Logistics 2.0: Amazonified Logistics Part II
In Amazonified Logistics Part 1 Karl discussed the ten most innovative things Amazon has done to push supply chain & logistics forward. In Part II, Karl provides recommendations on how companies can follow Amazon’s lead, to innovate and drive their own business forward.
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below!
Welcome to Logistics 2.0, I’m Karl Siebrecht. Last week, I presented a top 10 list of things we called Amazonified logistics. If you haven’t seen that video yet, you could click here and watch that before you watch this one. The truth is those 10 examples of innovations and investments that Amazon has made really help explain the impact that they’re having on the world of retail and logistics. Many companies see these investments as a threat, and in many cases, I’d say they’re right but not in all cases. The truth of the matter is, as Amazon innovates, they create new opportunities for many other companies to innovate as well.
So this week, I’m presenting a counterpoint to last week’s video, which talked about how you might be getting Amazoned. And this week we’re going to be talking about solutions that you can take and make in order to innovate yourself and really help your company become part of the future, help create your own future rather than become a victim of it.
The emerging category of collaborative logistics allows any company the ability, through technology, to tap into the natural scale and capacity available in a broader marketplace. There are lots of examples of great companies who are building marketplace businesses along the collaborative logistics theme. One is Cargomatic. You may have seen a video review I did of Cargomatic a little while back. If not, you can click here to see it. Cargomatic is a great company that, again, uses technology to tap into excess truck capacity available on a market and provide that to businesses that need extra capacity as they’re moving loads around a geographic region.
The second example of a company in the space is our company, FLEXE. We enable businesses that have excess capacity in their warehouses to provide that capacity to other businesses that need it either for product overflows or seasonal product bills, etc. Again, both these companies are great examples of using technology to tap into scale that is naturally already in existence in the broader marketplace.
Just as collaborative logistics enables companies to gain scale and efficiency without massive investments by leveraging marketplace resources, a whole new crop of lighterweight cloud-based technologies also enable efficiencies and logistics. A couple of examples are web-based WMS technologies that, again, provide efficiency in the warehouse. Another great example is a company called Codeshelf, another cloud-based technology that enables peak optimization in the warehouse. Technologies like these, again, drive efficiency and scalability for a much, much lower price point, and again, without massive upfront investment.
With over 90 warehouse in its North American footprint, it’s very, very difficult for a retailer to compete with Amazon’s scale and reach. Yet for retailers that have physical stores, they’ve got an additional advantage that Amazon doesn’t have, at least yet. And that is the ability to ship directly from stores. This, combined with the ability to have consumers actually shop and try on merchandise in-store, creates a unique advantage that, again, through technology can be enabled to help compete with Amazon and provide, in many ways, a consumer experience that’s better and something that Amazon can’t actually offer at this point.
Finally, it doesn’t do us any good to think of Amazon only as a competitor. As you know, they offer many logistic services to other companies, and in truth, in some situations, they can be an amazing partner. Think about the ability to leverage their scale, their investments and their innovations to better service your clients. So as you think about how you’re going to evolve and better compete, don’t forget that partnering with Amazon is a very viable option.
The takeaway from our two-part series on Amazonified logistics is that, yes, the industry is changing very rapidly, and yes, this change can be very scary. But also in this change, there lies opportunity. Amazon is blazing the trail here in terms of innovating with logistics. They’re also driving and influencing a whole new set of new technology companies that are also bringing new capabilities to bear on the problem. And again, what this does is creates significant opportunity for your company to innovate, adapt, and adopt new technologies to take your logistics capabilities, and really craft them into a core part of your competitive advantage for your company. And that’s really what Logistics 2.0 is all about.
If you enjoyed the content, subscribe to our channel and please post your comments below. That’s it for this week. I’m Karl Siebrecht for FLEXE. Thanks for watching Logistics 2.0.