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Discussions Discussion Powered by Steam: The Steam Engine 1780-1830
srini n, Dec. 5, 2011

Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Age of Access (2000), … says the value and margins are shifting away from products into access to these experiences. He offers the example of a sprinkler company that now uses satellite weather information to provide the ideal watering to customers’ lawns. Instead of buying a sprinkling system, customers buy the access to “sprinkling.” He also cites the example of Carrier shifting its view from selling air conditioners to selling “air conditioning.” When it is selling a product, its incentive is to sell the largest BTU air conditioner (with highest price and margins) without consideration for how efficiently it is used by the purchaser. In contrast, if the customer is paying for the experience of cool air, and Carrier is responsible for paying for energy costs, the company has a strong incentive to tightly seal the home and deliver cooling in the most efficient way possible.

Mix-and-match environmental regulation
As noted in the Carrier example, the evolution of these customer relationships to focus on access could lead to greater corporate responsibility for a range of environmental issues.

But a mix-and-match car could lead to a more difficult environment for environmental compliance, because it would be harder to affix responsibility or blame to a single manufacturer when, say, Honda produces the engine and Ford creates a body. The focus of regulation in that scenario may be on the company such as buildyourowncar.com that brings it all together. MacDuffie points out that, as we have seen with the Bridgestone-Firestone tire problems on the Ford Explorers, the ultimate assembler of the product will be held responsible—as well as the makers of the components. “The liability issues will be pinned down fairly precisely,” he said.”

Ultimately the end-user pays for all this no matter where in the supply chain it gets loaded!

As long as the customer does not/cannot have a choice in deciding on technologies but yet needs the facility (car) she will have no choice but to pay it all. Since competitors also do not have any solutions the customer lives in a choice-less choice world. When recession as we are experiencing now puts it beyond the customer and has a knock on effect on demand only then there will be a thrust towards Clean Development Mechanisms.

srini n

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Discussions Discussion The Future of America’s Workforce
Megan McCausland, Nov. 6, 2011

Maybe manufacturing as your grandfather knew it is dead. But the truth is advanced manufacturing is alive and well and needs skilled workers, especially in Michigan. It’s really important that schools expose students to manufacturing in the 21st century.

Megan McCausland

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