Ana Cristina Gadala
Interesting article on the challenges posed by protectionist government measures, and the paradox this creates with globalization. 3D printing seems like an innovative and effective solution, and demonstrates the power of technology to overcome some of these measures. I wonder whether automation into supply chains and increased data visibility will have any impact on where companies source from, potentially even encouraging local manufacturing. As we enter into a world led by digitization, automation, and big data, there will be more pressure for companies to reduce costs and become more competitive, therefore introducing a whole new set of challenges. It is interesting to think about the motivations behind government regulations, and how those will change as the manufacturing process itself changes.
Great read on the effects of governments on manufacturing, and how companies can address regulatory changes term-by-term. The tricky part about tariffs is that they are intended to have significant impact on supply chain decisions and sourcing, but four years later a new administration can incentivize in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is crucial for Ford (and other companies like Ford) to keep their business objectives clear and focus on what makes sense for them, and what they believe the future is going to look like. I agree with your first recommendation on focusing on long-term versus short-term, but I also wonder if US manufacturing is becoming more competitive as it seeks to reduce its own costs and moves towards digitization. As these trends advance and manufacturing processes become more automated, is there potentially a future where such a large discrepancy in costs does no longer exist?
Interesting read on the future of truck driving and how it addresses the trend of digitization in the supply chain. I think there is a huge potential for enhanced efficiency in the supply chain as we incorporate autonomous vehicles, particularly as it relates to trucks and shipping. There is currently a short supply of truckers and furthermore, restrictions on how long truckers can drive for (due to health and legal reasons), both of which will be addressed with the incorporation of self-driving trucks. Not only will utilization increase, but once the technology is well-tested, it could have significant implications for safety reasons as well (no human error, no lives at risk, etc.). I’m excited to see where this trend goes and to see how it impacts across industries.
Great read on how climate change is pressuring the automotive industry. I think BMW definitely needs to be proactive in addressing this issue, particularly given the recent scandals and the growing desire from customers for high sustainability standards. In thinking about the supply chain, I wonder whether there are other areas where BMW can improve in becoming more environmentally-friendly. If they were to become more vertically integrated, for example, could they have more control on some of the practices and processes implemented across the chain? To your point on electric vehicles, if that is not a sustainable solution for the industry, what role does technology play in combating climate change? I imagine there are ways to reduce emissions via more technological solutions, potentially even disrupting the way cars are produced. Will be interesting to follow this trend in the next few years.
It’s interesting to think about Starbucks as both a contributor and a victim of climate change. As a key player in the industry, it seems that they hold a high responsibility to do their sourcing responsibly, and help coffee growers to fight climate change. It makes me wonder whether Starbucks could vertically integrate their supply chain and have a bigger impact from the development of the coffee bean to how it is grown, to establish more sustainable practices. It seems that collaborating with other players in the industry, as you suggest potentially the government, could be another way to establish better regulations around the topic.I also wonder whether they are doing enough at the store level – how are they managing waste? Are their in-store practices eco-friendly?
Thanks for the interesting read!