What will the world of ecommerce operations and fulfillment look like after World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 pandemic ends? The answer, like predictions of that date, is uncertain. But industry experts firmly believe that the seismic shifts that began in February 2020 will create a new normal in ecommerce operations.
While much is unknown about the long-term impact of coronavirus, retail supply chains will certainly look different once the crisis is past, industry observers agree. Multichannel Merchant spoke with experts from enVista, Le Tote and Johnson Stevens to get their views on the current situation and where things are headed.
Amazon is reportedly using a micro-fulfillment center solution from Dematic at its first grocery store not named Whole Foods outside Los Angeles, sending a loud signal to the rest of the market that an MFC capability is critical to success and maintaining market share in the red-hot e-grocery sector.
Israeli automation startup Fabric, formerly known as CommonSense Robotics, has raised $110 million in a Series B round with plans to accelerate growth in the U.S. including plans to build 14 on-site micro fulfillment centers to enable same-day delivery. The first FC will open in New York in Q1, with several other cities following.
Osaro, a San Francisco startup that makes robotic arms for ecommerce picking as well as vision and control software that can be integrated with other robotic solutions, has raised $16 million in a series B round, according to various reports. Early investors include former Facebook president Sean Parker and PayPal founder Peter Thiel.
It’s coming down to the wire for our Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020 call for speakers, which closes next Friday, Aug. 16. Our 9th annual event will be held April 14-16, 2020 at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL – a nice change of venue, don’t you think? Get your submission in now and elevate the conversation!
While there are some concerns about robots replacing humans and taking their jobs, with U.S. unemployment at about 3.6% ecommerce companies are struggling to find enough workers. Thus companies are seeing robotics as a way to close the gap and augment human labor instead of replacing it. Find out more in a new MCM report.
Israeli firm CommonSense Robotics is building what it says is the world’s first underground automated fulfillment operation for grocery delivery, anticipating a future where facilities like this will occupy abandoned urban spaces above and below ground to fulfill one-hour deliveries for city dwellers.