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August 2013

Beware! Amazon Warehouse Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

Is it déjà vu all over again?

In my inaugural Keys to Profitability newsletter in July, the Nugget of the Month shared a report describing Amazon’s intent to take over the world.  Well, not literally, but if their plans are realized they will dramatically reshape today’s landscape for retailing and distribution. Amazon cut their teeth on books and music.  Today, they’ve expanded prodigiously, even offering automotive supplies and food. Imagine an Amazon distribution center located within five (5) miles of most major U.S. cities, with same day delivery service.  Wonderful for the consumer.  Not so for those competing with any of Amazon’s categories.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.  Early-1970s.  Big Box retailers?  Only a concept in some visionary’s mind.  Back then the supply chain was much simpler.

More linear and defined.
Manufacturers manufactured.  Distributors distributed.  Retailers, hardware and department stores, supply houses ordered their product from distributors.
Cost of goods was a function of position in the supply chain.
Competition typically came from those of similar orientation – department store vs. department stores, lumber yard vs. lumber yard, home center vs. home center.

Then the world of distribution and retailing began to spin off its axis. Read�More...

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Driving Profitability by Uncorking Operational Bottlenecks for Manufacturers and Distributors

Manufacturing Nugget of the Month

PricewaterhouseCoopers Q2 2013 Manufacturing Barometer surveyed 82% of industrial manufacturers. The result – cautious optimism.


Distribution Nugget of the Month

McGladrey / NAW survey results report 87% of distribution executives are optimistic about their business growth in the coming year but see challenges ahead.


About the author

Lee Schwartz, Principal and founder of the Schwartz Profitability Group (, is a consultant, author and speaker who has been uncorking operational bottlenecks for manufacturing and distribution companies for over 11 years, saving them time and money, and boosting their bottom line.� Prior to launching his consulting practice, Lee spent over 20 years with manufacturers and distributors, many in senior management positions of CEO and President.� Lee can be reached by phone at (310) 450-2628 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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