Justin Thyme

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On November 30, 2017, Justin Thyme commented on How Google Can Rebuild Trust in EMEA :

I think the answer to both of your questions comes down to increased transparency. As you mentioned, Google cannot approach the EU with the an American mindset, because the geographies are fundamentally different when it comes to both consumer sentiment and government regulations on internet privacy. One prominent example is the use of browser cookies, which are pieces of data stored locally on a user’s computer or phone that tracks the user’s preferences and actions over time. The EU basically requires websites to ask users to consent to the use of cookies (http://ec.europa.eu/ipg/basics/legal/cookies/index_en.htm), while no such regulation exists in the U.S. Typically, websites in the EU will ask for such consent through a minimally-intrusive banner at the top or bottom of the webpage. Even if it doesn’t change consumer behavior (i.e. the majority of users may click “yes”), it at least gives consumers the option to say “no.” Many companies nowadays ask for consumer data without explaining why consumers would be better off because of it. Google needs to make its value proposition clear to end-users in order to build trust, e.g., “by collecting real-time data on from your Google Maps application, we can make better recommendations for your commute over time, helping you avoid the headaches of traffic.” This gives consumers a better chance to understand the “customer promise” of the service and decide for themselves whether they feel comfortable providing their data to the service.

I do believe that companies like Delphi have a moral obligations to their employees and to the communities that they are a part of. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen all too often, focus on financial performance oftentimes overshadows doing what’s “right.” Companies also put themselves at significant risk by speaking out in situations like this, particularly if it’s a non-U.S. based company such as Delphi.

Luckily, the NAFTA renegotiation is likely to take time – a year or possibly longer, according to some sources: http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/16/news/economy/trump-nafta-steps/index.html. Moreover, just like how the current administration is working to make changes to NAFTA, there is a possibility that the next administration will work to overturn the changes if such changes are enacted. While the automotive manufacturing community in Juárez won’t be able to do much except hold their breaths, the outlook may not be as bleak as first imagined.

On November 30, 2017, Justin Thyme commented on Pass The (Cassava) Beer: Diageo’s Response to Water Scarcity :

While I agree with the comment above mine on the rate of adoption in developing markets, the question asked about already developed markets, and here is where I am more concerned. In contrast to their counterparts in developing markets, consumers in developed markets are likely less price sensitive and have higher levels of disposable income. Furthermore, they will have access to a myriad of different options when it comes to picking alcoholic beverages, and if they don’t enjoy the taste of these new beers, they will simply switch to another traditional brand that they enjoy.

This article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6390555) from the National Library of Medicine, albeit dated, concludes that demand for beer is relatively price inelastic in the United States, but that the price elasticity for distilled spirits is somewhat greater. Perhaps Diageo can target distilled spirits rather than beer when it comes to producing and marketing more sustainable alcoholic beverages in developed markets.

As you stated, Pinnacle Foods seems to have already made substantial progress on a majority of their 2020 targets. That seems to suggest that the Company was not aggressive enough in setting its initial goals, and I hope that the Company can revise its targets to make even more improvements in the future. However, they will likely experience decreasing marginal benefits as they work to further increase their sustainability efforts. At this point in time, they have most likely taken care of all the “low hanging fruit” in terms of identifying sustainability initiatives that are both relatively easy to implement and saves the Company on costs. The real test of Pinnacle’s commitment to sustainability will be whether it pursues more difficult initiatives that may not have an immediate or obvious benefit to the Company’s P&L.

On November 29, 2017, Justin Thyme commented on Combating Digital Darwinism: Four Eyes on Augmented Reality :

Although both AR and VR are in their infancy stages, I believe that AR is more likely to achieve wider adoption and social acceptance. This is because AR is generally seen as a technology that can complement and augment normal human actions, whereas VR is seeking to replace or completely redefine how we perceive reality itself.

To deal with potential security issues related to the acquisition and use of open source AR software, DHL needs to set up the necessary organizational structure to deal with these risks. As the Company relies more on technology in its daily operations, it needs to realize that it is no longer just a logistics and delivery business. Having in-house developers and cyber security experts (or outsourcing such tasks to qualified professionals) may be necessary for the Company to conform to potential future regulations and mitigate against the risk of crimes.

On November 29, 2017, Justin Thyme commented on Industry 4.0: Revolutionizing a Giant’s Supply Chain :

I don’t think building personalized channels with each consumer that provide real-time data will be that helpful in the short-run for supply chain purposes. Unless these channels can achieve massive scale, I don’t think the information captured by them will be meaningful enough to act on. More importantly, digitalizing the manufacturing process requires cooperation from the full supply chain, which is more difficult in a highly fragmented retail space like Egypt. For example, even if you know that a particular group of customers will demand more of a certain product the next month, how would you figure out which retailer they would go to purchase the item? Without direct POS data from retailers (and it would be a lot of work to set up collaborations with so many fragmented players), the data collected by the manufacturer becomes a lot less valuable. Of course, one potential solution is to vertically integrate and own the entire supply chain like Amazon, which allows the Company to make full use of the direct connection to its consumers: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-prime-day-dash-button-deal-2017-7. The Dash Button allows Primer members to reorder household items instantly with a literal push of a button.