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Katie – love the topic and post!

I think this is a very important issue for our economy as we strive to make our healthcare system more efficient. The amount of waste created by corrupted medicines is unacceptable and represents low hanging fruit when thinking about taking costs out of the healthcare system. I think DHL’s thermonet sensors are an important step in collecting the type of data necessary to ultimately design more efficient systems. It is difficult to make far reaching changes to an antiquated system without first truly knowing where the pain points are.

It is interesting to note that DHL is being pushed quickly into cold chain not just because of threats from Amazon. While the e-comm behemoth is threatening DHL’s core business and forcing them to identify new growth avenues, the shift to cold chain has likely been accelerated by recent private equity interest in the space. Investors have recognized cold chain as fragmented, high growth space and have been allocating funds accordingly. This trend could be pushing DHL into the space, so they can gain an early mover advantage and leverage their scale in what will become a competitive industry

On November 28, 2017, Seth commented on Kansas City Southern Railroad Blues :

Great topic and post!

If NAFTA is terminated or renegotiated to President Trump’s liking, there will likely be a drop in cross border trade. KCS needs to figure out a way to position itself to fill in this lost revenue with more US-US and Mex-Mex routes while still maintaining relationships with its leading cross-border customers, as a future administration could reinstate policies that promote cross-border trade.

I like that the CEO is taking an active stance in the ongoing negotiations. As the recent decline in stock price exemplifies, this is a material issue to the company’s value. I would advise that KCS form or rally existing industry groups that would be effected by NAFTA termination to publicly lobby the government to change course. Similar to the solar panel industry’s lobby against a potential tariff on imported panels, emphasizing domestic job and productivity concerns would be an attractive ploy

Jon – very interesting and timely topic!

I think the up front and ongoing costs of maintaining a de-risked, global supply chain are large and only practical for the purpose of addressing supply / demand shocks (like Hurricane Maria). In steady state, it would likely never make economic sense for Baxter to ship saline from Europe or Australia to the US. I think insurance companies and governments can play a roll in incentivizing healthcare products companies to developed these globally approved supply chains, as they can be critical to administering adequate life saving care in an efficient manner. In the long run, I also think manufacturers need to be proactive in developing facilities in locations at lower risk of harm from natural disaster. Again, I think governments can provide incentives for this type of expansion to take place. There is a risk, however, in relocating jobs away from natural disaster zones and leaving those regions with fewer resources to combat the aftermath of such disasters

On November 28, 2017, Seth commented on Isolationism, the Antithesis of Innovation :

Really interesting topic and piece! The fact that these companies collaborated to form Viiv gives me hope that they could overcome policy headwinds from the current US administration. It is rare to see competitive private firms bind together and dedicate significant resources to a common goal that could have significant economic consequences down the road. They have demonstrated a commitment to innovation and to eradicating a horrible disease; these efforts should not be suppressed by isolationist policies. I understand how isolationist policies may limit the flow of human capital, but I am a bit confused as to how information flow would be slowed…

At the end of the day, I do trust that these firms have well established lobbying channels and should be able to continue carrying out this humanitarian mission

Stefan – great article! The two questions you raised at the end of your piece were two of the same ones that I thought of as I read. On the workforce front, I am particularly interested in how the AR maintenance offering would effect the size and composition of the workforce. Would it reduce the total number of maintenance workers, change the training required, shift geographic allocation?

As it relates to using ALM for jet engine parts – I am curious where we are in ensuring the safety of 3D printing manufacturing. The cost of a part failing is immense, so the company needs to make sure this technology is ironclad, just as it needs to ensure the machines producing the machines cannot be infiltrated by hackers

On November 28, 2017, Sam Mott commented on The Climate Change Concern for PepsiCo :

Nick – great article! Your piece raised a lot of questions for me about how Pepsi will be able to efficiently implement their desired climate change and water conservation measures. While the measures should have long term cost savings, they require significant investments in the short term, and PepsiCo is reliant upon actions by external parties in their supply chain if PepsiCo wishes to reach its end goals. To reduce the scope 3 emissions, how much leverage does PepsiCo have to force other parties to adopt greener policies? Will PepsiCo have to sacrifice financial terms in exchange for the environmental policies they want?

Your thoughts on increased communication going forward made me wonder about potential partnerships with companies at the forefront of developing practical uses of IOT. Should PepsiCo be learning from/working with companies like GE or IBM to make sure the various parts of its supply chain are talking to each other?