Articles

Amazonification of Commerce

Amazon is one of the most written about companies of the modern era.  There are daily reports of astounding accomplishments and news of their plans moving forward.  Why write more about the number one online retailer in the U.S.? Because they are leading the pack by a wide margin, with respect to the U.S. online retail world. 

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What does it Take to Win the Retail Race?
The winds of change are blowing on multiple fronts. Jimmy Dean, the late singer, actor and creator of Jimmy Dean’s sausage once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” He recognized the need to be flexible responding to change and to use it to his advantage. Read more
Robots in the Warehouse: A Supply Chain Game-Changer
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has started, warehouse robotics is raging in the logistics arena. Amazon’s acquisition of Kiva, the company regarded by many as being the first to introduce warehouse robotics, left a void that is continually being filled by new, exciting, and emerging technologies. Read more
Order Deliveries Using Drones
Drones are going to become an option for certain selected final mile deliveries in the future. Will drones become the next best option for final delivery and meeting customer expectations? We believe there is still a lot to be understood about the rules, regulations, and costs of using drones for final mile delivery.
Retail 2017 Trend Report
As the department store channel shrinks, and more brands fight for less space, our opinion is that brands will need to be more creative, flexible, and diversified in their approaches.
Increase Return on Inventory
How an increasingly evolving uni-channel retailing model is impacting replenishment operations and what retailers need to do to adapt
Align Strategy and Operations with Collaborative Integrated Business Planning
Integrated Business Planning (IBP) sits at the heart of many organizations as the management process that runs the entire business. The real power of IBP is in enabling effective decision making to control the future direction of the company.
Jim Tompkins Builds a Supply Chain
After years of writing about supply chains, Tompkins is building out an ambitious e-fulfillment network for retailers and e-tailers.
Compete or Collaborate?
I commence this article with an invitation for you to join me on a journey to the fictional Island of Siloville. It will be an interesting visit because Siloville is populated by the most rugged and individualistic people on the planet. They grow their own food, sew their own clothes, and build their own homes. The Silovillian’s passion for self-reliance produces some unusual arrangements in almost every area of their lives but, for our visit, we are going to focus on the evolution of their transportation industry.
What is a Brand?
Believe it or not, one of the questions often asked by clients is, “What is a Brand?” There is an enormous amount of confusion as to what a brand is. In all of the confusion around the concept of what constitutes a brand, it seems like a simple question, but the answer is anything but simple. If the consumer is confused about what the brand stands for, the result is a lack of brand integrity and brand persona.
CapEx vs OpEx
In our many discussions with retailer and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) executives about developing eCommerce, we often hear the issue of capital availability being a key barrier. This is not surprising, since investments in facilities and equipment required to compete in the new world of online ordering are being estimated in terms of billions of dollars.
Network Effect
“In economics and business, a network effect (also called network externality or demand-side economies of scale) is the effect that one user of goods or service has on the value of that product to other people” (Wikipedia).

In the next five years, the accumulated impact of three decades of exponential improvements in technology will force organizations to radically transform and totally reinvent how they do business. What is driving this revolution and how to prepare?
Secrets of Success
The secret to success is not much of a secret at all. It’s right there in front of all of us and Amazon is showing us the way. What is not a secret is Amazon’s incredible eCommerce and package volume. This volume makes feasible, and justifies their investment in, a network of fulfillment centers moving closer and closer to population centers, as well as, their insourced delivery services.
Optimizing Inventory
MonarchFx is offering an unparalleled opportunity for inventory agility and transparency. Estimating future demand forecasts is one of the most fundamentally valuable, but frustrating challenges in supply chain optimization. Often forecasts are incorrect, but getting demand forecasting right provides the critical forward-looking picture that shapes how a company will deploy its supply chain effectively. Demand planning is the effort to increase forecast accuracy and customer service levels, having the greatest impact on business profitability. Providing the best plan and capturing information as close to the selling season, using pre and in-season data is a critical element in giving the customer what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.