Jeff Bezos, founder and innovator of Amazon.com realizes that it is not merely technology that has made his company build a world-wide customer base of over 17 million. It is understanding customer needs, reducing the tiers of management in order to make quick decisions, focus on items that sell, expanding into new marketing opportunities, and developing strategies that can survive even during periodic downtimes. As is obvious, being first does not necessarily mean being best. But, as this case illustrates, careful planning has created an enormous hurdle for potential competitors to deal with.
1. Bezos' management style is action-oriented, and hands-on. As the case explains, during the busy Christmas season, he and other Amazon.com managers get hands-on experience in the warehouses in order to better understand what customers need and are buying. What is effective in this management style is that Bezos and his fellow managers are not letting technology run the firm.
In trying to bring about e-business transformation, companies have generally focused too much of their attention on technology. But systems do not work in a vacuum, and senior managers must recognize the complementary nature of technology, business processes and e-business readiness throughout the value chainamanagers can turn those facets of a company's operations into the drivers of e-business excellencea in.. three areas: e-business processes for customers and suppliers; IT applications for customers, suppliers and internal operations (all of which must be integrated); and the e-business readiness of customers and suppliers (Barua et al 2001 38).
It is this mix of hands-on action with ever-improving technology that works for Amazon.com.
2. Bezos gets personally involved at all levels of the company's business, including hiring of managers. With probing questions, he then has the confidence in those managers to hire and form teams of employees un...