ProMat 2019: Hyperlocal fulfillment

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Knapp took the wraps off an expanded partnership with micro-fulfillment innovator Takeoff. Knapp and Takeoff announced their initial partnership in 2017 and have now confirmed a US$150 million, 50-site order for Knapp.

Takeoff offers a micro-fulfillment solution that allows grocers to fill orders faster and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. The solution is powered by their grocery expertise and technology, paired with Knapp’s automation.

The two companies are implementing a second-generation design that will increase throughput and reduce the complexity of construction. One key element of this design is a new open-shuttle technology that will optimize the space needed for order sorting, while adding flexibility to the overall design and operation.

In addition to these upgrades, Takeoff is assembling dedicated implementation teams that will allow them to deploy multiple sites per week.

“It is extremely exciting to take our partnership between Takeoff and Knapp to the next level, and deliver on our promise of reliability, affordability and scalability,” said José Vicente Aguerrevere, co-founder and CEO of Takeoff.

Dematic’s Hasan Dandashly introduced the company’s micro-fulfillment solution at the show.

Capitalizing on the micro-fulfillment trend, Dematic is also offering a rapid response e-commerce order assembly system designed to support home delivery, as well as click and collect. Micro-fulfillment systems are usually inside a retail store or in an urban distribution centre, using part of an existing real estate footprint to allow e-commerce fulfillment and in-store shopping under the same roof, but without getting in each other’s way.

Dematic president and CEO Hassan Dandashly said the trend is driven by labour shortages, high real estate prices and the continual pressure to increase e-commerce order fulfillment speed.

“The solution is a powerful process improvement for businesses that are looking to optimize their omni-channel distribution strategy by more effectively using existing retail stores or urban service centres for e-com order assembly,” said Dandashly. “Customers can pick up their orders at the closest retail store or service centre, as well as receive them using a delivery service to their homes.”

The system is configurable to accommodate the SKU capacity and order volume. Micro-fulfillment works for grocery, auto parts, consumer electronics, sporting goods, apparel, industrial supplies and department stores that are re-purposing retail store space. The order management and execution software coordinates labour, inventory and robotic shuttles to assemble orders with accuracy and speed.