Zappos.com, the online purveyor of shoes, clothing, and accessories, has taken the unusual step of showcasing one of its distribution centers on its website. Customers who are curious about how their orders are filled can take a brief online "tour" of one of the company's Shepherdsville, Ky., facilities.
The tour begins with a shot of the exterior of one of the order fulfillment centers, and then moves on to images of storage racks piled high with colorful shoeboxes; automated conveyors and picking bays; a receiving dock; manual picking and packing operations; and trailer loading operations. Accompanying text emphasizes the role that Zappos.com's DCs play in achieving its famously high level of service.
The website sends a positive message to consumers about the importance of an efficient, well-run order-fulfillment operation: "We believe that the ability to ship our customers' orders quickly, efficiently, and accurately is key to our success. Because of this, we have invested a significant amount of resources into running our warehouses." Now that's a statement every warehouse and DC manager would like to hear their company's executives make.