Symbotic, an AI-powered supply chain technology company, and Walmart have expanded their commercial agreement to implement Symbotic’s robotics and software automation platform in all 42 of Walmart’s regional distribution centers over the coming years.
This is an expansion of Walmart’s prior commitment to deploy Symbotic Systems in 25 regional distribution centers.
The end-to-end software-enabled high-density robotics platform plays a strategic role in supporting the retailer’s goal of modernizing its vast supply chain network and allows Walmart to transform its regional distribution centers 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.
Rick Cohen, chairman, president and chief product officer of Symbotic, says: “The expanded partnership with Walmart substantiates how our technology is truly reinventing the traditional warehouse and distribution of consumer goods across the supply chain.
“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.”
David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation, Walmart US, says: “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.
“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 retrofitting process of all 42 regional distribution centers is expected to be completed over the next 8+ years.