Working with Vecna Robotics has helps us increase productivity in our distribution centers and allowed us to move goods in and out with greater efficiency. We’re incredibly excited with the results of this partnership and we’re looking forward to expanding our use of AMRs in our network.ERIC DOUGLAS
Executive Vice President of Engineering and Technology, GEODIS
It all started with smooth, automated pick up and put-away
GEODIS, a leading global supply chain operator, was proactively looking for a way to enhance the process of picking up, delivering, and putting away materials in their distribution centers with a specific focus on workflows for their retail customers. In the fall of 2019, the company began researching solutions to make teammates’ jobs easier and safer, all while increasing efficiency and productivity.
As a 3PL, GEODIS handles many different operations within its distribution centers all over the country. To increase productivity, the company started evaluating Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) as a way to not only optimize current performance but also establish a long-term automation strategy that could give the company a competitive edge.
Easy implementation and winning autonomous navigation with Vecna Robotics
Impressed by the Vecna Robotics solution, which aligned to the organization’s needs, GEODIS deployed multiple Vecna APT automated pallet trucks at one of its busiest sites in Dallas, TX. The 350,000 square foot distribution facility focuses on retail case pick and consolidation — perfect for Vecna solutions that are suited to long distances and well-defined workflows across multiple shifts. The solution was deployed at the facility in mere weeks and has since expanded to other facilities and different workflows.
Vecna’s Pivotal™ orchestration system has been a key differentiator of the success of the deployments at Geodis to date. The proprietary software suite organizes daily robot work order and allocates tasks to the appropriate vehicle based on priority, location, and availability. In addition, Pivotal™ applies machine learning algorithms and tracks the vehicles to provide data-driven insights, creating a continuous improvement cycle over time and via the cloud.
Today, Vecna Robotics’ AMRs at Geodis clear designated dock doors and bring pallets to pick and drop spots (P&Ds) throughout their different facilities to increase inbound throughput and dock-to-stock time, working alongside lift drivers. By using the AMRs to eliminate horizontal travel and reduce trips to the dock, put-away operator productivity has improved by approximately 30%.
Geodis continues to consult with Vecna as a trusted advisor on new technologies that can help tackle the changing needs of the 3PL landscape serving retail. The company was involved in the development and release of the recently announced Vecna CPJ Autonomous Co-Bot Pallet Jack and is currently working closely with the company on re-designing workflows suited to that solution.