’ capability to minimize their environmental impact and sharing best practices for reducing energy consumption and emissions. To extend its impact, Apple could also incentivize suppliers to cascade the information down to their own suppliers. The Partnership for a Cleaner Environment (PACE) program [1] led by Ford Motor can be a good example for Apple.
On another hand, Apple could also leverage 3D printing to reduce its environmental footprint. By combining materials into a product one layer at a time instead of reducing an initial rough shape to the desired dimensions, 3D printing enables more efficient manufacturing process. As a result, only the material needed is used to produce the final product, hence avoiding a lot of waste. Finally, Apple could also design more eco-friendly products with minimalist designs, prioritizing locally sourced materials and increase the use of recycled materials.

[1] Ford Motor Company, 2016/17 Sustainability Report, p.40

Bahia

Francois has done a great job in outlining its main suggestions for Oxford: 1. Become the top school in a specific area to attract students worldwide, 2. Become pioneer in some key R&D sectors to attract researchers, 3. Partner with private institution for funding, 4. Reach untapped students’ populations. However, I think that Oxford could further increase its efforts to maintain its worldwide competitive edge. First of all, Oxford should further leverage its brand and expand its global reach by embracing technology and digitizing its teaching content. The university needs to create breakthrough online learning experiences to engage students across the world, and provide the opportunity to earn a degree or diploma while studying at distance. On another hand, Oxford could also build on its brand by creating subsidiaries worldwide, especially in emerging countries. Indeed, in countries where the middle class is growing and investing more and more in education, Oxford could position itself as providing the “best in class education” and attract an important cohort of students. For example, the British International School opened a couple of years ago in Casablanca with immense success. Parents are willing to pay high fees to enroll their children in the best schools. Building on this last point, Oxford could also create global programs such as the INSEAD MBA which takes place in both Fontainebleau and Singapore. This would enable Oxford to attract researchers, funds, as well as students by providing a global experience. Finally, Oxford could also mitigate the risk of Brexit by building partnerships and exchanges programs with other universities to preserve its worldwide notoriety.

Bahia
On November 28, 2017, Bahia commented on After Brexit, Barclays Should Exit :

I totally agree with RSI. This post is providing an excellent example of the complacency of some companies facing the Brexit. It is frightening to read that Barclays has not developed a strong contingency plan and that the CEO has downplayed the severity of Brexit to investors. Indeed, it seems quite obvious that the banking sector is going to shrink in the UK: the European Banking Authority has recently decided to shift its headquarters from London to Paris after Brexit [1] and several hundred of banks (including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered) are expanding their operations in Frankfurt, as the city vies to become the EU’s principal financial center after Brexit [2]. Facing this urgent situation, I would advise Barclays to: 1. Follow its competitors and move its business and capital in European financial centers, 2. Expand its presence globally, mainly in countries where Barclays has already a solid reputation and network. The first move would enable Barclays to not only operate under EU regulatory compliance, but also to remain competitive against other industry players. The second move would enable Barclays to mitigate the risk of a declining UK economy and political isolationism by leveraging Barclays’ brand and worldwide network. Barclays should aim to be the leading financial services group in English speaking countries where the bank has already a strong presence. The bank could indeed leverage its Barclays Africa Group arm in countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria or Ghana. To further strengthen its presence and notoriety in these countries, Barclays should invest in local communities and partner with cities. The famous Barclays’ bike that used to be so beloved by Londoners should now be cherished by Johannesburg and Laos inhabitants!

[1] “Paris wins battle to host European banking regulator”, Financial Times, November 20, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/f9f954b4-ce19-11e7-b781-794ce08b24dc, accessed November 2017.
[2] “Banks and companies plan expansion in Frankfurt after Brexit”, The Guardian, July 21, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/21/banks-and-companies-plan-expansion-in-frankfurt-after-brexit, accessed November 2017.

Bahia

Anat has done a great job of not only outlining the efforts led by the Israeli Electric Corporation (IEC) to digitize its grid, but also of highlighting the several challenges and public concerns faced during the implementation of the IEC’s smart metering project. Indeed, safety, privacy and religion are important factors to be taken into consideration by a public organization when driving such a significant digital transformation. Building on Anat’s suggestions, I would indeed recommend the IEC to monitor the side effects of the meters – such as radiation – and invest in product development to solve them. The IEC should definitively work closely with regulatory agencies to define a solid privacy policy. Besides this, I think that the IEC should go beyond a simple awareness campaign and educate the population through workshops and trainings. Indeed, citizens should be able to not only understand the benefits of the smart metering project, but also be truly engaged and committed to this project. For example, the IEC could teach families how the meter work and provide them the opportunity to install it themselves at home. On another hand, it would be important, as Anat mentioned, to integrate the smart metering project into other digital projects such as Electric Vehicles and Smart Cities. The IEC should not only highlight these digitalization initiatives as key for Israel to catch up on future trends, but also as enablers of economic growth by boosting the development of new sectors related to smart technologies. The IEC could for example train and hire young Israelis to develop projects related to the digitalization of its infrastructure, or organize competitions to enable citizens to present their own projects related to this matter.
Replying to Anat’s last question, I would definitively say: Yes, I strongly believe that by aligning all stakeholders’ incentives, a public utility is capable of leading a digital transformation.

Bahia
On November 28, 2017, Bahia commented on Walmart: It’s my party and I can cry if I want to :

I totally agree with CPG Manufacturing Fan. Niko has done a great job of not only outlining Walmart’s action plan to catch up on e-commerce, but also reminding us Walmart’s original position as technological pioneer, introducing disruptive innovations such as RFID or Vendor Inventory Management. But to remain leader in such a competitive industry, innovation must never end. As highlighted by Niko, the challenge is now for Walmart to manage the fact that “historic trade-off between price and service has been altered by technology and customers expect to save time and enjoy the experience while saving money”.
While many perceive Amazon as main competitor, I agree with the fact that Walmart needs to build its competitive advantage in its in-store experience, aspiring to become the “most exciting retailer”. To this end, Walmart could get some inspiration from the disruptive in-store technology introduced by the fashion retailer Zara [1]. Alongside self-checkout systems, Zara introduced other innovative features such as LED screens used as in-store displays to allow shoppers to view products, as well as touch-screens in the dressing rooms to enable customers to request different items and sizes without leaving the comfort of the fitting room. As such, Walmart could improve its in-store experience by introducing LED screens enabling shoppers to view the different products available for each category as well as their store location to make the shopping experience smoother and avoid wasting time researching products across corridors (and buying more instead!).To create a more interactive experience with the customer, Walmart could also install in-store touch screens for each category of product and display recipes according to individuals’ preferences.
To remain industry leader, Walmart will need to complement its “Everyday Low Price” with “Everyday Great Experience”.

[1] https://www.thelocal.es/20151130/zara-looks-to-new-technology-to-give-stores-a-facelift