Snake, thanks for your work on the Nike article. While, Nike moves away from volatile crops like cotton, one concern I have is how that affects brand management and perception. Clearly, Nike needs to leverage its marketing capabilities and key athlete partnerships to avoid the perception that Nike now makes a low quality product. One other thought, has the development of GMO or lab-produced crop seeds and plants had an impact on corporate strategy yet? Nike can leverage the changing climate in its area of raw material acquisition, with the help of these new species of plants, to mollify the volatile nature of their production as a result of changing climate conditions.
Matt thanks for the thorough reply. Tracking the other car companies – I think my question was more directed at the giants: GM, Chrysler, Ford. Likely, the change will require their inputs but it doesn’t seem like the incentives are quite there yet for them to shift. Perhaps they will wait for Tesla to pave the way on the raw materials and technological innovations and the “draft”?
JerBear, thanks for the insightful essay on the digitization of the CPG sector supply chain. What really stood out to me was the introduction of the WeChat program as an incentive for distributors and the like to adopt this program of scanning codes to accurately monitor inventory. This reminded me of the Barilla case – Barilla had an incredibly tough time to get the buy in of the distributors. This WeChat program clearly allows for decentralized and easy-to-use scanning capabilities and the cash discounts or points are a terrific incentive. Agree with your conclusion: expand!
As others above have mentioned the most striking data point is the 20% loss of cold goods due to temperature variances causing either spoilage or quality degradation. My interpretation is that Nestle is vertically integrated and thus bearing these losses directly. To mitigate these losses and instead focus on production, Nestle could offload its supply chain assets and responsibilities, moving the responsibility to a dedicated partner who will bear the losses and thus will be incentivized to dramatically shift to technology incorporation for monitoring. This could be more attractive by partnering with other companies (milk, meat, etc.) who share the benefit of a supply chain that is solely focused on key improvements in that area.
Charis, I enjoyed your analysis on how a company thats business is centered on capturing a shift in energy consumption could also be affected by the very thing they are attempting to combat. Several things I noticed is a lack of diversification geographically – Acciona is barely present in the BRIC region, for example. They do, however, have a global presence in other markets, besides energy which begs the question: is Acciona leveraging its global reach to minimize construction and labor costs for its larger projects. Another consideration is government regulation and how Acciona is adjusting to the changing global appetite and demand for alternative energy projects that are incentivized through tax credits, etc.
Eleanora, great article – it touches on TPP and automation; I really appreciate the deep dive into the numbers as it relates to labor costs and actual jobs lost. Two areas of interest to me that weren’t mentioned are NAFTA and the attractiveness of corporate tax rate as a company considers moving its manufacturing facilities. With tax rates, GM is still benefitting from the massive losses they incurred before the bailout, so it doesn’t necessarily affect them now but I’m sure it is a down-the-road consideration. Much rests on the US tax bill on the docket. NAFTA has not only played a role vis-a-vis GM’s manufacturing in the US but also in Canada (article below references a strike in Canada as jobs were moving to Mexico).
Francois, you outlined the context very well – your essay is informative and opened the aperture on the effects of isolationism to shed some light on a subject that is very personal to all of us (as we are MBA students). I particularly liked your point on attracting students from the US and Canada – as I was applying to MBA programs, I frankly never considered the UK and now reading your piece, maybe I should have – perhaps we aren’t in their marketing considerations? The downside is what incentive does Oxford offer and American that, say, was capable of going to HBS. They now have to deal with the same foreign entry / visa issues that international students attending HBS have to hurdle. Your point on offering a specialization, for example, in entrepreneurship I think will help them to that end. Another consideration not mentioned to raise the appeal to US and Canadian students is to attract high profile US/Can faculty members to raise awareness and build that side of the Oxford brand.