Thailand Makes Its Move in the Trade War

Thailand Makes Its Move in the Trade War

November 22, 2019

The continuing tariff war between China and the United States has forced companies to reconsider their reliance on Chinese sourcing.  Other countries throughout Southeast Asia are taking advantage of this opportunity to promote their own attractions as a base of operations.

Thailand is long experienced with foreign (in particular, U.S.) investment, but has taken further steps to attract new entrants.  It now takes only 4-1/2 days to set up a business.  Established sectors with long experience in Thailand include automotive and electronics.

New incentives over and above tax relief target “strategic investments toward future sectors” with additional concessions based on workforce and productivity investments.  FDI is already high for Southeast Asia at $227 billion in 2018, but this expanded incentive targets mid-size projects of $32 million + for near-term implementation (plans must be submitted by 2020).

One particular sector of interest is aerospace, which particularly targets U.S. investment.  Besides incentives, Thailand is promoting its central location in the region and 13 free trade agreements.  The commitment goes deeper with active involvement of the government, right up to the Prime Minister, as part of a long term approach to economic growth.

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GM Parts Start Stocking Out

GM Parts Start Stocking Out

October 25, 2019

As the UAW strike continues, GM faces stockouts on repair parts. Dealer lots are getting low on some models as well.

Before the looming strike, GM built up to an average of 77 days of supply of cars on dealer lots.  The typical days of supply is 60-65 days of inventory on dealer lots.


Video Spotlight: In tentative UAW deal, GM trades cash bonuses for future flexibility


This post is based on the NBC News article, Bad luck if your GM car needs spare parts or a repair, as UAW strike continues into its fifth week, by Paul Eisenstein, October 14, 2019, and the YouTube video, In tentative UAW deal, GM trades cash bonuses for future flexibility, by PBS News Hour, October 17, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Syda Productions

Discussion Questions:

1. Today’s vehicle manufacturing is based on lean/JIT systems.  How much leverage does UAW have in negotiations today compared to yesteryear?

Guidance: Remind students that vehicle manufacturing in the 1970s did not embrace quality management, lean/JIT, or many other common practices of today’s operations.  This is a good opportunity to review the development of modern operations.  Given that lean/JIT is Continue reading

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Virtual You – Coming Soon

Virtual You – Coming Soon

October 20, 2019

Imagine using cloud supported technology and mixed reality headsets to create a virtual you, capable of using your own voice to deliver flawless speeches in languages you don’t actually speak!

This technology was recently showcased by Microsoft.  While the technology is currently expensive and requires some changes or improvements to be a reality in the business world, it holds interesting promise for the future of video conferencing, making it even more versatile and realistic than ever before.

Other companies have various holographic communications technology in the works as well.


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This post is based on the Video Conferencing Daily article, Azure Video Conferencing Impresses at Inspire 2019, by Ethan J., October 8, 2019; the Business Wire article, Double Me brings the Jedi Hologram Conference to every home by 2020, by Albert Kim, September 5, 2019; and the YouTube videos, Move over Tupac! Real Life-size Holograms set to Revolutionize Videoconferencing, by Human Media Lab, April 18, 2018, and Demo: The magic of AI neural TTS and holograms at Microsoft Inspire 2019 Continue reading

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