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On November 30, 2017, Figo commented on Brexit: another challenge for Amazon? :

Thank you for the essay!
In a context where most of the players will lose, it is interesting to think about the perspective of a company that might have a competitive advantage. However, even If it turns out to be better than its competitors, is that really something that Amazon should celebrate? I fear that since companies rely on global supply chains so much today, the impacts of Brexit in all business will be so huge that it might not be that beneficial to be “the best among all of the suffering”.
Bearing that in mind, I feel that Amazon should absolutely evaluate the impacts on their business in different scenarios and plan ahead to generate initiatives that will minimize damages.

On November 30, 2017, Figo commented on Designed in California, Manufactured/Assembled in U.S.A.? :

Interesting article!
For me, one of the main concerns about isolationism and protectionism is to what point it really generates more jobs in the long term. As you pointed out, it is very unlikely that customers will be willing to negotiate better margins. On the other hand, all the alternatives proposed will likely increase production costs. I’m afraid that If Foxxconn gets pressured by a significant increase in their costs, they will probably have no alternative other than firing some of the employees to reduce overhead or investing in a automation to increase productivity. This second solution will also lead to reduction in the workforce.

On November 30, 2017, Figo commented on Kraft Heinz’s Planters: can Mr. Peanut take the heat? :

I wish Planter’s investors could take a minute to read your article. That way, they would understand that it is important to make significant investments today. As it was pointed out in the comments, a price increase of 40% is very concerning and I feel that there is strong evidence that Kraft should think about expenditures on initiatives now to avoid serious consequences in the long term.

It is true that the company’s efforts to reduce its own carbon footprint are unlikely to have a significant impact on climate change, but efforts from combined companies as big as Kraft might be able to do that. I wonder If those kinds of insights that you mentioned could be presented to other companies to raise concerns and encourage more initiatives. Maybe Kraft could be a leader in that initiative: If companies join forces and gather to think about solutions to prevent major damages, I feel they could achieve great results and think about long term solutions together.

This is a very interesting article about how companies, no matter how big or powerful, are still exposed to climate change risks. This is an important example to change the mentality of people with regards to sustainability: implementing alternative and more sustainable solutions can improve business and it is better for companies to do it while they still can than waiting for some major event happen, such as it happened to Rio Tinto when the ice road season was shortened.

I feel that companies will not have an option other than sharing best practices. It is important to think about long term and join forces to improve the environment’s conditions. Otherwise, the consequences might be drastic for all of the companies and it might be too late to do initiatives to repair the damages.

This essay was very interesting for me!
Intuitively, I would think that Ralph Lauren would not be affected by the problems that you mentioned because they are a high end brand and hence, they would have more loyal customers than other retailers.
However, reading your essay made me realize that even for companies with strong brands and high end products digital initiatives, especially customer data analytics, are super important. In a context where information is widely available, companies can’t afford the risk of making decisions based on intuition or subjective matters, otherwise their competitors will use data to precisely meet customers’ demand.

To your question about competition with other retailers such as Amazon, because Ralph Laurent has the advantage of its brand, I feel they can invest in some initiatives to increase their databases and collect more data relatively easily. For example, they can create loyalty programs in which the customer can have either discounts on their purchases. The beauty about loyalty programs is that customers have to register to earn the discounts, allowing companies to collect data. This can even come with a bonus of increasing revenues, since customers will have more motivations to purchase products. Thus, my concern is not collecting the data, but how will Ralph Laurent develop its internal capabilities to analyze and generate insights with the data, creating relevant inputs for their supply chain. This takes time and investments, but in order to remain competitive and optimize supply chain, it seems the right path to me.

On November 29, 2017, Figo commented on Apps on Apps: Tesco uses digitalization to tackle food waste :

This essay shows a good example of how optimizing supply chains through digital initiatives can create value for the company while solving an environmental and social problem.
I admire Tesco’s actions and their program and although I agree with some of the other comments that the “Perfectly Imperfect” is not the ideal solution in the long term, I think it is a way of beginning, of creating momentum and of showing customers and supply chain partners that those kinds of initiatives can generate value for all of the involved. I feel that If they started with marketing and education initiatives, adoption would be slower. In my opinion, the action was important to make people break their barriers of consuming the “Perfectly Imperfect” products. Once they have a robust customer base, they can invest more in marketing and education.

As for the question about how much Tesco is dependent of its suppliers, I think in order to fully achieve the benefits in the long term, it is necessary to involve the whole supply chain. With the collaboration of all stakeholders, waste generation can be optimized by ordering and producing only the necessary amount of products. But I feel that, as you mentioned, the benefits of digital initiatives such as Internet of Things is pretty straightforward and once the first supplier embrace the digital initiatives, the others will probably follow, since they will perceive the benefits. Therefore, I would not be that worried If I was Tesco and I would continue to pursue my goals.