Amazon Bets Big On Faster Shipping

Amazon Bets Big On Faster Shipping

November 15, 2019

Amazon spent $1.5 billion to improve its transportation and warehouse infrastructure and increase its inventory to cut its Prime shipping from two days to one.

The next-day delivery investment has brought benefits, including new record sales, improved revenue growth, increased warehouse and shipping staff, and happier customers. However, shipping costs have also increased 46% in the company’s second quarter.

Investors are overall optimistic about the outlay, but Amazon’s recently predicted weak holiday demand, which has raised some concerns.


Video Spotlight: Amazon’s profit falls due to same-day delivery costs, and other top business news


This post is based on the CNET article, Amazon’s next-day shipping ambitions are costing it a fortune, by Ben Fox Rubin, October 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Amazon’s profit falls due to same-day delivery costs, and other top business news, by CityNews Toronto, October 25, 2019. Image source: Daniel Grizelj/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Amazon’s one-day Prime shipping a strategic capacity decision?

Guidance: Yes – it enables Amazon to meet customers’ demand for next-day delivery, increases operating costs, reflects a long-term commitment to e-business, and enables competitiveness in e-retailing.

2. What investment did Amazon make to cut its Prime shipping from Continue reading

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Oral-B’s Genius X-Factor

Oral-B’s Genius X-Factor

November 14, 2019

Oral-B introduced a “smart” electric toothbrush called Genius X that connects to your smartphone to help you brush better using artificial intelligence.

The app informs you with a rating for how well you brushed – where you applied too much pressure or missed certain spots.  Genius X is an improvement over earlier models, as you don’t need the phone’s camera or the help of a dentist to perfect your brushing.


Video Spotlight: Oral-B Genius X first impressions of the AI toothbrush


This post is based on The Verge article, Oral-B’s new $220 toothbrush has AI to tell you when you’re brushing poorly, by Jay Peters, October 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Oral-B Genius X first impressions of the AI toothbrush, by TechAdvisor, February 26, 2019. Image source: sebra/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What role does technology play in introducing Oral-B’s Genius X toothbrush?

Guidance: Oral-B has integrated artificial intelligence in its core product to improve its design and maintain its position as a leader in Internet-Of-Things technology.

2. What are the strategic implications of Oral-B’s focus on innovating electric toothbrushes?

Guidance: Oral-B maintains leadership in product innovation, demonstrates its competence in integrating technology in Continue reading

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Party Continues for Fiesta China

Party Continues for Fiesta China

November 9, 2019

The Homer Laughlin China Company (HLC) of Newell, West Virginia, navigates a tough business environment to maintain its iconic Fiesta brand as the last large commercial pottery maker in the U.S..

Despite strong competition from China, Mexico, and India, affordable pricing, and a heavily manual manufacturing process, HLC has diversified its business into 60% consumer market and 40% food service industry.

The company also started its own online sales 10 years ago.

As a result, HLC is able to remain competitive with its top quality Fiesta China carrying the made-in-America credentials since 1871.


Video Spotlight: How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made


This post is based on the Forbes article, The Family-Owned Company That Makes FiestaWare Counts On Diversification And Online Sales For Growth, by Jim Vinoski, October 24, 2019, and the YouTube video, How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made, by Insider, September 9, 2018. Image source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges of the commercial pottery industry in the U.S.?

Guidance: The challenges include strong foreign competitors from China, Mexico, and India on labor costs, strong local competitions with 30+ pottery makers, price competition, and a heavily manual manufacturing process.

2. How did Homer Laughlin Continue reading

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