Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been using robots for a very long time to help workers move merchandise around its warehouse. However, robots are now transforming Amazon’s white-collar workforce too. Employees who receive six-figure salaries to consult multimillion dollar deals with major brands are soon being replaced by software and robots that can predict what shoppers want and can determine how much to charge for it. Machines and robots are beating employees at the analytical inventory decisions that isolate the winners and losers in retail. For example, for the workers to decide how many book, games, or plastic pool toys to sell, the trade-off can be severe. If they order too little, the company will mist out, and if they order too much, the company is forced into high clearance sales. However, Amazon’s algorithms, refined through years of monitoring customer behavior, will help the company stop the “guessing game.” In the past few months, some high-ranking executives have either left their jobs or have been reassigned somewhere else, and a few of them expressed some surprise that a company with cloud services disagreement and expertise in artificial intelligence would put machines to work anywhere it makes sense. Amazon will need fewer employees to deal with its retail jobs, an advantage over its rivals like Target Corp. and Walmart Inc., which are both spending a lot of money just to catch up to it. According to Joel Sutherland, a supply-chain management professor at the University of San Diego, “This is why Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla. Nobody else has the resources and expertise to pull all of these emerging technologies together to remove humans from the process as much as possible while making things more reliable and accurate.”
Amazon claims its creating jobs and adding machines throughout the company to improve service for customers. The web retailer stated “We’ve been working for some time on standardizing the products, tools and services we offer to the brands and resellers that sell on Amazon and have made some organizational changes as a result.” He also claims that Amazon has more than 16,000 corporate jobs open worldwide and created about 130,000 jobs last year. The company began computerizing retail team jobs few years ago and under an initiative called “hands off the wheel,” the company shifted tasks like ordering inventory, forecasting demands, and negotiating prices to algorithms. Faith in technology grew as it improved throughout the years. Although it might cost them their jobs, employees were satisfied with the machines doing tedious work like managing inventory spreadsheets with speed and accuracy.