Schnucks Expands Its Robotic Workforce
Schnuck Markets Inc. is launching Simbe Robotics' autonomous robot Tally in 46 additional stores to enhance inventory management. These stores are in addition to the 16 stores that have been piloting Tally during the past couple of years, three since July 2017 and the 13 other stores since October 2018.
Dave Steck, vice president of IT infrastructure and development for Schnucks, says that the robots have had positive impacts on the business, such as:
- 14 times more out-of-stock detection than manual auditing and at least 20% reduction in out-of-stock items in stores using Tally.
- Increased accuracy of real-time inventory that feeds into Schnucks’ automated replenishment system, allowing for more efficient inventory management.
- Streamlined ordering and replenishment, ensuring store shelves are restocked quicker to meet customer needs.
- Access to real-time product location data through the Schnucks Rewards app, enabling more efficient shopping trips for customers and stocking for teammates.
“The amount of critical data and valuable insights that Tally continues to bring us from a select number of stores is immeasurable,” said Steck. “By expanding our partnership with Simbe and introducing Tally to more than half our stores, we will improve our in-stock position for our customers and free up our teams from tedious inventory-related tasks, allowing more focus on service. Improving our customer’s experiences has always been deeply important to us and is becoming even more critical to operations in a rapidly changing retail environment.”
Robots traverse store aisles two to three times per day and capture inventory for approximately 35,000 products per store each time. With this latest expansion, on average, Tally will scan more than 4.2 million products per day – giving Schnucks accurate, frequent and comprehensive insights into product flow and operations.
“Schnucks has done a tremendous job adopting thoughtful innovation to consistently enrich the shopping experience, share cutting-edge resources with store teams, and ultimately, improve business operations,” said Brad Bogolea, founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics. “Simbe is proud to expand our partnership, now and into the future, and continue to work together across a variety of store sizes and layouts to create a better retail experience through data-driven solutions like Tally. As retailers are recognizing the need for innovation in a unique market landscape, Simbe equips them with the insights they need to remain competitive and keep customers happy.”
St. Louis-based Schnucks operates 112 stores, serving customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and employs more than 14,000 associates. The company is No. 67 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.