Sonia Elavia

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On November 26, 2017, Sonia Elavia commented on If you build it, will Tariffs come? BMW in the World of Trump :

“BMW should explain to American politicians how Mexican governmental policies have encouraged investment and job creation, whereas protectionist and isolationist trade policies only disincentivize companies from increasing manufacturing production in those countries.”

I really enjoyed this write up – I think many people forget that not only do American companies benefit from outsourcing manufacturing because of low labor costs and access to skilled labor, but also that there is so much to learn and model from how other countries are performing. Additionally, it’s great to see you assessing the importance of flexibility in a business – without knowing what could happen at the political level, it’s great that BMW has factories located in different geographies to ensure they can adapt to whatever comes their way. In many of our cases, we read that often times manufacturers didn’t even have flexibility regarding using a skilled worker in the place of another worker who is unable to make their shift. By having so much flexibility, BMW is setting itself up for operational success.

On November 26, 2017, Sonia Elavia commented on Can Protectionism Save Auto Jobs in the US? :

I really enjoyed this write up! In addition to the political risks you included, I’m curious to know more about the technology transfer concerns. Specifically, I think it’s important to understand how Ford is monitoring risks around Chinese manufacturers leveraging Ford’s patents and technology innovations. Even though Ford executives say they have “no concerns relative to the amount of I.P. that has to be shared,” I’m not sure what they are doing to prevent possible transfers [1]. As stated in the write up, most of the outsourcing is for less complex cars, which may be the solution. Nevertheless, the more simple models are still property of Ford and therefore an important compoment of their business. Because Ford will likely continue this outsourcing given the talented labor and low cost of labor, it will be important for the company to properly monitor the work on an ongoing basis.

[1] Keith Bradsher, “China’s Electric Car Push Lures Global Auto Giants, Despite Risks,” The New York Times, September 10, 2017,, accessed November 26, 2017.

On November 26, 2017, Sonia Elavia commented on Enjoy that cup of coffee, it may be your last… :

I’m really interested in the aspect of this paper that relates to helping farmers increase their revenue before losing these farmers to competitors. I wonder if there’s a way to secure these farmer relationships and get them onboard with the importance of sustainability. Perhaps there’s a way to show how if they continue working with Nestle, not only will they benefit from a revenue perspective but also from a sustainability perspective. Are there additional incentives for these farmers to keep working with Nestle?

On November 26, 2017, Sonia Elavia commented on Planes Can’t Soar in Soaring Temperatures :

I really enjoyed this post! I’m curious to know if you thought about how consolidation in the airline industry could help Emirates improve its global footprint. We saw consolidation with Virgin and Alaska, and US Airways and American Airlines – do you think that teaming up with other airlines could help Emirates pool resources, cut down on emissions and generally operate more efficiently? I think there’s an opportunity for Emirates to share its best practices with other players (like drywashing planes), but it will be difficult to enforce these practices without connecting the players.

On November 26, 2017, Sonia Elavia commented on A Healthcare Organization’s Planned Parenthood with Digitalization :

I agree with Zach – I think all in all telemedicine is a fantastic idea, especially for Planned Parenthood users. In addition to the concern of privacy, I worry that depending on the quality of the telemedicine and the honesty of the patient, there could be issues around inaccurate diagnosis or prescriptions as noted in the MedPro Group article cited below. If not implemented properly and closely monitored, a major dependence on telehealth could increase malpractice issues. My questions back to you are what is the right way to gradually but effectively role this approach out, and how do you manage quality control on an ongoing basis?

Cascella, Laura. “Virtual Risk: An Overview of Telehealth From a Risk Management Perspective,” MedPro Group,, accessed November 26, 2017.

On November 26, 2017, Sonia Elavia commented on Maple, a restaurant without walls :

I really enjoyed your post Ian – as someone who is also interested in this space, I’m curious about who you think has a competitive advantage in this already heavily saturated market. Additionally, with Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods and Uber’s fast growing UberEats service, do you think other players like Munchery, Seamless, DoorDash etc. have a chance? I’m not convinced that with so many companies already delivering restaurant/restaurant-quality meals (including healthy options), and with the invention of meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron that optimize for customers who like to cook, companies like Deliveroo could compete in a market like NYC. What competitve edge does Deliveroo have that existing players don’t have? Do any players that enter this space have a chance to steal marketshare, let alone win in the space?