The retailer will deploy robotics and software automation platforms in all 42 of its regional distribution centers over the coming years. The retrofitting process of all 42 DCs is expected to be completed over the next 8-plus years.
The move is an expansion on Walmart’s prior agreement to deploy Symbotic Systems in 25 regional distribution centers. Symbotic LLC’s end-to-end software-enabled high-density robotics platform plays a strategic role in supporting the retailer’s goal of modernizing its supply chain network. The update is expected to allow Walmart to provide faster responsiveness to store orders, increased inventory accuracy and higher capacity for receiving and shipping freight to stores. The technology’s ability to build palletized loads of department-sorted inventory ultimately enables Walmart to get products onto shelves at its more than 4,700 stores more quickly, while also making one of the toughest aspects of supply chain work – material handling – safer and simpler. It also creates new, tech-enabled jobs, such as cell operator and maintenance technician, that offer widely applicable skills in robotics and technology.
“The need for accuracy and speed in the supply chain has never been more visible, and we’re confident that now is the time to move even faster by scaling Symbotic’s technology to our entire regional distribution center network,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of Innovation and Automation, Walmart U.S. “Using high-speed robotics and intelligent software to organize and optimize inventory, the Symbotic System helps us get products to our customers quickly and seamlessly by revolutionizing how we receive and distribute products to stores.”
Walmart has already begun embedding Symbotic’s technology in select regional distribution centers throughout its network.
“The expanded partnership with Walmart substantiates how our technology is truly reinventing the traditional warehouse and distribution of consumer goods across the supply chain,” said Rick Cohen, chairman, president and chief product officer of Symbotic. “As a technology platform with deep roots in warehousing and distribution – our system addresses some of the biggest challenges of today’s complex supply chain, such as inventory agility, transportation cost and labor availability. Modernizing the warehouse allows consumers to get what they need faster and creates benefits for everyone including workers, customers and their local communities.”