Jerome Dubois, Co-founder and Co-CEO
Who could have ever thought that shopping would become as easy as clicking a few buttons sitting at the comfort of your cosy couch while the product gets home delivered?
That is the power of e-commerce. The 21st century has witnessed a massive upsurge in the e-commerce market with the introduction of numerous online shopping organisations. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the rise in the e-commerce market. According to market research company Euromonitor International, the global e-commerce market will touch the $1 trillion mark by 2025.
With the e-commerce market in bloom, one function that has gathered immense attention is fulfilment. But supply chain organisations are struggling to meet customer’s increasing demands, and this is exacerbated by the warehouse labor challenge. Given the high associate turnover rate in the fulfilment sector, companies have prioritized attracting, training and retaining associates in the warehouse. To facilitate this, organisations turn to intelligent solutions that offer f lexibility and improve on-f loor efficiency while driving productivity. 6 River Systems (6RS), a fulfilment solutions provider, offers flexible collaborative mobile robots (called Chuck) and software that offers faster and precise pick, pack, and ship capabilities to fulfillment operations. Since Chuck simplifies fulfilment operations and empowers warehouse associates to carry out tasks efficiently and effectively, it can help brands attract, train and retain employees. This is in line with the founding principles of the company. “Our goal is to democratise fulfilment to make technology and robotic automation available to all companies to enhance their e-commerce operations,” says Fergal Glynn, VP of Marketing, 6 River Systems.
The company’s founders bring deep knowledge of robotics, software and fulfilment operations with previous experience working with robotics companies and warehouse robots. Moreover, 6 River Systems is backed by Shopify, a global e-commerce platform leader. “We are empowering the operators of fulfilment centers with flexible solutions that allow them to solve the biggest pain points that they have, and to grow economically and predictably,” says Glynn.
Follow Chuck, the Intelligent AMR
Chuck knows where every product is kept in the building, and its advanced algorithms help optimise routes for picking the products.
Our Goal Is To Democratise Fulfilment To Make Technology And Robotic Automation Available To All Companies To Enhance Their E-Commerce Operations
As a result, associates follow Chuck to pick different orders together to save time and reduce walking for associates. “When an associate works with Chuck, our algorithms arrange the most optimised way to pick the orders,” says Glynn. Since pick optimisation helps cut the travel, it puts less strain on the workers, which further leads to job satisfaction and decreased employee turnover.
“Chuck’s system-directed workflow keeps associates focused and engaged while leading them from task to task,” says Glynn.
Chuck is not only an intelligent collaborative mobile robot; it is also the most configurable one. 6 River Systems works with clients to optimise the layout of Chuck according to the shape, size and weight of the products that need to be fulfilled. “We have set up Chuck to pick fishing poles as well as shoe boxes of various sizes,” says Glynn.
In addition, Chuck enables the supervisors and the supply chain directors in the warehouse to quickly gain insight into what is happening on the floor and gain visibility and predictability across their entire fulfilment network, which helps them deliver on SLAs. “We are solving the biggest fulfilment challenges: maintaining service levels, growing business in the ever-changing world and delivering the highest quality customer experience,” says Glynn.
Such efficacy was desired by many organisations that witnessed a massive upsurge in e-commerce demand due to the restriction imposed by lockdowns and social distancing norms. One such organisation was a leading shoe manufacturing organisation, Crocs. The organisation’s casual footwear for men, women, and children experienced a considerable uptick in demand which required an additional warehouse to meet customer’s delivery expectations.
We Are Empowering The Operators Of Fulfilment Centers With Flexible Solutions That Allow Them To Solve The Biggest Pain Points That They Have, And To Grow Economically And Predictably
“Crocs came to us with a challenge: we have this pop up building, we need to fulfill 75,000 units a day during peak. And we need a fulfillment solution that can be running in two weeks,” says Glynn.
6 River Systems worked with Crocs to deploy and integrate eighty-three Chucks with their warehouse management system before the holiday peak of 2020. Post-implementation, Crocs experienced almost a 2x pick rate improvement and reached total volume within two days of going live. In addition, the robotic solution was able to reduce their new hire training time from one week down to just one day.
6 River Systems continues to build out a robust wall-to-wall fulfillment solution. “We are looking to solve all the problems in the fulfilment center from single returns, replenishment, slotting, counting to moving,” remarks Glynn. With the backing from Shopify and critical partnerships, the company is poised to deliver on this promise.
Outstanding Experience in Play
As an industry leader in fulfillment automation, 6 River Systems is experiencing massive growth in both employees and customers. “We have almost 300 employees spanning the U.S. and U.K. And we are fulfilling millions of units every single week for a range of companies big to small, including Crocs, bodybuilding.com, DHL, XPO logistics, and more,” says Glynn. With offices in the U.S. and Europe, the company is listening to its customers and, with its partners, solving the biggest fulfilment challenges in warehouses.