Alex Lee

  • Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 30, 2017, Alex Lee commented on Coca-Cola: Sustainability Visionary or Villain? :

I appreciate that when mitigating risk Coke has been working with the local governments to create contingency plans for their factories. We’ve seen one-to-many cases wherein the company says they do have some “audit committee”, but due to conflicting interests of the intermediaries or asymmetrical power dynamics issues slip through the cracks. Having the governments who should represent the goodwill of their citizens and their lands that has a strong authority in Coke’s ongoing operation is a good party to include in future conversations.

While I do question Coke’s past and their motives, it is undeniable that this work they are committing themselves to replenish and reduce water wastage is a overall positive impact. But now I’m wondering, if they reduced the liter amount per bottle from 2.7 to 1.96, what exactly it is it that I’ve been drinking?? Perhaps ignorance is bliss, but ideally they have not sacrificed on product quality and these new replacement substances do not have any long-term side-effects.

On November 30, 2017, Alex Lee commented on UNIQLO: Digitalization and Supply-Chain Transformation :

I commend UNIQLO’s management for having the foresight to work on increasing their COGS in order to digitize their entire operations and gain a deep understanding of their apparels from creation to point of sale. It is crucial for companies to recognize the changing landscapes surrounding them and proactively re-invent themselves.

I am wary how useful this information may be from a design perspective. Wouldn’t these all be lagging indicators in what the consumer thinks of the existing clothesline? How would this shorten design lead times? What are the consequences of having aggregating all of this data in the hopes of forecasting future trends? Would the products begin to converge to a single style aimed at the common denominator, or would it be able to differentiate based off of consumer segments and/or demographics? Being in the fashion industry, something valuable can be lost by this approach: if you’re trying to appease everybody, you are no longer special to anybody.

On November 30, 2017, Alex Lee commented on LEGO: The missing bricks in their global supply chain? :

While focusing efforts on China make sense due to the large growth opportunity there, I wonder if about the backlash it may receive upon opening a factory there. You stated that Lego leveraged the fact that they did not manufacture there as a key differentiator to their consumers. Will the markets be more perceptive of this shift even though the most recent political talks have been to move towards protectionism?

I agree with Lego’s overall approach of patiently waiting to see the results before making moves regarding the myriad of possibilities of the future of NAFTA. Building a back-up factory in the US as a contingency plan seems far too costly; I doubt there is sufficient demand in the US market to fully justify another factory at this moment in time.

On November 30, 2017, Alex Lee commented on Walmart: Managing Food Safety through the Internet of Things :

Interesting topic! The battle into the consumer’s household is going to be the one of the next big frontiers for technology.For the long-term, I don’t believe there would be too much issues on getting buy-in from consumers or suppliers. You can offer suppliers increased customer loyalty and steady demand by hooking up consumer fridge’s to replenish themselves, and consumers are always looking for ways to spend less time on tasks they find tedious and further make their homes smarter.

I would question how feasible it is for Walmart to establish an IoT standard on this front; other companies such as Google, Amazon, or Apple will bitterly fight on that front which will further complicate the interoperability issues as the number of smart IoT devices proliferate throughout the market. Personally, I believe that a non-profit independent standards committee would be the best idea for this type of work, but understandably the companies will still try to force down their individual ecosystem to the end-user in the hopes of becoming the next big platform.

Even though we can argue whether companies such as Walmart have the corporate responsibility to bring manufacturing jobs back to America, it does make sense to attribute the company’s resources in developing some contingency plans in the event that aggressive isolationist policies do come to fruition.

Even though the majority of people cite low labor costs as the predominate factor of outsourcing, it is important to note that, given the current landscape, America simply does not have the same amount manufacturing expertise compared to countries such as China. I agree with you that Walmart should try to remediate the loss of skill by addressing the large manufacturing gaps in the education pipeline.

On November 30, 2017, Alex Lee commented on Diesel Gate: Is VW ready to take on yet another emission challenge? :

Very great points you put forward. It’s interesting to note how the current share price (178.10 euros) is still struggling to reach it’s previous maximum (253.20 euros on Apr 2015) contrasting the overall direction of the market during this same time period.

I wonder what else Volkswagen could possible try doing in this situation to re-gain consumer trust given their elastic product? Their long-term plans to move their product mix to electric would work, but that doesn’t address the overwhelmingly negative sentiment they are currently facing in the day-to-day. In the short-term, it seems most of the work has been to disperse risks through the supply-side, and I agree that they should have doubled-down on renouncing their former actions to a higher degree and increasing transparency on the consumer side of things.