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Embrace the change: automation’s impact on grocery retail

Distribution fresh food Future of Automation grocery retail

In an era defined by uncertainty, grocery retail is facing a dynamic transformation, driven by unprecedented factors. Preparing for the change is crucial, but the difficulty lies in the unknown: how do you prepare for something you cannot predict?

Kari Miikkulainen, Warehouse & Distribution Industry Sales Director at Cimcorp, delves into the disruptions influencing the grocery retail landscape and explains the pivotal role of automation in navigating the unpredictability. Several factors have reshaped the grocery retail industry, including the pandemic, global labor shortages, geopolitical uncertainty, evolving regulations, the rise of online grocery sales and a surge in sustainability awareness.

Automation: a necessity, not a luxury

These changes are not transient and have necessitated a fundamental shift in the way grocery retailers operate.

Automation becomes a linchpin, addressing challenges such as ensuring product safety, reducing touchpoints, guaranteeing deliveries amidst staff sick leave, maintaining better hygiene, handling increased volumes due to more home cooking and meeting the demand for healthier food.

Kari Miikkulainen, Warehouse & Distribution Industry Sales Director at Cimcorp

grocery retail

Automation provides a key solution to global labor shortages in physically demanding sectors, such as warehousing and logistics. By leveraging automated systems, grocery retailers can boost productivity. Automation not only complements human labor but also eliminates heavy and repetitive tasks, improving workplace ergonomics. The transition to automated solutions not only mitigates labor shortages but also enhances workplace safety and efficiency.

“Automation not only boosts productivity, with a fast return on investment, but also enhances working environments, health & safety and the overall reliability of deliveries while minimizing picking errors,” explains Kari.

Regulatory changes: a weighty matter

Addressing weight lifting limitations, Kari emphasizes how automation eliminates heavy, intense handling from human labor, ensuring compliance with regulations and fostering a safer work environment.

Automation ensures compliance with regulations and creates a safer workplace.

says Miikkulainen

Enhancing transparency and safety through advanced tracking and traceability systems are some of the key benefits of automation. Tracking systems ensure accountability and reduce the risk of errors. Additionally, in the event of a product recall or safety concern, traceability enables swift and accurate identification of affected batches, minimizing potential harm and bolstering consumer confidence.

Sustainability through automation

Automation emerges as a key player in achieving sustainability goals. “Automation streamlines supply chains,” says Kari, “reducing lead times from field to store, thereby extending shelf life and minimizing waste. Higher truck load density further contributes to reduced transportation, aligning with the overarching drive for eco-friendly practices.”

In a unpredictable world, the adoption of modular and scalable solutions that grow alongside the customer’s business is a sound means of future-proofing. Kari Miikkulainen emphasizes the importance of adaptability to seasonal peaks: “Being prepared for the future means embracing technology that evolves with ever-changing market demands.” As automation continues to redefine grocery retail, those who can seamlessly integrate it into their operations stand poised to navigate the uncertainties ahead successfully.

Future of Automation

The future of automation is a topic that has gained a lot of attention in recent years. With advances in technology and the increasing need for efficiency and productivity, automation has become a key driver of growth and innovation across various industries.

Overall, the future looks bright, with exciting new possibilities and opportunities. As a leader in the field of intralogistics automation, Cimcorp’s insights dive into hot topics in the industry and focus on the trends in automation. Read more and subscribe to videos!

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