Take hundreds of millions of shipments, a gigantic fulfillment network, reliable premium delivery service and optimizing decisions on transportation cost (involving billions of dollars in transportation spend). Combine this with the opportunity to be a key research leader and individual contributor building innovative transportation capabilities for the world’s most customer centric company and what do you get? The best R&D role- period.
The context: Amazon ships millions of unique shipments through its Fulfillment Network. Product is procured from tens of thousands of vendors, third party sellers into the multiple fulfillment centers in the Amazon network. Merchandize from these vendors needs to be transported from vendor locations to these fulfillment centers and between fulfillment centers as we balance our inventory across our network. Amazon has the largest selection – merchandise is associated with varying dimensions, restrictions and shipping costs – this selection is key to Amazon’s virtuous cycle for growth. Post purchase by customers, we are responsible for transportation of shipments from fulfillment centers to customers; this involves moving shipments from our fulfillment centers to sortation centers and delivery depots. This results in a gigantic graph, with the nodes being vendors, Amazon.com fulfillment centers, sort centers, delivery depots and end customers. The arcs in this graph represent the time of transportation and cost of transportation. Each node has a specific capacity, and so does each arc, and there are time constraints on when a product needs to ship out of a node and when it needs to come into a different node. And Amazon needs to do all of this while incurring the least cost, this presents a great opportunity to leverage large scale network optimization models to drive decision making processes.
Modeling and Optimization team is responsible for building network optimization models and predictive analytic tools that improve the economics of the North American, European, and Asian fulfillment networks as Amazon increases the speed and decreases the cost to deliver product to customers. We are looking for motivated individuals with strong numerical optimization and analysis skills to join our team focusing on transportation network modeling and design. You will be responsible for building tools to determine the means to efficiently transport shipments from vendors to our fulfillment centers, as well as from fulfillment centers to our customers. In particular, you will focus on building models that will be leveraged to drive the optimization of the transportation infrastructure, transportation contract negotiation, increase speed of delivery and evaluate opportunities to decrease cost through new initiatives. Some of the key job responsibilities
- Own the strategic planning and research initiatives involved with the transportation network including network optimization, process improvement and sizing up opportunities from new initiatives. Build prototypes to demonstrate the benefits from proposed changes to the decision systems and operational processes.
- Partner closely with business and IT groups. Provide analysis using predictive modeling tools to benchmark existing operations/processes as well as to identify opportunities for improvement. Work closely with IT teams in enhancing the prototypes and implementing them in our production environment.
- Effectively communicate with senior management as well as with colleagues from computer science, operations research and business backgrounds.
A proven history of driving critical research and development, algorithms and predictive modeling is needed to be successful in this role.