7 Reasons Grocers Should Invest in Robotics Right NowJuly 10, 2020
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The so-called “six-foot economy” — named for the practice that keeps shoppers socially distant to prevent infection — is here for the foreseeable future, and food retailers are working double-time to maintain business as usual during these highly unusual times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added a significant layer of operational complexity to already existing industry-wide challenges. Expectations of cleanliness are at an all-time high among shoppers. With significant inventory turnover, it’s a struggle to keep shelves consistently stocked. Added to retail’s long-standing labor shortage, it’s no wonder this new reality is causing a growing number of grocers and other retailers to evaluate how automation and robots can bring greater efficiency, flexibility, and sanitation to their in-store operations.
Enter the latest wave of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) — intelligent machines that can safely navigate crowded public spaces while taking care of mission-critical tasks. From robotic floor scrubbers and vacuum sweepers to self-driving shelf scanners and in-store delivery tugs, AMRs can be deployed quickly and easily, require no costly or complicated infrastructure, and show too much value for grocers to ignore. Many top U.S. retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, and Giant Eagle, have already made the leap and are seeing huge dividends.
Why is Now the Time for Grocers to Invest in Autonomous Robots?
Every food retail business today should be assessing the value of robotics as a part of its retail operations. Why? Here are seven reasons:
- Cleaning has never been more important: It’s now more vital than ever that food retailers implement heightened cleaning and sanitizing so shoppers and employees are safe. Autonomous floor scrubbers and vacuums clean hard floors and carpeted surfaces methodically and consistently. They also free up staff to focus on other important cleaning tasks that robots can’t handle, like sanitizing door knobs, credit card readers, shopping carts, and other high-contact surfaces. Cleaning robots powered by Brain Corp’s software currently deliver more than 10,000 hours of daily work at retail locations, according to network data. That time is returned to employees.
- Verifiable performance metrics: Retail staff can easily become side-tracked by last-minute restocking needs, urgent clean-ups, and customers. AMRs ensure that important tasks get done and provide operational and performance data in near real-time. The information they capture is uploaded to the cloud and compiled into graphical dashboards and email reports so that managers and operational leaders have the insights they need to drive decision-making and prove ROI.
- More timely and accurate…