Kevin Werner

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On November 27, 2017, Kevin Werner commented on Reacting to rising isolationist sentiments with production overseas :

This is a very interesting example being that Hyundai is headquartered in South Korea. On the one hand, finding local suppliers for the plants in China should have positive effects on simplifying the supply chain in an unstable part of the world. On the other hand, U.S. and South Korean interests are linked in the region, and the South Korean government might see such a move by Hyundai as self-interested and pandering to China. Economic and political tensions in the region are likely to stay the same or increase. So from a business perspective, I think Hyundai should start to move suppliers closer to the plants in China and elsewhere to preempt further economic deterioration and tariffs.

On November 26, 2017, Kevin Werner commented on Berry Risky Business, Driscoll’s… :

Berry interesting. It seems that the greatest vulnerability for Driscoll’s is the tariff risk. If this happens and Driscoll’s reduces imports during winter months, it is unlikely that U.S. winter harvests in Florida and Southern California could make up the difference. I like your idea of exporting the Mexican harvest to other countries – that had not occurred to me. However, U.S. consumers would feel such a winter supply decrease immediately and not be happy. Although a massive undertaking, Driscoll’s should explore the contingency of expanding operations in Florida and Southern California to become less reliant on imports from Mexico in order to meet winter berry demand.

On November 26, 2017, Kevin Werner commented on The MBTA’s climate challenge :

Daniel, it will be interesting to see if and when New York City makes upgrades to their MTA infrastructure as a result of lessons learned from Sandy. Some other interesting lessons (found here: include measures to expedite pumping water out of flooded tunnels and low areas. Key notes include installing backup generators, keeping generators high and out of flood waters themselves, and using porous pavement in critical areas to expedite drainage. I wonder if projects to improve the MBTA’s severe weather resiliency is more of a behavioral question regarding our unwillingness to commit to large dollar amounts and time horizons until some severe weather event actually hits Boston to grease the skids (similar to New York and New Orleans).

Thank you, Fritz. Being that ~90% of national hops yield comes from the Pacific Northwest, I think that hops shortage is a shared concern for U.S. craft brewers that distribute nationally. If I were Sierra Nevada, I wouldn’t worry about ABInBev in South Africa, but rather attempt to organize with other prominent craft brewers like New Belgium and Stone Brewing Company. These leaders have a shared interest and value innovation in sustainability. Sierra Nevada could propose that they share their collective networks and buying power to push for innovation and problem solving with their suppliers.

I am more concerned about the prognosis for increased water shortages in California. Sierra Nevada could easily find themselves in a similar situation to Bear Republic. They have been smart to diversify and open an operation in Asheville, but I think they should plan for contingencies such as transporting water from elsewhere or moving their operations out of California altogether.

On November 26, 2017, Kevin Werner commented on Will Cash Always Be King? What Does It Mean for ATMs? :

Pranay, this is great. I think the answer to whether cash will always be king is that it depends on where you are. ATMs will not be obsolete – at least not anytime soon – especially in rural and emerging parts of the world. In poor countries, most people do not have access to alternate forms of payment and cash will remain the only option. It seems that the highest card usages per your first chart are in highly developed and relatively homogenous European countries. Although almost extinct, you can still find gas stations in extremely rural U.S. that do not accept card payments (or they are so remote that their cards readers have been broken for weeks). Interestingly, NCR claims ATM usage in the UK has also been on the rise as you can see here: I think NCR is smart to diversify in the ways that you mentioned. Going forward, they really need to have separate companies: what remains of the ATM business and everything else.

On November 26, 2017, Kevin Werner commented on The New Healthcare :

Matt, it will be very interesting to see where telemedicine goes in the coming years. I think telemedicine is attempting to solve two unique supply chain problems when it comes to healthcare. First, as you mentioned, this will keep many patients out of hospitals by meeting their needs remotely rather than having them step foot in a hospital and unnecessarily add to the backlogs. Second, telemedicine increases throughput per doctor, which serves to alleviate the critical shortage of doctors. In the U.S., it is estimated that the physician shortage will reach 90,000 in 2020 and 130,000 by 2025. I also agree with your assessment that the University of Mississippi Medical Center must partner with government and insurance agencies, lest they risk fragmenting the physician supply and have the reverse effect.

In addition to expressed concerns about having the face-to-face doctor experience, I am concerned that certain specialties such as mental health, gynecology, and anything to do with higher risk conditions will not be an accepted application. I think that these areas are too risky and even inefficient to not be handled in person. Rather, telemedicine, at least in the near term, should be reserved for diagnostics, consultations, and low risk procedures that do not require doctors to be present.