Over the past 20 years, Amazon has developed from a small seller working from a garage in Seattle, to a global company with 300 million worldwide active customer accounts. In Europe alone, we have a thriving network of 40 fulfilment centers in seven countries. In 2015, we shipped over one billion units to our many customers across Europe.
We have a rich history of developing and introducing cutting-edge technology into our fulfilment centres to assist our employees in their roles and deliver for our customers.
Today, our employees work in technology enabled environments where the technology is used to improve processes and assist them doing their daily role, ranging from random stow and pick through to box sizing algorithms, software that determines the shortest, most efficient walking route from one place to another and the SLAM process (Scan, Label, Apply, Manifest), which was developed by Amazon and remains a revolutionary innovation for customers because it speeds up the packing process and helps ensure accurate deliveries.
The introduction of Amazon Robotics in the UK, at our new fulfilment centres in Dunstable and Doncaster, Manchester and Warrington is the newest example of this commitment to invention in logistics on behalf of our employees and our customers.
Amazon Robotics was introduced to both these sites during the first few months of 2016. More than 50 skilled engineers and IT professionals will support the technology. Oliver is one of them: “I have always been interested in robotics, but when I started at Amazon I wasn’t aware that this opportunity was available,” he remembers. “We are not only working with the robots day to day, we are also looking at how we can make them better in the future.”
The robots slide under a tower of shelves where products are stowed, lift it and move it through the fulfilment centre. Robots help speed order processing time and reduce walking by employees by moving the shelves to employees, reducing the time taken to stow items for sale or pick them for new customer orders. They also save space, allowing for 50% more items to be stowed per square foot. Liam, one of the employees at Doncaster, describes robots as “innovative technology that enables us to get the items to the customer a lot quicker.”
The Amazon fulfilment teams are dedicated to innovating in our fulfilment centres to increase speed of delivery while enabling greater selection at lower costs for our customers. The advancements in our latest fulfilment centres hit all three of these customer desires while continuing to provide a work environment that is great for employees.