Noga Ratner

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Great questions, and a big dilemma. To answer your question- I think automation and innovation advances in the developing world will certainly reinvigorate the companies in the developing countries and Nike needs to take advantage of that. I think you touched a key point when you said that North America is expected to drive only ~16% of total company growth through to 2022, this has to be in the back of Nike’s mind when they analyze their financials going forward. The US government should also understand that the US market is not necessarily the biggest and most meaningful to all companies, and thus while they want to “bring businesses back home” when they make harsh demands and high tariffs on imported goods, they may be driving companies away from the US and into competing markets.

On November 22, 2017, NR commented on Designed in California, Manufactured/Assembled in U.S.A.? :

This was fascinating to read!
I loved the questions raised throughout the essay and they made me think of even more.

Although I understand the president’s urge to create job opportunities for American people, I could not help thinking about the devoted employees in China who came to work at midnight to fix the iPhone screens. Is this a culture Foxconn can apply to the US? is this a culture they even want to have in the US? How will moving Foxconn to the US effect the supply chain, especially when taking employee training time in consideration? How long untill both factories will reach the same efficiency? It may be closer geographically but will the outputs really be better? Does Apple have a say? If so, what is it and is this a risk Apple is wiling to take?

On November 22, 2017, NR commented on Sustainability at Unilever: Nebulous or Critical? :

This is very interesting and a real world wide problem. As you stated, they had already revised their plan to halve its environmental impact from 10 to 20 years as these changes are hard to make, especially when they are a real financial burden. Another problem that immediately intrigued me was if and how are they dealing with excess packaging and reduce waste that also contributes to global warming? Are any efforts being made towards recycled, perishable packaging? Is that an issue they are addressing? Their website talks about “circular economy” but to your point, I wonder how trustworthy they and what are their measures in this aspect as well.

On November 21, 2017, NR commented on Enjoy your morning espresso (while you still can). :

The effect of climate change on agriculture in general and coffee beans more specifically has been studied for many years.
This is a very interesting billion (maybe more) dollar market. As such, different “players” have been trying to come up with various kinds of solutions.
Due to the huge market and world wide consumption, I do not feel that Nespresso’s efforts or even all coffee companies combined are sufficient enough to ensure the long-term sustainability on the industry’s supply chain. As you mentioned, I believe there is a need for both government support to mitigate the risk of deforestation AND advanced technologies (some already exist) to enable growth of the beans throughout the climate change.

[1]Brendan Borrell, “Plant biotechnology: Make it a decaf”, Nature, March 14, 2012
[2] Rachel Feltman, “Genetically modified coffee could be just around the corner”, The Washington Post, Sep 4th, 2014

“If you can’t beat them, join them”.
I really enjoyed reading this and find it so interesting how Amazon is becoming bigger with every passing day. I believe Owen’s and Miles made a brave decision to join the e-commerce giant. However, as you mentioned in the essay, revenue and margin quickly dropped. As a B2B company, I wonder just how much Owen’s and Miles thought about how the consumer would react to purchasing his/her vital medical supplies on a low priced- fast delivery platform.
I think your idea of creating an online marketplace for medical supplies can be revolutionary, and that costumers would be a lot more accepting of this idea. Patient safety should be Owen’s and Miles’ number one concern. As you wrote, I believe that in the long-term, taking on the difficult and innovation-heavy task of creating such a marketplace will be most profitable!

Very interesting!
I think you laid out the background perfectly. The graph of “Ralph Lauren’s share price movement” you added says it all. It emphasizes the problem and makes the stand out.
It seems Ralph Lauren is already making some short term changes but that may not be enough. I hope that as you suggested, they will also adjust their inventory using a constant digital flow of information, and so hopefully it will not be too late for them!