I must admit I’m but a mere dabbler in this Amazon thing. I’ll order things here and there, almost always using my wife’s Prime account, which I’m fairly sure Amazon is now losing money on due to its frequent, hard use.
As I’m writing this, three days ago it occurred to me I had a little scratch left on an Amazon gift card. I was interested in a book on the 1970s era of baseball (tip based off a Twitter account I follow), and I also have been procrastinating the heck out of buying a traditional stopwatch.
As a coach on my daughter’s travel softball team, I like timing the opposing catchers’ throws down to second. Comes in handy when Wavin’ Willie (as I’m called) gives signs from the third-base coaching box. I did clock two catchers at the tail-end of the season at sub 2-seconds (these are 10- and 11-year-olds) from home to second, which is outstanding. No stealing third on them.
But I always was using my iPhone to do it. Not the same as pulling the stopwatch out of the back pocket by the rope and busting off a time.
So I ordered the book (“Big Hair and Plastic Grass”) and the stopwatch (black with red rope). As I’m about to order I notice the expected shipping date says it would get there the same day if I ordered 35 bucks worth of stuff. I was at like $26 or $27 with the two items.
I became curious to see if this was the real deal — that Amazon could deliver three items of completely different subject matter within 10 hours of me ordering.
I picked out a badly needed office-supply item as the third purchase to tip me over the 35-dollar mark.
As the day wore on into the afternoon, no packages. Too good to be true, right?
But just after dinner time the dogs started hooting and hollering in the front window, which generally indicates a human or another dog is outside our house. Sure enough, there was a guy in an orange safety vest driving a regular civilian car (not the usual white rented vans), fumbling with packages in the backseat.
He indeed had my parcel. And Amazon indeed just delivered three completely unrelated items (book, stopwatch and office supply) in under 10 hours on a weekend day, from the back of someone’s car.
And all my items were contained in one box. Wow.
If you don’t think this world is changing electronically/digitally or whatever you want to call it — time to open your eyes for a reality check. I sure got one.
This new world order also is steamrolling its way into our industry, and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Want proof? The August issue is traditionally when I do my state of the industrial PVF industry presentation. We get a nice sampling of that in February with my master distribution trends story, but this August issue provides an always insightful overview of what’s going down in that neck of the woods from some of the industry’s brighest minds.
Guess what? The digital bus also has plenty of room on it for industrial PVF folks — check out Page 26 and the profile on PVF distribution heavyweight MRC Global and Its digital transformation journey.
The state of the PVF industry story starts on page 36 and contains a healthy amount of chatter on adapting to customer’s changing needs and buying habits through more digital-friendly options. I’d also call to your attention this segment’s concern about finding good help.
Our cover story this month is on Houston, Texas-based manufacturers representative Armstrong/Weatherly Associates, which is helmed by Harold Armstrong, one of the industry’s all-time good guys. AWA also is keenly aware of the changing landscape. Vice President Chris Fuller talks about the firm’s embracement of social media in the story (Page 30).
Times are changing quickly in this industry. Do you have your seat at the digital transformation table? For the sake of your customers, I hope you do.