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Are Amazon’s “Dash Buttons” the Future of Restocking?

dashbutton

Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled a new way to order goods via its massive online storefront: The Dash Button.

 

The concept is pretty simple: each Dash Button is WiFi enabled and associated with a single SKU on Amazon’s website. By clicking the dash button, you’ll place an order for said item and should receive it in a day or two. While Dash Buttons can be customized for virtually any product, they’re currently being marketed primarily for home goods (such as detergent and razor blades).

 

As facility managers, we can’t help but think there might be strong future applications for applying this technology toward office supplies. Doing so would solve a few problems:

  • Busy workers would be less likely to “forget” when they’ve seen low inventory (they could click to order right away)
  • Facility managers / office managers would be able to crowdsource (at least portions) of their inventory needs

 

According to Fortune, Amazon has already resolved the market’s concern over “multiple orders” (which would almost certainly preclude its potential for office implementation):

“The simplicity of one-button tasks are appealing, although it could lead to a mess of packages ending up at people’s doors if Amazon doesn’t try to minimize waste on its end, by grouping shipments together when possible. People on Twitter seem mostly concerned about pets and small children playing with the Dash Buttons and ordering multiples of their Kraft Macaroni and Cheese boxes, although Amazon notes that if the button is pressed more than once, the order doesn’t go through on the second time, and you’ll get a smartphone notification about it.”

 

Of course, applications for the Dash Button would depend on the availability (and competitive pricing) of goods via Amazon. But, for inexpensive, basic needs—such as coffee, copier paper, etc.—some companies may be willing to enable purchases to decrease the probability of being understocked, and to make employees feel more “at home” in their own offices.

 

We’ll be interested to see if Amazon feels the same way we do, and if they release more “enterprise-minded” options in 2016! More importantly, we’ll be looking for other companies to begin building “open needs” WiFi buttons, which could be used for virtually any purpose. Indeed, some consumers have already begun “hacking” the dash button for pretty creative uses.

 

This is a classic example of the Instant Enterprise Economy, where modern technology coincides with the desire for instantaneous services. As tech consumers, the CrowdComfort team believes that even more examples will come to light in the near future! 

 

What are you thinking about when it comes to the future of re-stocking? What other examples do you see of the “Instant Enterprise Economy?”

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