Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Amazon's drones strike at heart of retail industry's biggest fear

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
When Inc.'s CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced plans to use drones to ship products within the next five years, it was not surprising that students in my operations class at Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business were interested in the topic. The discussion immediately led to questions of feasibility: Can Amazon really pull this off? And should we expect to see swarms of drones buzzing over our heads in the near future?

To some, this may appear to be a well-thought-out publicity stunt that has garnered Amazon quite a few headlines just in time for the holiday shopping rush. However, if you look at how Amazon's operations have evolved over the past few years, what Mr. Bezos is proposing does not seem that farfetched; it is in line with many of the innovations that the company already has realized.