Schnucks Now Using Robotics to Enhance Cleaning
Schnuck Markets Inc. has selected Tennant Co.'s robotic scrubbers, powered by improved software from Brain Corp, for its supermarkets. Brain Corp's BrainOS updates include a new user experience (UX) design and reporting capabilities aimed to ease how autonomous mobile robots can be used and managed at scale.
Schnucks will have the autonomous units in more than half of its stores by the end of the year.
"These new robotic scrubbers will enhance cleaning performance, while giving valuable time back to teammates so they can spend more time doing what is most important: serving our customers," said Kim Anderson, senior director store operations support at Schnucks. "Robotics and technology are important tools for helping us improve in-store experiences and achieve our customer-first values."
The new software release includes the following features and functionality:
- Universal design and iconography — A new "glanceable" user interface featuring international symbols makes it easy for robot operators to understand what to do almost immediately regardless of language.
- Powerful route-cleaning upgrades — New features for BrainOS-powered robotic scrubbers give robot operators maximum flexibility in cleaning their commercial locations. "Multiple consecutive routes" allows for up to six different routes to be scheduled and executed. "Route repeat" allows for a continuous loop of one or more routes to clean problem areas.
- Unified reporting across applications — An industry-first capability that enables executives to get performance metrics of multiple BrainOS-powered robotic applications via a single interface. Users can easily toggle back and forth between the different robotic applications to see core usage metrics, enabling them to quickly understand the overall impact of their robotics program on their operations.
- Report internationalization — BrainOS reporting interfaces now come in a dozen different languages, with more on the way, to help global businesses better manage their robotic fleets in multiple countries. This internationalization includes product-specific languages, as well as time formats and units of measurement.
- New reporting at scale — Thanks to a new centralized data warehouse and a high-performance reporting infrastructure, users of BrainOS robots can now look at activity reports and autonomous usage metrics for one robot in one store or thousands of robots across the globe within seconds. This enables executives to understand usage and compliance of their operations in near real-time.
"Our goal is to make BrainOS-powered robots dead simple to use for any global audience and to help end customers better collect and leverage robotic data so they deliver better customer experiences," said Jon Thomason, CTO of Brain Corp. "This new release extends the value of our platform and sets the bar for what users should expect from their investment in autonomous robots."
The Tennant robotic scrubbers aren't the only additions to Schnucks robotic workforce. Last month, the grocer announced an expanded partnership with Simbe Robotics to deploy its Tally robots in 62 stores to help with inventory management.
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.