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Robotics pilot doubles productivity at Geodis' Indianapolis warehouse

LBR Staff Writer Published 09 March 2018

Geodis said that a pilot project using robotics to help enhance picking has doubled the productivity of employees at its Indianapolis warehouse.

The robotic picking doubled the productivity at its 139,000ft² warehouse and helped it to improve efficiency and accuracy for online women’s apparel retailer.

Geodis collaborated with an online women’s apparel client to test 30 autonomous mobile robots from Locus Robotics at Indianapolis’ facility to solve the problem of record-low unemployment rate and the strain on labor during peak seasons.

The Indianapolis’ warehouse, which handles more than 30,000 SKUs, uses complex manual picking process that may result in errors.

Under the pilot project, up to 80% of the units have been picked by the robots daily, which helped to double the employee productivity and reduce 50% of time to train new employees.

Robots helped to simplify the training process for the employees. The messaging on the robots is showed in their preferred languages, which allowed in faster absorption of training and reducing picking errors.

Geodis is planning to extend the collaboration with Locus Robotics in more warehouses with their retail and ecommerce customers.

Geodis CEO Marie-Christine Lombard said: “Our mission is to help our clients succeed by overcoming their logistical constraints and we are committed to innovative solutions for our customers to address industry-wide challenges.

Locus Robotics CEO Rick Faulk said: “Our robots enhance more than worker productivity; they improve worker job satisfaction by removing some of the more physically demanding aspects of the picking process. We look forward to continuing to help the Geodis team drive operating efficiencies.”

In October 2017, Geodis rolled out new digital solutions to simplify road transport. The company's web portal, Neptune, allows real-time co-ordination of transport activity, reporting and analysis of crucial performance indicators, and document archiving.

The portal works within the framework of Zenith, the transport management system, which Geodis  has been developing since 2003. 

Image: The autonomous mobile robots helped Geodis to improve efficiency and accuracy for online women’s apparel retailer. Photo: courtesy of GEODIS.