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On December 1, 2017, WS commented on Will Trump’s economic nationalism hurt Toyota? :

Very interesting article, and definitely relatable. I have debated back and forth regarding Toyota becoming more transparent with investors. To me, one of the benefits of a public company is that the investors can predict, and have historical data, on how the company will fare during uncertain political times. I think the investors should educate themselves on the changes the current presidential cabinet can make, and how it will affect the markets and specific companies they are invested in. Investors should be responsible to do their homework, Toyota does not need to be explicitly stating things. (Until the activist investor comes in and changes things)

As Toyota, however, I would start looking for opportunities in Canada. There are obviously changes coming, and if lobbying doesn’t work, Toyota needs another strategy before it is priced out of the market.

On November 30, 2017, WS commented on Samsung, “America First” and the Washing Machine Wars :

I agree with Chip on this. My stance on this is really driven on the reasoning behind Samsung’s lower prices.
My fear with isolationism and trade protectionism is that it will cause the US market to become stagnant. Competition is vital in order to keep prices manageable and increase innovation. Isolationism tends to favor these large, multinational companies that are able to relocate in order to maintain competitive in the US market. While I appreciate the job creation in the United States, I think this policy excludes smaller, niche firms and interferes too much in the market. I think in the long run America will be unhappy with the result of this action and will ultimately end up paying more for lesser products.

On November 28, 2017, WS commented on The Disruptor: the Costco of the Internet :

I found this article very compelling, I also was unaware of how Jet passed on savings. I think that Jet should definitely be leveraging its Wal-Mart connection. It would be a shame if they were not able to find any purchasing or shipping efficiencies with such a large corporation. I think that relying on other merchants or building their own distribution centers will only increase costs unnecessarily. Wal-mart and Jet have similar enough shipping models they should be able to leverage and find efficiencies – which can also help reduce their carbon footprint and be an aid to combat global warming.

I would push back on Jet only carrying “millennial” items. How are they going to compete with Amazon if they are only targeting one segment of the population. I think they will be missing out on a large market if they leave out the other generations. They have the opportunity to be a first mover and educate consumers, driving loyalty to their brand.

This was an interesting article, especially in regards to supply chain economics. As Nordstrom increases the amount of drop shipping and pushes the risk onto their suppliers, I wonder if any pushback will come. It seems to me that the suppliers will eventually tire of paying Nordstrom to be the middle man, and then consumers will wise up and see that they can order the same item direct form the supplier for a lesser price.

It also seems to me that Nordstrom could lose their competitive advantage with unique products. As the supplier takes on more risk and is holding more inventory, Nordstrom is essentially giving up their right to exclusivity. It will become increasingly difficult for suppliers to maintain the risk, and they will have to find other end consumers to use those same products in order for the SKUs to be economically viable.
I think that digitalization of the supply chain is important and necessary, but pushing off the majority of the risk to the supplier is eventually going to backfire on Nordstrom.

On November 28, 2017, WS commented on Feeding the world one ugly potato at at time! :

This is an intriguing article, and I believe very forward-thinking of Tesco. I agree that food waste is a large issue and greatly contributes to climate change. However, I did take issues with the larger pack sizes of produce. This may reduce waste at the store level, but have any tests been done to see if it will reduce waste at home? It seems like the larger pack sizes will just shift the food waste to the consumer. Perhaps Tesco needs to re-evaluate its purchasing methods and buying strategy. Is it buying too much produce in a given location? How can it use produce about to be wasted, not just the ugly potatoes? Tesco is making changes, but I think these are very small and insignificant compared to the problem. I expect more from a company as large as Tesco.

This was a very interesting article that highlighted the need for both private and government disaster response efforts. In such a tragic situation, I believe private companies and government entities should work together to provide relief as quickly as possible. H-E-B has a mission of providing people food they need to survive. Their supply chain efforts helped achieve that mission, and as a result helped the company and the community overall. I think that in these situations, companies/government should stick to their core competency. H-E-B is very good at supplying food quickly and effectively. The government is better at deploying help for clean-up and disaster relief.

I believe H-E-B’s disaster relief efforts were due to morals, although I don’t think it would matter if it is for profit. H-E-B understands their standing in the community and the importance to the brand of being highly visible and involved in the community. Not gauging food prices and providing the aid necessary proves that H-E-B has a moral standing.