Kai Tan

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On November 28, 2017, Kai Tan commented on Taking a Bite out of Apple: Fighting the Tides of Isolationism :

Thanks for the post Chris. I can’t help but feel skeptical about companies such as Foxconn opening a manufacturing facility in the U.S. – though there are significant (potentially short term) benefits to the local economies of say Wisconsin, I fear that such moves were motivated by political decisions than business decisions. In the long run, I fear that non-US companies, in order to appease the new administration may build ‘token’ factories across the U.S. but lack the motivation to invest in its people in these facilities. Though an extreme viewpoint, I can’t help but wonder if opening factories is the new form of gift giving.

On November 28, 2017, Kai Tan commented on The post-Brexit hangover: One big headache for Diageo :

Though I think Brexit will have a significant impact on Diageo’s profitability I think we are still a while away from establishing clear regulations on what the new tax regime might be. Additionally, there will be a significant lead time between formulation and implementation – particularly for such a complex process. I believe Diageo will be seriously reconsidering relocating its headquarters out from the UK and into the EU (Paris? Dublin?) to continue to enjoy its free trade benefits.

On November 28, 2017, Kai Tan commented on Why your chocolate bar could become a luxury purchase. :

Thanks for the write up. This post reminds me of IKEA and the significance of using FSC certified wood. As I am no expert on cocoa, it will be interesting to hear more details on what ‘certified sources’ truly means. In this day and age, it is unfortunate that many companies have used commitments to using sustainable materials as a form of marketing when these certifications do nothing (or do little) to save the environment.

On November 28, 2017, Kai Tan commented on At home in a hotel: Mass customization at Marriott :

Great write up!

I do understand the need for digitization as travelers become more tech-savvy and labor becomes increasingly expensive. That said, as a stalwart in the hospitality industry it will be interesting to see how Marriott balances technology with human interaction. Sure, I am happy to use my mobile phone to enter my room. But on vacation I still prefer to have faces at the lobby rather than going through a sterile (human lacking) environment. As this is particularly true when it comes to luxury brands and resorts, I believe Marriott has to tread carefully when it comes to automating everything.

On November 28, 2017, Kai Tan commented on Could a Srirachapocalype be on the Horizon? :

I completely agree with your suggestions hak!

The recent forest fires in California wine country paints a grim picture for how environmental disasters can destroy livelihoods and entire businesses. It is difficult for agricultural businesses to diversify risks as they are mostly subjected to the mercy of mother nature. It will be interesting to see how more of such companies use technology to try and protect their precious harvests!

On November 28, 2017, Kai Tan commented on AM4U: Adidas Made For You :

Thanks for the post Ketty!

Although the new Speedfactory will reduce lead times and allow for greater customization I am still skeptical as to whether automation can lead to overall cost savings for the company – especially since costly German labor (with the proper technical expertise) will still be necessary to operate these machines. Also even though labor costs in Asia are rising, it is clear that this trend has led to large conglomerates searching for the next cheapest manufacturing destination. What started in China has now shifted to Vietnam. In a few years we might see a shift to Cambodia or Myanmar. It will be interesting to see how Adidas makes this trade off.