CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
November 16, 2018
Forward Thinking

Amazon's customer-centric focus drives its innovation

Building customer loyalty and trust are front and center in Amazon's mission to continuously innovate every step in its supply chain.

Amazon's vice president of logistics, Ed Feitzinger, spoke to a full house Monday morning at the CSCMP 2017 EDGE Supply Chain Conference on how innovation is helping the company meet growing demands. The message is simple: It all starts with the customer. Amazon's mission centers on the customer experience, offering the best price, the best selection, with the most convenient delivery, he said. According to Feitzinger, if you focus on customer satisfaction as the primary driver of your business, force yourself to meet customer demands, and create a supply chain around it, you open your business to innovations that can have a real impact on not just on customer experiences but also on costs.

This approach has led to many successful programs within the company. Amazon's "connections" program, for example, offers employees the opportunity to answer a daily question about their jobs and their leadership. Data collected from the surveys identifies trends and allows the company to make adjustments and fix problems immediately.

Like many companies, Amazon is being challenged to meet increasing demand without overbuilding. Feitzinger pointed out that both the customer-first approach and a desire to reduce costs informed the company's 2012 purchase of a robotics company. This allowed Amazon to increase inventory in its fulfillment centers while at the same time decreasing its distribution center footprint.

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