• Alumni

Activity Feed

I think P3s are something that the private sector have been trying to advocate for years. It’s clear that TTC’s core competencies do not include managing large-scale infrastructure projects, and this is somewhere that a private partnership could help them. However, there’s been massive backlash on the use of P3s because of the massive failures you’ve mentioned. I personally believe that P3s would be beneficial if the right partner is selected and incentives are aligned. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that the Toronto population quite sees it the way I do!

Haha – I really hope this doesn’t deter you from visiting Toronto! I’d love to host you and show you the joys that are Canada / Toronto.

I didn’t think about the added stress on the system by implementing electronic fare cards, but that’s a very valid point. But it’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem. You need the ridership to boost up your revenues (either from fares or making a case for an added cut of taxpayer money), but you also need the appropriate infrastructure to support / attract that volume. I’m not sure which they should tackle first, but I do think they first need to prove they can use their existing funds in a way that extracts the most value. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter whether they raise or spend money first because they are basically just throwing it away either way.

Appreciate the response John, especially from a fellow Torontonian! I’m personally not convinced that increasing the fares will be the best move for the city – especially with the pricing pressures from UberX. I feel long-term this would further decrease the relevance and value that TTC can provide.

I do believe that changing to an electronic ticket / card system will increase ridership – especially from the younger generation. I’ve often forgone getting on a streetcar or subway and rather walked (or used Uber) because I no longer carry cash (and definitely don’t carry tokens).

Also, I can see it better promoting the integration with the other GTA transit systems. As someone who has used the PRESTO system extensively for the GO transit system (which is now entirely on PRESTO), I can see moving to an electronic system will encourage people to use both systems and provide a platform to provide potential incentives / discounts for those who already have a more expensive commute.

On December 13, 2015, VA commented on Intuit: Journey from Waterfall to Agile :

Thanks for sharing! I remember using Quickbooks many years ago and thinking that this software was going to die out since it was so antiquated and stagnant. It’s fascinating how a shift in operating model could turn a software (and an entire company) into something that is more relevant for the current generation. I now use the cloud version of Quickbooks and it’s definitely a lot sleeker and more user friendly than its desktop predecessor!

The use of the Agile method is definitely catching on in the IT departments of many non-traditional industries. I recently worked with 2 companies who were going through Agile adoption, one which was an industrial goods manufacturer and the other was a large bank. The method requires a significant shift in mentality and in skill set, and one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen in the successful adoption is attracting talent.

I wonder if Intuit may lose some of its competitive advantage (e.g. ability to attract top talent) as Agile continues to catch on in different companies and industries? Or do you think that the Agile mindset has already propelled Intuit too far ahead of the competition?

On December 13, 2015, VA commented on Walmart: Save Money. Live Better. Retail for Everyone. :

Walmart definitely does a great job marrying its business and operating models together! Everything they do is to reduce their costs, and you definitely touched on one of the key elements – the hardnosed negotiations with their suppliers. They are definitely ruthless with both their product and non-product suppliers – so much so that they require all suppliers to have an office in Bentonville, Arkansas!

Aside from just squeezing suppliers on the prices, they also force suppliers to play a larger role in managing their supply chain costs. For example, Walmart was one of the pioneers of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), where suppliers are responsible for monitoring the inventory levels at Walmart’s warehouses and making sure there was enough product at all times.

I also find it very interesting that Walmart maintains such a vast distribution network, including managing their own fleet. They’ve managed to master this model through a mix of technology and techniques (such as cross docking), and have one of the most efficient supply chains in the world!

I wonder if they’ll be able to keep it up though – as they seem to be having some recent trouble adjusting their supply chain to the changing retail landscape, in particular, the shift towards ecommerce and creating an omnichannel experience. We’ll see if this retail / supply chain giant can get through this rough patch!

Thanks for sharing your insights on how H&M has been able to grow in an ethical way! It seems like their deep partnerships and strong convictions have been a driving force behind their success.

I appreciate H&M’s good intentions, but wonder how sustainable some of their business practices will be given their ambitious 10-15% store growth targets. Under this pressure and public scrutiny, I wonder if their supplier standards may loosen as a result of increasing (and potentially different types of) demand from these new stores.

Further, with H&M not owning any of their own plants (yet still committing to 100% of some plant production), H&M needs to have lots of trust in their suppliers to operate ethically. As the supplier base continues to increase, it may become increasingly difficult to monitor suppliers for compliance. This 100% commitment to a plants production also seems to leave H&M with substantial risk, because if demand drops off, H&M is still committed to purchasing the production / bulk shipments. I guess they must be very confident in their growth and demand forecasting ability to enter into these arrangements!