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Very interesting and well written article! As I was reading, my first thought was about the risk of creating a “two-tier” system that you identify as a discussion question at the end. I think that is a tough question, and Chubb needs to tread carefully so that they don’t create backlash. They need to frame it that they are providing an extra service in exchange for a higher price, and make sure that the media does not frame it that they are letting poor people’s homes burn because they’re not profitable. They can do this by pointing out that they are still insuring non-wealthy clients (assuming they pay the applicable fee). I am curious to know if Chubb has also lobbied or invested in measures to be proactive about preventing the effects of climate change from happening in the first place. Their current actions are reactive measure to battle the effects of climate change.

On November 29, 2017, MS commented on Brexit: another challenge for Amazon? :

Very interesting and well written article! I agree with you that Brexit will likely create adverse/costly effects for Amazon. At a minimum, there will be problems to address. I agree with Melissa that it will probably be a competitive advantage for Amazon in the long run. Brexit won’t single out Amazon. If costly problems arise, they will arise for all of retail. Because of Amazon’s size, reputation, and the fact that they are one of the best supply chain management companies in the world, they are better positioned to react and adapt compared to their competitors. At the end of the day, I see Amazon gaining even more market share from Brexit.

Very interesting and well written article! It is definitely no surprise that digitization has allowed Home Depot to become more efficient and increase inventory turns. I think Home Depot has an advantage that many other retailers don’t have because it sells durable goods that are often expensive, so customers will be willing to handle them in person and get expert advice in the store even as internet sales continue to rise. I think it would be a good idea for their suppliers to also use Sync, but I’m wondering if the suppliers would be willing to accept the cost of implementation. I’m sure Home Depot can lobby and convince them of the benefits. But if those suppliers also supply your competitors, are you giving up some of your competitive advantage? I would be interested to see if Home Depot uses digitization and analytics to better predict product demand from potential natural disasters, which usually causes customers to flock to Home Depot.

On November 24, 2017, MS commented on Jaguar Land Rover: A Bumpy Ride post-Brexit :

Very interesting and well-written! I didn’t realize that Jaguar Land Rover produced so much of its cars in the UK and imported so many of its parts from the rest of the EU. They certainly seem to be more exposed to the effects of Brexit than most. I’m not optimistic that a new free trade agreement will be very favorable toward Britain. I agree that JLR’s best move at this point is to diversify production allocation across its plants. With so much uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations at this point, it’s definitely a challenge to stay ahead of the game. I’m not normally a fan of passiveness, but maybe a “wait and see” approach will be best in this situation.

Very interesting and well-written essay. I think it’s interesting that we usually talk about safety stock as a good thing, but in this instance where the product has a short shelf life it’s pretty bad. In regard to your discussion questions at the end, I wonder how much Tesco’s efforts will matter in the grand scheme of things. France recently became the first nation in the world to implement a law that bans supermarkets from wasting food. Tesco’s 2030 goals are admirable, but I’m wondering if the UK will pass similar laws in the next 12 years that will force Tesco to dramatically accelerate it’s efforts.

Great essay and analysis. I’m not too worried about the impact of the US leaving the Paris Climate Agreement on Hyundai’s efforts to make its supply chain more sustainable. Since the US withdrew, two more countries have joined, making the US the only outlier, and it will probably stay that way. Additionally, individual states and cities have stepped up to pledge adherence to the standards of the Paris Climate Agreement, so Hyundai should still be incentivized to continue to improve it’s sustainability practices.

If I were Hyundai, I would be careful about how they go about advertising their efforts. I agree with you that they should explore that strategy, but they must walk a fine line to avoid the appearance of “greenwashing.”