Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

Amazon UK

Tags
Optimisation
Project Management
Prototyping
Lean Six Sigma
Continuous improvement
UX/UI

Project Details

Student
Dedun Oyenuga
Team
Operations
Supervisor
Dr David Boyle
Role
Operations and Logistics Intern
Sector
Retail and Consumer Goods
Links
LinkedIn
Portfolio
Email

Working at Amazon has given me an understanding of what a fast-paced work environment looks like outside of education. Being new to Operations, I was unsure of what to anticipate from my role. Now having witnessed Operations function on a day-to-day basis, particularly during Prime Week, this placement has enabled me to understand the mechanisms required to form a successful team. Decisions within Operations have real-world effects; a poorly-designed process can easily result in order delays, breaking customer trust and potentially losing business. In addition, this placement has enabled me to network with talented Amazonians across the globe.

Amazon UK

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

In order to come up with solutions to my project brief, I conducted several kaizens (focus groups), surveys and interviews around the site. I then drew up user journeys and collected insights, in line with design engineering practices. This was particularly important in my creation of a strategic safety plan, because I learned that user perception of safety is equally important to actual safety. This is because perception of safety dictates employee behaviour, affecting productivity.

Utilising my design toolkit was also quite rewarding. It was extremely important to me to create documents that centred around visual communication of ideas, even though that did not necessarily align with Amazon’s standard document procedures. Examples of this were in my project mitigation plans and charity operation designs. The great reception from Senior Management was extremely encouraging. As my placement continued, I was asked for more documents in these formats and witnessed other Amazonians consider visual communication into their materials. This showed me the benefit of taking occasional calculated risks.

I was also able to implement affordance techniques into my solutions, for example in one of my optimisation tasks. This task consisted of improving a receive-process within the Fulfilment Centre (FC). A receive-process is a process by which shipments are checked into the FC upon arrival. By creating a visual cue (traffic light system) on the ground, employees were able to immediately identify which pallets were of highest priority to be processed.

Process Improvement Design using Traffic-Light System on Floor (Affordance Technique)

Role and Contributions

As an Operations Intern, I worked in support of Amazon’s retail business. Within Operations, I was tasked to work specifically on Inbound, where all shipments arrive to a Fulfilment Centre before being stowed away in inventory, picked, packed and shipped to the customer. My primary role was to improve existing processes at my Amazon site, LTN1.

Main Project Brief:

​​1. Optimisation of the Inbound Dock Layout

2. Maximising Inbound Dock holds for 2021

3. Understanding Amazonian barriers within Inbound and ways to overcome them

4. Creating a robust plan for Peak season 2021

Other contributions:

- Creation of an Inbound Strategic Safety Plan

- Designing a 180,00 unit shipping operation in partnership with the charity, ‘Magic Breakfast’

- Contributing to and assisting the launch of Diversity-Equity & Inclusion campaigns on site

Black Employee Network Campaign Launch

Summary

Working at Amazon has equipped me with new skills and toolkits that will be of great benefit to me post-graduation. I am especially grateful for the cross-functionality of these skills, and knowing that they will assist me along whichever career path I choose. I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to Operations, but also to Amazon’s wider business. Making these connections has enabled me to enter industry with my eyes wide open and broadened my career possibilities.