Yesterday, I did something I've never done before - I got a tour of an Amazon distribution center. Amazon routinely gives these tours to civilians - I went as "Kevin Coupe," not as "The Content Guy" - and I signed up to get a peek at what this particular facility is up to.
The distribution center is close to a million square feet in size - and there's another one across the street. It carries some 20 million SKUs on a regular basis, we were told, and there are some 1,800 people employed there on a regular basis, working a variety of shifts.
The complexity of the operation is too complicated to describe - I'm not conversant enough in robotics to do it justice, and we were not permitted to take pictures. Suffice it to say that I'm amazed at how the whole things works - and we were told that this distribution center, which opened in 2017, is several generations behind the current versions being opened when it comes to the technologies being used.
I asked lots of questions, but the answer that really grabbed my attention was when I asked about management vs. labor issues.
One more thing…
The Wall Street Journal this morning has a piece taking readers inside Amazon's efforts to yet again redefine fast shipping, which is interesting since there is a growing sense among customers that "fast shipping" actually has gotten a little slower and a little more selective. (And Amazon let the WSJ rtake video.)
You can access the piece here.