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On November 20, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on IRCTC – Reinventing the “wheel”? :

Super interesting article! It’s clear that the move to online booking and mobile has improved the customer experience. I wonder if it has also decreased costs by reducing the number of employees needed at the rail stations. I’m curious to understand how the switch to online and mobile eliminated the middlemen. I’m not sure how in demand rail tickets are, but I can imagine growth of the internet and mobile technologies could lead to the creation of a robust secondary market (a la StubHub). Have there been any issues with automated ticket purchasing algorithms swooping up tickets and reselling them for much higher?

On November 20, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on Just Do It: The Swoosh Goes Digital :

Great post! It’s interesting how Nike is using its app and digital tech to enhance its in person experiences with customers. Encouraging people to attend a group run increases the likelihood the consumer will be back into (or at least near) their core operations of the store. I wonder if Nike can further use its tech to drive in-store sales, for example, maybe they can incorporate measuring technology to be able to consumers what size of shoes or clothing to purchase.

I find it interesting that Nike is building its mobile tech in-house while its competitors are partnering with or acquiring tech outside. You mention New Balance, but Under Armour also has acquire apps like Endomondo and MyFitnessPal to quickly incorporate functionality onto its connected fitness platform. I wonder if they are as able as their competitors to add functionality given that they are doing the development in-house.

On November 20, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on Disney World: Making the Most Magical Wearables on Earth :

Interesting post! My big question is – how expensive is it for Disney to produce these wristbands? It seems much more cost-intensive than printing and shipping the traditional amusement park ticket. I wonder if Disney can consider recycling the bands (similar to 3D glasses in movie theaters) or shift entirely to a mobile app, given how many park visitors will have their phone with them at all times. If Disney sticks with the wristbands, also wonder whether Disney could make the wristbands a fashion accessory or toy, so that Disney could continue to engage with park visitors even when they leave the parks.

On November 20, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on How Starwood Hotels Makes It Personal and Makes You Come Back For More :

As a frequent traveler, this article was super interesting. I know Marriott has started utilizing mobile check-in, but they still require visiting the front desk to obtain a key. I wonder if Marriott will be able to roll out the SPG mobile check-in technology to their entire book of hotels soon given the acquisition. Your article also made me wonder if there are privacy concerns to worry about. I can picture someone losing their phone and then having to worry about someone having their room number and access to their hotel room. Are there ways SPG can improve security by validating a user is supposed to have access to the room — maybe via fingerprint technology?

On November 6, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on Delta – Combat Climate Change by Flying into the Future :

Thanks for the post! I have thought about how transportation companies produce greenhouse gases, but before your post, I hadn’t thought much about how climate change then negatively effects their core operations. You mention heat and storms as potential issues, but I imagine extreme cold temperatures (especially in places not used to them) cause significant issues for Delta as well. I definitely agree that Delta should pursue alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuel, but I wonder if they can also do more to increase the fuel efficiency of their planes. Working with aircraft manufacturers, Delta may be able to create more aerodynamic or lightweight aircraft that require less fuel to travel and ultimately produce less emissions.

On November 6, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on Climate Change Forces Ski Industry out of Ice Age: Vail Resorts Leads the Way :

Wow – I had no idea the ski industry was beginning to consolidate, but it makes total sense. Diversifying geographically allows the resorts to diversify the risk of inclement weather in any one area. I think Vail will have to expand even more to limit its exposure. You mention that when snowfalls are low, resorts turn to artificial snowmaking. I wonder if Vail can work to develop more eco-friendly alternatives to snow that would require less energy to produce. It would be a competitive advantage if Vail were able to communicate to consumers that its snow production was sustainable. It could help improve their relationships with lawmakers too!

On November 6, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on UPS: United Problem Solvers or United Petroleum Supporters? :

Great post about the different sustainability measures UPS is implementing! I’m impressed by the impact the steps they have already taken are having. For example, it’s remarkable that UPS will be able to reduce miles driven by 100M per year simply through an optimized navigation and logistics software. It makes me wonder if they can do even more to optimize their network and reduce their environmental impact. Currently, UPS My Choice and delivery through access points is an opt-in program. What if they switched it so that consumers had to opt out to have their packages delivered to their door? I also wonder if they could do more to optimize their loads so that drivers didn’t spend too much time driving with nearly empty trucks. In addition to dropping off packages, could UPS have drivers pick up additional packages along the way? As with airlines conducting linear routes, it may result in a higher utilization of its vehicles.

On November 6, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on Chasing Tuna :

It’s really interesting that Starkist’s sustainability initiatives appear to be focused on ensuring a consistent supply of fish. It seems that Starkist is ignoring the broader effects climate change may have on their industry. I’m very surprised they have not done more to address the impact current and future mercury levels may have on their products. Mercury is released into the environment through activities like coal burning and oil refining and ultimately ends up within fish. When humans eat this fish, mercury accumulates in their bodies, which can lead to mercury poisoning over time. With continued water pollution through greenhouse gas production, mercury levels in tuna could rise significantly. I see this as a huge threat to their core operations that they do not seem to be addressing.

On November 6, 2016, Catherine Zagroba commented on Hanes: Clean Shirts for a Cleaner World :

Really interesting post! I’m impressed Hanes saved $23m in water and energy costs through their sustainability initiatives in 2012, but it makes me think they can set even more aggressive targets going forward. Given how much they rely on cotton as an input, I’m surprised they have not done more to protect themselves from potential commodity price risks. It seems that in addition to exploring alternative inputs, they may want to further vertically integrate or develop partnerships to protect their supply. Since transportation is a large driver of greenhouse gas emissions, I wonder if Hanes could also do more to manufacture its clothing closer to its end customers and limit the distance it has to transport its finished goods.