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Robotic goods-to-person systems to quadruple through 2023, says Gartner

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Demand for robotic goods-to-person (G2P) systems is expected to quadruple through 2023 as companies begin to enforce social distancing in warehouses, according to data from Gartner.

With robotic goods-to-person systems, Gartner explains that the robots deliver the goods to a person who remains in one place.

“Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing demand for robotics in warehouses and distribution centres,” said Dwight Klappich, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“G2P systems are an easy and economical way to not only enforce social distancing, but also improve productivity,” Klappich explained.

Aside from easier to implement, robotic systems are also less invasive compared to other technological solutions that address social distancing in warehouses, such as technology that traces each employee’s move

Klappich continued that keeping people in place and using a virus-resistant robot to move goods around respects people’s privacy and keeps them safe at the same time.

G2P systems also drive broader long-term improvements in efficiency and productivity and also offer additional benefits such as improved storage density.

Gartner also predicts that through 2024, 50% of supply chain organisations will invest in applications that support artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics (AA) capabilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for supply chain organisations to seek tools that help them make better and more informed decisions faster,” said Andrew Stevens, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“Leading organisations use AI and AA to dig through the vast amounts of data they generate to understand what is happening in their business now and – more importantly – what is likely to happen in the future,” he said.

Stevens continued that companies will continue to invest in applications that embed, augment or apply AI and AA tools. This may be to address foundational areas such as data quality or connecting disparate silos, or strategic objectives such as migrating to more automated, resilient and smarter applications.

“Supply chain leaders should adopt a broad and holistic perspective when it comes to AI and AA. These technologies are increasingly ubiquitous, and there are many ways in which they can be applied – such as data mining for smart manufacturing, visibility tools and autonomous transportation, and to aid customer retention,” Stevens concluded.

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