Thanks for sharing this article! When I think of UPS, and when I compare it to postal services in developing economies, I see the company as trustworthy, reliable, and as a trusted partner not only between businesses and their end consumers, but also as an intermediary of B2B companies that cater to the SME space.
In this age of isolationism, I believe that UPS can do a lot more to grow internationally, not only because of it’s image as a trusted partner, but also because it might require less investment in “long-haul” infrastructure, since distances in Asian (ex China) and Latin American countries are much shorter than in the US. Furthermore, UPS’ services could help boost growth in new geographies that have historically been isolated given their poor postal services and infrastructure.
The increased tariffs that the Trump Administration is seeking to impose on foreign goods are in action, very difficult to impose given that it is likely that end consumers will face higher prices given that goods produced in the U.S. are on average more expensive than their foreign competitors. While these regulatory changes shake up and in order to mitigate the effects, Samsung can look to relocate production from the US to lower cost areas such as my hometown of Juárez, a city along the Mexico-US border that already houses operations for players such as LG, Foxconn, HP, Dell, and others. Additionally, the company can seek to partner with or acquire players in low cost locations to house “high value” operations.
I’m yet another one who didn’t know that H&M had a focus on sustainability, and I find some similarities to what we saw in class with IKEA. However, the issues I see with a player like H&M in achieving sustainability targets, is that unlike the IKEA case, H&M is not large enough to wield power on its suppliers to push quality controls and sustainable practices. Furthermore, H&M faces fierce competition that might gain market share if H&M raises prices as a result of sustainable raw material sourcing.
However, I do see hope for H&M, and I believe it can use its sustainability focus as a differentiator in the space. Instead of silently rolling out changes and pursuing supply chain changes in an “IKEA fashion”, H&M can be more outspoken and launch a “sustainable clothing line” that will allow it to experiment and gain insight into customer base reactions.
I was surprised to read that since the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon has decreased the number of local goods offered. However, after reflecting, it makes sense for Amazon to do this, and focus on large brands in order to produce scale and exert more power over those companies that distribute through it. With this in mind, I believe that the cycle repeats itself, with local players retaining their niche, while large players (aka Amazon) expand their presence.
Meanwhile, retailers are likely to retain their “brick and mortar” dominance in the short term. I say this as adoption of the technologically driven “Amazon Go” model is likely to take time, as has shopping on mobile phones or even shopping online. However, as adoption increases, legacy brick and mortar retail will have to focus on retaining trust and offering quality customer service to compete with the likes of Amazon.
Reading your note makes me hopeful about the adoption of blockchain technology across industries. Although I agree that this is a great opportunity for Walmart, I see a greater opportunity for the food industry as a whole in the form of standard setting, trackability, and potential quality control and contract enforcement (through the use of smart contracts). With that said, it is possible that Walmart can create its own distributed ledger, but its adoption might not be wide-spread due to technological limitations and distrust from players along the value chain. In order for blockchain to succeed and produce the largest amount of efficiencies, the food industry (and not only Walmart), will have to work together or with a trusted partner (e.g., IBM, Hyperledger, etc.) to establish a network that can set standards and use cases for the ledger.