6 River Systems | September 16, 2020
A spike in e-commerce volumes driven by coronavirus travel restrictions may slow down after a safe vaccine is eventually found, but its impact on fulfillment automation processes is here to stay, according to a top executive at Shopify, an e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). As the pandemic prevented consumers from congregating in brick and mortar stores, so many of them turned to e-commerce shopping that the online retail sector experienced five years’ worth of growth in the past three months alone, Shopify’s chief technology officer, Jean-Michel Lemieux, said today. From less than 1% in 2000, the share of e-commerce retail sales as a percent of total retail sales rose to 5% in 2011 and 10% in 2018 before leaping above 16% during the second quarter of 2020, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. That curve may soon begin to flatten a bit, but the post-Covid “new normal” will feature e-commerce levels in the range of 20%, 30%, or even 40% of all retail, Lemieux said in remarks at Flow 2020, the annual user conference held by autonomous mobile robot (AMR) vendor 6 River Systems. Ottawa, Ontario-based Shopify acquired Waltham, Massachusetts-based 6 River in 2019 for $450 million in a bid to use its collaborative "Chuck" robots to boost fulfillment efficiency for warehouse staffers managing inventory for distribution. That deal looked at first like amazon.com's move to buy Kiva Systems Inc. in 2012 for $775 million, and then take the product off the market, keeping its robots for the sole use of Amazon’s own DCs. But Shopify was quick to say that it will continue selling 6 River’s Chuck bots to the entire logistics market, and Lemieux reiterated that stance today.
Schneider Electric | June 15, 2020
Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, announced it has been ranked 4th in The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2020. Schneider Electric supply chain went from the eleventh position in 2019 to fourth in 2020.
This Gartner recognition scores demonstrate that Schneider-Electric continue to deliver digital transformation and the speed to reach its strategic priorities and its ability to set and execute its strategy.
Beyond profit, leading companies focus on people and protecting the planet. According to Gartner, “major methodology changes were introduced in 2020, including a conversion to return on physical assets (ROPA) from return on assets (ROA), a reduction in the weighting of the inventory measure and an increase in weighting to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) measure. The three key factors that differentiated leading supply chains this year were being purpose-driven organizations, business model transformers and digital orchestrators.”
6 River Systems | September 25, 2020
6 River Systems has made a series of enhancements to its robotic fulfillment solution. 6 River, part of e-commerce platform provider Shopify, revealed the upgrade during its second annual user conference, FLOW 2020. David Vallance, director of product at 6 River Systems, says: “We have developed a strategic product roadmap at 6RS to find and address the next level of efficiencies to help our customers meet ever-changing demand and drive value to their own customers. “We’ve grown from providing picking robots to supporting inbound to outbound tasks within the four walls of the warehouse. Our latest set of enhancements are another exciting step forward in the evolution of our company and our industry.” To provide more visibility into operations and increase efficiency, 6RS developed The Bridge, an overarching tool that connects the data from what’s happening on the ground in a physical warehouse operation to an intuitive cloud-based control center. This tool gives customers the ability to fine tune and control each aspect of their operation and optimize their warehouse to meet the unique needs of the business by leveraging the following features:
6 River Systems | September 29, 2020
Adoption of smart robotics has accelerated this year, driving sophisticated automation in various environments. Introducing Internet of Things (IoT) functionality to robots isn’t new, however. In 2014, ABI Research introduced the concept of the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT). The term described intelligent devices that can monitor events going on around them, integrate various sensor data types, use local and distributed intelligence to determine the best courses of action before manipulating or controlling physical objects. In September 2016, MarketsandMarkets released a report estimating that the IoRT market will be valued at approximately $21.44 billion by 2022, driven by adoption in the e-commerce industry. Connected robots can integrate with various technologies and offer a short payback period and ROI, the report noted.