1. The competitive advantage of Zappos is great customer service that deeply impresses customers and made them purchase repeatedly. This competitive advantage comes from the unique company culture which was carefully promoted. The culture is comprised of a set of values that encourages employees to be positive, happy and creative at work. Through well-integrated recruitment, training process and team activities, it successfully influences employees’ attitude. It works much better than rules and policies since culture are more emotionally connected. It builds and strengthens a common connection among employees. Employees at call centers are given authority to “wow” the customer call in. It means employees could decide to do whatever they think is appropriate to make customers happy. Under this high degree of freedom, employees feel respected and get more passionate when helping customers. The unique culture is sustainable to some extent that it is deeply rooted and could not be quickly imitated by other competitors like a design and process. However, it might be not enough since Amazon and Nordstrom also have very good customer service but they are earning a higher margin. As an internet firm, it is still comparatively difficult to influence customers through corporate culture. Zappos has to create more added values for customers in more dimensions in order to be sustainable. 2. As mentioned in the case, inbound logistics is not well coordinated. Arriving of suppliers’ trucks is not schedule evenly. It results in up and down on the traffic in front of Zappos’ warehouse, reducing efficiency. In addition, less-than-truck-load from suppliers is also not economical. Zappos could achieve more cost saving if it arranges its own trucks to pick up products from different suppliers, since the trucks could combine separate transportation needs and get fully loaded. Lowered transportation cost will be reflected on the wholesale price. Meanwhile it is...
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