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It is sad to think that isolationism can infect the academic sphere. If Oxford, one of the world’s pre-eminent academic institutions, cannot attract the best and brightest minds irrespective of borders, I fear isolationist points of view will persist. Future leaders will not engage in healthy debate in the same classroom and this lack of exposure to diverse global perspectives will perpetuate entrenched beliefs. I can see many parallels to trends in the United States in the Trump administration. Protectionist policies have made it increasingly difficult for international talent obtain visas to work in the United States. As a result, U.S. academic institutions and companies who depend on these skilled individuals suffer.

On November 26, 2017, NAK commented on After Brexit, Barclays Should Exit :

This is an excellent and frightening summary of the potential impact of Brexit on the U.K. economy. Relocating to the EU is a critical decision facing all British companies with global operations and, as Professor Emeritus notes, relocating is the prudent choice. Unfortunately, the decision to relocate will further disrupt the British economy. As companies relocate and capital flees Great Britain, economic growth will stagnate, unemployment will rise, the pound will depreciate, and real estate values will plummet.

My 89-year old Grandmother resides in England and voted for Brexit. She was a single-issue voter (immigration) and did not appreciate Brexit’s far-reaching consequences. My Grandmother did not understand that her vote would directly effect her bank account. I wonder if she would have voted differently if she had that clarity?

On November 26, 2017, NAK commented on Fall Without Pumpkin Spice Lattes? It Could Happen :

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece as I never before considered climate change’s impact on the micro-economies that support the coffee bean industry. I admire Starbucks for actively investing in its supply chain to combat the insidious effects of climate change and support these communities. Unfortunately, climate change is bigger than Starbucks and other actors outside of Starbucks’ purview are largely responsible for the damage done to coffee bean farmers in Central America. Is this too little too late?

It is prudent for Starbucks to shift its business model to rely less on coffee products as I fear Starbucks is fighting a losing battle unless other large polluters and government bodies take up the mantle of climate change.

This is a fascinating topic and an insightful application of supply chain management. I agree that data on viewer preferences will improve ABC’s ability to predict the success of pilot programs and thus improve its overall hit production yield. However, data analytics cannot change the fact that lead times for content creation are 6-18 months ahead of delivery. Thus, while ABC may possess data today that indicates viewers prefer medical dramas, by the time a show airs 6-18 months later consumer preferences may have changed. Data can help inform content creation but long lead times reduce the value of that data. GAP may offer a marginally improved assortment due to Big Data, but if GAP cannot rationalize its supply chain to match Zara’s speed, it will never be able to adapt its merchandise quick enough to keep pace with fast fashion. If ABC wants to compete long-term it must generate premium content more quickly at lower cost. I question whether this is even possible.

I agree with Shalei and iloveTOM that there will always be a need for brick-and-mortar stores. However, these physical locations must be transformed to create a unique experience that builds seamlessly on how customers digitally engage with Target. The complete integration of online and offline will allow Target to become a truly omnichannel player. This integration hinges on digitization and data analytics to inform operations. Predictive analytics based on observed buyer behavior will increase the accuracy of demand forecasting, which will in turn drive efficiency in inventory management. An integrated, automated supply chain will allow Target to respond quickly to shifting customer tastes and result in better merchandising.

I agree with all the steps Target is taking to “modernize.” Supply chain digitization is absolutely necessary to optimize Target’s performance and maintain margins in the fiercely competitive retail landscape. Digitization is not a question of if, but when and I worry that Target may not be evolving fast enough.

On November 26, 2017, NAK commented on Nike: Leading the Path to Fighting Climate Change :

I am pleased to hear that Nike, like IKEA, prioritizes sustainability. At the moment, these initiatives are unique and thus newsworthy. I hope that Nike and IKEA set new industry standards so that their peers are compelled to adopt similar policies. Sustainability should not be a novelty. However, I share Snake’s concern that Nike, as a single actor, will be unable to substantially change an industry. I believe that companies will only alter their practices if they observe significant financial benefit to migrating to a more sustainable model (or inaction negatively impacts the bottom line). At the end of the day, these companies are motivated by profits. Sustainable supply chain management will only take root if companies appreciate the financial benefit to changing their current models. It is not enough for Nike to advocate for sustainability. Nike must demonstrate how sustainability leads to better business.