While consumers and business alike are excited about a more connected and “smarter” world, there is a glaring need for the IoT industry to consider how such technologies are rolled out and transparency into data use when it comes to building a trusted relationship with customers. In a recent Gemalto survey, the vast majority of both organizations (96%) and consumers (90%) believe there is a need for IoT security regulations and government oversight. In iRobot’s case, I think the company needs to prove the overall efficacy of Roomba before even exploring the option to shop its data around. After reading several reviews of the Roomba, I took away that people thought it cleaned certain spots well, but it wasn’t very good at mapping areas, missed several spots, and had a tendency to zig-zag on carpets. While room mapping information might be somewhat beneficial for Amazon and Google to make incremental improvements to their respective technologies, I don’t know why they wouldn’t develop it in-house, especially provided the customer reviews on the Roomba. Finally, I don’t believe a leasing option will work either, so long as the consumer is uneasy that potential burglars could purchase data and use it to “case” their homes. Most options that the company has will likely do it more harm than good, and I think the primary focus should be on delivering the best possible products / new models to market.
Despite rising temperatures and the decreasing suitable cultivation area, I believe that CasaLuker is positioning itself well to weather the impending storm. With its R&D facility, cooperatives, technological advancements, and “La Granja Luker”, the company is doing its part to meet international standards and appeal to investors in the midst of a major environmental shift. Also, through its use of the Fino de Aroma cocoa, CasaLuker is also displaying a commitment to quality – a necessary focus area in an industry expecting lower supply. One other suggestion I would make is to diversify into more heat-resistant crops, possibly oil palm and cashew as possible alternatives. I would also further emphasize better shading for cocoa plants, increased research into new varieties of seeds and better prevention of brush fires. Ultimately though, Casa Luker is taking all the necessary steps to protect the business and survive, which is especially important considering how many jobs depend on the sustainability and growth of this industry.
With the digital revolution of the retail industry and increased access to information and marketing technologies, it is of vital importance for companies to focus more on the customer relationship than the products. Simply going digital is the norm across industries nowadays. One way UNIQLO can compete with Zara and H&M is to rethink its business model and leverage technology to reinvent the in-store customer experience. UNIQLO can attract new customers and build brand loyalty through the use of interactive digital displays, touchscreens, digital storefronts, virtual dressing rooms and kiosks to order out-of-stock items. Changes such as these, along with frequent innovation and e-commerce exclusives, will surely spur growth and help Yanai achieve his goal of growing online sales to 30% of the total mix.
Ultimately, I think this more than a product innovation lab and should be rolled out across traditional factories. Since automation and digitization is becoming increasingly common in sneaker manufacturing (Nike using static electricity to make shoes 20x faster than an assembly worker, Under Armour utilizing 3D printing for shoe soles, etc.), differentiation is of utmost importance since this trend of shorter cycles will become the norm across the industry. Adidas can do this by developing the technology to become the fastest, and by keeping the designs in-house and unique to the brand.
By withdrawing from the TPP, the current administration ensured that companies such as Nike will have a more difficult time competing in international markets. The other 11 nations involved in the deal are all granting one another preferential market access, leaving the United States exposed to a number of dangers that are beginning to come to light. If I were Nike, I would highlight the American lobster producers whose prices are being undercut by Canadian producers in the wake of a new Canadian-EU trade agreement. This will show the affects of a nationalistic approach and the threat of many more stories like these under our current administration’s policies. Unilateralism in trade is generally not sustainable, and Nike should leverage its size and voice to show how dire the consequences of it can be.
I think integrating Jet.com with the Walmart supply chain network makes absolute sense given the number of e-commerce deals the company has done recently (Bonobos, Moosejaw, Hayneedle, and ShoeBuy). Most of Walmart’s capital expenditures in 2017 were poured into online sales, and it has increased it efforts in digitization due to the surge in online retail activity. Because of this, Walmart will surely look to grow and expand the “Uniquely J” brand and focus on the high-end millennial consumer. This vertical integration will save on both fixed and inventory holding costs, and should prove to be sustainable in the long-run.