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Movu Robotics and EQSolutions Partner to Revolutionize U.S. Warehouses with Seamless Automation Solutions


Movu Robotics and EQSolutions Partner to Revolutionize U.S. Warehouses with Seamless Automation Solutions

Movu Robotics, a global leader in advanced storage and warehouse automation systems, has announced a strategic alliance with EQSolutions, the systems integration division of Equipment Depot, a leading provider of material handling equipment in the United States.

This partnership signifies a significant advancement in leveraging cutting-edge technology to address the evolving needs and challenges of logistics and warehousing businesses. By combining Movu’s accessible robotic solutions with EQSolutions’ integration expertise, the collaboration aims to deliver tailored, comprehensive solutions and professional services to enhance efficiency, productivity, and sustainability for clients across the U.S.

EQSolutions specializes in engineering transformative warehouse and automation solutions, offering a single-source solution for various industry challenges in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution facilities. Marc Terwilliger, VP of EQSolutions, highlights the synergy of Equipment Depot’s reputation for industry-leading equipment and Movu’s innovative automation technologies, setting new standards in warehouse efficiency.

Movu Robotics is equally enthusiastic about the partnership, emphasizing their commitment to pushing the boundaries of robotics technology to address real-world challenges. CEO Stefan Pieters underscores the goal of making warehouse automation more accessible and scalable, noting that teaming up with EQSolutions allows them to deliver plug-and-play robotics solutions with expert end-to-end integration.

By leveraging the expertise, resources, and capabilities of both organizations, this partnership aims to drive progress and unlock new opportunities in logistics and warehousing through the power of seamless automation.

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Movu Robotics Unveils Cutting-Edge Warehouse Solutions at Modex 2024

Stow Group’s innovative subsidiary, Movu Robotics, is set to take center stage at Modex 2024 with a dynamic showcase of its advanced warehouse robotics systems. Positioned at booth B6008 in hall B, Movu Robotics will demonstrate a comprehensive portfolio of solutions designed to revolutionize warehouse automation and ensure no warehouse is left behind in embracing cutting-edge technology.

For the first time ever, Modex attendees will have the opportunity to witness Movu’s full range of automated subsystems in action, highlighting the seamless integration and efficiency of these innovative solutions.

The showcase kicks off with Movu escala, an innovative Shuttle solution offering dense automated storage and retrieval for bins. Using sophisticated rail tracks, robot carriers navigate in all three dimensions within escala, eliminating the need for maintenance-intensive conveyors and lifts. The bins are seamlessly delivered to a goods-to-person workstation, where Movu eligo picking arm robot utilizes advanced software and intelligent grippers to achieve reliable and high-performing throughput.

Movu ifollow AMR, another highlight of the showcase, transports pallets autonomously to the Movu atlas pallet shuttle sub-system. Featuring a slimline design and the ability to operate in cold stores, ifollow AMR ensures seamless pallet transportation with real-time visibility of the system.

The Movu atlas pallet shuttle sub-system, based on stow racking, maximizes storage capacity and minimizes manual handling by utilizing self-powered pallet carriers for storage and retrieval.

Visitors to the Movu Robotics booth will witness firsthand how Movu software coordinates and monitors the entire system, ensuring a smooth flow of materials and enhancing operational efficiency.

Stefan Pieters, CEO of Movu Robotics, expressed excitement about showcasing all Movu solutions in one place for the first time in the USA. He emphasized the practical accessibility of these solutions, aimed at increasing efficiency and profitability for warehouses of all sizes and shapes.

With its commitment to “Easier Automation,” Movu Robotics aims to democratize automation and upgrade warehouses worldwide through innovative and accessible robotics solutions. Visitors to Modex 2024 can expect to experience the future of warehouse automation firsthand and engage with industry experts to explore how Movu Robotics solutions can meet their specific requirements.

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Reimagining Warehouse Robotics: From Silicon Valley to Assembly Lines

Advancing technologies have increased efficiency in numerous industries. Companies are thankful for robotics and how they’ve changed best practices for running a warehouse. What once was a limited technology has become a staple for warehouses worldwide. 

Warehouse robots can make life easier for human workers and help them be as efficient as possible. Here’s how warehouse robotics has evolved and what the future holds.

How Has Warehouse Robotics Changed Over Time?

Warehouse robotics has dramatically evolved since its mid-20th-century beginnings. The changing technology has made warehouses safer and more efficient. Here are three ways warehouse robotics has changed to benefit companies worldwide.

Starting the Evolution

Understanding modern warehouse robotics starts with the first innovations. Using robotics in manufacturing and logistics on a wide scale began in 1961 in Ewing Township, New Jersey. General Motors (GM) began using a robotic arm from George Devol, the man who built the first programmable industrial robot. GM paid about $18,000 for the robot and changed the automotive industry. 

Devol’s industrial robot may seem primitive in the 21st century, but the machine was crucial in the history of warehouse robotics. The robot, Unimate, transferred die castings onto the car’s body. Unimate improved the safety of GM plants because assembly line workers could harm themselves with toxic fumes from the die-casting transferral. Devol’s Unimate sparked a robotic evolution across auto manufacturing and other industries.

Adding Sensor Technology

Sensors play a significant role in warehouse robotics, letting machines understand their surroundings and act accordingly. Employing sensors gives robots human-like abilities while still keeping their machine identity. Sensor technology is still evolving, as seen in the automotive industry. Sensors help fleet managers make their company safer, considering humans cause most car accidents in the United States. With sensors, autonomous vehicles are a closer reality.

In warehouse robotics, sensor technology has become crucial for similar reasons. Robotics use sensors to navigate the warehouse floor autonomously and perform tasks. Among the most critical advances in this sector has been light detection and ranging (LiDAR). LiDAR technology is essential for robots to create a 3D map and avoid bumping into obstacles. Additionally, they can optimize their routes within the warehouse to remain efficient.

Improved Durability

Increased reliance on robots means these systems must have maximum reliability and durability. Downtime significantly impacts efficiency despite implementing robots to improve it. Research shows downtime costs manufacturers about $260,000 per hour and the auto industry about $50,000 per minute. Fortifying warehouse robots to strengthen them has been crucial for their staying power in the 21st century. 

Developers have strengthened warehouse robotics by improving their bodies and frames. Metal has proved effective due to its safety, durability and efficiency. Manufacturers have found metal castings to be formidable solutions, with about 90% of all manufactured goods containing them. 

How Will Warehouse Robotics Grow in the Future?

The future of warehouse robotics is bright, with a growing market this decade. Facts and Factors research shows the robot as a service (RaaS) global market will grow by 16.5% annually, leading to a $44 billion market by 2028. These four innovations will drive the industry’s growth in the coming years. 

Interconnecting the Warehouse

In its infancy, warehouse robotics may work with small sections of the facility. While effective, this limitation can inhibit warehouse employees and their ability to connect with other departments in the building. However, the future of warehouse robotics is bright with evolving technology in connecting machines across large spaces. 

Evolving guidance systems will let robots work in every section of the warehouse and increase efficiency. While a fully robot-operated warehouse may be unlikely, robot adoption will increase with e-commerce demand. The European Business Review says the world should see about 50,000 robotic warehouses by 2025, emphasizing how widespread this advanced technology has become. 

Expanding Autonomous Mobile Robots

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are growing a stronger foothold in warehouses because they build upon automated guided vehicles (AGV). The key difference is that AMRs are even more intelligent with their programming. Warehouses can employ AMRs and let them navigate the floor by themselves. Employees don’t have to train them in navigation, saving time and improving efficiency in the warehouse. 

AMR’s evolution has let their responsibility grow in the warehouse. Modern AMRs excel in picking and packing, reducing the burden on human laborers and heightening accuracy in order fulfillment. Even careful human workers might not match the accuracy of AMRs in this task. Many warehouses also employ AMRs in receiving and storage optimization, assisting the company in making the most of its current space. 

More warehouses will adopt AMRs this decade to work alongside their human workers. Evolving technology and increased competition will make it more affordable for smaller businesses and startups. The advantages of AMRs are hard to pass up, considering how they boost safety and productivity.

Wielding Robots for Last-Mile Delivery

Last-mile delivery is the last step, albeit a crucial one, to ensure client satisfaction with their purchase. Humans have executed last-mile deliveries since the beginning of package deliveries, but robotics will soon play a more significant role in this step. Some companies have already tested last-mile delivery robots for bringing food and small items to the end user’s doorstep. 

For example, Kiwibot has machines delivering food on the University of California, Berkeley campus. 

While last-mile delivery robots have existed for a few years, logistics professionals should expect this service to expand worldwide in large cities. The next step for last-mile technology is to make these robots more efficient. TeleRetail, a Swiss company, has developed the Pulse 1 robot to reduce emissions and energy consumption. The Range+, a newer, solar-powered robot, embodies the shift to renewable energy in robotics. 

Cutting emissions is a focal point for warehouses and e-commerce as a whole. Packaging, transportation and building energy consumption combine for a detrimental environmental impact, so increasing robotic efficiency is necessary.

Employing More Drones

Expanding robotics in and out of the warehouse will rely on drones. Crewless aircraft has evolved sharply in the last few decades and will only improve with its technology. Warehouses can employ drones for multiple purposes, such as inventory management, inspection and monitoring. Modern drones have cameras and sensors powerful enough to give warehouse managers a real-time look at their stock. 

Drones will open the door to expanding warehousing and shipping this decade. With drone technology, shipping companies can easily reach rural areas without using boats or crewed aircraft. Additionally, drones will reduce shipping times and increase customer satisfaction when they can receive their orders in a few hours rather than a few days. Companies like Amazon are heavily investing in this technology.

Taking Modern Warehousing to a New Level

Efficient warehouses are a must, considering today’s e-commerce demand. Shareholders demand well-oiled machines no matter what the company ships worldwide. 

With robots, warehouses have increased productivity and reduced downtime thanks to speedier processes. The future of warehouse robotics is bright, with evolving technology pushing warehouses forward. 



Efficient Warehouses Fit Sustainable Operations

Sustainability has become an important issue for warehouse management in the US. Reducing the environmental impact of operations is a big challenge that can be overcome by improving process efficiency. In many cases, this is achieved by implementing warehouse automation. Efficient, automated processes need less energy, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and can do more within compact facilities. However, by choosing an automation partner that also champions sustainability, warehouse operators can truly maximize these benefits.

Hans Jongebloed, Senior Postal and Parcel Expert at Prime Vision, a global leader in computer vision integration and robotics for logistics and e-commerce, looks at sustainability challenges facing US warehouses and how the company reduces environmental impact.

Sustainability considerations for warehouses

A good place to start the journey to a sustainable warehouse is the facility itself. Solar panels, modern insulation, and a renewable energy supplier can greatly reduce the carbon footprint of operations. Placement is another factor to consider. A giant warehouse in an area of great natural value is undesirable aesthetically and ecologically, but logistics also play a part. Locating a compact warehouse in an optimal area for local deliveries, with good road connections, away from nature hotspots, minimizes environmental damage and traffic pollution.

Sustainability also applies to people. Thankfully, the days of warehouse workers walking miles carrying heavy loads week after week are almost behind us. With robots and other material handling solutions, personnel are no longer subjected to this level of manual labor, ensuring a happier, healthier workforce that is more willing to stay on.

While these sustainability goals can be reached, a particular industry challenge illustrates how warehouses can further improve the efficiency of operational processes and reduce environmental impact.

The point of no return

We’ve all indulged in clothes shopping at some point, and many of us choose to do it online. However, while an outfit can be easily tried on at the store, e-commerce customers do that at home, presenting warehouses with a big sustainability problem: returns. Millions of them.

One US logistics company stated that the CO2 cost of returning e-commerce purchases was similar to the output of 3 million cars.[1] While e-commerce returns have dropped slightly compared to 2020 and 2021, they still amounted to $ 203.22 billion in 2022 (18% of total online purchases). The decline is expected to continue, hitting 14.7% in 2026.[2] Despite this trend, returns will continue to be a challenge for e-commerce businesses in the US.

Returns are a big sustainability issue for e-commerce, as they constitute a high volume of products swimming against the stream of the normal shipping process. First, the item needs to travel back to a distribution center (often different from where it came from), generating transport emissions. Then, it is a long, cumbersome manual procedure to identify the product, check its condition, and sort it properly. This often requires large numbers of personnel, generating extra CO2 from commuting. If an item can’t be recycled or resold, it ends up as landfill, producing unnecessary waste. Needless to say that in the era of unlimited free returns, all these processes can also create extra costs for sellers.

This is clearly an area for improvement. However, enhancing the efficiency of the process flow offers a solution not just for returns, but any warehouse operation.

Automation equals efficiency

Naturally, automation is one of the main answers to this efficiency challenge, and thankfully, increasing efficiency always has a positive impact on sustainability.

Using the returns example, being able to quickly check products with computer vision systems, transport goods to appropriate areas for resale or recycling with robots, plus spot trends and areas where processes can be improved with analytics software can greatly expedite operations. Furthermore, it requires fewer personnel to function. By harnessing renewable energy to power automated equipment, warehouse operators can also mitigate the impact of the electricity demand, delivering these efficiency benefits sustainably.

Automating warehouse processes in this manner allows fulfillment and returns to be conducted on a reduced timeframe, within a more compact site, all while minimizing emissions, energy consumption and, effectively, lowering the operating costs. This means that sustainability goals can be met at every level of operations. However, choosing the right solutions can also bring additional benefits.

Sustainable approach to automation

At its facility in Richmond, Virginia, Prime Vision is working not just to provide products that enable the efficient, sustainable running of warehouse operations but is also reducing the carbon cost of the solutions themselves.

Robots are a critical component of a modern automated warehouse but are complex pieces of equipment that are intensive to produce. Consequently, Prime Vision focuses on reducing the impact of maintaining robots. A repair-rather-than-replace approach helps improve sustainability, but when a robot is beyond repair, Prime Vision rescues as many parts as possible to be used as spare components. Good-quality parts are fitted to other robots or used for in-house research – effectively recycling the components. Inspections identify and separate sub-par components, so there is no risk of fitting the robots with inferior parts. Localized repair facilities further ensure that spares and maintenance personnel can reach customers without generating the excessive carbon emissions associated with long-distance travel.

Software is another area of focus. Maintenance can be carried out remotely, so nobody needs to drive to site to carry out updates. Prime Vision also continually optimizes its software to run more efficiently, which reduces the number of servers required. Expanding on hardware and helping customers to collate facility computing power in an optimal, well-monitored space can save additional energy during installation and operation. Prime Vision applies new IT developments too, like hyper-converged infrastructure. Such cloud-style solutions with high scalability

and efficiency can eliminate the need for large quantities of servers on-site, allowing customers to downsize infrastructure while adding the required flexibility.

Choosing the right partner

Ultimately, to save the planet, the whole supply chain must work together to achieve the most sustainable logistics operations. This includes cooperation between warehouses and the companies that supply automation solutions to them. While the increased process efficiency enabled by robots, computer vision, and analytics software can greatly reduce the carbon footprint of warehouse operations – there is the provider to consider too.

Prime Vision is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of its products and operations. A dedicated sustainability team continually assesses carbon footprint, identifying focus areas and actively lowering the company’s emissions. Along with its solutions and local presence, this ensures that while Prime Vision contributes to improving the sustainability of US warehouse operations, like its customers, it is also working on reducing the impact of the overall supply chain.

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Research from Gartner® Predicts the Rise of Multiagent Orchestration Platforms to Direct Warehouse Robot Fleets

Companies will need an orchestration capability that can assign work to the right robots based on near-real-time information and characteristics of the activity

A recent Gartner® report predicts that “by 2026, over 50% of companies deploying intralogistics robots in the warehouse will have a multiagent orchestration platform.” Multiagent orchestration platforms act like intelligent middleware that integrate and orchestrate work between various business applications, heterogenous fleets of operational robots, and other automated agents like doors or elevators within the four walls of a warehouse or distribution center operation.

GreyMatter™, from automated robotic fulfillment leader GreyOrange, coordinates and assigns the work activities of warehouse robots to maximize productivity, speed, accuracy and safety in end-to-end inventory fulfillment operations. GreyMatter matches robot agents according to work needs, including capacity and demand peaks, for seamless inventory orchestration.

GreyOrange recently announced an open API (application programming interface) to GreyMatter that enables any certified vendor’s robotic solution to seamlessly connect to the fulfillment orchestration platform, giving customers the freedom to choose the technology that best fits their warehouse environment.

The open API integration to GreyMatter echoes research from the Gartner report, “Predicts 2023: Supply Chain Technology,” published by Dwight KlappichChristian TitzeTim PayneAmber Salley and Simon Tunstall:

Read the full report, compliments of GreyOrangehere.

Under the API, hardware manufacturers can easily incorporate GreyMatter to orchestrate their autonomous mobile robots (AMR) fleets and other execution agents at the customer’s site by joining leading hardware vendors such as HAI Robotics, Fetch Robotics (now Zebra), Mushiny Intelligence, Technica International, Vicarious and Youi Robotics, and others who are already part of GreyOrange’s Certified RangerTM Network (CRN) ecosystem.

In the report, Dwight Klappich details that:

  • In a survey done with Peerless Research Group, when current users of robots were asked if they intended to expand their robot fleets, 86% of respondents said they will.
  • Also, 96% of current robot users said that they planned to expand their use of robotics to new use cases.
  • For companies that have already invested in robotics, the vast majority said they will expand their robotics fleets and look for new use cases.
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Seegrid Unveils AMR Interoperability

Leading Autonomous Mobile Robot Provider Debuts AMR Interoperability at the World’s Largest Manufacturing and Supply Chain Trade Event

Seegrid Corporation, the leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling, today announced expanded capabilities of their Palion AMRs. To fulfill more applications for more customers and foster AMR interoperability, Seegrid Palion Lift and Palion Tow Tractor now work in combination to load and unload carts with no human intervention.

Seegrid’s newest AMR, Palion Lift, brings together Seegrid’s breakthrough 3D vision-based navigation technology with best-in-class situational awareness capabilities to automate pallet movement. Palion Lift autonomously transports material up to 3,500 pounds throughout customer operations, precisely and securely retrieving and placing palletized goods at heights of up to six feet for a complete, end-to-end solution for pallet movement.

The Palion Tow Tractor autonomously transforms horizontal material movement by tugging cart trains and other payloads up to 10,000 pounds, using proprietary autonomous navigation technology for safe, flawless delivery.

With new advancements in perception technology, Palion Lift is able to work directly with Palion Tow Tractor to load and unload carts, which has previously been a time-consuming and labor-intensive workflow. The interoperability of Seegrid AMRs enables customers to optimize their existing workforce and improve operational efficiency with this expanded automation application.

The company’s Palion AMR fleet has driven nearly 10 million autonomous miles in customer production environments. This week at ProMat, Palion Lift and Palion Tow Tractor will demonstrate end-to-end automation, showcasing cart-loading and unloading, lane staging, table and conveyor picking and placing. Booth visitors will also have the opportunity to see how Seegrid’s Fleet Central enterprise software solutions orchestrate material flow. For more information about Seegrid’s automation solutions at ProMat,


About Seegrid

Seegrid combines autonomous mobile robots, enterprise software, and best-in-class services for a complete, connected material handling automation solution. With millions of autonomous production miles driven, Seegrid PalionTM AMRs are reliable, flexible, and proven. The world’s largest manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics companies rely on Seegrid to automate material flow in highly complex environments. From project design through deployment, change management, user training, and data-driven consultation, material flow is both safe and optimized, accelerating automation initiatives today and into the future.



When it comes to warehousing and the use of robotics to manage and maintain a competitive supply chain, the conversations usually begin with the potential for these powerhouse machines to replace workers and eliminate the need for humans in the facility. As this might be the case in some situations, the bigger concern surrounds how to successfully create an environment where both humans and robots are able to safely collaborate, creating more efficiencies within the warehouse sector while at the same time optimizing the processes many still operate manually.

This is the concept of interconnecting the mind and abilities of these machines to support human workers, not replace them. The truth of the matter is, there are some things humans can do that robots simply cannot do, and the fear of robots replacing humans is backwards compared to what is really going on in meetings between warehouse managers and creators of autonomous solutions.

Dan Khasis, founder of Route4Me, a unique route optimization software platform, takes a deeper look at the emerging relationship between robotics and warehouses and dissects the reality of what is really going on when managing the supply chain inside the modern warehouse. “There’s this perception and risk associated with the subjects of robotics and job security,” he concedes. “It is very common to see a lot of warehouses that are based on the location, the retailer, the company, where their worker population is unionized. Many times, the situation starts with C-level executives who discover the technology that can drive efficiencies in the warehouse, save money and that work very well.”

“However, word gets back to the union workers that the expectation is for them to work twice as much in the same amount of time and they quickly realize it isn’t realistic or possible,” Khasis continues. “At that point, technology adoption is eliminated because people cannot be replaced. At that point, they accept the inefficiencies and turn to loopholes to deal with the issues that are clearly present. It is not the worker’s fault, but there is a struggle with getting warehouse workers onboard with these new technologies in addition to the long hours that are required to keep up.”

Khasis goes on to explain that the ability to do the picking and packing in the warehouse is still one of the biggest pain points in the warehousing sector. An example he cites is weight restrictions and what makes sense in terms of safety and simplicity. Can one send a robot to pick up a fridge that weighs 800 pounds versus utilizing someone in a forklift to lift the fridge? Sure, but some would question how a robot could prove to be more beneficial than a forklift in situations like these.

“There are basic and common risks associated with robotics, such as employees getting injured, and the technology exists to avoid such accidents,” Khasis says. “In terms of a hybrid model, you’re able to have things such as augmented reality where if one is driving through the warehouse, there’s clearly the safety component in question. There are heavy items throughout the warehouse that are elevated and there needs to be a population of properly trained employees to minimize these risks along with the technology to support it.”

Heavy lifting comes into play with this pain point and Khasis emphasizes that well-trained individuals are more favorable over advanced technology in these cases. With every advancement comes risk and it’s about measuring the risk against current and potential resources that determines the best way to optimize operations while mitigating these risks. The warehouse sector is aiming to operate optimally and safely as that is where competitive advantage is ultimately found.

“The hybrid warehouses that are half robots and half autonomous are still an open question regarding the interaction between human workers and robots because there will undoubtedly be issues with how they collaborate together,” Khasis points out. “For example, will there be a specific area for robots and one area for the workers, how we will address collision avoidance, and how they will actually collaborate are the bigger questions still in the process of being solved?”

Leadership in the warehouse sector is experiencing a technological disconnect as well. While many news headlines boast the latest big-name companies adopting a new form of advanced technology, there are still many large companies operating the good old-fashioned way: via Microsoft Excel or another manual process and dismissing the option of advanced technology completely. This isn’t a bad thing, but Khasis emphasizes that these companies could maximize their bottom lines by adopting technologies that aren’t incompatible with emerging technology.

“There’s a generational shift in the warehouse,” he says. “For example, the VP or director in today’s warehouse might not have faith in the modern technology approaches available. We sometimes have friendly arguments with our own customers explaining how something might not ‘look’ better but mathematically and in terms of optimization, it is paramount in comparison and when broken down. There are both trends and realities that differ from what people are talking about versus what’s actually happening.”

Khasis continues: “Many warehouses out there are still using legacy software and there’s a significant amount of big industry players who still have not modernized their systems. Part of that modernization is moving stuff to the cloud and as they move things up to the cloud, opportunities will open up for them to take advantage of newer technologies. These newer technologies on the market are not backward compatible with the relatively obsolete systems that are closed off and still very much in use. They simply do not interact well with other systems.”

For warehouses, proactive measures through advanced technologies are phasing out antiquated systems that require a retrospective approach to the process. Processes Microsoft Excel are still very much part of the manual process Khasis says breaks the dynamic between the adoption of technology and the desired bottom-dollar impact.

“Few companies actually understand what they need to have in each warehouse and when they need it,” he says, “and the way to successfully identify what consumers are demanding is best found through reliable and integrated e-commerce data. In some cases, the warehouse directors will project certain time frames for specific items based on the previous year rather than analyzing data revealing search activity increases within the e-commerce sector.”

These data predictions and trends monitoring can give matchless insight on upcoming and unpredictable events that other manual processes simply cannot accomplish. Weather changes, for example, and alerting warehouses of what to keep in stock versus assuming patterns in spending can make big differences in gaining that advantage over competitors. E-commerce monitoring through this data can give ample information in real-time without the need of someone else providing trend forecasting. This brings extra work costs down for the warehouse worker and increases time savings overall, all while driving the bottom dollar up.

Khasis emphasizes the importance and role advanced technologies will have in providing more opportunities in optimization and human-robot collaborations. With advanced technologies, warehouse managers can better predict what types of deliveries are on the horizon and prepare their warehouse more efficiently, streamlining the process and interactions between automation and warehouse workers.

“The warehouse does not live in a vacuum and it must be able to adapt to upstream and downstream systems. For example, if a shipment is coming in and you have the capability of knowing what is on that vehicle and where it needs to g—assuming you have the technology available to share that information—you can then have the human workers and robots collaborate to make room for that to go smoothly. This can include advanced space allocation, unloader coordination and advanced warehouse space preparations.”

Autonomous vehicles will soon have to adapt to the warehouse as well. The issue of inter-compatibility will undoubtedly be of question.

“One cannot send a delivery vehicle or any other type of truck with a different height from the warehouse because the robots can’t access it,” Khasis notes. “The concept of inter-compatibility between internal robotics and external autonomous systems will be particularly important in the near future. We believe that in order for there to be efficiencies, there must be integration, and everything needs to collaborate.

“Our patent–called Autonomous Supply Chain, and the point of this is to reiterate that a warehouse can have the best software on the market but if it isn’t compatible or the timing isn’t right, then it doesn’t matter. That brings up the question of timing and what determines the right time and how it impacts planning which is very important.”

Without the key element of integration, the most advanced technology simply will not present the results sought for competitive advantage in the warehouse, negating the desired effects from the dollars spent on adopting them. For companies seeking to redefine the warehouse, they must consider in what ways integration is possible and affordable.

“We look at all the assets including the people, the vehicles, the potential shipments on the way in and out of the country, the warehouse and its capabilities and location, and figure the best way to optimize routes,” Khasis says. “For some of the biggest global companies, this is still being done with manual interpretations, which includes reporting analysis after the fact. There is little preventable action with this type of process, and it takes more of a retrospective approach.”

The option of accepting inefficiencies is simply not going to cut it anymore. Processes are changing, technology is becoming the new standard, and people are needed that are open to learning and adopting methods of work that increase productivity while supporting long-term and short-term goals in the supply chain.

“The goal of Autonomous Supply Chain is to get in front of the problems and decisions rather than behind them while utilizing an advanced technology that can collaborate across the board,” Khasis says. “By incorporating all techniques across different business units and different business entities, the process is streamlined. When this is all put together, we are estimating anywhere from 25 to 50 percent value creation, savings and profit increase mainly because a lot of this process is currently human dependent.”

More than ever before, the concept of synchronization in the supply chain is needed. Customer demands will continue to rise and become more complex as time goes by. In the age of Amazon and next-day delivery, the warehouse simply cannot afford to operate with one or the other–being robots or humans. Both are a crucial part of the bigger picture that have a significant impact on business.

“The warehouse location is equally important, and the industry is extremely behind in understanding warehouse site selection,” Khasis says. “If you have a warehouse in the wrong area–even with 100 percent support from the union with the best robots on the market—it is going to be difficult because now you need different people fulfilling roles that weren’t accounted for, such as drivers. Sure, you might have a cheaper warehouse but if the location isn’t carefully considered, your savings are quickly dissolved in other valuables that weren’t modeled into the original budget. This process is also still manually done throughout the industry and can be optimized using our software.”

Each element in the process will undoubtedly impact the success and outcome of your warehouse, beginning with site selection to worker population to technology integration. In an age where business goes to people instead of people going to businesses, ensuring all parts are synchronized is a critical part of the bigger picture of gaining and maintaining competitive advantage and keeping up with an evergreen marketplace.


Dan Khasis is a technology entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Route4Me, a unique route optimization software.