Emma & Stephanie visit Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre

We are constantly looking to other industries for inspiration and often try to seek out relevant examples of what firms do brilliantly and how they do it so well.  Some of us have a particular interest in logistics, automation and robotics and how they will benefit our clients in the future.  Emma & Stephanie were fortunate to be able to visit to Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre in Hemel Hempstead, which is over 450,000 square feet – the size of six football pitches, in order to better understand the logistics and the use of robotic technology.

Unfortunately, Amazon’s famous Kiva robots don’t hang out at this facility, however they were treated to a fabulous and incredibly informative tour by the Amazon team.  They now understand how Amazon have harnessed technology alongside their human workforce to be able to achieve their high levels of efficiency in order that an extraordinary amount of inventory can arrive, be stored, retrieved and be ready for dispatch within a few hours.

So how does this relate to what we do – what we learnt will certainly shape our design and management advice to clients in future in respect of how developments are serviced, particularly mixed use schemes with shared service areas.

The volume of packages being presented to residential developments is on the increase, as are the frequency of the deliveries from an ever-increasing pool of couriers and logistics companies to both residential and commercial.  The methods of delivery are more frequent and becoming much more imaginative.  We need to ensure that the service offering at each development can cope with and manage this to enable all occupiers to get their deliveries on time without a significant impact on the number of on-site employees required or an increase to the running costs.

For now, Emma and Stephanie’s search for the Kiva robots continues……………………