Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented the Union Budget 2021-22. FM Nirmala Sitharaman has made a number of announcements pertaining to textiles, manufacturing, railways, startups, health, infrastructure, income tax and other domains. Welcoming the announcements made by FM Sitharaman, PM Narendra Modi said that Union Budget 2021-22 contains the vision of self-reliance as well as inclusiveness. Modi added that this was one of the rare Budget speeches that elicited so many positive reactions from experts.
Due to Covid-19 scenario, as people are shifting towards more online shopping and home deliveries, global robotics and automation company, Addverb has come up with its new automated Micro-Fulfillment Centres specifically dedicated for the e-grocery segment. The company through its innovative in-house solutions and robots is working towards making e-grocery segment future ready. Micro Fulfillment Centres are the small-scale warehouse facilities, located inside the cities at strategic locations enabling a less than 2-hour delivery from the time; an order is placed till it gets delivered. Being on time every time, MFCs eliminates the complex web of last-mile delivery for the e-grocery retailer through its more efficiency in picking, packing and shipment services.
Addverb has presented its Micro-Fulfillment Centers specifically dedicated for the e-grocery segment. The company through its innovative in-house solutions and robots is working towards making e-Grocery segment future ready.
Micro Fulfillment Centers are the small-scale warehouse facilities, located inside the cities at strategic locations enabling a less than 2-hour delivery from the time; an order is placed till it gets delivered. Being on time every time, MFCs eliminates the complex web of last-mile delivery for the e-grocery retailer through its more efficiency in picking, packing and shipment services.
Mr. Sangeet Kumar, CEO & Co- Founder, Addverb said, “Addverb started its automation journey in June 2016 with a vision to transform supply chain of Indian companies by making them more flexible and efficient through leveraging industry 4.0 technologies. Four years down the road we have not only revolutionized how the warehousing industry operates but also changed the very perspective of adopting automation. Today, we are serving more than 75 customers including the likes of Reliance, HUL, Marico, Flipkart, Pepsi, CEAT, Dabur, Asian Paints etc and have also expanded our footprint to Dubai, Singapore, and European Markets.
The year 2020 was full of unexpected challenges. Having said that, it also served as a unique opportunity to leverage technology on multiple fronts. From adopting it in various industries such as retail, eCommerce and others, to adopting it to ensure the safety of employees in work from home scenarios, and improving consumer experiences, the industry went through various digital touchpoints. Adoption of data, analytics, AI, cybersecurity and other new technologies saw an exponential growth to bring about changes to fit into the changing business scenario.
Looking at the previous year, 2021 looks like an opportunity for tech trends to grow to newer arenas. Intelligent machines, hybrid cloud, increased adoption of NLP, and overall an increased focus on data science and AI is going to be the highlights in the coming year. Some of the other trends that may see a rise in the coming year are pragmatic AI, containerisation of analytics and AI, algorithmic differentiation, augmented data management, differential privacy, quantum analytics, among others. Considering these trends, it can be said that data is increasingly becoming a critical part of organisations after the pandemic.
How do you think the consumers will shop in 2035? Currently, there is a greater demand for lucidity and escalated personalisation from grocery shopping. This helps consumers to make illuminated decisions to support their dietary needs, values, occasional requirements and health goals. This rapid switch in consumer demand, combined with emerging technologies and trends, will lead to a ‘supermarket of the future’ (micro fulfillment) with an advanced omni-channel experience and efficient operating model.
Automation is one of the key elements of the Future Supermarkets. It reduces costs and manual work and helps in keeping a focused approach towards enhancing the overall shopping experience for the customers. Currently, the brick and mortar business delights customers experience through high-quality fresh produce, delicious food with an attractive gastro ambience and unforgettable, satiating social interaction. Smart merchandising solutions will make the retail shopping space more appealing to the customers, exponentially eliminating wastage simultaneously.
Much like the advent of the web revolution in the 1990s, in the twenty-first century E-Commerce has fundamentally altered the way goods are sold and delivered to customers across the globe. This change in paradigm from offline to online has forced supply chains to become more flexible and agile and has created highly complex problems being faced in warehouses and distributions centers. Eventually, all e-commerce companies have realised the final frontier will be conquered in the warehouses. E-commerce Inventory Management Automation strategy will prove to be a major game-changer in the way warehouses operate, as it helps in smooth operations, provides future scalability and accommodates flexibility. Companies that understand automation, shift early and navigate it with aplomb, will be the ones left standing when the dust settles. Advances in automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning will transform the way fulfilment is carried on. Ecommerce is a goliath industry and hence its automation strategy is not only knowing when to automate but also where to automate and how much to automate. While answering these questions, it is important to look at the workflow to identify processes that are labour intensive and pick the sweet spots that will deliver the best value for investment. Automation – for automation’s sake is not the right approach. Let us look at some functions within an e-commerce business that can leapfrog efficiency with automation.
1. Inventory Management
Inventory management is closely tied to a company’s financials. In any e-commerce warehouse, correct control over inventory is crucial because of the large number of SKUs being handled. Accurate inventory will give you a birds-eye view of the amount of revenue potential from every single storage location. Also, with effective automated inventory tracking, you can ensure that at no point in time you are understocked or overstocked, thus reducing operational costs and ensuring higher efficiency.
2. Seasonal Demand & Sortation
E-commerce companies are prone to demand fluctuations based on seasonality as they cater to a wide range of products. E-commerce Automation solutions help them predict the demand patterns and also allows the warehousing operations to scale up and scale down almost immediately which is not possible in a manual system. Also, with mobile robots and sorting robots, the process of sorting the deliveries becomes much easier and cost-efficient.
3. Returns Handling
An important element that is a given in any ecommerce business is handling the returns. This calls for highly automated tracking, restocking, storing and retrieval activities all rolled into one. Efficient software solutions must be deployed for data integration across all sub-tasks that should ultimately result in enhanced customer experience and satisfaction.
One of the biggest benefits while using an e-commerce platform is that you can order 1 item or 100 items from a wide range of available products. This flexibility increases customer retention on one hand but makes the process of collecting these items in a warehouse, which is called Order Picking, highly complex. Automation offers tremendous productivity gains in order picking operations by eliminating the non-value added activities like walking and searching for items and increases the accuracy of picking operations through advanced software. Goods-To-Person Automated systems can provide a throughput of 1200 picks per hour, which is a 1000% increase over manual systems.
One of the problems that ecommerce players often face is that the warehouse capacity becomes full by the time it becomes operational, such is the increase in demand that we are witnessing. Automation allows you to use the height of the warehouse with solutions like Pallet ASRS, Mini-Load systems and carton shuttle systems. This changes the paradigm by giving more space to expand in the same warehouse and any player can easily scale up in an existing warehouse by utilising the height rather than looking for new warehouses for different scale of operations.
Customers’ behaviour in response to technologies and faster embrace of new ways of engaging with ecommerce companies will profoundly influence companies to not just be price centric but also be velocity centric (How fast can you deliver). A winning strategy with the right mix of automation, which helps in reducing the operational cost and increasing product velocity should be able to firmly help e-commerce companies to deliver immense customer satisfaction and business value.
Automation is the need of the hour, more than ever before. And innovation and disruption even more paramount in the health care sector. Realising this, Addverb Technologies—an end-to-end customised automation solution provider that has been working in this space for four years—has pivoted into the health care segment to assist frontline workers.
“We launched Decimator, a UV disinfectant robot that disinfects any area with the help of UV rays. They have been deployed in hospitals and quarantine centres,” says Sangeet Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Addverb Technologies. “With natural navigation capability and computer vision, Decimator moves from place to place and sprays UV rays across 360 degrees and automatically sprays disinfectant in indoor spaces too.” Apart from seeing encouraging demand in India, it has seen a few takers in the US and Southeast Asia as well.
Addverb Technologies has come up with UV disinfectant mobile robot-Decimator, which is designed for indoors disinfection. Decimator emits rays in all 360 degrees ensuring a kill rate of 99.99 %. It is installed on the top of Dynamo, our mobile robot which operates via Natural Navigation enabling free roaming and real time scheduling, finds shortest path, tunes routes and allows change of destination on the go. With anti-collision feature, it can also distinguish between dynamic and static obstruction.
- What led you to the setting up Addverb Technologies and how do you rate the journey so far? Also tell us the factors contributed your success.
While working at Asian Paints, we got an excellent exposure towards industrial robotics and automation. We had the opportunity to set up some of the most advanced and highly automated factories and warehouses for Asian Paints. Between 2013 to 2016, multiple triggers such as the launch of Make In India, implementation of GST, Rise of E-Commerce and penetration of organised retail into small towns and cities made us believe that the time was right for Indian Supply Chain to use technology to make the most of these changes. I along with my colleagues Mr. Sangeet Kumar (alumnus of IIT Kharagpur), Mr. Prateek Jain (alumnus of IIT Mumbai), Mr. Bir Singh (alumnus of MNIT Jaipur), Mr. Satish Kumar Shukla (alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mr. Amit Kumar (alumnus of NITIE & PEC), started this venture in June 2016. Our journey till now has been very exciting and fulfilling, our initial few days were filled with a lot of sessions with a host of customers. We have been able to build a world class team of 400 engineers and have bagged more than 100 customers, including the likes of HUL, Marico, Reliance, Flipkart, Amazon etc. We always had the philosophy of creating more awareness about technology in our prospective customers, irrespective of the fact that they will choose us or not for the particular technology implementation. This helped us build very good credibility with our customers. Subsequently, we got opportunities to do some pilots & PoCs, which helped us win the confidence of the customer and helped us bag our first few orders. We were always very sure that we will manufacture our own hardware and build our own software, in a sense, we will be a startup which is into both hardware and software, and this helped us to customise our product offerings leading to their widespread adoption. Our extensive experience of implementing several large scale automation projects also helped us in designing very innovative solutions for our customers.
- How do you assess the scope and potential for robotics and automation technologies across the manufacturing and supply chain companies / segments – the size of the market and expected CAGR? Could you also throw some light on the demand drivers?
As discussed above, there have been some key triggers in last five years which have changed India’s supply chain and manufacturing sector, such as the rise of E-Commerce and it’s spread into every nuke and corner of the country after internet data revolution, the growth of organised retail in major towns and cities, implementation of GST which led to the consolidation of small warehouses, the high real-estate prices in cities which forced the consumer warehouses to outside the city & supply and demand fluctuations.
These triggers necessitated a flexible supply chain to accommodate the demand surges & reliable warehousing operations that help in fulfilling the requirement within the stipulated time and in an accurate manner.
Read more at Page 164 from the link below.