Info-tech

Automation the mantra for Amazon Web Services

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on October 21, 2015

Online major investing heavily in robot tech to boost efficiency in delivery

As more people take to shopping online, Amazon is cutting the time it takes to process an order – from hours to minutes – by using robots to pull items in its warehouses for shipment.

Even as e-commerce players are intent on building bigger warehouses, some of which are of the size of 20 football fields, to handle shipments, Amazon has bots and sophisticated software working behind the scenes to ensure delivery of orders faster, according to Peter Moore, Managing Director (APAC Global Public Sector), Amazon Web Services.

Robot tech in India

“In this race against time, it is imperative that we make our warehouses more efficient. We have ensured automation and technology that can drive agility from warehouses to homes,” said Moore, adding that it is a matter of time before the technology is used in India.

Moore was recently in Goa to address a gathering at the Global Business Forum, an initiative of the IIT Bombay Alumni Association.

Rising impatience

Online sales in the US are expected to jump 12 per cent to $371 billion this year, accounting for 10 per cent of overall retail sales, according to research firm Forrester Research.

Moore pointed out that as online shopping has grown, so has the impatience of shoppers.

Highlighting how technology was helping speed up deliveries, Moore said the company had taken the help of robots to identify a particular item in the warehouse faster. The robot technology was created by a Massachusetts firm that Amazon acquired in 2012 for $775 million.

Some 30,000 robots easily pull shelves of goods out of storage areas and bring them to workers.

Though Amazon has 50 warehouses in the US, the online major is building a new facility in Washington to house 20 per cent more items.

Reduction in time

Moore pointed out that advanced technology eliminates time taken by a human to hunt down products.

“We are adding infrastructure, including software and algorithms, to push sales faster and more accurately,” he said, adding that technology could well ensure competitive advantage for Amazon in future.

Shedding light on the scalability, Moore pointed out, “In terms of infrastructure and information technology building, Amazon Web Services has the serving capacity to power all sales at Amazon.com. In other words, every day of the year, we are adding technology to help propel sales even higher.”

This writer was in Goa at the invitation of the Global Business Forum

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Published on October 21, 2015
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