THE E-GROCERY EVOLUTION:

moving automated fulfilment from strategy to execution


The growing demand for e-grocery services is driving increased consideration of automated micro fulfillment centres (MFCs) and e-grocery fulfillment centres (EFCs) says Cuong Vo, head of sales and consulting Australia and New Zealand at Swisslog.

The MFC concept first surfaced as a strategy for automating e-grocery fulfilment in the early days of the pandemic when demand for e-grocery service overloaded grocers’ ability to fulfil online orders through manual picking from store shelves. But, for the most part, there was more talk than action.

“Uncertainty regarding how demand would change when restrictions were lifted, combined with the complexity grocers faced as they considered plans for automating fulfilment close to customers, caused most to delay the move to MFCs and EFCs. Now, however, with volumes at their current levels and rising, continued dependence on manual picking is becoming unsustainable and a growing number of grocers are moving forward with MFCs and EFCs to increase the efficiency of order fulfilment, enable faster fulfilment times and reduce in-store congestion,” says Vo.

As they do, they are finding that while e-grocery automation is still a complex undertaking, there is more knowledge and experience to help them navigate this complexity than there was two years ago. That’s because enough grocers have taken the leap into e-grocery automation that we know what works and what doesn’t.

As the e-grocery fulfilment partner with the most experience implementing successful MFCs and EFCs, Swisslog has captured this knowledge and experience in a new e-book, ‘The E-Grocery Evolution: Moving Automated Fulfilment from Strategy to Execution’.

Swisslog has a well-established and growing reputation for successfully implementing MFC automation projects globally.

In Sydney, Australia, Swisslog is currently underway building a new automated micro-fulfillment centre with 24/7 click and collect for e-commerce order fulfillment specialists, SKUtopia.