Are you a shopaholic, constantly window shopping on online websites? Or a shopping addict? Or maybe someone looking to get a job at a warehouse? Yes, you can also just be a curious reader wondering how your online orders reach you, or someone who has been browsing for too long and has ended up on this article randomly. Whoever you are, now that you are here you can find the secrets of your Amazon orders. You can finally get all the answers about the behind-the-scenes work of the nicely packed shipment delivered to your door. For all those who have experienced the Amazon warehouse, you can reminisce about the same. If you’re new to this let me take you through the duties of the person who fulfills all your demands and prepares all your Amazon orders- FC Associate Job at Amazon.
What is the Fulfillment Center of Amazon?
Amazon is one of the world’s largest online retail platforms. To fulfill its increasing demands by the customers, the company has warehouses all across the USA. These warehouses have stock inventories and tools for packaging orders before sending them out for delivery. Fulfillment centers also deal with returned orders or any other defective pieces.
These centers employ hundreds of people, even robots now, to perform the duties around an order. The employees are either given specific roles or are asked to perform all the duties in the warehouse. The duties range from selecting the product to packing it and loading it on the delivery trucks. Doesn’t sound a lot? Wait till you read all of it. Once you know the process the result seems so much more valuable. Either you’ll want to shop more or you’ll want to keep wondering how hard it is for the fulfillment associates.
Working at the Amazon Fulfillment Center
While working at the Amazon Fulfillment Center, an employee can be assigned several job positions with their specific duties. The different duties at the Fulfillment center are –
- Picker Packers
- Sorting Team Members
- Fulfillment Associates
- Inventory Counters
- Truck Loaders
- Machine Operators
- Quality Association Manager
All these positions have their specific duties, and together they work on every order before it is sent out for delivery. The fulfillment center associates, however, work at all steps in the warehouse. They start by picking out the order and work till the order is loaded in the delivery vehicle. Read on to find out more about one of the most important roles of the Amazon fulfillment centers – The FC Associate.
How to Become One?
If you are interested in becoming a Fulfillment Center Associate at Amazon, there are a few steps that you need to follow before you can finally enter the mysterious warehouse as an employee. The first step though before you even start applying, is meeting the eligibility criteria.
The Eligibility Criteria –
All employees need to be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or any other equivalent degree. They should also be able to lift heavy objects and have some basic knowledge about the tools used in a warehouse. They need to be quick and efficient with their work.
The Application Process
Okay so you meet the eligibility criteria, now what? The next question is how to apply for this position. Here is the step by step guide to get selected by Amazon as their fulfillment center associate –
- Online Application – The first step is to fill in the online application provided at the Amazon website under the ‘Jobs’ section. The application has personal details, a virtual assessment, and the selection of your preferred shift. After filling in the application, candidates need to watch a video about their role at the warehouse.
- Office Hours – After your application and preview are completed, you will get an appointment for an in-person office hour meeting. It is mandatory to bring your identification proof to this meeting.
- Orientation – The next step after the in-person meeting is the orientation about the role of the employees, expectations from them, and the workplace safety rules and regulations. You need to fill in some documents to get paid for this orientation.
- First Day – After the orientation, you will be given the schedule for your first day and you can finally start working at the Amazon Fulfillment Center. You would be expected to dress in the appropriate attire as per the rules and give your best to the team.
What Do They Do?
Now that you are hired, what do you do? In the huge warehouse with hundreds of other workers and an inventory of thousands of products, how are you supposed to navigate your way through the first and the rest of the days? Before starting work, however, you must check if you’re in the right dress. You don’t want a penalty on the first day.
Dress Code Check
All Amazon Fulfillment Center workers are expected to wear fitted clothes, close-toed shoes, and no accessories. They can wear comfortable clothes as long as the clothes do not interfere with their duties and work performance. These guidelines are specified to ensure the safety of all workers in the fulfillment center.
Duties to Fulfill
You are in the perfect dress and now you need to start working during your shift. Here are the expected duties you need to fulfill:
- Picking Out Orders- Fulfillment Center Associates need to keep the inventory stocked. They are required to offload the products delivered to the warehouse to maintain their stock and keep them. Whenever there is an order placed, the associates need to pick out the order from this inventory.
- Carrying the Orders- While working at the fulfillment center one of the regular duties is carrying the different products and packages around the warehouse at the respective stations. To do this, all fulfillment center associates need to know how to operate warehouse tools such as forklifts, pallet jacks, and cherry pickers. After picking out the required order, the associates need to carry them to the next station for packing the order.
- Packing the Orders- Once the products have been selected, they need to be packed appropriately before being sent out for delivery. However, before packing the orders, the product details also need to be recorded. The associates need to keep a record of the product name, its size, its weight, and quantity. These records need to be maintained on inventory software. All fulfillment center associates need to have knowledge of such software. While packing the orders, the associates need to ensure that they do not use extra wrapping paper. This is because the warehouse workers get penalized for using more than the required wrapping paper. They also need to be quick and efficient while packing.
- Delivering the Orders- Once the orders have been packed they need to be transported to the delivery stations. At these stations, delivery trucks are parked and the fulfillment associates need to load the packages in the delivery vehicles carefully. After the package has been sent out for delivery, the associates need to update the order details in their inventory database.
- Sorting out Products- Apart from fulfilling regular order requests, the fulfillment associates also need to take care of any kind of defective pieces and returned orders. When the products are delivered to the warehouse inventory, all the products need to be checked for any damage or any irregularity. If there is some damage found, those products need to be separated and kept in one of the sorting stations. The details of these products also need to be mentioned in the database. At the sorting stations, all the associates need to check the products and then sort them to send them for return or repair.
All fulfillment associates need to fulfill all these duties during their shifts. They also need to be quick with their work. Another guideline for the associates is to not pretend to be hurting or sick. If they are found to be pretending, the warehouse workers not only are penalized but are also made to do the brooming duties of the warehouse. It is thus, a piece of advice for all the fulfillment associates to work to the best of their abilities to earn their wages after their shifts.
How Much Do They Earn?
The wages of the fulfillment associates depend on several factors. The income of the associates varies by the location of the warehouse. The next factor that decides their wages, is the number of orders the associates complete and the number of hours they work for. The associates can work for day shifts, night shifts, or even weekend shifts according to their preference. The usual shifts are 8 hour long shifts where the associates are paid an average of 16$ per hour.
Apart from the guaranteed pay, the fulfillment associates also get bonuses and other benefits while working for Amazon. During the festival season, or on busy days, when the workers are required to stay overtime, they are given their overtime pay. The warehouse employees also get paid holidays every year, maternity and paternity leaves, health benefits, and financial insurance plans. To earn more, the fulfillment associates can choose to work on holidays during which the pay per hour is more than the regular day.
1. Is there a uniform for fulfillment associates?
No, fulfillment associates can wear the clothes they are comfortable in. However, there are a few guidelines for the type of clothes the employees wear in the warehouse. These regulations are issued keeping in mind the safety of all workers.
2. Can the workers take their phones to the warehouse?
No, the warehouse employees are not allowed to take any accessories including their phones inside the warehouse. This step is taken to catch any theft that takes place in the warehouse as Amazon sells most of the daily-use products.
3. Are the associates fired after one mistake?
The Amazon warehouse has a point system for all the penalties of the employees. The warehouse associates are given points for each infraction. Once those points reach a limit, only then are the employees fired.
4. Are the associates penalized for the amount of wrapping paper they use?
Yes, Amazon has rules regarding the amount of wrapping paper used for each product. Using more than the specified amount can lead to penalties for the fulfillment center associate.
5. Can the associates earn more than the guaranteed pay, every shift?
The fulfillment center associates can earn more than the guaranteed pay when they work on holidays, or work overtime. On both these occasions, the pay per hour is more than the regular amount and the employees can earn more.