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On December 14, 2015, Nicole Gunasekera commented on Boston Beer Co. – The Founding Father of the Craft Beer Revolution :

Really interesting post, Ivan! I think it’s smart of BBC to separate its production into two distinct breweries, one for smaller/specialty/innovative batches and the other for high volume/popular batches. I’m sure this information is not easy to find publicly, but it would be interesting to know if the different breweries have different operating models in terms of cells, assembly lines, continuous flow, etc, given the differences in the number of types and relative volumes of beer that each brewery produces.

The freshest beer program is interesting as well. When I visited the Sam Adams brewery, it sounded like at least part of this program is buying back older beer inventory from distributors (which may be causing some of the losses BBC is experiencing). But your post makes it sound more like they are trying to increase the frequency of delivery and improve communication with distributors, possibly reducing the bullwhip effect and allowing for better planning as we saw in our beer game. A cool, literal parallel to something we learned in class!

On December 14, 2015, Nicole Gunasekera commented on Iora Health: Redefining primary care medicine :

Vitali, thanks for your comment! You bring up a great point. Iora actually intentionally selects health coaches who don’t have medical backgrounds. They prefer people like cashiers who have a customer service background. This is because the health coach is not supposed to provide medical advice but instead takes care of the patient’s non-medical issues related to his/her health. For example, coaches can teach patients how to accurately check their blood pressure or blood glucose, or they can go to an elderly patient’s home to identify and reduce fall risks. These are things a non-medical person can become an expert in with a bit of training and experience. And the customer service background ideally brings along an attitude of going above and beyond for the patient.

On December 14, 2015, Nicole Gunasekera commented on “Amul – The Taste of India” :

Tami, this is such an interesting company! I love the way they leverage their scale to support each member of their value chain, by providing fair margins to purchasers, assisting with demand prediction and capital expenditure payments, providing less costly cattle-feed, etc. It sounds like they also have good systems in place for quality control, which is something I would be worried about given the fragmentation of the supplier base and the perishability of the product.

Amul’s advertising campaign is very interesting to me, and I’m curious to know if you think it is well aligned with its mission. Is the fact that it was a reaction to a corrupt milk monopoly well known? If that is an important part of the brand, I wonder if that changes the way it should think about its more risqué cartoons that make political statements. I can see both sides. I could imagine that if its brand is associated with fairness and justice, political statements may be well received and consistent with its brand. On the other hand, I could also imagine that consumers may not respond well to feeling like they are making a political statement when they buy their dairy products. Would love to hear your thoughts!