News 9 Gets A Sneak Peek Inside Amazon's Fulfillment Centers
OKLAHOMA CITY - Amazon will soon open one of its fulfillment centers in Oklahoma City. We wanted to know what happens inside these facilities. So, we traveled to Grapevine, Texas just outside of Dallas to see for ourselves, the magic that happens when you get online and click "buy."
"I'm very excited to come to work every day," said Jeffrey Tucker, an outbound trainer for Amazon.
To say Tucker loves his job is no exaggeration.
"I still get goosebumps when I talk about it," he said. "It's just a good place to work, a fun place to work."
From the building that spans the length of 28 football fields, to the noise and even the fast pace, Tucker first found his place as a stower inside the Amazon Fulfillment Center located in Grapevine, Texas.
"It's been an adventure for me," said Tucker. "I wasn't planning on working in the warehouse, and here I am almost six years later."
Now an outbound trainer, he helps mentor new employees on what it takes to get packages out the door. The facility's director of operations Hamon Gupta took us on a tour to see exactly how that happens.
"Our primary focus is starting from what our customers want, they should be able to get the product," Gupta said.
And that begins with people like Tony Harman.
"I'm an inbound stower, my job is to ultimately get their inventory onto the shelves for the customers to order," said Harman.
He spends his shift packing products from various manufacturers onto pods, tall storage units that are carried effortlessly across the floor by high-tech robots.
"The robots actually bring the pod to us in order for us to put the items onto the shelves," he said. "It's incredible, to see what actually goes through the facility and how much we can generate on a daily basis."
As soon as a customer hits "buy" on amazon.com, the action moves on to the "pickers."
"Every time he sees a product on the screen, he's going to pick it up from the bin and he's going to put it into one of these yellow totes," Gupta said, describing the duties of the "pickers."
Those yellow totes then move along a large conveyor belt to the packers in outbound, where we find Tucker again.
"What we do in outbound is we actually package the items, makes sure we get them onto the conveyance behind us and it sends them down to the trucks," said Tucker.
Those packages are loaded onto the trucks, ready to ship out to customers.
"The goal is that any fulfillment center is able to ship out to any customer in the entire country or even outside the country," Gupta said.
Amazon has more than 175 of these massive fulfillment centers worldwide and one of the newest ones is being built right here in Oklahoma City.
"Oklahoma City was one of the places where did not have a fulfillment center in the past and this is the first fulfillment center we're going to have in the state," he said. "We are looking forward to making sure our customers in Oklahoma also get their shipments faster and in a cheaper way."
The OKC building will be slightly smaller than the Grapevine, Texas facility at 600,000 square feet and employ more than 1,500 associates, who will get the orders filled from start to finish, all under one roof.
"There's a lot of comradery between the associates and the departments how they interface with one another, it's just a fun place to work," said Tucker.
The Amazon Fulfillment Center in OKC is scheduled to launch sometime before the holiday season. Potential applicants, who are 18 years or older with a high school diploma or GED, can apply online at www.amazon.com/okcjobs. To be among the first to learn about job openings at the Oklahoma City fulfillment center, text OKCNOW to 77088.