Thursday in CE: Wal-Mart Testing Logistics Robots in Some Stores
Having been a sales floor team member at another big box retailer, I can certainly empathize with the logistics team employees who have the tall task of walking each and every aisle to make sure the shelves are stocked with product. It’s a grueling and time-consuming task having to scan empty spots, check to see if the product is in the back, and then replenish the product. And, more often than not, that product is out, which means having to put that SKU into a system so the nearby distributor knows to put that product on the next available truck in order to get that product back in stock.
Wal-Mart thinks it’s found a way to ease the burden on actual employees with regard to in-store logistics, freeing up their time to work on other tasks. Their answer, it seems, is a team of shelf-scanning robots that can do the work for them.
According to a report in Reuters, Wal-Mart is testing out these robot logistics team members in about 40 stores, tasking them with identifying empty shelf space, scanning said space, and replenishing inventory—all at a faster clip than what a human employee is capable of.