I’m generally a fan of Amazon.com. They know how to focus on providing value for the customer (a lean principle) by offering a wide range of products on a user-friendly website that eliminates a lot of waste from the process of ordering.
But my respect dropped a notch when I received a package from them the other day.
It contained four items I had ordered: two books, a backpack (which was fairly flat) and an electric toothbrush (sealed in a fairly small plastic package).
The box they came in was unnecessarily large. The four items took up no more than a third of the space in the box. The rest was occupied by air-filled plastic bubbles, each about the volume of a grapefruit, serving as padding.
I understand that Amazon cannot perfectly match the size of the shipping box to the size of the order every time. But I thought they could have done a better job on this one.