This painted a very clear picture of the dilemma facing Foxconn and the pros and cons of producing the entire product in Wisconsin versus shipping components to the factors in Zhengzhou for final assembly. Of the options you listed, I actually prefer the first option (manufacturing components in China to be sent to the plant in Wisconsin to be assembled together.) Efficiency standards, according to your research, are lower in Wisconsin and I ultimately would presume that the decrease in efficiency would out-weight the cost-savings from shipping. By continuing to manufacture some of the more variable components in China, you can continue to utilize the workforce that can turn product around more efficiently.
While I agree that there is an urgency for Unilever to address production concerns as it pertains to sustainability, I call into question the steps that Unilever has taken thus far. SOMO, the center for research on multinational organizations, issued a report aimed at assessing how successful Unilever has been in achieving its goals of working with farmers in India and Kenya to more efficiently and sustainably produce tea. The report revealed two major findings that should be of concern to Unilever.
Firstly, the report called into question the validity of the Rainforest Alliance Certificate, which is the standards that Unilever uses to deduce whether plantations are environmentally sustainable. If I were management at Unilever I would conduct research into various standards to implement the most thorough review process regarding sustainable practices. The second SOMO conclusion was that laborers in plant in Kenya and India have been subjected to grave mistreatment, ranging from unsanitary housing to unfair wages . Unilever should be greatly concerned about its treatment of workers, both because of the potential for damaging media attention and because the company is heavily reliant on farmers in third world countries.
 Precarious work in certified tea production for Unilever. SOMO. 31 Oct. 2011, https://www.somo.nl/precarious-work-in-certified-tea-production-for-unilever/
As mentioned, Anheuser-Busch InBev has a responsibility as a major water consumer to take steps to ameliorate the issue of global water shortage.
Part of ABInBev’s current strategy which was not touched upon is to partner with governments to tackle the issue. Taking the example of South Africa we can see that ABInBev worked with the public and private sector to create a digital platform that would inform farmers of water availability in deciding which irrigation site to use. Additionally, the company worked directly with farmers to train on best farming practices that reduce environmental impact and provide the most efficient use of water . The company should invest in expanding such digital initiatives that can create water tracking systems globally. Also, in countries with very limited resources, ABInBev must halt production as was the case in El Salvador as the essay noted. This could lead to an increase in shipping costs, however if the company can continue to figure out how to use water more efficiently through R&D, perhaps these cost savings can help cover an increase in shipping.
 Our Stories. ABInBev. 25 Apr. 2017, http://www.ab-inbev.com/news/our-stories/better-world/south-africa-partnering-to-protect.html
I agree that one of Birchbox’s primary challenges moving forward will be to determine its competitive edge as other companies begin to replicate this model and how to stay profitable in the long run. One major component of this that I see is that while selling items on its website can be more profitable than the subscription based model of sending boxes of product, it can also be riskier. An e-commerce site requires the company to hold inventory, provide customer service and returns, and can be expensive the company cannot properly predict demand for products .
However, in order to be profitable and cover its shipping costs, which I would imagine would be one of the most significant costs for the company, Birchbox should continue to build out its online presence. To me, this is the main reason that digital analytics will be so vital for the company – to mitigate the inherent risk in expanding the online presence.
 Key To Success: Beauty Box Company Birchbox Says It’s Not Just About The Box. Forbes, 23 Sept. 2015, https://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2015/09/23/key-to-success-beauty-box-company-birchbox-says-its-not-just-about-the-box/
This essay provides an interesting assessment of the public school system as a supply chain – students progress through various stages of the system and ultimately enter the job market as a product for future employers. Digitization of logistics can indeed help allocate students across the various options of public and charter schools so that demand will match supply.
Another way that digitization can aid the public school system is by cutting back on physical supplies. Taking the example of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, which in 2013 began an initiative to mandate the use of digital textbooks in its classroom, we can see how digitization benefits both the school and parents. Typically, the school will be a supplier of textbooks to the parents, who previously were spending $700 a year on these textbooks . Generally schools have to hold onto expensive books if parents decide to purchase a used copy online at a discount and parents make substantially purchases on items their children will only use for a year. Digitization creates savings for both parties, saves on limited resources (paper), and is more convenient for students who may not want to carry heavy textbooks all day.
 No More Books: High School Goes All Digital. USA Today, 18 Sept. 2013, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/12/no-more-books-high-school-goes-all-digital-/2807577/.