Cube storage pioneer AutoStore is to launch its own micro-fulfilment system, which it says will transform the retail industry.
“Consumers are demanding more choices and are more willing to change brand allegiance to get better value and service,” says the company. “To remain competitive, retailers, whether big box or independent, require a presence across multiple channels – stores, online, social networking and mobile. Same-day delivery and immediate local-store pick-up are no longer perks for online shoppers, they are expectations.”
Micro-fulfilment presents one of the largest challenges for business owners and retailers to not only store ever-changing inventory within a warehouse, but to ensure the warehouses are close enough to consumers. Managing fulfilment of consumer goods and groceries from regional distribution centres does not accommodate today’s customised needs of consumers, nor can it sustain cost efficiency, says AutoStore.
“AutoStore delivers the flexibility and scalability needed for streamlining automated fulfilment of online orders, which is absolutely critical to accommodate increasingly higher numbers of SKUs, and seasonal spikes in ordering,” said Karl Johan Lier, CEO and President.
Lier adds, “It gives retailers the flexibility to make more targeted decisions about where they believe automated micro-fulfilment will be most beneficial.”
AutoStore provides a solution for the future of logistics and warehousing with micro-fulfilment at the retail store level. The pioneering Cube Storage Automation system offers the densest product/inventory storage solution in existence, where up to 15,000 SKUs can be stored within 604 sq metres. Modular in design, the system can easily be configured to fit different store ceiling heights and obstacles and suits a range of environments – from back-of-house of a grocery retailer to retail spaces for consumer products.
The AutoStore system contains a three-dimensional aluminum grid structure with self-supporting crates that are moved to pick stations by independently operating robots, providing swift and accurate movement of orders. Each robot has two sets of wheels that enable it to move along perpendicular axes, and this makes it possible for all robots to reach any position, and any crate on the grid independently – providing near 100 percent system availability.
For customers who would prefer to collect their items, AutoStore’s pick-up points play a critical role in maintaining high-volume throughout for output workstations. Online orders can be consolidated in less than 10 minutes and confirmed in the system for customers to collect at any time. Orders can be retrieved from the system in just a few minutes, and customers can choose their preferred option to collect pre-picked orders, whether in-store or for home delivery.