Graduate Business Student Association Visits Amazon Fulfillment Center

Posted on 11/17/2017 1:39:27 PM

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology’s Graduate Student Business Association travelled to the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Columbus, Ohio, on November 10, 2017. Thirty members and Ramesh Soni, Management Department faculty member, saw first-hand Amazon’s efficient use of up-to-date technology in a complex and continuously changing environment. It was also an opportunity to network with high-position management executives.

GBSA toured the Amazon Fulfillment facility in Columbus, OH, November 10, 2017.Upon arrival at the Amazon facility, GBSA members were greeted by operational managers. They were provided with safety protocols and then equipped with headphones and guided into the main hall.

The first impression of the huge warehouse was especially interesting because it offered a peek into Amazon’s organizational culture. Approximately 50 speakers played loud music in the main hall. The hallways were decorated with appreciating words from customer reviews and pictures of employees rewarded for outstanding work. Amazon’s main values and beliefs were in large print above the walls of the dining hall.

The impressive Amazon facility processes, with inbound and outbound, about 7 million units per week. This is not just the largest facility company-wide, but also distinguishes itself from other warehouses through its outstanding level of automation technology. In comparison, a similar factory of the same size and number of employees without the high technology level of automation will handle about 4.5 million units per week.

A highlight of the tour was witnessing Amazon’s robotic technology, which makes the facility unique. Dozens of flat robots drive around a locked area of the facility, enabling the transportation of whole shelves from point A to B. This simplifies the tasks for employees and makes the processes of the supply chain more efficient. The tour guides provided explanations of the underlying technologies and concepts.

Five senior operation managers took time to answer questions. Items discussed included career opportunities, contents of job interviews, and public controversies regarding Amazon. The Q&A session was interrupted by a pleasant surprise. Mike Roth, vice president of Global Customer Fulfillment, joined the group via video conference from Seattle, Washington. This opportunity enabled GBSA members not just to ask numerous questions about Amazon’s strategical point of view in terms of technologies, but also about specific topics like details about the factory’s complex supply chain and characteristic attributes of Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos.

GBSA members were amazed by the Amazon experience. The GBSA officers, on behalf of the group, thanked Amazon officials for this opportunity and their generosity.

For more information about GBSA, feel free to contact one of the officers:

President, Farhan Ahmed, RRCX@iup.edu
Vice President, Lillian Berish, DZQX@iup.edu
Secretary, Florian Tenbergen, QYWW@iup.edu
Treasurer, Emeka Okolo, MWFR@iup.edu
PR Coordinator, Daniel Werner, SCBX@iup.edu