I was most struck by your point regarding this being more of an issue of perception/optics rather than actual insourcing, most exemplified by the fact that President Trump chose to only focus on a singular plant in Indiana while UTX operates many outsourced facilities. While your proposals of improving the brand of the corporate entity through advertising efforts and engaging in a public-private partnership with the US government make sense from a public relations play, should UTX quietly move forward with the plant relocation regardless given the length of time it takes to get a plant up-and-running, by which time this fervor would have subsided?
I largely agree with the comments that were stated above, and it seems like there is a consistent question regarding not fully understanding why an aerospace manufacturer like Bombardier would choose to manufacture its jets in Canada rather than the United States. As we learned in the Fuyao case, there are more often than not many overriding factors regarding cost inputs, service assurance, and quality that trump governmental regulation when firms consider moving manufacturing to the same region as the final destination to which the product will be delivered to the buyer. Of course, a government affairs group is necessary for any large multi-national organization to cement its ties with governments worldwide, but the long-term strategy of the organization should not hinge on the short-term political whims of the time.
The point that you bring up regarding the perceived unfairness of a 2-tier system is certainly one that has the potential to be a public relations nightmare for Chubb. As a way of combatting this negative perception while also actively taking steps to reduce risk would be to incentivize not only customers but whole communities to mobilize and take the action necessary to reduce the wildfire risk. Essentially, Chubb would need to be more transparent about its pricing models to make customers/communities understand fully and in detail which levers they can use to reduce risk and thus prices. The onus will need to migrate to the citizens and communities to contract a private firefighting force in this example, but that would appropriately shift the responsibility to the customers and would correct the perception problem.
On the topic of customer education, how necessary is it for H&M and other firms to take responsibility for their customers’ behaviors as it concerns their interaction with their products, like laundry and its detrimental effect on climate change? For example, as we consider energy efficiency in residential laundry, large strides have been made in energy-efficient washers, but dryers remain a major problem as they use 81% of energy of the laundry cycle. There are remedies to this like encouraging customers to air dry their clothing or to use front-loading rather than top-loading machines. The question becomes: should H&M factor this consumer laundry cost (and other similar costs) for its products in calculating its carbon footprint when setting its target? Is it sufficient for it to only consider its internal supply chain carbon footprint without considering the footprint impacted by its consumers’ behavior?
I disagree with the point above that the onus is on Mahindra & Mahindra to re-educate or re-allocate the labor most efficiently. It would be unrealistic for the firm to take that on, as I would expect either an efficient labor market or government regulation to take on ownership of a problem of this scale. However, the point still stands that perception is extremely important as it concerns public relations. The best thing that M&M can do is treat the employees with the respect that they deserve while giving generous severance packages and contracting a specialized firm to provide outplacement services for the employees. It is important that the company maintain a respectfully unapologetic external front in case of future needs for lay-offs and for it to do these reorganizations in one fell swoop where possible rather than a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario.
Your last question speaks to an important discussion we had in class related to the IBM Watson case. With your proposal of having Fulfillment Marketing adopt even more automation at an accelerated pace, and the purported inevitability of the whole industry adopting automation, what is to happen to the human capital that was previously used for these blue collar positions? Our IBM Watson discussion centered around white collar responsibilities shifting to prediction/judgement while remaining in-demand. However, in the case of these logistics positions, the physical labor and limited judgement required for those positions makes the threat of automation more salient. While the onus does not need to rest on companies to self-regulate, it seems like the most commonly accepted solution for the problem you are posing is the introduction of a universal basic income. However, is that realistic given the reticence of (specifically in this case) American culture to accept welfare as a reasonable solution to societal ills? (https://theoutline.com/post/1120/ai-and-automation-are-about-to-implode-us-blue-collar-jobs-trump-has-no-plan)