In order to achieve success and recognition, businesses need to ensure that they have all their systems and operations under control. While some firms may be unaware of this fact, information management system plays a crucial role in companies’ supply chain management, delivery and warehousing, customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. Therefore, it may be rather insightful to review how global organizations like Amazon use their IMSs to enhance their operations and meet their business objectives.
Describing Amazon’s Information Management System
To begin with, it is possible to say that Amazon’s advanced and well-developed IMS plays a rather significant role in the company’s higher competitive advantage and strong image. Overall, the information management system of Amazon consists of two components: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) (Demir, 2017). The former is used to promote the organization’s E-commerce platform: customers can create their personal accounts, find goods they need based on recent purchases and searches, and have a positive experience when using the website. At the same time, Amazon can gather information about purchases and use it for further analysis and upgrades of its products. Next, Simple Storage Service “helps the end users save, retrieve, use any volume of data from any location irrelevant to the time” (Demir, 2017, p. 12). To sum up, the IMS used by the company allows it to have full and updated information about its clients’ preferences, make sure that ordered goods are delivered promptly, and increase customer satisfaction.
SCM Information System
It is essential to notice that proper information management in Amazon’s supply chain management leads the company to the achievement of its key business objective. Generally, the organization wants to provide its clients with the best experience by offering the fastest delivery possible (Palmer, 2022). Since Amazon can collect personalized information about its buyers, and this data is secured and stored properly and can be accessed by the company’s various departments, clients are offered customized services and delivery (Demir, 2017). When an item is ordered, this information is received by workers and departments involved in the SCM process, which is why it is essential for Amazon to store and effectively analyze this data. As a result, the organization always has immediate access to the list of most frequently ordered goods, products ordered recently, and all systems that participate in SCM. Without the proper management of the mentioned information, it will be impossible for Amazon to satisfy the needs of its customers.
The Use of Technology
Another interesting sub-topic to discuss is the way Amazon uses technology to manage its transportation and warehousing networks. Noticeably, the company cares not only about its profit or customer satisfaction but also about sustainability, which is why it tries to use environmentally friendly vehicles and methods when delivering and storing its goods. Thus, as stated by Amazon (2021), it has “a range of delivery methods to reduce emissions on last-mile routes,” including “electric delivery vehicles and micromobility technologies” (p. 24). Additionally, some persons who deliver goods are not Amazon’s workers, which enables the company to reduce costs on transportation. However, the company still uses technology and well-developed IMS to monitor its third-party delivery drivers’ schedules, locations, and other relevant information.
As for warehousing, artificial technology is utilized by the company to make the SCM processes quicker and more efficient. As stated by employees, “when the order comes in, a robot brings pods full of items to associates working at pick stations” (Amazon Staff, 2019, para. 3). Hence, the joint efforts of robots and people make the whole process much more organized. It is great to see how Amazon can use these technologies to satisfy customer demands and enhance all its operations, including delivery and warehousing, and this is one of the reasons why the company is so popular.
IMS and Competitive Advantage
As stated above, precisely Amazon’s IMS plays a significant role in strengthening its competitive advantage and making sure the company is preferred by customers. Generally, a well-developed information management system allows for adequate data exchange between employees from all levels and departments. Therefore, from the moment a new order is placed, it takes Amazon staff extremely little time to pack, verify, and send it (Amazon Staff, 2019). This fast delivery is the key aspect of the company’s competitive advantage, and it would be impossible to achieve it if employees and technologies had difficulty receiving, storing, managing, or accessing information.
Unique Feature of Amazon’s IMS
Not everyone may be aware of some unique characteristics and details of Amazon’s IMS. For example, as stated by Demir (2017), “Amazon has got the patent registered (U.s patent Feb 8, 2005) for offering the personalized content to customer with the help of tracking the actions of users in a surfing session” (p. 13). In other words, precisely this company can offer its buyers the best items based on their preferences because Amazon tracks their activity and can use this information to improve people’s experiences. Since customers spend less time searching for the goods they need, it is more likely that they decide to order from Amazon.
Coordination Between Supply Chain Partners
Before discussing this sub-topic, it is essential to mention that some of the most frequently ordered goods are stored within Amazon’s warehouses, but some products are only available in the company’s partners’ warehouses (Juneja, n.d.). Consequently, in order for Amazon to make sure that its customers receive all the products they order in a timely manner, there is a need to connect with other partners and inform them about the required sending. Additionally, as explained earlier, some independent workers are also considered Amazon’s delivery partners, which is why the organization always needs to monitor their location and actions, as well as send them information about orders. Without the well-developed IMS, Amazon would not be able to have a constant connection with other firms and its delivery partners, and most deliveries would fail.
Monitoring Orders and Inventory Levels
It is quite convenient for both Amazon and its customers that orders and inventory levels are easily monitored. First, there is a constant flow of data between different company departments. When an item is out of stock, the warehouse, IT, supply management, and other employees immediately become aware of it (Demir, 2017). This fact allows for constant information updates and control over inventory levels. What is more, the same scheme works with order monitoring, and clients can see the status of their package on Amazon’s website.
IMS and Customer Satisfaction: Real-World Examples
Apart from Amazon, other global firms use their information management systems to make better decisions and achieve higher levels of client satisfaction. For instance, while most facts about Apple’s IMS are kept secret to have a higher competitive advantage, it is evident that the company uses iCloud. This tool ensures that its clients have an effective resource and that Apple’s own data is efficiently exchanged and stored within the corporation.
Importance of Managing Information
Some newly emerging and inexperienced businesses would probably state that moving products is more essential that managing information. Nevertheless, skilled and respected companies would disagree: it is much more vital to effectively gather, store, secure, and access information. Precisely IMS allows organizations to make informed decisions, have all operations under control, reduce costs, and ensure client satisfaction. Moreover, moving goods is practically impossible or challenging without an adequate IMS.
Impact on Productivity, Efficiency, and Profitability
Finally, a rather simple example can illustrate how productivity, efficiency, and profitability depend on the IMS. Suppose a warehouse worker needs to pack and send a hundred orders. The less time they spend searching for information about orders, the more goods they can pack. Accordingly, the whole company benefits because, in one day, employees will process many more orders. However, if the warehouse worker does not receive the right information on time, their productivity will decrease. The same applies to all company departments – operations are slowed down if there is no access to the necessary data.
To draw a conclusion, one may agree that information management systems are integral and extremely important parts of businesses. Without an adequate IMS, Amazon would not be able to manage and control its various operations, and there would be no timely exchange of data between departments. Since numerous factors depend on the selected IMS, including customer satisfaction, profitability, operations efficiency, competitive advantage, and supply chain management, it is of vital importance to make sure that the IMS is updated and unique.
Amazon. (2021). Delivering progress every day: Amazon’s 2021 sustainability report [PDF document]. Web.
Amazon Staff. (2019). Inside Amazon’s fulfillment centers: What you can expect to see on a warehouse tour. About Amazon. Web.
Demir, A. (2017). Management information system: Case study of Amazon.com. Journal of Research in Business and Management, 4(1), 11-17.
Juneja, P. (n.d.). Analysis of Amazon’s supply chain management practices. MSG. Web.
Palmer, A. (2022). Amazon launches same-day delivery from some brick-and-mortar retail brands. CNBC. Web.