Tompkins Fulfillment Services
Q & A with Jim Tompkins

Over the next several weeks, I will be publishing key questions that we have been getting from our readers on the supply chain industry, key technologies that will need to be in place for your supply chain, labor shortages, and a few other questions sprinkled in as we receive them. First, I will tackle answering questions regarding Amazon.

Which company, if any, can challenge Amazon and replace it? My answer may surprise many. But I see huge potential for Facebook to challenge Amazon as the biggest marketplace in the U.S.  They can purchase the front-end (website) and the back-end (logistics). Their core competencies that makes them my choice to challenge Amazon are two key components. First, they have the brand and the following (over 215 million users in the U.S.) Secondly, unlike all other eCommerce players they have the information to go beyond what you have bought, to more importantly know what you will buy. This predictive capability not only makes buying Facebook advertising a good investment, but makes sense for them to facilitate the sale through Facebook Marketplace.

How can the industry respond to the Amazon threat? First of all, thank you for the question just as “Amazon is the Everything Store” and as their logo illustrates everything from A to Z, Amazon is everyone’s competitor. When I hear people say Amazon is not a threat to their business I just smile. This has been said for 20 years now and every year another industry sector wakes up to discover Amazon is their competitor. So, now we see Amazon as a competitor, but as a threat? Well yes. Why? Many reasons, but the top two:

  1. Amazon is very good, very, very aggressive and very, very, very smart.
  2. Amazon does not manage to the next quarter, but rather focuses on long-term thinking

Amazon is a threat and my three guidelines on how to respond are:

  1. You cannot respond to the Amazon threat by copying them.
  2. To respond to the Amazon threat, you must use innovation to substantially disrupt their leadership position.
  3. To disrupt Amazon you must uncover business secrets that will significantly improve on their business model. 

Be sure to tune in again next week where I will be posting some additional Q&A. Do you have a question? Send to me at


James A. Tompkins, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO, MonarchFx

Executive Assistant: Debbie Flynn, 919-855-5447