For important online retailer companies, Cyber Monday is the best day to sell some products. A lot of products, actually. That’s why some retailers have to adopt different strategies to cope with the numerous products orders. In order to handle the thousands of orders, one of the biggest online retailers, Amazon had to “hire” an army of robots.
The center where Amazon fulfills its orders is in Tracy, California and is more than 1 million square feet. This huge warehouse is filled with yellow and orange bins that move around frantically, trying to deliver the orders from Cyber Monday.
Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Amazon operations and customer service, explained:
“Whether it’s consumables or toys or electronics, with 3,500,000 items plus in this building, the odds are, pretty much anything you wanted was likely here.”
In most warehouses, the products are kept on shelves and humans have to stock and retrieve the boxes. Amazon has a different approach to this process. The giant retailer has purchased an army of Kiva robots to make things easier. These orange robots are the size of ottomans and zip under the shelves, lift them up and deliver them to stations where Cyber Monday customers await their orders.
When the shelf arrives, a computer terminal displays the specific box the Amazon employee must grab. The computer tells the employee where on the shelves the product can be found.
The Amazon employee explains:
“Now it’s telling us the Monopoly electronic banking game. We pick the item, we give a six-sided check — make sure it’s not damaged — and it tells us what bin. And you confirm it.”
The Kiva robots have been around for a few years but on occasions like these, it’s the perfect opportunity to see them working at a greater scale.
Working with the Kiva robots, Amazon doesn’t need workers to go around for miles up and down the immense warehouse and retrieve the boxes. Actually, Amazon doesn’t need aisles at all. It can add 50% more products in its warehouses. If you worry that the Kiva robots will steal people’s jobs, the vice president of Amazon says they are actually hiring more people: 14% more employees than last year’s holiday season.