Reflection: A Look at Strategy

            Before starting this class, I was already aware that forecasting was important. However, I didn’t realize the extent to which it was important. Forecasts drive so many decisions that are made within a company. It is hard to know if you are being too conservative or too ambitious because you never can predict the market. Once you get the forecast, all of the other departments work together to make sure that the numbers are realistic and can make a profit in the end.

           I also saw that you can start with one strategy in mind and then you can just end up going in a different direction later on. I was assuming that companies had to stick to the strategy that they intended to start with but that isn’t true. Change is inevitable and you just have to learn to grow with the changing markets.

          Amazon is a company that has maintained its strategy for many years. They aim to make their customers as happy as possible and they have done a good job with that. They didn’t follow the Silicon Valley theory where you focus less on revenue and try to establish a product or service. Amazon doesn’t focus on profits, their profit margins aren’t that great but they still have people willing to invest in them. Amazon isn’t worrying about revenues, they are trying to gain more memberships without changing the price to match inflation. Money just doesn’t seem to be a problem for Amazon. They created Amazon Fresh and it just needs to make enough to finance its self. There strategy is proving to work very well for them because they keep adding more services to their business that they really don’t need to finance very heavy. They are able to charge fairly cheap prices for their Kindles because customers will purchase games and applications from the Amazon Kindle store. Their goal is to have their products widely spread across a large number of the population. So far, they have done an amazing job with that.


       My team’s strategy was to be a differentiator and lead in the high end and low end. As the simulation progressed, we saw that some of our products in those segments just did not do well. They were positioned in the worst spots in some rounds, some stocked out multiple times, and our awareness of the products fluctuated constantly. It was a true learning experience nonetheless. One thing I learned from this course is that you really have to analyze your competitors very closely and constantly do SWOT analysis to keep your company up to date. I also learned that ethics isn’t always a issue of what is good and bad, it can be about what’s in the best interest of the company. Doing nothing is also an option that can be chosen but it will also have implications in some way.




6 thoughts on “Reflection: A Look at Strategy

  1. I thought this was an excellent article. I would have to agree on how important forecasting is… my team learned that the hard way in the simulation, and I liked how you related the article to class and the concept of forecasting. Amazon is a company that has a business model that I’ve never quite understood, but this article and your analysis has put more light on the matter for me.

  2. A very interesting article to me hence, Amazon is one of my favorite companies and one which I do give a lot of examples in management meetings on companies’ strategy hence, I believe that Amazon has chosen a very smart strategy to build sustainability through choosing dependability as their main strategy. Amazon does not increase its margins because big margins attract more market entries so by keeping the margins low your business seems unappealing to competition to enter. Moreover, building a brand strategy around dependability will have high switching costs to customers hence, customers will have to move out of their comfort zone to switch to competition which creates something that today we call loyalty 😉

  3. I agree, forecasting is very important because it gives you somewhat of an insight in the future. It will solve some of the problems mentioned like the overstocking of products. But forecasting alone isn’t enough, you have to use different tools as well to be able to position your self and your products in the best position.

    Ebrahim Akbari \MBA X

  4. A great post, and I completely agree. Being an avid Amazon customer I can’t help but appreciate the wide variety of products that are available. In some cases before even the competition gets their hands on them. Forecasting only helps make sure you have the product available to sell, however getting the customer to buy it is something else. In my opinion, why one of the reasons Amazon is so successful is because of their great customer service, their amazing pricing policy along with the fact that they price match if a customer reports that the item is available elsewhere for cheaper. They listen to their customer, have made deliveries really effortless, at the same time innovated with the new Amazon Locker program along with the drone delivery service they are testing out. They even have the best bargain I know off called Amazon Prime, for $79.99 (now $99.99) you get access to free two days shipping to all products sold by Amazon at the same time free access to Amazon Instant Videos. Being innovative endears a company to their customers, this has been evident in recent years as more customers are flocking to more innovative companies capable of changing the way we do things.

  5. I am always impressed by companies which main focus is not profit, and i think this kind of strategy combined with the focus on customer satisfaction can guarantee a company’s success, since they can acquire larger market share by offering competitive pricing.
    Amazon have mastered this strategy and this is how they are attracting investors. Their customer service and satisfaction is second to none, and add to that how they started moving into the hardware business when they first offered the kindle, and then the kindle tablets and one of their latest releases which is the Fire TV that goes great with their streaming services.

  6. The comment that you made regarding change being inevitable and “how you just have to learn to grow with the changing markets” are great points when considering the challenges that a company faces.  
    I’ve always found forecasting and developing strategies to be a highly interesting career.  A strong, dedicated team gathering to identify the SWOTs, evaluating the issues and creating realistically attempting to predict the best direction to go in order to pursue success (e.g. profitability, exposure, ethical standards).  
    Your observation of how Amazon aims to increase their memberships and offer more services is a great example of how success can vary widely, along with the development of strategies to complete these goals.  Their ability to keep ahead of their competitors by recognizing what their consumers want derives from these successful strategies.

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