Can Amazon Supply revolutionize the business supply chain?

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Not content to simply offer books and consumer goods to online shoppers, Amazon has launched a new website called Amazon Supply that offers a broad selection of parts and supplies to business, industrial, scientific and commercial customers.

The online shop is currently listed as beta despite launching with over 500,000 items for sale. Products span a wide range of categories including abrasives & finishing, cutting tools, fasteners, fleet & vehicle maintenance, hydraulics, pneumatics & plumbing, janitorial & sanitation, lab & scientific, materials, occupational health & safety, office, power & hand tools, power transmission and test, measure & inspect.

The site offers the same free two-day shipping for buyers that spend more than $50 while Amazon Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping regardless of amount spent and one-day shipping priced at $3.99 per item. In addition to the shipping perks, Amazon Supply offers free 365 day returns, a dedicated customer service center and business lines of credit.

Amazon acquired Small Parts Inc. in 2005 which helped the company expand their service and selection well past the initial goal of offering products for the medical supply and research industries. SmallParts.com now redirects to AmazonSupply.com but the company notes that they still sell more than 10,000 items branded with the Small Parts name.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon has the same effect on the supply chain that it has had on the consumer retail sector over the past several years.

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