Automation is the norm in manufacturing, but it is increasingly turning up in other industries as well. One of the success stories for robots is retail.
Retail is a field in which a lot of the work is dull and poorly paid, so it’s clearly ripe for robots. But one of the big factors for automation in retail is consumer desire for customization.
We’ve seen this as a driver for automation in factories for years. The need to do shorter runs nearer to the end user has been on manufacturers’ minds for a long time.
And where did that push come from? Retailers.
They’re seeing the same demands from their consumers. Instead of a weekly restock, retailers in many cases are restocking daily to keep up with consumers’ quick-changing whims. Just a few years ago shoppers would choose uncomplainingly from the selection the store offered. Now they’re just as likely to order something online — while they’re standing in the store — if the retailer is out of an item.
Over the past few years, consumers have shown that they still want to buy in physical stores, but they’re comparing their experience with online shopping. Consumers complain that retail clerks aren’t helpful, they expect to be able to touch and try the product, and they demand a high level of convenience. Shoppers are much less tolerant of out of stocks than they used to be, and they expect special service as a matter of course.
Retailers are responding by automating tasks in the warehouse and the stockroom so human workers are free to provide friendly, knowledgeable service. They’re using robots to keep products in stock and on the right shelves, to clean stores and to expedite deliveries.
Effects on industrial automation
As use cases for automation, robotics, and AI increase, industrial automation benefits. Sensors developed to scan store shelves expand the options on the factory floor. Data from warehouses provide information for industrial AI.
Whether you’re using the latest up to the minute machinery in your facility, or keeping the tried and true machinery in service, we can help with any Rexroth electric industrial motion control service and support needs. Contact us now.