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On December 1, 2017, Julie Squire commented on What MNC’s are beginning to understand about doing business in Africa :

While I appreciate the intent of restricting imports to diversify Nigeria’s revenue, it seems it was done in two broad-sweeping a manner without taking into account the time requirements to grow those business in-country. The palm-oil example was a particularly striking example of this in that palm oil production will likely not meet demand, especially in the soap industry, for years – what does the population do in the meantime? Large scale corporations would have to subsidize the import of palm-oil to then manufacture soap within the country until farms could be brought up to scale. For MNC’s, their ability to easily pursue more lucrative opportunities elsewhere might discourage them from even staying in Nigeria at all.

On December 1, 2017, Julie Squire commented on Lotte at the Whim and Mercy of Chinese Nationalism :

One company cannot change defense policy for a world superpower just as a few ads cannot change the minds of a nationalistic government. Lotte should focus on expanding its footprint to more companies in an effort to diversify political risk – Russia perhaps is not the best choice considering it is friendly to China and considered hostile towards the US – with China already against them, it would seem they run the same risk trying to expand into a similar environment in Russia. Their focus instead could be on more developed markets in Asia – India, Japan, etc that hold a range of political views and lean towards somewhat less nationalistic tendencies.

On December 1, 2017, Julie Squire commented on Coca-Cola: Original formula in an IoT world :

Minority interest can be extremely powerful when wielded by a industry behemoth such as Coca-Cola. Rather than forcing companies to adopt a specific piece of equipment, they could set standards for technology expected to be met within a certain time frame – that would incentivize the distribution companies to meet the standards or lose the contract to a hungry competitor ready to work with Coca-Cola. That being said, Coca-Cola would have to prove the advantages of said technology – for instance the dash cam provides a trucking company insurance against other bad drivers on the road and possibly improves their own driving records. Without a monetary, possibly contractual incentive as well as a proven technological advantage, Coca-Cola will have to rely on just their strength as a market giant to change industry standards.

On December 1, 2017, Julie Squire commented on Never mind the calories, how much CO2 is in your meal? :

A large part of the incentive to overfish rests with lack of government regulation and in some cases, outright regulatory incentive – fishing subsidies are common, especially in countries where fish is a commercial export such as the EU, China, and Brazil. Tropical-zone areas in particular are hit the hardest as increasing water temperatures lead to more bacteria, microbes, and algae which create dead zones completely lacking in oxygen that fish would need to live. These rising temperatures combined with historical overfishing leads to a bleak picture of rampant malnutrition in those countries too poor to afford or unable to access typical sources of macronutrients, instead relying on fish. Governments should treat overfishing not just as a climate change issue but as a worldwide health issue that could impact millions.

On December 1, 2017, Julie Squire commented on Where in the world will our wine come from? :

Agriculture in general is marked by changes in the crop – genetically modifying them through selected planting. For example, corn 10,000 years ago was barely a sliver of tiny kernels. The more hearty and larger kernel crops would be identified and replanted to eventually, through many thousands of years, create the full cobs of corn we purchase today. I suspect with more advanced techniques for identifying temperature-resilient strains there would be plenty of room for growers to selectively plant only those strains hearty enough to withstand increasing temperatures. At the same time, the consumer might have to change their own preferences for wine – given the rising demand for wine, I don’t see this as a big issue.

Similar to the United Interconnectors dilemma we faced in class, it seems to be a decision whether Adidas wants to play in the low cost/low flexibility space or to advance into more of a customized area. As mentioned above, Adidas is known for its high quality, technically performing shoes – I would argue these Speed Factories sacrifice the economic profitability of the more mass-produced shoes for a stronger reputation in the high-quality competitive area. Considering Nike and UnderArmour are selling similar products, these fast-to-market, geographically customized products are a great way to differentiate within the market, thereby not necessarily competing with the exact same business model. Speed Factories should seek to optimize operations through 3D manufacturing technology, digital supply chain informatics, but to keep their primary function of creating differentiation through customization a priority by using advanced market data analytics to drive design.