Helen F.

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Thank you for a very interesting and thought-provoking read Ashley.
I agree with Jared White above, drug manufacturers should continue to operate their manufacturing facilities in the Caribbean. The FDA does however have a role in supporting them before, during, and after any disastrous event that can happen. This would involve (1) requiring and being involved in the development of a contingency plan; (2) requiring extra supplies that can mitigate the impact of a hurricane (or another event), e.g. fuel; (3) requiring a supply of drugs be prepared and stored elsewhere, to avoid drug shortages; and (4) controlling the price of drugs after an event, to ensure the “grey market” (e.g. online pharmacies) do not benefit from drug shortages [1].
These facilities provide a great employment opportunity for local populations, and given the large number of drug manufacturers in the region, there is now a pool of talented and trained employees. It would be a great shame (and waste) not to continue to support them too.

[1] Sheridan, Kate. “Prescription drug prices could skyrocket following Hurricane Maria devastation” Newsweek website, September 27, 2017 [http://www.newsweek.com/prescription-drug-prices-could-skyrocket-following-hurricane-maria-devastation-671240]

On December 1, 2017, Helen F. commented on Arsenal Football Club: The Accidental Victim? :

Hi Eric Blair, thank you for a very interesting and well written article! I actually disagree with you: I don’t believe that Brexit will have a significant impact on player recruitment in the English Premier League. Currently, Arsenal and other EPL clubs have to demonstrate that international players have outstanding talent and are international-level players. These clubs have been securing permits for players from outside of the EU for years (for example from Russia, Ecuador, and Brazil), as the Home Office wants these big-spender and high-profile players to come to the U.K.
However, I do worry about the impact of Brexit for Tier-2 teams like Hull and Wolverhampton Wanderers, as they will have to make a stronger case to the Home Office and demonstrate that the player is of a high-enough quality.
I hope this reassures you, and that we can discuss it one day (even if I am a Manchester United Fan myself!).

On December 1, 2017, Helen F. commented on Can Barclays Thrive in a Post-Brexit London? :

Thank you for a great summary of the situation that a number of financial institutions are facing since the Brexit vote in 2016, Steve.
My first thought is related to Alex Robinson’s comment above: while a number of banks will decide to relocate to other European cities, a proportion of London’s current top talent will not be able to relocate. Graduates of the top schools in the U.K. will still, at least until the consequences of Brexit are better understood, want to work in London. As a result, I do not think that Barclays, if indeed it decides to keep a large office in London, will struggle to attract top talent. It might actually in the short-term increase the pool of talent, as other supply options are not available anymore.
In addition, I’d like to point out the recent decision by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to relocate to the beautiful city of Paris, France [1], while the European Medicines Agency will relocate to Amsterdam. France’s win could therefore play in its favor to become Europe’s next financial center, although Frankfurt is still current winning that spot [2]

[1] European Council Press Release. “European Banking Authority to be relocated to Paris, France” November 11, 2017 [http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/11/20/european-banking-authority-to-be-relocated-to-city-country/]
[2] Miller, Joe. “Frankfurt is winning the battle for Brexit spoils” BBC News, August 29, 2017 [http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41026575]

On November 30, 2017, Helen F. commented on Nespresso: Protecting the World’s Best Coffee :

This is a great article, and I was all the more interested given most of the coffee I drink is Colombian!
To follow-up on DM’s comment above, I also believe that Nespresso will pass on the increase in costs to the customers. Nespresso’s share of the market is high, and customers who already own a machine will likely not switch machines and instead will agree to pay more per capsule.
Your article also raises a good case of “practice what you preach”: it is great that Nespresso has launched a recycling program for its aluminium capsules, but could they go further and get rid of the large amount of cardboard packaging that comes when you buy Nespresso pods? Or, better still, invest in changing the single-serve aluminium pods that create unnecessary waste (https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/27/nespresso-sustainability-transparency-recycling-coffee-pods-values-aluminum)?
Lastly, another option that Nespresso could look into, apart from the vertical integration solution, is to promote coffee farming in new regions of the world where the long-term climate and ecological conditions might be advantageous. Your article mentions that it takes about ten years for trees to reach maturity, so they should probably start soon.

On November 30, 2017, Helen F. commented on Let’s Get Digital, Digital! :

Thank you for a very interesting article, it’s great to hear about how the company that created some of my favorite toys growing up is evolving to remain relevant in a digital world.
I believe that another consequence of the improved speed-to-market, apart from capitalizing on the fashions of the toy industry, is also the ability for Mattel to customize its toys. As evidenced by the “American Girl” dolls (also owned by Mattel), children and their parents are increasingly interested in customizing toys and presents rapidly, and the shorter lead times and greater flexibility of a digitalized factory could help deliver on customer demands.
In addition, the advent and increasing sophistication of robots and 3D technologies will also decrease speed-to-market and increase production flexibility. This will help shift Mattel from a toy company to a tech one, and therefore help with the hiring and retention of top talent you mentioned in your article.
Lastly, digitalization in children’s toys offers entertainment, but it also provides educational possibilities. Mattel, with its reputation and know-how, could be well-positioned to capitalize on this new segment.

Thank you for a very interesting summary on how digitalization is affecting Partners Healthcare, and I am sure these trends are also found more broadly in other large healthcare institutions nationally and internationally.
Thinking about your second question “In what new capacities will Partners need to train its frontline healthcare providers such as physicians, nurses, and technicians to optimize adoption of digitalization in supply chain management?”, I think this is one of the key issues. Investing in this technology is the first step, but ensuring that all players (including patients) understand the benefits of it, know how to use it optimally, and are willing to take the time to learn how to do this, will be crucial for digitalization to have the impact you describe in your article.
In addition, I would also like to mention that, as well as the advantages of real-time clinical data from frontline healthcare providers, collecting real-world data (i.e. data collected after the patient has left the hospital, in his/ her “real world” context) through smart devices and other digital technologies will also benefit operational management in hospitals by improving the predictive supply chain management you mention in your article.