Walmart to expand implementation of Symbotic automation system

Symbotic Systems will be installed in Walmart's 42 regional distribution centers.
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In an effort to increase the speed, efficiency and safety at which products are distributed across Walmart’s 42 regional distribution centers, the retailer shared that it is continuing its partnership with Symbotic, an AI-powered supply chain technology company.

This continued partnership, which will implement Symbotic’s robotics and software automation platform over the coming years, builds on Walmart’s prior commitment to deploy Symbotic Systems in 25 regional distribution centers.

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The end-to-end software-enabled high-density robotics platform plays a strategic role in supporting the retailer’s goal of modernizing its vast supply chain network and allows the retailer to transform its regional distribution centers to provide faster responsiveness to store orders and increase inventory accuracy and higher capacity for receiving and shipping freight to stores, the company said.

“The expanded partnership with Walmart substantiates how our technology is truly reinventing the traditional warehouse and distribution of consumer goods across the supply chain,” said Rick Cohen, chairman, president and chief product officer of Symbotic. “As a technology platform with deep roots in warehousing and distribution, our system addresses some of the biggest challenges of today’s complex supply chain, such as inventory agility, transportation cost and labor availability. Modernizing the warehouse allows consumers to get what they need faster and creates benefits for everyone including workers, customers and their local communities.”

In addition, technology’s ability to build palletized loads of department-sorted inventory ultimately enables Walmart to get products onto shelves at its more than 4,700 stores more quickly while also making one of the toughest aspects of supply chain work, material handling, safer and simpler. It also creates new, tech-enabled jobs, such as cell operator and maintenance technician, that offer widely applicable skills in robotics and technology, the company said.

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“The need for accuracy and speed in the supply chain has never been more visible, and we’re confident that now is the time to move even faster by scaling Symbotic’s technology to our entire regional distribution center network,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S. “Using high-speed robotics and intelligent software to organize and optimize inventory, the Symbotic System helps us get products to our customers quickly and seamlessly by revolutionizing how we receive and distribute products to stores.”

Walmart has started to embed Symbotic’s technology in select regional distribution centers throughout its network. The retrofitting process of all 42 regional distribution centers is expected to be completed over the next eight years. 

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