STORES Magazine - June 2008 - (Page 63)

NUTS AND BOLTS / SUPPLY CHAIN Robo Crop Latest generation of robotic solutions is making DCs more efficient BY CRAIG GUILLOT W ith the cost of technology decreasing and the need for operating efficiencies increasing, robotic solutions are becoming attractive options for retailers. From warehousing to order-picking and distribution, robots can eliminate the need for some labor, maximize distribution efficiencies and even create a more enjoyable warehouse work environment. Retailers like Walgreens, Staples and Giant Eagle are experimenting with robots as a means to streamline and maximize the efficiencies and effectiveness of their distribution channels. Offering flexibility at relatively low cost, robots are expected to play a larger part in materials-handling in the coming years. Robotic solutions have long been implemented in manufacturing and warehousing operations, but new technologies have allowed robots to become smaller and more mobile and to perform more complex operations. Woburn, Mass.-based Kiva Systems has been at the forefront of modular robotic systems that can be easily installed in warehouse environments, furnishing solutions for Staples, Walgreens and Zappos.com. Mitch Rosenberg, vice president of marketing for Kiva, says that until recently, most robotic solutions have been expensive, bolted-down pieces of machinery that could only optimize one particular piece of the distribution process. Kiva’s Mobile Fulfillment System approach is to use simple, stand-alone robots that can provide a complete fulfillment system that stores, sorts and moves inventory on its own. Products are stored in inventory pods in the center of the WWW.STORES.ORG warehouse while operators stand at inventory stations around the perimeter of the warehouse. When an order is received, robots retrieve the appropriate pods and bring them to the worker, who picks the item and places it in the carton. When it comes to order-picking and distribution operations, robotic solu- “For a company that is growing year in and year out, adding hundreds of stores per year, the ability to have something that can grow as your business grows is a huge strategic part of staying on top.” – Mick Mountz, Kiva Systems tions can significantly increase efficiency, Rosenberg says. “Almost all of the work that costs money — the walking and waiting — is done by robots,” he says. “It is no longer a serial process. It makes the whole picking process much faster and creates lower costs per order.” Kiva systems were installed at a Walgreens distribution center in Mt. Vernon, Ill., in late 2007. Walgreens’ challenge was a common one for large retailers — keeping the shelves of so many stores stocked with so many SKUs. Using splitcase picking — a method whereby full cases of items are split and certain numbers distributed to individual stores — provides just-in-time inventory, but it can take time and money to sort at DCs. “What we have shown Walgreens and others is that using the Kiva approach to case-picking, you can actually do it with the same amount of workers and twice the number of lines per hour than they would do otherwise,” says Kiva founder and CEO Mick Mountz. Founded in 2003 as a spinoff of STORES / JUNE 2008 63 http://Zappos.com http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2008

STORES Magazine - June 2008
Contents
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Tesco Tests Carbon Labels
What Shoppers Think
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Boom - or Bust
Green Retailing
Concept2Watch
Online Marketing
Building Traffic
Water Management
Branding
Digital Marketing
Loyalty Programs
Special Report: Taking on Teens
Supply Chain - Robo Crop
Human Resources
Supply Chain - Directory Assistance
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - June 2008

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES2019_tuesday
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES2019_monday
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES2019_sunday
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES2019_preview
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES_bigshowdaily20180116
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES_bigshowdaily20180115
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES_bigshowdaily20180114
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrf/STORES2018_preview
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0415
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0115
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1214
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1114
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1014
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0914
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0814
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0714
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0614
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0514
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES_sourcebook2014
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0414
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0314
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1213
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1113_buyersguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1013
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES_mediakit2014
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0913
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0813
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0713
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0613
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0513
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0413
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0313
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES2013_20130115
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES2013_20130113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES2013_20130114
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES2013_preview
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES_mediakit2013
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES2012_preview
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES1011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES_mediakit2012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0311_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores_mediakit2011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/store_bigshow2010_post
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores_bigshow_20100112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores_bigshow_20100111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores_bigshow_20100110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/store_bigshowpreview2010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores-globalretail08
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores-globalretail07
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0106-globalretail
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores0106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/stores1105
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com