AutoStore Launches Pio to Make Cube Storage Available to Small, Midsize Businesses

Now available in North America, Pio's pay-per-pick implementation of AutoStore's ASRS targets new customers.


Pio is a plug-and-play version of AutoStore’s \cube storage technology tailored for small and midsized businesses.
Pio is AutoStore's new unit offering pay-per-pick deployments of automated storage and retrieval technology to SMBs. It's now available in North America.

AutoStore yesterday announced the North American launch of Pio, which stands for “Product In/Out.”  The Nedre Vats, Norway-based company said Pio is a plug-and-play version of its cube storage technology tailored for small and midsized businesses, or SMBs.

Based on a pay-per-pick service model, Pio allows SMBs, such as retailers of apparel, sporting goods, crafts, and cosmetics, to deploy automation with a relatively low investment. The goal is to enable more businesses to gain access to its technology, said AutoStore. 

“We established Pio to make our technology available to smaller businesses,” said Mats Hovland Vikse, CEO of AutoStore. “Only 15% of the world’s warehouses are automated, and fulfillment operations at smaller retailers are still largely manual.”

“Pio levels the playing field so that enterprises of all sizes can take advantage of the space and cost efficiencies of automated storage and distribution systems,” he added.

Pio offers robotic storage as a service

Retailers pay a fee per individual item picked; Pio owns and maintains the robots, ports, and software, said AutoStore. Users only need to purchase product bins and the frames that the robots run on, accelerating adoption, the company said.

A Pio facility is modular and scalable, claimed AutoStore, and it runs on standardized software that connects to the most common online retail and shipping platforms. It said Pio enables SMBs to compete against larger enterprises with minimal capital expense, added labor, or need for additional floor space.

By enabling same-day order processing and eliminating backlog, Pio said it lets SMBs get items out the door faster and more cost-effectively, leading to a better customer experience.

The AutoStore unit said it enables 4x more effective space utilization and up to 5x faster picking and packing operations. This empowers businesses to spend less time managing inventory and more time focusing on ensuring continued success, according to Pio.

By providing an entry point to warehouse automation for a relatively low investment, small businesses can keep their operations in-house instead of requiring a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or significant real estate and labor investments to scale up, it said.

“Never before has the option for a fully automated storage and retrieval system [ASRS] been offered to the SMB segment—and certainly not with robotic technology that has been proven through multitudes of successful installations around the world for over 20 years,” said Magne Hatteland, vice president and head of Pio.

“With Pio, you can expand without having to move, enabling users to run their businesses closer to customers,” he said. “We are already seeing success with Pio systems operating at several high-profile retailers in Europe. Now that the system is available in North America, we are ready to support fast-growing independent retailers here as well.”

AutoStore launches Pio SMB unit

Pio said it allows for more effective use of space and faster picking and packing operations. Source: AutoStore

AutoStore and Pio to exhibit at NRF 2023

Pio and AutoStore said they will be at NRF 2023, “Retail’s Big Show,” at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York from Jan. 15 through 17. Pio will exhibit at Booth 952, and AutoStore will exhibit at Booth 325.

Founded in 1996, AutoStore said it is a pioneer in cube storage automation, combining software and hardware with human abilities. The company has more than 1,000 systems installed in 46 countries. Its network of qualified systems integrators designs, installs, and services all sales.

Pio is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoStore with headquarters in Stavanger, Norway, and New York.

Pio is an AutoStore unit designed for small and midsize businesses.

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Pio is a plug-and-play version of AutoStore’s \cube storage technology tailored for small and midsized businesses.

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