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Why Almost Everybody is Missing the Most Important Point in Their Solution to Amazon’s Threat to Australian Retailers

Yesterday (on 2nd November 2017) I happened to briefly glance at the Australian Financial Review – the key finance newspaper in this country while I was waiting in the lobby for a meeting. No more do I  subscribe to this newspaper,  because it appears to be growing more and more out of touch with business reality, and becoming more a shill for vendors with deep advertising budgets, and small brains.  Its content  in terns of financial and economic news is excellent, but somehow the journalists seems to miss the major shift in the business models to B2B Networks.

Taking a Sword to Fight a Nuclear Missile

Yesterday’s newspaper seemed to be predominantly dedicated to a conference on e-commerce related subjects. I do not remember the specific topic of the conference, and it does not even matter because the entire debate was centered around Amazon’s entry into Australian market place, and the threat it poses to the Australian retailers and businesses.

Indeed, the organisers, and the newspaper, had identified the burning issue of the day for Australian businesses. Looking at the issues, I almost thought of subscribing to the newspaper again.

But a little more unpacking of the pages revealed that almost all the solutions on offer were marketing and sales related, or new age technology related.

Nothing beats a carefully crafted supply chain strategy, executed with precision and flexibility - especially for business transformations in dire circumstances. This point cannot be emphasised enough.

What people forget is that Amazon’s success is even more dependent on its incredible supply chain.

Fighting this successful behemoth without an equally effective supply chain is akin to deciding to fight against nuclear missiles with swords.

Are Australian Retailers Being Led Down A Rosy Path in Their Response to Amazon's Entry?

Most people still do not even know what supply chain really means. If you doubt me – just watch the short (1.5 minutes) video below, and conduct the experiment with 10 people you know:

 

 

Lest I leave you with a wrong conclusion, I am not deriding marketing and technology solutions, because they do have a place in the overall campaign.  But, if you get an impression from the newspaper (or the conference that seemed to dominate yesterday’s paper) that somehow you are going to outmarket Amazon just using such solutions – you better think again.

Nothing beats a carefully crafted supply chain strategy, executed with precision and flexibility – especially for business transformations in dire circumstances. This point cannot be emphasised enough.

I have written extensively in many other blog posts on how to do just that – all you have to do is explore a bit in the categories and tags on the right of this page. Some of the titles from over the year are in the image on top of this page.

For real leaders, who want to make substantial and deep positive impact – I do recommend my book The 5-STAR Business Networks.

If you have the budget, it is also worthwhile asking for a workshop based on the same material – but we only have limited slots, and already have a big backlog for that.

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