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Controversial Business Moves: Have Amazon Gone Too Far?

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Amazon are a marketplace giant, and their combination of a huge choice of products, low prices, and fast delivery options have seen them wipe the floor with their competitors. It’s even claimed that whole industries have been almost wiped out by the online retailer’s presence. But, where there is brilliance, there is often also controversy. Amazon is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of their most controversial business moves of late!

Packaging

Let’s start with what is perhaps the one thing that we’ve all experienced when shopping with Amazon that has left a sour taste in our mouths: packaging. Now, we live in a world where we’re becoming increasingly aware of the detrimental effects that human activity is having on our planet. One of the main man-made problems posing a threat to our beloved Earth? Waste. We use so many products on a day to day basis that are seen as disposable, and we often throw many products and most packaging away after just a single use. The UK produces around 30.5 million tonnes of waste every single year. Within the EU, people produce around half a tonne of waste per person, and with over 500 million inhabitants, this figure quickly mounts up. America is said to produce 250 million tonnes of garbage on an annual basis. So, when many of us shop, we expect responsible large-scale businesses to use as little packaging as possible and to, preferably, send our purchases in recyclable materials. Sure, this may cost a little more and take a little more time, after all, you’ll have to pick packaging options logically rather than throwing every item into the first box that catches the supplier’s eye, but surely it’s worth it. It really isn’t all too surprising that Amazon causes outrage on a regular basis when they have been reported to send items as small as a phone charger in a box large enough for your small kids and cats to make a fort from. Now, the company has tried to justify this behaviour by saying that they optimise for the whole rather than the individual. Theorist Alexander Savin noted on his twitter feed that “Amazon uses a complicated software system to determine the box size that should be used based on what else is going in the same truck and the exact size of the cargo bay. It is playing an automated Tetris with the packages. Sometimes it will select a larger box because there is nothing else that needs to go out on that specific truck, and by making it bigger, it is using up the remaining space, so items don’t slide around and break. This actually minimises waste and is on the whole q (sic) greener system. Even if for some individual item it looks weird.” While this is an interesting theory, the tweet received all sorts of lash back from people refuting the theory. Many believe that the genuine reason for entirely environmentally unfriendly packaging is because Amazon promises such fast delivery that workers have just a matter of seconds to grab the nearest box or packaging to get the item out on time.

Drone Delivery

Again, convenience has come hand in hand with another complaint for the big bosses at Amazon. Sure, we’re all now familiar with Amazon Prime, a service which offers guaranteed next day delivery on a whole host of items. But have you heard of Amazon Prime Air? This is a fully autonomous system where a drone (otherwise known as an aerial vehicle) without a human pilot can deliver goods to customers within 30 minutes or less of completing their order. Sounds like something from the future, right? While this service hasn’t yet been launched by the company, it is in development and trial, and Amazon hopes that one day seeing an Amazon drone delivering goods by air will be as common a sight as seeing one of their delivery trucks travelling down the highway. People, expectedly, have a lot of questions surrounding the practice. They want to know how heavy the goods that this method could deliver can be (the answer, so far, is five pounds), where they are testing (there are currently trials in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Israel), and whether weather will affect the service (the company claim that they aim to operate in daylight when there are low winds, there’s good visibility, and a lack of rain, snow, or ice). Perhaps the most important issue on our minds, however, is how Amazon intends to navigate the airspace in each given country, as drones are a risk to planes. This is still being negotiated, so perhaps it will be a while before we really do see these plans come into practice and public use.

Live Purchases

Perhaps the most recent controversy associated with this retail giant is its delivery of live animals. The company has been slammed by animal activists and many consumers alike for offering home delivery of live animals such as lobsters and crabs. Not only is the method of boiling these creatures alive for consumption cruel in and of itself and something that shouldn’t be promoted at all (nevermind in the home and left to the hands of inexperienced and unprofessional cooks), they can also face the cruel fate of being left in boxes for days as they make their way from supplier to consumer. This is a sad case of sentient creatures being treated like commodities on a whole new level. Many customers have since cancelled their accounts completely, stating that they will not return to Amazon until they cease this cruel practice.

As you can see, Amazon is no stranger to controversy, and some of the decisions that they have made in their process of trying to meet the mass market’s needs and expectations really have backfired. However, where there is a complaint, there is room for improvement, and hopefully, they will begin to take customer feedback into account, ensuring that their business becomes as eco-friendly, safe, and cruelty-free as possible!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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SkyBridge Receives “Exporter of the Year” award from Global Chamber Phoenix

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The SkyBridge air logistics project received the “Exporter of the Year, Services” award, granted by the Phoenix Global Chamber within its annual Grow Globally Fair, which brings exporters and importers together, along with international investors.

The award was presented to SkyBridge, a company chaired by Ariel Picker and directed by Felipe Monroy. The effort to position www.skybridgeaz.com as one of the leaders in the international logistics sector within the business community in Arizona has been coordinated by Marco Lopez, president of Intermestic Partners.

SkyBridge is planned to become the first international air cargo hub to house Mexican and US Customs in the United States.

Its operations are based at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and will allow e-commerce companies and manufacturers, among others, to do business in Mexico and throughout Latin America, with a more efficient and profitable transport of goods between countries, thorough inspections and adequate security controls.

The development of this project will create 17,000 new direct and indirect jobs, as well as more than 3.5 million SF of development which will include industrial, aeronautical, office and commercial real estate.

The construction plan will detonate other benefits in the border region. Arizona’s proximity to Mexico and its surroundings are highly favorable for business, and they make the state a natural center for air cargo companies, large and small, eager to see their businesses grow on both sides of the border.

In this sense, Grow Globally Fair gives global business leaders the opportunity to see what’s new, who is new and how they can grow better.

With that purpose, the Phoenix Global Chamber awards prizes in honor of the success achieved in international markets and in the United States, whose categories are: Exporter of the year, product; Exporter of the year, services; Importer of the year; Landed Company to see; Cross-border consulting; Transcendent leader of the community; International banking; International commercial law; Immigration lawyer; Diplomat of the year; Translation and localization; International logistics; International accounting and taxes; International finance and insurance; International Emerging Risk; International Talent and Payroll: International Real Estate Leader; International wealth management; International business training and discourse; International IT services; International market; International education; Collaborating Organization; International nonprofit; International business city; an Elected leader with global mentality; Young Global Leader, and Global Leaders of the tribe of the year.

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Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee, new SEAT Vice presidents for R&D and Finance

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The Spanish car company, SEAT is betting on the future by hiring two prestigious new executive vice presidents. The company hired Axel Andorff as the new executive vice president of R&D (research and development), and Carsten Isensee has been appointed as the new executive vice president for finance. With both appointments, SEAT is focusing on Innovation and securing the company’s record profit and investment figures.

Who are Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee

Research & Development and Finance are two of the most important areas on a car company. The new vice presidents of these areas, are both executives with international experience and extensive knowledge on the car market. Axel Andorff will be replacing Dr. Matthias Rabe (who will run the technical development operations area at Volkswagen), and Carsten Isensee, who is taking over for Holger Kintscher (who will be working as head of IT and finance at Volkswagen).

Let’s see who are these two new incorporations to the SEAT executive staff. 

Axel Andorff (R&D Vice president)

Axel Andorff is a German economic and mechanical engineer (from the German University of Kaiserslautern), with 20 years of experience at the car market, where he worked for Mercedes and held various positions in the research & development area of that company.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The new R&D vice president will be in charge of the company’s innovation projects, especially those involving connectivity and car electrification, developing technologies and new forms of mobility. He is in charge of the SEAT Technical Centre, who is focused on R&D. It has an area of 43,000 square meters, prepared and equipped (of a total area that covers a surface of 200,000 square meters). More than 1000 qualified engineers work on this center, using advanced technology (simulations, virtual reality…) to create modern and reliable cars, and developing new car technology.

In 2018 SEAT allocates 862 million euros on total investments and R&D expenses, 47% more than in 2017.

Carsten Isensee (Executive Vice-President for Finance)

Carsten Isensee has a degree in business management from the German University of Wilhelmshaven, and he has made his entire career in the Volkswagen company. His last charge was in China as an executive vice president for finance.

2018 was a historic year for SEAT. Sales have grown by over 10%, increasing from 468,400 sold vehicles in 2017 to 517.600 in 2018. With the incorporation of Carsten Isensee to the company, they expect to continue increasing their sales along 2019 and the next years.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The Finance vice president joins the Spanish car company with the objective of reinforcing the company’s profit record and investment figures, and to strengthen its financial basis for future Automotive (LINK NOFOLLOW) projects.

The car market is a very competitive sector. Last years SEAT increased its figures on sales, profits and investments. With the new vice presidents incorporations, the company is focusing on increasing these figures and securing its position on the market.

As SEAT president Luca de Meo said: “It’s time to look to the future with the ambition to grow”.

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Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki share their vision of leadership

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Gutemberg Dos Santos is a Brazilian-American entrepreneur and one of the main promoters of the use of Blockchain technology and crypto economy.

Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki

Gutemberg Dos Santos a couple of years ago sponsored an event in which the Guinness Record broke with the largest number of people playing Cash Flow, a game developed by Robert Kiyosaki. Today, Dos Santos shares some reflections that emerged on that occasion about what a good leader is. 

A good leader is an excellent guide to reach common goals. If I want my team to work successfully I must share my skills and offer the best tools for their performance. I am also committed to strengthening the capabilities of each of the members and never assume that we all work the same as diversity enriches and complements the unit. 

Sharing experiences. If I share my experiences with the rest of my team regarding the success and failures I have had in some projects, I will empathize with my team and together we will be able to reach the goals proposed for the company.

Listening. This part is essential for a business to prosper, if I do not listen to my people I will be walking towards darkness. I must always remain alert to the doubts and questions that my team may have, in this way I will know if we are all on the same frequency and we are walking towards the same course.

Motivating my team. I take my time to know my team, how old they are, what is their educational and socioeconomic level; what goals they pursue in the short and long term. This will help me find keywords that guide me to be empathetic with them and be able to have better communication. 

Being proactive. When facing a difficult situation, I try to get the best out of it, without falling into frustration and rather detect alternative solutions. Trusting and being flexible. I am attentive to the capacities and strengths within my work team, this way I trust people in order to delegate tasks, likewise I am open to listen to proposals and suggestions that lead us to strengthen our project. 

For more information, please visit : www.gutembergds.com 


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