Afternoon Coffee: Amazon is Testing its Own Delivery Services, Toyota Digitizes its Supply Chain Planning

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Attempting to relieve overcrowding in its warehouses and increase the availability of two-day delivery for its products, Amazon is now testing an expanded delivery service that would put it in direct competition with FedEx and UPS, according to Bloomberg. Called Seller Flex, the project would “give Amazon greater flexibility and control over the last mile to shoppers’ doorsteps, let it save money through volume discounts and help avoid congestion in its own warehouses by keeping merchandise in the outside sellers’ own facilities.”

Toyota Supply Chain

Fully abandoning its manual processes, Toyota announced Wednesday it is switching to a cloud-based system to manage its automotive demand and supply chain processes, Automotive Logistics reports. The system, called RapidResponse, “will unify the company’s global demand and supply planning between its sales and production divisions and help better manage vehicle and unit volume,” according to the technology provider, Kinaxis of Canada.

Manufacturing Activity 

U.S. manufacturing continues to grow in 2018, with the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI registering 59.1 in January. As Supply Chain Management Review reports, last month’s reading represented a 0.2% decline from December but was still 1.4% ahead of the 12-month average of 57.7.

Jobs Report

And finally, an economic update: the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in January, the New York Times reports, keeping the unemployment rate at 4.1%. Promising news from that data included faster wage growth for workers, with hourly earning rising 2.9% last month.

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