How Automation is altering Indian Retail Landscape

Anjali Choudhary

2nd Nov, 2022

Automation helps in Retail and E-Commerce industries

With the tremendous growth of Retail and E-Commerce industries, multiple new formats like same day delivery, 30 minutes deliveries, and curbside pick-up, have led to customer retention like never before. Unorganised retail and a lot of the brick-and-mortar formats have been replaced by online stores for everyone’s day-to-day needs.

This sudden exponential growth of the Retail and E-Commerce industries is leading to a lot of supply chain challenges and forcing companies to think out of the box to meet these higher customer expectations. Some of the major challenges for the Retail and E-Commerce industries in managing their supply chain are:

1. Demand Fluctuation

The customer demand pattern has been continuously changing and the earlier approach of stocking a fixed amount of inventory does not seem to work. Automation can help retail companies to build smart and agile supply chains. For instance, Quadron can help retailers stock more inventory while also reducing the inventory turnaround time simultaneously in distribution centres.

Quadron, Addverb’s Carton Shuttle solution enables automated storage and retrieval of goods. By utilising maximum height, it maximises space utilisation by transferring crates/cartons/totes to multiple levels of the racking structure for more efficient storage of goods. To ensure a high turnaround time of critical SKUs (Stock Keeping Units), multiple Quadrons can be deployed in a facility which would ensure optimised storage as Quadrons can be leveraged on higher heights while enabling G2P (Goods to Person) picking and increasing productivity by up to 15 times.

2. Returns Handling

With online purchases being just a few clicks away, people tend to over purchase, and ultimately at least 30% of them get returned. One of the reasons for such high return rate is incorrect or delayed order fulfilment. With increase in returns, Returns Handling gains significant importance, the seamlessness of which also has an impact on customer retention. It is important for every Retail and E-Commerce company to optimise their returns handling process. Veloce – Addverb’s Multi-Carton Guided Robot, enables multi-level storage, and retrieval of cases and cartons without any additional storage infrastructure. A fleet of Veloce navigates through grid-based path to the pre-decided locations for storage and picking of carton loads and works in perfect synchronisation with each other. On receiving the instructions from Fleet Management System (FMS), it travels to the location and performs the pick and place operation.

3. Inventory Management

With fluctuating demands, returns handling, and supply chain disruptions, efficient management of inventory is an unavoidable feature for warehouses across industries. Warehouse Management System (WMS) helps in managing the entire warehouse activities from the time goods enter the warehouse till they exit. Optimus, Addverb’s WMS, provides complete visibility in real-time with advanced analytics, thereby helping in data driven decision making. It ensures that products meet quality requirements by automating the inspections and material handling processes for receiving, picking, storing, and dispatching. Optimus manages

the warehouse through a set of rules in terms of individual SKUs, productivity rates and storage capacity.

4. Order Fulfilment

For quick and efficient order fulfilment, optimised picking, packing and sorting operations keeps the warehouses running smoothly. Automating the entire order fulfilment process ensures better fulfilment rates with space and time optimisation, leaving no room for errors.

Storing and material handling can be optimised with Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, with products like Quadron being the best solution for fixed automation, and Dynamo, Addverb’s Autonomous Mobile Robot being the best flexible solution. For picking, Pick by Vision, Pick by Voice and Pick to Light solutions are the optimal choice. Additionally, sortation robots like Zippy are the most flexible and scalable for sorting solutions.

Zesty, Addverb’s Pick by Voice solution is a voice directed Person-to-Goods order picking system which enables an operator who has a handset with headset and a wearable ring scanner to hear audio commands and perform the picking operation and subsequently confirm the actions back to Zesty through voice command. Zesty’s text to speech software is available in fourteen Indian regional languages along with English and Hindi.

Rapido, Addverb’s Pick to Light solution is a light directed picking technology that provides an accurate and efficient method of paperless picking and putting. Easily visible light modules located on the storage bin indicate the destination, and an alphanumeric display signals the quantity to be picked or put. Confirmation is provided by the picker by pressing the LED light. Rapido offers the highest picking rate for warehousing operations.

QuiMo, Addverb’s Pick by Vision solution is a vision picking solution that leverages augmented reality technology to deliver best performance and highest return on investment. It guides the operator through the warehouse, gives visual information, and reduces travel time through route optimisation. QuiMo has extensive benefits compared to light or voice directed solutions.

Zippy, Addverb’s guided, high-speed intelligent sorting robot works on the concept of obstacle detection enabled by bar code reading to perform SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) wise intelligent sortation at remarkably high speeds. Our fleet management system enables coordination among a fleet of robots that can perform over 20,000 sorts per hour, and drive SKUs/parcels towards destination chutes. Robots are customisable, depending on the throughput demand.

According to a report by Grand View Research, INC, the global retail automation market size is expected to reach 19.17 billion USD by 2025. Such innovative technologies are enabling retailers to meet the customers’ expectations and remain competitive in the market with increased throughputs and efficient warehouse operations.

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