What do companies actually do any more?

It’s getting bizarre. Bakers don’t bake (Sara Lee), electronic equipment suppliers (Cisco) don’t manufacture, booksellers don’t actually have books on the shelves, etc.

Some folks from Wharton are out with a new study on “virtual order fulfillment“.

Whichever way retailers choose to go, say the authors, opting for a virtual, traditional, or hybrid inventory structure „is and will continue to be a high-stakes decision where companies risk customer loyalty, large investments, and ultimately market success.‰

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