Start-ups have shaken up the solutions landscape with innovative software, hardware and go-to-market strategies. Established systems suppliers have made meaningful shifts in how they provide solutions and services. In the process, the warehousing and distribution playing field has leveled somewhat. Thanks to consumer demands, massive automated facilities and mom-and-pop shops are expected to deliver similar service. And, thanks to faster and cheaper technology, many solutions exist to bring the capabilities of small, medium and large businesses closer together. In the wake of the Great Recession and the ongoing e-commerce revolution, the companies left standing can choose from a rich variety of solutions.
“There are still casualties out there, but it’s getting to the point where the market has shifted from panic to asking, ‘What are the right ways forward?’” says Corwin Carson, chief revenue officer for InVia Robotics. “The solutions are available today, and innovative technologies are transitioning from the hopeful betas and pilots to real deployments and real throughput.”
InVia and IAM Robotics, suppliers of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and new players in the materials handling space, are two examples of companies that have structured their business models around the unique conditions facing the industry. By offering robotics as a service (RaaS), they enable customers big and small to begin or gradually advance their use of automation. RaaS allows those companies struggling to attract or retain talent to address non-value-added materials handling tasks without large up-front capital expense or long-term commitments.
Read the entire article in Modern Material Handling here.