This was a fascinating read, PJ. I think you hit the critical questions, but I am still left wondering how much the supply chain can really be shortened here. Creating and producing a high quality television show is a time consuming, laborious process. Would your recommendation be that studios like ABC essentially just create a pilot, see how well it does, and then make a go / no-go decision? Movies would seem to be even more challenging, in that you don’t have the opportunity to just make a pilot and see how well it performs. In a scenario where television and movie studios adopt this trial balloon process on a large scale, would we lose movies that initially wouldn’t have had broad appeal, but ultimately became cult classics (i.e., Napoleon Dynamite, The Big Lebowski, etc.)?
When it comes to creating and producing original content, I am still not convinced that major studios like ABC, NBC, etc. will be able to withstand the competitive threat from growing streaming services.
Quartet is clearly focused on a very challenging area of the provider landscape in the primary care model. As you mention, primary care physicians are extremely busy. Average visit length is only 17 minutes . Succeeding in getting primary care physicians to take the time to add Quartet to their process will likely present the greatest challenge to widespread adoption. As a result, it may make more sense to target a subset of the primary care market initially, specifically the concierge primary care market. While concierge practices still number only in the thousands, it is a fast growing group, particularly among younger physicians . These physicians spend much more time with patients, and have regular follow-ups and interactions, which would enable them to ensure that their patients have worked with their mental health physicians as well. In any case, Quartet is definitely providing a compelling service at a time when tracking clinical outcomes to reduce the cost of care is becoming of paramount importance.
This is a really interesting take on some of the climate challenges facing Starbucks’ long term operations. You noted several areas where Starbucks is already working with its suppliers to mitigate the impact of climate change, and other areas where there is room for improvement. However, I wonder whether Starbucks should take a greater role working directly with the governments of the countries supplying its coffee beans to help mitigate the impact of climate change on the small and local farmers who are responsible for much of Starbucks’ coffee bean supply. For example, Mars Inc. is partnering with governments of key cocoa supplying countries to help fund necessary improvements to local cocoa production by small farmers . It will be interesting to see the extent to which Starbucks emphasizes production through owned supply vs. independent suppliers going forward.
After reading this, my thought was similar to one of Reagan’s points in that it seems that the real long-term solution here would be to focus on oyster farms where the water acidity and other factors are controlled. Aside from a long-term change in TSF’s approach to developing its oysters, I would imagine that other geographies will begin to fill the void in oyster production. For instance, states in the Southeastern U.S. have already begun to produce oysters in meaningful quantities, and this is likely to increase over time .
As we’ve seen from other industries experiencing changes in their supply chains due to climate change, it is entirely possible, and perhaps even probable, that the oyster industry will experience fundamental geographic production shifts. It will be interesting to see how and whether companies like TSF are able to respond effectively.
Dan, thanks very much for this interesting perspective on ABF. Your point on Primark was particularly notable, as it raised a benefit of isolationism that is often overlooked. By leaving the EU, Britain has the opportunity to restructure trade agreements with countries such as Sri Lanka that serve as key suppliers to companies like ABF . This could actually lower the cost of supplies for ABF given trade restrictions traditionally imposed by the EU.
Is there potential for ABF to leverage its European suppliers for its European operations, and improve its global supply arrangements for operations in geographies outside of the EU? Would this be the kind of economic benefit many in the UK hoped for when they voted for Brexit in the first place?
Thanks for this, PolkaDots. As I read this, what struck me most was the point you raised that while Walmart is investing in reinvigorating America’s manufacturing industry, consumers may not have an appetite to pay a premium for American made goods. In fact, the data does not look positive. For instance, an Ipsos poll from June 2017 shows that while 69% of survey respondents believe total price is “Very important” in their decision to purchase, whether a product is made in America is rated similarly by only 32% of survey respondents .
Walmart is surely aware of this challenging dynamic. Are the company’s efforts to improve American manufacturing merely a hedge against potential regulatory changes, including excise taxes and restrictions on global trade, rather than a genuine investment in American manufacturing capability? Walmart notes that domestic production can be more efficient through reduced turnaround times . But given how streamlined Walmart’s processes already are, what else does the company have to gain from a greater focus on domestic production, and can it possibly offset the greater costs?