Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

Is Your Business Strategy Just a Mockingbird, or is it Eagle-Eyed?

Some big news just came out about Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target offering to match prices with Amazon this holiday season.

This is a real indication of how companies are responding to the effect that Amazon’s wide selection of products, speedy delivery and highly rated customer satisfaction is having on their market share. Wal-Mart also recently announced its testing of same-day delivery, which is something we’ve been hearing from Amazon for some time now.

So, it’s clear that retail companies are reacting to Amazon’s innovations as the holiday shopping season edges closer. But is this reaction big enough? I’d describe these reactions as competitor-focused. Other companies are doing the same: Hearing what Amazon is doing, they react by doing the same thing as their competition.

What are customers going to think of all of this? Will offering similar services really draw them away from a company they are satisfied with in terms of price, selection, convenience and experience? Think about what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said about focus:

“Do not be competitor-focused. Be customer-focused.”

Will echoing your competitors’ moves really help? Do you win over customers by scrambling to mimic your competitors out of concern for their advantages?

I think having a demand-driven supply chain with the right business strategy supporting it leads to success. The best reaction is to innovate now for your customer’s satisfaction versus announcing new programs and promises that provide you with no distinction from those you are mimicking.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these developments, as well as how your company is competing with Amazon.

For more on the Amazon Effect, watch the video at: www.tompkinsinc.com/amazon-effect/.

 Jim

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What's Gaining a Supply Chain Edge?

Thoughts for today's global businesses and supply chains.

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This would be valid if only colleagues could interact. I have seen many workplaces in large organizations where only management can interact. All infomation must flow through managers. To make it worse the work layout does not support interactions. ... If you want the benefits of co-location you have to have the right management structure and the right physical structure!!!

on Feb. 26, 2013
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