Tompkins Fulfillment Services

Welcome to the 5th edition of Q&A with Dr. Tompkins. 

Q & A with Jim Tompkins

Q: Competing with Amazon there is a subliminal fear of them having so much scale that no one can effectively compete. What are your thoughts?

Amazon is very good, no question. But they also have challenges. Here are 10 that come to mind: 

  1. They are so big.
  2. They are 56% FBA and 44% retailer.
  3. Their material handling technology is 10 years old.
  4. Many brands are concerned about losing their brand identity within Amazon.
  5. Their overseas markets are often not profitable.
  6. Their private label products are not viewed positively by some brands.
  7. Sales visibility from Amazon of your products are limited.
  8. Rules change without much notice
  9. Alexa reduces brand choices.
  10. Amazon costs can be high

...And many more. What can you offer that will give you an advantage?

Q:What should retail executives have their eye on?

In general retail executives should have their eye on any disruptions occurring in their space. These could be disruptions in products, services, or business models. Responding to and hopefully proactively being in from of these disruptions is critical to maintain your competitive edge and your profitable growth. Lots happening, and we must realize the biggest risk is the status quo, not doing something new. My top 5 topics for disruption in the supply chain are:

  • Personalization
  • Final delivery
  • Fulfillment Center automation
  • Distributed logistics
  • Speed

If you missed last week's Q&A you may read it here. Be sure to send me your questions!


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

Executive Assistant: Debbie Flynn, 919-855-5447