Roger L

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Walmart must stay true to its promise of “Everyday Low Prices”, which is the reason why millions of Americans buy at Walmart every week. Any supply chain change that increases Walmart’s prices might have a very negative impact on the company.

That being said, Walmart must be aware of 1) Customer trends asking for more local products. The company can introduce new local product lines at a different price point than its globally sourced products and 2) Government and media pressure to source local. The company should be cautious to navigate this subject without promising actions that will negatively impact its current price point, and at the same time avoid creating public animosity against the company.

In addition to that, Walmart should not lose its focus to prepare itself for the expected “retail war” against Amazon that is going to take place in the very short term. Failing to provide “Everyday Low Prices” to customers would be a way to lose the war before it starts.

On November 26, 2017, Roger L commented on Raksul, Japanese Uber for Printing :

Interesting essay about how startups can leverage digital to tap into a traditional “sunset” industry.

Once Raksul establishes in Japan, I agree that it should start looking for business opportunities in other countries. However, I don’t agree that there is not enough potential in Europe or the US. Printing is still widely used (HBS case printing policy might be an example) and in both regions there are plenty of SME’s companies that would like to see their printing costs decrease. Most of these companies are unable to reduce printing costs because they are not big enough to buy the most efficient technology. Raksul has a good value proposition for them and should better assess the market opportunity before focusing in smaller and more complicated economies.

On November 26, 2017, Roger L commented on The New Netflix Challenge :

Interesting essay about a topic that is going to define the digital media creation and distribution industries in the following years. I think that Netflix has done the right thing by moving up the value chain and starting to create its own content. Moreover, Netflix data analytics, but still human-based, approach to content creation is the right one and is giving the company good results.

Threats from big content creators to go direct-to-consumers by-passing Netflix or other content distributors must be taken seriously. However the industry structure is not willing to be sustainable if every content creator intends to go direct to consumer. No matter how digital or technology advanced consumers become, they won’t be willing to have dozens of accounts, one per content creator. Therefore, companies such as Netflix must keep working on increasing their biggest asset: its customer base of millions of viewers.

Even the biggest content creators such as Warner and Disney will find it difficult to reach a certain critical mass based only on their productions. Once they realize how difficult to reach that critical mass is, it will be even more difficult for them to renounce to such an important source of revenues as selling their rights to Netflix, or other content distributors.

On November 26, 2017, Roger L commented on Coca-Cola: Sustainability Visionary or Villain? :

I think that this essay exemplifies another example of a big corporation trying to be “sustainable” because they’re supposed to rather than because they truly believe in a more sustainable world.

If Coca-Cola wants to have a positive (or at least neutral) impact in the world for the generations to come, it should define a clear sustainability strategy and align each company action all over the world to this strategy. In those regions were government regulations fall short compared to the company’s sustainability strategy, Coca-Cola should enforce its own regulation and partner with governments and local suppliers to help them improve their natural resources management.

Consumers are more conscious than before of companies that claim to be sustainable but they actually aren’t and social media is a perfect platforms to share company’s behaviors all over the world. Coca-Cola should stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. Otherwise, consumers will find out the misalignment, which could have disastrous reputation impacts for the brand.

On November 26, 2017, Roger L commented on Retail’s role in eliminating Global Food Waste :

I was aware that food waste is a very relevant topic touching different areas. However, I had never thought about food waste’s impact on climate change. So I read your essay with interest and I learned a lot from it.

I completely agree with you that the potential economic benefits for Tesco, and other retailers, from reducing food waste are enormous. Theoretically, suppliers could reduce their costs, retailers earn same or better margins, while offering clients better prices. However, many suppliers would be incentivized to hide food waste numbers or reluctant to invest in better technology. This is a huge barrier to overcome. Retailers must be aware that reducing food waste will probably mean to increase their control over the supply chain to drive change.

Tesco also faces a conflict of interest in its mission to reduce food waste. They are determined to reduce food waste in their food supply chain but at the same time they have to sell more products to consumers. As a result, they might find themselves fighting for food waste reduction upstream in their value chain and encouraging consumption, and therefore food waste, downstream when selling to customers. Tesco must be aware of this potential conflict of interest and build a consistent strategy throughout its entire value chain.

I completely agree with your perspective of Boeing being at a strategic crossroads between leading the world as a global manufacturer or focusing more and more in its domestic captive market.

Although emerging markets are still far from reaching Boeing’s production rates and costs, China poses a serious threat to established aircraft manufacturers (Boeing and Airbus). As an example, COMAC has apparently signed 130 orders for their C919 jet, which made its maiden flight in May 2017 (

I personally think that Boeing is wrong if it tries to align with US Government protectionist trade policies due to several reasons. First, emerging markets are going to drive growth in the years to come. Creating a “Made-only-in-the-US” brand won’t help the company sell more planes abroad. Second, Airbus, its main current competitor, has already a multi-national supply chain and manufacturing network. Leveraging on this experience it will be easier for Airbus to emerge as a true global manufacturer and include other developing countries (i.e. clients) in its network. By aligning with US Government protectionist policies, it will be hard for Boeing to compete against Airbus to capture the expected growth from emerging markets. Finally, Boeing should create and leverage an extensive global footprint to prevent other important emerging economies, which might feel excluded from the benefits of this industry’s growth, from creating their own aircraft manufacturer.