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On November 20, 2016, e-TOM commented on Can Technology Transform Education? :

This is very true, @student12! The whole school community should be involved and integrated into the platform. I think this should definitely be a next step for AltSchool moving forward.

Very interesting article! I would personally love to be assisted with online services simply due to convenience. However, Digitalization in this sort of product/service – which should basically attend “everybody”, including lower-income customers – presents some challenges. As mentioned, service will be limited by access to smartphones and internet. Another challenge is dealing with older people. As much access as they may have, it is known that they prefer a more personal approach, which in this case, is contrary to the online proposal. I wonder how fast Itau can outcome these challenges posted by the population that does not have access or does not like the online interaction, to incentivize them to migrate to the online banking.
On the other hand, all the cost savings from the initiative (which I would expect to be incremental over time) shoul support investments in both a) creating more access to smarphones/ internet and b) Providing e more personalized service to elderly. In addition, it does seem that Itau is acting fast and becoming the 1st mover to occupy this space, which should definitely help them gain market share and continue to create a strong brand with differentiated services to its clients.

On November 20, 2016, e-TOM commented on Reinventing retail brands with “The Internet of Clothes” :

Thanks for the article!
This seems like a very transformational change in the retail industry. Being able to track each piece of cloth allows great efficiency gains on inventory management and cost reductions. In addition, it opens a new world to database management and direct interaction with consumers to understand purchasing behaviors and influence higher frequency or average expenditure.
My concern is how retailers will be able to use all this data to actually generate benefits to consumers. With so much information available, they will have to be very wise as to how use this data and truly create a differentiated business model. The first mover will definitely capture this value sooner and create a real competitive differential.

On November 20, 2016, e-TOM commented on Burberry’s Digital Transformation :

Very interesting article and comment by Erica!
In line with the need of generating this content for millenials, I wonder how Burberry has adapted its Organizational Structure to support this. For example, if 75% of Burberry’s customers were influenced by content seen online, how are they ensuring they are present to respond to any questions or critics they may receive on social media? Do they have dedicated people to monitor mentions online? What is the proposed governance to respond to customers interactions online?
Digital transformation goes beyond the actual adoption of technology in-store. Digital requires you are present everywhere. In this sense, I wonder how prepared Burberry is to be digital beyond the store experience and really interact with consumers on the online environment.

On November 20, 2016, e-TOM commented on Digital Banking: Cut the Lines and Human Interaction :

It is interesting to see that technology might become a key differential in BAML’s customer promise. If competition arises as mentioned in the text and by BudFox, they will need to understand how to a) add differentiated value – and in this sense, leveraging their financial position may favor them on technology investments, b) how to create competitive products and services to match substitutive solutions arising (i.e. Venmo, Robinhood etd) and c) how to leverage its current scale to expand market share before the arrival of new competitors. It is crucial that BAML keeps its market share and technology seems to not be a differential anymore; it is a ‘must have’ that will benefit whoever understands how to use it first.

Very interesting article, WRE! I agree in Lindsey that some jobs will be cut due to technology. On the other hand, if this allows Panera to increase its output rate, they will need more people in the kitchen and management. Adding technology in the restaurants may, thus, shift the bottleneck to other areas that will need to increase capacity.
Regarding your point on how technology affects customer promise, I wonder if Panera has any sort of satisfaction surveys to watch for consumer satisfaction. It would be interesting to see satisfaction for people ordering through the tools vs. regular ordering. It is possible that people who really want the Warm Panera experience will continue to order on cashiers and, thus, keep their high satisfaction. I do like the idea of adding another option that lowers speed of service and increases total tickets to help dilute the high fixed costs of a restaurant!

On November 6, 2016, MSaggioro commented on Is JBS doing a good job for reducing greenhouse gas emission? :

T@HBS, I wanted to counter argue on your comment that the logistics would create more variability and increase the bullwhip effect. Verticalization is not a guarantee of low variability. Large companies do face the challenge of integrating all their business units and ensuring efficiency through the supply chain. One of the main root causes for the variability and bullwhip effect is lack of communication, which may happen independent of who owes the transportation structure. If JBS was able to work close from the supplier, with structured and frequent communication, it could minimize these effects.

One the other hand, I do agree with you that a transition may take time, money and compromise operations quality until they reach an optimal point. An alternative to this would be to require current transportation companies comply with environmental requirements. If JBS is able to push its whole chain to act on reducing the pollutive gas emition and other practices that impact to complement the Triple Bottom Line (Planet, People, Profit), it could have higher impact in actually leading a transformation on climate change and developing a more sustainable business.

I also really like Student12’s suggestion on regulating cattle’s diet. It should be simple to execute – although technology must be developed to avoid exhuberant costs – and might have a large impact on the amount of gas they currently release.

Paul, your comment reminded me of our case on Fabritek. A company needs to make a decision on what will be its value proposition to be able to define its business model, develop operating capabilities and expertise. A transition from a high-end, differentiated brand to mass market one will require Tesla develop Cost Leadership skills, which are indeed very different from the ones it has today. On the other hand, I agree with Pallavi that, if the company’s mission is to compete in the mass market, high volume segment, shouldn’t it pursue this change, even though they might need to deal with some pain from growth? How much impact can they really generate if they continue to be a niche brand?

On November 6, 2016, MSaggioro commented on Making Beer Green :

I agree with Student12 that, by focusing on its supply chain, AB Inbev can create a significant, positive impact that goes beyond environmental and touches social as well. If we consider the Triple Bottom Line concept, we could state that the company is working on the three pillars: Planet, Profits and People.

On the other hand, I think AB Inbev should go beyond and act on 2 complementary fronts:

1) Developing sustainable business for its suppliers: if the company claims to benefit workers and people related to the supply chain, it should consider that this impact is today limited to the environmental impact. For their business to be actually sustainable and really generate Social impact, the company should consider establishing better relationships with its suppliers. As Student12 mentioned, the 120 day payment conditions and reverse auctions really squeeze margins and do not allow small suppliers to remain in business. It favors the largest suppliers instead. Thus, to really generate a social impact, AB Inbev should consider developing these suppliers and offering more feasible economic conditions for them to grow and create competitive advantages. This, as a result, will also incentivize them to adopt eco-friendly measures, despite potential higher costs.

2) AB Inbev could leverage the power, influence and reach of its brands to promote consciousness around consumers. Little has it done in terms of communicating how consumers can help with, for example, package recycling, water waste management and support to brands that are eco-friendly. This could be another step for the company to fully impact the whole supply chain, including its end consumers.

It is a shame that SFRCCC is not being explicit about this issue. Having lived in Miami before, I have seen how real estate has developed fast and been advertised aggressivelly to attract more investors as if this was a great investment. Nothing is ever mentioned about future implications and consumers will very likely realize this soon and probably regret their decisions. I wonder if US Gov shouldn’t be more active in rolling out policies accross the country to 1. increase awareness to the issue 2. educate population so they can make conscious decisions and 3. actually act on trying to minimize this impact (such as Holland does in their boarders). Legislators are key influencers and ignoring the issue is the worst path for all of us.

On November 6, 2016, MSaggioro commented on Can Bank of America make Green Bonds the New Black? :

I agree with your comment, @LST. If companies are really interested in acting on Climate Change and on other Sustainability issues, shouldn’t they pursue this on a consistent basis, despite potentially lower returns? I think there are 2 main things they should do:
1. Be selective about their investments: shouldn’t Bank of America reject, for example, investments in companies and bonds that are harmful to the environment? This is a first basic step that should happen, followed by figuring out how to increase returns on the sustainable business.
2. Develop profitable businesses around sustainability: if these are not yet profitable, shouldn’t they be trying to drive this profitability to actually turn this funds very attractive?