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On November 21, 2017, Marissa commented on The impact of Brexit on Kerry Group :

Fascinating article. While there are many shortcomings in the short-term, I wonder if it’s possible for Ireland to benefit from Brexit in the long run. For example, if Brexit causes an increased investment in building the infrastructure of Irish ports, is there the potential that this will bring additional dollars to Ireland in the future? Perhaps Ireland can profit from shipping, rather than passing those profits along to the UK? All-in-all, a world with fewer borders and free trade is optimal, but there may be a few benefits to the UK’s isolationist movement. Given the current political climate, I would encourage Kerry Group and other Irish companies to investigate these possibilities.

Thank you for sharing. Super interesting.

On the topic of food and economic insecurity for smallholder farmers, I wonder if Nestle has looked into promoting or subsidizing insurance options. Perhaps Nestle could partner with an innovative insurance partner. For example, Monsanto acquired The Climate Corporation for almost $1B in 2013, which enables Monsanto’s customers (farmers) to insure against specific weather occurrences (link to article below). Climate Corp has collected and analyzed trillions of data points to understand the financial implications of climate variability on various crops, and runs each insurance application through an algorithm that names a price for the risk. When bad weather hits, regardless of crop damage, a check is automatically sent to the policyholder. In this way, smallholder farmers are less at risk of having their livelihoods destroyed from both extreme weather events as well as longer term trends of drought, flood, etc.

Interesting article. This trend represents a significant risk to JPM’s brand. If they just adapt their strategy for an isolationist world, they may be contributing to the problem by supporting this type of political environment. This could cause some of their global clients to come into conflict with the brand, and perhaps take their business elsewhere. I believe it is the role of JPM, as a large international company, to try to combat detrimental isolationist policies. They should use their scale and influence to lobby governments and other organizations, in an effort to support their clients multi-national needs and preserve their global brand. The key question is: how can JPM exert it’s influence most effectively?

On November 21, 2017, Marissa commented on Kellogg’s Leadership in Fighting Climate Change :

Interesting topic. In addition to reducing their contribution to the global carbon footprint, and actively influencing policy, I agree that it is critical for Kellogg to take action to minimize the impact of severe weather events on their supply chain. Many companies, consulting firms, and research groups have been building strategies for how to be prepared for such events. I found this blog post (link below) to be particularly insightful, laying out 3 concrete actions organizations could take to prepare:
1) Developing a contingency plan: “For example, if your main supplier of a certain food is in Florida and that state gets hit with a hurricane, do you have a secondary supplier in place?”
2) Running test drills: To ensure that your contingency plans are adequate, running “fire drills” can help expose weaknesses in your plans in order to help you better prepare for the real emergency.
3) Taking stock of underlying technologies: Ensure that IT systems are capable of supporting disruptions in supply chain in high-intensity, time-sensitive situations.

On November 21, 2017, Marissa commented on Personalized Medicine, Personalized Supply Chain? :

This impressive new technology has led to unprecedented supply chain complications. As the author and other comments have pointed out, it seems that a key challenge may be expanding this model past 35 treatment centers, and additional points of manufacturing may be needed. Perhaps an even bigger challenge will be how to manage such a system as customized cell therapies and other forms of personalized medicine become more commonplace. How will a hospital be able to track and coordinate many different therapies with many different manufacturers? This could require hospitals to build an entirely new digital infrastructure to coordinate logistics in order to ensure that the time-sensitive therapies are delivered to patients on time.

This is fascinating. I agree that the key challenge will be to figure out how to decrease cost and increase speed of mass production when you are working in batch sizes of 1. Perhaps this type of technology is better suited for low-volume, high-price items, such as men’s suits. Companies such as Indochino have online platforms that guide the customer through the process of measuring one’s size and choosing fabric/style customizations. It seems that 3D knitting could further revolutionize that niche of the clothing industry.