Sonia Corvera, senior construction manager for Amazon Spain, and Isabel Bermúdez, senior project manager of engineering for Amazon Spain, were leading the construction of Amazon's new fulfillment center in Illescas (Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha) that will start operating in spring of 2019.
"The biggest challenge has been to coordinate a huge number of people; up to 500 people, to build a fulfillment center in 11 months with a surface area of more than 100,000 m², equivalent to 12 football fields, and as long as twice the length of the Titanic," says Sonia, who always knew she wanted to study architecture because she loved the idea of constructing buildings. What she never imagined is that she would end up building fulfillment centers: "It was a surprise because I did not know about this world. My professional career started in traditional commerce and for the last two and a half years I’ve been in the e-commerce world".
For Isabel, industrial engineer, her dream was to "See the result of my work, that's why I [originally] built tunnels, and two years ago I came to Amazon".
The success of getting along
"The construction of a fulfillment center begins with the selection of the space, and then the technicians come in to assess its viability," Sonia explains. She designs the center with the help of a team of engineers who are in charge of capturing the needs of the Amazon teams. "Once the building is built, which is the part of Sonia and her team do, we go in to set up the infrastructure and turn it into a fulfillment center," adds Isabel.
Although both claim that, it is not very common in their job to work with other women, Isabel says: "It is very rewarding and in Amazon I have never noticed differential treatment.”
A great center
Nacho Ferreiro, site leader of the fulfillment center, arrives in Illescas from Italy and after working in Poland. He started in Amazon in 2012, and he is particularly excited about this project: "I'm happy to come back home and meet my colleagues again."
"This is a fulfillment center for large products, either by weight or size, and will be located on pallets and in height," says Nacho, adding, "We will have the processes of receive, pack and shipment preparation." As an example and laughing, Isabel says, "We will have barbecues, umbrellas, mattresses or broomsticks. And you cannot imagine how many [broom] sticks people buy at Amazon.”
“The biggest challenge has been to coordinate a huge number of people; up to 500 people, to build in 11 months a fulfillment center with an area of more than 100,000 m²”
The fulfillment center of Illescas will be able to manage thousands of daily packages and for this to be possible: "900 jobs will be created," says Nacho.
And for Illescas, a municipality that has seen its population double in the last ten years, this logistics center is also an opportunity as its mayor, José Manuel Tofiño, says: "The jobs will give greater wealth to the community, to the people and the region."
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