Thank you for this very enlightening article – especially the three recommendations you proposed in the article: the current measures taken by Nestle do not help address the fundamental issues, while your suggestions can help the company tackle the challenge head-on. In particular, I love your idea about converting non-portable water into portable water. With more adoption of the innovative technology mentioned in your post, water, which is currently a limited resource, can be reused and become more abundant. With more investment and advancement of such technology, the cost of recycling and reusing water can – hopefully – be lower than the cost of extracting more water; and therefore, more companies may be incentivized to adopt such technology to further help protect our limited water supply. (Reference: http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/23/living/newater-singapore/index.html)
I am also curious to see how Nestle plans to react to the trend that more companies are now selling water bottles – such as Swell – to encourage less consumption of bottled water.
It is very interesting to learn more about how one of the major players in the automobile industry is trying to respond to challenges posed by climate changes. As the leader that started the modern mass production, Ford may once again establish their competitive advantage by improving the fuel economy of their fleets – not just as a response to regulatory requirement but also as a way to answer to changing consumers’ preference.
I agree with you that Ford should first focus on their development on few models and improve the fuel efficiency of these models. The lessons learnt can then be transferred to other models to other Ford models that continue to have strong market demand. I think a JV with another energy firm – such as startups that specialize on clean energy – can be helpful in quickly advancing the clean technology for Ford, since some of these tech start-ups can be cheaper acquisition targets.
Given the low gas prices currently, Ford should incentivize consumers to switch to the new models of fleets with other features. For instance, Tesla electric cars lead not only with its innovative clean technology but also other features, such as the self-driving technology.
I am particularly worried about your suggestion to reduce production of Ford’s large models, because the demand for larger car models seem to stay strong (reference: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/tesla-future-of-driving/523224/). Instead of cutting the larger, heavier models, Ford should think of innovative ways to improve the fuel efficiency of these models as well.
You suggestion to improve their current operational efficiency is the most beneficial – even in the absence of changes in the NAFTA – in the short term and long term. For instance, the company can look into innovative ways to increase the production and lengthen the preservation time of strawberries.
In the event that the US exists NAFTA, passing the increased cost onto consumers can be a viable short-term solution. To understand the consumers’ reaction to the increase in price, a study price elasticity of demand would be helpful to understand ways to minimize the impact on sales. Furthermore, the company may also benefit by diversifying their growing regions – for instance, by expanding their production in the southeast United States – as a contingency plan.
This post is especially interesting as supply chain decisions are not just based on changes driven by consumers and suppliers. In this case, the driving force is well beyond the control of individual companies – regulations and government policies. As the policy changes are still under development, it’s important for large companies like Goodyear to plan ahead to gain competitive advantage. For instance, if Goodyear is slower at entering a new market, costs at some of these smaller overseas markets may be higher. Given this industry is facing increasing isolationism, Goodyear should leverage their global presence in different regions and continue to meet their regional demand with the most cost-effective production plants.
Given the various challenges faced by the QSR segment now, it’s very interesting to see how Shake Shack is adapting with more ditigalization. In fact, I am surprised that Shake Shack only started having its own app recently, given that millennials represent a large portion of their customers.
I am especially a big fan of the app which allows consumers to order ahead of time. (In)famous for its long waiting time, Shake Shack will benefit greatly from this feature. This feature not only allows Shake Shack to plan their production better – with more order information known ahead of time – but also greatly reduces consumers’ wait time and uncertainty once they place their order. To take this function even further, Shake Shack may also have the opportunity to smooth out their demand, by encouraging consumers to place or pick up their orders during off-peak hours.
However, I believe they should definitely keep their “Hospitality Champs” to answer any consumers’ questions and stay personable. After all, the value of any hospitality chain is not just the food that they are churning out, and there is also value in customer interaction when appropriate.
It’s very interesting to see how SOEs in China – typically the least innovative companies – are responding to the changes in the market by leveraging digitalization. I definitely agree with you that the close association with the government and regulatory bodies can give them great advantages in gaining favorable policies.
However, I think that other two groups of stakeholders are equally important in pushing Haier’s strategy further – the distributors and the consumers. Firstly, the distributors – especially the offline distributors – do not seem to have much incentive in collaborating and helping Haier in pursuing the SCM changes. Moreover, these distributors may lack the capability to promote such changes. Therefore, Haier, with no direct link to the consumers, may have an even bigger challenge pushing its changes to consumers.
Therefore, I am curious to see how Haier will bring their distributors and consumers on board with its new SCM strategy.