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Video Tip: Inside Amazon’s New NYC Warehouse

January 26, 2017
The shelf arrangement makes sense for many small orders that “look” random.

The shelf arrangement makes sense for many small orders that “look” random.

Inside Amazon’s New York warehouse for Prime Now, nothing is organized. Or actually it is, but its driven by a random stocking algorithm. The one-floor warehouse on 34th Street is full of everything marked as currently available on Prime Now, Amazon’s service that has couriers deliver orders within 2 hours.

The 25,000 products aren’t grouped by type. Instead, they’re stashed in cubbies and tracked in a kind of organized chaos. A copy of Hamilton by Ron Chernow, for example, sits next to a box of candy canes or a jar of mayonnaise. Yet it seems to make sense to randomly stock items of similar popularity.

Once an order is placed, warehouse staff remove the products from inventory and bag them. The paper-bagged orders are grouped by their destination — in New York, anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Prime Now is available only to Prime members, and so far it’s in about 30 cities. Amazon chooses where to launch Prime Now based in part on which cities have a high proportion of Prime members. The service first launched in 2014 in New York.
One Comment leave one →
  1. January 27, 2017 6:44 pm

    For more information, we describe random stocking and identify its required tasks on page 377 of the 12th edition of the textbook.

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