Episode 139 – AutoStore and Micro-fulfillment
In this episode, I was joined by Andrew Benzinger who is a Business Development Manager at AutoStore. Andrew and I discuss AutoStore’s robotic solution, micro-fulfillment, space utilization, and the concept of space redefined. Find out how AutoStore is redefining space below. For more information on micro-fulfillment check out episodes 44 and 56.
- AutoStore is a cube-based robotics solution where the robots operate on top of a grid that houses storage bins underneath. Their goal is to help companies utilize their space or redefine it, as they say, by creating more storage to allow for micro-fulfillment to happen closer to your customer. In almost every case, AutoStore allows for nearly 75% space reduction in all use cases which allows you to get more out of your space but also get more creative in the spaces you use. It not only helps you to become more efficient in fulfilling your orders but also helps you to reduce real estate expenses while still having great locations near your target consumers.
- Space redefined is AutoStore’s slogan and their solution truly allows you to utilize your space in a much more efficient way. Andrew discusses how not only does it allow you to get more utilization out of your space but it also then allows you to do much more interesting things for your consumers. He discusses some different examples where retailers are now able to store more in the back room which allows them to open up more space on the sales floor. Additionally, it can also allow for a better experience-based retail space by not keeping stock in the sales area which allows customers to just experience the product. There is also an interesting concept on the website where the AutoStore system actually delivers the product right to a pick-up window, like an ATM, for the customer.
- One of the big applications for the AutoStore solution is in the grocery space. Andrew and I have a very in-depth conversation on how grocery trends have been changing due to COVID both in the sense of people getting groceries delivered more and also in the sense of people still wanting to pick their own food. With AutoStore, the fulfillment of groceries can become much more efficient since it allows for food to be stored and easily picked by receiving the order in the system and sending it to the picker. We also discussed the quality control and rotation that goes along with grocery orders. It was very interesting to hear how AutoStore can assist in the process of ensuring proper rotation of food to not only help deliver the best quality product to the customer but also help to reduce food waste as well.
Listen to the episode below and let us know if you want an AutoStore in your basement in the comments below.