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From starting out to an online book store, Amazon has been continuously adding new product categories since 1998. From purchasing school supplies, to finding the right tire for your car, or trying to find that perfect rug for your living room, Amazon is more than just a simple global online retailer. On Monday, November 26th, 2012, also known as Cyber Monday, Amazon received 306 item purchase orders per second, or 26.5 million total item orders worldwide. Trying to fulfill each package and deliver them is all a part of Amazon’s innovated use of information systems and an enormous supporting infrastructure to deliver such massive quantities of orders efficiently and in a timely manner. Amazon does however has its shortcomings, where their infrastructure model is too massive for all other days of the year in which they are not distributing millions of product orders which causes tremendous loss of money, and they operate on very thing margins, which means they have to extremely utilize these mass-selling holidays to create significant profits.
Amazon would not be where they are as an international organization today if it were not for collaborations and thinking outside of the box to get customers to purchase products through their platform. In 2011, the company was selling 29 categories of goods and services; working together with various production companies to fulfill millions and millions of customer orders. Amazon now has over a whopping 40 categories of a various range of products. The company’s top categories are the following: clothing, shoes and jewelry, taking in about 166.4 million in sales, home and kitchen at roughly 86.09 million in sales, and lastly, books with 53.38 million in sales annually. Apart from continuously collaborating with new products, Amazon Distribution Services and Amazon Web Services allow their online shopping platform and server capacity to their competitors to make sales directly through their website. In turn, Amazon amounts revenue from these various competitors using their platforms. The order processing information can directly intergrade over the web with Amazon’s inventory, fulfillment, and shipping applications. Netflix, for example, obtained their own marketplace within Amazon’s infrastructure, meaning they operate by using Amazon servers. Amazon then directly generates revenue simply by allowing Netflix to use their service platforms. Amazon allows for companies to use their service methods, which is beneficial to the companies because of the mass amount of customer traffic that flows through Amazon’s website each day. This allows for a dual beneficial relationship between Amazon and these companies who use their platforms due to the fact that they get immensely more customer viewership and sales, and Amazon gets to generate revenue from their sales.
Experimentation and always trying to improve, or grow into something just like Amazon is the key. In 2011, when Amazon released their Amazon Kindle device it enabled users to browse, buy, download, and read e-books, newspapers and other digital media via wireless network to the Kindle store. Since the Amazon Kindle was such a hit Amazon started to experiment with their own currency. In 2013, Amazon launched Amazon Coins, a virtual currency for U.S customers to purchase apps, games, and in-app items on the Kindle Fire. Using Amazon Coins it is a simple way to spend money on the Kindle Fire as well as more opportunities to drive traffic and downloads. “Failure and invention are inseparable twins, to invent you have to experiment” said by CEO, Jeff Bezos in his letter to shareholders. Amazon is constantly trying to come up with new innovate ways to incorporate into their business. Another strategy of testing experiments is A/B. Testing that allows you to postpone decisions until after the idea has gone live, only with great strategy, innovative ideas and deep intuition to be successful, which Amazon has already mastered.
Stated in the article, Amazon drives its employees incredibly hard, claim the hours are long, the pressure is severe, and the workload is heavy. Amazon employees must be quick thinkers and great problem solvers when there are dealing with large fulfillment services. Knowing the technology and performance systems are ideal especially with how packages get organized, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. The employees should know each level of systems in case something was to go wrong therefore, they know where they need to go and do to fix the problem. I believe that there are very stressful and different complex situations that can arise in all aspects of the fulfillment process so the employees must know the process.
There are five symmetrical main components of an information system; Hardware, Software, Data, Procedures, and People. On the outer framework is Hardware and People, these components are called actors; they can take actions. Amazon’s hardware to fulfill orders is their physical devices used in or with the machine to process the order. Examples would be their display, hard drive, keyboards, and processor for all the orders they receive. For Amazon’s People, I believe that they are the most important. They virtually possess the powers of indirectly making new products and the quality of products produced with their knowledge, attitudes, and overall demand. Moving along to Software and Procedures, they are essentially the set of instructions. The Software, which has to utilize at least one Hardware to operate, is collections of codes installed on the computer’s hard drive. The Software is instructions for the Hardware, and Procedures are sets of instructions for People. The Software for Amazon first off is their actual website, when purchasing a digital game, you can download and install which is a part of Software, and with order fulfillment the entire process from searching your product on their website to clicking ship is all associated with Software. Another set of instructions but directed at People, Procedures. Procedures are for using, operating and maintaining information in a system. When talking about Amazons order fulfillment Procedures, there needs to have procedures established to run a program, including who is running it, when to run it and who has access to output.
Lastly, Data is the bridge between the computer side on the left and the human side on the right. Amazon gains important information by processing data from company inputs to generate the information that is useful for managing their operations. To increase overall effectiveness of data, essentially you can add more data for more accurate information or the use of information in new ways. Imagine all the millions of amounts of various types of data stored on one system. Moving from People to Hardware the automation moves work from the human side to the computer side, on the other hand, moving from Hardware to People it increases the difficulty of change. Amazon mostly creates and runs their own Hardware and Software while manipulating Data points to help the Procedures, or process, for the people.
Amazon has really taken advantage of Moore’s Law, an observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated chip circuit doubles about every two years. In English, basically the processor speeds, and overall processing power doubles. In 1997, Amazon introduced its 1-Click Shopping. When clicking 1-Click on any product page, your order will be automatically charged to payment method and shipped to the address associated with 1-Click. Moore’s Law applies here because of how much faster processing power the company has being able to do this quick transaction. Year 2000, Amazon made Marketplace. Marketplace is a platform that facilitates anyone to sell directly to the end-user or online customer. It is a collection of independent retailers and vendors who sell their products through the Amazon system. Moore’s Law helps process both Amazon Retail and Amazon Marketplace under one similar system. It helps both Amazon have a simple system that they know how to use and the Marketplace also has a simple and easy understanding way to sell their products as well. Amazon.com Associates Web Services in 2004 was launched. This service was designed to give developers access to Amazon.com product data. Imagine how many products and how much data is just generated in one day, Moore’s Law helps this simply because of the law. Since it nearly doubles every couple years it can store endless amounts of data that any developer can access fast and uncomplicated. Going along with a similar service Amazon launched Amazon Echo- Alexa. This product has exploded and ended up in millions of homes. In 2006 Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS) was released. Which is a subscription based service that makes it possible for developers to access Alexa Web traffic data on their websites and applications, so the users would be able to readily look at their past actions and websites they have visited. Again, Moore’s Law helping keep and store all accounts of data in one system. Lastly, Amazon utilized Moore’s Law by their Amazon Coins, which launched in 2013. Again, it is a digital payment method created by Amazon only to be used on Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Android devices. Moore’s Law helps Amazon understand what the customer can and cannot purchase as well as have all the data from each user and their amount of Coins available. It is able to keep everything that the company would need under the same server as the data continues to grow.
If I were working for an innovative company like Amazon, and I did not know how to do something I have a feeling that my manager would either find a way to help me learn it or work with me to know what I need to know. In all honestly if I was hired at Amazon it would be because I am qualified and they believe that I would succeed in their company. When I run into problems I want to learn how to work through them and understand the situation. Managers as likely as not run into employees who are not as high-tech or as innovated as Amazon, so they probably have solutions to work around these situations. If they don’t already, I anticipate that classes in one of the specific fields of Amazon would be a tremendous help for them in these types of situations.
I believe I could thrive at Amazon. My main and most proud skill is how organized I am and how I can organize. I feel as though everyone has a little organization skill but not likely as intense and passionate about it. If everything is organized and where it needs to be there would be little to no problems when we needed specific documents or files. Another skill I have been able to work on is being able to come out on top when dealing with stressful situations. Being able to think quick about a solution to a problem so it does not evolve into a major problem that arises for the company. Lastly, I am a leader, part time director. I am great at dealing with groups of people, talking about problems with their solutions, directing what everyone needs to do to get the ball going and making sure things get done right. These are a few of the many skills and abilities that I could bring to Amazon, maybe I should apply. We all know that Amazon sets the bar severely high for any other competitor in the market. From starting out as an unevolved bookstore to selling over 26 million units worldwide could only be accomplished by mastering in customer service, exceptional information systems and always trying to innovate and improve; which they have. When reading the article and searching sources it was disappointing to read how they treat their employees. For a company that ranks #1 in Customer Satisfaction I firmly believe that Amazon needs to have more incentive programs for their employees’ due to the considerable amount of intense working conditions. Overall Amazon has always been my go-to for anything and it’s astonishing to see how big they have become, and I am curious to see what they become.
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