Excellent topic and content!
I will agree with “James Shaw” that lobbying will be a very difficult battle (not to say it is already a lost war). I feel Goldman Sachs needs not to think about IF it needs to reorganize their business because of Brexit, but HOW to do so. I liked both your options, and although I agree keeping everyone in the UK and “operating remotely” would result in smaller costs, I would go with the latter option.
Moving everyone to Frankfurt will be costly, but by doing this, GS avoids any misconception regarding “gaming the system”. Besides that, accepting Brexit and moving out will end with most uncertainties, instead of just postponing the seemingly unavoidable decision to move out. Should GS move quick, they might enjoy several benefits of being first-movers on this industry reorganization: for example, workforce availability might play in their favor. First, because as other banks move, less qualified industry experts will be available for hire. Second, by ensuring they have a straightforward strategy that is less dependent on the Brexit outcomes, they might be able to attract talents from their competitors, mainly those who fear for their future careers.
Informational flow throughout the supply chain definitely deserves the spotlight on our TOM discussions – great choice of topic and great essay!
In my opinion, sharing information is just the first step towards a “defect-free” procurement. Fortunately, the risk aversion towards sharing data is being surpassed, and giants such as BMW play an important role into making this the industry standard. Once all data is shared, there will be several other issues that will arise – one that particularly interests me is on how to manage the huge amount of data now available: as you said, BMW alone has 13,000 suppliers, each with their own suppliers. I feel that new types of jobs (or even companies) will appear, such as a “supply management organizer”. People or companies whose role is to guarantee a better understanding and alignment among the thousands of different players on a supply chain. As a company, this player would not only be specialized on this, but also guarantee neutrality and across-the-board optimization (rather than optimizing for only part of the supply chain). The question is: are the giants (BMW) ready to give up their data and autonomy for a greater good? After all, that is what they are asking from their suppliers.
Excellent topic and text – fake news have become increasingly critical on these last few years, and yet no definitive solution arose.
I believe Twitter should feel accountable for fake news, even if they avoid legal obligation to what is shared on their platform. Their business model requires trust and authenticity, so I agree that quality should become their #1 priority. I see the quality issue with 2 different types of solutions: anticipating fake news to avoid their publishing, and quickly reacting to fake news and removing the content from Twitter (this can be compared to preventive and corrective medicine. The first is much more effective and cheap, yet sometimes diseases are unavoidable, and corrective treatment is required).
Anticipating fake news means imposing barriers to the “freedom of speech” they preach, which might also impact their business on the short term, but is critical for long term survival. This might be done either on the signup, or every time a user posts. To reduce the impact on “freedom of speech”, verification should be focused on signup. It is the most effective way to a more trustworthy platform, and should be prioritized versus correcting. If there is a way to ensure 100% authenticity on the user database, then all other actions will be much less important, although still useful to deal with exceptions (for example, login theft). Not an easy solution…
Great text – the concern about water is definitely becoming increasingly relevant to our society! Yet, I feel on the short term few companies, including ABI, will radically change their business model due to water scarcity. ABI is widely known for its lean organizations and major cost-cutting initiatives to drive better profitability (https://www.ft.com/content/268f73e6-31a3-11e7-9555-23ef563ecf9a), and these water saving programs seem to be part of those. Earth is the land of water, and water will always be widely available, but with increased climate change, it might become more expensive for companies to acquire, filter, and use them – hence ABI’s worries regarding this subject.
Despite being, in my opinion, just one more cost-cutting initiative done by ABI, there is still merit on their effort and their potential impact to the environment by adopting more friendly processes and technologies. Their R&D teams will keep working on innovations, but much more focused on driving costs down than on solely reducing their environmental impact.
Excellent article, as well as comments from the other students!
I agree with you that isolationism is a big issue for UPS, and opposing what Viroopa and Katharine said, I feel UPS will suffer severe consequences. Although tariffs and trade regulations are on the goods (and not the transporter), the immediate consequence would be a great decrease in volumes traded globally, reducing UPS’s market.
Your suggestion to focus both on lobbying and on short-distance transportation is quite reasonable. I would add that, in my opinion, most probably the isolationism trend is temporary, so I feel UPS should think of the next few years as a time with smaller operational complexity and use it to develop new capabilities for the long-term needs (such as smart language and currency tools, better long-range tracking systems, etc). Then, as soon as globalization starts booming again, UPS can act as the first mover and rapidly gain global market dominance.
First of all, congratulations on the excellent article. I had no idea about this Project Gigatron, and now I am aware of its potential to positively impact the environment.
In my point of view, as the biggest retailer in the World, it is undeniable that Walmart plays a critical role on designing the future for supply chains. Making Project Gigatron “voluntary” was the way they marketed how they envision their future suppliers. Although it might seem too soft, by allowing their suppliers to opt-in, it seems what they are actually doing is attracting first-movers and early adopters to try this program with them. I 100% agree with you that voluntary is not enough, but starting something from scratch and imposing on their supply chain could bring political and economical challenges to everyone (Walmart & suppliers alike).
By making this program (initially) voluntary, Walmart not only identifies the suppliers who are most aligned to their values, but also sends a message to all of them: right now it might not be voluntary, but you [supplier] better start thinking about this, because in the future this can become mandatory. And with data from the voluntary participants, whatever Walmart decides as a mandatory condition will be much more effective to reduce carbon emissions.