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amazon fullfillment


An Amazon fullfillment center isn’t the work of the devil.

That shade of red is special to places like Walmart. In either example it’s about material culture, things, objects.

By watching American Roadshow on PBS you get a sense of the power objects hold.

If that’s a little too tame, the same power emanates from every jewelry store in the local mall.

There’s that big diamond with the right carat, cut, and clarity you’ve been looking for. Why does it cost so much?

We believe in the rarity of the stone, just like some people believe in the power of objects. A rare object is a valuable object.

An old joke about it goes like this: “I hold in my hand the hatchet George Washington used to chop down his cherry tree. The head’s been replaced four times, the handle replaced six times, but it occupies the same space.”

It’s a real howler in the right circles.

Amazon fullfillment is no laughing matter

I’m a fan of free roaming, organic, handmade, one of a kind things. If I can make something instead of buying, I’ll give it a shot.

If I can’t make it I look for the local, the regional, the conscientious solution.

My first questions are how bad to I want it. Then is it reusable, recyclable? Is it repurposeable, if that’s a word.

Take a book for example, a book like Vivian Gornick’s ‘The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative‘, a recommended guide for writers digging into their own story.

I called everywhere. No luck. I cruised Powell’s. Not there. Not even in the library. I could have ordered it from a chain store and waited a week, but I wanted it for a trip.

Finally I broke down and looked at Amazon. There it was for $11.95. Two day shipping brought it $31. And it showed up on time.

Amazon Prime would have done free two day shipping, but I wasn’t buying into that. Not organic and free roaming enough.

I heard “I’ve got Amazon Prime, you should have asked me” from a few sources.

The Amazon fullfillment satisfaction still felt good.

A book covers all the bases. It’s reusable, recyclable, and there’s repurpose built in.

It’s an information document of great power. If you need proof just check on the most read book in world history.

The Holy Bible, not Harry Potter, is that book. Who needs more proof of power?

Every book written has a certain power, if you can find the book.

The same thought goes to every object created, if you can find them.

Who hasn’t looked and looked and looked for something and couldn’t find it? From sock drawer, to closet, to garage, where did you put it?

Now look at the top image. Hard to imagine everything organized into a discover space where finding isn’t the problem. Neither is shipping. At least not to end users.

We can’t find our asses with both hands but Amazon puts their finger on one book and delivers it in two days. I looked for my Roger Staubach autographed picture for years. “To David Gillaspie, best wishes, Roger Staubach” is a treasure that went missing.

My wife found it after tiring of my accusations that she took it out of frame she liked. I was wrong.

Amazon fullfillment hit harder the second time

I’m a man who drives a soccer mom van. Since I’m not a truck guy, sports car guy, or luxury guy, it’s cool. I even liked the station wagon we had.

If that’s weird, I’m fine with it. I get comments on my 2001 Toyota like “Why don’t you wash your mommy car?” I think dirt adds character.

One night I shut the door on a seat belt. The door handle broke when I yanked it open.

A Toyota dealer gave me the price of a new handle: $125. I called another and they quoted me $132 for the handle and over $300 for installation.

Sounds fair, but not on a 2001 rig. A mechanic I know said he could get to it at the end of the month. The door still worked. Sort of.

Then I looked on Amazon. Door handle cost? $15.

Now the big test. I joined Amazon Prime on a Friday, ordered the handle, and didn’t expect a delivery on Sunday even it was two days.

But it showed up as promised. I’m still in semi-shock.

I youtubed directions on what the heck to do, followed along, and now my new handle opens the door.

The power of objects

Yes, it’s only a door handle, but it has power.

Amazon for car parts? A book? Everything?

Some new age dork says, “Why would you even question the possibilities?”

Here’s why: We live in a hoarder nation collecting crap we might need one day and can’t find the next. Our attention spans get shorter with every tv commercial telling us how white our teeth could be.

If we can’t find what we bought yesterday we buy another one today. How many corkscrews can you find in one drawer? How many battery testers? Hey, it’s cheap, don’t waste time looking.

Or keep track. That’s the miracle of Amazon fullfillment, the tracking. A company of logistics pros track buying trends, factory orders, shipping time, and drop stuff on door steps in two days?

They ship millions of objects every day by knowing where it is and where it’s going.

Think about that the next time you’re searching for an elusive something from last week, or last year. Good luck.

Before you throw Amazon under the Fedex truck, or UPS, know the value of objects and time.

Searching is part of the adventure, but not the whole adventure.

About David Gillaspie


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