The ecommerce giant plans to partner with startups and universities to drive innovation in the automation and robotics ecosystem.Debolina Biswas
Indian ecommerce platform Flipkart has introduced robot-based sortation technology - Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in its Bengaluru sortation centre. The AGVs at the Walmart-acquired company's Soukya sortation centre will help meet its customer demands by ensuring faster delivery.
With more than 1,000 employees, the Soukya facility processes lakhs of shipments each day. The AGVs will be working in conjunction with the facility staff to identify encoded information on packages and sort them according to their pincodes.
According to the company, deploying 100 of these AGVs will increase the efficiency of the facility by 60 percent. This will also ensure 5x scaling of the existing 4,500 shipments that the setup does currently.
Krishna Raghavan, Senior Vice President of eKart Tech at Flipkart, said,
"With the Automated Guided Vehicles, we are re-imagining new growth paths, while orchestrating new and innovative ways of working. We believe this will help bring efficiencies, agility and scale to the supply chain operations, helping us serve the customer better."
This will also ensure upskilling of the existing manpower and deputing them in higher value-adding work, at similar or lower costs.
Flipkart has been scaling up to prepare and meet the demands of the next 200 million online shoppers that it is planning to onboard. The introduction of AGVs will allow flexibility and mobility, necessary for scaling supply chain operations.
The company also plans to partner with startups and universities to drive innovation in the automation and robotics ecosystem of India.
"This India-first initiative is the first stepping stone in this journey. Going forward, we will be looking at how we can help build the country's nascent automation ecosystem through R&D and collaboration so we can continue building India-specific solutions."
Flipkart also plans to build a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Robotics and Automation that will bring together the engineering, product and automation teams under one umbrella.