Great article, thanks for sharing. I find it interesting how many different ways that Wal-Mart tries to meet the buying behavior of its customer. When it comes to competitors, convenience is in many ways the biggest factor in purchases — and that is different for each product category. For example, people are fine buying non-perishable food items online, but prefer to buy perishables at the store. Likewise, household items are easy to buy online, but most would like to physically look at electronics before purchasing. My prediction is that giants like Wal-Mart will realize that buying behaviors are more dependent on the type of product, and less dependent on the individual consumer, and then respond by primarily carrying items like perishable food and electronics in stores, rather than everything under the sun. Or maybe they will just continue selling to the customer in every which way they can think of – we will see!
Great article, thanks for sharing. I think Amazon is making a great move by building “brick and mortar” for perishables. I don’t think that in-store grocery shopping will ever go away, but we all acknowledge the inconvenience of grocery shopping, specifically for people like busy mothers and dual-income households. The problem that I personally have with grocery delivery is that the inability to select the “best” perishables of the lot makes me feel like I get low quality produce. It sounds like Amazon is trying to address that issue, among others, with these stores. The biggest advantage I see compared to traditional competitors such as Kroger, is the lower fixed costs associated with this model, specifically as we see more e-grocery competitors come on the scene. As a member of a dual-income household with a young child, I look forward to trying out the service!
Great read, thanks for posting! I’ve been a consistent user of Garmin GPS watches since 2008 for both fitness and work (military), and they have been seen as the leader in both of those segments for GPS accuracy and user-friendliness. Even though the competitors caught up to those advantages, Garmin is still the standard GPS device for the infantryman today.
Based on your article, it sounds like Garmin needs to figure out what they can be the best at and then focus their efforts and resources. An approach that tries to address “everything GPS” is too broad with the number of players that have entered the GPS industry in the last few years. I am also shocked by their low R&D expense — my only hope is that the low expense represent a more focused effort on making a few products great rather than many products ‘OK’.
Great article, thanks for sharing. I find it extremely impressive that their QueVision technology led to not only reduced wait times, but also resulted in cost savings. It says a lot about how technology and automation can create create efficiencies for the labor force. Kroger is currently testing two other automated checkout systems: Advantage Checkout, which is able to scan multiple items at once, and also Scan-Bag-Go, which allows customers to scan items as they shop.  Although they are both big investments, the potential benefits in terms of long-term savings and customer satisfaction are significant.
To your point about the perishable “cold chain”, I see this as an opportunity for Kroger. Since one of the biggest issues with grocery delivery services today is the low quality of the perishable items at delivery, I think Kroger could apply its in-store technology for perishables to a delivery fleet for perishables and enter the grocery delivery industry with a significant competitive advantage.
 Retail Leader, “Kroger Tests New Scanning Technology.” http://www.retailleader.com/top-story-tech___logistics-kroger_tests_new_scanning_technology-119.html, accessed November 2016.
Great article, thanks for sharing. I find this technology very interesting. The NFL’s “Next Gen Stats” is quite similar — it has sensors that cover every inch of the field and track tags on players’ pads to determine things like speed, acceleration, etc (http://www.nfl.com/stats/next-gen-stats). I think differentiation is going to be difficult because most improvements in this field are usually quickly replicated by competitors, and the analysis is rarely ground-breaking to coaches at the professional level. I think there may be some ground to gain, however, by marketing this technology at the collegiate level for several reasons. First, it’s common in college for a single stadium to house multiple sports, so one set of sensors could serve many different teams saving money on costs and making it more appealing to the school. Second, the market itself is much larger than the professional sports market. Third, insights and analysis from these stats are likely much more useful to collegiate-level coaches than they are to professionals. I think that the key challenge in this strategy is going to be developing the equipment and technology to make it more cost effective to appeal to a more budget-conscious market.
Great article Brian, thanks for sharing. Dow is definitely in a difficult position due to their dependence on reliance on greenhouse gases. It sounds like Dow is only pursing opportunities that are financially beneficial for the organization in the short-term. However, I think they are missing a key part in their financial assessment: the financial burden on the company if government regulations prevent Dow from operating at current capacity due to their significant CO2 emissions. The losses in sales and immediate investments required to react to even a small restriction in capacity could be debilitating. I agree that their current approach is extremely shortsighted. Investment in R&D with respect to sustainability now will likely result in enormous saving in the future, not to mention a better environment for the rest of us. There is much improvement to be made at Dow — hopefully they can attract the right talent to address these challenges!
Great post. It sounds like AB InBev has identified the biggest affect of their operations on the climate and taken the steps to address it. I would be curious to see more details on how difficult their goal of 3.2 barrels water / barrel of beer was to achieve. Since they easily achieved this goal, are they continue to try to reduce the amount of water used?
Furthermore, I am interested to see if there are any other steps that InBev is taking to address climate change besides water usage. A few possibilities that come to mind are reducing GHG emissions arising from producing, refrigerating, packaging, and delivering. A company this size would likely have a significant impact on the environment at each of these stages, and stands to gain significantly if it can develop a plan to improve them.
Thanks for sharing this article. It sounds like Coca Cola is a little bit hesitant to leverage its size when dealing with its supply chain partners, which I find surprising. Several leaders of other industries, such as Proctor & Gamble and IKEA, have taken a proactive and in some cases a hard-line stance with respect to sustainable supply-chain partners. I would love to see Coca Cola, as one of the most well-known and respected brands in the world, take a similar stance.
Furthermore, I would love to see Coca Cola leverage its name brand to reach out and educate and influence consumers on the effects of climate change as well. Just posting sustainability articles and strategies on their website is too passive an approach for the urgency of the situation, in my opinion. I would love to see more proactive programs that aim to promote sustainability in the consumer. For example, influencing customers’ decision to purchase products that minimize harmful waste (efficient sizes, packaging, etc.). Overall, it sounds like Coca Cola is taking the right steps, but the question is whether or not they are taking them fast enough.
Thanks for posting this! It sounds like Hyatt is making some fairly good strides towards address climate change. One of the aspects that I would love to know more about is how Hyatt is trying to influence the customer’s behavior towards sustainability. I loved your thought about towel-and-linen reuse programs to decrease excessive water and energy usage. A few other things that come to mind are packaging, quantity, and size of shampoo and conditioner bottles at Hyatt Hotels (can they develop more efficient packaging or influence the behavior of usage?); energy use from lights (implement some automatic lights, more natural light, etc.); or influence more efficient use of hot water showers. These are challenging problems because the balance of maintaining their customers while also influencing customers to behave more sustain-ably is fragile. Great article on a interesting company!
Nice article, thanks for sharing. Overall, Unilever seems to be doing a great job within the company. Although you (and Unilever) highlight a few examples of Unilever’s sustainability efforts outside of the company, I remain skeptical that these are exceptions within the organization. Specifically, I would love to dive deeper into their biggest supply chain partnerships and see how they are maintaining a “sustainability promise” — or if they only do so when it is financially convenient. On the consumer end, I would be interested to see the level of effort by Unilever to develop products that encourage more environmentally friendly behaviors. For example, wash detergents that are more effective in cold water. Overall, great article about a company that is an industry leader in climate change.