Insights from Chris Geyer, VP at Berkshire Grey
Since Berkshire Grey designs and deploys AI and robotics technology to Fortune100 customers like FedEx, Target and Walmart, they have an expansive view of what’s happening across retail, e-commerce, grocery, package handling and logistics industries.
Chris Geyer, vice president at Berkshire Grey, works closely with these customers on product development and implementation and is well-equipped to see what the new year has in store.
Below, Geyer gives us some of his insights and predictions for 2023.
Small- and mid-sized e-commerce operators will embrace RaaS models
Typically, smaller operators don’t have the capital needed for expensive automation projects, but robots-as-a-service (RaaS) offerings will give these smaller operators access to automation because they don’t have.
Instead of having to put capital upfront, these companies can instead pay a subscription for modular automation.
RaaS models will allow them to be cost-competitive, maintain control over their operations, and remain competitive in an era where robotic automation is necessary to survive.
Automation in grocery will skyrocket
A big trend we’ll see in the coming year is more automation in grocery. The online grocery shopping trend due to Covid-19 has continued to grow and increase competition in the grocery market across the board.
This has put pressure on all grocers, online or brick-and-mortar, to reduce their costs and increase their speed. We are seeing a surge in demand for picking and sorting robotics for online grocery and store replenishment operations that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Labor, labor, labor
Lack of labor in warehouses is an existential threat to businesses and is the number one, two and three factors leading to an increased interest in robotic automation. In an increasingly tight labor market, warehouses are automating as much as they can.
Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of executives believe robotic automation is necessary to counter reduced job applications from younger generations and mitigate the long-term labor shortage – I predict we will see this number continue to grow in 2023.