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On November 27, 2017, ELH commented on Does a Trump presidency mean fewer free t-shirts? :

Very interesting, had no idea about this company! I wonder if the move for Gildan is to move its headquarters to the US. Sounds crazy but given that 53% of their business is in the US i feel that this might give them an advantage with the US government. They might be able to better maintain their foreign supply chain if they are a viewed as a US company rather than not only a company outsourcing employment of low cost manufacturing but also outsourcing the high paying jobs to Canada. No offense to the Canadians here but I would be concerned about their future if any of these trade agreements falls apart. In addition, they might consider reinventing the american apparel brand to generate higher profit margins to subsidize their other business lines. It would also help them with the made in america image with i think more than anything else is critical in Trumps mind (more so than the practicalities of where things are actually made).

As UPS considers managing and thriving in a less connected world I wonder how they will be able to grow and expand their business. Their move to focus on local networks is a great opportunity to grow but ultimately local business especially in emerging markets requires extensive knowledge. European markets as Ravin mentions have been a great boon for UPS and they have successfully built local and domestic businesses there but can they translate this elsewhere? For example, DHL is significantly larger than UPS in the Middle East and Africa built on the fact that they entered the market 50 years ago, would UPS ever be able to break into these markets as successfully? If they do enter the domestic emerging markets what is the write method in terms of assets, should they outsource or own their own trucks and planes, how at risk are they to local government changes in policy particularly as it relates to imports and exports?

On November 24, 2017, ELH commented on US Foods: B2B e-Commerce in Foodservice Distribution :

Dong has highlighted how a lumbering giant is making the slow transition to digital. In particular, he highlights the massive amounts of data that US foods is gathering on purchasing patterns based on location and other things. Thinking about how US Foods could leverage this data I think it goes well beyond just using it to understand their customer needs and optimizing the supply chain accordingly. Another way US Foods could really see upside and monetize the data they have is to consider selling it further down the supply chain. By selling the data on buying patterns to food manufacturers they would enable them to alter production etc in line with the demand to reduce waste and improve profits. Overall US Foods location in the supply chain means their data is invaluable both to their consumers and others further up the chain.

On November 24, 2017, ELH commented on Coca-Cola: Sustainability Visionary or Villain? :

Coke is known for their local production and sourcing of products. They bottle and manufacture much of their products close to where they are sold, this is a huge benefit to many developing economies in terms of job creation and local industry development. As with the incident mentioned in this article in Rajasthan producing locally does pose challenges, especially in water stressed regions. Coke must consider in conjunction with local governments and communities whether the benefits of manufacturing locally and reducing transportation costs, creating jobs etc is worth the use of scare water resources. Alternatively, Coke could use these locations as an opportunity to test new ways to be even more efficient with their water before rolling out to other locations. They could seek to subsidize this with tax breaks etc.

On November 24, 2017, ELH commented on Is insurance against natural catastrophes sustainable? :

Insurance is a complex business and Henrique has done a great job explaining the relevance of re-insurance in distributing the risk down the supply chain. Given that Munich- Re is so exposed to the risks of climate change but are not a major contributor the best they can do is try and predict risk and price premiums. Better predicting mother nature seems like a challenge though improving analytics and satellites should definitely help. Should they though consider getting more involved in climate change management and sustainability overall to try and improve their own outcomes? I believe they should play a role at least in education and the implications for the insurance industry. Perhaps they can consider tying their premiums to better climate change practices or providing discounts to businesses or individuals who are more sustainable.

On November 24, 2017, ELH commented on REI: A Beacon for Sustainable Business :

REI represents itself as truly committed to the environment and the author mentions that their leadership sees sustainability independent from its impact positive or negative on the business. This is in some senses inspiring. It is exciting to see an organization lead the way with a LEED Platinum distribution facility but what is the impact of this location on delivery emissions and transport costs? I think overall REI is in a unique position to push forward as they are a CO-OP and not tied to large shareholders focused on profits. Therefore, they should look at carbon neutral policies across their supply chain.

In this piece on Wal-mart’s supply chain the author suggests that Wal-mart should consider using its block-chain software to create greater transparency for consumers about the origins of their food. This is a unique proposition that in the case of the crisis mentioned in China might work to regain consumer trust. However, I worry that most individuals do not really understand how food is made or where it is from and it might terrify them more than woo them to stores. Wal-mart I would expect should focus on delivering quality to their consumers for a low price rather than trying to appear as a ‘good” party in the food supply chain.

The requirement of the US government for companies to better track their pharmaceutical shipments seems initially to be a large capital investment. However, when reading further into the benefits it will provide in terms of supply chain improvement and optimization it seems it may provide significant cost savings. Given the increasing costs of drugs I wonder how can these efficiencies be used to reduce prices for consumers or will the drug companies just use this to further enhance profits?