GreyOrange Patents Technology to Equip Retailers for the Future of Omnichannel Fulfillment

GREYORANGE PATENTS TECHNOLOGY TO EQUIP RETAILERS FOR THE FUTURE OF OMNICHANNEL FULFILLMENT

Patented capabilities accelerate fulfillment performance to create business efficiency and customer satisfaction advantages

From Multichannel Merchant
September 11, 2020

GreyOrange announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities.

The patents cover:

First-to-Fill Technology: Artificial Intelligence within GreyOrange GreyMatter™ software assesses demand characteristics of each inventory item (known as Stock Keeping Unit or SKU). Based on each SKU’s characteristics and how they relate to the characteristics of other SKUs, the system determines SKU storage locations and configures automated retrieval patterns undertaken by Goods-to-Person robots in the fulfillment center to most efficiently fulfill the most popular items by channel.

• Retail-Ready Fulfillment: Intelligence within GreyMatter understands inventory placement in stores and optimizes the packing and routing of store replenishment orders according to each store’s preference, reducing the time and labor required to move inventory from back-room receiving to available for purchase on a store shelf or other store location (on a pallet in an aisle, for example). Algorithms consider optimal replenishment delivery routes, inventory needs and placement preferences by store, inventory delivery format (individual items, cases or pallets), and capacities of the containers or trolleys used to transport replenishment inventory.

• Multilevel Robot Mobility: One or more autonomous robots can place or retrieve from multiple floors or mezzanines in a distribution center inventory housed in mobile storage units, coordinating travel paths with elevators or lifts. This enables companies to optimize the use of autonomous mobile robots in both horizontal and vertical space in a distribution center to maximize inventory volumes and throughput capacity. Workers can remain on one level at pick-put stations while Ranger™ GTP robots access elevators serving other levels of the DC, retrieve goods, bring them to stations for order fulfillment and take incoming inventory to assigned staging areas on any level. This minimizes human touchpoints, eliminates manual retrieval and placement of inventory, and maximizes facility use and fulfillment throughput.

Akash Gupta, GreyOrange Chief Technology Officer, noted that these patented technologies offer customers significant advantages in optimizing fulfillment, especially in the face of sudden and dramatic market shifts.

“COVID-19 has illuminated how crucial operational flexibility and intelligence-driven fulfillment prioritization is in managing through market disruptions,” Gupta said. “Using AI-driven software combined with smart robots to maximize efficiency and better serve customers is an effective way companies can extend their advantage, especially when competitors are struggling to adapt,” he added.

“We’ve seen during COVID-19-driven store shutdowns that companies with GreyMatter have been able to adapt quickly to spiking ecommerce demand by intelligently adapting to steep changes in inventory and order characteristics, seamlessly transforming large portions of store operations to ecommerce operations,” Gupta continued. “Those with robot-assisted and AI-informed systems are at an even greater advantage as they can augment performance and throughput even when operating short-staffed, giving DCs the flexibility they need to keep up shifting demands,” Gupta concluded.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

The investment case for warehouse automation stocks

THE INVESTMENT CASE FOR WAREHOUSE AUTOMATION STOCKS

From OPTO Trading Intelligence
September 7, 2020

The industrial part of the global economy has seen plenty of volatility this year. While the sector has been subject to various ups and downs over the last few years, there have been a few growth trends that have held steady.

A key emerging trend in the industrial sector is the acceleration of warehouse automation and smart factories. This trend was featured in a recent ‘Logistics Report’ put together by The Wall Street Journal, which highlighted how the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in companies making deeper investments into logistics technology and distribution centres.

The trend is being driven by both an increase in online shopping and social distancing restrictions within warehouse operations, which is furthering a need for more technological solutions. Indeed, automation leader Honeywell’s [HON] ‘Intelligrated Automation Investment’ study revealed that companies working in the e-commerce, food and beverage and logistics sectors are most willing to increase investments in automation.

I expect this to be a multi-year trend with several beneficiaries, including a number of currently private makers of robotic components. Technology advancements in robotics are moving quickly and improvements in sensing technology, machine learning and connectivity are likely to drive further investments from companies seeking to both increase supply chain efficiency and reduce costs.

Some examples of warehouse automation solutions include automated storage and retrieval storage (AS/RS), conveyor systems, pick-to-light systems, voice picking/tasking, sortation systems, collaborative mobile robots (AMRs), automated guided vehicles (AGV) and drones.

Automation within logistics benefits both businesses and customers through cost efficiencies and faster distribution. Other advantages include fewer errors and increased warehouse safety. Many companies refer to this overall movement as ‘Industry 4.0’, which includes usage of cloud computing and blockchain technology for big data and analytics insights — essentially, it marks the digital transformation of the industrial sector.

Top pure-play mid-cap picks
GreyOrange, an exciting private warehouse automation and robotics provider, relies on PTC’s Windchill cloud technology for their product lifecycle management needs. PTC acquired this technology through its Onshape acquisition.

Read the full article at Opto Magazine.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

GreyOrange Patents Technology to Equip Retailers for the Future of Omnichannel Fulfillment

GREYORANGE PATENTS TECHNOLOGY TO EQUIP RETAILERS FOR THE FUTURE OF OMNICHANNEL FULFILLMENT

Patented capabilities accelerate fulfillment performance to create business efficiency and customer satisfaction advantages

From American Journal of Transportation
September 4, 2020

GreyOrange announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities.

The patents cover:

First-to-Fill Technology: Artificial Intelligence within GreyOrange GreyMatter™ software assesses demand characteristics of each inventory item (known as Stock Keeping Unit or SKU). Based on each SKU’s characteristics and how they relate to the characteristics of other SKUs, the system determines SKU storage locations and configures automated retrieval patterns undertaken by Goods-to-Person robots in the fulfillment center to most efficiently fulfill the most popular items by channel.

• Retail-Ready Fulfillment: Intelligence within GreyMatter understands inventory placement in stores and optimizes the packing and routing of store replenishment orders according to each store’s preference, reducing the time and labor required to move inventory from back-room receiving to available for purchase on a store shelf or other store location (on a pallet in an aisle, for example). Algorithms consider optimal replenishment delivery routes, inventory needs and placement preferences by store, inventory delivery format (individual items, cases or pallets), and capacities of the containers or trolleys used to transport replenishment inventory.

• Multilevel Robot Mobility: One or more autonomous robots can place or retrieve from multiple floors or mezzanines in a distribution center inventory housed in mobile storage units, coordinating travel paths with elevators or lifts. This enables companies to optimize the use of autonomous mobile robots in both horizontal and vertical space in a distribution center to maximize inventory volumes and throughput capacity. Workers can remain on one level at pick-put stations while Ranger™ GTP robots access elevators serving other levels of the DC, retrieve goods, bring them to stations for order fulfillment and take incoming inventory to assigned staging areas on any level. This minimizes human touchpoints, eliminates manual retrieval and placement of inventory, and maximizes facility use and fulfillment throughput.

Akash Gupta, GreyOrange Chief Technology Officer, noted that these patented technologies offer customers significant advantages in optimizing fulfillment, especially in the face of sudden and dramatic market shifts.

“COVID-19 has illuminated how crucial operational flexibility and intelligence-driven fulfillment prioritization is in managing through market disruptions,” Gupta said. “Using AI-driven software combined with smart robots to maximize efficiency and better serve customers is an effective way companies can extend their advantage, especially when competitors are struggling to adapt,” he added.

“We’ve seen during COVID-19-driven store shutdowns that companies with GreyMatter have been able to adapt quickly to spiking ecommerce demand by intelligently adapting to steep changes in inventory and order characteristics, seamlessly transforming large portions of store operations to ecommerce operations,” Gupta continued. “Those with robot-assisted and AI-informed systems are at an even greater advantage as they can augment performance and throughput even when operating short-staffed, giving DCs the flexibility they need to keep up shifting demands,” Gupta concluded.

Read the full article at the American Journal of Transportation.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

GreyOrange Patents Technology to Equip Retailers for the Future of Omnichannel Fulfillment

GREYORANGE PATENTS TECHNOLOGY TO EQUIP RETAILERS FOR THE FUTURE OF OMNICHANNEL FULFILLMENT

Patented capabilities accelerate fulfillment performance to create business efficiency and customer satisfaction advantages

From Robotics Tomorrow
September 4, 2020

GreyOrange announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities.

The patents cover:

First-to-Fill Technology: Artificial Intelligence within GreyOrange GreyMatter™ software assesses demand characteristics of each inventory item (known as Stock Keeping Unit or SKU). Based on each SKU’s characteristics and how they relate to the characteristics of other SKUs, the system determines SKU storage locations and configures automated retrieval patterns undertaken by Goods-to-Person robots in the fulfillment center to most efficiently fulfill the most popular items by channel.

• Retail-Ready Fulfillment: Intelligence within GreyMatter understands inventory placement in stores and optimizes the packing and routing of store replenishment orders according to each store’s preference, reducing the time and labor required to move inventory from back-room receiving to available for purchase on a store shelf or other store location (on a pallet in an aisle, for example). Algorithms consider optimal replenishment delivery routes, inventory needs and placement preferences by store, inventory delivery format (individual items, cases or pallets), and capacities of the containers or trolleys used to transport replenishment inventory.

• Multilevel Robot Mobility: One or more autonomous robots can place or retrieve from multiple floors or mezzanines in a distribution center inventory housed in mobile storage units, coordinating travel paths with elevators or lifts. This enables companies to optimize the use of autonomous mobile robots in both horizontal and vertical space in a distribution center to maximize inventory volumes and throughput capacity. Workers can remain on one level at pick-put stations while Ranger™ GTP robots access elevators serving other levels of the DC, retrieve goods, bring them to stations for order fulfillment and take incoming inventory to assigned staging areas on any level. This minimizes human touchpoints, eliminates manual retrieval and placement of inventory, and maximizes facility use and fulfillment throughput.

Akash Gupta, GreyOrange Chief Technology Officer, noted that these patented technologies offer customers significant advantages in optimizing fulfillment, especially in the face of sudden and dramatic market shifts.

“COVID-19 has illuminated how crucial operational flexibility and intelligence-driven fulfillment prioritization is in managing through market disruptions,” Gupta said. “Using AI-driven software combined with smart robots to maximize efficiency and better serve customers is an effective way companies can extend their advantage, especially when competitors are struggling to adapt,” he added.

“We’ve seen during COVID-19-driven store shutdowns that companies with GreyMatter have been able to adapt quickly to spiking ecommerce demand by intelligently adapting to steep changes in inventory and order characteristics, seamlessly transforming large portions of store operations to ecommerce operations,” Gupta continued. “Those with robot-assisted and AI-informed systems are at an even greater advantage as they can augment performance and throughput even when operating short-staffed, giving DCs the flexibility they need to keep up shifting demands,” Gupta concluded.

Read the full article at Robotics Tomorrow.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

Patented capabilities accelerate fulfillment performance to create business efficiency and customer satisfaction advantages

PATENTED CAPABILITIES ACCELERATE FULFILLMENT PERFORMANCE

TO CREATE BUSINESS EFFICIENCY AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION ADVANTAGES

From AiThority
By AIT News Desk
September 4, 2020

GreyOrange, a global software and mobile robotics provider that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize fulfillment operations, announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities. The patents cover:

  • First-to-Fill Technology: Artificial Intelligence within GreyOrange GreyMatter™ software assesses demand characteristics of each inventory item (known as Stock Keeping Unit or SKU). Based on each SKU’s characteristics and how they relate to the characteristics of other SKUs, the system determines SKU storage locations and configures automated retrieval patterns undertaken by Goods-to-Person robots in the fulfillment center to most efficiently fulfill the most popular items by channel.
  • Retail-Ready Fulfillment: Intelligence within GreyMatter understands inventory placement in stores and optimizes the packing and routing of store replenishment orders according to each store’s preference, reducing the time and labor required to move inventory from back-room receiving to available for purchase on a store shelf or other store location (on a pallet in an aisle, for example). System Intelligence Manages optimal replenishment delivery routes, inventory needs and placement preferences by store, inventory delivery format (individual items, cases or pallets), and capacities of the containers or trolleys used to transport replenishment inventory.
  • Multilevel Robot Mobility: One or more autonomous robots can place or retrieve from multiple floors or mezzanines in a distribution center inventory housed in mobile storage units, coordinating travel paths with elevators or lifts.  This enables companies to optimize the use of autonomous mobile robots in both horizontal and vertical space in a distribution center to maximize inventory volumes and throughput capacity.  Workers can remain on one level at pick-put stations while Ranger™ GTP robots access elevators serving other levels of the DC, retrieve goods, bring them to stations for order fulfillment and take incoming inventory to assigned staging areas on any level. This minimizes human touchpoints, eliminates manual retrieval and placement of inventory, and maximizes facility use and fulfillment throughput.

Read the full article at AiThority.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

GreyOrange Patents Technology to Equip Retailers for the Future of Omnichannel Fulfillment

GREYORANGE PATENTS TECHNOLOGY TO EQUIP RETAILERS FOR THE FUTURE OF OMNICHANNEL FULFILLMENT

GreyOrange announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities.

From Supply & Demand Chain Executive
September 3, 2020

GreyOrange announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities.

The patents cover:

    • First-to-Fill Technology: Artificial Intelligence within GreyOrange GreyMatter™ software assesses demand characteristics of each inventory item (known as Stock Keeping Unit or SKU). Based on each SKU’s characteristics and how they relate to the characteristics of other SKUs, the system determines SKU storage locations and configures automated retrieval patterns undertaken by Goods-to-Person robots in the fulfillment center to most efficiently fulfill the most popular items by channel.
    • Retail-Ready Fulfillment: Intelligence within GreyMatter understands inventory placement in stores and optimizes the packing and routing of store replenishment orders according to each store’s preference, reducing the time and labor required to move inventory from back-room receiving to available for purchase on a store shelf or other store location (on a pallet in an aisle, for example). System Intelligence Manages optimal replenishment delivery routes, inventory needs and placement preferences by store, inventory delivery format (individual items, cases or pallets), and capacities of the containers or trolleys used to transport replenishment inventory.
    • Multilevel Robot Mobility: One or more autonomous robots can place or retrieve from multiple floors or mezzanines in a distribution center inventory housed in mobile storage units, coordinating travel paths with elevators or lifts.  This enables companies to optimize the use of autonomous mobile robots in both horizontal and vertical space in a distribution center to maximize inventory volumes and throughput capacity.  Workers can remain on one level at pick-put stations while Ranger™ GTP robots access elevators serving other levels of the DC, retrieve goods, bring them to stations for order fulfillment and take incoming inventory to assigned staging areas on any level. This minimizes human touchpoints, eliminates manual retrieval and placement of inventory, and maximizes facility use and fulfillment throughput.

Akash Gupta, GreyOrange Chief Technology Officer, noted that these patented technologies offer customers significant advantages in optimizing fulfillment, especially in the face of sudden and dramatic market shifts.

“COVID-19 has illuminated how crucial operational flexibility and intelligence-driven fulfillment prioritization is in managing through market disruptions,” Gupta said. “Using AI-driven software combined with smart robots to maximize efficiency and better serve customers is an effective way companies can extend their advantage, especially when competitors are struggling to adapt,” he added.

“We’ve seen during COVID-19-driven store shutdowns that companies with advanced omnichannel operations have been able to adapt quickly to spiking ecommerce demand by reallocating store replenishment inventory to e-commerce orders,” Gupta continued. “Those with robot-assisted and AI-informed systems are at an even greater advantage as they can augment performance and throughput even when operating short-staffed, giving DCs the flexibility they need to keep up shifting demands,” Gupta concluded.

Read the full article at Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

GreyOrange Patents Technology to Equip Retailers for the Future of Omnichannel Fulfillment

GreyOrange Patents Technology to Equip Retailers for the Future of Omnichannel Fulfillment

Patented capabilities accelerate fulfillment performance to create business efficiency and customer satisfaction advantages

ATLANTA (September 3, 2020)GreyOrange, a global software and mobile robotics provider that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize fulfillment operations, today announced patents for technology essential for companies to achieve high-yield omnichannel fulfillment as well as to maximize facility space utilization through multilevel operation capabilities. The patents cover:

  • First-to-Fill Technology: Artificial Intelligence within GreyOrange GreyMatter™ software assesses demand characteristics of each inventory item (known as Stock Keeping Unit or SKU). Based on each SKU’s characteristics and how they relate to the characteristics of other SKUs, the system determines SKU storage locations and configures automated retrieval patterns undertaken by Goods-to-Person robots in the fulfillment center to most efficiently fulfill the most popular items by channel.
  • Retail-Ready Fulfillment: Intelligence within GreyMatter understands inventory placement in stores and optimizes the packing and routing of store replenishment orders according to each store’s preference, reducing the time and labor required to move inventory from back-room receiving to available for purchase on a store shelf or other store location (on a pallet in an aisle, for example). Algorithms consider optimal replenishment delivery routes, inventory needs and placement preferences by store, inventory delivery format (individual items, cases or pallets), and capacities of the containers or trolleys used to transport replenishment inventory.
  • Multilevel Robot Mobility: One or more autonomous robots can place or retrieve from multiple floors or mezzanines in a distribution center inventory housed in mobile storage units, coordinating travel paths with elevators or lifts. This enables companies to optimize the use of autonomous mobile robots in both horizontal and vertical space in a distribution center to maximize inventory volumes and throughput capacity.  Workers can remain on one level at pick-put stations while Ranger™ GTP robots access elevators serving other levels of the DC, retrieve goods, bring them to stations for order fulfillment and take incoming inventory to assigned staging areas on any level. This minimizes human touchpoints, eliminates manual retrieval and placement of inventory, and maximizes facility use and fulfillment throughput.

Akash Gupta, GreyOrange Chief Technology Officer, noted that these patented technologies offer customers significant advantages in optimizing fulfillment, especially in the face of sudden and dramatic market shifts.

“COVID-19 has illuminated how crucial operational flexibility and intelligence-driven fulfillment prioritization is in managing through market disruptions,” Gupta said. “Using AI-driven software combined with smart robots to maximize efficiency and better serve customers is an effective way companies can extend their advantage, especially when competitors are struggling to adapt,” he added.

“We’ve seen during COVID-19-driven store shutdowns that companies with GreyMatter have been able to adapt quickly to spiking ecommerce demand by intelligently adapting to steep changes in inventory and order characteristics, seamlessly transforming large portions of store operations to ecommerce operations,” Gupta continued. “Those with robot-assisted and AI-informed systems are at an even greater advantage as they can augment performance and throughput even when operating short-staffed, giving DCs the flexibility they need to keep up shifting demands,” Gupta concluded.

For more information, visit www.GreyOrange.com.

 

Media Contact:

Will Haraway
LeadCoverage
will@leadcoverage.com

E-commerce Company Quadruples Capacity with Mobile Sortation Robots

E-COMMERCE COMPANY QUADRUPLES CAPACITY WITH MOBILE SORTATION ROBOTS

Robot fleet continuously recalculates order fulfillment priorities and inventory movement patterns.

From Modern Materials Handling
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
August 10, 2020

Rex Brown is a fast-growing, e-commerce expert in sourcing, branding and distribution. The company currently processes 2.5 million orders per year for customers ranging from major household name brand Unilever to small and medium-sized enterprise brands.

After deploying a fleet of modular sortation robots, the company will have the capacity to process more than 10 million orders each year.

Rex Brown operates across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is expanding across the Asia Pacific region, with a growing capacity of 30,000 daily shipments. The company sought to manage inventory complexity and scale sorting capacity to 20,000 parcels per shift—with plans to double this volume over the next few years.

The new mobile robots (GreyOrange) leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize fulfillment operations, working in fleets to efficiently and fluidly move parcels from receiving through dispatch. This avoids sortation bottlenecks that can occur with rigid systems, especially during periods of peak volume.

Integrated intelligence software serves as a learning layer in the robots, enabling them to communicate with each other and the central system to continuously recalculate order fulfillment priorities and inventory movement patterns.

“We chose this solution because we’re seeing an increase in growth volumes from customers, and we have our own ambitious goals for our company, so we need a partner that can support us to grow the business without any constraints,” says Ash Kandhari, managing director at Rex Brown. “It easily integrates with our operations and seamlessly connects with our existing packaging machines through auto induction.”

Kandhari highlighted the system’s ability to adapt to changes in real time, both within the distribution center and externally as order patterns and fulfillment expectations fluctuate. The system is also expected to help the company meet its own ambitious sustainability targets.

“The inherent flexibility in the system enables us to start as per the current needs and allows for scale-up as the business grows,” Kandhari says, “thereby reducing the risk of large capital expenditure in the initial stages.”

Read full article on Modern Materials Handling.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.

GreyOrange Ranger™ GTP Receives First-Ever Certification for AMP Robots in Commercial and Industrial Environments

GreyOrange RangerGTP Receives First-Ever Certification for AMP Robots in Commercial and Industrial Environments

Distinguished certification to UL 3100, Second Edition highlights GreyOrange’s industry-leading safety leadership

 

ATLANTA (July 29, 2020)GreyOrange, a global software and mobile robotics provider that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize fulfillment operations, today announced that one of its autonomous mobile robots, Ranger GTP, is the first Automated Mobile Platforms (AMP) robot of its kind to be UL Certified to UL 3100, Second Edition for use in commercial and industrial environments.

Ranger GTP is a goods-to-person autonomous mobile robot that can transport inventory from 220 to 3,500 pounds to workers for picking and packing, while working in collaborative performance with other robots and the human workforce.

“This highly sought-after certification demonstrates GreyOrange’s leadership in setting the bar for safety of automated fulfillment in warehouse environment,” said Akash Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, GreyOrange. “We felt it was important to develop a truly safer product that would inspire trust and assure our customers and partners that they have made the right decision by implementing a GreyOrange solution.”

Ranger series robots, including Ranger GTP, are built together with GreyMatter AI software to form the GreyOrange Fulfillment Operating System. GreyOrange Ranger robots continuously communicate with each other and GreyMatter to recalculate and orchestrate fulfillment priorities and inventory movement patterns based on real-time factors. Ranger GTP is certified against fire, electrical and other hazards, helping to make it safe for both humans and robots to work with.

“We are pleased to see GreyOrange proactively achieve UL Certification for Ranger GTP AMP to UL 3100, Second Edition,” said Jeff Smidt, vice president and general manager of energy and power technologies at UL.  “This represents a milestone in industry by heading down a safer path for automated mobile platforms.”

UL Certified products go through rigorous testing, inspection and auditing in the industrial field, where risk is higher than most and safety is the utmost important application.  The certification process included a step-by-step review of all the components in Ranger GTP from a fire and shock perspective to meet the safety requirements of UL 3100, Second Edition, Outline of Investigation for Automated Mobile Platforms (AMPs).

About GreyOrange
GreyOrange is a global company that modernizes order fulfillment through Artificial Intelligence-driven software and mobile robots built together so they cooperate in deciding on and executing warehouse activities that maximize payoffs and minimize tradeoffs to create the highest yield.  The company’s next era Fulfillment Operating System driven by always-solving GreyMatter software considers predictive and real-time data regarding orders, promises, inventory, shipping windows, and resources to orchestrate how workers and robots work as a team to fulfill the right orders at the right time. GreyOrange experts help organizations master fulfillment in the Age of Immediacy so they keep promises, capture more revenue, and improve work experiences for warehouse employees. GreyOrange has core operations in the United States, Singapore, Germany, Japan and India. www.GreyOrange.com

Mobile robots feed warehouse demand for adaptability

MOBILE ROBOTS FEED WAREHOUSE DEMAND FOR ADAPTABILITY

”The ability to flex up and flex down depending on what is happening in the real world is going to be the wave of the future”

From FreightWaves
By Linda Baker
July 17, 2020

The pandemic and seemingly unstoppable e-commerce surge is accelerating robotic takeover of the warehouse space, as brands seize on flexible automated solutions to address a variety of marketplace challenges.

“You can’t meet the demands of modern commerce with systems that were built for a previous era,” said Terrie O’Hanlon, chief marketing officer for  GreyOrange, a software and mobile robotics company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to make warehouse operations more efficient.

Adaptability in particular has become an essential tool as operators must respond quickly to customer demand that is at once surging and fluctuating wildly, O’Hanlon said.

GreyOrange provides fleets of autonomous modular sorting robots (available in six “form factors”) that move parcels from receiving through dispatch. The company’s key differentiator, according to O’Hanlon, is an AI-driven fulfillment operating system that allows the devices to communicate with one another and adapt to changes in real time, as order patterns and fulfillment expectations change.

“It’s pricey to be able to deliver on that desire for immediacy for the consumer,” said O’Hanlon. Compared to traditional fixed automation systems, mobile robots allow companies to have a high degree of automation that is also cost effective, she said.

The COVID-19 factor

Warehouse robotics investment surged 57% in 2020, according to a recent Pitchbook report, as brands jump on solutions designed to reduce labor costs and improve e-commerce delivery times.

The pandemic is only accelerating development of new robotics technologies, with maintenance and cleaning emerging as a prime target area for mobile automation.

Nimble operations 

From a logistics perspective, the pandemic and macroeconomic climate are accelerating interest in flexible warehouse assets, said Karl Siebrecht, CEO of aptly named Flexe, a Seattle-based on-demand warehousing company. “What we’re seeing is a two-front war that retailers are trying to keep up with,” he explained. E-commerce is surging, so retailers worry they don’t have enough warehouses. But if they have brick-and-mortar operations, total business may be down.

“In a recession, the last thing you may want to do is make capital investments,” Siebrecht said. Flexe’s business model and value proposition is about winning the two-front war: adding new warehouse locations and capacity very quickly with no fixed costs.

That framework informs the GreyOrange business model. Companies today are putting smaller amounts of inventory in smaller warehouses closer to consumers, O’Hanlon noted, while also looking to make all inventory, e-commerce and brick and mortar, visible and accessible to the system. As these micro-fulfillment and omni-channel practices reshape e-commerce, expensive, fixed automation investments become less attractive.

Instead, scalable mobile robots can help companies adapt to changing fulfillment dynamics without breaking the bank.

“With COVID, everything changed overnight,” O’Hanlon said. “The ability to flex up and flex down depending on what is really happening in the real world is going to be the wave of the future.”

Mobile robotic solutions come with other advantages —  namely, they help smaller e-commerce operators compete with the Amazon juggernaut, O’Hanlon observed. “People want to do business with local providers if they can get the same level of convenience and service,” she said.

Read the full article at FreightWaves.

Ready for flexible fulfillment that adapts in real-time? Let’s chat.