Amazon delivery tents

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Graduate Assistant

When looking into ways to expand its logistics operations, Amazon is embracing a “carnival” tent solution. As the company races to keep up with competitors, such as UPS, FedEx and USPS, Amazon has set up fabric tents in at least eight states; Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Colorado, Louisiana, Kentucky and Idaho. These tents operate as temporary delivery stations used for housing and sorting packages before they’re final delivery.

 Why tents?

Amazon ships billions of items annually; the company reported 5 billion items shipped with Prime alone in 2017. According to Amazon’s SEC filling, the costs associated with the delivery of all online orders received are growing exponentially as eCommerce activity continues to increase. As Amazon has recruited more deliver service partners (DSPs) to grow the company’s last-mile logistics network, a tent that takes a couple weeks to build enables the rapid expansion in new areas.

The tents are large enough, starting up to 35 feet tall and ranging between 9,000 square feet and 18,000 square feet, and can adequately accommodate up to 300 people. With little-to-no property taxes and little maintenance required, tents are well positioning Amazon to compete in getting closer to customers.

What are the benefits of building tents?

Are tents solving last-mile delivery problems?

Can delivery tents offer Amazon a sustainable competitive advantage?

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-pitches-carnival-tents-race-catch-up-ups-fedex-2019-4

https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/amazon-tents-logistics-delivery-footprint/552931/

Disruptive Innovations and their applications in Supply Chain Management – by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

Procurement and supply chain are at the cusp of a disruption with AI, IoT and blockchain technology. A digital transformation is ensuing with the promise of greater efficiency in business processes, operations, transparency and security.

Spend analysis

Spend analysis used in strategic sourcing, needs a shift from the traditional descriptive analytics model to more predictive and prescriptive analytics. Organizations can develop tools to enhance their spend analysis with public domain data — from social media, weather data, demographics, suppliers, competition and logistics to name a few — to help uncover insights that can save money and improve supply chain.

 

Supplier lifecycle management

The traditional supplier lifecycle management platform, when augmented by big data from the public domain, can offer meaningful information on suppliers and supply chain risks. An IoT solution can be employed to track the quality of the product at various stages of the supply chain thus improving the efficiency in the process and providing the metrics for supplier evaluation.

 

Strategic sourcing

Supplier bids are collected using online sourcing events, but a large part of the sourcing evaluation and award process is manual in nature. Using blockchain for through all steps of the process — proposals, quotes and bids — or auction, can offer greater efficiency and transparency.

 

Contract management

A blockchain platform and its smart contract framework coupled with IoT and AI, can help facilitate greater efficiency in compliance and obligation management. AI can help develop smart wizards to build contracts based on responses to specific questions and can further be enabled for pattern recognition to identify changes to standard clauses or introduction of non-standard clauses.

Order management

The traditional order management system is internal to any organization and facilitates the fulfillment process. Blockchain platform powered with AI and IoT can drive greater efficiency in orchestrating and streamlining purchase orders, shipment details, trade documents, goods receipts, quality assurance documents, returns and accounting.

Logistics

The logistics industry is an early adopter of AI, IoT and Blockchain, and is already reaping great business benefits. IoT in the logistics ecosystem can provide great insights on inventory management, shelf life, storage temperature, delivery routes, real-time tracking of freight and more

 

Reference:

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2018/04/digital-transformation-next-gen-procurement-and-supply-chain/

 

Questions:

  1. How are AI, IOT and blockchain transforming the logistics industry?
  2. How is blockchain helping in order management?
  3. How can AI help in contract management ?