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The vice-president of new product development for Amazon Marketplace was preparing to propose the Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) initiative at Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon)’s three-year planning session. The SFP would allow Amazon Marketplace sellers who had proven their ability to meet Prime customers’ expectations for exceptional service to provide Prime shipping benefits for products that the sellers fulfilled themselves rather than through the Fulfillment by Amazon process. Because the vice-president did not yet have extensive data on the effects of his proposal, he had to work with an interdisciplinary team to determine the potential benefits and challenges associated with this initiative.
This is a complex case that focuses on Amazon.com Inc.’s innovation process, requiring cross-functional assessments to successfully implement innovative proposals. The case has a broad audience because it requires an integrative approach with respect to organizational considerations. This case is suitable for use in a capstone upper division undergraduate course, as well as graduate- and executive-level courses. It can be used in strategic management, innovation, marketing, and supply chain management courses. After working through the case and assignment questions students will ·understand Amazon’s innovation process from a multi-stakeholder perspective; ·consider how a company’s philosophy and culture aid in sustaining innovation; andanalyze a proposal from a cross-functional and holistic perspective to consider its opportunities and challenges.