Netflix – Master Of Inventory

Netflix has an amazing system for managing their DVD rental inventory. I watched a Netflix DVD this past weekend. On Tuesday I put the DVD in the pre-stamped, pre-addressed mailer and took it to the post office around noon. I received an email from “Netflix Receiving” time stamped 11:27 AM the next day that they had received it. This was not FedEx or Airborne. It was normal USPS mail. I don’t know how they do it. There must be some kind of special relationship that enables this amazing speed. At 6:44 PM I received an email from “Netflix Shipping” that the next DVD in my queue had been shipped. “Shipped” actually means that their system had updated my record to show that I had returned the prior DVD, determined which selection was next in my queue, located the nearest distribution center to where I live, addressed the mailer to me, delivered the DVD to the USPS, updated my queue to reflect the remaining choices, and then sent me an email. The DVD arrived in my physical mailbox at 2:00 PM the next day. They have an amazing distribution system.

Disclosure: I have a very small investment in Netflix.