Really interesting article! I see how 3D printing can have a huge impact on a company like Adidas. From a TOM perspective, the company can drastically improve their factory’s capacity and churn out significantly more shoes in one day than they used to be able to do. The flip side is that for retail companies that pride themselves on their brand and quality (like Adidas), 3D printing can have a negative impact as well. With the spread of 3D printing, will Adidas shoes become commodified? And at that point, how can a company like Adidas continue to differentiate itself as a unique retail brand?
Thanks for the interesting read. As one of the largest companies in the world, I’m surprised Amazon hasn’t taken the initiative to be at the forefront of addressing climate change like its peers, such as Walmart. Amazon has a huge potential to leverage its size and power over its supplier network to make a positive impact on climate issues. I agree with the point that enforcing sustainability practices with Amazon suppliers is much more complicated than Ikea’s situation, but if a company like Walmart can implement a supplier sustainability program, Amazon should be able to as well, at least for its large suppliers.
I think it’s really interesting how big of a role government regulations can play in the private sector, for better or for worse. As you mentioned in your blog post, SunPower has been forced to reevaluate its strategic focus and its current business model thanks to the government. Some of the changes SunPower will make will ultimately be beneficial, but other changes may ultimately be harmful and not the most efficient/effective for the business or its customers. The shift towards isolationism, while nominally supposed to benefit the American people and American companies, can ultimately hurt the people it’s supposed to help.
Thanks for the interesting read. While I agree that it’s important to have a presence in the US, I would also point out that if you look at projected trends in the commercial aerospace market, majority of air traffic growth will be happening in developing markets like Asia and Latin America. Many of the airlines in those countries are ramping up their aircraft purchasing to serve the greater demand. Only concern with Bombardier is that their planes range on the smaller end so the routes they’d be able to service are limited.
I think it’s great that the company is taking the initiative here to influence others in its supply chain to do the same. Sure, it might be difficult for Walmart to get suppliers on board with understanding the short vs long term economic benefits, but as one of the largest companies in the world, we shouldn’t underestimate the amount of clout Walmart has over its suppliers. For many of its suppliers, Walmart is likely the largest customer contributing to the majority of revenues. As a supplier in that situation, if Walmart wants you to change certain aspects of your supply chain and how you’re delivering product to Walmart, it’s in your best interest to do what they want.
This is a really interesting debate on the role of social responsibility in a private company. Walmart is an example of a company that, for the last few years, has committed to sourcing a certain amount of products made in the US as part of their effort to boost the US manufacturing industry. Like everyone mentioned, I don’t think there’s a clear cut right answer. There are trade-offs involved with single-mindedly pursuing profit maximization, and there are also trade-offs involved with prioritizing social responsibility at the expense of profit maximization. I agree with Mike above that it’s not the job of private corporations like Apple to solve America’s workforce education problems. While forcing companies to bring jobs back to the US might help the American economy in the short term, it doesn’t address the underlying problems with how America’s workforce is currently being educated that are contributing to the skills gap. That’s ultimately for the government to work on resolving.
This is a really interesting post! Beauty products are fairly high consideration purchases because consumers care a lot about not just product quality (since the product is going straight on your skin) but also how the product actually looks in use. Now with the majority of purchases shifting to online, it’s great to see companies like L’Oreal thinking creatively about how to bring that decision making process online as well with product reviews and apps like the Makeup Genius. In a competitive space like the beauty industry, initiatives like this are really important in helping companies differentiate themselves from the many other brands out there.
Thanks for the interesting read. For media companies like the NYT, producing and owning quality content is critical, and with the advent of IoT and the different platforms on which content is consumed, it’s really important for these media companies to also make sure they are 1) staying on top of the trends in how and where people are consuming content, and 2) making sure they have a presence on those different platforms. In the Alexa example, it’s unlikely that Amazon could ever fully replicate the quality and depth of the NYT’s content, but it remains to the NYT to make sure they’re staying in the game by delivering content through the right channels (e.g., email, mobile, smart devices) and in the right format (e.g., video).
OEMs like Boeing and Airbus currently outsource large parts of their manufacturing supply chain to many suppliers across multiple tiers all over the world, but ultimately, Boeing and Airbus have the final decision on the overall aircraft specs that suppliers across their supply chain have to comply with. As you mentioned in your post, the difficulties happen when production is delayed at various points along the supply chain because of how many different steps there are and the many players involved at various points. Also, given the long time frame of aircraft design to order placement to actual manufacturing and delivery, it’s hard for companies like Boeing and Airbus to adapt their planes quickly enough. Advanced tech today may not be so advanced in a few years so it’s critical for Boeing and Airbus to be thinking much farther out in the future.