When you are shopping online, for sure you are not thinking about the massive distribution network required to bring you that special product you are buying. Well, it is a huge work, and companies like Amazon have to invest heavily to keep competitive in this sector. (Rapacki. E, 2014)
In march 2012 Amazon acquire Kiva Systems (an innovative robotic order picking system) for $ 775 million in cash (Gilmore, 2013), from that moment, Amazon warehouses has hundreds of “autonomous mobile robots” scurry around the floor and delivered entire shelves to stationary pick stations, where laser scanners and indicator lights assist people in processing orders(Mills. M, 2012).
How does this acquisition improve Amazon productivity?. “It´s seen that this new technology triples productivity while simultaneously improving the seed, accuracy and flexibility of the operation” (Kiva System, 2014). Frist of all, working with robots is much more efficient than sending people through warehouses to retrieve the goods and it also improved picking time. In addition, it requires less material handling equipment (such as pallet jacks, forklifts, conveyors) than traditional warehouses. Here you can see a video that will help you to understand what I´m talking about.
What we are observing is the migration of robots out of the manufacturing sector into the supply chain where we handle and deliver stuff, leading many people to assume “robots kill jobs”. What do you think about this?