• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 30, 2017, David commented on Protecting Livestock and Profits at Tyson :

A thoughtful read. While Tyson has made great strides in covering its own “carbon footprint” over the past five years, I think they now need to critically focus on their upstream suppliers and down stream customers. Instead of recommending/monitoring supplier best practices, they should have enforced guidelines and standard targets that all suppliers need to abide by in order to sell cattle to Tyson. Given Tyson’s scale, buying power in the market, and fragmented supplier base, I think they have the leverage to enforce some of these capital intensive initiatives. Additionally, Tyson should focus on the environmental-conscious practices of their meat purchasers (wholesalers/retailers). Again leveraging their scale could instigate major changes. Despite all of Tyson’s great work, climate change prevention can only be a reality if eco-friendly measures are adopted across the entire supply chain.

Nice article. While elimination of NAFTA could have drastic impacts on Nemak’s long-term future, I do think that the impact could be softened in the near term by a potential supply glut. It would take a long time for competitors to build replacement component factories in the US, so if OEMs are not able to source cheaper components domestically at a pace that matches consumer demand, Nemak would still be the optimal international vendor of choice given it’s proximity to Detroit. I do agree that the best defensive mechanism is to be the vendor of choice for hybrid and electric vehicle components. Consumer demand for these automobiles anticipated to rise to 25% of all auto purchases by 2025*, which could be a significant advantage for Nemak if they build out the competencies now for building these components.

*http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/technology-driving-innovation/cars-2025/, accessed 11/30/17


Good read. I think there are a number of additional hardware options that SM could pursue, a notable one being set-top box devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc.). These are readily accessible given their size and proximity to entertainment “center” within the home, such as the family room TV. Additionally, these devices have high performance software that has made enjoying streaming video services such as Netflix and HBO and convenient and hassle free option to entertainment. Streaming music through these devices would likely require an SM app downloaded from the device software store (ex: the App store on the Apple TV). This could require SM to contract specifically with these set up box creators for access, but I think there would be high motivation from the hardware producers given SM’s offers a niche content offering of K-pop content.

Great article. Airbus seems to be caught in a real catch-22: spread out material sourcing and base manufacturing in return for foreign market access, while also feeling pressure to consolidate manufacturing processes to lower costs to compete. However, given Airbus’s fairly wide sourcing platform in Europe, the company should also try to leverage their scale with the EU to negotiate foreign trade and access agreements on their behalf.

I’m not well versed in aircraft sales/distribution, but I do believe that many smaller and regional airlines often purchase aircraft in second-hand markets, which further puts pressure on aircraft manufacturers to maintain existing sales relationships in the presence of increased competition. Airbus & Boeing could eventually be forced to focus increased sales attention to their military and non-civilian aircraft units, in which the products are much more complex and specialized.

Great article!

I agree that AV is the next – and most critical – step for Uber’s growth. Given its cash burn, high driver costs, employment classification/benefits lawsuits, and price war with competitors, removing significant investment in human capital is key to the company’s long-term profitability. AV fleet management also has significant benefits to consumers, notably optimized allocation of vehicle supply to meet demand, leading to shorter cycle times and cheaper prices for riders.

Critical to AV adoption, however, is wide-spread acceptance by passengers, drivers, and law makers. Uber & other AV partners are still silent on how they plan to achieve this likely costly undertaking. Questions such as “how will cars be tested/permitted/monitored?”, “what risks are exposed with a machine instead of a human controlling the vehicle?”, and perhaps most salient, “who is liable & responsible if there’s an accident?” still need to be vetted and understood before we see AV move toward an operational reality.

On November 29, 2017, David commented on Arctic shipping: A new way to capitalize on climate change? :

Great read.

I agree that there are significant cost savings with potential Arctic “short-cut” passages but I also believe that there are important geo-political considerations in play as well. Despite Russia being continually ostracized in the international political community, the country becomes an increasingly important player in international trade with nearly all of the new Europe-Asia arctic trade route bordering the country. I’m not an expert in trade or shipping, but I assume that this could give Russia leverage in trade negotiations and is an important bargaining chip against various US/European sanctions as it could impose higher port fees, passage rights/taxes, etc.

I also like that Maersk is able to find an environmental friendly approach to cost savings (lower variable costs with higher shipping volume). These two variables are often in tension and usually represent a trade off – not complementary – decision for companies.