The Logistics Kraken – Amazon Is Securing Its Last Mile Access


George Walkley, Head of Digital for Hachette UK, sums up why Amazon’s pick-up experiment matters in “Bookshops and Amazon’s Last Mile”:

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent:

A brand is a promise. A good brand is a promise kept.

The corollary of that statement is that Prime, next-day delivery and the nature of Amazon as “the Everything Store” are what the consumer is promised — and what makes the brand “good” is the fulfilment of those promises. To this end, Amazon has built its supply chain with a level of focus that McKinsey (itself hardly lacking in purpose) describes as “maniacal” — for example, huge investments in R&D around robotics and warehouse automation. These innovations are part of an overall logistics operation that is remarkable in its scale and scope. Amazon spends some 12% of its revenue in this area. […]

Imagine obsessing over customer service, achieving the broadest range and the most competitive pricing, building customer loyalty over a period of years, developing a logistics operation that would shame the militaries of many advanced nations, and then—

If third parties are stopping you from keeping your promise to customers, the implication for the value of your brand is obvious. As is the strategy to resolve the issue: taking greater control of the last mile.

This holiday season, Amazon is hiring 120.000 temporary workers.

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