I join my colleagues in praise of the article – a good job. The ability of the Postal Authority to maintain good relations with the government and receive benefits is the main factor that has maintained the survival of the “national mail service” over the years, despite poor performance and low delivery times (not only in the US).
If UPS will not be able to circumvent the problem described in the article, it is not certain that a national postal service will be required, especially in the long run. In fact, it is very possible that the new restrictions you have described will be the last difficulty to shatter the national authority and bring about a surge of private solutions that are already producing more efficient, faster, and more reliable ways to move items between remote destinations.
Kylie – Great piece. I learned a lot about a topic I wasn’t familiar with.
I’m wondering whether it is true that the government “neglected” the issue of cheap labor, and didn’t understand the difficulties faced by American companies to compete against cheap-labor based companies. I’m not sure the administration just “missed” this, but rather decided to ignore it and prioritize national interests first.
Your essay highlighted an important weakness in our business education: we mostly assume that companies are dealing with financial challenges, and working in an eco-system governed mainly by market forces. However, recently we learn more and more that the macroeconomic factors are actually extremely influential on companies’ performance and growth potential. It is extremely interesting to realize that many times the companies and governments have contradicting interests, in a way that adds more challenges and considerations to the corporate’s strategic choices.
Sam, you did a great job and I learned a lot.
Following Darrin’s comment (and your own closing paragraph), I’m also concerned that the digitalization revolution will not be adopted easily and quickly in the construction industry. It seems that there are many obstacles that might hamper the ability to change and reinvent the supply chain in this traditional market. I guess that above all it will be challenging to convince some of the people to learn “new tricks”, and we should also consider the fact that some of the industry professional learned the profession for many years without gaining any practical experience with these advanced systems. The expectation that they will be able to adapt and acquire new skills “on the move” is a bit too pretentious.
It is interesting to learn and realize that when we think about the “digitization revolution” in our life, we shouldn’t expect that every industry will react in a similar way. As much as the solutions mentioned in this analysis appear advanced and helpful, the “mental leap” that they require from the industry members will force a longer adjustment period.
Doha, great analysis, and very interesting topic! I learned a lot and find the trends you described extremely fascinating.
There is one issue that I was struggling with while reading – we all agree that the digital revolution will reshape the process in a more efficient way and will redesign many of the internal procedures. However, I guess we can also assume that these significant changes will make some of the existing “links” in the chain irrelevant and even unnecessary. I can imagine for example that if P&G will be able to follow the end-costumers trends directly, they will be able to save some the resources (and roles) that are dedicated to collecting this kind of information. We can also think of some planning and strategy function that P&G will be able to save if the process data will be recorded and sent online.
In sum, P&G might not only face a need for significant modification in their supply chain structure but also a need to reinvent their position in this new emerging eco-system.
I really enjoyed reading this and learned quite a lot. I think that this is another case when a strong synergetic combination between art and science is required to solve a problem. It is fascinating to realize the global climate change affects almost every industry and market, including “traditional industries” that probably went through many climate fluctuations over the years. Even though the wineries supply chain was probably designed and developed along many years, it seems that we might face a disruption period in the coming years due to the extreme changes in temperatures and water availability.
I guess that another question that should be addressed concerns the financial aspect – we learned the winegrowers are struggling with decreasing consumers’ willingness to pay high prices for their luxury wines. The new technologies will probably increase the manufacturing expenses and might lead to additional prices increase. Under this scenario, it is reasonable to assume, that even more winegrowers will eventually find themselves out of business due to the changing environment.
Thank you for this interesting essay. I wasn’t aware of this project and didn’t know about Wallmart efforts to reduce emission rates.
Even though every environmental initiative seems important and helpful, I have to admit that I wasn’t extremely impressed by Gigaton project.
We know that retailers measure themselves mainly with numbers. They care mostly about their margins, growth rates and turnovers. I find it hard to believe that under these terms, Wallmart would seriously consider supporting a voluntary project and really expect that it will lead to the desired results.
Wallmart has many leverages over their suppliers – they can demand more, and set rigorous conditions that will achieve better results (and much faster). Their decision to keep this initiative dependant on their supplier goodwill enhances my suspicion that this is mainly a publicity stunt and nothing more.