Carolina Perry

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On December 1, 2017, Carolina Perry commented on Associated British Foods: Mmmmm…Brexit :

Dan, thank for this article, I had no idea that ABF owned such a different business as Primark. The latest is my main topic of discussion.

Primark customer promise is medium quality articles (clothes, shoes, home decorations, etc) for a very low price. Primark current competitors are not Zara or H&M because they are definitely more expensive. However, Brexit may significantly increase Primark’s products, given the hit on the exchange rate and potential tariffs as you mentioned. Given that Primark is owned by ABF, can they leverage this fact and increase the competitive advantage over other brands, if a special deal with the British Government is achieved? Since Primark is sourcing most of their supply from outside the EU, as you mentioned, it can reinforce its competitive advantage to brands like Zara (that have higher productions in Europe). [1]

If this agreement is not good enough, I would spin-off the business to an EU country or to the US. In this scenario, the prices of all the major clothes companies would increase in a similar way – maintaining the price differential in the UK while protecting all the other markets. Additionally, there are several countries willing to receive all the companies that are leaving the UK and offering incredible trade conditions, which could offset some disruptions that a change in headquarter’s country could bring.

Finally, and answering to your concerns with Government lobbying, I think that what companies are doing now doesn’t count as lobbying. As the UK decided to leave the EU, it must negotiate all the trade agreements and it is fair for companies to talk to the Government to better understand their options and decide on their future.

[1] The Economist (2005, June 16) “The future of fast fashion”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017

Yash, I really liked that you brought up the Jaguar example, since it is such a proud British company but that is now bearing the costs of its nationality. The geographic dispersion is one of the most puzzling questions for me, particularly: UK costs versus changing locations and expansion plans.

First, as I was reading the Jaguar’s plans and your suggestions, my major concern was related to the geographic dispersion that Jaguar was creating. As we have seen in several cases, it is extremely difficult to manage different geographies and cultures. Do you know, by any change, if Jaguar team has the necessary competences and capabilities to lead such worldwide operations? Are the costs of building these capabilities and enter a new culture lower than the import and export tariffs? (e.g. Volskwagen faced a 6-day strike in their Slovakia plant this year).[1]

Second, I have a couple of questions regarding the expansion plans (both Jaguar and the one you proposed). Your proposal to create an innovation hub in California seems a good idea to fight potential talent loss – and other automotive companies have done similar moves, as it is the case of Volkswagen. However, what is the risk of losing the brand identity (particularly for Jaguar, that has a strong brand image and positioning), if building the development unit outside the UK? Should this unit have the full product development process or share it with a team in the UK? Finally, these companies move to countries like Slovakia because of its great impact in the countries’ economy – that is a lobbying force with local governments. Did Jaguar account for that when choosing Slovakia? Wouldn’t be a great period to “play the same game” with the British Government, as Bentley is doing? [2]

[1] Reuters (2017, June 20) “VW’s Slovak workers strike over pay, halt production lines”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

[2] Reuters (2017, May 15) “UK says Brexit talks with Bentley Motors must remain confidential”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

On December 1, 2017, Carolina Perry commented on Shell’s Evolution from Oil and Gas to Energy :

Danny, this is an amazing topic! When I first read that you were writing about Shell, I immediately thought that climate change most likely was not affecting their production directly but creating an enormous pressure to shift their operations to more cleaner energies. Thank you for bringing this lens!

I really like the challenge that you propose to shift Shell business model towards clean energy sources (like solar or wind). However, this seems a disruptive change and it is not so clear how Shell should do. Should Shell gradually end the oil production and start building competencies in clean energy? Does Shell have time, or is it urgent to start serious change today?

My proposal for Shell would be to gradually shut down their oil operations and to quickly change gears to the clean energies. There are two main reasons for this urgency, in my opinion. First, as oil prices are going down, Shell is focusing their efforts in being more efficient. However, the economy is expected to no longer be fueled by oil in a very near future, given mega trends as electric transportation – 2/3 of US oil consumption is for transportation. [1] I feel that Shell is jeopardizing valuable resources in a dead end. The second reason is because of the quick increase in competition for clean energies. Companies like Tesla are now building all the relevant competences for clean energy – Elon Musk only took 100 days to build the most powerful battery in the world, used to store renewable energy.[2]

As you mentioned, Shell possesses valuable expertise. However, given the fast pace of technological development in clean energy, I would bet not for long.

[1] The Economist (2017, August 12) “The death of the internal combustion engine”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

[2] The New York Times (2017, Nov 30) “Australia Powers Up the World’s Biggest Battery — Courtesy of Elon Musk”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

M, thank you so much for sharing the great impact of climate change. As you mentioned, Portugal had one of the most horrifying fires of its history and most of its territory is now in extreme drought, so this is a particularly interesting topic for me. Also, as a wine producer country, several Portuguese wine brands are facing similar challenges.

I really like some of the suggestion you presented. Particularly, you mentioned irrigation, which I feel is more and more crucial given the volatility the weather is experience – and crucial to reduce the risk of fires, as the soil tends to be humid.

Second, given that location is key for the production (and branding), looking for different locals may be challenging. So, as you mentioned, creating water storage compartments are crucial to water the fields that Fetzer Vineyards owns. However, in an extreme scenario, I would challenge Fetzer Vineyards to look for new locations, leveraging their operational and industry expertise, and brand.

Finally, I would propose that Fetzer Vineyards would foster digital analysis of how the different factors affect the vineyard growth and how can they be optimized. Other agriculture companies are embarking in these studies, as it is the case of HMG, a portuguese olive oil company that is partnering with several research units to study the impact of water, temperature and fertilizers in their production. [1] This is done, for example, by mapping the plant water consumption during the day, discovering the optimal water quantity and watering period, and by understanding how the water is affecting the plant’s growth.

[1] Herdade Maria da Guarda (2017, October 2017). Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

On December 1, 2017, Carolina Perry commented on Supply Chain Management – A Matter of Life and Death :

Professor Emeritus, this is a great initiative from Bringham and Women’s Hospital. Several providers (hospitals) around the world are working towards the development of an outcome-based valuation approach that allows a better allocation of resources towards.

The concern you bring about the costs versus benefits of the value based approach is a common issue among hospitals. Hospitals around the world are now taking the first but there is already significant evidence of success. Karolynska Institute, in Sweden, is a good implementation example, with proven better outcomes and cost savings.

To ensure that BWH follows the same success path as other providers, it is crucial to ensure BMH is 1) measuring the right metrics and 2) have the appropriate digital and organizational capabilities. Given the level of disruption that this new approach brings, I would recommend BMH to engage with ICHOM, a non-profit organization focused on defining standard sets and measure outcomes.[1]

These disruptive transformations are not easy and affect patients, physicians, and all support teams. Given that, it is crucial to ensure that BWH has the best process possible.

[1] ICHOM, “How to measure”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

On December 1, 2017, Carolina Perry commented on Scan that drug! :

Chris, thank you for such an interesting and valuable blog post. Addressing your question regarding the integration of the international drug supply chain’s data, I would say that TraceLink should definitely be concerned – due to regulation constraints (access hurdle) and lack of digital capabilities (lack of tools/data hurdle).

First, regulation varies significantly across countries. Even in Europe, where one would expect to have one single regulation, that is not the case – both European and local laws apply. [1] The regulatory burden is a significant hurdle to the international integration. Additionally, given that this is a problem only affecting the US for now, several challenges may arise to convince countries to share their own EMR (given the sensitive nature of the data and the lack of incentives to do it).

Second, countries are still struggling with health digital capabilities and integration of data – even looking to the most developed countries. [2] If this is the case in developed countries, I feel that is fair to say that the situation is even more challenging in developing countries.
One potential solution may be to look for third parties support (e.g. industry associations) to support with local regulations, advocate for healthcare digital capabilities and offer financing to local governments. Additionally, TraceLink should start partnering with countries with higher penetration of EMR (e.g. UK, Sweden), that could work as proof of concept. [3]

Countries may be open to integrate their health data, but such a supply chain disruption requires incentives and examples of success.

[1] European Patient Forum, “The new EU Regulation on the protection of personal
data: what does it mean for patients?”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

[2] EFPIA (2017, July 20), “Building the European health data eco-system”. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.

[3] Primary Care Physicians’ Use of Electronic Medical Records, 2015. Retrieved from:, accessed on November 2017.