…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.
- 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. ↩