Amazon’s Clever Machines Moving From Warehouse to Headquarters

June 13, 2018, 12:54 PM

Amazon.com Inc. has long used robots to help humans move merchandise around its warehouses. Now automation is transforming Amazon’s white-collar workforce, too.

The people who command six-figure salaries to negotiate multimillion-dollar deals with major brands are being replaced by software that predicts what shoppers want and how much to charge for it.

An automated transport robot moves goods in a storage unit at the Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
Photographer: Bess Adler/Bloomberg

Machines are beating people at the critical inventory decisions that separate the winners and losers in retail. For the staffers deciding how many books, games or plastic pool toys to peddle, the tradeoff can be stark: Order too little and you miss out. Order too much and ...

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