AI Case Study
Walmart deploys smart assistants for floor stuff to optimise operations and improve customer service
Walmart is deploying four different smart assistants, following pilot programs, to augment its in store operations. Autonomous floor cleaners, shelf scanners, unloaders and pick up towers will enable the retailer's staff to focus on less repetitive tasks and optimise their performance while offering better and more focused customer service to customers.
Consumer Goods And Services
Walmart is deploying:
"* 1,500 new autonomous floor cleaners, aka “Auto-C”: After an associate preps the area, this machine can be programmed to travel throughout the open parts of the store, leaving behind a clean, polished floor. Auto-C provides a cleaner shopping experience for our customers, and it frees up our associates to serve them better.
* 300 additional shelf scanners, aka “Auto-S”: This technology scans items on store shelves to help ensure availability, correct shelf location, and price accuracy.
* 1,200 more FAST Unloaders: Working with the shelf scanner, the FAST Unloader automatically scans and sorts items unloaded from trucks based on priority and department. This allows associates to move inventory from the back room to the sales floor more quickly – ultimately giving our customers what they want, when they want it.
* 900 new Pickup Towers: A customer places an order online and selects for an in-store pickup. The associate loads the ordered item into the Pickup Tower. When a customer receives a notification via email that the item is available, they can use the Pickup Tower like a giant vending machine to retrieve their purchase.
That’s a lot of extra help for associates, and what’s especially cool is that two pieces of tech, the shelf scanners and the FAST Unloaders, share data back and forth to improve the whole process of getting products on the shelves.
What does this mean for the customer? It means a store that can function seamlessly and associates who are there when customers need them. It also means the items are on shelves where the customers expect in smarter stores all over the country."
"Smart assistants have huge potential to make busy stores run more smoothly, so Walmart has been pioneering new technologies to minimize the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf. This gives associates more of an opportunity to do what they’re uniquely qualified for: serve customers face-to-face on the sales floor.
The 2018 tests of these technologies have been well-received, but it’s not enough to have these cutting-edge systems in just a few locations. That’s why additional technologies are coming soon to stores across America."