• <input id="4g248"><object id="4g248"></object></input>
    立即打開
    她撐起了亞馬遜的320,000,000和100,000

    她撐起了亞馬遜的320,000,000和100,000

    Aaron Pressman 2020年11月03日
    亞馬遜在疫情期間增長驚人,離不開這位汽車業老兵和物流管理大師。

    即使在正常情況下,亞馬遜的全球分銷網絡也是地球上最復雜的物流系統之一。系統當中無數的地址、人名,還有各種技術,仿佛是在共跳一支極其復雜的舞蹈,結果是將數百萬個快遞送到正確的地方。

    當新冠疫情來襲,常態頓成往事。然而在疫情封鎖期,全美幾乎所有人仍要工作、學習,而且只能在家購物。亞馬遜訂單突然激增,其中也包括大量囤積食品和衛生紙等,這導致運營網絡一片混亂。而且,由于物流網絡中多數員工沒法在家工作(畢竟不可能在客廳里送快遞或開叉車),突然之間亞馬遜還要為數十萬員工的安全負責,其中很多人面臨感染新型冠狀病毒的風險。

    兩大挑戰都直接落在到亞馬遜工作還不滿一年的高管身上。艾麗西亞?博勒?戴維斯于2019年4月加入亞馬遜,擔任全球物流副總裁。從職位就能看出,博勒?戴維斯掌管著龐大的基礎設施,目標是幫助消費者在亞馬遜輕松購物?!拔锪鳂I務是亞馬遜零售業務的心臟,”追蹤亞馬遜的Baird Equity Research分析師科林?塞巴斯蒂安表示。由此博勒?戴維斯也變成行業領跑者,她管理著亞馬遜全球數百座倉庫,監督員工、物流和流程,以及理貨機器人等多項技術??蛻舴找材依ㄔ趦?,疫情之中亞馬遜的客戶需要的服務比以往更多。

    博勒?戴維斯是加入亞馬遜高層可信團隊的第一位黑人,也是唯一一位女性。圖片來源:Chona Kasinger for Fortune

    雖然博勒?戴維斯加入亞馬遜不久,但她并不是新手。她在來到西雅圖加入亞馬遜之前曾于通用汽車工作25年且業績頂尖,曾負責管理工廠,與工會談判,監督開發熱門新車型,還幫助公司挺過了艱難的召回事件?!霸趤嗰R遜,人們行動非常積極,”博勒?戴維斯說?!耙坏┌l現問題,就要迅速找到解決方案并嘗試不同的想法。如果找到了可行方案,就盡快分享推廣?!币咔槠陂g挑戰不斷升級時,博勒?戴維斯在通用汽車期間練就的強大多樣的技能讓她臨危不懼。

    首先要解決的問題是供應鏈不堪重負。疫情期間,亞馬遜優先配送衛生用品、防護裝備和其他疫情相關需求,非必需品發貨則可能推遲數周。與此同時,龐大的新增需求量造成了瓶頸,要求配送渠道迅速拓展。博勒?戴維斯帶動公司加速擴張,過去幾年里,亞馬遜在全球各地的物流中心面積每年增加約15%,僅2020年就將增長50%。過去6個月亞馬遜雇傭的20萬名員工中,大部分都是直接為新物流中心配備,而能如此迅速招聘20萬人本身就很驚人。

    更艱巨的任務則是保護員工安全。在博勒?戴維斯看來,保障安全意味著在倉庫中增加社交距離規則且測量體溫(剛開始用手持設備,后來用體溫監測攝像頭),增加新冠病毒篩查,并全面檢查150個工作流程。就連指導員工配貨的亞馬遜物流算法也要改寫,以實現人員密集度降低??谡趾拖居闷返汝P鍵產品持續短缺,亞馬遜不得不尋找新供應商?!斑@可能是我做過最具挑戰性的事,”博勒?戴維斯說。

    亞馬遜在安全方面并不完美,尤其是疫情初期。倉庫一些員工抱怨說沒機會享受帶薪病假。紐約員工還發起了一場GoFundMe運動,支持同事無薪休假。如果有員工檢測出陽性,一些倉庫就得關閉。不過,博勒?戴維斯和其他高管充分了解疫情范圍后,亞馬遜開始瘋狂投入——僅二季度就投入40億美元改進工作流程并升級安全措施。

    320,000,000

    截至2020年10月,亞馬遜全球物流設施的占地總面積達320000000平方英尺(數據來源:供應鏈咨詢公司MWPVL國際)

    本月早些時候亞馬遜報告稱,140萬一線員工中近2萬人自3月初以來檢測呈陽性,其中包括Whole Foods超市員工、臨時工和季節性員工。盡管數字聽起來很高,但感染率僅為1.4%。而且亞馬遜表示,根據所在社區的感染率計算,陽性病例總數比預期的少42%。

    亞馬遜的大力投入也收獲了很突出的財務回報。二季度公司營收較去年同期飆升40%,達到創紀錄的889億美元。背后推手主要是新一波電商浪潮,目前電商業務占總銷售額的近60%。在混亂的二季度里,亞馬遜利潤翻了一番達到創紀錄的52億美元。其業務彈性也讓投資者放心,股票市值推高至1.6萬億美元。

    抗疫勝利很可能也推動博勒?戴維斯的職位水漲船高。今年8月,她升任亞馬遜高管核心團隊S-team(S代表“高級”)成員,直接向首席執行官兼創始人杰夫?貝佐斯提供建議的重量級人物?,F年50歲的博勒?戴維斯是第一位黑人,也是公司成立以來第四位躋身核心團隊的女性。分析師認為,明年5月全球消費業務首席執行官,也是長期以來貝索斯的左膀右臂杰夫?威爾克將退休,屆時高層人事將出現調整,她可能有進一步升遷機會。

    博勒?戴維斯在通用汽車已證明自己可以勝任高層(她曾擔任首席執行官瑪麗?博拉的高級副總裁五年),也擅長靈活處理問題,職業上照此路線晉升也非常合理。她幫助亞馬遜解決了諸多與疫情并不直接相關的問題,包括混亂的勞資關系和競爭對手的挑戰等,可能對亞馬遜維持市場主導地位很重要。雖然亞馬遜不允許現任同事談論博勒?戴維斯,但采訪通用汽車前同事后,還是能側面了解她從事當前職務擁有的優勢。

    博勒?戴維斯在底特律長大。母親是記賬員,父親先在福特工廠工作,30多歲時上大學,畢業后在IBM當銷售。(父母離婚后,她跟母親住在一起,但父母都很關心她的生活和教育。)她小時候生活拮據,還記得9歲或10歲時試著修理房間里的東西。從老舊烘干機后面取出玩具并不困難,拼接熔化的鐵線則麻煩一點。她回憶說:“那會可沒法上谷歌搜索該怎么做,我被電過好幾次?!?/p>

    高中期間,這個熱愛弄清楚各種東西運作原理的孩子參加了通用汽車贊助的暑期工程課程,也由此激發出她更宏大的抱負。博勒?戴維斯從西北大學化學工程專業畢業后,1994年加入通用汽車,在龐大的底特律-哈姆特馬克工廠從事制造工作。通用汽車前人力資源主管克里斯?泰勒回憶稱,你很快就能發現“她沒準有一天能晉升為高管”。2007年,她成為通用汽車第一位非裔女性工廠經理,負責管理德克薩斯州阿靈頓市制造凱迪拉克凱雷德的工廠。

    她事業上的大突破則跟小型車有關。2010年,通用汽車聘請博勒?戴維斯監督新的超緊湊車型雪佛蘭Sonic。她負責設計并制定生產計劃。對這位年輕的經理來說,“要考慮各不相同又得密切配合的領域,方能推出偉大的產品,”她說。通用汽車前高管,現在巴西現代汽車工作的喬爾?索亞雷斯?多斯安霍斯回憶稱,該項目需要與通用汽車在韓國的伙伴密切合作,而當時韓國是男性主導的文化?!鞍愇鱽喸诓煌幕蛧抑g應對得當,”他回憶說。討論時她充分尊重男性,但堅定推進自己的議程,而且經常得勝。

    Sonic在2010年底巴黎車展上正式推出,各種配色非常鮮亮,還包括一款掀背版,銷量迅速躥升。后來Sonic還屢獲小型車領域最佳質量和可靠性獎。今年,研究公司J.D.Power表示,在各車型中Sonic出現質量問題最少。然而為了向電動汽車轉型,通用汽車很快將停產Sonic,但很長時間里該款車相當暢銷。Sonic的成功也推動博勒?戴維斯2012年升任負責全球質量和美國客戶體驗的副總裁,向另一位迅速崛起的通用高管巴拉匯報工作,2014年巴拉出任首席執行官。

    打造空間:為了維持電商業務增長,亞馬遜以驚人的速度搭建了倉庫和配送中心,尤其是在北美地區。數據來源:MWPVL國際

    博勒?戴維斯全面負責質量期間,通用汽車的質量大幅改善。她表示,當時聽取各級員工建議,尋找機會將一處工廠里的好方法在各處廣泛應用?!叭绻洺8邔咏徽劸蜁l現,說話時他們目光迷茫,然后繼續說別的,”韋恩堡一家通用工廠的長期負責人喬納森?瓊斯回憶道,他曾與博勒?戴維斯多次會面?!八鷦e人不一樣,似乎很關心你說的話?!?/p>

    她迅速反應的能力也曾幫助通用汽車應對危機。2014年初,通用汽車不得不召回近200萬輛點火開關故障的車??头娫捔糠艘环?,博勒?戴維斯迅速搭建了100名客服代表組成的特情小組,專門針對召回問題接受培訓,隨后成功將等待時間縮短到不到一分鐘。

    2016年,巴拉任命博勒?戴維斯接替退休傳奇人物,從業37年的老將吉姆?德魯卡,出任全球制造和勞資關系執行副總裁。該職位要負責監管31個國家的171家工廠,雇傭18萬名工人。對博勒?戴維斯來說,回到制造業讓她回憶起早期在通用汽車公司工作的時光,“我在工廠里經歷了很多?;旧鲜窃诠S里長大的,”她說,“繞了一圈回來,如今要負責全球制造業務,我感覺很謙卑?!?/p>

    此次晉升也提升了她的公眾形象,也讓物流需求復雜程度堪比通用汽車的公司之一開始關注她。

    杰夫?威爾克是畢業于普林斯頓大學的化學工程師,長期以來一直是杰夫?貝佐斯的得力助手,也是亞馬遜龐大電商設備的設計師之一。幾年前,通過一位共同的朋友牽線,威爾克認識了博勒?戴維斯,還一起吃了午飯。她回憶說,威爾克對公司龐大業務了解十分深入,讓她印象深刻。他談論起亞馬遜如數家珍,就像她談論通用汽車一樣。

    當時博爾?戴維斯除了在亞馬遜購物之外,對公司本身了解不多。但她做了些研究之后,對亞馬遜以客戶為中心的文化相當認同?!斑@與我的價值觀和我喜歡的工作方式產生了共鳴”,她說。威爾克對她同樣印象深刻,后來發出了工作邀請。(“我了解也熱愛汽車行業,但為何不去別的行業試試呢?”博勒?戴維斯現在說。)今年夏天威爾克發給員工宣布博勒?戴維斯升任核心團隊的郵件中寫道:“我們很快就達成了一致。她的領導經驗、對技術的敏銳,尤其是熱愛為一線工人奉獻的精神讓我深受觸動?!?/p>

    如今三項優勢都在接受考驗。疫情來襲之前,亞馬遜就曾打算在美國更大范圍內提供更多品類的商品一日達服務,有時因配送量增大而難以提速。分析師一致認為,如果要實現這一目標,倉庫網絡要更大也更高效,還要在靠近客服的地方設置更多配送點。截至2019年底,亞馬遜在全球有約175個物流中心?!拔覀冞€要增加很多,”博勒?戴維斯告訴《財富》雜志?!翱梢哉f,我們很可能要建立250到300個中心,至少涉足16個國家?!?/p>

    “我認為,隨著亞馬遜將更多送貨和配送納入自營范圍,博勒?戴維斯的重要性只會進一步提升,”Baird分析師塞巴斯蒂安表示。

    由于零售業務和盈利的云服務業務都在掙得大量現金,亞馬遜的基礎設施建設熱潮并沒有讓投資者感到不安。今年亞馬遜股價上漲了80%以上。隨著谷歌、微軟和其他競爭對手削減亞馬遜在云計算領域的領先地位,未來其現金流可能會減弱。至少從理論上講,反壟斷威脅可能影響利潤。但目前來看,博勒?戴維斯團隊有足夠資金滿足客戶的需要,相當令人羨慕。

    100,000

    亞馬遜預計2020年最后三個月在美國和加拿大招聘新員工的人數

    如何將員工安置在新倉庫里可能更為棘手。而且接下來是傳統上亞馬遜業務最繁忙的假日購物季。最近博勒?戴維斯宣布,到今年年底公司在美國和加拿大還要再雇傭10萬名員工。(不能全交給人類員工:隨著博勒?戴維斯推出更多新物流中心,裝配更多亞馬遜新款理貨機器人也很重要。)

    迅速招聘優秀員工絕非易事,圍繞亞馬遜工作環境的爭議也增加了難度。一些現任和前任員工稱,除了對病假工資福利的投訴,亞馬遜還因薪酬和工作流程受到批評,按照相關流程,算法強行規定員工活動,休息時間也受到嚴格監控。美國工人兄弟會和其他工會都試過將亞馬遜員工組織起來,但迄今為止收效甚微。

    博勒?戴維斯從事汽車行業期間,以跟普通員工關系良好聞名,如果她在亞馬遜能堅持風格,對公司必定大有裨益?!霸谕ㄓ闷?,小時工在創意、改進和工作方式等方面做出了很大貢獻,”她說, “有一點我肯定不會忘,那就是對溝通的期待?!?/p>

    她非常了解身為某一空間里唯一的女性或者唯一的黑人是什么感覺,所以也希望幫助更多像她一樣的人發展?!肮铝o援可能很難。不管會不會成為肩頭的負擔,這都是現實,”她說。她提攜了一些后輩,也在亞馬遜員工親和力小組會議上發言?!拔矣X得開端還不錯,”她說。

    她努力建立凝聚力的過程中,至少有一位熱情員工的加入可以歸功于她。韋恩堡工廠負責人喬納森?瓊斯最近決定離開工作了17年的通用,前往亞馬遜擔任運營經理一職。眼看著博勒?戴維斯升遷,瓊斯也信心大增,他說:“離開很不舍,但她的經歷讓我覺得這定是好機會?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    本文另一版本刊登于《財富》雜志2020年11月刊,標題為《亞馬遜的王牌工程師》。

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    即使在正常情況下,亞馬遜的全球分銷網絡也是地球上最復雜的物流系統之一。系統當中無數的地址、人名,還有各種技術,仿佛是在共跳一支極其復雜的舞蹈,結果是將數百萬個快遞送到正確的地方。

    當新冠疫情來襲,常態頓成往事。然而在疫情封鎖期,全美幾乎所有人仍要工作、學習,而且只能在家購物。亞馬遜訂單突然激增,其中也包括大量囤積食品和衛生紙等,這導致運營網絡一片混亂。而且,由于物流網絡中多數員工沒法在家工作(畢竟不可能在客廳里送快遞或開叉車),突然之間亞馬遜還要為數十萬員工的安全負責,其中很多人面臨感染新型冠狀病毒的風險。

    兩大挑戰都直接落在到亞馬遜工作還不滿一年的高管身上。艾麗西亞?博勒?戴維斯于2019年4月加入亞馬遜,擔任全球物流副總裁。從職位就能看出,博勒?戴維斯掌管著龐大的基礎設施,目標是幫助消費者在亞馬遜輕松購物?!拔锪鳂I務是亞馬遜零售業務的心臟,”追蹤亞馬遜的Baird Equity Research分析師科林?塞巴斯蒂安表示。由此博勒?戴維斯也變成行業領跑者,她管理著亞馬遜全球數百座倉庫,監督員工、物流和流程,以及理貨機器人等多項技術??蛻舴找材依ㄔ趦?,疫情之中亞馬遜的客戶需要的服務比以往更多。

    雖然博勒?戴維斯加入亞馬遜不久,但她并不是新手。她在來到西雅圖加入亞馬遜之前曾于通用汽車工作25年且業績頂尖,曾負責管理工廠,與工會談判,監督開發熱門新車型,還幫助公司挺過了艱難的召回事件?!霸趤嗰R遜,人們行動非常積極,”博勒?戴維斯說?!耙坏┌l現問題,就要迅速找到解決方案并嘗試不同的想法。如果找到了可行方案,就盡快分享推廣?!币咔槠陂g挑戰不斷升級時,博勒?戴維斯在通用汽車期間練就的強大多樣的技能讓她臨危不懼。

    首先要解決的問題是供應鏈不堪重負。疫情期間,亞馬遜優先配送衛生用品、防護裝備和其他疫情相關需求,非必需品發貨則可能推遲數周。與此同時,龐大的新增需求量造成了瓶頸,要求配送渠道迅速拓展。博勒?戴維斯帶動公司加速擴張,過去幾年里,亞馬遜在全球各地的物流中心面積每年增加約15%,僅2020年就將增長50%。過去6個月亞馬遜雇傭的20萬名員工中,大部分都是直接為新物流中心配備,而能如此迅速招聘20萬人本身就很驚人。

    更艱巨的任務則是保護員工安全。在博勒?戴維斯看來,保障安全意味著在倉庫中增加社交距離規則且測量體溫(剛開始用手持設備,后來用體溫監測攝像頭),增加新冠病毒篩查,并全面檢查150個工作流程。就連指導員工配貨的亞馬遜物流算法也要改寫,以實現人員密集度降低??谡趾拖居闷返汝P鍵產品持續短缺,亞馬遜不得不尋找新供應商?!斑@可能是我做過最具挑戰性的事,”博勒?戴維斯說。

    亞馬遜在安全方面并不完美,尤其是疫情初期。倉庫一些員工抱怨說沒機會享受帶薪病假。紐約員工還發起了一場GoFundMe運動,支持同事無薪休假。如果有員工檢測出陽性,一些倉庫就得關閉。不過,博勒?戴維斯和其他高管充分了解疫情范圍后,亞馬遜開始瘋狂投入——僅二季度就投入40億美元改進工作流程并升級安全措施。

    320000000

    截至2020年10月,亞馬遜全球物流設施的占地總面積達320000000平方英尺(數據來源:供應鏈咨詢公司MWPVL國際)

    本月早些時候亞馬遜報告稱,140萬一線員工中近2萬人自3月初以來檢測呈陽性,其中包括Whole Foods超市員工、臨時工和季節性員工。盡管數字聽起來很高,但感染率僅為1.4%。而且亞馬遜表示,根據所在社區的感染率計算,陽性病例總數比預期的少42%。

    亞馬遜的大力投入也收獲了很突出的財務回報。二季度公司營收較去年同期飆升40%,達到創紀錄的889億美元。背后推手主要是新一波電商浪潮,目前電商業務占總銷售額的近60%。在混亂的二季度里,亞馬遜利潤翻了一番達到創紀錄的52億美元。其業務彈性也讓投資者放心,股票市值推高至1.6萬億美元。

    抗疫勝利很可能也推動博勒?戴維斯的職位水漲船高。今年8月,她升任亞馬遜高管核心團隊S-team(S代表“高級”)成員,直接向首席執行官兼創始人杰夫?貝佐斯提供建議的重量級人物?,F年50歲的博勒?戴維斯是第一位黑人,也是公司成立以來第四位躋身核心團隊的女性。分析師認為,明年5月全球消費業務首席執行官,也是長期以來貝索斯的左膀右臂杰夫?威爾克將退休,屆時高層人事將出現調整,她可能有進一步升遷機會。

    博勒?戴維斯在通用汽車已證明自己可以勝任高層(她曾擔任首席執行官瑪麗?博拉的高級副總裁五年),也擅長靈活處理問題,職業上照此路線晉升也非常合理。她幫助亞馬遜解決了諸多與疫情并不直接相關的問題,包括混亂的勞資關系和競爭對手的挑戰等,可能對亞馬遜維持市場主導地位很重要。雖然亞馬遜不允許現任同事談論博勒?戴維斯,但采訪通用汽車前同事后,還是能側面了解她從事當前職務擁有的優勢。

    博勒?戴維斯在底特律長大。母親是記賬員,父親先在福特工廠工作,30多歲時上大學,畢業后在IBM當銷售。(父母離婚后,她跟母親住在一起,但父母都很關心她的生活和教育。)她小時候生活拮據,還記得9歲或10歲時試著修理房間里的東西。從老舊烘干機后面取出玩具并不困難,拼接熔化的鐵線則麻煩一點。她回憶說:“那會可沒法上谷歌搜索該怎么做,我被電過好幾次?!?/p>

    高中期間,這個熱愛弄清楚各種東西運作原理的孩子參加了通用汽車贊助的暑期工程課程,也由此激發出她更宏大的抱負。博勒?戴維斯從西北大學化學工程專業畢業后,1994年加入通用汽車,在龐大的底特律-哈姆特馬克工廠從事制造工作。通用汽車前人力資源主管克里斯?泰勒回憶稱,你很快就能發現“她沒準有一天能晉升為高管”。2007年,她成為通用汽車第一位非裔女性工廠經理,負責管理德克薩斯州阿靈頓市制造凱迪拉克凱雷德的工廠。

    她事業上的大突破則跟小型車有關。2010年,通用汽車聘請博勒?戴維斯監督新的超緊湊車型雪佛蘭Sonic。她負責設計并制定生產計劃。對這位年輕的經理來說,“要考慮各不相同又得密切配合的領域,方能推出偉大的產品,”她說。通用汽車前高管,現在巴西現代汽車工作的喬爾?索亞雷斯?多斯安霍斯回憶稱,該項目需要與通用汽車在韓國的伙伴密切合作,而當時韓國是男性主導的文化?!鞍愇鱽喸诓煌幕蛧抑g應對得當,”他回憶說。討論時她充分尊重男性,但堅定推進自己的議程,而且經常得勝。

    Sonic在2010年底巴黎車展上正式推出,各種配色非常鮮亮,還包括一款掀背版,銷量迅速躥升。后來Sonic還屢獲小型車領域最佳質量和可靠性獎。今年,研究公司J.D.Power表示,在各車型中Sonic出現質量問題最少。然而為了向電動汽車轉型,通用汽車很快將停產Sonic,但很長時間里該款車相當暢銷。Sonic的成功也推動博勒?戴維斯2012年升任負責全球質量和美國客戶體驗的副總裁,向另一位迅速崛起的通用高管巴拉匯報工作,2014年巴拉出任首席執行官。

    打造空間:為了維持電商業務增長,亞馬遜以驚人的速度搭建了倉庫和配送中心,尤其是在北美地區。數據來源:MWPVL國際

    博勒?戴維斯全面負責質量期間,通用汽車的質量大幅改善。她表示,當時聽取各級員工建議,尋找機會將一處工廠里的好方法在各處廣泛應用?!叭绻洺8邔咏徽劸蜁l現,說話時他們目光迷茫,然后繼續說別的,”韋恩堡一家通用工廠的長期負責人喬納森?瓊斯回憶道,他曾與博勒?戴維斯多次會面?!八鷦e人不一樣,似乎很關心你說的話?!?/p>

    她迅速反應的能力也曾幫助通用汽車應對危機。2014年初,通用汽車不得不召回近200萬輛點火開關故障的車??头娫捔糠艘环?,博勒?戴維斯迅速搭建了100名客服代表組成的特情小組,專門針對召回問題接受培訓,隨后成功將等待時間縮短到不到一分鐘。

    2016年,巴拉任命博勒?戴維斯接替退休傳奇人物,從業37年的老將吉姆?德魯卡,出任全球制造和勞資關系執行副總裁。該職位要負責監管31個國家的171家工廠,雇傭18萬名工人。對博勒?戴維斯來說,回到制造業讓她回憶起早期在通用汽車公司工作的時光,“我在工廠里經歷了很多?;旧鲜窃诠S里長大的,”她說,“繞了一圈回來,如今要負責全球制造業務,我感覺很謙卑?!?/p>

    此次晉升也提升了她的公眾形象,也讓物流需求復雜程度堪比通用汽車的公司之一開始關注她。

    杰夫?威爾克是畢業于普林斯頓大學的化學工程師,長期以來一直是杰夫?貝佐斯的得力助手,也是亞馬遜龐大電商設備的設計師之一。幾年前,通過一位共同的朋友牽線,威爾克認識了博勒?戴維斯,還一起吃了午飯。她回憶說,威爾克對公司龐大業務了解十分深入,讓她印象深刻。他談論起亞馬遜如數家珍,就像她談論通用汽車一樣。

    當時博爾?戴維斯除了在亞馬遜購物之外,對公司本身了解不多。但她做了些研究之后,對亞馬遜以客戶為中心的文化相當認同?!斑@與我的價值觀和我喜歡的工作方式產生了共鳴”,她說。威爾克對她同樣印象深刻,后來發出了工作邀請。(“我了解也熱愛汽車行業,但為何不去別的行業試試呢?”博勒?戴維斯現在說。)今年夏天威爾克發給員工宣布博勒?戴維斯升任核心團隊的郵件中寫道:“我們很快就達成了一致。她的領導經驗、對技術的敏銳,尤其是熱愛為一線工人奉獻的精神讓我深受觸動?!?/p>

    如今三項優勢都在接受考驗。疫情來襲之前,亞馬遜就曾打算在美國更大范圍內提供更多品類的商品一日達服務,有時因配送量增大而難以提速。分析師一致認為,如果要實現這一目標,倉庫網絡要更大也更高效,還要在靠近客服的地方設置更多配送點。截至2019年底,亞馬遜在全球有約175個物流中心?!拔覀冞€要增加很多,”博勒?戴維斯告訴《財富》雜志?!翱梢哉f,我們很可能要建立250到300個中心,至少涉足16個國家?!?/p>

    “我認為,隨著亞馬遜將更多送貨和配送納入自營范圍,博勒?戴維斯的重要性只會進一步提升,”Baird分析師塞巴斯蒂安表示。

    由于零售業務和盈利的云服務業務都在掙得大量現金,亞馬遜的基礎設施建設熱潮并沒有讓投資者感到不安。今年亞馬遜股價上漲了80%以上。隨著谷歌、微軟和其他競爭對手削減亞馬遜在云計算領域的領先地位,未來其現金流可能會減弱。至少從理論上講,反壟斷威脅可能影響利潤。但目前來看,博勒?戴維斯團隊有足夠資金滿足客戶的需要,相當令人羨慕。

    100,000

    亞馬遜預計2020年最后三個月在美國和加拿大招聘新員工的人數

    如何將員工安置在新倉庫里可能更為棘手。而且接下來是傳統上亞馬遜業務最繁忙的假日購物季。最近博勒?戴維斯宣布,到今年年底公司在美國和加拿大還要再雇傭10萬名員工。(不能全交給人類員工:隨著博勒?戴維斯推出更多新物流中心,裝配更多亞馬遜新款理貨機器人也很重要。)

    迅速招聘優秀員工絕非易事,圍繞亞馬遜工作環境的爭議也增加了難度。一些現任和前任員工稱,除了對病假工資福利的投訴,亞馬遜還因薪酬和工作流程受到批評,按照相關流程,算法強行規定員工活動,休息時間也受到嚴格監控。美國工人兄弟會和其他工會都試過將亞馬遜員工組織起來,但迄今為止收效甚微。

    博勒?戴維斯從事汽車行業期間,以跟普通員工關系良好聞名,如果她在亞馬遜能堅持風格,對公司必定大有裨益?!霸谕ㄓ闷?,小時工在創意、改進和工作方式等方面做出了很大貢獻,”她說, “有一點我肯定不會忘,那就是對溝通的期待?!?/p>

    她非常了解身為某一空間里唯一的女性或者唯一的黑人是什么感覺,所以也希望幫助更多像她一樣的人發展?!肮铝o援可能很難。不管會不會成為肩頭的負擔,這都是現實,”她說。她提攜了一些后輩,也在亞馬遜員工親和力小組會議上發言?!拔矣X得開端還不錯,”她說。

    她努力建立凝聚力的過程中,至少有一位熱情員工的加入可以歸功于她。韋恩堡工廠負責人喬納森?瓊斯最近決定離開工作了17年的通用,前往亞馬遜擔任運營經理一職。眼看著博勒?戴維斯升遷,瓊斯也信心大增,他說:“離開很不舍,但她的經歷讓我覺得這定是好機會?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    本文另一版本刊登于《財富》雜志2020年11月刊,標題為《亞馬遜的王牌工程師》。

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    Even under normal circumstances, Amazon’s global distribution network represents one of the planet’s most complicated logistics systems—an intricate dance of places, people, and technology whose choreography moves millions of packages a day.

    When COVID-19 hit, normal went out the window. Pandemic lockdowns forced almost everyone in the U.S. to work, learn, and above all shop from home. A sudden surge of orders, including panic-buying of staples like bulk foods and toilet paper, brought chaos to Amazon’s operational web. And since most employees in that network couldn’t work from home (it’s hard to deliver a package or drive a forklift from your living room) the company suddenly became responsible for the safety of hundreds of thousands of essential workers—many of them at risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.

    Both of those challenges landed squarely on the desk of an executive who had been at Amazon for less than a year. Alicia Boler Davis joined Amazon in April 2019 as vice president of global customer fulfillment. As that sweeping title suggests, Boler Davis is in charge of much of the vast infrastructure that makes Amazon shopping feel effortless to consumers. “The fulfillment operations are the heartbeat of Amazon’s retail operations,” says Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research who tracks the company. That would make Boler Davis the pacemaker: She runs the company’s hundreds of warehouses worldwide, overseeing employees, logistics, and processes, as well as technology that includes shelf-stocking robots. Customer service falls under Boler Davis’s umbrella, too—and in the pandemic, Amazon’s customers suddenly needed more service than ever before.

    While Boler Davis was an Amazon newbie, she was anything but a rookie. She came to Seattle after 25 years as a top performer at General Motors—where she managed factories, negotiated with unions, oversaw the development of a new hit car model, and helped navigate the company through a perilous recall. “At Amazon, there’s a very high bias for action,” Boler Davis says. “Once you define a problem, you move very quickly to finding solutions and trying out different ideas. And then when you find something that works, you replicate that as quickly as possible.” The huge and varied toolkit that Boler Davis had developed at GM prepared her to do exactly that as COVID’s challenges escalated.

    Among the first problems for her to solve was an overloaded supply chain. Amazon had to delay shipments for weeks on customer orders of nonessential items as it prioritized moving cleaning supplies, protective gear, and other pandemic-related needs. At the same time, the sheer volume of new demand created bottlenecks that demanded a speedy expansion of its distribution pipeline. Boler Davis took that expansion into overdrive: After increasing the square footage of its facilities worldwide by about 15% annually over the past few years, Amazon will grow it by 50% in 2020 alone. And most of the 200,000 workers Amazon has hired in the past six months—a staggering accomplishment in its own right—went straight in to staff those new facilities.

    Far more daunting were the demands of keeping that staff safe. For Boler Davis, that meant adding social distancing rules in warehouses, conducting temperature checks (initially with handheld devices, later with thermal cameras), adding COVID-19 testing, and overhauling 150 different processes in all. Even Amazon’s logistics algorithms, which guide staff as they fill orders, had to be rewritten to account for less dense staffing. Critical items like masks and sanitizing supplies were continually running low, forcing Amazon to find new suppliers. “It was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done,” says Boler Davis.

    Amazon didn’t earn a perfect grade on safety, especially early on. Some warehouse employees complained that they couldn’t qualify for paid sick leave; New York City employees started a GoFundMe campaign to support fellow workers taking unpaid time off. A few warehouses had to close when workers tested positive. But when Boler Davis and other executives grasped the scope of the pandemic, Amazon started spending like mad—$4 billion in the second quarter alone—to revamp procedures and add safeguards.

    320,000,000

    TOTAL SQUARE FEET OF FLOOR SPACE IN AMAZON LOGISTICS FACILITIES WORLDWIDE AS OF OCT. 2020 (SOURCE: MWPVL INTERNATIONAL)

    Earlier this month, Amazon reported that almost 20,000 of its 1.4 million frontline employees, a figure that includes Whole Foods staff, temps, and seasonal workers, had tested positive since the beginning of March. As high as that headline number sounded, it represented an infection rate of only 1.4%—and the company says that it added up to 42% fewer positive cases than would be expected based on infection rates in the communities where it operates.

    Amazon’s overhaul paid off financially, as well. The company’s second-quarter revenue soared 40% from a year earlier, to a record $88.9 billion—driven primarily by the tidal wave of new e-commerce, which accounts for almost 60% of the company’s total sales. Its profits in that chaotic second quarter doubled to a record $5.2 billion. And Amazon’s resilience reassured investors, who have pushed its stock market value to $1.6 trillion.

    The success against COVID likely boosted Boler Davis’s stock as well. This August she was named to Amazon’s S-team (the “S” stands for “senior”), the select inner circle that advises CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. Boler Davis, now 50, is the first Black person and only the fourth woman ever named to the S-team. Some analysts think she may rise further next year, in a reshuffling after the planned retirement of Jeff Wilke, CEO of consumer at Amazon and Bezos’s longtime No. 2.

    It has been a fitting arc for someone who proved at GM that she could thrive as a senior leader (she served five years as a top lieutenant to CEO Mary Barra) and a nimble problem-solver. How Boler Davis helps Amazon navigate its non-pandemic problems—and there are plenty, including tumultuous labor relations and challenges from competitors—could help determine how long the company remains dominant. While Amazon declined to make current colleagues available to talk about Boler Davis, conversations with former GM colleagues offered a sense of how many strengths she brings to that role.

    Boler Davis grew up in Detroit. Her mother was a bookkeeper, while her father worked in a Ford plant, then went to college in his thirties and became a salesman for IBM. (After her parents divorced, Boler Davis lived with her mother, but both of them stayed involved in her life and education.) There wasn’t much money to spare when she was young, and Boler Davis recalls trying to fix things around the house when she was 9 or 10 years old. Extricating a toy from the back of an old dryer wasn’t too tough; splicing the melted cord of an iron was trickier. Back then, “I couldn’t Google how to do those things,” she recalls. “I’ve gotten shocked a couple of times.”

    A GM-sponsored summer engineering course during high school sparked bigger ambitions in a kid who liked to figure out how things worked. After graduating from Northwestern with a chemical engineering degree, Boler Davis joined GM in 1994, taking a manufacturing job at the massive Detroit-Hamtramck facility. She was spotted quickly as “someone we thought would be a senior executive someday,” recalls Chris Taylor, a former GM human resources leader. “She was one of my high-potential people.” By 2007 she had become GM’s first African-American female factory manager, overseeing the Arlington, Texas, plant that made Cadillac Escalades.

    Her next big break involved a much smaller car. In 2010, GM tapped Boler Davis to oversee a new subcompact model, the Chevrolet Sonic. She was in charge of engineering the car as well as coming up with a plan for manufacturing it. For the young manager, the assignment meant “looking at the different areas that have to work together in order to deliver a great product,” she says. “That was fun.” The project required working closely with GM’s partners in South Korea, at the time a male-dominated culture, recalls Joel Soares dos Anjos, a former GM executive who now works for Hyundai in Brazil. “Alicia played very well between multiple cultures and countries,” he recalls. In arguments, she treated men respectfully but advanced her own agenda firmly, and often won.

    Introduced at the Paris Motor Show late in 2010, the Sonic, which came in bright colors and included a hatchback version, quickly shot up sales charts. It went on to win frequent awards for best quality and reliability in the subcompact category. This year, research firm J.D. Power said the Sonic had the fewest quality issues of any model in any category. GM will soon discontinue the Sonic, as part of a broader shift toward electric vehicles, but it was a durable hit. It also helped Boler Davis land the job of vice president for global quality and U.S. customer experience in 2012—reporting to another fast-rising GM exec, Barra, who would become CEO in 2014.

    During Boler Davis’s tenure as quality czar, GM substantially improved its record on that front. She says she sought to listen to employees at every level for suggestions, looking for opportunities to implement good ideas from one plant across the company’s operations. “When you talk with a lot of higher-ups, you know, their eyes wander, they’re moving on,” recalls Jonathan Jones, a longtime shift leader at a GM factory in Fort Wayne who has had many meetings with Boler Davis. “She was different. It always seemed like she cared what you had to say.”

    Her knack for responsiveness also helped GM stem a major customer-relations crisis. In early 2014, the company had to recall almost 2 million vehicles that had faulty ignition switches. Customer service call volume doubled, but Boler Davis created a SWAT team of 100 reps who were specifically trained to handle recall questions, and they reduced wait times to under a minute.

    Barra tapped Boler Davis in 2016 as executive vice president of global manufacturing and labor relations, where she would fill the shoes of a retiring legend, 37-year veteran Jim DeLuca. The role meant overseeing 171 factories in 31 countries, employing 180,000 workers. For Boler Davis, the return to manufacturing revived memories of her earliest days at GM. “I spent a lot of my career in the plant. You know, I grew up in the plant,” she says. “To be able to come full circle and have responsibility for global manufacturing was pretty humbling.”

    The promotion also raised her public profile—and put her on the radar of one of the few companies whose logistics needs are as complicated and intricate as GM’s.

    Jeff Wilke, a Princeton-trained chemical engineer, has long been Jeff Bezos’s right-hand man—and is one of the architects of Amazon’s enormous e-commerce apparatus. A few years back, a mutual friend introduced Wilke to Boler Davis, and they met for lunch. She recalls being impressed with Wilke’s depth of knowledge about his company’s vast operations; he could talk about Amazon the way she could talk about GM.

    Boler Davis didn’t know much about Amazon at the time beyond having shopped there. But after she did some research, she was impressed by its customer-centric culture: It “resonated with my values and how I like to work,” she says. Wilke was equally impressed, and the meeting led to a job offer. (“I knew the automobile industry and loved it, but why not go and try something different?” Boler Davis now says.) In an email to employees this summer, announcing Boler Davis’s appointment to the S-team, Wilke wrote, “We hit it off right away. I was so impressed with her leadership experience, technical acumen, and especially her dedication to the workers on the shop floor.”

    All three of those strengths are now being tested. Even before COVID hit, Amazon was aiming to offer one-day delivery in more of the country for a broader array of goods—and sometimes struggled to speed up delivery while handling greater volume. Its warehouse network, analysts agree, needs to be both bigger and more efficient, with more locations closer to customers. At the end of 2019, Amazon had about 175 fulfillment facilities worldwide. But “we’re adding a ton,” Boler Davis tells Fortune; today, “I’d say we probably have 250 to close to 300 across at least 16 countries.”

    “I imagine [Boler Davis’s] role will only become more important to Amazon as they insource more transportation and delivery,” says Sebastian, the Baird analyst.

    With both its retail operations and its profitable cloud services business throwing off cash, Amazon’s infrastructure spree hasn’t fazed investors. The stock is up more than 80% this year. As Google, Microsoft, and other competitors cut into Amazon’s cloud lead, the company’s cash flow could weaken in the future; antitrust threats could also, at least in theory, erode profits. But for now, Boler Davis’s team is in the enviable situation of having the money to build whatever they decide customers need.

    100,000

    NEW WORKERS AMAZON EXPECTS TO HIRE IN THE U.S. AND CANADA IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF 2020

    Putting people in those new warehouses could be a trickier proposition. Just ahead is the holiday shopping season, traditionally Amazon’s busiest. Boler Davis announced recently that the company would need to hire another 100,000 workers by the end of this year just in the U.S. and Canada. (The humans won’t be working alone: Integrating more of Amazon’s new shelf-stocking robots is also a priority, as Boler Davis brings the new facilities online.)

    Hiring good employees quickly is never easy, and it’s made more difficult at Amazon by controversy around working conditions. In addition to complaints about sick-pay benefits, the company has faced criticism over its wages and its workflow, in which algorithms dictate movements and breaks are tightly monitored, according to some current and former employees. The Teamsters and other unions have tried to organize Amazon’s workforce, though without much success so far.

    Throughout her automotive career, Boler Davis had a reputation for building good relationships with the rank and file, and Amazon would certainly benefit if she could do the same there. At GM, “our hourly workforce contributed a lot to the ideas, to the improvements, to how things were done,” she says. “That’s something that I definitely bring with me: the expectation of engagement.”

    As someone who knows what it’s like to be the only woman or the only Black person in a room, she also wants to bring people like her up through the company. “It can be hard being the only one. Whether you’re carrying it around on your shoulders or not, it’s the reality,” she says. She already has some protégés and has spoken at Amazon employee affinity group meetings. “I think I’m off to a good start,” she says.

    As she strives to build cohesion, there’s at least one enthusiastic hire Boler Davis can claim credit for. Jonathan Jones, the factory shift leader from Fort Wayne, recently decided to leave GM after 17 years—for a job as an Amazon operations manager. Watching Boler Davis’s ascent gave him confidence, Jones says: “It’s hard to leave, but she made me feel like this is a good call.”

    A version of this article appears in the November 2020 issue of Fortune with the headline, "Amazon's ace engineer."

    最新:
    • 熱讀文章
    • 熱門視頻
    活動
    掃碼打開財富Plus App
    快3玩法绝招