By Jim Tompkins
CEO, Tompkins International

I have been discussing Amazon's future plans for years, as well as many analysts. Reading a recent news article about Amazon opening their first full brick-and-mortar location at the University of Pennsylvania, I thought, "I told you so."

The new location for Amazon at U Penn's campus, allows students to best be able to access the new services, embodying 3,558 square footage of space. The new spot on U Penn's campus will be mobile-enabled, provide self-service package pick up, and offer communal work spaces with interactive media pods (students can connect their laptops and mobile devices) to TV monitors. This will help students to connect to presentations, brainstorming actives, studying, and collaborating. There is always a customer perk with Amazon, Amazon Student and Amazon Prime members will in addition receive, free same-day picks. "We look forward to bringing this experience to even more college communities soon," Ripley MacDonald, Director of Student Programs, Amazon.

As I stated in 2012, "Amazon has invented - and is continuously refining - new ways to connect customers with solutions. As Amazon applies innovation to a physical store by adding the full customer experience, it will enhance their already strong pricing, convenience, and selection. Businesses across all industries need to prepare now to respond." I also still believe, "regardless of the products you sell or your industry focus, Amazon is your biggest competitor. I have done extensive research into The Amazon Effect and have learned that the better you understand this huge and mysterious phenomenon, the better positioned your supply chain will be for future success."

Since the early days, Amazon has continued to develop many innovations in online conveniences including, click-and-collect, advanced search recommendations, Amazon Prime, FireOS, Kindle, and drone development. Now that Amazon is applying these advanced innovations to brick-and-mortar, they are further enhancing their pleasing customer experience along with the good prices, convenience, and selection. I look forward to seeing how brick-and-mortar unfolds for Amazon and how others will respond. "We see customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better," Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.

The story of Amazon continues as the company establishes pick-up lockers in Europe. Is your supply chain going to be able to keep up?

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Tompkins International Staff
Tompkins International Staff