Bellevue Commerce
Amazon’s Warehousing Operations

Amazon’s Warehousing Operations

Amazon has been one of the biggest success stories in the e-commerce industry. With millions of customers and worldwide demand for their merchandise, Amazon has grown into one of the biggest companies in the retail sector today.

It is now found in dozens of countries and employs thousands of workers throughout the world. The company has also made its mark as an industry leader, with Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos gaining recognition for his innovative business practices and uncanny ability to predict what consumers want next.

The Reasoning behind Amazon’s Expanding Warehouse System

Amazon has expanded into various business segments since it was founded, including grocery stores like Whole Foods Market, streaming content with Prime Video, and even cloud computing services through Amazon Web Services (AWS), among many other divisions. One of Amazon’s biggest monopolies is its massive network of warehouses where inventory is stored for sale online or at retail locations. These amazon facilities provide a wide range of jobs both directly and indirectly related to Amazon operations worldwide.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had decided to dramatically increase the workforce in his Amazon clubs, mostly in Amazon Warehouse, Flex, and Prime. This move comes at a time when the global workforce, numbering in the trillions, is under serious stress due to unemployment, increasing poverty levels, and the devastating impact of global warming. The strike by the worldwide workforce is demanding for the companies to address the issue of global warming and make concrete moves towards creating green and sustainable jobs.

To ameliorate this situation, Jeff Bezos decided to move his company’s amazon warehouse operations into the rapidly recovering housing market, such as the one in Bellevue. The Amazon warehouse, built at the site of one of Outhouse Homes, will provide thousands of jobs for new employees and their families. The company’s worker base is almost entirely comprised of single adults who rely upon public infrastructures like education, transportation, healthcare, and other services for both their personal and professional well-being.

How Amazon Warehouses Work

Amazon’s Bellevue warehouses also allow the company to increase labor rates at its fulfillment centers. The rate for labor is lower than that of many other warehousing operations in the industry because the overhead of running the facility is spread out amongst the different departments. Amazon’s warehouses are separated into three main sections: 

  1. Production
  2. Logistics
  3. Customer Services.

The employees in Production handle the actual creation of goods, and they receive very little assistance from the Logistics department. They are responsible for the transportation of finished products to their destinations, and they also must ensure that every employee receives their daily quota of work. The Customer Service employees are the people who physically receive and check-in packages that Amazon ships out. They handle and process all orders and returns and ship them off to their destinations.

The Work of Logistics Department

The more complicated department, however, is the Logistics one. It is made up of four separate groups:

  • Packaging
  • Shipment Loading
  • On-Road Transportation  (the truck drivers)
  • Dropship Vendor Administration

The Packaging team negotiates with vendors about shipping prices, packaging materials, and labeling requirements. They also pack the products for shipment. This means they get the items ready to go so they can be put on a truck bound for either a customer’s home or one of Amazon’s warehouses. When items arrive at Amazon’s warehouses from vendors, this team unpackages everything so it can be sent through Amazon’s Customization departments. The Shipment Loading team receives items from Amazon’s warehouses and places them on trucks bound for customers’ homes.

The On-Road Transportation team handles most of the logistics for Amazon. They do everything from picking up packages at Amazon’s warehouses and dropping them off at their destinations, to returning undeliverable items to Amazon. They drive company vehicles like lockers and cargo vans. Each of these teams is controlled by a manager along with an assistant overseeing more lowly ranked employees. The On-Road Transportation department usually has many drivers (truckers). They are managed by a lead driver and an assistant of the lead driver.  This structure may vary depending upon the size of the warehouse, but the general idea is the same.

The final department within Amazon’s logistics division is Dropship Vendor Administration. This team takes care of everything that has to do with the vendors and items which Amazon uses for its business, including labeling and pricing information. They also work alongside all other departments to ensure that there are no problems along any part of the process.  Dropship Vendor Administration makes sure of the proper tracking of the items and set destinations after the shipping from the warehouse or vendor locations. 

Warehouse Operations: Management & Inspection

Amazon’s warehouse operations are managed by third-party contractors. However, not all of these companies are created equally. To ensure that the warehouse stays operational at all times, the management of Amazon’s business requires regular inspections of its various facilities. This ensures that the operations are running as efficiently as possible. The inspection reports also provide information on the progress of individual departments within the warehouse, which can help target improvements in inefficiency.

Amazon uses its tracking system to monitor the progress of each warehouse employee performing various duties within the warehouse. It has customized software applications that collect and analyze data regarding each worker. The software allows the management to track work speeds and defects, as well as document each incident or problem that occurs during warehouse operations. Amazon’s warehouse operations provide a valuable service to customers around the world, ensuring that goods are received and delivered efficiently.

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