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I love Costco. 

I just checked my card and it says that I’ve been a member since 1993. That’s when I used to walk the aisles at a warehouse in the Boston suburbs in between classes and eat the samples for lunch or dinner. Or both!  

But that’s not why I love Costco.   

I love Costco because I know that the price is going to be right, even though I might buy more than I need at that moment in time. I love Costco because they take customer feedback seriously and always surprise with new products (see instant Pho noodle bowls or almond flour ravioli!). I love Costco because their cheap private label wine is actually very good (Kirkland Signature, Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Ti Point 2022, 89 WS rating, $8).  

I also love Costco, because they will take back any product, at any time if I am not satisfied. No questions asked. In 15 years I’ve owned several HP laser printers, but have only paid for one.

I love Costco because we are mission aligned. They know that my satisfaction as a member is worth more than a single transaction. It’s worth 30 years of transactions! 

It’s this same love of Costco that propelled Vecna Robotics to announce a performance guarantee last week: Vecna Robotics Announces Performance Guarantee to Simplify Warehouse Automation Adoption.  

In this announcement, we laid out three clear parameters of the program: 

  • Customers can define the robot performance that they want us to guarantee. 
  • We have financial incentives built into our agreements to make sure that customers get the ROI that they need. 
  • We are committed to 100% customer satisfaction with our automation system and customers can update their contract with us to ensure that is the case. 

So, why did we do it? 

Well, I asked Chat-GPT to give me that answer as to why a company might want to do this: 

  • Reduced Risk: Implementing automation involves substantial financial investment and operational changes. A performance guarantee mitigates the risk for customers. If the automation system does not perform as promised, customers can seek compensation or refunds, reducing the financial risk associated with adopting new technology. 
  • Financial Predictability: A performance guarantee provides financial predictability. Customers can budget effectively knowing that they will achieve certain performance levels within specified parameters. This predictability is essential for financial planning and helps businesses allocate resources more efficiently. 
  • Confidence in Technology: Guarantees provide customers with confidence in the technology. Knowing that the robotics provider is willing to stand by the system’s performance demonstrates the company’s faith in its own product. This confidence is contagious and can encourage businesses to embrace automation more readily. 
  • Faster Decision-Making: With a performance guarantee in place, decision-making processes are streamlined. Customers can make faster decisions because they have the assurance that the system will meet their performance expectations. This speed in decision-making is crucial in rapidly changing industries where agility is a competitive advantage. 
  • Accelerated Approval Processes: Many organizations have stringent approval processes for new investments. A performance guarantee can expedite these processes as decision-makers are more likely to approve projects with reduced risk. This accelerated approval can significantly speed up the adoption of automation solutions. 
  • Quicker Implementation: When customers are confident in the performance of the automation system, they are more likely to move forward swiftly with implementation. Reduced hesitation and faster decision-making translate into quicker deployment of robotics technology in warehouses and manufacturing facilities. 
  • Word-of-Mouth and Industry Trust: Successful implementations due to performance guarantees can lead to positive word-of-mouth in the industry. When one company experiences the benefits of automation rapidly and efficiently, other businesses are more likely to follow suit, creating a domino effect of adoption across the sector. 
  • Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: Meeting or exceeding performance guarantees leads to high customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to expand their usage of automation technology and recommend it to others, driving further adoption and fostering customer loyalty. 

Not bad Chat-GPT! 

I think that’s the crux of it, but it’s not the whole story.  

Just like my experience at Costco, all of the pieces need to be in place to give new adopters of automation the confidence that they need to get started. It’s not enough to know that others are doing it well.  

First, customers need to know that there is a clear roadmap to adoption and scale: see our From No Bot To Robot approach. 

Secondly, organizations need financial flexibility to budget for this technology quickly and be able to flexibly scale up their fleets as their operation grows: see Vecna’s Robots as a Service program. 

Next, operators don’t want to be in the robot babysitting business, they have too much to worry about: queue the story behind Vecna’s industry-leading 24/7/365 Command Center that maintains our 99.9% uptime and <1% manual intervention rate on site.  

Also, new adopters need to know that the technology won’t be static, like AGVs of old, and that performance will improve over time: have a look at Vecna’s cloud-based PivotalTM software stack.  

And finally, leadership needs to know how to calculate the ROI on automation relative to their manual operations: get started with the Vecna Robotics Return on Robotics Calculator.  

The performance guarantee is now the final piece of the puzzle that enables operators in warehousing and manufacturing to dive into their automation journey with no reservations. Operators don’t need to figure it all out before their first deployment! Because Vecna Robotics offers our technology as a guaranteed service, we are mission aligned to ensure that, eventually, we figure it all out together.   

For more information on the Vecna Robotics performance guarantee, visit Also, sign up for our next Material Handling Mythbusters webinar titled: “Myth 10: I know exactly what robots can do for my operation” to learn more about how you can approach your first material handling automation project with confidence.