March 17, 2014

Swisslog increases focus on three specialized high-growth markets

By DC Velocity Staff

Swisslog, a provider of integrated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers, and hospitals, is putting significant resources into developing solutions in the areas of omnichannel order fulfillment, pharmaceuticals, and temperature-controlled food storage and retrieval. These high-growth areas all have specialized requirements that Swisslog is well positioned to serve, said Markus Schmidt, senior vice president, North America, at a press conference. Schmidt said the company sees opportunities for innovative solutions to meet changing industry needs, particularly in North America and Asia, where the company's order intake is seeing steady growth.

"The omnichannel fulfillment market is underserved," Schmidt said, "and we want to be one of the main players in this segment." The company announced it had signed a contract with Hat World Inc., parent of the Lids Sports Group retail unit, to install its Click&Pick goods-to-person system in the retailer's Indianapolis distribution center. The high-speed robotic storage and retrieval system will increase storage density in the existing DC while supporting the retailer's three brick-and-mortar chains as well as five e-commerce sites. The new system will enable the retailer to gain a 20-time improvement in e-commerce order picking and order fulfillment.

Two other areas where Swisslog believes it has an advantage are pharmaceuticals and temperature-controlled food storage. Both require stringent compliance with custody and quality regulations, areas where automation and track-and-trace visibility are a must. Refrigerated and frozen food storage is ripe for automation because the difficult conditions in those environments are tough on workers. In addition, more small to medium-sized frozen food suppliers are having to store food at their own plants, and high-density storage allows them to find the necessary space, said Randy Jennings, director, food and beverage sales.

More coverage from MODEX 2014