C-Item Management (and TPM) in the age of Industry 4.0

SCM, sales, logistics – all watch out! There is a new threat on the horizon coming with the industrial internet of things (IIoT). Yesterday I came about the developer site of amazon.com. A quote for you:

“Amazon Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low.”


A couple years ago, Amazon was dealing with books. At least in Germany and in my memory the mom-and-pop-book stores and the chains did not value the new player on the market as a competitor. Books shipped for free, seriously? Are you kidding?

Years ago, Amazon was buying itself into the market and not making money. Nowadays, Amazon is the logistics hub for almost everything. We are today witnessing how Amazon links with GE, Brother, Samsung, Whirlpool and others in getting to the next business model. The appliances re-order the physical good from Amazon. Is there any difference between the consumer market or b2b?

Obviously, Amazon’s leadership team sees a huge moneymaking opportunity for Amazon itself and their partnering hardware manufacturers. The spectacular stuff is this chance (I quote):

“You can choose to sell your own genuine products that you design and manufacture specifically for your device. Or you can receive a fee for other products sold on amazon.com – creating new opportunities to grow your business.”


Machines re-order the original equipment or off-brand items from Amazon (very convenient) and everybody earns a share. Here we have another great business model on the horizon. It might be Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) brought to a new level. A genuine win-win-situation.

If you are in SCM, this might be a threat to the standard replenishment process. If you are in sales, this move might be dangerous for you and not only if you sell MRO or commodity products. If you are in R&D or product management, here is your chance for new system applications to strengthen customer relations with unique solutions.

What are we doing? How are we interpreting the writing on the wall? What side are we taking on? How are we shaping the future and the next business models? Or are we waiting to see how the pioneers are doing?

All good questions for the next strategic planning event.





PS: Why not checking out the mentioned website and the videos? Here is the link.

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