I think it is a very noble goal to reduce water usage but I have some doubts about the main initiatives that Palmolive is employing.
For starters, the fact that 90% of the water usage is at the consumer level is concerning. I’m not convinced that the campaign to consumers will/has done anything to reduce water consumption. I use colgate products and have never seen anything on this campaign. Changing consumer habits is hard and while not impossible, I don’t think the Colgate has done nearly enough to reduce consumer water usage.
Additionally, it sounds like their efforts to convince suppliers to operate more sustainably lack the fire power needed to make an impact. To really change the behavior of suppliers, I believe Colgate should use more of a stick method to ensure that standards are actually followed.
This is a great article! The application of IoT technology could be extremely helpful here and it made me think of how IoT technology could be used in other more traditional industries. For example, there is a winery in Napa, PalMaz, that has implemented a similar technology to monitor the contents of their tanks used to create wine. Traditionally, they had checked the tanks every couple of months to see how the wine progress. Now, with the application of this technology, they are able to understand so much more about the contents of the tanks on a minute by minute basis. Now they can intervene immediately if need be to produce higher quality wines. It will be interesting to see which companies in more traditional fields see this as a competitive advantage and capitalize on it, despite the heavy upfront investment in technology.
Great article – definitely made me think!
I agree with MY that it is unlikely that Ford can “lead the public fight for trade.” For starters, they don’t have a brand of trust when it comes to this topic at the moment. Their decision to move production to China after saying they would forego a plant in Mexico has eroded trust and the political capital of Ford in the US. Additionally, it doesn’t seem that the president is open to hearing dissenting views so advocating for changes in policy at the highest levels of government will be tought.
Given this, Ford is left with two options in my opinion: 1) focus on their internal operations and start preparing themselves to abide by upcoming isiolationist policies and 2) consider an education campaign as suggested in the article. My big question with option 2 though is how effective can Ford really be in this regard. They are an automotive company, not a political organization. It seems a bit unrealistic to think that they can invest the time and resources to change the hearts and minds if disenfranchised Americans. As depressing as this sounds, I think Ford should focus on preparing themselves for the new economic and political realities.
I’m so torn on this topic. On the one hand, it is so promising to see a company thinking up creative ways to solve a natural resource problem like a shortage of water. They have found a solution that works for the community they are in. That being said, I agree with Richard’s points that there is much more than can be done on this front like finding ways to fully reduce the need for fresh water in their operations.
While I’m impressed with the steps this company has taken, the reason I’m torn is that this company is using a resource (water) to get at another natural resource (gas) that is having a damaging effect on the environment. In effect, this seems to be doubly harming. I think that in addition to reducing their use of fresh water, this company should also be looking at other ways they can counter effect the negative impacts of oil and gas on the environment. Or better yet, invest in renewable energy sources and advocate for a shift in that direction.
Great post, Alesso! I was surprised to learn that such an old company like L.L. Bean was investing in digitalizing their supply chain. I would have guessed that their demand, inventory, and overall supply chain was so stable and so entrenched that they would almost not even have a need for the digitalization of their supply chain.
I would think for this to truly be a value add for L.L. Bean, they need to go further than simply digitalizing their supply chain to save on costs and improve their operations. I think they need to use the digitalization of their supply chain to capture more demand upstream. If they can make better use of their company data and more quickly respond to trends, this could become a real competitive advantage for a brand that hasn’t changed much in many years! I’ll be interested to see where they go with this!
Great article! It is really interesting to see how a company that has spent many years diversifying their supply chain and building out their operations in many different regions is working on unwinding that due to protectionist policies.
One of the things that struck me most about this article was the question about whether or not we need isiolationist policies in the first place given that the cost benefit to manufacturing in China has reduced to almost zero. While this may be true about China, I I wonder though if this stat doesn’t account for the fact that there are other regions that are now much cheaper than China for manufacturing. As discussed in class, it is becoming cheaper to produce in places like Africa and in the absence of isiolationist policies, GM may benefit from manufacturing in countries that are now cheaper than China.
Given that policies will continue to change and the costs of manufacturing in different markets will change as well, GM will need to remain nimble and flexible so that they can continually adjust their supply chain to meet the needs of their customers.
Really interesting article! So true that trains still feel like an antiquated experience.
I love the idea that trains would be highly digitized in the future, greatly improving the customer experience. Applied to freight more broadly, this also represents an opportunity for the supply chain of other companies that rely on freight as a means for getting goods to and from locations. By digitizing all of this information, companies would have way more information about the delivery times of their goods. Additionally, it sounds like the cost of freight could go down eventually as trains become more efficient and effective.
Agree with mattasperheim’s comment above that freight is challenged by modes like trucks but if trains can adjust to the digitized world and increase reliability, transparency of information, and reduce cost, it could continue to be a very attractive option for companies as part of their supply chain.
Great to see Walmart leading the charge here. It is promising that they are looking at this as not just an environmental and regulatory issue but one that can have economic benefits for their company. I am even more impressed that they have engaged their suppliers in the process to make sure that this permeates through the entire supply chain. That being said, I think MD recognizes the correct challenges that without immediate economic benefits, it might be unlikely that these companies will join the climate change battle. Companies often think so short term on when it comes to these things and changing to be more sustainable will certainly involve cost in the short term. I think Walmart can do even more education, and potentially use more of a stick method, to get more of its suppliers onboard.