Flipkart is bringing in robots to help it sort through packages
- Flipkart has just announced that it's bringing in robots to help it sort through packages before delivery at its Soukya center in Bangalore.
- These Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) can sort packages according to their delivery pincodes.
- The company also claims that the new technology will not negatively impact the existing workforce since the existing the employees will be 'upskilled' to handle 'higher value adding work'.
The Walmart-owned online marketplace handles eight million shipments per month, on average, and its new Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) will help the company meet the increasing demand of Indian users — more of whom are coming online each day.
The pilot project of the robot-based sortation technology is being implemented at Flipkart's Soukya sortation center in Bangalore. The entire setup includes over a 100 self-guided robots that will automatically sort the packages according to the delivery pin codes.
Initial tests run by Flipkart show that every hundred AGVs lead to a 60% increase in process efficiency. So, working in conjunction, the robots can process upto 4,500 shipments within an hour.
The company claims that the other advantage of having this setup is that it can moved really easily as well. The mobility factor, according to Flipkart, make it easier for it to scale if there are any supply chain operations expansion requirements for future demand.
But, within the existing infrastructure that Flipkart has to operate, AGVs improve the facilities output and remove the need for space expansion.
What's the catch?
If automation is coming in to take over a task that humans normally implement, what's going to happen to the workforce? For instance, one of the main concerns with Amazon in the US is how automation is taking over.
During the holiday sales in December 2018, the
In Flipkart's case, the company claims existing workforce will be upskilled to do "higher value-adding work — all at a similar or lower cost."
The use of AGVs will enable Flipkart to upskill unskilled labour and future automation will create space for Indian engineers to leverage their expertise in this arena.
Flipkart also points out that the rest of staff will be trained on how to operate and maintain the new machinery.
The AGVs will work in conjunction with facility staff, who will be trained in operating them.
It's understandable that Flipkart is looking for a way to limit its expenses especially since, despite its 50% jump in revenue, the e-commerce platform reported a fivefold increase in losses during FY18.
And, it the ever increasing pressure to meet consumer deadlines as Flipkart and Amazon go head-to-head in the Indian market is no joke. If Amazon is using automated solutions to increase its efficiency, Flipkart's robot driven solution only seems fairplay.
The Indian government just dealt a serious surprise to Amazon and Flipkart — Here's what that means for online shoppers
Walmart could exit from Flipkart because of India's new FDI rules: Report
Mukesh Ambani may be the surprise winner from India's new rules hurting Amazon and Walmart
- Carl Pei's Nothing ropes in former Samsung executive Manu Sharma to lead its India operations
- Highlights from RBI governor’s keynote address to Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Former Paytm Money CEO launches his own financial services platform with an investment from Mirae, and several other major startup founders
- A candid Kavin Mittal admits his mistakes as he reinvents Hike and plans fresh fundraising this year
- CarbonWatch — India’s first mobile app to calculate your carbon footprint falls short of its promises