Amazon.com has the sickest supply chain management slash order fulfillment of any firm I've ever seen. Last night I ordered a pair of speakers to plug into my laptop computer. They were in stock, and I'm an Amazon Prime member, which entitles me to free 2-day shipping, so I expected to receive the shipment some time on Friday.
The UPS guy was here before 9:30 this morning with the speakers. Amazing. Note, again, that I live in a rural area. Not suburban - rural. I have no idea how Amazon manages to get me the goods so quickly - the "From" location was their Lexington, KY warehouse, but I like it.
In the last six months, I've ordered the following from Amazon:
-Books (The End of Wall Street - Roger Lowenstein)
-Fertilizer broadcast spreader
-Uninterruptible power supply
-DVD-R 10 pack
-Battery operated toothbrush
-toothbrush replacement heads
-22 foot telescoping ladder
-2010 monthly calendar
-beanbag mount for the GPS
-More computer speakers (for a small TV)
-articulating wall mount for mounting TV on wall
-BRUNO on DVD
-Radon gas test kit
-100 foot outdoor extension cord
I actually had to send back and re-order two of the items in that list - the extension cord, because it wasn't rated for the correct number of amps that it claimed to be on the website, and one set of speakers because they weren't compatible with the TV I wanted to plug them into. In each case I easily printed out a return receipt and packed the stuff back together (no cost to ship it back), received a prompt refund, and ordered replacement merchandise.
I have no stock positions in Amazon or any of their competitors, and they don't pay me anything to say nice things about them. I just think their business model is impressive, and that it's a serious threat to brick and mortar. Many of you will remember when Amazon first came out, there were doubters who said "people like to browse in book stores and hold the books - it will never work." Well, who would have ever guessed that it would be easier and cheaper to buy a 22 foot ladder from Amazon.com than from my local Lowes? Nuts.