Just in Time
The problem that Starbuck’s faces here seems like a classic “tragedy of the commons.” Their manufacturing and supply chain will be greatly disrupted by the effects of global warming, and yet there isn’t much that Starbucks alone can do to change what will happen. Although they have some initiatives to make an impact as an individual company, they will not be effective without cooperation of other companies, and other companies have far less incentive to make a change (i.e. companies that don’t have the same brand connection to sustainability or the same public image as Starbucks) are unlikely to do as much as Starbucks.
Although the future of unskilled or low-skill labor seems very much in question, this article also brings into question the very long-term implications of new technology and the effect on capital and labor investment. If machines/capital are able to replace more and more human labor, will the production shift back to the countries where the final goods will be sold? Or will it still make sense to manufacture those items in certain countries based on the labor base and the price of the labor in those countries? Furthermore, what affect will the shift from human labor to capital for production have on those countries that have relied heavily on manufacturing jobs to boost the middle class?
Great article, Amanda!
Beyond the supply chain implication for Tesco of Brexit, this article made me consider how restricting international trade makes the entire market for food (and other goods) less efficient. By limiting the number of international options, especially in nearby Europe, competitive advantages don’t have the same effect as they do with open trade. Less efficient options may need to be selected due to artificially high prices because of government tariffs, etc., which will drive up prices and reduce quality in the market.
Reading about Kellogg’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint reminds me of the Ikea case. Interestingly enough, Ikea was able to make investments that were beneficial to the environment and came with a positive ROI. I wonder if there are creative ways that Kellogg can impact the environment (i.e. smarter packaging) that can also achieve this dual win.
As someone who has experience with the home-buying process and mortgages, simplifying the notary process would be a huge win for a number of reasons, many of which you listed above.
Two major thoughts came to mind when reading this analysis. The first is how slow government can be to allow new technologies to disrupt regulated industries. Although there have been a few states that are allowing webcam verification, I wonder how slow the rest of the states and federal government will be to allow this. I also thought about other technologies that might be used to make e-verification even more secure than an in-person notary. Bio-metrics is the biggest one that comes to mind — using iris-scanners, face-mapping, and fingerprinting technologies.
In addition to the potential applications on the opioid crisis, I wonder how the digitized supply chain could be leveraged to deliver more value to customers and to society. For instance, are there any learnings that can be picked up from patterns of prescription drugs that aren’t abused (i.e. insight into what health issues are more prevalent in certain geographies or with certain demographics).