Triston Francis

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On December 1, 2017, Triston Francis commented on Brexit – Serious Implications for the UK’s National Health Service :


I greatly enjoyed reading your post which delved into the impact that Brexit will have on the United Kingdom’s United Health Services. I was particularly interested in the human capital element of your post.

I agree with the short-term solution that you posted in terms of the need for government to explicitly confirm that EU staff working in NHS will be able to remain in the UK after Brexit. As it relates to many governments around the world, there is so much uncertainty and I think the greater measures that government can do to be more transparent will have huge implications. Doing so would limit the disruption to operations that has ensured following Brexit and the wake of uncertainty that it has left.

Thank you for the interesting read and I hope that we have a chance to discuss this further.


On December 1, 2017, Triston Francis commented on A Sobering Situation: Constellation Brands & NAFTA Renegotiations :


This is a great post.

I agree with Zack and at2019 as it relates to Constellation effectively quantifying the level of risk. It was wise for them to not overreact after Trump’s election because decisions to over-haul their supply chain would have had adverse effects on their business long-term.

As at2019 points out, moving manufacturing to the U.S. would require expensive upfront investment as well as a heightened variable cost due to labor wagers being higher in the U.S. rather than Mexico. Furthermore, as ABuck and Zack allude to, there are branding benefits of having beer that is made in Mexico.

Overall, what I really enjoyed about your piece was that it shows the way in which management can respond calm to situations which could be perceived as a crisis. After Trump’s elections, there was so much volatility. At Morgan Stanley, I witnessed the frantic nature of some of the clients we covered that were unsure to what extent they needed to drastically overhaul aspects of their business. It was reassuring to see how a company was able to proceed with poise and I think the benefits of them having done so will become clear with time.

Once again, thank you for a well-written, interesting post.

On December 1, 2017, Triston Francis commented on Unilever’s climate-proofing strategy :


I enjoyed reading your post. Unilever has been a topic of discussion in so many of our classes throughout the semester and it was interesting to learn even more about the company. Overall, I agree that Unilever is making commendable efforts to fight the climate change battle.

I felt that the data that they are collecting on whether farmers in their channel are using sustainable practices is a compelling strategy. For this to be effective, they will need to gather a large amount of data for that information to be meaningful. In a nutshell, I would be doubtful of the success of this initiative; however, I am optimistic because I feel as though they have a thoughtful execution approach which they plan to use. I feel as though offering the tool for free makes their objectives a bit more feasible. I think that there will be a way for them to share some of this data with the user so that they are able to market the perks of collaborating with Unilever to focus on sustainability.

The incentives of Unilever and farmers are aligned because both of their businesses are so deeply impacted by climate change. Unilever has scale which helps shield them from particularly negative things such as a natural disaster which happens with greater regularity these days do to climate change. Farmers don’t have that same scale and therefore the risk to their business is significantly greater and this will make them more inclined to form partnerships and collaborate with Unilever to de-risk their business.

Overall, I have confidence in the scale and depth of relationships which Unilever has which I believe position them well to protect their company against climate change.
Thank you for the very thought-provoking read. I hope that we have an opportunity to discuss further.


On December 1, 2017, Triston Francis commented on The impact of climate change on Saint-Gobain’s supply chain :


I enjoyed hearing your perspectives on how Saint-Gobain is combating climate change.

Given the company’s reliance on raw materials – such as clean water, sand and minerals – which are directly impacted by global warming, the topic you picked is imperative for the company to sort out. The dual-approach you propose in terms of short-term and long-term strategies feels as though it is an effective formula for management to take to address their risks.

I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion that management should, in the short-term, focus on plans that are in areas which are scarce on the raw materials the company needs. Although effective in the short-term, I agree with your view that they will also need to implement some long-term measures. Evaluating whether they should maintain manufacturing bases near the coasts would be a good course of action for management to purse. To de-risk their business in the long-term, I believe that they should seriously consider selling off some of their manufacturing assets if they are able to do so without too much disruption in the business.

With that said, I believe that if they look to sell off those risky manufacturing bases on coastal cities, they should try and be one of the first movers with this de-risking strategy for a few reasons.

1) If they move quickly, they maximize the number of alternatives for what they can do with their manufacturing assets if they conclude that they present too great of a long-term risk due to their coastal location.

2) The longer the wait, the more of a risk they will be and the less attractive of an asset it will be to external parties of interest.
It will be interesting to watch how this company proceeds in the coming years. Thanks for a great read.


On December 1, 2017, Triston Francis commented on The Best Supply Chain in The World :


Thank you for what I felt was a great post.

I do believe that J&J can become the best supply chain in the world. The regulatory pressure requiring them to ensure their drugs are entirely traceable soon increases their focus on their supply chain and this shows through what they are implementing.
J&J has already made huge strides on this front. As you highlighted, not only do they rank #13 on the Gartner annual Top 25 Supply Chain Index [1] but they are also the only healthcare company to make the top 25 list. The fact that J&J is the only healthcare company on the list is crucial because I believe that relative to other industries, healthcare companies will need to be particularly effective as it relates to their supply chain given increased regulation and heightened attention on healthcare issues around the world. The industry will continue to have a spotlight on it and creating a top-notch supply chain will need o be the norm. J&J already has a huge start through many of the best practices which you alluded to such as sophisticated analytics like machine learning and predictive modeling.

Although I understand the point that Monika raises in her comment around the risks raised in the privacy area, I believe that as it relates to healthcare, the focus on privacy is not going to create as much of a concern as it does in some areas where more personal social and financial information is in the hands of technology company. I believe that people will need to become desensitized to the idea of overly protecting their healthcare data to create the kind of healthcare systems which has reasonable costs and broad support.
Once again, I felt this was a very thought-provoking piece and I hope that we have a chance to discuss it further.

[1] Johnson & Johnson, “Johnson & Johnson Moves Up Eight Spots on The Gartner To 25 Supply Chain Index”, Company Website, May 25, 2017, , accessed November 2017.


On November 30, 2017, Triston Francis commented on How digitalization is supporting Adidas expand the reach of Fast Fashion :


Thank you for this great post. I feel as though your question as to whether or not Adidas can sustain “fast fashion” as a competitive advantage is a crucial one for the customer to consider. That being said, I believe that the implications of Adidas’ focus on digitizing their supply chain process so that shoes can go from a sketch book to store shelves as quickly as possible has even greater implications on their cost structure than it does around their ability to compete in the fast fashion space.

Although the speed from ideation to a product being on the shelf is certainly crucial, I don’t believe that the customer promise for Adidas to be timely with their designs is as great as the customer promise which companies like Zara make to their customers who want to see low cost fashion trends that are matched with what is seen at fashion shows and from high-end items. The greater value add to digitization for Adidas stems from being able to produce their shoes significantly cheaper as Nike is doing: “Nike investing in a company making electrical adhesion machines that can assemble the upper part of a shoe 20 times faster than a human worker can.” [1] This is a trend where Adidas can’t affords to lose out to their competitors and therefore they will need to focus on similar production capability improvements in order to remain competitive.

Unlike Zara, Adidas does not need to follow fashion trends in quite as timely of a matter. As long as they have a product which is differentiated from anything else that is in the market, they will be competitive. Therefore, their ability to manufacture certain parts of their shoe via machine rather than human labor allows them to “keep the latest trends and ideas in-house rather than sharing them with suppliers.” [2] This is compelling because there product needs to be differentiated from that of their competitors such as Nike.

[1] Bloomberg, “Adidas brings the fast shoe revolution one step closer” (Oct. 5, 2017)
[2] Bloomberg, “Adidas brings the fast shoe revolution one step closer” (Oct. 5, 2017)