Walmart had decided to hire more robots in order to do all the human related jobs. This news was announced by the company on the 9th of April, 2019. Clearly, the future looks fascinating for Walmart and its users!
Smart assistants have huge potential to make busy stores run more smoothly, so Walmart has been pioneering new technologies to minimize the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf. This gives associates more of an opportunity to do what they’re uniquely qualified for: serve customers face-to-face on the sales floor.
Robots Replacing Humans in Walmart!
Basically, in a bid to save on labor costs, it’s betting on robots to clean floors, sort inventory, and replenish out-of-stock items in its stores, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Walmart has several jobs in mind for the new robots. Robot floor cleaners are coming to 1,500 stores. (The company says that floor scrubbing was previously a task that could take a human worker two to three hours each day to complete.) Walmart is also adding 600 conveyor belts that can sort inventory automatically, and at least 300 bots that can check if shelves are running out of stock after Walmart initially began to test this technology in 2017.
All of this is coming at the cost of human labor. The more robots Walmart hires, the fewer people it needs for each task, and the more money it saves across its 4,600 stores in the US. Walmart says that although it’s cutting down on labor for tasks like flooring cleaning, it is hiring employees to focus on growing its online grocery business. The move also comes after retail companies like Target and Walmart announced slight wage increases for store workers.
Walmart associates may not be saving the day in a fantasy world, but they are saving customers time and money in real life – and these smart sidekicks are one of the key tools helping them to succeed.
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The Latest Technology –
The 2018 tests of these technologies have been well-received, but it’s not enough to have these cutting-edge systems in just a few locations. That’s why additional technologies are coming soon to stores across America.
The following are the major changes that Walmart has decided upon –
#1 – 1,500 new autonomous floor cleaners, aka “Auto-C”
After an associate preps the area, this machine can be programmed to travel throughout the open parts of the store; leaving behind a clean, polished floor. Auto-C provides a cleaner shopping experience for our customers, and it frees up our associates to serve them better.
#2 – 300 additional shelf scanners, aka “Auto-S”
This technology scans items on store shelves to help ensure availability, correct shelf location, and price accuracy.
#3 – 1,200 more FAST Unloaders
Working with the shelf scanner, the FAST Unloader automatically scans and sorts items unloaded from trucks based on priority and department. This allows associates to move inventory from the back room to the sales floor more quickly; ultimately giving our customers what they want, when they want it.
#4 – 900 new Pickup Towers
A customer places an order online and selects for an in-store pickup. The associate loads the ordered item into the Pickup Tower. When a customer receives a notification via email that the item is available, they can use the Pickup Tower like a giant vending machine to retrieve their purchase.
Hence, that’s a lot of extra help for associates; and what’s especially cool is that two pieces of tech, the shelf scanners and the FAST Unloaders; share data back and forth to improve the whole process of getting products on the shelves.