Tompkins Fulfillment Services

Welcome to the 9th edition of Q&A with Dr. Tompkins. Please be sure to write me any of the questions you may be having with regards to your own eCommerce supply chain operations.

Q & A with Jim Tompkins

Today I want to tackle the question: How can companies deal with the pace of disruptions occurring today?

The pace of disruption has changed in a major way over the last 60 years, so too should the approach we use to deal with this change. In the 1960’s the pace of disruption was slow. In fact, so slow you really had to study an industry cycle to “see” it revolving. In 1960 a major disruption occurred every 40 years, but by 1990 a major disruption occurred every 15 years. Today we see major disruptions every year or two. In this 60 year span we have gone from a major disruption once or twice in a career, to today where they are occurring every few years. This is a big deal and requires that we adjust our thinking.

The driver of the increase in the pace of disruption, is the pace of innovation. Companies view disruption and innovation differently. Some companies see the pace of disruption and innovation as their friend and embrace change. Others see the pace of disruption and innovation as an enemy and they resist change. If we had a Hall of Fame for the Friends of Disruption, Jeff Bezos would be enshrined. His, “Every day is Day 1” quote would be above the door to the Hall. To the contrary, the resisters, the firms who do not want to “rock the boat” who want to “keep doing what they have always done,” are not invited to even visit the Hall, as they have gone out of business. These firms include Toys R Us, RadioShack, Sports Authority, Circuit City, Blockbuster, Borders, and many more: Rest in Peace.

So, how can companies deal with the pace of disruption? Become an innovator. Become a disruptor. Embrace digital disruption and establish new business models, new services, new products. Understand the disruption cycle and establish a plan to reduce friction as you travel around the Disruption Cycle. Your speed around the Disruption Cycle must match or exceed your competitors for you to be able to enter the Friends of Disruption Hall of Fame.

To learn more about being a disruptor and the Disruption Cycle, watch my latest video, Creating Competitive Advantage with Innovation and Disruption.

Be sure to send me your questions!


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

Executive Assistant: Debbie Flynn, 919-855-5447