Whiplash provides advanced fulfillment solutions through state-of-the-art robotics and automation.
Mike Venditti: Digitally native growth has been exploding over the past 18 months. We’re using the robots on almost double the footprint than we were a year ago at the same time.
Hilario Carillo: It’s just incredible, the volume that we are getting with the help of the robots.
Mario Arroyo: So, before the bots, we were picking at about 40 or so units an hour. With all the robots, we’ve been able to get to 140, 150 units an hour.
Mike Venditti: Nationwide omnichannel third-party logistics company. We service the retail wholesale as well as e-commerce. We started with the robots in 2018 and we started with one customer at the time. The pandemic and reshaping of buyers’ behaviors has really forced us to be able to adapt.
Mario Arroyo: So, what has changed in this facility is we got a new client in, that client started at about 85,000 square feet of facility and space with about 79 robots. Within 45 days they had already outgrown that space, so we had to double the footprint to 170,000 square feet and we ended up having to double the number of robots to about 109 robots, as well.
Mike Venditti: After we had the physical layout, Locus was able to come in, remap it, bring in the additional robots and we were back up to speed in no time. And it was seamless to the customer. Most of the customers that we get are usually the result of a challenge that they may have had during peak season where other companies were not able to scale and be as effective during that tight window.
Mario Arroyo: The beauty of the Locus program is that you could bring in a new person with very little or no knowledge of warehousing or picking and in about 15 to 20 minutes they can become active and productive pickers with the robots.
Yulissa Maldonado: They told me ‘You’re gonna learn in five minutes’. I think I learned in about 30 seconds, 60 seconds. So, it was quite easy. I am so glad that there’s new ways to make labor easier.
Mario Arroyo: With the robots, they only have to walk 20, 30% of what they used to.
Maria Casa: I think the robots help out great with productivity. It tells exactly where to go, what to scan, what to pick, how many to pick, so it’s faster moving than having to go through paper or a manual pick.
Mike Venditti: We experienced very impressive savings, both not only in the pick element, which we certainly expected but also in the packing functions, as well. They also help us tremendously from an accuracy standpoint.
Maria Casa: Having the robots pick is- the accuracy’s 100%. The robots will not allow you to scan something that it’s not asking for and it will not let you confirm a quantity that it’s not asking you to.
Mike Venditti: One of the things we’re finding very quickly is they’re very metrics-driven. We can see where the robots are at any given time and what we’re seeing very quickly is that the associates like to see how they’re producing.
Hilario Carillo: Some people, in 8 hours, they’re picking 1,000 to 1,400 units and the only way we could know that is by the dashboard. And the employees, they love that challenge.
Mario Arroyo: So, the dashboard is a very valuable tool. We are able to look at the productivity at the individual level, we can see the productivity at the group level, it allows us to make decisions on the fly just by looking at the numbers.
Mike Venditti: I would attribute a lot of the success we’ve had in e-commerce to our robotics. When you look at the cost-benefit and how much more productive we can be, that is a huge win. And because of the success that we’ve had with these we’ve actually incorporated them into other locations in the network as well.