Robotic Automation Report

Nearly three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic radically disrupted business as usual in global supply chain logistics. The pressures retailers faced then continue today, along with new challenges such as a softening economy and high inflation rates. So what’s the outlook for 2023?

We surveyed more than 150 executives to gain insight into what leaders in the retail and logistics spaces are anticipating as challenges and areas of opportunity.

The short answer: they’re leaning hard into material handling automation. This isn’t despite their fears about a possible economic downturn; rather, automation is seen as a key solution for navigating the operational ups and downs of an unpredictable marketplace. It’s how executives plan to deliver cost-effective, high-quality customer experiences – positioning themselves to scoop up customers from weaker rivals.

Access the full report here, and keep reading for a sneak peek into the high-level takeaways.

The Economy

1. The economy is on everyone’s mind

With inflation on the rise combined with continued supply chain disruptions, operational bottlenecks, and the demands of rising eCommerce rates, executives are looking for ways to add more efficiency, predictability, and flexibility to their operations.

Material handling advantage

2. Material handling is seen as a key competitive advantage

Material handling is how retailers plan to create valuable differentiation. In fact, over 80% report that their organizations view material handling automation as a way to create a competitive advantage.

Executive outlook

3. Executives are confident about the power of robotic picking automation

Executives are clear on the potential of robotic picking automation. They expect deployments to provide benefits such as reduced labor costs, improved efficiency, and preparation for changing business needs —  and only 2% say they do not plan to deploy this type of automation in 2023.

Scaling in brownfield facilities

4. Ready to scale AI Robotics, with brownfield facilities as the priority

In 2023, executives plan to focus their fulfillment and distribution center investments on existing facilities by bringing in automation technology that creates efficiencies in place of – and upends – heavily manual operations.

And we’re not talking about pilots here. They’re going to invest at scale, with order picking, packing, and sortation topping the priority list for AI-powered robotic solutions across operations.

Download the full report for in-depth insights into the data and trends that will help you get and stay ahead.