February 7, 2020 – Locus Robotics today announced that they have achieved a new milestone with the 100 millionth pick by a Locus robot. Locus Robotics is the market leader in the warehouse robotics space with thousands of units deployed worldwide, helping clients like DHL, GEODIS and Radial to improve the throughput in their warehouses.
Robots-as-a-Service Is Key
Locus Robotics was an early robots-as-a-service (RaaS) innovator, with a go to market business model in which customers pay per pick for the use of the autonomous mobile robots. In addition, with a RaaS business model, Locus is able to remotely monitor, diagnose and update the functionality of the robotic workforce. Through their robot network operations center they monitor the operation of every robot, world wide. This is key to how they are able to count the number of picks and systematically determine when they achieved the 100 millionth pick milestone.
Want to learn more about Robots-as-a-Service? Check out our complete guide on what you need to know when purchasing a RaaS solution.
Warehouse Robotics is Growing
The demand for labor in the warehouse operations market has been exacerbated the last couple of years by several factors, according to Locus Robotics CEO Rick Faulk. “The labor demand has turned what was a gap, into a crisis,” said Faulk. “We see it around the globe, as new warehouses are built to fulfill the ecommerce demand, these buildings can’t find enough labor to ship the products that are in their queue.”
Faulk went on to describe the industry trend of warehouse clustering, in which warehouses are being built closer to consumers (to close the gap on next day delivery), but in regions zoned for warehousing, where land is cheap. All of these buildings are going in where the land is cheap land, BUT there isn’t a lot of population around it. In addition, all of these warehouses are pulling from the same labor pool, but that pool isn’t expanding.
This has created a perfect storm for Locus and the opportunity to reach the 100 millionth pick threshold before any of their competitors. With the data about the actual 100 millionth milestone, Locus Robots created a special safety vest and helmet for the occasion, and presented it to the DHL worker who achieved the momentous pick.
The record-breaking 100 millionth pick took place at the DHL Supply Chain fulfillment facility in Hanover, PA, at 5:38 AM ET on Tuesday, February 4th.
“LocusBots have been a great addition to our family,” said Eric Stipp, General Manager, DHL Hanover. “They’re not only helpful in sharing the workload and ensuring that the team is exceeding pick numbers, but they’re also fun to work with.”
Stay tuned as we’ll follow up this story with our indepth interview with Locus CEO Rick Faulk, with a look back at 2019 and a look ahead to 2020 in our Highlights series.