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On November 26, 2017, LP commented on Nike Tries to Outrun Nationalism :

The withdrawal from the TPP deal is just one of many initiatives to increase isolationist trade by the Trump Administration. With these new anti-trade regulations, all companies with even the slightest international presence will be affected. I agree that Nike should talk to its customers and educate them on the negative effects isolationism will directly have on them (increase costs, access to less choices on goods, etc.) but they should also continue to lobby the government. Nike should be clear on its long-term strategy to reduce costs through factory automation if the government does not allow free trade, which as mentioned will reduce the available job opportunities domestically. Sharing this information will hopefully demonstrate to the government why certain policies may not work as they intended, and may cause them to think more long-term. The more companies that can lobby against these restrictions and share similar stories, the better chance the government will listen and make changes.

On November 26, 2017, LP commented on Will Trump’s economic nationalism hurt Toyota? :

The tension shown here between Toyota and the US government is one that we’ll hear over and over again with many more companies as a result of the proposed regulations on NAFTA. With Toyota, it seems that the company has made efforts to increase its manufacturing presence in the US, with 60% of the Camry and Corolla sedans sourced from U.S./Canada, however the RAV4 is still at risk due to 60% of its parts being sourced from Japan. I agree lobbying is definitely a path Toyota should take, highlighting their efforts to source and manufacture in the US through their other top selling vehicles. Beyond lobbying, Toyota should find opportunities to cut costs, such as building autonomous factories to reduce labor cost and increase productivity by being able to manufacture for longer hours through the use of machines. The effect of finding areas to cut costs could lead to job losses for local communities the factories are located in (which would not be aligned with the government’s efforts and should be another point to get across through lobbying). It’s important that companies continue to educate the government on their long-term strategy if certain regulation and policies are put in place, so that the government can adjust for long-term plans.

This is a great application for digitalization, which may not be top of mind for most, but considering how complex airports are, it seems very necessary. Beyond DXB, I’d love to understand how possible it would be to implement the same technology across all airports, especially since bags will move from airport to airport among the many transfers that happen all over the world. It seems that the technology may need to be adopted and implemented at the airline level first. Your suggestion of home to destination baggage service is interesting, especially with the above comment on autonomous vehicles helping enabling this type of service. I see the role of technology here as a way to build trust with customers. The current airport and baggage system has left many customers skeptical about the process, and to have them separate from their luggage for longer than necessary is not something many are willing to do. With baggage tags and RFID tracking put in place however, customers can see where their bags are during transportation, and this will likely change behavior and sentiments around the airport baggage system.

Thinking about digitalization for Costco is another example of a major retailer that will face challenges as online shopping becomes more and more prevalent. Amazon/Walmart (which acquired Jet.com, an online wholesaler) have leveraged their online presence and the logistics network to delivery all sort of items to customer. This shows that Costco has an opportunity to also build up their e-commerce presence, and to find unique ways to move its current customers online and gain new ones. Because many shoppers regularly purchase the same items from Costco in bulk (toilet paper, snacks, toiletries, etc.), Costco should take advantage of customer behavior and the data it can collect to put customers on subscription services for specific items. If Costco can regularly ship these items to its customers, and have them engage with the retailer online, it can shift their existing customers to buy from them online as well. The more data Costco can collect through online shopping behaviors, the better it can target customers with deals and attempt to up-sell them on items, taking some of the in-store sampling experience online. Costco should also increase it’s web presence by implementing online advertising and SEO tactics to gain new customers, especially those who already search and shop for items online that Costco also carries. Costco’s bulk pricing structure allows it to be competitive to other retailers, and it can still replicate this online since the e-commerce infrastructure is less capital intensive than building new stores. It’ll be interesting to see how Costco continues to adapt to the digitalization beyond Instacart and Google Shopping Express, because relying on third party services will always squeeze out their margins.

On November 26, 2017, LP commented on Coca-Cola’s Newest Competitor: Water Supply :

It’s great to see Coca-Cola investing in sustainable operations and finding opportunities to reduce water use, especially as climate change continues to negatively affect our ecosystems. The progress Coca-Cola has made in improving water use and replenishment really demonstrates the company’s commitment to the cause.

The question you pose on if companies are willing to sacrifice profits to make investments in these sustainable practices is one that I often see the answer being no, unless external influence requires them to. In Coca-Cola’s case, there were significant pressures from governments and customers to change their behavior, and it wasn’t until damage had been done in some developing communities that Coca-Cola made improvements. (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41916-coca-cola-sucks-wells-dry-in-chiapas-forcing-residents-to-buy-water) The negative effects were felt by the locals, and it took time to reverse their actions. It was clear that at the beginning, incentives for Coca-Cola were not aligned with sustainability practices, and many individuals suffered from their negligence. How can companies be held accountable for being more proactive moving forward, so that they do sacrifice profits, make initial investments, and avoid damaging the environments of local communities?

I agree that the wine industry, among many other produce industries, will suffer from climate change. The smaller producers will likely face the pressure first, as they don’t have the capital and resources to change their practices. Larger producers may have the ability to adapt to these conditions, but will face challenges of implementing new technology and techniques across much more land, which will take significant time and labor to do so.

Another issue I see with the cost of production increasing due to needing additional resources to adjust for climate change, and yield rates are decreasing, the cost of wine to the end consumer will likely increase. This can cause many downstream effects on the wine market, such as less wine being consumed, affecting the businesses of distributors and retailers.