To help enforce social distancing in warehouses and distribution centers, demand for robotic goods-to-person (G2P) systems will quadruple through 2023, according to Gartner, Inc.
The advantage of G2P systems is that the robots deliver the goods to a person who remains in one place,
“G2P systems are an easy and economical way to not only enforce social distancing but also improve productivity,” said Dwight Klappich, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice in a statement.
While technology that traces employees' moves has been implemented to address social distancing, robotic systems are easier to implement and less invasive. “Keeping people in place and using a virus-resistant robot to move goods around respects people’s privacy and keeps them safe at the same time,” Klappich added.
Other advantages in using G2P systems is the ability to improve both efficiency and productivity, as well as improved storage density.
These benefits cause Gartner to predict that through 2024, 50% of supply chain organizations will invest in applications that support artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics (AA) capabilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for supply chain organizations to seek tools that help them make better and more informed decisions faster,” said Andrew Stevens, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, in a statement. “Leading organizations use AI and AA to dig through the vast amounts of data they generate to understand what is happening in their business now and – more importantly – what is likely to happen in the future.”
AI and AA can also address issues such as data quality or connecting disparate silos, or strategic objectives such as migrating to more automated, resilient and smarter applications, the study says.
“Supply chain leaders should adopt a broad and holistic perspective when it comes to AI and AA. These technologies are increasingly ubiquitous, and there are many ways in which they can be applied – such as data mining for smart manufacturing, visibility tools and autonomous transportation, and to aid customer retention,” Mr. Stevens concluded.