Bob Bedetti

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Intriguing read, Yash. I agree that globalizing R&D and manufacturing makes logistical and economic sense. I wonder, however, what the impact will be on JLR’s brand and marketing efforts. I worry that JLR’s image in the eyes of British consumers may suffer if the company opens R&D headquarters in Silicon Valley. Conversely, a Silicon Valley innovation center could improve JLR’s brand awareness in the U.S. Either way, I think JLR should be careful that its operations strategy aligns with its competitive strategy.

Like Bettina above, I too wonder how effective Sula can possibly be in mitigating the impact of climate change on their vineyards in India. I agree that geographic expansion – inside or outside of India – seems like a logical strategy to diversify their climate risk.

For improving yields on existing vineyards, I wonder if Sula could experiment with new breeds of grapes that could maintain consistency despite weather fluctuations. Horticulturalists have engineered, for example, cross-breeds of grapes that are hardier in cold weather [1]. Similarly, Sula should continue trying to innovate technology on their vineyards that can protect their grapes from the elements.


On December 1, 2017, Bob Bedetti commented on Fighting Malthus’s Prediction in the New Millennium :

Many astute commenters have raised alternate ways in which climate change has impacted agricultural production, as well as other practical issues that contribute to famine. On a related note, I wonder what other investments the FAO is prioritizing in addition to remediating climate change’s impact on agricultural supply chains. While this post articulates a reasonable case for why the FAO should increase its investment in this field, I’m curious what budget trade-offs such change necessitates. Furthermore, I’d also question, in the short-term, the scalability and value of expanding the mentioned pilot programs.

On December 1, 2017, Bob Bedetti commented on The Future of Logistics at DHL: 3D Printing to Disrupt :

The advancement in 3D printing technology poses an interesting challenge for logistics companies like DHL. It seems DHL has no choice but to diversify their business offerings unless they wish to shrink along with the logistics market.

I’m curious what manufacturer and consumer demand for raw materials shipments is forecast to be with widespread adoption of 3D printing. Although it might be smaller than today, a market for traditional logistics seems necessary regardless of distributed manufacturing technology.

Perhaps DHL can differentiate itself and capture share of the future logistics market by investing in data sharing and security infrastructure. In an age where 3D printing is ubiquitous, IT infrastructure – enabling demand forecasting, product customization, etc. – could be the foundation of the new customer value proposition for logistics companies.

I had heard of consumer packaged goods companies using RFID tracking to gather data on their own supply chains, but never on their consumers. The concept seems economically justifiable for Sundial, and I suspect that the adoption of connected consumer electronics is not more than a few years away from making this solution technically feasible as well. I wonder at what point a critical mass of consumers will be comfortable with sharing this kind of information from their homes.

In the meantime, Sundial should focus on improving the transparency of their supply chain. With a network of 3PLs, distributors, and retailers, an open flow of information is obviously easier said than done. I’m curious how much of the information-sharing is prohibited by cost or IT capabilities compared to just an unwillingness to share data.

In the case of 3DLs or retails who are unwilling to share their logistics and inventory data with Sundial, I’d ask if the resistance is due to privacy or competitive concerns. If I were Sundial, I’d be working right now to convince my retail and logistics partners of the return on investment of information sharing.

On December 1, 2017, Bob Bedetti commented on Adidas Speedfactory: Impossible is Nothing with Automation :

Like you, I’m also curious how the Speedfactory concept will impact other parts of the supply chain (e.g. shipping) and just how scalable this production model is.

Some aspects of the Speedfactory seem feasible and worthwhile to replicate. I’d think that digitizing the design process, for example, should be relatively easy to do at any Adidas factory. Similarly, constructing raw materials in-house can be an effective method for reducing waste and thereby costs (a la Asahi).

On the other hand, flexibility in a complex production facility usually implies a trade-off with unit costs. In that light, I wonder if Speedfactories should ever dominate Adidas’ production capacity. For the near- and medium-term future, I predict the Speedfactory will retain a niche role in Adidas’ supply chain, satisfying small production runs or augmenting production capability for under-supplied SKUs.

On December 1, 2017, Bob Bedetti commented on Ice, Cold Corona – Get it here for a 35% higher price! :

I’m curious how/if this risk has continued to affect Constellation’s stock price, as it has increased more than 40% since the inauguration [1], largely due to higher-than-expected profits on beer sales in the U.S. [2]. I wonder if the impact of potential tariffs is simply outweighed by Constellation’s improving business prospects, as the company has also raised its guidance on next year’s earnings (but not sales) and committed over $1 billion in additional investment in their Mexican beer production operations [2]. Conversely, I wonder if the market is generally assigning a low probability to the passing of higher import taxes. I suspect both of these benefits are occurring, while Constellation’s share price continues to receive bullish recommendations from analysts [3].