To succeed in today’s Amazonian environment, we must keep strange bedfellows.  We just love the Amazon example of innovation, partnering with the U.S. Postal service, known as one of the least-innovative organizations out there.  But it works!  Who ever thought you’d see a U.S. postal service mail truck delivering on Sunday for Amazon?

At the Southern California E-Commerce and Logistics Summit, there were several intriguing collaborations:  

  1. Union Pacific and BNSF Railway – Although there was a healthy competition (over resources not surprisingly since both are experiencing a skills gap), there was also much collaboration over issues.
  2. The AQMD and Staunch Opponents of Indirect Sourcing– Although there is little compromise in the widespread concern over indirect sourcing, there were panelists who are working to bridge the gap.
  3. Political leaders and Business owners– working together for progress, even with the distractions and disruptions that occur on a daily basis.
  4. Amazon and their Latest Partner– Doesn’t it seem like there is a new intriguing partner announced every week.  Kohl’s could be considered a foe but partners for win-win results but it is ‘old news’.  Recently Amazon announced another competitor partnership with Best Buy.  Who will be next?  Are you thinking about how to partner with competitors?
  5. Technology companies and all others– In the era of data and technology, people like Google, Microsoft and Apple are collaborating with everyone – car companies, IoT devices and machinery manufacturers, systems providers and many more.  

Are you taking a hard look at your collaborations and partners?  Perhaps take a more innovative approach to what you might have “assigned” to procurement last year so you’ll be around next year.