Rakuten Super Logistics Improves Efficiency with Mobile Robots

A summary of the Logistics Management article, “Rakuten Super Logistics picks Zebra robotics automation solution to increase warehouse productivity”

As the pressure increases to improve efficiency, throughput, and accuracy in fulfillment operations, the pace of automation accelerates. The need to improve picking efficiency and eliminate unnecessary steps in order to maximize productivity of front-line workers was a critical driver in the Rakuten Super Logistics’ (RSL) decision to implement the fulfillment solution from Zebra.

It’s estimated that, in 2022, e-commerce orders worldwide will top $1 trillion (USD). Every time a consumer puts goods into an online shopping cart and hits “check out”, somewhere in a warehouse, there’s going to be a worker going through a pick module and selecting the product, essentially, with the shopping list in hand. Today, it’s estimated that an order picker spends 50% of their time walking to locate an item to complete an order. Changing that, but allowing order pickers to stay in one location and have the FlexShelf AMR arrive to carry the item to the pack-out station, is a game changer for fulfillment operations.

RSL selected the Zebra solution to help manage workflow and augment labor throughout its facilities, with rollouts planned throughout 2022 and 2023. Zebra’s complete support from survey to deployment – along with daily engagement – gave the company confidence that the Zebra team will ensure the solution’s success.

Interview highlights

  • Rakuten Super Logistics conducted a competitive search for the right AMR solution for its objectives to seek further productivity gains and help address labor shortages.
  • FlexShelf AMRs will be integrated with RSL’s warehouse management system to optimize workflows and maximize its investment.
  • Zebra’s FlexShelf AMR solution can reduce the amount of time order pickers spend walking by as much as 60%.

“Our comprehensive fulfillment solution brings together the best of Zebra and Fetch to help companies like RSL modernize their warehouse operations for improved accuracy, productivity and worker safety.”

Jim Lawton, Vice President and General Manager, Zebra Robotics and Automation

Read the full article on Logistics Management here.

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