It doesn’t matter if you are a budding startup or an experienced seller, the Amazon supply chain focuses on getting your products from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Due to the scale and resources of Amazon, your products move quickly, very quickly.
From the customer’s point of view – it’s a miracle. Just one click on that “buy now” button and within a couple of working days, your products arrive on their doorstep.
However, behind the scenes there is a flurry of activity. Receiving, sorting, warehousing, scanning, Amazon associates and their helpful robots all play a part of the amazon supply chain from start to finish.
So let’s take a look at how the supply chain works, and how it can benefit Amazon Sellers.
- Receive Centres
- Sortable Fulfilment Centres
- Non-sortable Fulfilment Centres
- Sortation Centres
- Delivery Stations
The Amazon Supply Chain at Work
Amazon is indisputably the king of eCommerce. It sends out over 18.5 packages a second worldwide to a variety of members. From casual consumers to shopaholics with an Amazon Prime subscription, this delivery giant pushes products at every single moment.
So it’s no surprise that an eCommerce company should have an equally powerful supply chain – otherwise all those orders don’t get delivered!
Thankfully, Amazon Sellers with the Amazon FBA program get to leverage Amazon’s extensive fulfillment network. Let’s examine what exactly that looks like.
- You (the Seller) create a shipment of products, and specify the units and products, the size and weight of each item, and ensure that each unit has a unique scannable barcode (GS1 for the most secure option.)
- An carrier or shipping company partnered with Amazon delivers your shipment to an Amazon Fulfilment Centre.
- Associates unload your shipment at the centre, and scan each barcode to link it to your Seller account.
- Amazon either stores, or redistributes your units across other distribution centres as they see fit.
- A customer purchases your product, and Amazon locates, prepares and packages your units ready for shipping.
- The product is sent to a delivery station for last-mile delivery.
- Within a few days, your product is sitting on a customer’s doorstep.
The Amazon Supply Chain Fulfilment Network
While we often mention “Amazon Fulfilment Centres” as a single warehouse, it is actually inaccurate. In reality, there are a range of facilities for specialising in different parts of the Amazon supply chain. These include:
These centres support customer fulfilment by receiving large numbers of inventory that they expect will sell well. These quick-moving products are allocated to a broad spread of fulfilment centres across the network to maximise the efficiency of delivery.
Sortable Fulfilment Centres
At around 800,000 square feet in size and employing over 1,500 people, these centres are a central hub of the Amazon supply chain.
Amazon employees pick, pack, sort and ship customer orders for products such as books, toys and houseware. They also work alongside intelligent robots in an attempt to increase efficiency and accuracy along the entire process.
Non-sortable Fulfilment Centres
At up to one million square feet in size, these centres are for larger products. Over 1,000 employees pick, pack, sort and ship products of a larger-than-normal size including furniture, outdoor equipment or rugs.
The clue is in the name. At these locations employees sort and consolidate products onto different delivery trucks based on the final destination. These centres effectively minimise delivery times based on their careful planning and preparation.
While other fulfilment centres are designed to handle a broad range of items, specialty centres handle specialised items. At other times (especially during peak season) these centres are altered to help release the pressure on the rest of the Amazon supply chain.
How the Amazon Supply Chain Benefits Sellers
Thanks to Amazon FBA, you can not only provide quicker delivery to customers (which is an enormous selling point) but you also improve your sales and have your customer support handled.
Now while Amazon FBA fees do come into play, it offers you the opportunity to scale up your business with ease. You receive:
- Higher product ranking on Amazon
- Customer Support handled
- More appealing delivery
- Amazon Prime listed products
This not only cuts down on your labour, but it offers immediate access to millions of Prime customers, ranks your products higher in searches and deals with customers for you.
Where else can Sellers and consumers receive such a beneficial deal? It’s only with the Amazon Supply Chain.
Work With the Amazon Supply Chain
Amazon’s distribution is unbeatable, and the benefits of Amazon FBA will boost your business and allow you to scale up, but why stop there?
With tools like Product Finder you can increase your profits and outplay your competition.
- Win the Amazon Buy Box
- Measure thousands of competitors
- Accurately calculate Amazons fees
- Scan foreign markets to prepare for international market expansion
It’s one simple tool that provides all the information you need to make informed business decisions – and it comes in a convenient spreadsheet form. With the power of Product Finder at your fingertips you can scale up your business in no time at all.
Just get in touch with a member of our dedicated team to find out more about our cutting-edge business tools. Or browse our resources for more guides and advice on how to make the most out of your business.