This week, our A Level Business and Economics students joined a virtual tour of three Amazon Fulfilment Centres in the UK.  Mrs Cole was delighted to get a ‘shout out’ to St Edward’s in Cheltenham, and the tour was conducted live, through masks and with machines whirring in the background, making it engaging, if a little blurred at times.

The multinational technology company is often referred to as one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world. The e-commerce branch of the company has seen a huge uplift in sales during the pandemic causing their fulfilment centres to be busier than ever- the perfect time to (virtually) visit and find out how these world leaders manage to maintain efficiency during these times.

During the question and answer session at the end of the tour, St Edward’s submitted a question on the gender pay gap and the proportion of women in the centre’s leadership team. We were very pleased that the presenters engaged so positively with this question, with impressive facts on the subject and even a reference to International Women’s Day which is taking place next Monday. The students were impressed with how well-informed and varied in approach the presenters were, engaging with the delegates’ questions as the tour progressed.

The students were surprised that the staff work a 10-hour shift, with only two 30-minute breaks, and excited to hear about the new ‘Amazon Fresh’ store in West London. A till-less grocery store, the shop uses hundreds of cameras and sensors to feed information to state of the art software, developed using deep-learning artificial intelligence techniques. This monitors the products picked up by customers and charges them via an app when they exit the store. Our students were fascinated by the concept and discussed the huge implications for the future of the way businesses operate, a sign of a more robotic world to come.

Annabel S (Year 12) commented:

“I found the information given in the webinar really interesting. It was great to be able to see the process of a product going from an order right up until delivery. I liked seeing how the different roles in the warehouse work and how everything runs effectively. All of the technology that goes into the process is really impressive. Each of the tour guides gave us inside knowledge and facts. I enjoyed seeing their warehouses and definitely learnt a lot of new things about the company.”

At the end there were some fun multiple-choice questions to test our knowledge with live scores appearing on the screen.

Younger students can join a tour in their own time HERE.

Senior School | 04/03/2021