Unfortunately, in the case of a “hard Brexit” and significantly increased tariffs, it might be unavoidable to move some of the production abroad and I agree with management’s idea of setting up some small pilot plants in Europe that could easily be scaled up. The key in that case would be to manage the public perception of the brand. Many apparel companies emphasize that their clothes are “designed in the US” (or in whichever country is their main market) even though they are not manufactured there to emphasize their ties to their home countries. I think the public perception of Cadbury in the UK could remain positive as long as over 50% of the production remains there, but it will take a well thought out PR approach to manage the backlash that will likely ensue when jobs are eliminated.
Great post! In addition to working with the other large beer importers to consolidate bargaining power at the negotiation table with U.S. policy makers, I am wondering whether the US barley and grain producers that supply Constellation and these other companies could support them in their effort to lobby the US government? Getting the whole supply chain involved might yield higher negotiating power.
Great post! I agree with your recommendations to address climate change threats but I would add another one: collaborating with other large food companies to develop innovative sustainable solutions. For example, General Mills could join the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance, a partnership between WWF, Pepsico, Nestle, Danone and other large companies that has developed packaging made out of plant-based plastic. To slow the impact of climate change, General Mills could benefit from sharing best practices with other companies facing similar challenges and those collaborations can have a much larger impact than a single company making changes on their own.
Great post! One way for Mars to move towards reducing its overall energy footprint would be to systematically capture the environmental impact of each of its products to assess how they compare on this dimension. Armed with this data, Mars could optimize for the production and advertising of these better for the environment products. This is the approach that fellow food company Danone has taken. Danone partnered with software company SAP to roll out a carbon calculation and management system that allows the company to measure carbon emissions for Danone’s 35,000 skus. This data allows managers to make strategic decisions that are sustainable.
This was a very interesting read! I especially liked your question of whether a kind gesture is less meaningful if was purely data driven, instead of someone remembering what kind of wine I like at a hotel. I disagree with Jeff’s perspective that human contact matters very little to the customer, to the contrary the reason why platforms like airbnb have been so successful is become people are looking for authentic experiences and in my opinion, authenticity comes from human contact. Additionally, per the Bill Marriott quote in your post, more people spend time looking at their phone which results in less human interaction. I believe Marriott can differentiate itself from other hotel chains and home sharing platforms by investing in providing personalized and data driven customer service that is based on “authentic” human interaction.
Great post! The first risk that comes to mind around automation is the likely loss of jobs in Washington state, and the impact it could have on future tax breaks negotiated with the state. Over the years, Boeing has benefited from billions of dollars in tax breaks based on the premise that the company would continue to create jobs in the area. However, if automation leads to job cuts, the state could reclaim these benefits. Boeing should work closely with the state to mitigate this risk.