A Case Study Report on Inventory Management at Amazon.Com

Topics: Supply chain management, Supply chain, Logistics Pages: 15 (4754 words) Published: October 9, 2012
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
Emerald Article: E-supply chains - virtually non-existing Remko van Hoek

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To cite this document: Remko van Hoek, (2001),"E-supply chains - virtually non-existing", Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 6 Iss: 1 pp. 21 - 28 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13598540110694653 Downloaded on: 23-05-2012 References: This document contains references to 11 other documents Citations: This document has been cited by 16 other documents To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com This document has been downloaded 4014 times.

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Research note E-supply chains ± virtually non-existing
Remko van Hoek

It is often claimed that information and communication technologies (ICT) will be for the economy what steam and machine power were to the industrial revolution. Riding this wave, e-business is coming to the forefront of international markets. Various new players have driven existing players to respond with their own Web sites and the development of electronic marketing channels. Such is the momentum for this revolution that Harvard Business School is experiencing a larger number of drop outs in its MBA program because of all the students launching Web companies, and US companies are experiencing difficulty in keeping their chief executives as they aspire to join ``dot com'' companies. Even though it sometimes looks like the sky is the limit to the (investment) opportunity in e-business, it sometimes looks as if we are e-mailing with Peterus@knocking on heaven's door. While Shapiro and Varian (1999) explain that the old rules of economics still apply, because man (as an economic actor) has not fundamentally changed his behavior so far, what should be noted is that what is called e-business is still largely, in reality, e-commerce and sales and marketing driven only, rather than an integral business model. Amazon, for example had to admit that it charges customers logistics costs which may off-set the price advantage to the customer. More importantly, it had to admit that frequently it does not know what the ``true'' logistics costs are. Perhaps, one might reason, this contributes to the continued losses the company is experiencing. Losses have increased in line with a growth in turnover last year, and it has been stated that the growth of the company lead to an increase in inventory, especially with product diversity increasing. This implies poor management of logistics and supply processes in this e-business. Consider these findings from an Arthur Andersen survey of customers purchasing products on-line in the USA, fourth quarter of 1999 (Table I). In the top ten problems experienced by end-consumers, some are in the category of technology[1], some are marketing related, but...
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