It seems like Tiffany & Co has set ambitious goals for sustainability, but isn’t really “walking the talk” yet, particularly upstream the value chain. In order to have a stronger impact, Tiffany needs to prioritize sustainability beyond its LEED certifications and R&D relocation. A significant budget needs to be properly dedicated to optimizing and innovating in the diamond supply chain in order to remain competitive. One of its direct competitors, DeBeers, announced last May a pilot plan to store carbon dioxide in diamond-bearing rocks to offset carbon emissions (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-anglo-american-debeers-carboncapture/de-beers-pilots-plan-to-store-carbon-dioxide-in-diamond-bearing-rock-idUSKBN18024T). With increase awareness about corporate responsibility amongst customers, Tiffany needs to set up its game if it wants to stay relevant in the diamond industry.
Very interesting read, particularly given how present Exxon has been on the global stage in the last year. When President Trump was still considering pulling out of the Paris agreement, Exxon and many other oil and gas industry players advocated for remaining in the agreement (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-31/exxon-conoco-back-paris-climate-deal-as-trump-weighs-pact-exit). An ironic 180 degree twist given the #Exxonknew scandal.
Exxon has admirably re-thought their supply chain and refinement process to adapt to natural hazards and disruptions. However, one can wonder: how long will their operating model remain relevant? Is there a natural expiration date to the oil and gas industry? If so, how much time does the SCAA buy them?
I overwhelmingly agree with your assessment that protectionist policies are hurting Boeing, and energizing their competitors. One more addition to the growing list of consequences following the tariffs: in addition to affecting 80% of the domestic economy, the civilian aircraft industry is deeply rooted in foreign economies as well. OEMs such as Boeing and Bombardier employ thousands of workers abroad. As a result of the tariffs and implications on the plants supplying Bombardier, governments in the UK and Canada have threatened to dismantle the military contracts they have with Boeing as a sign of retaliation for the OEM’s protectionist response (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/27/theresa-may-threatens-us-withtrade-war-bombardier-row/). With that in mind, Boeing’s outsourcing strategy is at risk: Can they still rely on their global supply chain when they’re on the bad side of many foreign governments? Will a change in administration affect their current protectionist policy?
Although a speedy resolution and favorable outcome for Brexit is possible, it is far from likely. In order to de-incentivize other countries from leaving the EU, it is difficult to imagine European countries setting friendly trade deals (https://www.economist.com/news/britain/21695544-it-would-be-hard-britain-negotiate-good-trade-deals-post-brexit-unfavourable-trade-winds): waiting for the Brexit resolution is risky. Thus, Nissan should be proactively re-designing its supply chain in the short term to accommodate realistic (and perhaps worst case) scenarios, in addition to lobbying governments and hoping for the best. How can they do so? Nissan leaders should focus on creating agility within their supply chain, and prioritizing cost efficiencies to protect margins from future potential tariffs, and avoid passing them to the customers. In gaining in agility, Nissan will shield itself from future geopolitical instabilities (https://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2017/04/17/how-companies-should-prepare-for-brexit/).
Nordstrom is very active in bringing digitalization into the brick and mortar business, particularly with the rise of e-commerce. However, in investing in new technologies, the retailer is moving away from traditional stores and in person customer service. Although that strategy is in line with their goal of targeting more millennials (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nordstrom-target-customers-140545216.html), one can wonder if they are alienating another customer segment that prefers in person service, and has been shopping at Nordstrom for decades. Should they decide to continue serving both types of customers, it should consider reviewing its spend allocation to also invest in maintaining and improving its in-store customer service.
Amazon has indeed been moving at the speed of light in terms of supply chain innovation- a fact that has left many of its competitors (and even those who never thought they’d be competing with Amazon one day) worried about a potential monopoly in the B2C space : in a report from October 2017, McKinsey sees the banks of the future at the center of the consumer ecosystem, placing them in direct competition with Amazon and its likes (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/remaking-the-bank-for-an-ecosystem-world). Are fears of Amazon justified? It depends on how penetrated Amazon is in each market. In countries where Amazon has high penetration (i.e., the US), it is difficult to see an incumbent player threaten the customer ecosystem. However, in countries where Amazon is not as present today, there is an opportunity for local players to collect proprietary data, build data infrastructures, and become more entrenched in its customer lives (for example, Tenscent’s WeChat in Asia).