“With the impact of COVID-19, automation for grocery and other long-tail e-commerce businesses looks like it has become a must-have instead of a nice-to-have.”
- Tom Galluzzo, Founder and CEO of IAM Robotics
Well before “social distancing” became part of the business vernacular during the COVID-19 crisis, savvy supply chain managers were already seeking to mitigate risk by putting some distance between workers in the warehouse.
“Greater reliance on automated solutions will be a given from here on out. The pandemic made it clear that humans in this environment make supply chains vulnerable to failure.”
- Greg Cronin
Moreover, the long-tail business strategy appears to be here to stay in warehouse management, as consumers want to be able to place orders for what it wants with as little friction as possible, in terms of minimum order quantities and shipping charges.
Until recently, however, businesses have been challenged to find and keep an adequate workforce that’s qualified to maintain the necessary distribution velocity of long-tail inventory. But a robotic labor system, comprised of robotic picking technology where the robots can function independently or alongside human workers may just be the solution.