I think the answer to the first question you raised derives from the second question’s answer. Most companies have to invest in the success of their core business and have tight budgets to invest in systems that support the main business. In this case, it would be more efficient for Ferrero to invest in an external procurement platform rather than developing it in-house. SAP Ariba works with numerous customers creating a product that aggregates many different needs and requirements. Ferrero can enjoy a more comprehensive product that might include features that Ferrero wouldn’t have thought of on its own. There is no doubt that all companies should move to the use of a centralized automated procurement system to enable them to save cost and increase effectiveness.
After reading this article I am disturbed by two things: one, the fact that it’s too late at night for me to get a smoothie and two, the effect that Brexit will have on global companies that are located in the UK. Although the UK will be negotiating the terms of Brexit with the EU, I don’t think the companies themselves can sit and wait for the results. In Innocent’s case, they are lucky to have Coca Cola stand behind them but this is not the case for many other small and medium consumer goods businesses. In my opinion, the risk of uncertainty is too high and I think they should incorporate a new company, and not in a form of a ‘pop-up’, in one of the other EU countries in order to take advantage of all existing long-term contracts with suppliers and existing partnerships with distributors. The uncertainty will affect Innocent’s confidence in getting into new long-term agreements with suppliers and distributors and this will harm its business.
Very interesting read! Patagonia has been a pioneer in the sustainability arena and one of its great marketing campaign from 2011 “Don’t Buy this Jacket” which emphasized the company’s environmental initiatives. Having said that, I do think there is more that can be done. One of the points you brought up in the article was relocating some of the factories to south America in order to be geographically closer to North America. This will indeed enable to cut down on emitted carbon dioxide but there are other factors to take into account such as availability of resources and human labor policies in the country.
Another option would be to incentivize people to return used clothes when buying new ones – whether by receiving a discount a new product or even being part of a social sustainability loyalty program. Although many people donate or hand down their clothes, there are some who don’t and prefer to know that these clothes will be recycled.
As a very passionate person about healthcare, I researched the area of digitalization of the supply chains in hospitals and specifically in the Boston Children’s Hospital. With the advancements in technology, the dilemma does not need to be between overstocking inventories and putting patients at risk but rather which just in time inventory management system to implement in the hospital. This will enable the hospital to provide more customized services and products.
I do agree with you that 3D printing should be used to replace parts of the supply chain especially to enable customization of products that can enable a more comprehensive patient treatment. Internal 3D printing can pose a threat on the relationship between the hospitals, suppliers and distributors. I believe that it is the distributors’ interest to influence the advancements in the supply chain in order to be left in the game. Hospitals will be able to manage their levels of inventory and quality of products – maximizing efficiency and costs.
The statistics presented by LEGO should inspire other companies to aim to achieve higher use of renewable energy. The resources allocated to comply with a more sustainable supply chain are evidence to how important it is for LEGO to stay true to its Danish roots. LEGO characterizes its customers as the ‘builders of tomorrow’ and in my opinion, its high capital investment in sustainability motivates these customers to also give attention to sustainability in the future.
Your idea of LEGO building a non-profit consulting is too ambitious in my opinion. I would more likely see LEGO as a beacon guiding other manufacturers in regard to ways they can implement to reduce CO2 emission. At the end of the day, LEGO has additional responsibilities to children, stakeholders, society and the environment such as upholding highest ethical business ethics with respect to labor rights and children’s safety and I think all together it is managing a good balance between them all.
Amazing read! Thank you for sharing with us such an important topic. As an international student, I strongly relate to what you have written. As you’ve mentioned, this is a two-way street – spreading alumni overseas but also maintaining international alumni within the United States. I am lucky enough to have a dual-citizenship and not to worry about a working authorization following graduation but as I watch my friends that are here on student visas I realize the great risk they took in coming to HBS. Unfortunately, the current government has been imposing many constraints on internationals who would like to stay and work in the US following graduation. This is causing many international prospective students to re-think their desire to join HBS in the future as they do not necessarily see the value of coming to HBS and then returning to their home country. I want to raise another issue – although HBS claims to have 34% international students, the majority is students with dual citizenships that have been living in the United States for most of their life. In order to increase diversity, I believe the number of international students that have spent most of their lives outside the US should be increased to stress the diversity. As mentioned above, the international faculty members should be increased as well. I believe that HBS has its methods to maintain the high quality of its product but even at a cost of affecting the product’s quality it is worthwhile to bring more global experiences and influence into the classroom.