How to Run More Profitable Operations Using Automation

Webinar: How to Run More Profitable Operations Using Automation

Are you using self-driving equipment like autonomous fork trucks, tuggers, and pallet trucks? If not, you may be losing money every day. Warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution facilities are turning to this equipment to stay competitive and get ahead. Start running more profitable operations using automation today!

Join us for this 30-minute webinar  hosted by DC Velocity and take the first step in advancing your operations. Learn the differences between AMRs, AGVs, & VGVs and why AMRs are now the leading operating platform, determine how your facility can maximize the ROI from autonomous equipment, and understand those returns versus the cost of doing nothing.


Date: Thursday, May 13, 2021

Time: 1:00 PM Eastern

Duration: 30 minutes


About Your Host

Profitable Operations Using Autonomy

Scott Wagner Industry Advisor Vecna Robotics

Scott Wagner, an Industry Advisor at Vecna Robotics, is an experienced resource for the successful use of software and robotic solutions in production, warehousing and retail applications. He refined his detailed understanding of program applications while he was a software expert for inventory management. Here, he supported the specialized beer, wine, and liquor industry for several years. Scott assisted in the adoption and use of software that resulted in improved efficiencies in operations.

Before joining Vecna Robotics, Scott lead dozens of industrial robotic deployments across North America. He successfully managed the implementation of robotic cleaning equipment into dynamic and challenging environments. He accurately identifying client’s needs, assisted in the creation of the best solutions, and oversaw the onsite deployment with a well-organized team. Scott is uniquely qualified to best advise clients on industrial robotic applications as he has the combined experience of integrating various software applications with the selection and workflows of autonomous equipment.

When Scott is not talking about robots or application integrations, he’s busy chasing his two energetic children or staying up late after they go to sleep to work on his vintage Kawasaki motorcycle or fine tuning his fishing gear.


Register for the Webinar here. 


Learn 3 tactical ways to get started with autonomous equipment here. 

5 Ways Robotics-as-a-Service Benefits Your Automation Goals

Why RaaS, Why Now?

Talk about Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) pricing models emerged in the early 2010’s. By 2018, the industry began to understand the benefits of RaaS more deeply. That year, Rian Whitton at ABI Research estimated that the installed base for RaaS will grow from 4,442 units in 2016 to 1.3 million in 2026, while annual revenues for RaaS providers are expected to increase from $217 million in 2016 to nearly $34 billion in 2026.

Now, with 2020 in the rearview mirror, the benefits of RaaS has become amplified. RaaS will likely see a greater surge in popularity and acceleration to the predicted timeline.

As proved in 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing organizations that adapt quickly to evolving conditions survive and thrive. Now, planning for Black Swan events has become a top consideration for global supply chain companies, as David Clear, Vecna Robotics CRO, and friends from Highjump Körber Logistics, GEODIS, and Interact Analysis discussed in October. A RaaS financing model is one way to preserve capital, adapt quickly, and remain operationally efficient for whatever comes next.

Five Ways RaaS Benefits Your Automation Goals

  1. No up-front costs. For many, capital expense approvals delay the implementation of new technology, and require up-front investment which can drain savings. Moving your AMR and AGV purchase to an operational expense opens up more freedom to use discretionary funds and accelerates timelines for deployment. This ensures operational savings are kept in a rainy day fund should a new crisis emerge.
  2. All-inclusive pricing. Robotics-as-a-Service factors in 100% of costs included in a traditional robotics deployment. This includes subscription to the software platform, deployment (shipping, IT integration, and facility mapping), training and support (including 24/7 US-based support), and maintenance.
  3. Immediate cashflow improvement. Realize immediate ROI by changing the cost structure from a one-time up-front cost to smaller monthly fees while maintaining cash liquidity.
  4. Fast implementation. Because RaaS typically requires a cloud-based IT architecture, deployment can be as fast as 4 weeks from purchase order to Go-live.
  5. Easy to scale. Under a RaaS model, the AMR vendor  deploys, connects, and upgrades self-driving materials handling equipment via cloud-based IT networking. This way, organizations can rapidly spool up production, reduce the upfront installation costs, and adjust workflows, routes, and fleet sizing on the fly.

Additional Benefits of a Cloud-based Robotics-as-a-Service Solution

In addition, with the IT network already in place, AMR vendors can upgrade or scale down the system quickly, based on changing business needs. For example, it is easy to:

  • Push software upgrades to the whole fleet of vehicles without customer intervention.
  • Increase fleet size and put new vehicles to work without a long deployment process.
  • Swap out old robots for new ones as new hardware becomes available.

This keeps floor space clear and preserves people hours. In addition, Robotics-as-a-Service makes it easy to adapt to changing workflows. In other words, a facility can deploy a new robot to do a new job while returning the old robot to the vendor.

RaaS for Operational Resiliency

In conclusion, a cloud-based RaaS model can provide the backbone for greater operational resilience – a necessity in today’s unpredictable industrial landscape. In addition to scaling easily, getting started quickly, and extending your workforce, RaaS is a way to create financial resilience. Use the capital saved plus the returns from up to 30% increase in operational efficiencies to invest in future automation. RaaS is an enabler for greater gains downstream.


AGVs Gain in Flexibility and Applications

Roberto Michel, Modern Materials Handling – November, 2020 – Automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) have been reliant in moving loads around industrial facilities since their introduction in the 1950’s. However, the new wave autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have become more popular as they automate much of the legwork involved in e-commerce order picking. AGV’s can now assist in goods-to-person order picking, while conversely, some AMRs can move and lift pallet-sized loads. A recent study shows that both categories of mobile robots are growing but AMRs are dominating the high growth niche of e-commerce order picking. According to analyst firm Interact Analysis, the AGV market will grow by 11% in 2020, while the AMR market will grow by 45% this year.

AGVs and AMRs share many common applications however, some industry experts say there are markets where each mobile robot can be a better fit than the other. Vecna Robotics believes that while the differences between the mobile robot types are small, AMRs can do everything AGVs can and more. Vecna Robotics, an AMR vendor, offers multiple models used to move larger, pallet-sized loads, as well as smaller loads. The upshot of all this evolution is the notion that larger loads call for AGVs is no longer valid.

“You can’t go by form factor alone,” says Hayes of Vecna Robotics. “Our vehicle technology, for example, is an AMR with respect to how they navigate, but in terms of being able to handle larger loads, they have the application suitability of an AGV.”

Some AGVs beginning to use natural navigation, but points out that overall, most AGVs follow predefined paths, though they have safety sensors to stop on a dime if need be. “The AMR concept just means that the vehicles can path plan versus path follow,” says Hayes. “It’s really that one fundamental difference that changes AGVs to AMRs. An autonomous vehicle can think about the environment and react versus follow a defined path.”

Read the full article from Modern Materials Handling here.

MHI elects Vecna Robotics’ John Hayes as chair of AGVs Education Committee

Waltham, May 2, 2019– John Hayes, Vice President of Sales at Vecna Robotics, has been elected chairperson of MHI’s newly-formed Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems (AGVs) Education Committee.


MHI is the nation’s largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association that offers education, networking and solution sourcing through programming and events. MHI’s Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems (AGVS) members are the industry’s leading suppliers of automatic guided vehicle systems. Its members supply systems worldwide in virtually every major manufacturing and distribution center.

The newly-formed committee’s goal is to provide direction and structure on AGVS’s Education program. Several key initiatives include addressing competing technologies, safety, developing key messaging and identifying key topics for education seminars, webinars, blog posts, white papers and more. The committee will also identify and approach potential guest speakers to share their insights on market trends and needs.

“AGV’s are vital to the future of robotics and the material handling industry,” said Hayes. “Our goal is to provide an unbiased source for users, customers, and potential customers of AGV and Robotics technology to gain insight into all aspects of AGVS.”

Hayes brings decades of experience in the AGV industry to the committee. He began at IDAB in the mid-1990’s where he assembled, wired, and installed AGV systems. He has also held positions at AGV Products, Egemin, FMC, Dematic, Seegrid, and Oceaneering. Two years ago John joined Vecna and is currently the Vice President of Sales leading their go-to-market sales strategy.

“John is a great fit for this position as he has been involved the education seminars for MODEX 2018; ProMat 2019; PackExpo 2018 and will be also presenting at PackExpo 2019,” said Anupam Berry Bose, AGVS managing executive. “We’re very excited for John’s involvement in this new committee.”

On May 8, Hayes will present at the 2019 CAT Dealer EHS Conference.  The presentation on warehouse automation is being co-presented with Mike Erskine, Corporate Distribution Manager at Milton CAT and will cover safety, operational efficiency and steps to plan for successful automation. The conference is being held at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia from May 6-8. For more information, visit

For more information, visit


About Vecna Robotics

Vecna Robotics delivers Automated Material Handling, Hybrid Fulfillment, and Workflow Optimization solutions for customers in the distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing sectors. Vecna’s solution feature self-driving vehicles powered by their learning Autonomy Stack and AI technology,, that revolutionizes how robots and humans work together. Vecna Robotics prioritizes workflows over robotics – ensuring businesses can operate effectively, efficiently, and ethically.

For more information visit and

About MHI

MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry since 1945. MHI members include material handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers and third-party logistics providers. MHI offers education, networking and solution sourcing for their members, their customers and the industry as a whole through programming and events. The association sponsors the ProMat and MODEX expos to showcase the products and services of its member companies and to educate manufacturing and supply chain professionals.