Work Hard – Have Fun – Make History
Few days ago I was watching the famous spanish TV program “El Intermedio” meanwhile I was having the dinner, as I do every night, when suddenly they started talking about Amazon. We have all heard about Amazon logistics: enormous warehouses, almost infinite SKUs, deliveries all over the world… It is simply impresive. But what I heard about them in the TV was not that impresive.
An average picker walks around 24 km a day. They are expected to collect a customer order every 33 seconds, or 50 and 60 items per hour at the Amazon plant. You are bound to get, to the point of exhaustion, up to 130 items per hour. This way you will be a model picker. Physical fatigue forces you to not think and provokes a void in your mind. Walk, pick, come back, walk, pick, come back.
Nichole Gracely, which was one of Amazon’s best order pickers in the UK warehouses, describes her work in amazon as the following:
As an ordinary order picker, I was toiling in some remote corner of the warehouse, alone for 10 hours, with my every move being monitored by management on a computer screen.
This information makes me question where is the balance between efficiency and workers health. The best and most efficient arrangment may be in conflict with the workers needs. This, sometimes, may be forgoten by the managers.