Visualizing the consequences

25Sep08

I recently received an Amazon package that contained some small but heavy items. The box was partially open when it arrived. The cause was obvious: they didn’t use enough packing materials, so the contents bounced around wildly during shipping, nearly breaking through the tape that held the box closed. I’m sure Amazon has guidelines for their packing process, but obviously they weren’t followed this time.

Short of doing a visual inspection of every box, I would imagine it’s hard to verify that orders are being packed correctly. A series of random inspections might improve things, but lacks the punch of actually showing what happens when things are done wrong. Thus, I would like to see Amazon send things to themselves to verify compliance. In other words, send one dummy order to an unmarked Amazon office for every 500 or so real orders. Then, when things arrive in bad shape, photos would be sent back to the originating facility to help show the staff what customers see in these situations.

In other words, shipping center staff would get a first-hand glimpse of how their work affects the customer, and gain a better understanding of why it’s important to do it right.



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