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7 Views From Inside The Amazon Warehouses [Pic]

As the worlds largest online retailer, Amazon needs somewhere to put all of those products. The solution? Giant warehouses. Eighty to be exact. Strategically located near key shipping hubs around the world.

The warehouses themselves are massive, with some over 1.2 million square feet in size (111,484 sq m). And at the heart of this global operation are people (over 65,000 of them), and a logistics system known as chaotic storage.

Chaotic storage is like organized confusion. Its an organic shelving system without permanent areas or sections. That means there is no area just for books, or a place just for televisions (like you might expect in a retail store layout). The products characteristics and attributes are irrelevant. Whats important is the unique barcode associated with every product that enters the warehouse.

Every single shelf space inside an Amazon warehouse has a barcode. And every incoming product that requires storage is assigned a specific barcode that matches the shelf space in which it will be stored. This allows free space to be filled quickly and efficiently.

At the heart of the operation is a sophisticated database that tracks and monitors every single product that enters/leaves the warehouse and keeps a tally on every single shelf space and whether its empty or contains a product.

There are several key advantages to the chaotic storage system. First is flexibility. With chaotic storage, freed-up space can be refilled immediately. Second is simplicity. New employees dont need to learn where types of products are located. They simply need to find the storage shelf within the warehouse. You dont need to know what the product is, just where it is. Lastly is optimization.

Amazon must handle millions and millions of orders. That means that at any given moment there is a long list of products that need to be picked from the shelves and prepared for shipment. Since there is a database that knows every product required for shipment and the location of each product inside the warehouse, an optimized route can be provided to employees responsible for fulfilment.

Since Amazon deals with such a wide variety of products there are a few exceptions to the rule. Really fast-moving articles do not adhere to the same storage system since they enter and leave the warehouse so quickly. Really bulky and heavy products still require separate storage areas and perishable goods are not ideal for obvious reasons.

In this storage system a wide variety of products can be found located next to each other. A necklace could be located beside a DVD and underneath a set of power tools. This arbitrary placement can even help with accuracy as it makes mix-ups less likely when picking orders for shipment. Overall its a fascinating system that at its core is powered by a complex database yet run by a simple philosophy. Its Chaotic Storage. Theres no better way to put it

Just imagine losing your pen (or paperwork) in this place though.

Anything you can imagine is there… like butt plugs… there are boxes, no! Pallets, full of them. TONS OF BUTTPLUGS

[Total: 9    Average: 4.3/5]
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Category: Misc
Date: 09/27/13 10:59 AM

22 Responses to 7 Views From Inside The Amazon Warehouses [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of kitteh9lives
    kitteh9lives Female 70 & Over
    8012 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 10:57 am
    Link: 7 Views From Inside The Amazon Warehouses - Anything you can imagine is there... like butt plugs... there are boxes, no! Pallets, full of them. TONS OF BUTTPLUGS
  2. Profile photo of drawman61
    drawman61 Male 50-59
    7700 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 11:13 am
  3. Profile photo of aliyahg1979
    aliyahg1979 Female 30-39
    254 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 11:33 am
    ... wow ... so that`s where all the goodies come from :)
  4. Profile photo of Beardofzeus
    Beardofzeus Male 30-39
    670 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 11:35 am
    Indiana Jones, anyone?
  5. Profile photo of BritInvasion
    BritInvasion Male 18-29
    311 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 11:35 am
    If you loose your pen I`m sure you will find a packet somewhere on the shelves if everything is randomly placed.
  6. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5622 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm
    They talk about `Chaotic storage` as if they invented it.

    We`ve used Random Storage for decades, all you have to do is keep up with where you store it. This can be done manually, or by computer. A barcode system does make it much easier though.
  7. Profile photo of panth753
    panth753 Female 18-29
    9143 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm
    Wow, that`s really ineradicable how they do it.
  8. Profile photo of SminkyPinky
    SminkyPinky Female 30-39
    233 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm
    Top men.... top... men.....
  9. Profile photo of handimanner
    handimanner Male 60-69
    2095 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm
    Costco on steroids
  10. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5622 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm
    We are slowly, but unequivocally, heading for this.
  11. Profile photo of ferdyfred
    ferdyfred Male 40-49
    13515 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    We do that at my factory
    its pretty good actually
  12. Profile photo of Fwoggie2
    Fwoggie2 Male 30-39
    1803 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    I back up MeGrendel. I was using chaotic storage 13 years ago and it wasn`t new even then.

    Also, not every product they use is chaotically stored. The fast movers (known as "A" products) won`t be stored in the middle of that lot; they`re so popular they`ll have a dedicated pick slot that`s much closer to the despatch area that you take your completed order to. It saves walking time, which is really important in a warehouse.

    If your algorithm`s are good enough, an employee can save 20 secs per order perhaps. If he can do 10 orders an hour, over 8 hrs a shift, and does 5 shifts a week, 47 weeks a year, you can save 104 man hrs a year, or 2.5 workers. Given you could have 1,000 workers in some of the big plants, saving 2.5 workers per year per employee is maybe $100k saving from adjusting your warehouse programming a bit. Easy money.
  13. Profile photo of abby0315
    abby0315 Female 30-39
    1164 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm
    Where`s Waldo?
  14. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    All I know is, I keep them plenty busy. I buy almost everything, including toilet paper and cat food, from Amazon. Rarely set foot in a real store anymore.
  15. Profile photo of trippyhippy9
    trippyhippy9 Male 18-29
    559 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm
    doesn`t look very different from the warehouse I work in.
  16. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15845 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 4:36 pm
    So, it works kinda like a hard drive.
  17. Profile photo of robthelurker
    robthelurker Male 18-29
    2588 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    "We have top men working on it now."
    "Top... men."
  18. Profile photo of Geogypsy
    Geogypsy Female 18-29
    2530 posts
    September 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    I, too, have adopted chaotic storage in my home...
  19. Profile photo of RandomNoun
    RandomNoun Male 18-29
    694 posts
    September 28, 2013 at 4:23 am

  20. Profile photo of slut_etta
    slut_etta Female 50-59
    3672 posts
    September 28, 2013 at 6:48 am
    i also have adopted this form of organization in my home. i think however this may be one minor reason for my pending divorce.
  21. Profile photo of LionHeart-72
    LionHeart-72 Male 18-29
    521 posts
    September 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm
    slut etta`s place

  22. Profile photo of CodeJockey
    CodeJockey Male 40-49
    5552 posts
    September 29, 2013 at 6:05 am
    It`s not all butt plugs. There`s anime and dildos in there, too.

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