Monthly Archives: February 2013

Amazon unpacked

One of the many reasons HMV went into administration and why Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre in Rugeley is blossoming.

Sarah O’Connor, Economics Correspondent at The Financial Times:

The unassuming efficiency of these warehouses is what enables Amazon to put parcels on customers’ doorsteps so quickly, even when it is receiving 35 orders a second. Every warehouse has its own “continuous improvement manager” who uses “kaizen” techniques pioneered by Japanese car company Toyota to improve prod­uctivity. Marc Onetto, the senior vice-president of worldwide operations, told a business school class at the University of Virginia a few years ago: “We use a bunch of Japanese guys, they are not consultants, they are insultants, they are really not nice … They’re samurais, the real last samurais, the guys from the Toyota plants.”

But all is not happy…

Many in the town, however, have mixed feelings. They are grateful for the jobs Amazon has created but they are also sad and angry about the quality of them. Timothy Jones, a barrister and parish councillor, summed up the mood. “I very much want them to stay, but equally I would like some of the worst employment practices to end.”