- Sports nutrition retailer The Feed is installing 48 Brightpick Autopickers in its warehouse, near Boulder, Colorado, to complete order fulfillment, according to a Jan. 30 press release.
- The retailer plans to use the autonomous mobile robots from robotics company Brightpick for picking, creating ready-to-ship orders, storing finished orders and replenishing inventory. The first Brightpick Autopickers have been installed and are set to go live at the end of March.
- The Feed expects the robots will allow it to fulfill 5,000 orders per day, while eliminating its reliance on manual labor. There will be no layoffs but warehouse employees will be relocated to other job functions in the company, Andrey Bakholdin, VP of growth and marketing at Brightpick told sister publication Supply Chain Dive in an email Tuesday.
The Feed intends to cuts operational and fulfillment expenses through the use of warehouse automation.
The company is saving on costs beginning with the installation of the robots, which can integrate into The Feed’s existing software systems without the need for additional power modifications, according to the press release.
The autopickers can pick and consolidate orders directly in the warehouse aisles. “The robot’s patented two-tote design enables it to retrieve storage totes (bins) from shelving and robotically pick individual items from those storage totes into an adjacent order tote. It does this repeatedly as it moves through the warehouse aisles until the order or batch has been fully picked,” the press release stated.
The robots are also expected to enable the company’s warehouse to operate 24/7.
The Feed’s warehouse is composed of sports nutrition products, supplements and sports gear. Yet Brightpick’s Autopickers can also pick ambient and chilled groceries, packaged goods, cosmetics, electronics, medical devices and more. It can reduce companies’ picking labor by 98% and cut picking costs by half, according to Brightpick.
During the pandemic, warehouse robotics gained popularity as a solution to not only increase fulfillment speeds but also social distancing.
DHL used Locus Robotics to increase its average pick units per hour from 78 to 150 and Nike deployed Geek+ to roll-out same-day delivery in Japan, increasing about 100 picks per hour to well over 300.
Clarification: This story was updated to clarify “Brightpick Autopicker” is the robotic solution’s name.