Tompkins International CEO Jim Tompkins discussed the latest evolutionary phase of his company from its inception as a consultancy into six separate business entities over 45 years of operation during a press conference on Tuesday at MODEX.
In addition to offering supply chain consulting, applied technologies, integration, and digital strategy development services, the Tompkins suite of solutions also includes a transition from a foray into third-party logistics (3PL) warehousing under the MonarchFX banner into Tompkins Fulfillment.
“Tompkins Fulfillment enables us to leverage our relationships with, and understanding of, 3PLs to help match those with available space to customers who need that space,” Tompkins explained, noting that this new network includes both ambient and freezer space. “It’s a matchmaking service, if you will. What sets us apart from similar offerings is that we add a technology layer to support the partnership and ensure supply matches demand.”
Other significant developments have occurred within the Tompkins Robotics business, which now offers three different T-Sort robot sizes with capacities of one pound, 11 pounds, and 67 pounds. All three are on display in booth 9002.
Additionally, the company has developed an automated solution to facilitate in-store picking and fulfillment of online grocery orders.
“Once grocery retail outlets reach a threshold of more than 10 percent of their picks being made by surrogate shoppers, such as robots or associates pushing multi-order pick carts, the store ceases to be effective for traditional grocery shoppers,” he said. “This solution puts a T-Sort system in the backroom for picking of A- and B-mover items and deploys an overhead monorail system—the T-Rail—to send totes for replenishment or picking of items on store shelves by personnel in the aisles.”
Items are routed to or from the T-Rail via secure elevator shafts mounted at strategic positions throughout the store. This prevents intrusion into traditional shoppers’ in-store experience, while speeding up picking throughput overall. One such system has been sold but not yet installed, noted Tompkins.