A very interesting look at Colgate’s admirable efforts to reduce their carbon footprint/ use of water.
You raise an interesting question about the scope of Colgate’s responsibility with regard to their suppliers. Arguably, if Colgate wants to make any real difference, it has a duty to hold their suppliers to high standards, forcing changes in their production processes.
If companies with such large purchasing power don’t act, I struggle to see who will. After all, few consumers have enough disposable income to always make planet friendly choices, sustainable goods frequently have a higher price point, and the current US President is seemingly disinterested, as demonstrated from his withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
In sharing best practices with competitors, I wonder if Colgate can protect it’s competitive advantage by instilling care for the environment within the Colgate culture (e.g. Toyota willingness to share given it’s so hard to replicate)?
Nestle’s leadership in sustainability is seemingly admirable it’s important to remember quite how damaged Nestle’s reputation is/ was, starting with controversies around their baby milk in 1977 and followed with numerous protests and boycotts. They were/are arguably one of the most hated companies in the world. Nestle’s leadership in the fight against climate change is essential to re-establish Nestle’s credibility and image with consumers.
Does it matter if these efforts are merely a PR exercise or is the motivation for change irrelevant so long as the results benefit the planet?
Is Nestle committed to making ‘real’ change or merely creating a glossy ‘green’ surface to improve consumer perception?
Despite the very valid concerns you express around privacy/ security and the cost of IoT technology that could quickly become obsolete, the introduction of IoT technolgy to optimise fleet management in the Coca Cola supply chain seems like a no regrets move to me. Not only could such technology help Coca Cola to reduce distribution costs (further optimising routes) but it will also help Coca Cola to reduce the maintenance costs within a supply chain. Using the IoT vehicle data they could ensure no truck breakdowns by performing preventative maintenance, increasing the reliability and costs within their supply chain (assuming the costs of any breakdowns is far higher than the maintenance), owing to late deliveries etc.
Furthermore, your idea of proven centralized pilots of such technologies should help Coca Cola to get their minority owned bottlers to buy-in.
Ultimately, if Bombardier aims to be a big scale player of aeroplanes to international airlines, they have to supply the US market and, as you suggest, establishing some production facilities in the US could act as a hedge to political risk. However, I wonder if there’s another solution to this issue. Could airlines such as Delta work with Bombardier as a supplier to lobby the government and point to a loss of competitiveness for US airlines because of an inability to procure suitable small planes? Can big businesses sufficiently influence an isolationist President to protect their supply chains?
Are there any other actions Bombardier and Airbus can take to overcome Boeing’s defensive actions?
A really interesting essay. For me it posed a couple of questions:
1. Would it really be profitable to set up local production facilities in China to produce movies suited to Chinese tastes? Do enough other markets have similar tastes to generate enough export revenues to cover the high production costs? After all, Chinese consumers are sophisticated and these will be movies with a high production value.
2. If no, I think the co-production model is a sensible way to cater for the Chinese market. Admittedly, it doesn’t maximise profits but WBs also significantly reduces their own risk and footprint in China, which would be beneficial should trade between the two countries come under pressure.
3. Finally, this article raises an interesting question on adapting US films to suit the tastes of Chinese consumers/ government. Is this censorship or is it simply smart commercialization by the US movie studios?
AEO is clearly using digitization well to enhance the customer experience (reduced delivery times, enhanced availability, reserved items to try on etc). Do you know if they are effectively leveraging digitization with their suppliers to reduce inventory holding costs and waste?You could imagine a world where using interactions with customers (e.g. via social media and by tracking in store/ online behaivor) and data from across the supply chain, AEO could significantly reduce inventories and move to near JIT production (recognizing the need for end customer inventory in store); refilling sizes/ colours/ designs depending on how well they are selling.