Hatfield IT group head to Amazon

There is always something to learn on a Wednesday morning at the POA Learning Centre at Hatfield in Doncaster as the weekly IT Group arrive with a list of subjects to cover from the “silver surfer” learners with areas as diverse as how to access online insurance quotes to digital photography and even computer coding.

As each week is classroom based, a field trip was organised to take the group on a visit to the local Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Rossington, Doncaster.

The tour, that lasts just over an hour, takes parties through the Amazon Fulfilment Centre showing how orders are received, how they are then picked, packed and posted in what proved to be a fascinating insight into the world of the online retailer.

Walking shoes were the order of the day as the tour covered the 1 million square foot building, with an informative tour guide giving facts and figures about the company and the processes used in the centre, it made for a very interesting visit with the group in awe of the bustling arena.

Eighty-three year old Peter Woodall was wide eyed as he walked around, the speed of the conveyors with parcels being labelled and the size of the product cages as products were picked, new to online shopping he said

“I couldn’t believe the sheer scale of the operation. To receive a parcel literally hours after placing an order is something that I couldn’t understand, but to see the whole process at the Fulfilment Centre today has really opened my eyes to how it all works.” He added “To be honest, I’m still trying to process it all myself. I’ll certainly be pushing the “buy now” button in a different way now next time I order something.”

One thing that was noted by more than one in the group was the fact that there seems to be no organisation to the layman to the way that the items are stored. Another of the “over 80’s” Coralee May said

“To walk down one of the aisles and to see tea bags stored next to a PlayStation and then some broom handles didn’t seem to make any sense, but the way they were picked and the speed it was done shows how there must be some clever computers at work to know where everything is.”

Paul Cliffe, Centre Manager said

“It was a great opportunity to take our learners out of the centre. With more and more people and companies going down the online shopping route it was interesting to see how it worked and give our group an opportunity to get immersed in the process.”
“We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip and since they have returned to the centre for the classes it’s been a hot topic. It was great for us all to be able to see inside a building that we pass almost every day and have the chance to step into the growing world of Amazon.”

At the end of the tour there was a chance for a Q&A session about the company along with a photo opportunity, and everyone left with a small gift, an Amazon waterbottle, something that has proved very useful during the recent heatwave.

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