Management Practices and SWOT of

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This paper reviews the supply chain management practices of (AMZN) and highlights findings in the framework of a Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats (SWOT) framework. AMZN opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 as a web based bookseller and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection according to the company’s 2012 annual report to shareholders. AMZN’s vision statement is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators. AMZN has organized its operations into two principal segments: North America and International. Figure 2 below shows AMZN’s net sales for the last three years reported. Figure 1: AMZN Net Sales Source: 2012 annual report The products offered on AMZN’s consumer-facing websites primarily include merchandise and content AMZN has purchased for resale from vendors and those offered by third-party sellers, and AMZN also manufactures and sells Kindle devices, a tablet device that runs a custom version of the Android operating system. AMZN offers other services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), fulfillment, publishing, digital content subscriptions, advertising, and co-branded credit cards. AMZN employed approximately 88,400 full-time and part-time employees at December 31, 2012. Consolidated net sales for AMZN was $61 Billion with the North America segment accounting for 57% of the total. Some historical events over AMZN’s existence are noted below. • July 1994 – Company is incorporated, headquartered out of Jeff Bezos’ garage. • July 1995 – sells its first book: Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanism of Thought • October 1... ... middle of paper ... ...roductivity for employees and managers alike. 3. The decentralization of authority and empowerment of employees to act on the information they have access to is a boon for productivity. 4. Rewarding employees and managers based on productivity and merit rather than seniority is a productivity enhancing business practice that encourages innovative thinking and hard work. 5. Defining and promoting high-level goals, values and norms within an organization helps to ensure the organization is getting the most out of their IT investments. 6. Recruiting and retaining the best employees is crucial to realizing productivity gains through the use of information technologies. Employees that have been empowered with decision making must be capable of doing so. 7. Increased levels of thinking and ingenuity on the part of employees require that firms continually invest in their
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