Thank you for wonderful post. To keep up with today’s harsh reality in competitive low cost retailer, I believe Target has to be active in the journey to disrupt its operation model. Its business model has been to be a chip chick luster which has been fading for the past several years with the rise of many giants such as Amazon who is arguably at the forefront of digital revolution. In my opinion, Target in the future should focus even more on integrate technology into its supply chain operations, specifically logistics and inventory management. You have mentioned RFID in your post and I agree that they should quickly fine-tune this system and roll out to achieve even better cost management throughout supply chain.
Omnichannel strategy has been a hot topic among many retailers nowadays when digitalization is in the forefront of business development. As one of the biggest retailers in a giant market, embracing this trend is inevitable for Macy’s. I am one of biggest supporter for this move even though I am fully aware of the cons of the move such as high up front investment on infrastructure and staff training. Macy’s was named the Mobile Retailer of the year in 2014 and its share price saw a great gains right after its big success in digital revolution so I strongly believe this is the way to go. In fact, Macy’s has to continously try to stay in leader position of this revolution to really leverage its brick and mortar successful model.
Thank you for your post. This is another great start up idea to build on the trend of car sharing business explosion. I think the reason behind the slow growth of the company could be the customers’ concerns about safety and security. The idea of letting a stranger drive your car around can be foreign if not impossible to so many of us still. Also, many of us own cars not because we need to be on the road all the time but more for the convenience it offers of being able to move around any time we want. Renting out your car means to some extend a limitation to how flexible you can be in driving around. However I believe this business model will work with many other customers who are on a budget and 800$ earnings a month from car leasing means a lot to make them sign the deal. Recently, Toyota decided to hitch up with Getaround which indicates big potential for this business. I strongly trust that partnering up with a big name such as Toyota will make the future of Getaround brighter since Toyota as a big name will very much help when a customer is worried about security when renting their cars. Also, this cooperation serves as a perfect free marketing for Getaround and I believe we will see the company grow much faster in the coming future.
You can find a brief review about this partnership here:
Wow this is such an interesting idea! I believe this mind blowing start-up has a lot of growth potential in the future where everyone of us to some extend suffer from phone or tablet addiction whether directly or indirectly. HBS classrooms, conferences… would be one of the first to embrace this new technology. I agree though that concerts or stand up comedy will not necessarily be consuming target due to the constraints you already pointed out. I also believe that many mobile phone and accessories big players will sooner or later jump into this field and Yondr will hardly survive a buy-out even if it continues its existence.
Great post Rohit!
I believe retail, especially luxury retail is one of biggest potential areas for digital evolution. One it’s because of its customer base who are mostly high income professionals with a great desire to try out new things, so digitalization is a perfect marketing tool. Second, its operation model has a lot of improvement areas in terms of cost effectiveness which makes technological development a sensible move. In your posts, I have got to know many operation changes to embrace digital trends, I am however curious how these moves are linked to their business model?
Sonja I totally agree with your comment. Boeing was one of the first of its industry to fully integrate technology in its product development process which impressed me vastly. And yes the company has been actively invested in research and development specifically in technology development to embrace digital advantages even further. Augmented reality (AR) did not escape the company’s eyes for its substantial benefit. Boeing already looked into how AR can be utilized in its assembly line to enhance its competitiveness. You can find a brief interview with the company in this matter here: http://www.recode.net/2015/6/8/11563374/boeing-says-augmented-reality-can-make-workers-better-faster
Drive Now is such a smart move for a BMW – European company to address European markets in general and other markets where car sharing platforms such as Uber or Lyft have been struggling to penetrate. As far as I am concerned, the business has been very successful in Europe, where in Berlin for example, its fleet of almost 1000 cars got used five to six times a day.  However, I would like to know more about how the company’s plans to achieve growth in US market which is arguably one of the biggest potential market for this type of service. In 2015 BMW had to suspend its business in San Francisco which was the first and only US city that DriveNow operated in due to many problems and one of them being car sharing regulations. Do you think the business model has to be adjusted in this case since what made this business idea great in Europe is not necessarily great in a market saturated with many different car sharing options and platforms?
I strongly support the idea that the main business for Vail will still be its winter business. However I see a potential in investing in other seasonal activities such as family or company group treks where Vail can generate more revenue and use it to support causes and activities that address global warming whether of its own or other groups.
I also think Vail should come together with other alike business to form a big group with a bigger voice to make everyone aware of how we are treating the earth and putting an end to our own race. Many of us have heard of global warming but very few really get to see how it is affecting our lives. Once Vail makes this issue visible and to everyone’s face, I hope it will raise awareness and get people act when they realize how urgent this issue is.
I am very interested in the consequences that climate change has on this specific business since ski resorts are one of the very first business to see the damages caused by human beings’ act of destroying our globe. This issue for sure does not go unnoticed since there are already many posts in the same challenge addressing this business under climate change.
I agree with you Sujay that short term actions for these businesses are to be creative in the way they utilize their unused inventory and be really conservative when forecasting weather condition and thus business demand. Hiring part time staffs during ski season can be another useful response in order to keep the company responsive to immediate climate changes.
In the long run, it is crucial that these business owners group together to raise their concerns. Again, they are one of the first to see how climate change is happening. Many of us don’t. We need more of these voices to motivate government and NGOs to take actions and consumers to put pressures on businesses to fix what’s wrong.
I fully agree with the author that Vail needs to take a more proactive stand in the fight against climate change. Even if the company does not see any interest in this course of actions, climate change consequences actually hurt Vail’s own business at the very first. My recommendations for companies like Vail is to work harder on making their business all-year-round. People nowadays are more educated to come back to nature during their leisure time and this opens a lot of opportunities for such businesses. Shutting down the resort for three quarter of the year in all way drives down the company’s potential revenue. Vail can actually leverage extra gains from business conducted in other seasons to invest into causes and actions that address climate problems and find a way to sustain its business.
The idea of de seasoning orders is a great suggestion which helps push supply chain efficiency and I am 100% up for that. However I must argue that this rule does not apply for just every industry, and chocolate production is one of them. Chocolate is such a seasonal commodity product that it’s almost impossible to even out customer demand throughout the year.  However since this is a traditional food, I would say forecasting the fluctuation of demand here is not that sophisticated. I would actually suggest that Mars invest more on forecasting and fulfillment tools to achieve higher forecast accuracy to drive down supply chain unnecessary costs.
Another complication is the nature of the products, chocolate is not something we can store easily and for a long period of time. Storing cost for chocolate itself is much more expensive than other normal commodities such as chair or table where the products have to be kept under certain conditions such as refrigerated warehouse.
I strongly agree with Shray and Mwd that Mcdonald’s represents the group of companies that heavily contribute to climate change and we need to see more actions from this group. Unfortunately, the business idea behind this group of conglomerate is actually generating values at all cost. Those costs might mean deforestation, GHG emission and resource abuse.
I reserve the right to stay cynical about the promises that Mcdonal’s made. For example, we are now at 2016 and only 13% of their palm oil consumption is deemed “clean”.Yet they made the commitment to reach the 100% goal in 2020?
It will be interesting to watch these companies along their path and see how global NGO and governments go about controlling them.
As a big fan of Chamonix in all four seasons, I am happy to know that they took a conscious decision to push towards this direction. I believe with Chamonix’s pioneering act, other major resorts will be inspired and hence together make a greater impact. “HBS2018” had a good suggestion of developing more indoor activities, however, Chamonix’s strengths lie in its outdoor beauty and stunning nature, and so it is still better to focus on offering a wider array of outdoor entertainment options.