Insights & News

Think Amazon Has Disrupted Supply Chains Now? Wait Until the Company Gets Even Bigger.

Posted On October 23, 2017

Amazon has disrupted everything it has touched. There’s a good chance your local mall has a lot more vacancies than it used to have, courtesy of the world’s biggest online retailer. Amazon Web Services is the world’s largest Internet hosting service. Amazon’s entertainment division makes the company one of the few serious competitors to Netflix. With its purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon is even managing to make organic free-range chicken and artisanal bread (whatever that means) affordable for the average person.

Of course, one of the first things Amazon started to disrupt is supply chains. Its commitment to deliver within hours in some locations has created a web of distribution centers across the country, and caused the company to explore delivery by drone. Though it will be several years—if not decades—before we see fleets of drones carrying Xboxes flying through our neighborhoods, it will eventually happen. The disruption that manufacturers, distributors, and carriers have already seen because of “The Amazon Effect” will only continue to grow.

The company’s seemingly endless supply of capital and Jeff Bezos’ seemingly endless supply of ambition mean that supply chains will continue to be under pressure to adapt. Efficiency, speed, and transparency will be even more important than they are today—because even if you don’t do business with Amazon, the company’s relentlessly innovative approach to supply chain management means that your customers’ expectations of how quickly they should receive a shipment are being influenced by Amazon. Does that mean you need to find a way to deliver your products within hours via a drone? No. Delivering 600,000 pounds of advanced machinery is a lot different than delivering the latest Harry Potter book.

Still, Amazon is redefining what is expected shippers. Speed, efficiency, transparency, and visibility were always important—but now they are requirements. A shipping department stuck in 1997 will significantly hold back a company trying to compete in 2017, especially when Amazon is trying to build the supply chain of 2027. In other words, you need to modernize your transportation management, supply chain, and logistics program sooner rather than later. What your company builds or makes is just half the battle—the other half is defined by how good you are at delivering your product. In 2017, even a great product will struggle to overcome a slow, outdated, inefficient supply chain. The Flat World Holdings family of companies is here to help you build a shipping department that can compete in an economy dominated by The Amazon Effect.

From maintaining visibility within your supply chain to solving difficult international freight-forwarding problems, our team is here for you. Our commitment to excellence within our family of companies extends to our commitment to bringing excellence to your shipping and logistics program. Amazon will continue to shape what the world expects from shippers, including business-to-business shipments. You may not be in the business of four-hour deliveries, but you do need to create a high-performing supply chain built on a foundation of excellence. At the Flat World family, we look forward to helping you do that.