Monday, June 18, 2012

Peak Wholesale Trade Employees?

Click to enlarge.

June 6, 2012
Amazon workers cool after company took heat for hot warehouse

Work in the warehouse is physical, with many employees walking more than 10 miles per shift plucking items from shelves. Workers said those who didn’t move at a sufficient pace faced termination. They said quotas were not reduced when temperatures soared.

May 29, 2012
The Amazon Effect

Pursuing greater efficiencies, Amazon in March bought Kiva Systems Inc., a robot manufacturer, for $775 million. Kiva, founded in 2003 and backed by, among others, Bain Capital Ventures, claims that three to four times as many orders per hour can be packed up by a worker using its robots. For Bezos the Martian, the human factor is pesky. Now a more automated solution looms.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: All Employees: Wholesale Trade


AllanF said...

from the first link:
“It behooves them to not be responsible for negative publicity if they can control it,” Hoffman said. “Paying $52 million to install air conditioning around the country is a smart move. They don’t need consumers asking themselves, ’Is Amazon a sweatshop?’ ”

But an analyst who follows the company for a business and technology research firm in Cambridge, Mass., said it probably wasn’t negative media coverage but a desire to protect products and maximize profits that prompted Amazon’s decision.

“Amazon ships a lot of electronics and food now. It’s not good to have that stuff in extreme temperatures,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester Research. “I would like to think there was an element of humanity to the decision but there’s nothing in Amazon’s history or in Jeff Bezos’ public persona that would lead me to think that was the driver of the decision. Rarely has Amazon made any business decisions that didn’t affect the bottom line.”

That is not too far off my first thought. All those robots driving around make a lot heat. And they don't work so well when it's hot any more than people do. Actually a lot less well, unless they've specifically been designed for it.

Stagflationary Mark said...


It was not far off my first thought either.

“I didn’t even break a sweat today,” one worker said at the end of his shift last week, on a day when area temperatures topped 90 degrees. “It was really nice. I noticed the difference as soon as I walked in the door.”

It will also be a pleasant environment for the replacement robots. Sigh.

Computer cooling

Computer cooling is required to remove the waste heat produced by computer components, to keep components within permissible operating temperature limits.

Components that are susceptible to temporary malfunction or permanent failure if overheated include integrated circuits such as CPUs, chipset, graphics cards, and hard disk drives.