June 29, 2016

NOTHING MORE SURELY MAKES A WORKPLACE MORE HUMANE...:

How Amazon Triggered a Robot Arms Race (Kim Bhasin &  Patrick Clark, June 29, 2016, Bloomberg)

Amazon has about 30,000 Kiva robots scuttling about its warehouses across the globe. Dave Clark, the retailer's senior vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, estimated the addition of the bots reduced operating expenses by about 20 percent. According to an analysis by Deutsche Bank, adding them to one new warehouse saves $22 million in fulfillment expenses. Bringing the Kivas to the 100 or so distribution centers that still haven't implemented the tech would save Amazon a further $2.5 billion.

"To be great in e-commerce, you need to be sophisticated inside the warehouse," said Karl Siebrecht, chief executive at Flexe, which bills itself as the Airbnb for warehouse space. Amazon was the first company to confront the challenge of picking a virtually endless variety of goods from warehouse shelves and combining them in a single box for home delivery. Now that e-commerce is a growing part of the retail trade, more companies are paying attention. "The case for automation is building across the industry," Siebrecht said. 

...than obviating the need for workers.

Posted by at June 29, 2016 6:54 PM

  

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