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Phononic, Vidir Partner to Simplify Grocery Fulfillment

Automated solution features actively cooled refrigerator and freezer totes to make delivery and curbside fulfillment more efficient for grocers
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Vidir and Phononic Solution
Phononic and Vidir have introduced a BOPOS fulfillment and staging solution.

Phononic, a global provider in solid state cooling technology, and Vidir Solutions, a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of vertical motorized material-handling and storage systems, have revealed the commercial availability of a joint solution: the Vidir Powered Carousel. The solution is intended to make online grocery delivery and curbside fulfillment easier and more efficient for grocers.

According to the companies, this first-of-its-kind automated BOPOS (Buy Online, Pickup On Site) fulfillment and staging solution combines Phononic’s actively cooled refrigerator and freezer totes with Vidir’s vertical lift system, enabling grocers to stage frozen, chilled and ambient orders in one central location. By consolidating orders in a vertical storage system, retailers can now reduce the number of touches required by their associates to fulfill an order while also decreasing the time it takes to get an order to customers for curbside pickup and delivery.

[Read more: “Cross-Shopping Picks Up Across the Digital Channel”]

“Online grocery sales in the U.S. are expected to grow at an annual rate of nearly 12% over the next five years. As such, it’s paramount that grocers have solutions that can adapt quickly to the increase in demand and ensure a seamless customer experience for curbside and delivery orders,” said Larry Yang, chief product officer at Durham, N.C.-based Phononic. “The integration between Phononic and Vidir’s technology makes this possible by reducing the friction associated with limited warehouse space, manual labor costs and timely curbside delivery of fresh temperature-controlled products.”

Vidir’s versatile line of vertical storage solutions scales with each grocer’s business, maximizing use of floor space and providing a high-density staging system that reduces the number of touches needed to fulfill an order for curbside or delivery. The Vidir Powered Carousel enables vertical space usage that is otherwise wasted and enables the same or more throughput by using significantly less floor space. Additionally, orders are kept at precise temperatures in Phononic’s IoT-enabled refrigerator and freezer totes in the joint solution. These totes can be turned off when not in use, which increases energy savings and brings a “smart” capability to the process.

“Together, Vidir and Phononic are powering the ultimate online pickup fulfillment experience. The joint solution eliminates the need for manual staging and labor-intensive retrieval of orders by automating the order- consolidation process and enhancing time to curb for customers, while also minimizing order errors — a win-win for grocers' efficiency and customer experience,” noted Mario Fontes, director of sales and marketing at Canada-based Vidir Solutions.

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