Amazon--New Logistics Company or Supply Chain (Uncatchable) Leader?
Is Amazon building a logistics company? Some say they are by their various and continuing actions with forwarding in China, aircraft, drones, robotics, and floating warehouses.
Or are they building a dynamic supply chain that separates them from the competition? Are they building that supply chain the way it was meant to be when supply chain management gained recognition?
Are they taking control of their supply chain--compressing time, creating inventory velocity, extending the supply chain upstream--all to deliver the customer experience Is this a rebirth of vertical integration? Is it moving away from the usual outsourcing as a step in taking control?
If they are building the new supply chain, then the longer it takes competitors to react—the farther ahead Amazon is. And the more difficult to catch and compete with.
Is there a message to 3PLs and other logistics providers that it is really about the customer and its supply chain--and not logistics function expertise? What will 3PLs and LSPs do--and how and how long to transform?
Many retailers have not adapted well to the reality that omnichannel is the new retail duality--and it is driven by the new supply chain duality. And many of these same retailers are struggling to stay in business. They stuck with old--both as to retailing and as to supply chain management--with a few tweaks, but only a few.
The duality of reaching and servicing customers is moving beyond retailing. How will other industries react? Or will their actions and inactions open new opportunities for Amazon and/or others?
Amazon has begun a global supply chain revolution that is crossing industries and markets. It is about much more than e-commerce. The new supply chain will transform supply chains from pharmaceuticals to the military.