Ariat International Inc., a leading footwear and apparel brand for equestrian sports, outdoor activities, and industrial work, wanted to increase throughput and maximize capacity in its central warehouse. It chose Körber Business Area Supply Chain to implement software and robots from Geekplus Technology Co. As a result, Ariat said it can shift staffers from strenuous tasks to work requiring more skill.
Founded in 1993, Ariat said it has “reimagined” the boot for modern riders, ranchers, and workers. The Union City, Calif.-based retailer takes its name from famous racehorse Secretariat, and it claimed that it is now one of the top western, equestrian, outdoor, and work brands in the world.
Ariat is already using Körber's K.Motion warehouse management system (WMS) at its distribution center in Texas. Körber Supply Chain has helped the apparel company roll out 88 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from strategic partner Geek+ for the fulfillment of Ariat's entire portfolio of products.
“Kӧrber's partnership and experience in deploying their comprehensive technology solutions has allowed us to further improve our customer and employee experience,” said Matt Hardenberg, vice president of distribution at Ariat International. “Automating picking with the AMRs and the WMS allows us to reinvest our team's time in customer-facing activities.”
Körber 'aspires to be a trusted partner'
“We are very grateful to Kӧrber for their expertise and comprehensive technology that has helped us to reduce the physical stress for our warehouse workers and modernize our operations,” Hardenberg said.
The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing labor challenges, and shifts in consumer habits require seamless online and brick-and-mortar fulfillment, according to Körber. The company said that it has seen a rapid increase in deployments of AMRs in retail environments and that it can help supply chains of all sizes.
“Körber aspires to be a trusted partner for customers to strengthen their supply chains,” said Bill Ryan, CEO of Software North America at Körber Business Area Supply Chain. “Our solutions, extensive experience, and know-how create clear advantages for business performance, employees, and end customers.”
“Unlike anyone else, we provide the software, robotics, and consulting for some of the world's most complex operations, reducing the manual labor for order fulfillment and streamlining internal processes,” he added. “Our end-to-end supply chain solutions allow us to deliver a unique mix for each individual customer to conquer their supply chain complexities.”
Körber Supply Chain is part of global technology group Körber AG. The company said that since 2020, it has deployed thousands of robots in the market across varied workflows.
Geek+ collaborates to provide efficiency
Geek+ said its picking and moving robots will improve operational flexibility, while reducing labor intensity in Ariat's distribution center. The retailer can realize a rapid return on its investment (ROI) and quickly meet increased consumer demand, it said.
“With the integration of advanced robotics and AI technologies to its warehouse operations, Ariat is equipped with the needed efficiency gains, flexibility, and future scalability to strengthen its employee and customer experiences,” said Randy Randolph, vice president of channel relationships at Geek+ America.
“We're thrilled to collaborate with Körber on this innovative project and [are] excited to see Ariat enhance its relationships with all its stakeholders through the many benefits of supply chain fulfillment automation,” he said.
Founded in 2015, Geek+ said it applies robotics and artificial intelligence for flexible, reliable, and efficient solutions for warehouses and supply chain management. The Beijing-based company added that more than 500 global industry leaders use its AMRs. Geek+ has over 2,000 employees, with offices in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.