BSS064-6 Leading And Managing Organisational Resources

Question:

Amazon is one of the leading companies in the world, with an annual turnover of over $ 400 million. The company was founded Jeff Bezos in 1994. Starting as an online bookstore of his in garage in Seattle USA. . As the company grew, it expanded its business into different products. The companynow sells merchandise and content purchased for resale from vendors, as well as those offered bythird-party sellers through retail Websites,

  • Amazon.com started as a “virtual” retailer – no inventory, no warehouses, no overhead – justcomputers taking orders to be filled by others
  • Growth has forced Amazon.com to become a world leader in warehousing and inventory management

Some of the major criticisms against Amazon stems from the following actions:

  1. Environmental degradation due to the massive scale of packaging.
  2. Other activities that lead to carbon footprint like logistics, manufacturing.
  3. Massive energy consumption at their headquarters offices and cloud servers.
  4. Data privacy issues.
  5. Promoting hyper consumption and culture of mindless purchases.
  6. Toxic work culture

The CSR agenda for Amazon

Many employees went on record to state their discomfort over the environmental degradation despite Amazon having very strict policies against speaking publicly against the company.

It is essential for larger companies like Amazon to establish themselves as sustainability leaders. Amazon has some arguments against the criticism about environmental damage. Firstly, the online retailers offset some of the carbon footprint because people don’t have to travel. The amount of fuel saved when people shop online offsets a lot of the environmental degradation due to the packaging.

However, a counter argument against this argument is that people tend to purchase much more thanthey would through an offline channel.

Although Amazon has taken a lot of steps towards positive CSR, Still a lot of ground needs to becovered. One of their major criticism has been their toxic work environment. There have been murmurs, muffled voices as well as loud cries against the culture. Employees have complained ofbeing made to overwork. The managers havebeen criticized for having difficult demands on their employees. This kind of work culture is not sustainable in the long run.

Secondly, Amazon still refuses to release the figures for energy consumption. Other cloud service providers have taken steps to release their energy consumptions.

Amazon is an interesting case when it comes to the triple bottom line. Firstly, it is the world’s largestretailer. Secondly, they have a huge logistic footprint across the world. Thirdly, they are also one ofthe market leaders in terms of cloud computing. All of these factors make them in a position that isfilled with responsibility towards their stakeholders.

Some of the ways in which Amazon looks at the triple bottom line are:

  1. Reduction in packaging waste
  2. Optimization of their delivery fleet
  3. Reducing water consumption linked to their services.

Brand is an important asset to any company. They often come in the form of a name or logo which is used to identify and distinguish a company’s product from others. The success of a brand can be determined in a variety of ways, such as monetary value, customer awareness and customer trust.

A major strategy Amazon has employed in the last five years to drive speed and efficiency.

  1. Each order is assigned by computer to one of the distribution centres.
  2. A “flow meister” at each distribution centre assigns work crews.
  3. Robots and technology help workers move merchandise and pick the correct items.
  4. Items are placed into crates on a conveyor, bar code scanners scan each item 15 times to virtually eliminate errors.
  5. Crates arrive at central point where items are boxed and labelled with new bar code
  6. Amazon expects the customer experience to yield the lowest price, fastest delivery, and errorfree order fulfilment.

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