Fulfillment at Amazon

One production counterpart to Disney’s ‘Magic Band’ is Amazon’s ‘fulfillment centres’. That’s a warehouse for shipping books to you and me. It’s not that kind of ‘fulfillment’.

Whereas Disney’s Magic Band tracks the movements and purchases of it’s ‘guests’, Amazon’s fulfillment centres direct and track the movements and actions of those who work there, their ‘associates’.

Handheld satnav computers tell them what to do and measure how long it takes them to do it. They are advised not to talk to one another. Essentially, these associates are walking robots, automatons.

For more on this, see: Amazon’s human robots: They trek 15 miles a day around a warehouse, their every move dictated by computers checking their work. Is this the future of the British workplace?

This is a shortened version of this Financial Times piece by Sarah O’Connor:Amazon unpacked: The online giant is creating thousands of UK jobs, so why are some employees less than happy?‘. 

From a US angle, here is ABC News’ ‘Inside Amazon: Secrets of an Online Mega-Giant’. While the chances of ABC revealing anything remotely ‘secret’ about Amazon are practically nil, it’s worth a look.

As an aside, note that the fulfillment centre’s general manager is a former military intelligence officer. The Fallujah model, we will find, has many commercial applications.

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