GEODIS have teamed up with a major online women’s apparel client to pilot a new scheme for warehouse picking using 30 autonomous mobile robots. This new scheme looks to address the record-low unemployment rate and its effect on labor during peak seasons. These new robot pickers have been supplied by Locus Robotics and will set to work in a 13,000 m2 Indianapolis warehouse.
The warehouse currently handles more than 30,000 SKUs and uses a complex manual picking process. As of today 80% of all units picked are by robots and productivity throughout the shop floor has more than doubled, training time for new employees has also been slashed by a staggering 50%.
Due to the success of this pilot scheme GEODIS plan to expand their partnership agreement with Locus Robotics and offer this service in more warehouses for their clients.
GEODIS Chief Executive Officer, Marie-Christine Lombard said, “Our mission is to help our clients succeed by overcoming their logistical constraints and we are committed to innovative solutions for our customers to address industry-wide challenges. The labor market is tight, especially during peak seasons, and we want to enable our team to better execute for our customers. And in this case, the technological support of robots effectively solved the challenge.”
Locus Robotics CEO, Rick Faulk said, “We are very proud to welcome GEODIS as a customer, our robots enhance more than worker productivity; they improve worker job satisfaction by removing some of the more physically demanding aspects of the picking process. We look forward to continuing to help the GEODIS team drive operating efficiencies.”
The key to the success of the new scheme was down to the revamp of the training of new employees by GEODIS. Instead of trainee spending hours in a classroom, they instead were taught how to pick to one of the robots on the warehouse floor meaning hours of training was reduced to just a few minutes.
The new robots come in a variety of languages again decreasing training time by allowing faster absorption of the instructions and helping reduce the number of picking errors.