The Future is Now: The Amazon Flying Warehouse

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Thought you had seen it all? Think again!

This was reported in an CNBC article recently.

“Amazon wins patent for a flying warehouse that will deploy drones to deliver parcels in minutes.”

Arjun Kharpal | @ArjunKharpal

Friday, 30 Dec 2016 | 1:49 AM ET

As Shakespeare famously wrote – to compete or not compete, that is the question!”, or was it?

All joking aside – did you ever consider that you would have to compete with warehouses in the sky and drones making deliveries dropping on your doorstep right from the bright blue skies. Adding insult to injury they would refuel these flying warehouses with refueling planes or docking them to high buildings.

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Image Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/29/amazon-flying-warehouse-deploy-delivery-drones-patent.html

Is this ever going to be a reality in our life time? Why not – think of all the changes that have taken place since WWII – let alone since the Industrial Revolution.

Amazon is shaking up all industries and creating a new competitive world by shrinking the global supply chain. By doing so they are removing lead time and increasing customer satisfaction by addressing today’s biggest selling point – immediate gratification.

At the top of this blog article is a picture (Source: Amazon Inc via http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/29/amazon-flying-warehouse-deploy-delivery-drones-patent.html) of what the customer would see. In many cases this type of delivery will not affect the B2Bbusiness equation. At this time, there is no easy way to apply this concept especially in large orders. I am not even considering all the government compliance and security regulations that would need to be addressed.

Back in the real world, let us consider how distributors are increasing their footstep in the market:

  • Creating B2B and B2C websites for direct interaction with the customer
  • Collaborating with customers and vendors
    • Sharing information
    • Allowing vendor and customer access to their systems
  • Flexible, multi-tiered pricing models
  • Co-opetition by delivering total solutions with competitors
  • Easy to do business with
  • Creative inventory solutions
    • Consignment Inventory
    • Vendor Managed Inventory
    • Hierarchical allocation of inventory
  • Procurement work benches that are directly tied into quotes, sales, item on the fly creation, workflow and more

What do all the above points have to do with flying warehouses? Everything!!!

If you cannot manage the above points, you cannot even consider a second warehouse let alone flying warehouses. Can you image the issues that would be caused by incorrect inventory locations or incorrect inventory counts? These two issues have existed since the beginning of warehousing and inventory recording and still today are a major cause of customer dissatisfaction, increased costs and errors for many distributors.

Advanced Supply Chain Software™ has the capability and functionality to help you manage your business, and not only to meet your present requirements but also to allow you to deliver your products with your own flying warehouse or other creative methods.

Don’t let futuristic scenarios keep you from being the best at what you do. Just be aware that the competition exists to take away your customers. You need to stay ahead. Advanced Supply Chain Software is there to help you capture your competitions customers.

Dominic Telaro

Article written by

As the Vice President, Industry Solutions and Sales, Dominic is an APICS Fellow and Certified in Integrated Resource Management. Dominic has spent half of his career in manufacturing and distribution from shop floor and warehousing positions to management. The second half of Dominic’s career has been in consulting, product management, product development and both consulting and software sales.

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