The Amazon Effect: How Speed to Market is Impacting Organizational Design - from Making New Product Bets to Flexible Fulfillment Initiatives

Nicole DeHoratius
Adjunct Professor of Operations Management

April 20–21, 2017



Course Details
One way firms compete is through the design and development of new products and services.  However, new product and service launches entail placing a bet on expected demand.  We explore, in this day and age of big data, how to place such bets when you have no data (e.g., the product or service is new and no historical data is available). We explain how to build demand scenarios that account for demand uncertainty and the risk profile of a product.  Moreover, we identify the capabilities firms need to source and deliver these products through flexible fulfillment mechanisms.  

Obstacles firms face when seeking to increase their speed to market and delivery lead times include (a) supply chain disruptions resulting from poor data integrity, product returns, lack of supplier financing, (b) quantifying the benefit of technology such as RFID, Internet of Things, Robots, 3-D printing, and (c) changing customer expectations due to Omni channel initiatives. We discuss how firms attempt to mitigate these obstacles through innovative operational practices.

DeHoratius says, "Consumers value speed more than ever before. Firms, on the other hand, find it challenging to deliver on this speed.  Delivering products to markets quickly requires a change in mindset across organizational siloes from product design and development, to forecasting, to sourcing, and more.  I look forward to discussing these challenges with our alumni and exploring some of the tactics firms are using to increase speed.  Many existing supply chain activities will be disrupted by start-ups offering better technology, quicker decision making, and better quality data."

Register here.

Contact Katie Corr:, 312-464-8729.