…isn’t quite so virtual after all.  Business Week has done a piece on one of Amazon’s warehouses handling the pre-Christmas rush, with a slide show illustrating the key stages.  It’s fascinating stuff1 – and brings home that Amazon’s competitive advantage is at least as much about order picking and fulfilment as it is about database and website design.   Curious factoid:

The place is a book browser’s dream, but a librarian’s nightmare: The books in these “pick modules” aren’t stocked Dewey Decimal style. Instead, they’re placed randomly and their location is recorded with a handheld scanner, so pickers with scanners can more easily and efficiently find them later when an order comes in.


  1. To people fascinated by warehouse logistics, which is of course pretty much everybody.  If this thought is too challenging, think of it as a form of ballet.